Fantasy Basketball Week 18 Waiver Wire: Otto Porter, Danuel House ready to make an impact down the stretch

Welcome back! I hope you are enjoying your All-Star Break more than Aaron Gordon, who was once again robbed of a Slam Dunk Championship Saturday night (thanks to some shady judging by Dwyane Wade).

The waiver wire is still heavily impacted by a busy trade deadline, though the biggest story is an important update about a pending return from injury. 

In the half-week following the break, almost everyone plays twice. The Bulls play three times, giving them a massive advantage in many settings. The Clippers, Knicks, and Magic play only one, significantly harming their value.

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.

Must-add Stash

Otto Porter Jr., Bulls (52 percent rostered)

Porter's season got off to a rough start, and then he missed the next 46 games with a foot injury. Even if we exclude the game in which he got hurt, he was averaging just 11.0 points, 3.4 rebounds, 1.5 assists, 0.9 steals, 0.3 blocks and 1.6 threes in 26.6 minutes — all of which are his worst over the last five seasons.

But Porter had been a top-60 player for each of the last four seasons, including two top-25 seasons. He was a top-45 player in 2018-19 after getting traded to the Bulls. And Porter has a history of starting seasons slow. There's simply too much evidence saying Porter is a great fantasy producer for us to overreact to a bad nine games. With the Bulls stating that he'll be back by the end of February – meaning he'll miss a maximum of four more games – it's time to add Porter in all formats.

Adds For All Leagues


Danuel House, Rockets (48 percent rostered)

He's back, baby! I'll admit, my confidence in House had started to wane, but after a brief slump and a temporary demotion, House is back to his all-around productive ways. House is inside Fantasy's top 30 since re-entering the starting lineup on January 27. In that span, he's averaging 13.1 points, 6.7 rebounds, 2.7 threes and 2.0 steals in 34.7 minutes. House's reliably high workload has been a big part of his appeal, and the Rockets' trade-deadline commitment to play small adds another layer of insurance protecting his stable floor. He's never going to be a major contributor in points, and he's a minor negative in field goal percentage (his FG% is bad, but his low number of attempts minimizes the impact), but he's helpful pretty much everywhere else.

Eric Gordon, Rockets (58 percent rostered)

Sticking with the small-ball Rockets, Gordon is available on waivers for the first time in years. Though the Capela trade didn't happen until February 4th, Capela was out a few games before that, so the Rockets pure-small-ball experiment actually began about a week earlier. On January 26 and 27, Gordon started while one or both of James Harden or Russell Westbrook was out. On January 29th, all three started together for the first time. Gordon has started every healthy game since, and the starting lineup featured all three guards in four of those contests. Since becoming a regular starter, Gordon is averaging 19.1 points, 2.6 threes, 1.3 steals and 0.9 blocks in 32.6 minutes. He's a very good scorer and defender, though he's a drain in field goal percentage and he doesn't provide meaningful rebounds or assists. The scoring and defense is enough, however, to make him rosterable in almost all leagues, especially in head-to-head formats.

Juancho Hernangomez, Timberwolves (22 percent rostered)

Malik Beasley, Timberwolves (71% rostered) is the real trade deadline winner in Minnesota, but he's already rostered in too many leagues to get his own blurb. The Timberwolves traded away Andrew Wiggins and Robert Covington, two major minutes hogs on the wing, and Beasley and Hernangomez are the primary replacements. Since arriving, Hernangomez has started all three games and averaged 15.0 points, 6.0 rebounds and 2.0 threes in 30.3 minutes. Hernangomez is probably going to hurt your percentages, but he's likely to provide solid value in rebounds and threes in addition to some out-of-position assists.

Other recommendations: Jordan Clarkson, Jazz (52 percent rostered); Duncan Robinson, Heat (47 percent rostered); Mikal Bridges, Suns (48 percent rostered); Daniel Theis, Celtics (40 percent rostered); Landry Shamet, Clippers (22 percent rostered); Moe Wagner, Wizards (24 percent rostered); Jae Crowder, Heat (53 percent rostered); Malik Monk, Hornets (23 percent rostered) 

Short-term Fill-ins

Anfernee Simons (11 percent rostered) and Gary Trent Jr (12 percent rostered), Trail Blazers

My clear preference here is for Simons, but there is plenty of opportunity for both to shine until Damian Lillard (groin) returns. Lillard is among the league leaders in minutes, points, and field goal attempts, so it takes more than one player to "replace" him. Lillard will probably only miss about a week more of games, but when 37.0 minutes, 29.5 points, 7.9 assists and 20.4 field goal attempts are missing from a rotation, it demands fantasy attention.

Dewayne Dedmon, Hawks (24 percent rostered)

I'm a proud, long-time Dedmon skeptic, but I have to acknowledge two core points: First, the dude can get some blocks. Second, at least until Clint Capela (heel) receives clearance to play, Dedmon is getting heavy minutes in his new home. Dedmon is playing 26.3 minutes since being traded to the Hawks, and he's averaging 3.3 blocks per game. That rate is obviously unsustainable, but his role in the Atlanta defense is also doing some work to inflate his totals – and that role should persist until Capela returns. Capela could return very soon after the All-Star Break ends, but the reporting on his injury has been shaky. Blocks are scarce enough that it's worth adding Dedmon, even if we'll only get a game or two out of him.

Other recommendation: Naz Reid, Timberwolves (6 percent rostered)

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