We’re talkin’ playoffs! Your league is either in the playoffs or counting down the final weeks. Unfortunately, players keep losing games to health, most recently Derrick White, a fave of this site, who’s now out for the Spurs with an ankle injury.
We’ve got a few more weeks left and only around 10 games per team remain. So, who’s out there who’s mostly available, and who can help you down this stretch? These are players who won’t just be streamers, even though they’re certainly useful as that; they’re also players you may want to keep on your roster through the end of the season, or perhaps even designate as dynasty assets.
Cole Anthony, Orlando Magic (49% rostered)
Cole Anthony has played the second most total minutes for the Magic over the past two weeks. He’s their rookie point guard and he’s getting tons of run with Michael Carter-Williams out. The past two weeks Anthony’s averaged 15+ points per game, 6+ assists per game, 4+ rebounds per game, and 1+ 3-pointer made. Only 13 NBA players are doing that on the season, which tells you what a nice run the rook is on. Anthony’s not just a streamer, he’s someone you’ll want to keep in dynasty leagues, or at least keep an eye on.
Isaiah Stewart, Detroit Pistons (29% rostered)
Beef Stew is another rookie, one of a Pistons trio of interesting young players, along with Saddiq Bey (another good addition) and Killian Hayes. Stewart, though, has been a top 50 player the past two weeks, averaging 12 and 11 with 2 blocks per game. He doesn’t always start, but he brings energy & counting stats off the bench. He’s another guy to consider for dynasties and next year’s drafts, especially if the Pistons decide to move on from Mason Plumlee this offseason. Anyone who can conceivably get you a double-double AND blocks is worth streaming at the end of the season.
Khem Birch, Toronto Raptors (20% rostered)
Khem Birch, late of the Magic and now back home in Canada, is starting for the Raptors. Chris Boucher is out, and the Raptors are still in the playoff hunt, and needing a big man, which means Birch gets plenty of minutes. He’s averaging 10 and 7 the past fortnight, with 1+ APG and 1+ BPG (nice combo) in just under 30 minutes per game. His minutes are safe until Boucher returns, and even then you have to imagine the Raptors will continue to give him playing time. They’re 5-4 since he became a Raptor, and Toronto is just two games out of the 10th seed. If they fall apart, then Boucher might be shelved for the rest of the season, no? In which case Birch’s minutes would be even safer.
Carmelo Anthony, Portland Trail Blazers (45% rostered)
Listeners to the Long 2 podcast know that we’re Carmelo Stanthonys round these parts, so I just wanted to point out to everyone that he’s averaging 16+ PPG, and nearly 3 3PM and 3 RPG over the past two weeks. The Trail Blazers are playing for their playoff lives (again), and they need contributions from wherever they possibly can. Enter Melo who’s been #81 on the ESPN player rater the past 15 days. He’s quietly been a solid top 100 player all season, so don’t worry about this being a flash in the pan.
Nerlens Noel, New York Knicks (31% rostered)
Hey, have you heard that the Knicks aren’t mediocre this year?? You HAVE?!?! Damn, I thought I was the only one who’d noticed. Absolutely NO ONE’S been talking about this 4th seeded team recently, which means you can probably pick up their starting center off the waiver wire. Nerlens is NOT here to get you buckets, but he IS here to get you BLOCKS. The few weeks Noel’s averaged 6+ PPG, 8+ RPG, and 2+ BPG.
Here’s the list of players who average 8+ RPG and 2+ BPG for the season: Clint Capela and Rudy Gobert.
Nerlens has the third most total blocks this season after Gobert and Myles Turner, and he’s done it in fewer minutes than anyone else in the top eight. This is what we call an elite stat cat specialist. Noel excels in one particular category, but he’s also strong in another (boards), so you’re willing to live with the lack of points because you’re just looking to complement your team at this point in the season. You’re not hoping to find prime Kevin Durant on the waiver, you just want guys who won’t hurt you. Nerlens is here to help.
