The key to winning your fantasy basketball league is not how well you draft, but the players you add off waivers. This is extremely important because securing hidden talent could replace those late-round selections that aren’t having the best season. Here at NFS, we provide the best picks for players you should grab off waivers now before it is too late. As always, both opportunity and performance are taken into consideration for these players, and also all players listed are rostered below 40 percent on ESPN. Learn to think like a NERD! Check out the NBA New Age Rankings for every player’s year to date performance valuation.
Kevin Porter Jr, SG, Houston Rockets
While Kevin Porter Jr is likely owned by over 40 percent of ESPN leagues already, it would be a crime not to mention the immediate impact he has brought to the Houston Rockets since being called up from their G League team. In the first four games he has played this season, Porter has averaged 18 points, three rebounds, eight assists, 1.5 steals, and 1.3 blocks per game. Where he has struggled with his percentages, shooting 42 percent from the field and 20 percent from three. However, there is a lot of positives to take from this. Porter is getting the volume and opportunities he needs to improve. Houston also losing 17 consecutive games will likely lead to more veterans being traded, solidifying Porter’s role for the rest of the season. If Porter is still available in your league, he should be the number one target on the waiver wire.
Duncan Robinson, SG/SF, Miami Heat
The Miami Heat have entered midseason form, winning five straight, and Duncan Robinson has played a big role in that. After a breakout season last year, Robinson’s numbers have been down. However, he is still playing at a level that has helped this team win five straight. Since the All-Star break, Robinson has averaged 13 points, three rebounds, and 1.5 steals, while shooting 40 percent from three. Robinson’s role is expected to be consistent for the rest of the season, which makes him a solid waiver wire pickup for this week.
Kenyon Martin Jr, SF, Houston Rockets
The son of the former NBA All-Star has finally gotten a crack into the league and has come out strong. Kenyon Martin Jr has benefited from Houston’s losing streak and allowed him to play 30 minutes a game since the break. In those games, he has averaged 14 points, seven rebounds, 1.3 steals, and 1.8 blocks per game. Similar to the situation with Kevin Porter Jr, veterans are likely to be traded because of their historic losing streak. This will very likely give Martin a consistent role for the rest of the season. This makes him a top priority to add from the waiver wire.
DeAndre Hunter, SF/PF, Atlanta Hawks
De’Andre Hunter was having a breakout season before being forced to undergo knee surgery which forced him to miss six weeks. He is finally expected to return on Thursday. Now while he will likely be on a minute restriction for the first few games, in the long run, he is still a solid pickup on the waiver wire. Before the surgery, Hunter was averaging 17 points, five rebounds, and 2.2 assists per game. He also saw a 10 percent jump in his field goal percentage from his rookie year. Hunter will look to return to his earlier season form.
Aleksej Pokusevski, PF, Oklahoma City Thunder
Many questioned OKC’s selection of Aleksej Pokusevski on draft night instead of many more well-known names. And after spending some time in the G League, he seems to have finally gotten some opportunity in the big leagues. Since the break, Pokusevski has averaged 11 points, eight rebounds, and 2.5 assists per game. He has struggled extremely with his shooting percentages, both under 32 percent. But with him playing around 32 minutes a game, he is still a solid option to look out for on the waiver wire, especially as the season progresses.
Robert Williams III, PF/C, Boston Celtics
There has been open competition for the center position in Boston the entire season now, but it has been Robert Williams III who has the productive edge over the past few games. In his last five games, Williams has averaged 11 points, eight rebounds, and 3.4 blocks per game, while shooting an extremely efficient 74 percent from the field. He has also achieved all these averages in only around 20 minutes a game. The minutes are an indication that the starting job is still open. However, as long as Williams keeps up this production, the minutes will likely increase, only giving more opportunities for Williams to improve.
Dwight Howard, C, Philadelphia 76ers
Joel Embiid went down with a knee injury and is expected to be out for two to three weeks. This makes Dwight Howard the next man up for the 76ers. We’ve already seen Dwight see his production increase since the injury. In his last five games, Howard has averaged 11 points, nine rebounds, and 1.6 blocks per game. He is also shot an efficient 61 percent in those same games. Tony Bradley is also expected to get a boost in minutes as well. But since the injury, it has been Dwight Howard having an uptick in production, making him a solid waiver wire pickup.
Moses Brown, C, Oklahoma City Thunder
Mosses Brown has been the biggest surprise since the post-All-Star break across the entire league. Not only is he getting legitimate minutes, but he is playing at an above-average level as well. Since the break, Brown has been averaging 12 points, 10 rebounds, and two blocks a game. He has also been shooting 60 percent in those same games. With Al Horford on the trade block and may even be bought out, Brown is a prospect with high upside on a team with low expectations. These factors make Brown a solid option for the waiver wire for the rest of the season.