Waiver Wire Wisdom: Week 17

6 min read

Fantasy Basketball Waivers can be a personal thing. The choices and strategies you make can vary greatly from one team to the next and one league from the next. These strategies are fluid and can obviously change as the season progresses.

Maybe your team needs to take a swing for the fences to push into the playoff race. Or maybe your team is on top and you have some wiggle room to take some gambles. You could be firmly in the mix and you need to a boost in 1 or 2 categories. You could have room in your dynasty squad and are looking to add an upside rookie that will pay off down the road. I could go on, but you get the idea.

Here we’ll offer up some different waiver options to consider based on some of these varying criteria. All of the players here are available in over half of Yahoo leagues.

Keep in mind that these waivers are considered potentially more long-term fixtures on your team, as opposed to the disposable streamers that heavily factor in games played to help you win your matchup for that week.

GO AHEAD AND GRAB HIM

Sometimes things happen where it becomes obvious that you should roll the dice. It may not work out, but the upside is too high to walk away from.

KRISTAPS PORZINGIS, NEW YORK KNICKS C

Friday Night Update: Dallas Mavs Owner Mark Cuban has announced that they don’t expect Porzingis to play this season while he recovers from his ACl injury. If true, this obviously makes him a drop in redraft leagues. It’s not advisable to keep away unless you’re in a dynasty league.

Strengths: Point, 3’s, Blocks, FT%

Availability: 53% of Yahoo Leagues

So obviously the deal changes his season outlook. Dallas will most likely be sending their 1st round pick to Atlanta (from the Doncic trade), and they are currently only 2 and a half games out of the 8 seed in the West. Therefore, they have no reason to not go for it. There have been rumors that part of the frustration from Porzingis was that he felt ready to play, but for the tanking Knicks, that did not sound like a good plan. So if he is, in fact, healthy, or close, we could see an amazing 2nd half from the Doncic-Zinger show. Guys that can put up 20 and 8 with 2 blocks, 2 3’s, and possibly a steal don’t grow on trees. Go grab your unicorn now if he’s somehow available.

BORING OLD GUYS

These are the guys that make you yawn as you’re adding them to your team. While some might not be technically old, it’s more about their essence. They may be coming off of the bench but have cemented some sort of consistent role on their respective team. They won’t add much fun factor, but their sneaky production can make a difference.

WES MATTHEWS, NEW YORK KNICK SG

Strengths: Points, 3’s

Availability: 70% of Yahoo Leagues

It’s tough to say what his role could be for the tanking Knicks. They could easily throw a ton of minutes at rookie Alonzo Trier. Matthews is one of many players whose value could be greatly affected by the Dallas-NY trade. If he can sustain a decent role, he’s still capable of some decent scoring and 3’s.

Also Consider

Dwight Powell (77% Availability) – Powell is another guy who was affected by the big trade. With Porzingis’ status still and unknown and DeAndre Jordan now a Knick, it should open up a ton of minutes for him. He’s a solid worker who can get you a low-end double-double with nice percentages.

YOUTH MOVEMENT

Make way for the young guys. These players will be a lot more fun to roster, but can bring some more ups and downs. If you can stomach the ride, the potential upside is a solid way to go.

THOMAS BRYANT, WASHINGTON WIZARDS C

Strengths: Points, Boards, Percentages

Availability: 56% of Yahoo Leagues

We keep talking about Bryant and he still is available in over half of Yahoo leagues. Dwight Hoard doesn’t sound like he’s coming back anytime soon, so in lieu of any other moves, it leaves the door wide open for Bryant to keep getting more experience. He’s posting top 75 value in the last month and I expect that to hold.

Also Consider

Kevin Huerter (74% Availability) – He’s been slumping a little recently, which may explain his low roster numbers, but he has already proven himself to be one of the more NBA-ready rookies. He’s also playing for a team that clearly wants to force feed minutes to all of its young players. Huerter’s 2nd half should be filled with scoring, 3’s, assists, and be inside the top 100.

END OF ROSTER FILLER

Admittedly, many of the players that fit in this category could do double duty in the Streamers article, as they tend to be the guys you move in and out of the end of your bench. Weekly schedule aside, these players could hold solid low-end value, or even sneak into more relevance. They could also crash and burn. Take swings with these guys, depending on your needs, maybe you’ll get lucky, and if not, you can easily move on.

MAXI KLEBER, DALLAS MAVS PF

Strengths: 3’s, Points, FT%

Availability: 93% of Yahoo Leagues

Kleber is another huge beneficiary from the Porzingis trade. He doesn’t excel in any one area, but has shown spurts of production. Now that Dallas has cleared house, his role could be heightened. His per 36 numbers show 11.6 points, 7.5 boards, and 1.8 3’s, so that’s solid.

Also Consider

Wayne Ellington (91% Availability) – Ellington has resided in Coach Spoelstra’s dog house for most of the season. This opened up opportunity for Derrick Jone’s Jr, who did perform well most of the time. Now that Jones is hurt, Ellington has suddenly found himself back in the rotation. He’s been unhappy with his playing time, especially in a contract year, so this could be a way of showcasing his skills for a potential trade. He doesn’t do anything more than score and hit 3’s. Over the last 2, he’s put up 19 and 13 points with a combined 7 3’s. He could be interesting if you need a boost in those cats, especially if he is traded.

DYNASTY

These players will be your rookies, 2nd year players, and even G-League standouts that may not have right being on your redraft squad, but depending on the depth of your dynasty league, you may want to go pickup. Some will obviously take longer, but I’m hedgeing my best on these guys being productive at some point over the next few seasons.

IVAN RABB, MEMPHIS GRIZZLIES PF

Strengths: Points, Boards, Percentages

Availability: 100% of Yahoo Leagues

With Memphis looking to move it’s cornerstones in Conley and Gasol, Raab is a very interesting 2nd year player that could see a ton of run after the deadline. The last 2 games where they gave him over 20 minutes he double-doubled both. He’s also been efficient from the field and line. I think with or without a trade, his upside is worth keeping an eye on.

Also Consider

Svi Mykhailiuk (100% Availability) – Svi lit it up in Summer league and all the Laker fanboys got excited. Since then he’s barely played, but with the possible exodus of young wings via trade, Svi could find himself with some opportunity. He’s shown that he can shoot, though he does suffer from raptor arms, which puts him at a huge disadvantage defensively. He’s worth checking out and he does have one possibly elite skill, but the bust potential is also clearly there.