Welcome back, everyone. I've got good news and bad news. The good news is that enough of you have picked up guys like Anfernee Simons and Omer Yurtseven that they no longer qualify for this article. That means you get to stop reading about them, and that we have more space to talk about some new emerging names. The bad news is that it creates more work for me. Which, to be fair, isn't really your problem at all. So, from your perspective, I guess it's just good news.
Before we dive in, I want to call some extra attention to the "schedule notes" section at the bottom – the NBA schedule this upcoming week is very strange in multiple ways that have dramatic impacts on the waiver wire. The Clippers' Amir Coffey is this week's No. 2 add, and the Pacers' Lance Stephenson is the last name mentioned, but, for schedule reasons I explain at the bottom, a lot of managers should be skipping Coffey in favor of Stephenson. The effect of the Week 14 schedule really is that profound.
As usual, the players in this article must be rostered in less than two-thirds of CBS leagues. Players are listed in the order that I recommend adding them, assuming they are equally good fits for your team
Adds for all leagues
De'Andre Hunter, Hawks (35% rostered)
Hunter returned Wednesday from a two-month absence. Though he was limited to 24 minutes off the bench, he still managed to put up 15 points, one rebound, one steal, and one block. He's likely to return to his role as starter after a couple games of ramp-up – he's started 92 of his 98 career games for Atlanta.
And after Thursday's trade, in which the Hawks sent away Cam Reddish for draft compensation, there's less competition for minutes (though, that probably does more to preserve Kevin Huerter's value than have any impact on Hunter, as Hunter was going to get his 30-ish minutes as a starter either way). Hunter averaged 15-5-2 last season, and we should expect him to meet or exceed those numbers once he returns to full strength.
While we're here, and because I can't resist – yes, Kevin Huerter (42% rostered) is still an add for me. The Reddish trade protects him from Hunter's return.
Amir Coffey, Clippers (20% rostered)
Paul George (elbow) is out for at least another week, and possibly much longer. There have been some positive reports about Kawhi Leonard (knee) lately, but those reports imply that he's still more than a month-and-a-half away. There is a long runway of opportunity for a Clippers wing to provide Fantasy value.
Coffey leapfrogged Terance Mann into the starting lineup last week, and has thrived in the new role. He scored 21 and 18 points in the last two outings, respectively, and is shooting 59-53-86 splits as a starter. He's also helping in rebounds and assists, averaging 4.7 and 4.3. Luke Kennard (COVID protocols) has been out for all of these games, and his eventual return could hurt Coffey, but I like Coffey's chances to stay relevant even with Kennard back. Mann and Kennard were both starting, so Coffey could continue starting after Kennard's return.
Nassir Little, Trail Blazers (25% rostered)
As Portland shifts into full-on tanking mode, Little's minutes and responsibility share is likely to increase. That'll be pushed into hyperdrive for the next few games while Norman Powell (COVID protocols) is out. Little has started since the beginning of December, and though his production has been inconsistent throughout, the general trendline is heading in the right direction. He's up to 13-6-2 with 2.6 3s over his last five games.
While we're talking about the Trail Blazers: Just a reminder that Anfernee Simons (80% rostered) ought to be universally rostered following Damian Lillard's (abdomen) surgery. The official timeline on Lillard is that he is out until he gets reevaluated in six weeks, but my guess is he's done for the season.
Cameron Johnson, Suns (63% rostered)
We're almost there, folks. He just missed a game with an ankle injury, but it seems minor, so hopefully he returns to action shortly. As stated in previous weeks, I think Johnson is a solid, albeit unspectacular pickup who is likely to stick on rosters for the rest of the season.
Nicolas Claxton, Nets (55% rostered)
I know I talk about Claxton too often, and you'll probably have to hear about him next week too after he missed games Wednesday and Thursday with a hamstring injury. I'm still adding and holding. His per-minute production is excellent and his role is increasing.
