2017-18 Fantasy Basketball Waiver Advice: March 1
Justin Fensterman dives into the fantasy basketball waiver wire in hopes of delivering productive additions to your season-long leagues.
As the season winds down, keep an eye on the standings because teams who aren’t tanking now, could begin tanking in the next couple of weeks. The Charlotte Hornets are an example of a team who may start to rest players to get in a better draft position. Watch out for the players who are being waived and who they’re signing with. The 76ers have just signed Ersan Ilyasova and it’s looking like Corey Brewer will sign with the Thunder. New players coming in will impact the team’s rotation, especially if the player is a good defensive player. Fantasy Basketball Playoff clinching time is here! Stay ahead of the game!
Danny Green SG/SF SAS-23% Ownership: It’s been a very productive month for Green and even with the news that Kawhi Leonard is working his way back, it shouldn’t impact Green once Leonard returns. Green shoots a lot of long-range jumpers, but he also has good driving ability. He’s good at slicing through screens and he’s scored in double figures in four of his last eight games with two of those games being 22-point games. Green will keep his minutes constant because of his defense. Just like he’s good at working through screen on the offensive end, he’s also good at avoiding them on defense and he has three multi-steal games in his last four. Green has also blocked shots in two of his last four games. H plays steadily in the 20’s and 30’s and Leonard’s return will impact Kyle Anderson more than Green. Green has that SG spot locked up and controls his own destiny. He’ll still play if the shots aren’t falling as long as he’s keeping opposing guards from scoring too much.
Kelly Olynyk PF/C MIA-39% Ownership: Olynyk will stay fantasy relevant for the time being because Hassan Whiteside is still not playing full minutes. Olynyk stretches the floor nicely for the Heat and he’s further developed his game. Last year in Boston, he stood at the arc a lot on offense. This year he’s posting up more and grabbing more boards in the paint. He still uses his range, but he’s double the threat he was last season. Bam Adebayo is a good inside player, but Olynyk can do more. He’ll see some competition for minutes against James Johnson, but Johnson can’t work as successfully at the Center spot. Even though he didn’t score in double figures in his first game back in almost a month, it should give owners confidence to see him play 25 minutes in his first game back. The Heat need his unique skills and shooting range to draw bigger defenders out of the paint. Prior to hurting his Shoulder, Olynyk was scoring consistently in double figures and grabbing six to eight boards consistently. Expect him to return to form and to also help with steals consistently.
Caris LeVert PG/SG/SF BKN-12% Ownership: LeVert is able to play in back to back’s again and without that restriction owners should look to take advantage. LeVert provides a nice balance of driving and jump shooting and he can run the point. He’s dishing four assists per game and he’ll help with scoring and rebounding consistently. He’s scoring 11.7 points per game and he can hit from long-range. He’s more trustworthy than the streaky Allen Crabbe. His main competition for minutes will be Crabbe, D’Angelo Russell and even DeMarre Carroll. LeVert is good at working the elbow and getting open at the top of the paint. He’ll often set his top screen and then shift over to get open off the curl. LeVert is also good at handling the transition offense. He’ll keep the Nets and more importantly the opposition on the run. LeVert has played good defense on the perimeter this season as he’s grabbed 1.1 steals per game and with more playing time, his steals numbers will improve.
Tristan Thompson PF/C CLE-32% Ownership: We’re seeing more of a rotation commitment for Thompson lately. He played in the 20’s and 30’s in every game except one in February. When it comes to his offense, we all know the story with Thompson. He’s limited and doesn’t have any moves in the post. He scores off of put backs and on the pick and roll. View any points he scores as a bonus (just like with Draymond Green). Thompson is a defensive specialist’s who rewards owners with boards, steals and blocks. He’s coming off of two 13-rebound games and he’s recorded a steal in his last two games. Thompson is a good final player off your bench in standard leagues. Thompson’s blocked shots in two of his last four games. One of his major responsibilities is to set screens for LeBron James and another is to keep Larry Nance Jr. (more skilled than Thompson offensively) out of foul trouble and essentially be the fall guy for contact. His rebounding has been better this month and he’s been rewarded with more playing time. Looking for offense? He’s not your guy!
Frank Kaminsky PF/C CHA-36% Ownership: As frustrating as it is to figure out Kaminsky, with Cody Zeller’s Knee acting up, he’ll get a longer leash for at least the next few weeks. Reports have circulated whether or not the Hornets will start resting Dwight Howard if they fall further out of the Playoff race. Since the All-Star break, Kaminsky has played five straight games in the 20’s and he’s hit three-pointers in most games since the break. He scored in double figures over his last four games and recorded a blocked shot in three of his last four. Kaminsky also grabbed six or more boards in three of his last five games and that’s a major increase from his 3.7rpg average. Despite trading for Willy Hernangomez, the Hornets are still not giving him much love in the rotation. The Hornets could consider benching Marvin Williams who’s been banged up throughout the season. Kaminsky’s shooting range poses a threat to low-block big men and will cause them to step outside their comfort zone and defend the arc. Kaminsky gets a lot of open shots and will continue scoring in double figures consistently down the stretch.
