Waiver Wire Wisdom: Week 21

8 min read

I’m changing up the format now that we are at the final regular season week for most leagues. The line between waivers and streamers blur even further. As a fantasy GM, you want to make sure to set yourself up well heading into the playoffs with healthy players that are well-positioned in their team’s rotations. This can mean sometimes dropping better, normally more productive players that may now be sitting or playing a reduced role as they manage their minutes for the NBA postseason or to lower their mileage in preparation for next season. Here some players that, at a minimum, should be on your radar/watch list.

Waiver Considerations

Pick these players up if they make sense for your team, but if they falter, don’t hesitate to move on. Waivers can get a little funny within dynasty leagues as teams may not want to give up potential upside for older win-now players. Potential dynasty outlook is included here as well.

DERRICK WHITE – SAN ANTONIO SPURS PG

Strengths: Assists, Steals

Availability: Available in 55% of Yahoo Leagues

After returning from injury, White has had his share of ups and downs from a boxscore perspective. He should maintain value moving forward and could take on a bigger role in the offense depending on how the Spurs are doing.

Dynasty Outlook: The young guard could carve out a nice role moving forward and possibly get to top 60 levels as early as next season

CODY ZELLER – CHARLOTTE HORNETS C

Strengths: Boards, Blocks, FG%, FT%

Availability: Available in 56% of Yahoo Leagues

The Codeman is on fire lately and is cruising to a #34 ranking in standard leagues over the last week. This is mainly strengthened by unsustainable FG%, but it’s still great to see him take control of the frontcourt in Charlotte.

Dynasty Outlook: Zeller is solid, should maintain mid-round value for a while, but he is pretty boring.

TYLER JOHNSON – PHOENIX SUNS PG

Phoenix Suns’ Tyler Johnson drives against the Cleveland Cavaliers in the second half of an NBA basketball game, Thursday, Feb. 21, 2019, in Cleveland. (AP Photo/Tony Dejak)

Strengths: Points, 3’s

Availability: Available in 59% of Yahoo Leagues

Over the last 2 games, Tyler has played well next to Booker. It’s anyone’s guess if he can keep it up in Phoenix, but he’s worth a look if you need help in points and 3’s.

Dynasty Outlook: I don’t think his long term outlook is great. Depending on his role next season, he might be outside of standard league relevance.

MARCUS SMART – BOSTON CELTICS PG

Strengths: 3’s, Assists, Steals

Availability: Available in 62% of Yahoo Leagues

Smart is one of those guys that has a few really good cats and a few bad. The 2 forces kind of converge and move his rankings to the 100’s and sometimes outside of standard league relevance. If you need 3’s, assists, and steals, he can give you that boost.

Dynasty Outlook: Smart is tied into Boston’s deep team for mutliple seasons. He has the ability to produce excellent counting stats while wrecking your FG%, but he needs to move or have Kyrie sign elsewhere.

DWYANE WADE – MIAMI HEAT SG

Strengths: Points, Assists, Steals

Availability: Available in 64% of Yahoo Leagues

The old man has come alive recently. He is a player that you can kick the tires on, but feel free to move on from him lightning quick at the first sign of regression.

Dynasty Outlook: Even though he could probably still play next season, it sounds like he’s retiring, and avoiding a Dirk-like season. No dynasty value here.

WES MATTHEWS – INDIANA PACERS SG

Strengths: Points, 3’s Steals, FT%

Availability: Available in 65% of Yahoo Leagues

Wes has found a nice role in Indiana with Oladipo and Tyreke out with injuries. There’s no reason for them to not keep running him out there and he has shown he can be productive in multiple cats when given the opportunity.

Dynasty Outlook: Dynasty value is quite low for Matthews, but he could be a very short term asset.

THOMAS BRYANT – WASHINGTON WIZARDS C

Strengths: FG%, Boards, Blocks

Availability: Available in 66% of Yahoo Leagues

Demotion to the bench appeared to have lit a fire under Bryant and he’s had back-to-back nice games, including a massive 23 and 12 with 3 3’s and 5 combined stocks. He should keep getting minutes regardless of whether he is starting or not. Not many bigs on this list are capable of those kinds of outbursts.

Dynasty Outlook: Bryant has an enticing dynasty appeal with his skillset. He should continue to see his role increase. Next season as a starter, if everything falls right, he could be inside the top 75.

DWIGHT POWELL – DALLAS MAVERICKS C

Strengths: FG%, Boards

Availability: Available in 66% of Yahoo Leagues

Over his last 4 games, Powell has been averaging 17 points, 6.8 boards, 3 assists, 1 3, 1 steal, and half a block on good percentages. He could continue to see minutes in the 30’s and be a valuable fantasy big.

