Working the waiver wire is pivotal to succeeding in fantasy basketball. With so many games, injuries and endless shifts in rotations throughout the marathon campaign, we’ll need to source stats from free agency to maximize imaginary rosters.
A willingness to entertain competition for the last few spots on your fantasy hoops roster can prove rewarding. When curating this fluid collective of statistical contributors, it helps to consider your end-of-bench players in direct competition with the talent floating in free agency.
The goal of this weekly series is to identify players at each position available in free agency in at least a third of ESPN leagues. Some appointments are specialists capable of helping in one or two categories, while others deliver more diverse and important statistical offerings. In the breakdowns below, I’ve ordered players at each position with the priority of acquisition in mind, rather than roster percentage in ESPN leagues.
Anfernee Simons, Portland Trail Blazers (Rostered in 64.5% of ESPN leagues): A quad injury will sideline Simons to open the week, but this remains an ideal window to acquire the rising scoring star. Since he became a starter, Simons ranks among the league leaders in 3-point production.
Ayo Dosunmu, Chicago Bulls (24.3%): Such unique passing prowess from a second-round rookie has driven value for Dosunmu. Until Lonzo Ball and Alex Caruso are back in the fold, this Illinois product can help fantasy teams.
Donte DiVincenzo, Sacramento Kings (37.3%): Getting more work in the rotation lately has allowed DiVincenzo’s elite steal percentage to surface. A solid rebounder for his position, there are some signs of statistical momentum underway.
Malik Beasley, Minnesota Timberwolves (36.2%): A « bucket » enjoying more opportunities with Anthony Edwards ailing, Beasley is likely only of interest when his role is elevated.
Malik Beasley drives into the paint and unleashes the massive jam for the Timberwolves.
Josh Hart, Portland Trail Blazers (50.5%): Even as he’s cooled off in the scoring department after a strong start to his career with Portland, there’s plenty of rebounding and playmaking production to consider.
Cameron Johnson, Phoenix Suns (25.3%): Hot from the field and fresh from a career outing over the weekend, Johnson is driving as the team’s scoring force with Chris Paul and Devin Booker unavailable lately. Even with Booker’s looming return, Johnson is likely going to enjoy a strong finish to the season given the team’s need for his shooting gravity sans Paul.
Terance Mann, LA Clippers (21.2%): The Clippers need a little bit of everything from Mann on most nights, evidenced by proving productive as a passer, rebounder, and defensive option.
Michael Porter Jr., Denver Nuggets (54.8%): With word that « MPJ » could be back from a back ailment within the next few weeks, it’s time to roster him for the stretch run. It’s unclear if Porter will be ready to handle a major workload once he’s on the floor, but the sheer upside of his offensive skill set demands our attention.
Robert Covington, LA Clippers (61.8%): An incredible block rate drives Covington’s value at this point. He’s still good for some solid shooting and steal rates, but it’s the fact that he boasts center-like rim protection rates that makes him such a difference-maker.
Lauri Markkanen, Cleveland Cavaliers (41.3%): This team’s strong defensive roster still lacks scoring creation, which helps Markkanen’s workload as one of the team’s premier perimeter threats.
PJ Washington, Charlotte Hornets (64.5%): The team’s commitment to running smaller lineups continues to foster great fantasy fun for Washington, who has thrived as the team’s stretch center. You won’t be wowed by any single category, but there’s just enough shooting, scoring, and defensive production to merit rostering Washington in most formats.
Steven Adams, Memphis Grizzlies (48.5%): Any atypically strong assist rate fuels value for Adams, especially on a team that greatly values his ability to clean the glass and initiate transition possession with deft outlet passes.