10 Fantasy Basketball Waiver Wire Targets for Week 22
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.
Derrick White, PG/SG, San Antonio Spurs
Yahoo Ownership: 60%
We discussed Derrick White just two weeks ago as he was returning from a heel injury that cost him six contests, but we have no choice but to bring him up again. Back then, the add recommendation was all about capitalizing on his being dropped in some leagues due to the missed games, but we're back on him again now because he's been a top-30 guy in nine-category leagues since then.
Over that six-game span, he's averaged 12.0 points, 0.8 three-pointers, 5.5 rebounds, 5.3 assists, 1.3 steals, 2.2 blocks, and 1.5 turnovers in 29.5 minutes per contest, while shooting 47.0% from the field and 71.4% from the free throw line.
We're at the point where we might have to treat White like an early- to mid-round asset going forward. To wit, he's been the 40th-ranked player in nine-cat leagues since December 22nd. If a two-and-a-half-month sample size isn't big enough to sell you on him, I don't know what it's going to take. He really shouldn't be available in 40% of Yahoo leagues at this point.
Kelly Olynyk, PF/C, Miami Heat
Yahoo Ownership: 55%
Kelly Olynyk is in the midst of a very strong stretch, even with Sunday's one-point dud.
Over the last month (12 games), he's been the 33rd-ranked player in nine-category leagues with averages of 15.3 points, 2.1 threes, 5.7 rebounds, 2.3 assists, 1.3 steals, 0.7 blocks, and 1.6 turnovers in 29.7 minutes per contest, and shooting split of 51.5% from the field and 92.6% from the free throw line.
His minutes can be a bit sporadic, but it's hard to argue against the mid-round value he's been posting since joining the Miami Heat's starting lineup back on February 5th. The last time we talked about him, we speculated that Hassan Whiteside's eventual return from injury would put a damper on his fantasy value, but it absolutely hasn't.
Marcus Smart, PG/SG, Boston Celtics
Yahoo Ownership: 45%
Marcus Smart being unowned in over 50% of Yahoo leagues remains baffling. He's the 83rd-ranked player in nine-category leagues on the year, 63rd over the last three months, and 21st over his last six contests.
Over that six-game span, he's averaged 13.5 points, 2.3 triples, 3.2 rebounds, 4.2 assists, 2.3 steals, 0.0 blocks, and 1.7 turnovers in 31.2 minutes per contest, while shooting 58.7% from the field and 92.9% from the line.
The shooting split is due for a little regression, but the rest of those numbers are pretty much what you can expect from the guy going forward. He's starting for the Boston Celtics, consistently getting 30 minutes a night, and racking up plenty of threes, steals, and assists in the process. Unless your league is extremely shallow, there's a good chance that Smart is a better asset than whatever you have at the end of your bench right now.
Mikal Bridges, SG/SF, Phoenix Suns
Yahoo Ownership: 25%
Over his last six games (all off the pine), Bridges has been the 37th-ranked player in nine-category leagues, averaging 9.2 points, 1.2 three-pointers, 4.0 rebounds, 2.2 assists, 2.0 steals, 0.5 blocks, and 0.5 turnovers in a healthy 27.0 minutes per contest, while shooting 58.6% from the field and 87.5% from the line.
He might not give his owners much in terms of popcorn stats like points, boards, and dimes, but the threes, defensive numbers, solid percentages, and low turnovers easily get the job done. If you're looking for help in any of those areas, you could do a lot worse than Bridges.
Rajon Rondo, PG, Los Angeles Lakers
Yahoo Ownership: 60%
Over his last six contests since rejoining the Lakers' starting lineup, Rondo has been the 70th-ranked player in nine-category leagues, averaging 11.2 points, 1.5 threes, 7.0 rebounds, 10.2 assists, 1.7 steals, 0.2 blocks, and 2.8 turnovers in 34.6 minutes per contest, while shooting 35.5% from the field and a perfect 4-for-4 from the charity stripe.
The shooting split will always be an eyesore with Rondo, but the nightly threat of a triple double makes him worth owning down the stretch of the season as the Lakers play out the string.
Luke Kennard, SG, Detroit Pistons
Yahoo Ownership: 35%
Luke Kennard is currently in the midst of the best stretch of his young career, ranking 48th in nine-category leagues over his last eight contests.
Over that span, he's averaged 16.6 points, 3.1 triples, 3.9 rebounds, 2.8 assists, 0.6 steals, 0.3 blocks, and 0.9 turnovers in 29.2 minutes per contest, while shooting 53.8% from the field and 88.9% from the line.
The total lack of defensive numbers with Kennard is a bit of a bummer, and the shooting split likely isn't sustainable, but the points and threes could be valuable for those in need in those areas. He's a solid add in standard leagues right now if you're looking for a hot hand.
Tyler Johnson, PG/SG, Phoenix Suns
Yahoo Ownership: 35%
Over his last nine games, he's been the 66th-ranked player in nine-category leagues, averaging 12.4 points, 1.3 threes, 4.2 rebounds, 4.8 assists, 1.1 steals, 0.7 blocks, and 0.7 turnovers in 32.0 minutes per contest, while shooting 40.9% from the field and 84.8% from the free throw line.
Top-65 returns is perhaps an unrealistic expectation for Johnson going forward, but mid- to late-round value looks to completely be within the realm of possibility.
Justise Winslow, PG/SF/PF, Miami Heat
Yahoo Ownership: 60%
Justise Winslow had a bit of a rough shooting performance on Sunday, but he's still been a top-100 guy over his last nine contests, and is therefore worth a look in standard leagues.
Over that nine-game span, he's averaged 13.2 points, 1.3 threes, 6.4 rebounds, 5.7 assists, 1.4 steals, 0.1 blocks, and 2.0 turnovers per contest, while shooting 48.5% from the field and 52.9% from the charity stripe.
The lack of accuracy at the line is obviously a bummer, and has been all season, but his versatility as a point forward has made him an interesting late-round fantasy asset this year, particularly as Goran Dragic has worked his way through various injury issues.
Rodions Kurucs, SF/PF, Brooklyn Nets
Yahoo Ownership: 15%
Rodions Kurucs rejoined the Brooklyn Nets' starting lineup three games ago, taking over for an injured Treveon Graham (back), and he's done enough with the opportunity to make him worth a look in standard leagues.
Over that three-game span, Kurucs has been the 32nd-ranked player in nine-category leagues, averaging 15.0 points, 3.3 triples, 6.3 rebounds, 1.0 assist, 0.7 steals, 1.3 blocks, and 1.7 turnovers in 24.5 minutes per contest, while shooting a blistering 61.5% from the field and 75.0% from the free throw line.
Kurucs has been a starter for most of his games played for the Nets this season, so it's not a stretch to think that he might stay in the starting five beyond Graham's eventual return. Give him an add and see where this goes.
Moritz Wagner, PF, Los Angeles Lakers
Yahoo Ownership: 10%
If you have no idea who that is, don't feel bad, as dude's only averaged 4.1 points in 8.2 minutes over 27 contests this season. Even so, he's been fairly solid over those aforementioned two games (including a start on Saturday), averaging 16.5 points, 1.5 three-pointers, 4.5 rebounds, 2.5 assists, 0.5 steals, 1.0 block and 3.0 turnovers in a healthy 30.6 minutes per contest, while shooting 45.8% from the field and a perfect 8-for-8 from the line.
He could go back to being a relative unknown once Kuzma returns, but since the Lakers are all but out of the playoff race -- they're seven games out and we give them a measly 0.1% chance of making it -- there's no real reason to rush him back. Deep-leaguers should take a flier on Wagner and see how long this lasts.