Working the waiver wire is essential for success in fantasy basketball. With so many games, injuries, and endless shifts in rotations throughout the marathon campaign, we’ll need to get free agency stats to max out fantasy rosters.
A willingness to entertain the competition for the last spots on your fantasy hoops list can prove rewarding. When curating this fluid collective of stat contributors, it’s helpful to consider your end-of-the-bench players in direct competition with the talent floating around in free agency.
The goal of this weekly series is to identify players in every position available in free agency in approximately a quarter of ESPN leagues. Some appointments are specialists who can help in one or two categories, while others offer more diverse and significant statistical offerings. In the breakdowns below, I’ve ranked the players at each position with acquisition priority in mind, rather than roster percentage in ESPN leagues.
Davion Mitchell, Sacramento Kings (enrolled in 44.2% of ESPN leagues): In the latest edition of this season chronicle, it is fitting to rave about one of the league’s winning free agent forces of the fantasy campaign. Mitchell has grown strong immediately following injuries to De’Aaron Fox and Domantas Sabonis and even when his shooting doesn’t drop there is elite pass production and defensive peddle rates. Theo Maledon is an alternative to Mitchell for those in deeper leagues. Maledon also took on a huge leap forward in offensive responsibilities for the Thunder with Shai Gilgeous-Alexander out.
Alec Burks, New York Knicks, (33.2%): Burks is a force on the glass even from the backcourt, ranking 48th in the NBA in defensive rebounds. Burks slashed for 16.6 PPG, 6.6 RPG and 3.3 APG, to go with 3.4 3PM over his last seven games, it all starts. We know Tom Thibodeau likes to ride with his trusted vets and Burks absolutely qualifies as a high minute cog in the New York rotation.
Killian Hayes, Detroit Pistons (40.6%): Hayes is finally showing some fantastic value and has been empowered with Cade Cunningham and Jerami Grant sick. Even if Cunningham returns soon, Hayes has enough creative duties in Detroit to help those in the 12-team leagues in the final days of the season.
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Donte DiVincenzo, Sacramento Kings (37.9%): DiVincenzo was Funder the radar in most formats, providing a versatile collection of numbers lately. He produced 13.3 PPG and 10 combined assists and rebounds per game with volume beyond the arc and one of the best steal rates available.
Malik Monk, Los Angeles Lakers (32.4%) Monk’s revival season saw him become one of four Lakers to hit at least 39% from 3-point range on at least five shots from beyond the arc per game, joining Jodie Meeks, Nick Young and Glen Rice. Monk has been one of the few bright spots for Los Angeles this season and has averaged nearly 19 points over his last six games.
Aaron Gordon, Denver Nuggets (57.8%): Gordon thrived as a complementary scorer alongside reigning MVP Nikola Jokic. He’s averaged 20 points and nearly 10 combined rebounds and assists over his last six games. You can be sure Gordon is playing long minutes on a Nuggets roster that relies heavily on his defensive versatility.
Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, Washington Wizards (23.7%): Caldwell-Pope has thrived amid Kyle Kuzma’s injury and posted 23.8 PPG over his past five games. KCP is one of the best wings to target for this final week on a light roster on point production. Matisse Thybulle leads the NBA in steal percentage and ranks in the top 20 in block percentage for those in deeper leagues or looking for action in a roto format.
Drew Eubanks, Portland Trail Blazers (35.5%): Eubanks cleaning the glass and proving the offense is competent has been the main constant for a struggling Trail Blazers team. With the wings and guards around him changing due to injuries, Eubanks will have plenty of assessment opportunities playing heavy minutes for Portland this week.
Aleksej Pokusevski, Oklahoma City Thunder (9.4%): Pokusevski is an elite pick to consider in any league fresh off an impressive first-career triple-double against the Suns. The Thunder have already shut down several key starters, supporting heavy use of this unique talent.
Andre Drummond, Brooklyn Nets (59.6%): It’s hard to imagine there’s a stronger rebounding force so widely available, as Drummond has shot 12.6 boards per game over the past five games with two interceptions and one block per contest. With Brooklyn counting on him, Drummond remains a rewarding option. If Drummond is already signed up, watch Sacramento’s Damian Jones or Cleveland’s Moses Brown, as both are playing tons of minutes and producing in return.