NBA Waiver Wire: Week 20
Justin Fensterman goes around the league, providing players who are worth adding to your roster.
With a lot of you starting your fantasy basketball playoffs this week, remember, it’s ok to drop a player who’s been helping you all season. You need to get as much playing time overall as you possibly can in order to keep up with your playoff opponent. It’s all about who can help you RIGHT NOW. Watch teams that are tanking and take advantage of random players who have suddenly found themselves in the rotation. It’s about winning, not how good your team looks on paper at the end of the season.
Luke Kennard SG DET-37% Ownership: The Pistons need more help scoring and Kennard has become the fourth scoring option behind Blake Griffin , Andre Drummond and Reggie Jackson . He’ll get a lot of shots from the arc as the Pistons main bailout option and he’s been helpful in other areas lately. He’s been grabbing more long boards. He’s grabbed at least three in three of his last five games. He’s also been looking for the cutter more on offense and his assist numbers reflect it. He’s dished three-plus assists in his last four games. He has a quick shot and he doesn’t take stupid shots so he won’t crush your shooting percentages. He’s been seeing steady minutes in the 20’s and 30’s and with Drummond’s limited ability on offense, he’ll get more shots than a standard fourth option for a teams.
Jae Crowder F UT-34% Ownership: Crowder has been an inconsistent producer all season, but with four games this week, it’s all about what he can do game by game and he’s been very productive in his last three games. He’s scored at least 11 points in his last three games. He’ll balance his offense between driving and jump shooting and he’s not afraid to sacrifice his body. He’s a hound on the perimeter and he’s grabbed steals in each of his last four games with two of those being multi-steal games. He’s also been getting more love in the Jazz rotation. He’s played over 30 minutes in three of his last four games. He’s also been more helpful on the glass grabbing five or more boards in his last four games. He most recently produced a double-double. He’ll also provide minor assist help too.
Delon Wright G MEM-18% Ownership: Wright should be able to pick up minutes down the stretch as Memphis heads to the lottery. He’s been seeing minutes in the 20’s and 30’s and with fewer options competing for shots in Memphis than in Toronto, he’s taken full advantage. Wright has scored in double figures in four straight games. He’s got good quickness and he’ll beat his defender more often than not on the drive. He doesn’t rely as much on his long-range shooting, but he can hit three’s. He loves to drive and draw contact. He’s also grabbed steals in three of his last four games. Wright averages only three boards per game, but, he’s surpassed his average in eight of his last nine games. He’ll get playing time at both guard spots and he’s even blocked shots in three of his last five games.
Noah Vonleh PF NY-18% Ownership: Vonleh is healthy and he’s been a top defender for the Knicks all season. Vonleh can hit three’s, but his game is mainly in the post. He focuses a lot on keeping plays alive and he’s become very aggressive on the glass grabbing 7.9 points per game. He doesn’t average double-digits in scoring but he has hit 10-plus points in three of his last five games. He’s also blocked shots in three of his last five games. The Knicks are in tank mode, but they haven’t limited his minutes as he see’s a steady dose of playing time in the 20’s and 30’s. He’s more of an enforcer-type on the defensive end. He body’s up defenders and gets very physical. For now, expect him to keep his spot in the rotation. He’s quick and gets down the floor quickly and the Knicks don’t have a lot of depth behind him.
Jalen Brunson PG DAL-6% Ownership: Brunson will draw starts, but he’s not your typical point guard. He’s often used as a bailout option as the Mavericks use Luka Doncic to handle most of the PG duties. Brunson will still get time to run the point with the Mavs second unit. He’s been a scoring machine lately, scoring in double figures in his last four games. He’ll hit three’s, but he has no fear in driving the lane and drawing contact. He’s dished four-plus assists in his last three games and he’s even grabbed three or more boards in four of his last six games. Even though he doesn’t have the ball in his hands as much, he’s shot 11 or more shots in his last three games. The Mavs frontcourt is not that helpful on offense and their backcourt will have to handle the bulk of their scoring. Brunson will see a lot of games in the 30’s down the stretch. Also, keep in mind that his usage rate is sure to go up if Luka's recent injury ends up becoming something serious.