Herbert Jones, Pelicans (64% rostered)
Just wanted to give my guy Herb a last shoutout before his roster rate rises above the threshold to qualify for this article. He's a rookie second-round pick who is starting and averaging more than one block and one steal per game. His scoring, assists, and 3-pointers made have each gone up with every calendar month. Keep it up Herb – the ceiling is the roof!
Ziaire Williams, Grizzlies (7% rostered)
Williams is more in the category of a stash than a player to add if you need help right away. The rookie was ineffective through the first month of the season, and then back-to-back knee and ankle injuries knocked him out for another month and a half. He's been back for five games, and they've been all over the place.
But he's passing the eye test, and Dillon Brooks' (ankle) injury has opened the door for extra minutes. He's been so up-and-down, both in college and through his first half-season in Memphis, that I legitimately have no idea what kind of stat profile he'll end up settling in at. If you have the roster space, however, it may be worth it to find out.
Rajon Rondo, Cavaliers (30% rostered
We're three games into the Rajon Rondo, Cleveland Cavalier experience, and the production has been more or less what we expected. He's averaging 10-4-5 with 1.0 steals in 22.0 minutes. If anything, these early lines increase my optimism for Rondo's Fantasy potential in Cleveland. He's attempted at least three shots from behind the arc in each game, which implies that he has real potential to average better than one made three per game. He also played 29 minutes in his second game, an indication that his regular workload could settle well above the 20-22 minutes per game I had anticipated. Remember, he provided Fantasy value on just 20.4 minutes during his stint with the Clippers last season. He's a worthy stash while the situation clarifies, especially for assist-needy rosters.
Lance Stephenson, Pacers (26% rostered)
I'm having a hard time taking Stephenson seriously as a Fantasy option, but the reality is that he's put up decent numbers over the past week. Combine that with the new fears around Malcom Brogdon – a historic injury risk whose current injury is being ominously described as "recurring Achilles soreness" – and there is a legitimate path to sustained Fantasy relevance for Stephenson. He's a streaky scorer, but he can provide meaningful help in rebounds and assists.
Other recommendations: Terrence Ross, Magic (51% rostered); Lonnie Walker, Spurs (24% rostered); Coby White, Bulls (50% rostered); Monte Morris, Nuggets (55% rostered); Patrick Beverley, Timberwolves (49% rostered); Kyle Anderson, Grizzlies (37% rostered); Trey Lyles, Pistons (14% rostered)
It's another busy week for the league, with a full 23 teams playing four games in Week 14. That means there is much more harm than usual in relying upon someone with just two games (Rockets, Pelicans, Kings), and a three-game week shifts from neutral to a meaningful disadvantage.
The schedule is also extremely imbalanced. There are only two games Tuesday and three games Thursday and Saturday. All the other days are jam-packed, with between 11 and 13 games apiece.
The lopsided schedule has a massive impact on managers in daily leagues. On the busier days, managers are likely to fill their lineups without any room for waiver pickups. Managers should place a premium on players with games on Tuesday, Thursday, or Saturday. In many cases, managers will get more use out of picking up a Pelican (only two games, but the second is on Thursday) than someone on any of the 16 teams with a four-game week but all the games are on the busy slates.
The Knicks and the Warriors are the only teams to play both Tuesday and Thursday, adding massive value to potential waiver pickups on both teams. For the Knicks, that's part of a three-games-in-four-nights stretch. The other two teams in action Tuesday, the Pistons and the Timberwolves, both play the rest of their schedules on the busy nights.
The Pacers and the Suns are the only teams to play both Thursday and Saturday. The Pacers also start the week with a three-games-in-four-nights scenario.
Those 16 teams who play all four of their games on the four busy slates are: Hawks, Celtics, Nets, Hornets, Bulls, Clippers, Lakers, Grizzlies, Heat, Magic, 76ers, Trail Blazers, Spurs, Raptors, Jazz, Wizards.