The injuries and absences continue to pile up in this, our second COVID-19 NBA season. So it’s prudent to turn your attention to your fantasy basketball waiver wire and determine who’s out there and who’s worth picking up or streaming.
Here are four players likely available in your league who are well worth rostering (Percent rostered in ESPN leagues).
Kevin Huerter, Atlanta Hawks (41% rostered)
If Huerter is still available in your league, you should stop reading and go grab him. De’Andre Hunter, who was having a really nice year, will be out for several weeks with a knee injury (and, who knows how long they’ll restrict his minutes when he does return). Huerter’s played the MOST minutes on the Hawks over their past four games, all without Hunter. He’s also shooting over 50% from three on 6+ 3PA per game, the most on the Hawks over that 4-game stretch. If he’s the main beneficiary of Hunter’s absence, and continues to get volume like this, then he’ll be more than rosterable: he’s been a top 80 player on ESPN basic the past two weeks. That’s a nice long-term streaming option to have.
T.J. McConnell, Indiana Pacers (21% rostered)
Since the calendar turned to 2021, McConnell has 115 total assists, as many as Mike Conley. However, Conley’s 115 assists have come in three more games than McConnell, and 160 more minutes. Every player who has over 110 dimes in 2021 has played at least 500 minutes, except for McConnell, who’s only played 380.
He’s been a top 75 player in ESPN basic for the past two weeks. Over the last 10 Pacers games, McConnell’s averaging 8+ APG. He’s not going to score for you, or do much of anything except assists and steals, but only seven players are dishing 8+ dimes per game for the entire season, and TJ doesn’t even play 30+ minutes per game. He’s a must-add for as long as he provides this kind of volume.
Derrick White, San Antonio Spurs (29% rostered)
Since White returned from his most recent toe injury, he’s averaged the third most shots on the Spurs (four games). He played nearly 30 minutes in their most recent game against the Rockets, scoring 14 points with 5 assists. As he continues to shake the rust off and get healthy and play more minutes, we can pretty safely assume that his outside shot will warm up, which should push his points per game higher. If you’re in need of a guard, I recommend White for the long term, as his volume should remain steady or increase as the season goes along. Best to buy early before anyone notices.
Maxi Kleber, Dallas Mavericks (4% rostered)
Kleber’s been back for four games, and he played over 30 minutes in the Mavs most recent, accruing 16 points, 8 rebounds, and 4 assists. Kleber is the best big on the Mavericks after Kristaps Porzingis, and they need his outside shooting and defense. I think Kleber is in the right spot at the right time to garner some pretty heavy minutes. Keep your eye on him over the next week; if he continues to play 30+ minutes and get 10+ shots per game, he’ll definitely be worth rostering. Remember, minutes are like water, they make everything else grow. Kleber’s minutes could be on the rise, along with his counting stats.