At this point in the fantasy basketball season, you should have a pretty good sense of your team/teams. You know where they are strongest and also where they are weakest. For instance, I was severely lacking in rebounds in on of my leagues so I rushed to the waiver wire and snagged myself Enes Kanter who has been a rebounding monster recently.
The waiver wire is the perfect place to turn to in order to give your team a quick fix. Here are six names you should be aggressively targeting on waivers this week (percentages via ESPN).
Norman Powell, Toronto Raptors (42% rostered)
Powell has missed Toronto’s last 11 games thanks to a shoulder injury but made his return Sunday against the Spurs. What did Powell do in his first game back? Oh nothing much, just casually scored 20 points on 57% shooting (he also shot that from three) while collecting 3 rebounds and 4 assists. It seems the injury isn’t holding Powell back at all which is great given the Raptors will need him to play an even larger role with Fred VanVleet out. If there is anyone to go add off waivers, it’s Powell.
Darius Garland, Cleveland Cavaliers (35% rostered)
Garland has come on hot as of late for the Cavaliers, posting a 16 PPG/1.7 RPG/5.6 APG stat line over his last 10 games. He’s also averaging over a steal per game, giving your fantasy team some sneaky defense which is always a plus. He’s also seen a big uptick in minutes during that time, averaging 33 a game rather than the 28 he’d be averaging previously. As the rookie continues to get more comfortable in the NBA, expect his numbers to continue to improve.
Kevin Huerter, Atlanta Hawks (48% rostered)
Huerter is one of my favorite kinds of fantasy basketball players: a three-point sharp shooter who gets you boards. Think Brook Lopez (though Lopez also gets you stocks like he was a medieval village). Over his last eight games, Huerter is averaging 17.8 PPG/7 RPG/4.3 APG while shooting a staggering 51% from three. Now that three point shooting isn’t going to stay that high, but you can’t argue with adding a player who’s shooting fire balls and scoring at will. Act quickly though as Huerter’s ownership is climbing quickly.
Marcus Smart, Boston Celtics (40% rostered)
The three point shooting rebounder may be one of my favorite kinds of fantasy basketball players, but the Marcus Smart “I’ll do everything for you” player is my absolute favorite. On the season, Smart is averaging 11.6 PPG/3.2 RPG/4.7 APG/1.5 SPG while shooting 33% from three. You know how many other players are having a season like that? Six. And they include James Harden, Kawhi Leonard, Chris Paul and Ben Simmons. That’s some elite company to be included in and to be able to add off waivers.
Omari Spellman, Golden State Warriors (25% rostered)
Spellman has started the last three games for the Warriors and in those has slashed 13 PPG/4.3 RPG/2 APG/2 StPG (Stocks) while shooting 46% from the field and a whopping 50% from three. He may not be a permanent member of your fantasy team for the rest of the season, but he’s starting for a terrible team that’s sure to give him a ton of usage so as long as he’s playing well, he’s worth a roster spot.
Elfrid Payton, New York Knicks (31% rostered)
Wanna hear a surprising fact: Over the last month, Payton is 16th in the entire NBA in assists per game, averaging 6.3 a game. That’s just as many as Russell Westbrook and more than Nikola Jokic, Derrick Rose, Jrue Holiday and Kemba Walker. Maybe people are just ignoring the Knicks because they are a complete dumpster fire—something I wouldn’t blame you for doing—but being able to add a player top 20 in assists is not something to ignore.