Fantasy basketball: Waiver-wire gems for second half of NBA season

Josh Lloyd
·4-min read
Keldon Johnson and Jakob Poeltl, pictured here in action for the San Antonio Spurs.
Keldon Johnson and Jakob Poeltl in action for the San Antonio Spurs. (Photo by Ronald Cortes/Getty Images)

We know how important it is to use the waiver wire to your advantage in fantasy basketball

Yet, so many people don’t realise how many gems are around to be added to their squads.

I’m here again to highlight some exciting adds for your squads to lead you to glory, hopefully.

Under 70% Rostered (10 Team League Targets)

Derrick White

White is ready to return to action, yet managers in Yahoo fantasy haven’t woken up. 

White, to me, is a clear cut top 100 fantasy player, so why is he available in over 30% of leagues? Make it make sense.

SHOCKER: NBA player in hot water over anti-semitic slur

'ADDED TO RAPE CULTURE': Character cut from 'Space Jam' sequel

White may sit some back to backs, and perhaps minutes will be a bit lower as he returns from COVID, but the talent is immense, and he will get ample opportunities. 

Oh, and the Spurs have the most games of any team in the second half of the season.

Jakob Poeltl

Let’s keep rolling on the Spurs theme. 

I don’t know what Gregg Popovich will do regarding starting Poeltl or LaMarcus Aldridge, but I am convinced he knows Poeltl is the starting centre of the future on this team. 

Even if he comes off the bench, Aldridge’s body doesn’t seem like he can play 30 minutes a night, so Poeltl will get plenty of run, and if he starts over Aldridge, well, he smashes the top 100. 

I wouldn’t leave him on the wire for others to find out the answer to the question.

Keldon Johnson

Another Spur? Yes. As I said, they have the most games remaining with 40 games left. 

And Keldon has been excellent this season. 

White’s return may impact his usage, but Johnson’s role as a starter isn’t really in danger, and he is averaging 28 fantasy points this season already. 

He was likely dropped due to COVID, but he is a clear re-add.

Under 50% Rostered (12 Team League Targets)

Josh Jackson

I don’t think Jackson’s upside is that high, but as a high 20s minute sixth man, he has great value in a league where his rough percentages aren’t an impact. 

And that is precisely what a Yahoo points league is. Jackson should be on someone’s roster in a 12 team league.

Robert Williams III

Marcus Smart’s return will be interesting in terms of how much Williams plays because it means one of Tristan Thompson or Daniel Theis will move to the bench. 

But Williams has played at least 22 minutes in three of the last four games and is a master of racking up numbers in limited minutes. 

I would add him and see how Brad Stevens handles the centre rotation in the coming week.

Darius Bazley

Bazley has had his struggles this season. But he averages 25 fantasy points, which is top 125, and that sort of production shouldn’t be on your wire. 

Plus, his minutes aren’t likely to dip, and if there is any direction his production can go from here, that direction is up.

Darius Bazley and Hamidou Diallo, pictured here in action in the NBA.
Darius Bazley and Hamidou Diallo. (Photo by Adam Pantozzi/NBAE via Getty Images)

Under 30% Rostered (14 Team League Targets)

Cody Zeller

Whenever I think of a team that could trade for a centre (Andre Drummond, John Collins etc), the Hornets are the first team that comes to mind. 

But, for now, Zeller is the starter, and he averages 25 fantasy points. 

That’s probably enough to be a 12 team guy, but he is a clear add in a 14 team league.

If he moves to a backup role due to a trade, then drop him, easy decision. But for now, add him and go with the production.

Hamidou Diallo

Diallo isn’t a very high upside player, but as he missed the last few games with a groin injury, people have seemingly soured on him. 

He is pretty locked into the sixth man role in OKC, and his game suits Yahoo points leagues, well. 

Add him for 14 team leagues.

Short Term Adds

TJ McConnell

McConnell has been fantastic, but why haven’t Yahoo managers woken up? 

It doesn’t matter why; just add him and figure it all out later on. 

Sure, Caris LeVert coming back is going to impact him. So will TJ Warren eventually. But, just use McConnell until the production falls away.

Shake Milton

This could be very short-term, but Ben Simmons is out for the next two games, so even if Milton doesn’t start, he will see his role increase and usage spike, so he is an excellent short-term add.

Elfrid Payton

Derrick Rose remains out due to COVID protocols so that Payton will start, and Tom Thibodeau will play him a ton. 

His last game was strong, as well, and while there is no guarantee of a repeat, or even that he will play big minutes after Friday, Payton has some great short term value.

Click here to sign up to our newsletter for all the latest and breaking stories from Australia and around the world.