Waiver Wire Wisdom: Week 18

6 min read

The trade deadline brought a ton of moves this year, and with that opened up opportunities for a lot of players. Take a look and make some moves.

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.

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.

MASON PLUMLEE, DENVER NUGGETS C

Strengths: Boards, Percentages

Availability: 87% of Yahoo Leagues

With Millsap dealing with ankle issues, Plumlee has feasted. He put up 15/11/6 with 2 steals and 24 and 6 plus 4 stocks in his last 2. The free throw percentages are rough, and he turned the ball over a lot over that span, but if he keeps getting minutes, he’s a plus in points, FG%, boards, blocks, and assists. A lot can depend on the severity of Milsap’s ankle injury, but even when getting 20 minutes, Plumlee has carved out some solid production.

Also Consider

JaMychal Green (88% Availability) – Green was shipped to the Clipper, who lost Tobias Harris, Gortat, Boban, and Mike Scott from the front court, while also adding Zubac and Wilson Chandler. Green slots in as a solid part of the rotation and has shown the ability to contribute a little across the board, including out of position 3’s.

Dwight Powell (79% Availability) – Powell benefited a ton with the Mavs trading DAJ. He double-doubled in his last game and added 4 stocks. He should get a lot of run and can give your team percentages, boards, and blocks.

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.

IVICA ZUBAC – LOS ANGELES LAKERS C

Strengths: Points, Boards, Percentages

Availability: 71% of Yahoo Leagues

After a strong run from late December to late January, Zubac finds himself in a great position now on the Clippers. He’ll be mainly competing with Montrez Harrell and JaMychal Green. Green is more of a bench player, while Harrell has had a really nice season so far, but has been limited in his role at times. I think Zubac ends up with the biggest role of the 3 and should be easily fantasy relevant.

Also Consider

Jalen Brunson (96% Availability) – Brunson benefits from the Mavs trading away DSJ. With JJ Barea out for the season, the starting role is up for grabs, but my money is on the impressive rookie taking it over the likes of Trey Burke and Devin Harris. He’ll be more of a low end impact guy, but can help in scoring, boards, and assists, though his percentages could sting a little.

Kenrich Williams (87% Availability) – Williams slots in at the weak wing position for the Pelicans, and has so far impressed. The former G-Leaguer has strung together 5 straight good to very good games, contributing boards, points, blocks, assists, and some 3’s. With New Orleans definitely not making the playoffs, they will most likely give Kenrich a ton of opportunity. The only thing that could hold him back is the acquisition of former first-round pick, Stanley Johnson.

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.

TYLER JOHNSON, PHOENIX SUNS SG

Strengths: 3’s, Points, FT%

Availability: 62% of Yahoo Leagues

While more of a shooting guard, Johnson will most likely start next to Devin Booker at the 1 spot in Phoenix. If you need scoring, 3’s and a few assists, you should take a look at him, but keep expectations tempered. He’s never had a super fantasy-friendly game, so even as a starter, his production will be limited.

Also Consider

Wayne Ellington (93% Availability) – As of this writing, Ellington is a free agent, but he it sounds like he may be signing with Detroit. He was out of the rotation for most of the season in Miami but has shown that he can easily get fantasy GMs over 2 3’s a game. He won’t provide much else, but if you need 3’s and a little scoring, he’s worth a look.

Kevon Looney (90% Availability) – Looney still holds up as the #76 player in fantasy, even with the return of Boogie. He’s managed to help in boards, FG%, and especially stocks, and he doesn’t need to start to do this.

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 pick up. Some will obviously take longer, but I’m hedging my best on these guys being productive at some point over the next few seasons.

ZHAIRE SMITH, PHILADELPHIA 76ERS SG

Strengths: Points, Boards, Percentages

Availability: 100% of Yahoo Leagues

With the Tobias trade, Philly has some serious depth issues. Zhaire has been out with a foot injury, but he could be thrown into some action while the 6ers figure out their rotations. He brings insane athleticism and can quickly become a plus defender. He probably won’t help you out in standard leagues this season, but with Reddick being a free agent after this season and Fultz and Shamet gone, things could open up for Smith soon.

Also Consider

Landry Shamet (98% Availability) – Shamet has already proven his ability to score and hit 3’s. He joins a really crowded backcourt, but should be a focal point of this rebuilding team, alongside SGA.

Troy Brown (100% Availability) – The Wizards are a complete mess and the trade of Otto Porter shows that they are going to tank. The vets will start getting time off and this will open things up for the only young wing on the team, Brown. He is a very young playmaking small forward that can contribute in multiple areas, but he does have some shooting woes.