FOR most NBA fantasy leagues we are on the edge of playoff basketball! Some leagues start their postseason early (mine included) which means that the battle for a championship is nearing its final stages. Most coaches will have their core lineup intact, but a few waiver wire tweaks could be the difference in the pursuit of a title.
All numbers/stats provided are based on ESPN fantasy leagues
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Mitchell Robinson – New York Knicks, C, 26.3% ownership
MOVING up in the world from monitor to must-add is Knicks big man Mitchell Robinson. Last time I did a fantasy waiver watch Robinson had recorded a block in 10 consecutive games and he’s kept that streak alive and pushed it to 19 straight, including 19 blocks in his last five matches. The fouls are a tad concerning, but with Robinson posting three double-doubles in his last five contests, he is one of the hottest fantasy properties right now.
Paul Millsap – Denver Nuggets, PF, 85.8% ownership
IT’S unlikely that Millsap will be sitting on your waiver wire, however, there is nearly 15% of leagues where this is the case. He is refinding his mojo at the right time of year for Nuggets fans/fantasy owners, with double-digit scoring and rebound numbers over his last eight at an average of 15.0 and 10.6 respectively. Get amongst it.
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Avery Bradley – Memphis Grizzlies, SG, 10.0% ownership
WHILE a sore wrist has Bradley in doubt for tomorrow’s game against Portland, that shouldn’t hold you back from pursuing him. Arriving in Memphis seems to have revived his play, with the former Clipper averaging 17.4 points and hitting a shade under 42% of his three’s in his first nine games as a Grizzly. It may be unfair to expect this hot shooting to continue, but Bradley is now scrub owning a career 3-point percentage of 36.5%.
Elfrid Payton – New Orleans Pelicans, PG, 63.7% ownership
SCORING is never going to be Elfrid Payton’s strong suit, but if you need help in other areas he may be the answer. He’s barely scratching 10 points a game (10.2 to be exact) since his return from a sprained ankle, but Payton is tossing out 9.3 assists and 5.8 rebounds in that six-game span. Set to play a heavy minutes load until seasons end, don’t sleep on Payton’s overall production.
Jeff Teague – Minnesota Timberwolves, PG, 82.4% ownership
IF you want to capitalise on Jeff Teague’s return from injury, you’re going to have to do so quickly. He hasn’t lit the world on fire since his return, with a five turnover, five foul game against Indiana far from inspiring. That being said, we know that Teague is usually good for 30 minutes and 10-15 points with 7-10 assists in most contests. If you need some PG help he may be worth stashing for the playoff stretch when he returns to full health.
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Robert Covington – Minnesota Timberwolves, SF, 49.8% ownership
ANOTHER stash who should return to the court soon is one time 76er, Robert Covington. Still sitting on over half of the waiver wire’s in the league, Covington was recalled from the G League on Sunday as he continues to ramp up his return from a bone bruise. There’s still no exact timeline on when we can expect him back, but Ro-Co is taking all the right steps.
Isaiah Thomas – Denver Nuggets, PG, 43.5% ownership
WE may have seen the last of Isaiah Thomas’ dynamic best, with that crafty scoring guard yet to be seen on a court since his days in Beantown. While the last 18 months have been testing for Thomas, he is once again healthy and his production should only increase from this moment moving forward. He seems set to play a 15-minute role for Denver so don’t go adding him just yet, but he’s worth monitoring in case his minutes/output lifts in the fantasy playoffs.
Josh Jackson – Phoenix Suns, SF, 42.4% ownership
PRIOR to the All-Star break, a lot of Phoenix’s wings were putting up good fantasy numbers, including sophomore SF Josh Jackson. As his minutes take a hit so has his overall game, with Jackson failing to crack double-digit scoring three times in his last seven matches. With Jackson set to lose his starting spot to Dragan Bender and T.J. Warren nearing a return from injury his numbers should only continue to trend downward.
Kenneth Faried – Houston Rockets, PF/C, 58.5% ownership
KENNETH Faried has flourished as a Houston Rocket, putting up nearly a double-double in 15 games (13 starts) while Clint Capela was sidelined. Capela’s return to the court coincided with a hip injury to Faried who has been forced to miss the last two contests. He’s in doubt to miss the game against Toronto tomorrow as well and with Capela back in full flight, Faried’s fantasy ceiling has taken a hit making him waiver wire worthy.
Malik Beasley – Denver Nuggets, SG, 19.8% ownership
THE third and final Nugget on the list is Malik Beasley, who has developed into a decent play this year for the Mile High City. Ever since the aforementioned Isaiah Thomas has come back into the fold, however, Beasley’s fantasy numbers have declined. His minutes are down and averaging just 10.7 points over that stretch it’s probably time to look elsewhere for a scoring punch.
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