Milos Teodosic G LAC-12% Ownership: It’s been a bit of an injury-plagued season for Teodosic, but with other guards hurt on the Clippers, expect him to see more playing time in March. Teodosic is more of a traditional Point Guard who runs the floor acting like a floor general and organizing the offense. He’s not as useful as the off-guard. He’s a good passer and driver. He finds openings through screens and has good agility and a high Basketball I.Q. He’s scored in double figures in four of his last five games. Teodosic has grabbed 3.1 rebounds per game and has dished 5 assists per game. Both of those stats standout as it shows he makes a commitment to produce in those areas. He’s grabbed steals consistently and will compile more down the stretch. Teodosic’s main competition for minutes will be Austin Rivers and with the Clippers still in the Playoff race and the fact that Austin is the Coach’s kid, he’ll have the edge. Rivers has more experience, but Teodosic has done a good job setting up Lou Williams and that’ll be key moving forward for the Clippers second unit.
Nemanja Bjelica PF MIN-20% Ownership: Here’s your main Jimmy Butler fill-in option. Bjelica is consistent on both sides of the ball. He’s coming off of a four-steal game and he’s grabbed seven boards in both of his last two games. He’s a good long-range shooter and teams are leaving him open. Remember, we’ve seen this before! Last time Butler was hurt Bjelica was very productive and owners can expect him to score in double figures more frequently. Andrew Wiggins will be asked to handle more on offense and he’s going to have to drive to show versatility in his game and to confuse defenders. Bjelica will be used as that main bailout option on the perimeter, but he’s a very bright player and when he sees an opening, he’ll drive to attempt to draw more contact. To a lesser extent, Bjelica has been hitting the cutter and his assist numbers show it. He’s dished at least three dimes in his last four games. Butler could miss the remainder of the fantasy season (including Playoffs) and the Timberwolves need help to the fill the void especially defensively. Bjelica is scrappy and he’ll be playing deep into games. He’s played over 30 minutes in his last two contests.
David Nwaba SG/SF CHI-20% Ownership: The Bulls have shifted their rotation and Nwaba has already picked up a ton of playing time since the All-Star break. Nwaba is a good driver and is very physical inside. Justin Holiday is essentially out of the Bulls rotation and Nwaba has played in the 30’s in each of his last four games. Nwaba will battle against bigger players and even though he’s averaging 4.5 boards per game. He’s grabbed at least 6 in his last 5 games. He’s scored in double figures in three of his last four games. Nwaba has a long-range game as well and has hit three-pointers in three of his last four games. Everything about Nwaba is trending upward. Nwaba is just as big of a help defensively as he is offensively. He’s coming off of two multi-steal games and he’s blocked shots in three of his last five games. He’s got good leaping ability and attacks the lane with force. He’s a must-add at this point as the Bulls continue to feature him.
Alex Len PF/C PHX-31% Ownership: Len is very frustrating because the World is his Oyster in Phoenix and will still put up a stinker every few games. With Tyson Chandler dealing with Neck issues, he could be out for the rest of the season. Len is the primary fill-in as both Marquese Chriss and Dragan Bender can’t handle the Center spot. Len has recorded three double-digit rebounding games in his last four games. He’s also scored in double figures in three of his last five games. Len will attack the paint with the ball and he’ll post up down low while the other Suns big men will shoot more from mid-range. Len will continue to produce steals and blocks consistently. He’ll take a lot of contact and won’t force shots unless he has an eye on the basket and an opening. He’s grabbed two blocks on average in his last four games. There’s no other player that’s been able to help fill the void at this time and Len should be playing steadily in the late 20’s moving forward.
WILD CARD PICK UP: Skal Labissiere PF/C SAC-15% Ownership: Despite that Labissiere is owned in more leagues than most wild card options, the Kings have proven that they’re not in full tank mode. They keep giving Zach Randolph starts and while Labissiere is waiting in the wings for more playing time, Randolph will edge him out. Randolph is on a two-year deal and he’ll likely be involved with the squad next season at least until the trade deadline. Labissiere has shown that he can drive the lane and hit mid and long-range jumpers. Since the All-Star break Labissiere has played at least 25 minutes in each game. Labissiere has blocked shots in three of his last four games. He’s grabbing 4.4 boards per game and that number is bound to go up. Prior to getting hurt, he was playing more aggressively in the paint and fighting for boards. Labissiere’s main competition for minutes besides Randolph is Kosta Koufos. Expect Labissiere to edge him out in minutes. Once the Kings pull back Randolph’s minutes over the next couple of weeks, Labissiere will have even more opportunities to produce.