Dynasty Outlook: Powell should be considered a solid role player that is starting because of circumstance. He’s only a deep league player after this season.

ROBIN LOPEZ – CHICAGO BULLS C

Strengths: Points, Blocks, Percentages

Availability: Available in 67% of Yahoo Leagues

RoLo has been a nice fantasy surprise late in the season. With the Bulls dealing with multiple injuries, and Chicago not moving him or waiving him, Lopez has been starting and playing well. As long as the Bulls don’t get cute and try to play Markannen at the 5, Robin should see plenty of burn and produce solidly.

Dynasty Outlook: Lopez is a boring but solid vet that still can produce. A lot will depend on his situation next season, but he could maintain standard league value for a few more seasons.

AVERY BRADLEY – MEMPHIS GRIZZLIES SG

Strengths: Points, 3’s

Availability: Available in 81% of Yahoo Leagues

I’m not fully buying his scoring outbursts from recent games, but you at least have to pay attention. If you could use scoring and 3’s help, you could do worse for the end of your roster.

Dynasty Outlook: While he’s only 28, we’ve seen a lot of sides from Bradley, who surely benefitted from Brad Stevens’ system, but nobody expected his dropoff. He’s playing better now on a bad Memphis team, but he’s got only deep league value until he proves otherwise.

JAKOB POELTL – SAN ANTONIO SPURS C

Strengths: Boards, Blocks, FG%

Availability: Available in 84% of Yahoo Leagues

After showing real promise in Toronto, this has been a disappointing season for Poeltl. He’s been underutilized as a Spur, though recently the minutes have been going up, punctuated with a 34-minute game where he had 11 and 14 with 3 blocks.

Dynasty Outlook: He could end up starting in the frontcourt alongside LMA next season. If he can start getting 25-28 minutes next season, he’ll definitely be a top 100 player with room to grow.

KEVIN HUERTER – ATLANTA HAWKS SG

Strengths: 3’s, Points, Assists

Availability: Available in 87% of Yahoo Leagues

His stats have been down across the board recently while dealing with some ankle issues. Expect his minutes and role in the offense to trend up as we approach the fantasy playoffs. He has a lot of potential and surely the Hawks want to see him put in work.

Dynasty Outlook: Before anyone calls me crazy, I don’t think huerter will ever be as good a shooter or overall real-life player as the guy he’s compared to, Klay Thompson. That said, I think he could one day be a better fantasy producer, offering more in defensive categories and assists. I’m very high on his potential and wouldn’t be shocked if he was inside the top 40 one day.

CHEICK DIALLO – NEW ORLEANS PELICANS C

Strengths: Blocks, Boards, FG%

Availability: Available in 89% of Yahoo Leagues

He’s dealing with the yo-yoing of AD and his playing time is obviously dependent on that. It’s a risky ride to play game to game and see what his role might be, but for those with set playoff situations, a gamble now on Diallo could pay off huge in the playoffs if AD were to get “injured”.

Dynasty Outlook: Cheick has shown enough raw potential to be excited. He currently has AD in his way, but that could be opened up next season. If he starts getting over 20 minutes a game, averaging a low-end double-double with 1.5 blocks and good percentages could be in his future.

HARRY GILES – SACRAMENTO KINGS C

Strengths: Points, Boards

Availability: Available in 94% of Yahoo Leagues

With the murkiness of the Bagley injury, grabbing Giles makes a lot of sense. In limited games, he’s flashed some nice upside. In the last game, he went off for 18 and 7 plus a block in under 18 minutes.

Dynasty Outlook: The situation in Sacramento is muddled with a lot of young bigs fighting for time. Giles has pedigree and is productive when given the chance. While he’s signed at least through next season, a lot depends on where he is playing. This one is tough to call, but eventually his talent should win out and help fantasy GMs.

JALEN BRUSON – DALLAS MAVERICKS PG

Strengths: Points, 3’s FG%

Availability: Available in 96% of Yahoo Leagues

Brunson is inside the top 100 over the last 4 games, offering up some nice points, 3’s and FG%. He won’t get you typical point guard assist numbers because Doncic runs the offense, but his minutes are on the rise and he started the last game where he exploded for 24/3/5 with 3 3’s and 3 steals.

Dynasty Outlook: He probably will never be more than a low-end starter or super sub. As Dallas builds around Luka, they should attract better free agents. Brunson has a solid skillset, but it’s hard to ever see him breaking the top 75.