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Stonks Report: Cheap sources of steals and blocks for your fantasy basketball team

5 players to add off waivers who are bring reliable defensive stats to the table.

It’s easy to find points, rebounds, and threes in fantasy basketball. However, steals and blocks are a different animal, as finding players who constantly put up solid production in those categories on your waiver wire isn’t easy. It’s important to find players who give you stocks (steals + blocks) though because a reliable stocks producer gives you a scoring advantage in your fantasy league (stocks are often worth bit more than regular counting stats).

I’ve decided to write a weekly Stonks Report (STONKS!) where I’ll have five players, all under 50% rostered in ESPN, who are well worth adding to your fantasy team based on their production on the defensive side of the ball.

Let’s begin!

Nerlens Noel, New York Knicks (21% rostered)

If there’s anyone worth adding on this list, it’s Noel. On the season, the Knicks big man is averaging 2.0 blocks and 0.9 steals on just 18.4 minutes. Only Myles Turner, Rudy Gobert, Clint Capela, and Chris Boucher are averaging more blocks per game than Noel. That’s absurd efficiency.

What makes Noel a must add though is the fact that the Knicks starting big man and fellow shot blocker extraordinaire, Mitchell Robinson, is out for four plus weeks. Noel has already started the last two games for the Knicks and seen his minutes rocket up to close to 30 per game. In those two games, Noel averaged 8.0 points, 5.0 rebounds, and 4.0 stocks. FOUR. F. O. U. R. Per game. You should be rostering Noel wherever and however you can.

T.J. McConnell, Indiana Pacers (23% rostered)

I feel like I’ve talked about McConnell everywhere but I can’t stop because you should be adding him everywhere! Not only does McConnell get you stocks (he wouldn’t be on this list otherwise), but he also brings to the table another hyper-valuable fantasy stat: assists. In the month of February, McConnell is averaging 8.3 assists AND 3.0 stocks (2.1 steals) to go with 8.8 points and 3.9 rebounds. Over the last 30 days, McConnell has been a top 60 player in ESPN’s player rater, ahead of guys like Jamal Murray, Devin Booker, and Jimmy Butler. This is adding elite fantasy production to your roster for free people.

Jakob Poeltl, San Antonio Spurs (23% rostered)

Even though the Spurs currently aren’t playing basketball games on account of COVID-19 tracing, Poeltl is still completely worth rostering in fantasy hoops. The Spurs’ big man has started the last six games and averaged 10.2 points, 9.7 boards, and 3.8 stocks (3.0 blocks!). This man averaged almost a double-double while also getting you three blocks per game. No one in the NBA is averaging this stat line across the season. Only Gobert and Capela come close, averaging 10+ PPG/9+ RPG/2+ BPG. Maybe you aren’t paying a ton of attention to the Spurs as a whole, but you should certainly be giving Poeltl the respect, and roster spot, he deserves.

Kendrick Nunn, Miami Heat (41% rostered)

Nunn has started the last five games for the Heat and in that time is averaging 14.4 PPG/3.2 RPG/2.0 APG/1.6 SPG and in two of those five games he’s had 3+ steals. Dunn’s defense has proven to be reliable—he’s averaging 1.2 steals on the season—and added with double-digit scoring makes him a solid fantasy add, one you should snag sooner rather than later.

Hassan Whiteside (39% rostered)

When given the minutes, we know what kind of numbers Whiteside can produce. Even on just 15 minutes this season, he’s still managing to average 8.4 PPG/5.7 RPG/1.4 BPG. Over the Kings last three games, Whiteside has played closer to 20 minutes per game and averaged 14.7/9.3/2.3. With Richaun Holmes day-to-day with a knee injury, Whiteside might be in line for more minutes the rest of this week and isn’t a bad streaming option, particularly in deep leagues.