It’s the start of the home stretch! We’ve made it to March and if you’re winning your league, do not stop looking at your waiver wire for injury-replacement players. If you’re losing, start turning over your roster a bit quicker. You need production and players playing in every night in order to make up the production. If your league doesn’t have a move maximum, pick up and drop non-core lineup players regularly so you can get as much production in a given week as humanly possible. If you play in a roto league, you have no other option and must move up by making your production ceiling as high as possible and you need players playing everyday in order to do so.
De’Andre Hunter SF ATL-28% Ownership: As the Hawks continue to lose players to injury, Hunter has become a more prioritized scorer in the Hawks offense. Their frontcourt options under the basket aren’t producing and it has been up to Hunter to help a bit more in the paint. For most of the season, Hunter hung around at the arc. You can only get so many shots playing alongside Trae Young , but beyond Young and John Collins , the Hawks don’t have a clear third scoring option. Hunter has scored 18-plus points in three of his last four games. Hunter grabbed double-digit boards in two of his last three games. He’s been playing in the 30’s lately and he has a favorable schedule coming up including games against Memphis, Washington and Charlotte. These are all beatable match ups and he’s taken 10 or more shots in his last 2 games. Dewayne Dedmon and Cam Reddish being out opens up more shots for Hunter.
Rudy Gay F SAS-35% Ownership: Gay has seen a bit more production with LaMarcus Aldridge banged up. He’s scored 14 or more points in two of his last three games. He’s taken at least nine shots in his last few outings. Not only is Aldridge hurt, but, Jakob Poeltl is also hurt and Gay’s only competition for shots at this point from members of the Spurs frontcourt is Trey Lyles . Gay has grabbed at least five rebounds in his last three games. We all know that he can hit long-range shots, but he’s done a great job over the last couple of years producing from the elbow. He also has a bit of post-game as well. Gay has grabbed steals in his last three games and blocked shots in his last two contests. The Spurs are literally running out of options up front and there’s a chance that Aldridge needs more time to heal and Gay could be come the second scoring option if both Aldridge and Poeltl continue to sit.
Nicolo Melli PF NO-7% Ownership: It’s very surprising that Melli’s been able to have breathing room to produce now that Zion Williamson is in full force in the Pelicans rotation. Melli will steal a few minutes from Derrick Favors and he’ll get a good amount of time to work the post. Melli stood out right at the beginning of the season with Williamson and others injured, but then disappeared off the radar. Melli has scored in double figures and grabbed at least five boards in four of his last five games. He’s hit the 20-minute mark a bit more lately and with other minutes opening up in the backcourt, Melli may have a stay of execution when it comes to his role. Take him week by week as he should only be viewed as a short-term solution for now. Melli has blocked shots in his last four contests as well.
Jerami Grant F DEN-40% Ownership: We saw Grant flourish in the deep Denver lineup when Paul Millsap is injured and he’s once again not 100 percent. He’s not expected to miss extended time or anything like that, but Grant has scored 20 or more points and grabbed four boards in two of his last three games. He’s been getting open three-pointers and he’s been helpful in the post. He has also grabbed steals in two of his last four games. He’s a good defender and very worthy of more playing time. Millsap has helped a bit more on the offensive end. Despite Millsap being in for the most part, Grant has been able to keep his spot in the rotation. The Nuggets will throw him 20 minutes per game consistently, but he really needs another injury in the frontcourt to get even more breathing room. He’s taken at least 10 shots in five of his last six games.
Harry Giles III PF, C SAC-31% Ownership: We’ve been looking for an answer regarding who will step up and fill in for the injured Marvin Bagley III and Richaun Holmes and Giles has been stepping up on both sides of the ball lately. Nemanja Bjelica can’t defend the post by himself and he’s scored in double figures in his last five games. He’s also grabbed no fewer than five boards during that span. He’s hit the 30-minute mark twice in his last five contests. Giles is an inside specific Center who will do all of the dirty work needed under the basket. He’ll grab loose balls and has compiled a steal in three of his last four games. He has also blocked shots in three of his last five games. Expect Giles to get playing time in the mid-20’s for at least another week or two. Giles has a strong drive to the basket and he’s taken 10 or more field goals in two of his last three games.
