Fantasy Basketball Week 19 Waiver Wire: Reassessing longer-term priorities during All-Star break
Welcome to the All-Star break. We have a few days to not worry about lineup and time to focus on getting frustrated with the consistently terrible refereeing in the dunk contest. Aaron Gordon’s hashtag got robbed.
With six days off, let’s take the opportunity to zoom out. Next week, we can return to our usual bounce column, which prioritizes success streaks, injury substitutions, and other short-to-mid-term additions (there’s only one game day between this article and next week). This week, let’s focus on the long term. Which players have a chance to play a decisive role in the rest of the season? Are there potential goalkeeper prospects that we should keep an eye on?
As always, the players in this article must be registered in less than two-thirds of the CBS leagues. The players are listed in the order I recommend adding them, as long as they are equally good for your team.
Adds for all leagues
Players that almost missed the cut line are inserted without an annotation on the position, which I would put below..
Mark Williams, Hornets (63% of participants)
Williams topped the column last week, but he’s still below the cut line, so let’s repeat our praise. He started all four games after the trade deadline, averaging 11-8-1 with 2.3 blocks and 0.8 steals. His field goals are excellent, and his free-kick shots aren’t terrible. And those numbers arguably underestimate his potential – his interceptions per minute until last week was almost twice what he was in this recent period. It’s still a small sample, but he’s already in the top 85 in his new role. It should start in all leagues and is well on its way to becoming a pickup truck of the year contender.
Jeremy Sochan, Tottenham (68% of participants)
Gabe Vincent, Heath (13% of members)
Kyle Lowry (old, bad) has missed the last six games. Hit 3-3 in that span, but that includes competitive losses to two of the best teams in the league – the Bucks and Nuggets. The Hit do just fine without him. In his healthy eight-game stretch prior to this, Lowry averaged just 25.6 minutes, compared to the 35.0 he averaged before another injury in early January. Miami is battling to avoid the tournament play-in, trailing the sixth seed in the polygames. They can’t mess around and we’ve probably reached the point where Vincent is better than Lowry. Even if Lowry regains a nominal starting role for the remaining games he is healthy enough to play in, I expect the minute-by-minute workload will continue to lean towards Vincent. In 16 games in which he has played at least 28 minutes this season, Vincent is averaging 15-3-3 with 2.6 trebles and 1.6 steals. It is positioned for a strong finishing cut.
Schaedon Sharp, Trail Blazers (25% of members)
Remember that this week’s column is more long-term oriented. I’m repeating this because in a typical week, Sharp is probably not mentioned at all. We still haven’t seen enough from him to count on anything for Fantasy. But the talent is clear, and an injury to Anferny Simons (ankle) opens up a big window of opportunity for Sharp. Portland hasn’t released a timeline for Simons, but based on what they’ve said about his injury, we should expect him to be out for at least 3-6 weeks, with the longer the end of that range, the more likely an outcome. Before Simons’ injury, Sharp was already going 14-4-2 in 26.3 minutes over four games – could the rookie be able to take on a bigger role and make a huge impact going forward?
Zach Collins, Spurs (68% of participants)
Malachi Branham, Tottenham (42% of squad)
Branham, another deadline winner, has already started seven games in a row with impressive results. He averages 18-4-3 in 32.7 minutes and shoots very effectively. There are some looming issues coming up – his shooting will likely cool off eventually, and the potential return of Devin Vassell (knee) and Romeo Langford (thigh) will likely cut his role short. However, the 19-year-old first-round pick is proving to be very capable, and the Spurs have every incentive to keep their injured veterans out of the way for as long as possible. Branham may not last the rest of the season, but he has a lot of potential (and the added appeal of being a goaltender).
Daniel Gafford, Wizards (52% of participants)
Kristaps Porzingis has the healthiest campaign of his career. Good for him; I hope this continues. But it’s worth noting that Gafford was only stable for 24.5 minutes per game, and a healthy Porzingis is the only thing preventing him from playing a bigger role. The big man depth table behind these two is ugly. As a starter, Gafford averages 11-7-2 with 1.6 blocks. Gafford is at low usability levels right now, and an injury to Porzingis – real or tank-inspired – would catapult him up the fantasy rankings. Also, while it’s worth noting that Gafford’s minutes are down slightly from the last two games, that seems more like a coincidence to me than anything else. He is still the only clean center to get any minutes (Washington uses Porzingis as a power forward).
Dalene Terry, Bulls (3% of the squad)
With each additional loss, the Bulls are one step closer to admitting the futility of their 2022-23 campaign and accepting the inevitable tank. They’re two games behind the 10th seed, and there’s no Jazz equivalent in the Eastern Conference, a team that wants to be tanked anyway and is perfectly content to drop out of the playoff hunt. Chicago has lost six games in a row. Based on each team’s performance over the past month and current standings, the Bulls are more likely to fall behind the Pacers and Magic to 13th place than they somehow beat the Raptors or the Wizards. and get into the game. – in the tournament. Bulls are bad.
Terry, on the other hand, seems to be fine! He is a 20-year-old rookie who was selected 18th overall in last year’s draft. He was buried on a bench in Chicago, but, like a groundhog, he began to surface in February. He played just 56 minutes before the famous weather rodent appeared, and has since played 59. This sample size is so small that we need to drink a full can of salt trying to extrapolate what his stat line might be on a regular rotation. However, the early returns are incredibly promising, averaging 11-5-4 per 36 players with 1.3 steals and 1.3 blocks. Absolutely nothing is guaranteed here, but Terry is a bright prospect whose role is already on the rise, and he should get even more chances if/when the Bulls accept their fate.
Other recommendations: Jonathan Isaac, Magic (37% of participants); Trey Murphy, Pelicans (63% of participants); Josh Green, Mavericks (42%); Cam Reddish, Trail Blazers (16% of participants)
Deep League Special Edition
Mike Muscala, Celtics (4% of players)
Maybe I’m just too excited about Homer after one good game, but I really liked how Muscala still fits in with the Celtics. His 44 minutes against the Bucks was a distinct anomaly—Boston rested with four starters playing back-to-back—but Muscala had already hit double figures in his first two games for the Greens. His role won’t be big enough for managers to rely on him more than points and triples, but last week’s results clearly show he will play a role. In some deep leagues, semi-reliable help in two categories is enough to warrant a pickup.
Another recommendation: Nasir Little, Trail Blazers (3% of participants)
Isaiah Jackson, Pacers (13% of members)
I can’t leave Jackson. Miles Turner’s contract extension and no trade deadline means it’s time to give up hope of Jackson becoming a powerhouse this season. But Turner’s new contract is much easier to sell than his last, and the more we learn from Jalen Smith, the more it makes sense for the Suns to let him go. Off-season transitions could lead to a more prominent role for Jackson in 2023-24. And there’s just huge potential here. His minute-to-minute stats are fantastic, and he shines on those rare occasions when the Pacers remember to play him. In four games in which he played at least 26 minutes, he averages 13-8-2 with 4.0 blocks and 0.8 steals. Recent prospects from Kentucky tend to do well in the NBA, and Jackson is only 21 years old. years. If you have a spot on the bench for someone who can’t help right now but could see his value skyrocket in the offseason, Jackson is worth looking into.