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!
Josh Hart, SG/SF, New Orleans Pelicans
After signing a three-year $36 million extension with the New Orleans Pelicans, Josh Hart was now expected to have a much bigger role with the franchise. He’s also been playing a lot more small and power forward positions with the roster as well. In his last 10 games, Hart has averaged 12 points, six rebounds, four assists, and 1.3 steals per game. He’s also massively improved as an outside shooting, hitting almost 40 percent from three in those same games. The change seems to work for his performance and that should give him great upside for the rest of the season. He should be a top priority off waivers.
Patrick Beverley, PG, Minnesota Timberwolves
Once part of a title-challenging team, Patrick Beverley now brings quality veteran experience to a Minnesota Timberwolves still trying to turn the corner despite three top two draft picks. But at 33 years old, Beverley has still been able to put significant numbers on both ends of the floor. In his last seven games, Beverley has averaged 10 points, five rebounds, four assists, 1.3 steals, and 1.1 blocks per game. He’s a reliable pickup for ESPN Standard Leagues where defensive stats are buffed.
Alex Caruso, PG/SG, Chicago Bulls
Fan-favorite, Alex Caruso, continued to prove game in and game out that he can be a legitimate NBA player on a contending team. He’s also been a contributing player on both ends of the floor, earning him more minutes ni crunch time. In his last 10 games, Caruso has averaged seven points, five rebounds, four assists, and two steals a game. He could use some massive improvement on his three-point shooting, as he’s only hit about 20 percent of his three in those 10 games. But Caruso has continued to grow all season, giving high upside for the rest of the fantasy season.
Jarred Vanderbilt, PF, Minnesota Timberwolves
A project player for years, Jarred Vanderbilt has continued to improve on his defense and rebounding to fill critical roles for the Minnesota Timberwolves. In his last five games, Vanderbilt has averaged seven points, nine rebounds, 1.6 steals, and a block per game. He’s also shot an effective 61 percent from the field. His simple but potent game style makes him a reliable fantasy waiver wire pick up. Only playing 25 minutes, he also has plenty of room to grow in the starting lineup.
Talen Horton-Tucker, SG/SF, Los Angeles Lakers
Returning from thumb surgery that forced him to miss the first 12 games of the season, Talen Horton-Tucker is picking up right off where he left. In his first five games of the season, THT is averaging 16 points, six rebounds, two assists, and a steal per game. He could improve his shooting efficiency as he’s only hitting about 41 percent from the field and 32 percent from beyond the arc. At still 20 years old, THT has plenty of potentials to improve this season and beyond. And when playing with Lebron James, Anthony Davis, and Russell Westbrook, he’s already in a better situation than most young players.
PJ Tucker, SF/PF, Miami Heat
After a strong playoff performance last season, PJ Tucker earned himself a quality contract and a new home with the Miami Heat. Originally expected to be a defensive anchor for the team, Tucker has found himself needing to contribute offensively as well as the team still deals with injuries. In his last seven games, Tucker has averaged 11 points, seven rebounds, and nearly a steal per game. He’s also shot an insane 69 percent from deep in those same games. He’s a starter on a contending team and that’s bound to help him keep consistent production for the rest of the season.
Brandon Clarke, PF/C, Memphis Grizzlies
Despite having two quality seasons in his young career, Brandon Clarke is seeing much less time on the floor this season. His season averages last year were both above 10 points per game but that has now dropped to seven, with Clarke also seeing around seven fewer minutes per game as well. Recently he has improved. In his last eight games, Clarke has averaged nine points, five rebounds, and 1.3 blocks per game. He’s also shot an efficient 63 percent from the field. He’s a great small-ball center for the Grizzlies. It’ll be important if he starts being utilized more during games.
LaMarcus Aldridge, PF/C, Brooklyn Nets
Choosing to come back after retiring mid-season last year, LaMarcus Aldridge has still shown he can play high-quality basketball in his 15th season in the NBA. In his last 10 games, Aldridge has averaged 14 points, six rebounds, and 1.1 blocks per game. He averaged all this only in 22 minutes a game as well. With Kyrie still expected to miss games and the lack of a true big man, Aldridge should have plenty of opportunities to produce for a contending team for the rest of this season at least.