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Immediate fantasy basketball adds at the NBA’s halfway point

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We’ve reached the halfway point of the NBA season and here are 14 players you need to add off waivers.

Getty Images/Pete Rogers Illustrations

All NBA teams have played in at least 41 games now, which means we are at the season’s halfway point. Below are some available players to add immediately off of waivers, all owned in less than 60% of leagues.

All numbers prior to Monday’s games. All stats courtesy of ESPN.com, NBA.com, and Basketball-Reference.com.

Davis Bertans, PF/C, WAS, 54.1% owned

#98 Player Rater 2019-20 Season

Bertans is 2nd in the NBA in 3PM per game, behind James Harden. The Latvian Laser missed some games recently, but he’s made 3+ 3PM in his first four games back. He’s fifth in True Shooting Percentage in the NBA out of players who average at least 11 shot attempts per game. Bertans basically gives you 15+ PPG, 5 RPG, and 3+ 3PM per game. Only six other players in the NBA do that: Luka Doncic, Danilo Gallinari, Karl-Anthony Towns, Buddy Hield, Paul George, and Harden. Bertans is one of the best shooters in the game, and he’s on a team, the Wizards, who are light on options after Bradley Beal. Bertans has talent and opportunity, and he should be owned in all leagues.

Markelle Fultz, PG, ORL, 51.2% owned

#102 Player Rater Last 30 Days (Top 75 Last 2 Weeks)

Only 31 players in the NBA (prior to Monday’s games) have more total assists than Markelle Fultz. Fultz’s line since January 1st is 14+ PPG, 5+ RPG, and 5+ APG, on 47% shooting. Fultz’s main weakness in fantasy is his lack of accuracy from three (he’s still shooting sub-30% from three-point range). On the other hand, less than 50 players average 10 shots per game and shoot better than 46% from the floor, INCLUDING Fultz. Fultz is 20th in total drives this season (520, right behind Devin Booker at 526 total drives), and he’s top 20 in field goal percentage on drives (out of all players who have 400+ drives this season). He’s basically like a worse version of DeMar DeRozan: a guard who can’t shoot from outside, but can distribute and can get to the bucket. He’s averaged 10+ points and 5+ dimes since December began; if that’s Fultz’s floor, then he can still grow into a good fantasy player. Fultz recently had a triple-double against the Lakers. He’s still not even 22 years old. Fultz is ABSOLUTELY worth a roster spot (written by a man who loves DeChozan). Hell, even with Fultz’s early season numbers, and his long distance woes, he’s still a top 125 player on the season. It’s time to buy in on Markelle Fultz. Pick him up IMMEDIATELY, if he’s available.

Marcus Smart, SG/PG, BOS, 45.9% owned

#69 Player Rater Last 30 Days

Only 22 players average at least 1.5 Steals Per Game, including Smart (1.6 SPG).

Only 11 players average 1.5+ SPG and 4+ APG, including Smart (4.7 APG).

Only 6 players average 1.5+ SPG, 4+ APG, and make at least 80% of their free throws: James Harden, Kawhi Leonard, Jimmy Butler, Fred VanVleet, Chris Paul, and Smart (82.9 FT%).

Only three players average 1.5+ SPG, 4+ APG, 80+ FT%, and make at least 2 three-pointers per game: Harden, FVV, and Marcus God Damn Smart. That’s who Marcus Smart is.

Kevin Huerter, SG, ATL, 42.9% owned

#50 Player Rater Last 30 Days

Last season, Huerter’s rookie season, he averaged 27+ MPG, 9+ PPG, 41+ FG%, 4+ 3PA, 38+ 3PT%, 3+ RPG, 2+ APG, 73+ FT%. He ended the year as the 145th best player on the ESPN basic player rater.

This season, Huerter’s averaging 27+ MPG, 11+ PPG, 41+ FG%, 5+ 3PA, 39+ 3PT%, 4+ RPG, 3+ APG, 84+ FT%.

Huerter missed some games due to injury this season. His numbers since returning in early December are even better: he’s shooting 40+% from three and from the floor overall, averaging 12-4-3 with a steal per game. The only other players who’ve averaged 40+ 3PT% on at least 5 threes per game over that stretch of time and 1+ SPG are Kawhi, Harden, Khris Middleton, Joe Ingles, and Huerter.

If you’re in a dynasty league, think about it this way: if Huerter’s numbers improve next year by as much as they’ve improved this year over last, then his line would look something like this: 27+ MPG, 13+ PPG, 41+ FG%, with marginal increases in his other numbers. If Huerter kept his ratios up, then he’d be a very valuable commodity in fantasy. As it is, he’s been a top 75 player over the past month, and he should be owned in more than half of fantasy leagues. Again, he’s a sophomore.

PJ Washington, PF, CHA, 41.7% owned

#143 PR30 (Top 100 PR 2019-20)

PJ Washington is a rookie who averages 12-5-2, on 40+% shooting from three and the floor, and nearly a steal and a block per game (0.9 for each). Fewer than 50 players in the NBA average 12-5-2. 11 players in the NBA average 12-5-2 and 0.9+ SPG and 0.9+ Blocks per game.

