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. Learn to think like a NERD! Check out the NBA Player Consistency Rankings to see how consistent, good or bad, players are, determined by stats, not hunches or anecdotal evidence!
Jalen Brunson, PG, Dallas Mavericks
Since being a second-round pick in 2018, Jalen Brunson has emerged as one of the best guards off the bench in the league. His underrated career continues with another strong start to his third year in the league. Through nine games, Brunson has averaged 15 points, five rebounds, and four assists per game. He is also averaging only one turnover per game, giving him some elite passing ability. He’s proven to be a lethal shooter from deep in prior seasons, but 37 percent is still a solid clip with plenty of room to improve. His role is more than established and with production like this, he could be a starter for the Dallas Mavericks.
Tyrese Maxey, SG/PG, Philadelphia 76ers
The Ben Simmons fiasco has led to a major emergence of the second-year guard, Tyrese Maxey. Sure the volume has massively increased, but Maxey has also shown improvement in his shooting and playmaking abilities. In the young season, Maxey is averaging 14 points, three rebounds, and five assists while shooting over 50 percent from the field. With the increasing unlikelihood that Ben Simmons will play another game in a Sixers uniform, Maxey’s upside going forward is huge. With a great supporting cast, Maxey is a solid option going forward with nightly opportunities to improve his game.
Anfernee Simons, SG/PG, Portland Trail Blazers
Through four seasons, Anfernee Simons has shown constant improvement to become a legitimate supporting player for the Portland Trail Blazers, even when he plays behind two-star players. Through 10 games, Simons is averaging 14 points while shooting over 40 percent from beyond the arc. Anfernee has carved out a consistent role for himself. And with the Blazers moving to more small ball, it should not be a worry that he plays behind two all-star caliber players for the rest of the season. His playmaking could use some improvement but for now, is still a great player off waivers.
Nicolas Batum, SF/SG, Los Angeles Clippers
Now past his ugly days with the Charlotte Hornets, Nicolas Batum has provided quality production during his time with the Los Angeles Clippers. With Kawhi Leonard now out for most of the season, Batum’s nightly production will be even more important the Clippers would like to make the postseason again. So far in the young season, Batum has averaged 11 points, six rebounds, and 1.3 steals per game. He’s been a great stretch four as well, hitting around 41 percent of his deep balls. His veteran experience makes him a reliable pick-up off the waiver wire going forward.
Aaron Gordon, PF, Denver Nuggets
After signing a massive extension with the Denver Nuggets in the off-season, Aaron Gordon has now found himself to have a consistent role with a contending team in the Western Conference. Whether he’s considered overpaid or not, he still has more than enough talent to help contribute. Gordon is averaging 12 points, six rebounds, and around one block per game. His three-point shot has still struggled compared to league average. But he is still hitting a career-high 34 percent from beyond the arc. While there isn’t much upside left for Aaron Gordon, he is receiving consistent minutes, making him a decent pickup.
Matisse Thybulle, SF/SG, Philadelphia 76ers
Despite his underwhelming offensive ability, Matisse Thybulle’s defensive technique and talent make him one of the best defensive players in the entire league. What’s even more impressive is that he is only playing around 25 minutes a game despite averaging 2.3 steals and 1.7 blocks per game. That equates to averaging 3.4 steals and 2.4 blocks per 36 minutes. He only averages about five points and two rebounds while shooting about 31 percent from beyond the arc. But his numbers in ESPN Standard leagues, where defensive stats are more points, match up with players who are better offensively.
Dwight Powell, C, Dallas Mavericks
An efficient and simplistic player, Dwight Powell’s ability to score easy interior baskets makes him an underrated player in the league. He’s currently averaging seven points and five rebounds in about 25 minutes of action. He’s also shooting about 58 percent from the field. But the lack of a more consistent big man for the Dallas Mavericks gives him an already established role with the team. He’s not the most appealing player on waivers, but he is one that will get the job done for teams looking for forward and center depth.
DeAndre Jordan, C, Los Angeles Lakers
After being basically exiled from the playoffs last season for the Brooklyn Nets, DeAndre Jordan has still proved he can provide for championship-caliber teams. Playing less than 15 minutes a game, Jordan is still able to average around five points, four rebounds, and over a block a game while shooting 76 percent from the field. With Anthony Davis also dealing with lingering injuries, Jordan could be in line for more minutes for future games. His simple playstyle makes it easy for him to rack up fantasy points too.