Frank Kaminsky PF, C CHA-10% Ownership: Where has this guy come from? Kaminsky is all of a sudden producing. He’s been playing in the 20’s a lot lately and he’s been hitting his three’s. Kaminsky has scored in double figures in four of his last five games. He’s also been more helpful on the glass. Kaminsky was on the outside of the Hornets rotation for most of the season, but, as I said before, it’s about what these players have been doing game by game at this point of the fantasy season and Kaminsky has been on fire. He’s grabbed seven or more boards in three of his last five games. Look at Kaminsky as a short-term solution at this point. He’s been rewarded with more minutes for a reason and you can ride him until his minutes drop below 20. He’s hit at least four trey’s in two of his last three games.
Allonzo Trier SG NY-18% Ownership: The Knicks have a lot of guards, but Trier has good ball-handling ability and has broken a lot of Ankles on the run this season. He’s scored at least 10 points in his last seven games. He’s been more productive from downtown and that’s helped his production. He’s also grabbed 3.1 boards per game and guards who grab three or more boards per game will often get more minutes and are beneficial for fantasy basketball. Trier has been keeping his turnovers limited as sometimes he loses control of the ball on the drive because he tries to be too fancy. He’s also grabbed steals in two of his last four games. Look to add Trier if you need the scoring boost. He’s been playing steadily in the 20’s and 30’s. His ball-handling ability will continue to improve and he’s a draw for the crowd and as the leagues worst team, the Knicks need to still draw and Trier is one of their selling points.
Rodions Kurucs F BKN-18% Ownership: Kurucs has caught fire lately, especially his shooting. He’s elevated his game on both sides of the ball even though the Nets have plenty of forwards to work in the rotation. Kurucs has been consistently playing in the 20’s and he’s scored in double figures in his last four games. He hit at least four three-pointers in two of his last four games. He’s grabbed six or more boards in his last four games. He’ll get minutes at both forward spots and the Nets are playoff-bound and Kurucs getting legit minutes now is a good sign that he’ll be in the Nets rotation for the rest of the season. Kurucs has blocked shots in three of his last four games. He’ll also fight for loose balls and has grabbed steals in two of his last three games. He’ll get a lot of shots from the elbow and he’ll need to continue working his way in the lane to be more of a threat.
Alex Len PF, C ATL-16% Ownership: Len has taken full advantage of Dewayne Dedmon and Omari Spellman being hurt and he’s been a monster when it comes to scoring. He’s hit double-digits in five of his last six games with two of those games being 24-plus points. He’s also grabbed at least seven boards in three of his last five games. Len has improved his three-point shooting. He used to stick just to his post-game, but lately, he’s been hitting multiple three-pointers and he’s helped spread the floor. He has been utilized just like Dedmon was and because John Collins is such a threat all over the court, Len’s been left open a good amount. Len has blocked shots in four of his last six games. Len continues to play consistently in the 20’s and he should be safe to start at least for this week. Len has been drawing starts and that has certainly helped his production.
WILDCARD PICK UP: Frank Jackson PG NO-6% Ownership: With Jrue Holiday hurt and his minutes being limited, Jackson has been able to take full advantage and his playing time has gone up a lot. He’s played in the 30’s in his last two games. Elfrid Payton is not a huge offensive threat and Jackson has been providing help in the backcourt. Jackson has scored in double figures in four of his last five games and has hit the 20-point mark in his last two games. Jackson fights hard for long rebounds and he’s grabbed four or more in four of his last five games. Jackson has also been more aggressive on the perimeter and he’s grabbed steals in two of his last four games. He’s used his quickness to get in the lane and he’ll get open from the elbow off the curl. He’s hit multiple three-pointers in three of his last five games.