Fantasy Basketball: Week 19 Waiver Wire
Here's who you need to add for this week as we head toward the stretch of the Fantasy season.
Welcome back. The NBA All-Star break ends today. The Fantasy season is about to kick into high gear.
Relatedly, tanking season is about to kick off. The All-Star break is usually the breaking point after which the bad teams stop pretending to try to be good, and modify their rotations accordingly. This column could look very different a week from now, so stay vigilant.
For now, though, we have a balanced schedule, with literally every team playing two games. In daily lineups leagues, there is extra advantage to adding players from the Clippers, Spurs, Magic, Nuggets, Raptors or Knicks. Those six teams are the only ones with Saturday off, and the only ones who play on Sunday, so there is a better chance of being able to fit them into your starting lineups.
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
Blocks are fundamentally hard to find. They are the rarest of the Fantasy categories, and most of the biggest contributors are drafted back in October. Therefore, Robinson's 3.0 blocks per game over the past six games would make him a waiver candidate even if he provided nothing else. The fact that he's boosted his scoring to 11.5 points per game during that window is a bonus. The fact that he never reached four fouls in a game during that stretch is also important, as foul trouble was a major limiting factor on his minutes earlier in the season.
Finally, this might be your last window to get him. After putting up only six points in 19 minutes in his last game before the break, his roster rate is not as high as the recent six-game stretch might otherwise imply.
The Anthony Davis saga continues. With every new development, I become increasingly convinced that his final game as a Pelican is near, though he will play Friday night. Over the All-Star break, the same Davis who could not finish the Pelicans' Thursday game due to injury insisted on participating in the All-Star game, albeit for only five minutes. Meanwhile, the Pelicans fired their GM, and the interim GM appealed to the league office to allow the team to bench Davis for the rest of the season. Davis doesn't want to be there, the fans are booing him, and all of his actions are alienating his teammates.
Williams has been one of the big beneficiaries of Davis' absence and subsequent return in limited minutes. Williams has started the past six games -- most of which also featured a healthy Julius Randle -- and averaged 10.0 points, 8.8 rebounds, 3.3 assists and 1.0 blocks. Since Williams is more of a wing player, Davis' absence is less relevant than it would be to Jahlil Okafor (74 percent rostered), but Okafor has already been snatched up in most leagues. Williams is the more widely available player who managers can still pick up to take advantage of the situation.
The Pistons have made it pretty clear that they want a small forward who can stretch the floor. The only remaining question is whether Ellington or Luke Kennard (12 percent rostered) will emerge with the most Fantasy value.
Ellington has only been a Piston for two games, and the first of those was, well, bad. But his second game went much better, sinking three 3s on his way to 13 points in 33 minutes. Ellington has a lengthy history of 3-point excellence as a career 38 percent shooter from long range, though his 35 percent this season is a career low. He's still the odds on favorite to take this role. The way this offense is built, whichever of the two emerges could realistically average three 3-pointers per game.
Other recommendations: Monte Morris, Nuggets (38 percent rostered); Joe Harris, Nets (58 percent rostered); Robin Lopez, Bulls (15 percent rostered); Cody Zeller, Hornets (36 percent rostered); Landry Shamet, Clippers (16 percent rostered); Avery Bradley, Grizzlies (31 percent rostered); Delon Wright, Grizzlies (9 percent rostered)
Streamer of the week
Joel Embiid (knee) will miss the next week, opening up a major role for the 76ers. Embiid is averaging 33.7 minutes and 13.5 rebounds per game this season, so there should be plenty of opportunity for Marjanovic, even though he is unlikely to take on Embiid's offensive role. Marjanovic never plays big minutes – his high this season is just 23, achieved as a Clipper – but he's a per-minute monster. He's played at least 17 minutes eight times this season. In those games, he's averaging 12.0 points, 9.4 rebounds and 1.4 assists. As soon as Embiid returns, Marjanovic can safely be dropped, but until then he's likely to provide solid production.
Players whose values could drop quickly
For years, we've known Chris was a good for Fantasy but bad in real life player. Not many top-eight draft picks are on their third different team before the end of their third season. Yet, while his Net Rating ranks 459th out of the 484 players to average at least 10 minutes per game, Chriss' Fantasy production can be fantastic.
Over the past four games, he is averaging 14.3 points, 6.3 rebounds, 2.3 3s, 1.0 assists and 1.0 steals in 24.3 minutes. Furthermore, while he doesn't have any blocks in those games, he averages one block per 24 minutes over the course of his career. If he can maintain this workload, he can be a solid contributor to almost any Fantasy roster -- and it's not like the Cavaliers are all that interested in winning games anymore.
Kadeem Allen, Knicks (15 percent rostered)
The Knicks carousel strikes again, this time with recent G-League call-up Allen. With (my personal favorite) Allonzo Trier (17 percent rostered) in a slump and Emmanuel Mudiay (45 percent rostered) and Frank Ntilikina (groin) sidelined, Allen stepped up before the All-Star break. Over his past four games, he averaged 16.5 points, 6.3 assists and 1.5 steals in 26.8 minutes. That production warrants attention, but it could already be over. Mudiay and Ntilikina are both expected to return shortly -- both might be back before the end of the weekend. A week off is sometimes the perfect remedy for a slump, and a rejuvenated Trier would also interfere with Allen's workload.
Sorry to repeat a name that's appeared frequently in this section in recent weeks, but waivers are a little thin right now and Kleber is the perfect deep-league pickup. His situation is effectively the same as it was at the start of the month. Following the Kristaps Porzingis/DeAndre Jordan trade, Kleber is seeing a heavy workload in the depleted Mavericks frontcourt. Kleber has started every game since the trade, averaging 26.3 minutes per game. He doesn't really score, but his solid defense and long-range abilities add appeal.
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