NBA fantasy leagues can be won (and lost) on the waiver wire. If you are vigilant and switched on there are plenty of diamonds in the rough to found, giving you the chance to offload that player who you are clinging on to hope for. Here are a handful of players to consider adding/dropping to improve your squad.
All numbers/stats provided are based on ESPN fantasy leagues
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Tristan Thompson – Cleveland Cavaliers, C, 29.8% ownership
WITH the Cavs in full tank mode as long as he’s healthy Thompson will be good for nearly 30 minutes a game and close to a double-double. In his last four matches back from injury Thompson is averaging 11.8 points and 9.5 rebounds and while it might not seem like an eye-popping line, there’s every chance those numbers go up as Thompson works his way back into shape.
Josh Hart – Los Angeles Lakers, SG, 7.1% ownership
JOSH Hart’s shooting numbers might scare some investors off, with the Lakers guard struggling ever since LeBron suffered his injury. While LA tries to find some offensive normality with ‘The King’ out of the picture, Hart has been contributing in a number of other ways though. With averages of 7.5 rebounds and nearly 2.5 steals since Christmas Day, Hart, who has also started in every one of his last seven contests, is worth a look in. If his shooting numbers increase slightly, you’ll have a hidden gem on your hands.
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Derrick White – San Antonio Spurs, PG, 6.1% ownership
INJURY creates opportunity and with Dejounte Murray going down in the pre-season many of us were wondering who would step up for the Spurs. DeMar DeRozan has kicked his playmaking up a notch, but their starting point guard, Derrick White is becoming a viable option as well. He has scored in double digits for six straight contests while contributing a few rebounds/assists/steals each night. Tick.
Thomas Bryant – Washington Wizards, PG, 4.9% ownership
THIS one comes with a warning and might be worth a watch and wait approach. Bryant emerged as a genuine option over the past fortnight, chewing up minutes and boards with Dwight Howard still sidelined. However, the return of Ian Mahinmi in the past few contests has eaten into Bryant’s production, with the duo almost splitting minutes at the center position. I still think Bryant’s the hot man we should target as he is hitting nearly 75% of his shots in the past 10 games while adding a healthy number of rebounds, but it’s worth watching how he and Mahinmi split time.
Justice Winslow – Miami Heat, PG, 10.2% ownership
POINT Winslow is one of the most popular adds in the entire league and if he’s still on your waiver wire, go ahead and snag him now. His last eight games have been super impressive as Winslow has put up 15/5/5 on average while adding some steals and 3’s at the same time. Goran Dragic is expected to miss at least another month of action giving Winslow the green light at point moving forward.
Bobby Portis – Chicago Bulls, SF, 4.6% ownership
IN his first game back in the fold, Bobby Portis had a solid outing, enough to suggest he should be on your watchlist. 17 points and a handful of made 3’s in just 20 minutes is a good sign and if Chicago re-inserts him into the starting lineup I only expect those numbers to rise. There’s every chance they look to deal Robin Lopez before the deadline as well, opening up more minutes and opportunity for Portis.
Justin Holiday – Memphis Grizzlies, SF, 1.9% ownership
I was the proud owner of Justin Holiday before he was dealt to the Grizzlies and subsequently, he can now be found on our league’s waiver wire. In two games for Memphis Holiday has totalled just 33 minutes, with the likes of Kyle Anderson, Dillon (not Marshon) Brooks and Garrett Temple higher up on the pecking order. There’s every chance Holiday can offer value if his minute’s uptick, but for now, he’s not worth stashing.
Monte Morris – Denver Nuggets, PG, 0.6% ownership
WHILE Monte Morris helped keep Denver (and a bunch of fantasy coaches) afloat during December it appears his hot streak has come to an end. His near league-best assist to turnover ratio made him a viable add in most formats, but as the Nuggets welcome back Gary Harris and Paul Milsap with Malik Beasley performing admirably off the bench Morris’ upside isn’t as lofty.
Image from fantraxhq.com
Kevon Looney – Golden State Warriors, PF/C, 0.8% ownership
Jordan Bell – Golden State Warriors, C/PF, 51.7% ownership
WARNING: DeMarcus Cousins’ comeback is in full swing. The Warriors announced yesterday that their upcoming road trip next week to LA could be the first time we see Boogie in a Golden State uniform and while he will take time to be integrated into their system, Looney and Bell are bound to see their production plummet. There’s no reason to overreact and dump either of them right away, but it’s time to start looking for a succession plan.
Kentavious Caldwell-Pope – Los Angeles Lakers, SG, 3.6% ownership
AS I already mentioned, Josh Hart is chewing up a bunch of minutes and the starting SG role for the current Lakers team, which heavily hampers KCP’s production. After a hot scoring stretch to start the new year, Caldwell-Pope has put forth just 12 points in his last two contests as his minutes have taken a big dip. As long as Kyle Kuzma, Josh Hart and Brandon Ingram are healthy it’s unlikely that Caldwell-Pope will offer any value from a fantasy point of view.
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