Fantasy Basketball: Week 14 Waiver Wire

Keep calm and mind the schedule.

OK, my meek attempt to merge already overplayed British tropes aside, there's an NBA game in London this week, and that has a big impact on the entire Fantasy landscape. The Knicks play the Wizards across the pond on Thursday, and it is the only game this week for both teams.

There are also two teams with only two games this week: the Hawks and Mavericks. Then, 18 teams play three games, leaving only eight teams with a four-game week: the Celtics, Hornets, Pistons, Pacers, Clippers, Grizzlies, Suns and Spurs.

This odd schedule impact managers in almost all leagues:

  • In non-max leagues, the value gained by adding someone with four games is much high than usual, since so few teams play four games.

  • In leagues with a weekly games max, managers will have a harder time reaching that max, and will have to use more of their bench. Plan ahead.

  • In weekly lineup leagues, with so few four-game weeks, there is less harm in starting players who play only twice. Players with one-game weeks, even a star like Bradley Beal, should probably be benched.

It's almost a good thing that the schedule is so relevant this week, because the waiver wire pool is pretty thin. The best additions this week might actually be players your opponents drop in their efforts to manage the schedule -- so we've added a quick list of frequently dropped players to be on the lookout for.

As always, 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

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Richaun Holmes SAC • PF • 22
25 percent rostered

On the one hand, listing a backup center as the top-recommended add is a reflection of the sparse waiver wire. On the other, Holmes is not your normal backup center. Over the past six games, Holmes ranks inside Fantasy's top 25. You might think that's a typo, or just an overly-inflated number due to small sample size, but I assure you, it is neither.

Holmes has done this before. In the final few months of Process-era tanking, the end of the 2016-17 season, Holmes was a top-40 player from the All-Star break through the end of the season. Furthermore, he achieved that lofty status with only 26.9 minutes per game. So while the top-25 standing might be a little high, we don't have to be too worried about the fact that he's only averaged 19.3 minutes in that stretch. Holmes can be really good without a lot of court time. With the Suns playing four games this week, Holmes should be added in all leagues.

Reggie Bullock, Pistons (32 percent rostered)

Is there anything more frustrating than drafting a guy, dropping him after a dreadful first few weeks, and then, out of the blue one day in mid-December he randomly turns into the player you were expecting on draft day? That's Bullock for me right now, and it's driving me crazy. Thanks for letting me vent.

Bullock missed five games with an ankle injury in December. He's made at least one 3 in all 15 games since he returned, and he's averaging 3.4 per game, sinking 43.2 percent from long-range. And this is totally sustainable! He shot 44.5 percent from behind the arc for the entire 2017-18 season! The biggest difference is that his attempts have increased, but that's consistent with the modern NBA offense. There is no reason Bullock can't keep this going the rest of the way. He's averaging 14.7 points and 33.1 minutes in that stretch, playing more than 30 minutes in all but four. He doesn't do much outside of 3s and points, but there is always room on a roster for someone who could rank in the top three in a category for the rest of the season.

Kevin Huerter, Hawks (52 percent rostered)

Huerter may be tough to pick up this week because the schedule might force many managers to focus on players who can be more immediately helpful. The Hawks play only two games this week, and Huerter is appealing more for his rest-of-season upside than his current production. Nonetheless, Huerter might not be available for much longer, and he is a classic, second-half breakout candidate.

The rookie first-round-pick is playing for a bottom-five team that has more interest in tanking than playing its veterans. His minutes have increased throughout the season, but his averages still aren't eye-popping. Even after a 29-point game on Friday, Huerter is still only averaging 11.0 points per game as a starter. On the other hand, during his current seven-game streak of at least 10 points per game, he's averaging 15.4 points, 3.7 rebounds, 3.4 assists and 2.4 3s in 38.4 minutes. He still has a lot to improve upon, but that's at least worth a roster spot in most leagues.

Other recommendations: Austin Rivers, Rockets (28 percent rostered); Alec Burks, Cavaliers (32 percent rostered); Bryn Forbes, Spurs (34 percent rostered); Terrence Ross, Magic (38 percent rostered); Gerald Green, Rockets (7 percent rostered); Marcus Smart, Celtics (42 percent rostered)

Never trust the Suns

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Kelly Oubre Jr. PHO • SF • 3
62 percent rostered

I like Oubre's talent. I don't like the Suns. Four of the Suns' six best players play the same position, which is why we have situations like Oubre's. Since joining the team, he has five games in which he's played at least 30 minutes and scored at least 14 points. He also has seven games in which he's played 24 minutes or fewer, and he scored less than 10 points in six of those. I've held onto Oubre in the places where I've rostered him, and adding his talent makes sense. Just be prepared for a headache.

De'Anthony Melton, Suns (23 percent rostered)

Melton has been the Suns' starting point guard for the past 19 games. I don't recommend rostering him unless you're in a very deep league and desperate for assists and steals. As with Oubre, Melton's minutes fluctuate wildly, but unlike with Oubre, Melton isn't good enough to make holding on worth it. Don't be tricked by his 24 assists over the past three games. Melton is probably the worst starting point guard in the league, and bad games are surely just around the corner.

Watching the Wire

The following players are being dropped in a significant number of leagues, and should be considered as potential pickups if they become available in your league

Kevin Knox, Knicks

Danny Green, Raptors

Rodney Hood, Cavaliers

Larry Nance, Cavaliers

Thomas Bryant, Wizards

Deep-league special

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Jalen Brunson DAL • PG • 13
10 percent rostered

J.J. Barea (Achilles) has been a deep-league staple this season, ranking 30th in assists per game despite averaging only 19.8 minutes. But Barea is now out for the season after last week's injury. While it's unlikely that the rookie second-round pick out of Villanova will be able to match Barea's per-minute efficiency, Brunson is likely to take over Barea's role as Dallas' backup point guard.

Barea has only missed one game so far, and Dennis Smith Jr. was also out, so Brunson's stats from that game are probably inflated, but it's worth noting that Brunson was the primary fill-in, playing 30 minutes. Brunson could be a decent source or points, assists, 3s and steals in limited minutes. He's worth adding in a 16-team league, with 14-team league potential.

Other recommendation:

Maxi Kleber, Mavericks (seven percent rostered)

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