2017-18 Fantasy Basketball Waiver Advice: March 9
Justin Fensterman dives into the fantasy basketball waiver wire in hopes of delivering productive additions to your season-long leagues.
Down the stretch we come! Fantasy Basketball regular seasons are drawing to a close and it’s time to clinch. Watch out for injuries, rotation changes, threat’s by league officials if team’s rest their players and every piece of Kawhi Leonard news that comes out for owners who have him stashed. Be on the lookout for teams to let their 10th man start. The normal rotational player will still play, but there will be obvious changes in playing time. The Bulls will still have to play Justin Holiday and Robin Lopez, but they’ll see playing time in the teens for the most part.
Malik Monk SG CHA-5% Ownership: The Hornets are very close to being in tanking territory and Monk has received inconsistent minutes all season. With Michael Carter-Williams out for the rest of the season with a shoulder injury, expect Monk to steal some playing time at both PG and SG. He scored 13 points and added five assists in 21 minutes. Monk should get a full rotation commitment the rest of the way. The Hornets are falling further and further away from playoff contention and the least they can do is allow Monk to learn the ropes, even with the rest of the season essentially being garbage time. He’s got a few good moves to the basket and when he gets inside he’ll fight for boards, but it’s the three-point shooting that will make or break him for now. His shot selection has been poor, but he should be able to shoot the ball at least 10 times per game moving forward. Monk will be able to have some time to run the offense and that should help his assist numbers down the stretch.
Nerlens Noel PF/C DAL-40% Ownership: We haven’t seen much of Noel this season as the injuries kept piling up on him. We’ve already seen the rebounding potential from him since returning. Noel is coming off of a 14-rebound game. He’s blocked shots in two of his last three games and the Mavs don’t have much depth at Center. He will be rested at times, but he’s already shown that he can be a committed part of the rotation. He has good leaping ability and that should help him compile blocks. Noel is best when he sets the screen at the top of the key and rolls right to the basket. He’s grabbed steals in each of his last four games and he’s blocked shots in three of his last four. Noel is very hard to guard once he has the ball in the low block. Expect him to play at least 20 minutes per game for the rest of the way. The Mavs don’t have much to play for at this point and they should give Dirk Nowitzki a bit of relief. Noel will help with mainly defensive stats, but he’ll also score off of put backs.
Ben McLemore SG MEM-13% Ownership: With Tyreke Evans out, McLemore should see his usage go way up for the rest of the way. Memphis is the ultimate tank candidate at this point and they’re facing a ton of injuries. He’s scored in double figures in his last three games. He’s grabbed seven boards in his last two games and he has two multi-steal games in his last three games. He’s been shooting better shots from beyond the arc and besides Marc Gasol, the Grizzlies are using the hot-hand approach to determine which player will be a priority scorer on a given night. McLemore won’t only camp out in the corner, as he’ll try to drive and use his mid-range game when he’s on the ball. McLemore should see double-digit shots per game for the rest of the way and owners can expect a good amount of scoring, three’s and steals. His rebounding has been impressive over his last few games, but view that as an added bonus.
Frank Ntilikina PG NY-5% Ownership: Ntilikina will be getting starts down the stretch and the Knicks are going to want to try him at both guard spots. He plays solid defense and he’s a very good passer. Ntilikina has a high Basketball I.Q. and he's dished at least four dimes in two of his last three games. Scoring has been a bit of a struggle for Ntilikina, but he’ll be getting a lot more starts at SG and the Knicks thinks he fits better there and he should be taking more shots down the stretch. He’s grabbed at least three boards in three of his last six games. He’s good at waiting for long rebounds and when he’s on the court, he’s very patient with the ball and doesn’t turn the ball over too much. His three-point shooting must improve. He’s not afraid to drive to the basket and draw contact. He’s already getting a true rotation commitment and the Knicks are falling out of the playoff race and Ntilikina is part of their future and he’ll be playing more games in the 30’s.
Justise Winslow F MIA-38% Ownership: Winslow is heating up and should be playing in the 20’s and 30’s in each game moving forward. Winslow already plays strong perimeter defense and has grabbed steals in his last five games. Winslow is coming off of a multi-block game and he’s grabbed at least four boards over his last five games. Winslow has been very impressive on the offensive end and has scored in double figures in four of his last five games. He likes shooting from the elbow, but he will step back and make three-pointers. He’ll also help push the ball inside and that will help him compile assists. With Wayne Ellington hurt and Rodney McGruder just coming back, Winslow’s playing time is safe and he’ll keep getting fed if he stays hot shooting from the field. His defense alone makes him a good rotational player, but his recent offensive surge will allow him to be more involved in the overall offense.
