Dealing with the denial wire is critical to success in fantasy basketball. With so many games, injuries and endless rotation changes throughout the marathon campaign, we will need to get stats from free agents to maximize our imaginary lineups.
The willingness to entertain the competition for the last few places on your fantasy hoops list can be helpful. When curating this volatile body of statistics, it’s helpful to consider that your players at the back of the bench are in direct competition with free-will talent.
The goal of this weekly series is to identify players in every position widely available in free agency in the Sportzshala leagues. Some nominations are specialists capable of helping in one or two categories, while others offer more varied and important statistical offerings. In the breakdown below, I’ve ranked the players in each position based on acquisition priority, not percentage of Sportzshala league rosters.
TJ McConnell, Indiana Pacers (reported in 19.9% of Sportzshala leagues): McConnell, ranked 11th among point guards last week and fresh off a triple-double against the Suns, is a valuable addition to all fantasy rosters as long as Tyrese Haliburton remains on the sidelines.
Killian Hayes, Detroit Pistons (29.3%): Still thriving as a distributor even as his odds don’t drop, Hayes really doesn’t have much competition for minutes at the top of Detroit’s lean depth table.
Alex Caruso, Chicago Bulls (10.5%): Essentially mimicking Ben Simmons in recent weeks, Caruso has put together a good mix of rebounds, assists and steals over the past few games.
Lugenz Dort, Oklahoma City Thunder (28.8%): Both Dort and Jalen Williams proved to be useful two-way players in both real and fantasy terms. Dort has been especially helpful, averaging 15 points and five boards in his last eight games.
Donte Di Vincenzo, Golden State Warriors (6.4%): High steals and rebounds help DiVincenzo earn consistent minutes in the Warriors’ rotation.
Seth Curry, Brooklyn Nets (20.2%): Back on the floor and consistently scoring and shooting, Curry is a specialist for those who play in the deeper leagues.
Kyle Anderson, Minnesota Timberwolves (23.2%): The methodical playmaker has been central to the team’s offensive efforts of late, regularly flirting with triple-doubles as a two-way player for the Timberwolves.
Norman Powell, Los Angeles Clippers (27.1%): Hot off the floor in recent games, this high-scoring guard has impressively averaged 21.3 points in 28 MPG over the past eight games and should continue to play a major role in the coming weeks.
Bruce Brown, Denver Nuggets (27.7%): One of the best players in the league, Brown scores effectively as a cutter and does just enough defensively to get more attention from roto league managers.
Josh Richardson, San Antonio Spurs (7.5%): Richardson will have some quiet lines in the role, which may include some hesitation in minutes, but he’s also capable of filling the points box as a two-way power for Spurs.
De’Andre Hunter, Atlanta Hawks (19.4%) The forward’s shallow depth chart in Atlanta means big minutes for Hunter, who has been a steady source of winnings for weeks now.
Cameron Johnson, Phoenix Suns (17.7%): The Suns sniper is back in action, ready to make room for the Phoenix team that needs his perimeter contact. Basically a specialist in goalscoring and shooting skills, Johnson can really take off once the team’s stellar backcourt returns.
Walker Kessler, Utah Jazz (14.3%): Even with the possible return of Kelly Olynyk to the rotation, Kessler is throwing enough punches to earn continued interest. As a starter, he is an elite source of rebounding and one of the best rim guards in the league.
Al Horford, Boston Celtics (48.1%): This savvy veteran has been doing a little bit of everything lately, as managers may want to brush aside his modest record and appreciate positive contributions across multiple categories.