Only two players in the NBA average 12-5-2, 0.9+ SPG, 0.9+ BPG, and shoot better than 40% from three: the Big KAT, Karl-Anthony Towns, and the rookie, PJ Washington.

Washington’s finally shooting over 70% from the charity stripe in January (he was shooting sub-70% from the free throw line before January 1st, he’s been shooting over 80 FT% since), and if that maintains, then Washington’s PPG will go up, too. He’s one of the most exciting young fantasy players, but because he doesn’t score near 20 PPG, he gets overlooked. I mean, I get it, I really do, 12 points, five boards, and two dimes doesn’t sound like much. Let me change your mind with some historical rookie stats:

  • Only 95 rookies in THE HISTORY of the NBA have averaged 12-5-2 for their rookie season
  • Only 88 also shot better than 40% from the floor
  • Only 54 averaged 12-5-2 on 40+ FG% and averaged 0.9+ SPG
  • Only 26 rookies in NBA history have ever averaged 12-5-2 on 40+ FG% and averaged 0.9+ BPG
  • Only 19 rookies in NBA history have averaged 12-5-2 and 0.9+ SPG and 0.9+ BPG (an incredible list of players)
  • Only 7 rookies in NBA history have averaged 12 and 5 on 40+% shooting from three and the floor (including Brandon Clarke this season, interesting)
  • And, only two rookies in NBA history have averaged 12 and 5, 40 FG%, 40 3PT%, 0.9 SPG, 0.9 BPG: Paul “The Truth” Pierce and PJ Washington (if he can keep it up)

Pick him up immediately.

Chicago Bulls v Philadelphia 76ers Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images

Tomas Satoransky, SG/PG, CHI, 41.3% owned

#76 PR30 (Top 60 PR 2019-20)

Sato is scoring 10+ PPG this season and dishing out 5+ dimes on the Bulls. He’s got the 16th best overall field goal percentage in the NBA of players who average 10 and 5, and he averages the FEWEST turnovers per game of all NBA players who average 10+ PPG on 44+ FG% shooting, and 5+ APG. Sato’s 2 TO per game, in fact, is third-lowest (and, thus third-best) out of all players who dish 5+ dimes per game, which is really nice when you’re a ball distributor. He also averages 1+ SPG.

Apropos of nothing, the salaries work on a Satoransky for Avery Bradley & Kyle Kuzma, Bulls-Lakers trade. Sato’s on a three year deal paying him $10 million a year. His contract might actually be the most valuable thing about him in this year’s peculiar trade market.

Terrence Ross, SG/SF, ORL, 37.8% owned

#94 Player Rater Last 30 Days

Only 22 players have made at least 60 threes AND maintained a 41+ FG% since December 1st, including Terrence Ross. Last year, T Sizzle averaged 7+ 3PA per game on 38+ 3PT%. Ross is finally, finally returning to last year’s form: since 12/1, he’s averaging 6.8 3PA per game (tied with Jayson Tatum for top 30), and he’s shooting 35+% from three (again, tied with Tatum). During this time, TRoss is giving top 100 fantasy production. Since Jonathan Isaac is out, the Magic have more shots to spread around, and Ross has benefited. He’s also a possible trade candidate, which could either enhance or deflate his value. I’d rather have any of the players above, or Duncan Robinson (see below), or Dr. Doom, Sekou Doumbouya (especially in dynasty leagues), but Ross is a solid shooter, and gives you Top 100 value (he was Top 75 last season). He should be owned in more leagues.

Tim Hardaway, Jr, SG, DAL, 34.9% owned

#131 PR30 (Top 100 Last 2 Weeks)

Only 23 players average at least 12 points per game, take at least four 3PA per game (so, one per quarter), and make at least 39% of their threes, including Hardaway, who averages 14+ PPG. Hardaway has better shooting ratios than Fred VanVleet, a fact I think would surprise a lot of people. Since December 1st, Timmy’s averaging 7+ 3PA per game, and sinking 39+% of them.

Only five players, since 12/1/19, are taking 7+ 3PA per game, shooting 39+ 3PT%, and 44+ FG%: Ben McLemore, Duncan Robinson, Lauri Markkanen, 3J (Jaren Jackson, Jr.), and Tim Hardaway, Jr.

Most of Hardaway’s value comes from scoring; Hardaway’s having his best shooting year ever. He’s 27 years old. He’s playing next to an MVP candidate in Luka Doncic. All these things, combined with his stats since December began, suggest he’ll be a valuable player the rest of the season, a capable NBA scorer entering his prime while in a good situation. He’s comfortably third in shot attempts on the team when Luka and Kristaps Porzingis are both playing; when one of them is out, Hardaway’s role expands.

