2017-18 Fantasy Basketball Waiver Advice: April 6
Justin Fensterman dives into the fantasy basketball waiver wire in hopes of delivering productive additions to your season-long leagues.
This is the end! You’ve made it this far and there’s no turning back. If you’re competing, you must look at players on a per-game basis. Look at the trends from the last couple of weeks, but focus mainly on the last couple of games. A lot of teams tend to call up players from their respective G-League affiliates to see what pieces they have heading into the offseason. For teams out of the playoff mix, this is the time in which they focus on draft needs. Banged up players will sit on those teams. Remember, if you hear that one of your star players won’t be playing in a certain game, feel free to drop that player because it’s not worth holding onto that impact player and getting 0 production. It doesn’t make sense. It’s all about the now and who can help you TODAY! Good luck to all and let’s win those rings!
Anthony Tolliver F DET – 17% Ownership: With Blake Griffin potentially done for the season, Tolliver has been seeing a lot more 30-minute games. Tolliver has been very helpful from distance. He’s coming off of a game in which he hit seven three-pointers. Tolliver has scored in double figured in each of his last six games. He also grabbed at least five boards and a steal in three of those games. Tolliver is a hustler and he’s stood out whenever he’s been in this position in his career. The consistent minutes show that he’ll be involved in the rotation the rest of the way. The Pistons need all of the scoring help they can get. He’ll provide a minor amount of help with dimes and blocks. Pick him up if you need scoring, but as he’s proved, in the right match up he’ll compile rebounds as well. He never gives up on a play, even when the Pistons turn the ball over. He’ll hit multiple three’s in most of his games and if you need the scoring boost, he’s the guy for you. If Griffin comes back, he’s still considered safe at least for one game.
MarShon Brooks SG/SF MEM – 11% Ownership: Sometimes it’s hard to believe that Brooks never really became a meaningful piece for a contender. He’s got good ball-handling ability and he’s an aggressive shooter. When I see Brooks shot selection, it becomes clearer why he’d rather play overseas. Regardless, the Grizzlies continue to battle injuries (including Brooks battling his own Ankle injury), the Grizzlies need help facilitating the offense. In all three of the games he’s played in he’s surpassed 20 points. Brooks recorded two multi-steal games in the three he’s played in. He’ll hit from long-range, but won’t turn down an open lane. Even if he missed a lot of jumpers, Memphis light depth will benefit Brooks on poor shooting nights. Brooks will provide some assist help, but he’s more beneficial off the ball. He’s better when he spots-up rather than goes isolation. The more he dribbles, the more he’ll struggle shooting. He’d be better as a bailout option, but again, the Grizzlies lack other options. Brooks is a good pick up for scoring and steals the rest of the way as he just signed a brand new two-year deal to stay in Memphis.
Rudy Gay F SAS – 39% Ownership: To quote NBA Jam, “He’s Heating Up!” He’s looked a little slow since returning from injury, but with Pau Gasol also looking a bit fatigued, LaMarcus Aldridge will need to shift to Center a decent amount leaving more room for Gay to play. We’re all awaiting the news on Kawhi Leonard, but chances are we won’t see him for the remainder of the season. If he does come back, he’ll need at least a game or two to ease back in which translates to a minutes restriction. Gay has scored in double figures over his last three games and he’s grabbed five or more boards in six of his last seven games. As he’s aged, Gay has become mainly a mid-range player. He’s added a post-game and he’s battled for rebounds. He’s not as trigger-happy from beyond the arc, but he’ll still hit three’s. Gay’s defense is one of the major reason’s the Spurs are still in the playoff mix. He’s grabbed steals in his last six games. He’s blocked shots in two of his last three games. Gay is a must-add at this point and he doesn’t even need a lot of playing time to produce.
Mario Hezonja SG/SF ORL – 24% Ownership: The Magic are another team that battled injuries all season. Hezonja was one of their more durable players, and with Evan Fournier hurt, he’s been thriving. He’s been seeing a lot of games in the late-20’s and early 30’s. He’s scored in double figures in five of his last six games and he’ll hit from three and try to drive. His rebounding has been impressive, as he’s grabbed four or more in five of his last six games. He’s also had four multi-steal games in his last six. He’s becoming the Magic’s third scoring option. He’s being featured more and the Magic are allowing him to create with the ball. He’s also blocked shots in his last four games. He’s coming off of a three-block game. Hezonja’s drive has improved throughout the season. He’s learned how to be controlled with the ball and can often keep control and stop mid-drive to shoot in the lane. The Magic are going nowhere and teams will continue to double-team Aaron Gordon and Nikola Vucevic in the post leaving Hezonja with less defensive pressure.
