10 Fantasy Basketball Waiver Wire Targets for Week 10
We're here once again to look at 10 of the most interesting players to emerge off fantasy basketball waiver wires over the past week.
As always, make sure you're checking out last week's edition (and the week before for good measure). We try not to repeat ourselves, but there are always some high-priority options to be found in previous iterations of this column who should still be on your radar if they're out there.
All rankings come courtesy of Basketball Monster.
Now, let's hit the wire.
Trevor Ariza, SG/SF, Washington Wizards
Yahoo Ownership: 65%
After a false start on Friday night, the Washington Wizards finally closed a deal for Trevor Ariza on Saturday morning, sending Kelly Oubre Jr. and Austin Rivers back to the Phoenix Suns (more on them in a minute).
Ariza was rolling and worth an add prior to the trade as it was, but any shutdown concerns he may have had on the lowly Suns is now gone, as he moves to a Wizards team that should be in playoffs-or-bust mode all season long.
Over Ariza's last seven games, he's been the 36th-ranked player in nine-category leagues, averaging 10.6 points, 1.9 three-pointers, 5.7 rebounds, 3.4 assists, 2.4 steals, 0.0 blocks, and 1.4 turnovers in 32.1 minutes per contest, while shooting 42.9% from the field and 87.5% from the free throw line.
He's now the 84th-ranked nine-cat player on the season, coming off five consecutive campaigns ranked between 26th and 58th. With the mid- to early-round upside, and what should be a starting role and all the minutes he can handle, Ariza is now a must-own, must-start guy. He's not available in all that many leagues, but if he's somehow on the waiver wire in yours, scoop him up immediately.
Kelly Oubre Jr., SF, Phoenix Suns
Yahoo Ownership: 50%
We mentioned Kelly Oubre Jr. just last week, but obviously his circumstances have changed a bit with the trade to Phoenix.
Over his last six games off the pine for Washington, he's been the 36th-ranked player in nine-category leagues, averaging 17.7 points, 1.8 threes, 4.5 rebounds, 0.7 assists, 1.3 steals, 0.8 blocks, and 1.0 turnover in 30.7 minutes per contest, while shooting 51.4% from the field and 79.2% from the free throw line.
He was already playing something close to starter's minutes in a bench role for the Wizards, but now he has a good chance to take over the starting job vacated by Trevor Ariza in Phoenix. Sure, the Suns have a glut of small forwards on the roster already with Mikal Bridges, Josh Jackson, and T.J. Warren, but Ariza still managed to start and play 34.0 minutes per night for the Suns under those same circumstances.
If Oubre Jr. manages to get the lion's share of Ariza's minutes going forward, there are enough goodies in his well-rounded fantasy line to make him a must-add guy if he's available in your league. Go ahead and take a flier and see how this goes.
Austin Rivers, PG/SG, Phoenix Suns
Yahoo Ownership: 10%
Austin Rivers has not done much to distinguish himself as a fantasy option lately -- he's ranked 319th in nine-category leagues on the season, 293rd over the last month -- but he just got traded to the Phoenix Suns, so things are at least looking up in theory.
The Suns have been such a black hole at point guard this year that various fantasy owners have had cups of coffee with the likes of Isaiah Canaan, Elie Okobo, Troy Daniels, and De'Anthony Melton at various points through the team's first 30 games based on opportunity alone. In a starting role and 33.7 minutes per game for the Los Angeles Clippers last year, Rivers was the 141st-ranked player in nine-category leagues, so late-round value is at least on the table now that he's potentially the Suns' starting point guard.
Don't drop anything of long-term value for Rivers, but less talented players have flirted with fantasy value in the role he's about to occupy, so he's at least worth a flier to see where this goes.
Cody Zeller, PF/C, Charlotte Hornets
Yahoo Ownership: 30%
Cody Zeller is one of the most unnecessarily under-owned guys in fantasy hoops. He's the 85th-ranked player in nine-category leagues on the season as a whole, 64th over the last month, and 23rd over the last 14 days, yet is only owned in 30% of Yahoo leagues.
Sure, his scoring is nothing to write home about (9.8 points per game on the season), but he provides value across the rest of the board. Over his last six games, he's averaging 11.7 points, 0.3 triples, 7.7 rebounds, 2.2 assists, 1.5 steals, 1.0 block, and 1.2 turnovers in 29.0 minutes per contest, while shooting a stellar 60.9% from the floor and 92.3% from the line.
His efficiency is consistently off the charts, while his contributions in rebounding, assists, and both defensive categories more than make up for the lack of scoring and threes. If he's on your waiver wire, there's a good chance that he's better than whatever's at the end of your bench, so pick him up and throw him into your lineup with confidence.
Nemanja Bjelica, PF, Sacramento Kings
Yahoo Ownership: 45%
Nemanja Bjelica had a red-hot start to the 2018-19 season, and that made him a popular waiver wire add in the early going. He was a borderline top-50 guy through his first 18 games, but the eight that followed had him playing outside of standard-league value. As a result, some fantasy owners lost patience and kicked Bjelica to the waiver wire curb in recent weeks.
Not so fast.