Shake Milton G PHI-34% Ownership: The Sixers are dealing with three impactful injuries and since Ben Simmons got hurt, Milton has been able to fill the void nicely. It was expected that Alec Burks would get a bigger role as this is the exact reason why the Sixers acquired him, but it’s been Milton that has been standing out. Milton has scored 19 or more points and dished four or more assists in his last game. He is coming off of a 39-point performance and with Josh Richardson in the Concussion protocol and Milton will have way more room to make an impact. He can become the third scoring option until Joel Embiid is ready to return. He’s played over 30 minutes in his last three contests and he should continue doing so until Simmons returns. Milton has also produced steals and blocks in three of his last four games. He’s a must add at this point and the Sixers lack depth and there definitely is long-term appeal for him.
Kent Bazemore SG, SF SAC-37% Ownership: Bazemore has popped from out of nowhere and he’s been a bit more helpful in the Kings rotation by providing them with secondary scoring. He’s hit the 30-minute mark in three of his last five contests and even though he’s used more as a bailout option, he’s been getting more involved in the offense. Bazemore has also put up more defensive stats lately as well. He’s grabbed multiple steals and blocked a shot in three of his last five games. He has also grabbed four or more boards in his last five games. He has good driving ability and can get high-percentage shots off of the pick and pop, but he has good enough speed to produce at the rim on transition and De’Aaron Fox keeps the Kings offense moving at a very quick pace. View him as a short-term option and once his minutes and scoring drops, be prepared to release him.
Jordan Poole SG GSW-7% Ownership: Everyone’s value on the Warriors is currently safe because Stephen Curry is still not ready to return to the court. Poole has been scoring in double figures consistently over his last eight games. Ky Bowman is the latest Warriors injury and Poole has needed to help run the point along with Damion Lee . Poole has dished four or more assists in his last three games. He has been dealing with a sore Ankle, but he shouldn’t miss any time because of the injury. He has grabbed steals and at least three boards in three of his last five contests. He’s been regularly playing over 30 minutes lately and it’s safe to say due to the lack of depth, he’ll be in the rotation for the rest of the way. He should still be able to steal 20 minutes even when Curry returns. Poole provides a nice mix of driving and jump shooting. He won’t rely solely on being fed at the arc.
Gorgui Dieng PF, C MEM-26% Ownership: Dieng wasn’t given a true rotation commitment upon his arrival in Memphis but now that Jaren Jackson Jr. and Brandon Clarke are out for the next week or two Dieng has short-term injury-replacement value. Dieng has recorded two double-doubles in his last five games. Jonas Valanciunas can’t cover the whole post by himself. Josh Jackson hasn’t taken impeded on his minutes too much as there is room for both of them to get at least 20 minutes until either of the two injured players come back. Kyle Anderson will need to handle SF and Josh Jackson can also help him at SF. Dieng has grabbed steals in his last seven games. He has also blocked shots in his last four games. We can’t always rely on him for offense, but he should be able to help out enough with boards, steals and blocks for production. View double-digit scoring as an added bonus.
WILD CARD PICK UP: Cody Martin SF CHA-1% Ownership: With Malik Monk suspended indefinitely, Martin’s stock rises. Martin has played at least 23 minutes in his last four games and he has grabbed no fewer than four rebounds in any of those games. Martin can shift to SG if needed and Miles Bridges can shift to PF at times and that opens up more SF minutes for Martin. He’ll be utilized a bit more on offense rather than being a last resort bailout option. Martin has grabbed steals in three of his last five games. His main competition for playing time is Caleb Martin at the moment. Once it comes out how long Monk is suspended for, the Hornets will have a better idea of how to divide up the minutes. Lock Martin in for a true rotation commitment. He’s a potential future piece and Nicolas Batum shouldn’t threaten his minutes at all. He’s a short-term solution for now, but he has the ability to gain more shots in the Hornets offense.