Willy Hernangomez C CHA – 25% Ownership: Hernangomez is a complete volume play. He doesn’t get a true rotation commitment, but with the Hornets out of the playoff race, he should continue picking up minutes. He’s scored in double figures in his last four games. Hernangomez can create in the post and he even has a small long-range game. He’s grabbed at least eight boards in his last three games. He’s stolen the ball in his last two. The Hornets will choose to give Frank Kaminsky more playing time than fully integrating Hernangomez, but being that he’s been this productive playing under 20 minutes, he’s worth a look. He’s got quick post moves and he’ll keep plays alive in the paint. The biggest critique of him, is his lack of defensive intensity as opposing Centers have an easy time getting to him in the post. Remember, he was an All-Rookie Center a year ago and has all of the skills on offense. He can produce in multiple categories as a volume option for the final few games of the season.
Josh Hart SG/SF LAL – 12% Ownership: With Isaiah Thomas and Lonzo Ball hurt, expect Hart to play in the 30’s the rest of the way. He’s scored in double figures in two of the four games he’s played in since returning from injury. He’s also grabbed double-digit boards in two of those four games. Hart will fight in the lane against bigger players for boards. Hart has also made an impact on defense. He’s grabbed steals and blocked shots in two of his last four games. He’ll provide a minor amount of assist help and he can rotate to multiple positions. He’s got a good long-range game and will even act as a bailout option. Brandon Ingram being out has also helped his cause, but even if he were in, Hart would still have a role. The Lakers want to see what talent they have on the bench entering the draft and Hart is a piece for the future and he’ll continue to get featured more on the ball as Kentavious Caldwell-Pope is better off the ball. His attack with the ball has improved a ton throughout the season.
Jarrett Allen PF/C BKN – 26% Ownership: Allen has played 30 minutes or more in 2 of his last 3 games. He’s been more helpful on the glass as of late. While his offense is inconsistent, he’s able to work his way in the lane and draw a lot of contact. He scored in double figures in three of his last five games. He’s grabbed at least six boards in three of his last five games. The biggest strength of Allen is his blocking ability. He’s blocked shots in his last 11 games. He’s had four straight multi-block games and is coming off of a five-block game. He’s grabbed steals in two of his last five games. Allen doesn’t have a lot of competition up front, but Dante Cunningham being there doesn’t help his cause. With DeMarre Carroll hurting, Cunningham will have to shift in the rotation and Allen should be getting more run down the stretch.
Shelvin Mack PG ORL – 2% Ownership: Mack has been more productive lately and despite his really low ownership, he’s been the back up PG for the last couple of months and he continues to see sufficient minutes in the 20’s. He’s scored in double figures in four of his last six games and he does have a long-range game. Mack has been a lot more helpful on the boards lately as he’s grabbed four or more in three of his last five games. Mack is also a good facilitator and he’ll seek the open lane and attack bigger defenders. He’s dished at least five dimes in four of his last five games. He’s grabbed steals in four of his last six games. The Magic don’t have too many consistent weapons on offense which is why this is such a crucial time for Mack and Hezonja. Mack will play off the ball at times and he’ll rotate around the arc and take open jumpers. When Aaron Gordon has the ball and is driving and draws the extra defender, Mack will often serve as the bailout option on the perimeter.
Joe Harris SG/SF BKN – 11% Ownership: Harris will also benefit from DeMarre Carroll being hurt. Harris has been scorching from the field lately. He’s scored in double figures in his last six games and hit multiple three-pointers in five of them. He’s a good ball-handler and will score on and off the ball. Harris has also been helpful on the glass grabbing three or more boards in four of his last six games. Harris also serves as the primary bailout option when on the court. Teams forget that he does more than just shoot three’s and he’ll be able to dribble a couple of steps in the lane for a higher percentage jumper. His game reminds me of Tyler Johnson’s in which he can create off the ball and get in the lane. Harris has been mentioned in this article from time to time throughout the season while D’Angelo Russell and Caris LeVert were hurt, but with the Nets having nothing to play for and Harris not needing 30 minutes to produce, he’s got value right now if you need a double-digit scorer who will help to a lesser extent in other categories.
WILD CARD PICK UP:
Damion Lee SG ATL – 2% Ownership: With Dennis Schroder out for the rest of the season, Isaiah Taylor has to help run the offense. Lee has benefitted and has been drawing starts. He is always moving on the court and is good at reading screens to get open. He’s got a long-range game, but isn’t reliant on it. He’s scored in double figures in three of his last four games. His defense on the perimeter has stood out and he hustles on both sides of the ball. He’s grabbed four or more boards in his last seven games. He’s also grabbed steals in seven of his last eight games and he’s had multi-steal games in three of his last four. He’ll provide a little assist help, but view that as an added bonus. He gets a lot of space to create, as teams don’t prioritize him on defense. At this point, Taurean Prince and John Collins are the two that will constantly draw double-teams. Lee can create on the ball and defenders will try to get him to drive. He has quickness, but also the confidence to stop and pop. He follows his own shots and will grab boards off of his own shots. Expect him to play a ton in the Hawks final few games. He’s been seeing steady minutes in the 20’s and 30’s.