Over Bjelica's last six games, he's been the 50th-ranked player in nine-category leagues, averaging 13.8 points, 2.2 threes, 6.7 rebounds, 1.8 assists, 0.3 steals, 1.2 blocks, and 1.2 turnovers in 27.1 minutes per contest, while shooting a solid 56.4% from the field and 80.0% from the charity stripe.
The shooting marks might not seem overly sustainable, but don't sleep on the fact that he's now firing 54.5% from the floor and 78.4% from the line through 29 games. Throw in the fact that Marvin Bagley III is out at least the next 10 to 14 days with a bone bruise in his left knee, and Bjelica should have all the opportunity he needs to flirt with top-50 value yet again for the foreseeable future.
If he was dropped in your league, pounce.
Marcus Smart, PG/SG, Boston Celtics
Yahoo Ownership: 30%
Over that span, he's averaged 8.8 points, 1.6 threes, 3.1 rebounds, 4.8 assists, 2.8 steals, 0.2 blocks, and 1.0 turnover in 29.7 minutes per contest, while shooting 41.5% from the field and 73.3% from the free throw line.
He's never going to give you much scoring, and his shooting percentage from the floor is a bit of a liability, but he fills up the box score so much everywhere else that he's worth the add on fantasy teams of all shapes and sizes. He's been a mid-round guy over the last month, and an early-round asset recently as a starter, so there's really no reason for him to be on the waiver wire in 70% of Yahoo leagues at this point.
Jeff Green, SF/PF, Washington Wizards
Yahoo Ownership: 20%
The Washington Wizards are banged up and -- as mentioned above -- in transition due to a recent trade. Enter Jeff Green.
Green has flirted with being a standard-league fantasy asset for pretty well the entirety of his 11-year NBA career, and he's doing so again with an opportunity for more playing time in Washington. Over his last five games (including the last three as a starter), he's been the 48th-ranked player in nine-category leagues, averaging 15.8 points, 3.0 triples, 4.4 rebounds, 1.0 assist, 0.6 steals, 0.6 blocks, and 0.8 turnovers in 30.9 minutes per contest, while shooting 58.7% from the field and 76.9% from the line.
Like most strong stretches from Green, this isn't likely to last long. Once Trevor Ariza joins the fold and Otto Porter Jr. (knee) gets healthy, Green is likely headed back to fantasy irrelevance yet again. For now, however, he's a decent add or streamer in standard leagues until the wheels inevitably fall off.
Kevin Knox, SF/PF, New York Knicks
Yahoo Ownership: 55%
Rookie Kevin Knox has put together a strong stretch over his last four games, and might be able to build on that now that he seems to have earned a spot in the New York Knicks' starting lineup going forward.
Over that four-game stretch, Knox has been the 65th-ranked player in nine-category leagues, with averages of 20.0 points, 3.3 triples, 7.3 boards, 1.3 assists, 1.0 steal, 0.8 blocks, and 1.0 turnover in a healthy 37.8 minutes per contest, and a shooting split of 42.9% from the field and 58.3% from the line. The shooting marks drag his value down a bit, but he's filling it up in enough ways to make him a must-add, must-start guy while he's rolling like this.
He's bound to hit a rookie wall or two along the way, and the Knicks' rotation has been anything but stable this year, but Knox is still worth a look to see how long the good times can last. Prepare yourself for some inconsistency and give him a chance if he's on your wire.
Emmanuel Mudiay, PG, New York Knicks
Yahoo Ownership: 35%
Emmanuel Mudiay is another New York Knick that has his ups and downs, but who is currently on an upswing and worthy of your attention.
Over his last three games, Mudiay has been bordering on top-50 value in nine-category leagues, averaging 22.7 points, 0.7 threes, 4.0 rebounds, 7.0 assists, 1.7 steals, 0.0 blocks, and 2.3 turnovers in 33.9 minutes per contest, while shooting 52.0% and 77.8% from the field and line, respectively.
He has his fair share of dud performances, but he's now started 17 consecutive games for the Knicks with plenty of breakout games sprinkled in. Like any Knickerbocker these days, consistency will be an issue, but he's managed to push both Frank Ntilikina and Trey Burke far enough down the rotation that his minutes and the production that comes with them are fairly safe. If nothing else, he's worth a stream during his hot stretches.
Monte Morris, PG, Denver Nuggets
Yahoo Ownership: 25%
The Denver Nuggets currently sit at the top of the Western Conference, but they are down some major pieces with Gary Harris (hip), Will Barton (hip), Paul Millsap (toe), and Isaiah Thomas (hip) all nursing injuries. One guy who has majorly stepped up to fill the void, however, is Monte Morris.
He's been a top-100 guy in nine-category leagues over the last month or so, and has really stepped it up over his last four, ranking 22nd over that span for his averages of 14.0 points, 2.5 triples, 3.8 rebounds, 5.5 assists, 2.5 steals, 0.0 blocks, and 1.0 turnover in a healthy 30.8 minutes per contest off Denver's bench, and shooting mark of 47.9% from the floor (without a single free throw attempt).
There's obviously an expiration date on Morris' value related to the rate at which the Nuggets get healthy, but for now you'll have a hard time finding a hotter hand so readily available on most waiver wires.