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.
Grayson Allen, SG, Memphis Grizzlies
After unable to gain any footing in Utah, Grayson Allen was moved to Memphis in the Mike Conley trade and finally, in his second season, Allen is finally living up to some of his potential. In his last five games, Allen has averaged 19 points, four rebounds, four assists, and 1.4 steals per game. What’s most impressive are his shooting percentages, where he’s hit 49 percent from both the field and from beyond the arc. The former Duke star is forming himself to become a key player for the Grizzlies in the future. But for now, Allen is a great waiver wire addition for the fantasy playoffs.
Landry Shamet, SG, Brooklyn Nets
While Landry Shamet is already on his third team in three years, he still continues to elevate his game. With James Harden also being out with a hamstring injury has allowed Shamet to play more minutes. In his last five games, Shamet has averaged 20 points and four assists per game. He has also shot the rock at 50 percent from beyond on the arc on more than eight attempts in those same games. Shamet is also a quality addition because Harden was recently ruled out indefinitely (essentially the playoffs) because of his hamstring injury.
Reggie Jackson, PG, Los Angeles Clippers
Since coming to the Clippers last season, Reggie Jackson has been a solid point guard for the roster. Even after they also acquired Rajon Rando from the Atlanta Hawks, Jackson is still getting some quality minutes. In his last five games, Jackson has averaged 14 points, 4.6 rebounds, and four assists per game. He has also shot 52 percent from three in those same games, which is also very effective. With Patrick Beverly not expected to return during the regular season, Jackson is a solid waiver wire addition in deeper formatted leagues since his role is expected to stay about the same through fantasy playoffs.
Darius Bazley, SF/PF, Oklahoma City Thunder
Darius Bayley has returned to the active roster and has played like he hasn’t missed a beat. In his last five games, Bazley has averaged 18 points and six rebounds a game. Where he struggles are his shooting percentages, which are 41 percent from the field and 20 percent from three. These are clearly volume numbers, which can be a red flag for pickups. However, because he plays for the Thunder, where there is not much competition, these numbers are bound to improve. This still makes him a solid candidate in all league formats.
Naji Marshall, SF, New Orleans Pelicans
Naji Marshall was an undrafted free agent out of Xavier University where he played for three years. However, it hasn’t been until now where he started to get minutes where he can actually create productive outings. These games included a double-double against the Wizards. In his last five games, Marshall has averaged 11 points, six rebounds, and 4.6 assists per game. His percentages are average but nothing worth making concern over. Marshall’s ceiling is unknown but as long as he continues to have productive games, his rest of the season outlook should be very positive.
Trevor Ariza, SF, Miami Heat
After being sat most of the season, Trevor Ariza was finally given an opportunity in Miami to play basketball as another three and d player for their roster. In his last five games, Ariza has averaged 13 points and 5.6 rebounds per game with decent defensive stats. What’s been most effective is his three-point shooting, which has been 56 percent over those same five games. Ariza’s role will very likely stay the same especially going into the playoffs, especially now that he seems to be in shape again. Ariza is a solid addition in deeper formatted leagues.
Isaiah Stewart, C/PF, Detroit Pistons
Isaiah Stewart is looking like a major steal in this past draft. Despite being at the bottom of the depth chart to start the season, tanking and season play have allowed Stewart to play as many as 26 minutes per game over his last five games. In those five games, Stewart has averaged 14 points, 12 rebounds, and 1.6 blocks per game. This includes a 21 rebound game he had against the Thunder. Not to mention he also shot 69 percent in those same five games. Stewart should be a number one priority waiver wire pick-up for the fantasy playoffs.
Daniel Gafford, C/PF, Washington Wizards
After being an early-round selection for the Chicago Bulls only two years ago, Daniel Gafford was traded to the Washington Wizards where he had a better opportunity to earn some meaningful minutes. Still only playing 18 minutes a game, Gafford has however been much more productive in those limited minutes. In his last five games, Gafford has averaged 11 points, six rebounds, and two blocks per game. He has also shot an efficient 64 percent from the field in those same games. Gafford is a solid pickup in deeper formatted leagues. Keep an eye out for his nightly minute count.