D.J. Augustin PG ORL-25% Ownership: Augustin continues to be very productive since taking over for Elfrid Payton as the starting point-guard. He’s scored in double figures in five of his last six games. He’s also done a good job as the Magic’s floor general by dishing at least five dimes per game over his last six games. Augustin has been driving to the basket a bit more and he’s not relying as much on his three. He continues to hit open three-pointers and with the Magic at full strength, he’ll see less attention overall and he’ll be able to put up better shots. He has a good mid-range game and he works his way with ease around the paint. He’s also been helping a bit more on the glass as he’s grabbed at least three rebounds in four of his last six games. With Magic out of contention, Augustin’s minutes are safe and he should be playing close to 30 minutes per game for the rest of the way. His main competition for minutes will be Shelvin Mack.
Dewayne Dedmon C ATL-32% Ownership: Dedmon continues to see over 20 minutes per game and he’s recently played into the 30’s. He’s coming off of a double-double and he’s grabbing 7.4 rebounds per game. He’s swatted multiple shots in three of his last four games and he’s grabbed steals in his last five games. Dedmon is strong right under the basket and he’s good at boxing out. Don’t forget about his range! Dedmon will pull defenders out to the perimeter as he does have an impactful long-range game. Dedmon scored in double figures in two of his last four games. His defense alone makes him a viable pick up, but even though we expect the Hawks to just play John Collins and the end of their bench, they don’t want to get fined by the league and they’ll have to keep their starters involved. Expect Dedmon to still be a true member of the rotation for the rest of the way.
Kobi Simmons SG MEM-2% Ownership: The Grizzlies are dealing with a ton of injuries and they need bodies to fill-in. Besides McLemore, Simmons should be able to make an impact for the rest of the way and the Grizzlies have needed him to step up a decent amount this season. Simmons has played in the 20’s in four of his last five games and with Tyreke Evans out, he’ll continue to get love in the Grizzlies rotation. Simmons could run the point good enough and with Andrew Harrison and Mario Chalmers hurt, they’ll need him to act as floor general for part of the game. He’s been playing good defense and he’s been scrappy on the court. Simmons has grabbed steals in his last three games and he’s blocked shots in his last two games. He’s even grabbed three or more boards in his last two games. On the offensive end, he’ll drive a lot, take open mid-range jumpers and he does have a small long-range game. He’s scored in double figures in his last three games.
Montrezl Harrell PF/C LAC-31% Ownership: Harrell has been hot lately and he burns teams from mid-range. Harrell has scored in double figures in eight of his last nine games and he didn’t even play 20 minutes in a few of those games. The Clippers are still vying for a playoff spot and he’s been very beneficial. He’s had games recently in which he’s taken 10 or more shots. Harrell has grabbed steals in his last four games and he’s blocked shots in four of his last six games. Harrell is good at bodying up the opposition when he’s on defense. He’s grabbed at least four boards in seven of his last eight games. This isn’t the first time we’ve seen Harrell produce for stretches. The coaches clearly are impressed because he’s coming off of a 31-point game. Expect him to help out with inside scoring moving forward as he has more moves to get inside than DeAndre Jordan. The scoring alone makes him a worthwhile pick up, but owners will also benefit by getting blocks, steals and boards from him. He’s improved his slashing ability throughout the season.
WILD CARD PICKUP: Xavier Rathan-Mayes PG MEM-1% Ownership: Rathan-Mayes is on a 10-day deal with the Grizzlies and he’s already put up impressive stat lines. He’s scored 8.5 points per game over his two games and he’s played 27 minutes per game on average. He dished 12 assists total in his two games and he grabbed steals in both of them He’s a good driver and he reads screens well. He’s got a quick cut to the basket. His commitment to defense should keep him in the game longer and the Grizzlies should let Tyreke Evans sit for the rest of the way. Rathan-Mayes already looks like he’s a better passer than Mario Chalmers and with Andrew Harrison out longer than Chalmers, Rathan-Mayes could still hit the 20-minute mark if he keeps the Grizzlies offense running at a good pace and he’s not turning the ball over too much. We’ve seen just two games, but he’s already shown the impact his quickness makes on the court.