Fantasy basketball: Waiver-wire options with superstars resting

Josh Lloyd
·3-min read
Khem Birch, Isaiah Roby and Jeff Green, pictured here in action in the NBA.
Khem Birch, Isaiah Roby and Jeff Green. Image: Getty

I hope your fantasy playoffs are going well. If they are, the fight isn’t over, and if you’re trailing, you’ve come to the right place to claw back some ground. 

After Thursday’s big 10-game slate, we have four days left in the week. 

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From Friday through to Monday, we have six teams playing three games in four nights - OKC, Dallas, Toronto, Houston, Milwaukee and Brooklyn. 

That means you need to work the wire on those days to get in players to help you advance to the next round. 

Let’s look at some players who can help you do that:

OKC: Isaiah Roby, Aleksej Pokuševski, Ty Jerome, Kenrich Williams, Theo Maledon

I expect Lu Dort to rest one of the Thunder’s remaining three games, and I think there is zero chance we see Shai Gilgeous-Alexnader return. 

So, there is a lot of value opening up for all of these Thunder players who are rostered in under 50% of Yahoo leagues. 

I like Roby the most out of this quintet, but there can be value in all of them. 

Bear in mind that the three games may not end up being useable as one of their games occurs on Sunday, a day where there are 10 NBA games on, so a waiver wire option may end up being someone you just sit on the bench that day.

TORONTO: Khem Birch, Malachi Flynn

Like the Thunder, the Raptors have three games with one on a busy Sunday included. 

Birch should start all three for Toronto, and before this week I thought for sure that Kyle Lowry and Fred VanVleet, along with OG Anunoby, would rest in a back-to-back. 

They all played the first back-to-back, so that could reduce Flynn’s usefulness, but he is still getting 20+ minutes as the first guard off the bench with Gary Trent injured.

DALLAS: Jalen Brunson, Trey Burke, Dorian Finney-Smith

I fully expect Luka Dončić to sit at least one of Dallas’ three remaining games and Josh Richardson and Kristaps Porziņģis are already banged up. 

That gives rise to some extra minutes and usage to a lot of players. 

Burke started the last game in place of Richardson, while Brunson would step in for Dončić. 

Be careful with Finney-Smith as he keeps cropping up on the injury report.

Jalen Brunson and Dorian Finney-Smith, pictured here in action for the Dallas Mavericks.
Jalen Brunson and Dorian Finney-Smith in action for the Dallas Mavericks. (Photo by Jim Davis/The Boston Globe via Getty Images)

BROOKLYN: Jeff Green

Unlike Toronto, Dallas, and OKC, all of Brooklyn’s three games come on low volume days, meaning if you add Green you will be able to play him all three games. 

He started at centre last game, and his minutes feel pretty secure. 

Landry Shamet could also be an option, but he doesn’t have the most fantasy friendly game.

HOUSTON: Kenyon Martin Jr

With Eric Gordon still out, Martin is getting over 20 minutes a night and can stuff the stat sheet. 

Three more games make him quite attractive.

DETRIOT: Josh Jackson

The only player on my list with two games, Jackson should not be available in as many leagues as he is. 

The Pistons are resting Jerami Grant, Cory Joseph, and Mason Plumlee for their next game, so Jackson’s usage will spike, and he has solid value for only two games left.

Looking ahead to next week, the Pistons have a five-game schedule. That means Jackson’s value rises, but also look in case Isaiah Stewart is available. 

Killian Hyes could be good but I fear rests, while Frank Jackson has appeal, and Saddiq Bey should be scooped up. 

Isaiah Roby and the Thunder also have four games next week, which makes adding him and holding, a great idea.

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