Taurean Prince, SF/PF, BK, 33.5% owned

#124 PR30 (#104 Last 2 Weeks)

Prince was an above average shooter last season, and he’s shot better than 40% from the floor each of the first three seasons of his career. This season, in Brooklyn, Prince is shooting under 40 FG% on the season. What gives? He’s taking the same amount of shots as the two previous seasons; he’s shooting more threes, but hitting a lower percentage of them (5+ 3PA, 39 3PT% last season; 7+ 3PA, 35+ 3PT% this season); his boards are up, his dimes are basically the same. Really, everything’s the same, except for his ratios.

Prince is still just 25 years old. His shot profile hasn’t dwindled too much even with the returns of Caris LeVert and Kyrie Irving. I think Prince is due for some positive regression, if only because he’s on this list. That’s a list of some of the best wings in fantasy basketball, and they’re all much more owned than Taurean Prince. Don’t worry about Prince’s possible role, or lack thereof, next year when Kevin Durant returns from injury. Just focus on the kind of production that Prince can deliver. If he can improve his ratios, he’ll maintain his Top 100 value.

Miami Heat v New York Knicks Photo by Jesse D. Garrabrant/NBAE via Getty Images

Duncan Robinson, SF, MIA, 21.4% owned

#141 PR30 (Top 100 PR 2019-20)

Since December 1st, Robinson is 15th in 3PA per game (8.3 3PA) and 10th in 3PT% (of players who average 4+ 3PA per game). He’s fourth in 3PT% on the season (of players who average 5+ 3PA per game). He’s one of the best shooters in the NBA this season and he’s owned less than Otto Porter, Jr., who’s been out injured since the first week of November. Robinson is a top 100 player owned in less than 25% of leagues. Get real, y’all.

Sekou Doumbouya, PF, DET, 17.3% owned

#140 Player Rater Last 2 Weeks

His nickname is “Dr. Doom.” Do you need any other piece of information?

How about the fact that he’s been shooting 48% from the floor since December 1st?

And, since the new year began, Doumbouya’s been playing over 20 MPG, and averaged 12 and 5. He’s fourth in minutes on the Pistons since the calendar turned to 2020, and he looks primed to have a starter’s role in the second half of the season, now that Blake Griffin is out injured for the entire year, and Andre Drummond may get traded.

Dr. Doom is the youngest player in the NBA (19 years old), he’s a rookie with a good pedigree, and the Pistons don’t have much reason not to play him. The perfect situation for a fantasy asset. If Doom is good, then you can acquire a Top 100 fantasy player basically for free, as he’s not even owned in one-fifth of leagues. If he isn’t good, then it cost you nothing to take a shot on a player with a good opportunity. Good Players On Bad Teams = fantasy gold. And, the Pistons are so bad that they’re, sorry, DOOMED.

Donte DiVincenzo, SG, MIL, 10.7% owned

#59 PR30 (Top 50 Last 2 Weeks)

Here’s the list of players this season who average 4+ RPG, 2+ APG, 1+ SPG, 1+ 3PM per game, and who shoot 45+% from the floor: Giannis, Luka, the Brow, Kawhi, Kyrie, Big KAT, LeBron, Donovan Mitchell, Pascal Siakam, Jaylen Brown, SGA, Joker, Khris Middleton, De’Aaron Fox, CP3, and DDV. ALL of those other players are MUCH higher owned than DiVincenzo. DDV didn’t have the PPG that those other players did, but since January 1st, DiVincenzo is fourth in FGA on Milwaukee, scoring 12+ PPG on 50% shooting (with 4+ 3PA per game, and 37+ 3PT%), to go along with 4+ boards, 2+ dimes, and nearly 2 SPG.

So long as DDV continues to be a thief and an assassin, he’ll have excellent fantasy value (just like those elite players mentioned above). Remember, he’s a 22 year old in his second year, and he gets to play next to Giannis. He’s in a good position to succeed and he’s barely owned, at all.

Sviatoslav Mykhailiuk, SF, DET, 10% owned

#87 PR30 (Top 50 Last 2 Weeks)

Svi is another young Piston worthy of your attention. Mykhailiuk is shooting better than 40% from three and from the floor for the season, and now he’s finally getting shots. He’s fourth in FGA on the Pistons since January 1st, and he’s third in minutes. Just like his teammate, Sekou Doumbouya, there’s no reason for Detroit not to play Svi as much as they can, in order to see what they have. Svi has the opportunity to succeed, he just needs to take advantage. He’s 32nd in the NBA in True Shooting Percentage (60.6 TS%) out of all players who average at least 6 shots per game. He may not give you the peripheral counting stats (boards, dimes, thefts, blocks), but he’ll provide good ratios on scoring and threes.

Jonathan Isaac, PF/SF, ORL, 34.5% owned

#54 PR 2019-20

This is merely for people who are in dynasty leagues and somehow, one of the other owners dropped Isaac. If Jonathan Isaac, who looked like the Magic’s best player before he got injured, is available in your league, ACQUIRE HIM IMMEDIATELY. He’s out for the year, not forever.