Lu Dort, Oklahoma City Thunder (37% rostered)
I love Lu Dort, but it’s tough to know when the Thunder sit him. I still recommend picking him up, but be aware that he may not play every game the rest of the season. When he does, he gives you 14-3-1 on the season, with even more points recently since so many of the Thunder players have been shelved for the season. Love him, but his minutes may not be safe due to tanking purposes.
Davis Bertans, Washington Wizards (21% rostered)
PICK UP THE LATVIAN LASER RIGHT NOW, STOP READING & GO ADD HIM.
The Wizards are 10-5 over the last 15 games, which is the same record as the Brooklyn Nets, who just clinched a playoff spot, and THE NEW YORK KNICKERBOCKERS WHO’RE GONNA WIN THE TITLE! Bertans, who was signed to be a long-range laser, played himself into shape, and the Wizards have gotten healthy, and now he’s averaging the third most points per game for DC these past two weeks, and shooting 47% from three on 8+ 3PA per game. Even in this new NBA where nearly everyone is taking threes, a guy like Bertans can still be hella useful in the playoffs. Which is exactly why the Wizards signed him IRL. He’s been nearly a top 100 player recently, and he’s one of only 7 players in the NBA to average 7+ 3PA and have a 40+ 3PT% on the season. He’s another specialist, and EXTREMELY worthy of being on a playoff team. It’s a fantasy basketball crime if he’s available on your waiver wire.
Jae-Sean Tate, Houston Rockets (50% rostered)
This is cheating a bit, but I just can’t quit my guy. Tate’s averaging 13+ points, 5+ rebounds, and 4+ assists per game the past 15 days, and 2+ steals per game. If you don’t need those counting stats, then why the hell are you reading this? You’re either doing so well in fantasy basketball that you don’t need guaranteed production from a good player on a bad team, or you’re not playing fantasy basketball and you’re just reading this for no reason.
Oh, Dr. John Wall is out for the rest of the season, so Tate’s now inherited more ball-handling duties, which is another positive development.
Saddiq Bey, Pistons (16% rostered)
Bey’s season stat line is 11+ PPG, 4+ RPG, 1+ APG, 6+ 3PA, 37+ 3PT%. Only 22 players can say that this season, and Bey’s been providing even more recently. He’s averaging 12 and 5 the last two weeks, with 2+ 3PM. Bey can be useful as a streamer the rest of the season, or you can add him for dynasty leagues. He’s a vintage 3D player, and those numbers above are absolutely rookie/floor numbers. He’s hitting 40% of this threes the past two weeks.
Reggie Bullock, Knicks, (INFINITY ROSTERED OR SHOULD BE!)
Speaking of hitting their threes, Bullock’s been sinking 3+ the past 15 days, and he’s averaging 15-3-2 during that span. That’s some really solid production, and he’s only 22% rostered. The Knicks aren’t just their defense, and Bullock’s been a nice weapon for them. He has a 60 True Shooting percentage, which means he’s been an absolutely awesome shooter this year.
Duncan Robinson, Miami Heat (48% rostered)
Robinson’s another 3PM specialist, currently sinking 3+ treys per game the past two weeks. Miami desperately needs his spacing and offense, especially since they, too, are fighting for playoff position in the East (they’re in the 7th seed prior to Wednesday’s games). Robinson is one of the elite volume three-point shooters in the NBA, and his minutes and shots are safe. I have him in my main league, and he’d be tough to give up. Sharpshooters help you in advance, in fantasy and in real life.
Facundo Campazzo, Denver Nuggets (7% rostered)
I hate that Jamal Murray is out for the season, but I LOVE watching Facu “The Magician” Campazzo play basketball. He’s averaging 7+ PPG, 5+ APG, 2+ RPG, 1+ 3PM, and 1+ SPG the past two weeks. He’s the starting point guard for a Nuggets team that still has designs on a deep playoff run. Facu’s an old rookie, and the NBA game is still coming to him (see: his low point total), but with starter’s minutes, and nice dimes and steals, he’s a worthy streamer.
Just remember that Rajon Rondo’s (4% rostered) out there, and the playoffs approach. Once Kawhi returns, the Clippers may try to get him, Paul George, and Rondo in some rhythm prior to the playoffs. If Rondo starts, he’s always a threat to get high assist totals.