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. As always, both opportunity and performance are taken into consideration for these players. Learn to think like a NERD!
Immanuel Quickley, PG, New York Knicks
Immanuel Quickley has been a key prospect in the Knicks’ development system because they’ve lacked a legitimate starting point guard for the last few seasons now. He’s been on a better run in his young career as of late. In his last 10 games, Quickley has averaged 15 points, five rebounds, four assists, and a steal per game. He’s done a great job at improving his three-point shot, hitting around 43 percent. He’s still has a long way to go before becoming a polished player, but he continues to show consistent improvement.
Bones Hyland, PG, Denver Nuggets
Popular because of his nickname, Bones Hyland has become a solid guard for the Nuggets since Jamal Murraymay end up missing the entire season. Like Quickley, Hyland has had spurts of more productive play. In his last 10 games, Hyland has averaged 14 points, three rebounds, four assists, and a steal per game. He’s been lights out with his three-point shooting, hitting around 49 percent on over five attempts a game. He looks to have a bright future in the league but is a great player off waivers currently to ride the hot hand with.
Davion Mitchell, PG, Sacramento Kings
Once Buddy Hield and Tyrese Haliberaton were traded to the Indiana Pacers, Davion Mitchell was looked at as a potential target to see more minutes for the King’s backcourt. Mitchell has slowly seen that increase come for fortune. In his last 10 games, Mitchell has averaged 12 points, three assists, and a steal per game. Mitchell has also shown slow improvement with his three-point shooting, hitting around 35 percent in those same games. Mitchell is another raw prospect off waivers that are continuing to put in solid work as the regular season comes to a close.
Lauri Markkanen, PF/SF, Cleveland Cavaliers
Once a very confusing signing in the offseason, Lauri Markkanen has proved to be key in the success of the Cavaliers this season. In his last 10 games, Markkanen has averaged 15 points, six rebounds, and 1.2 steals per game. His switch to more of a small forward position has been great defensively for the Cavaliers, giving them a new identity with some other key interior defenders such as Jarrett Allen and Evan Mobley. He’s been a consistent starter in the lineup and that will likely not change as the fantasy playoffs continue to tread through.
Torrey Craig, SF/PF, Phoenix Suns
While not known for much outside of a versatile defender, Torrey Craig has surprisingly been filling out the stat sheet more recently. In his last five games, Craig has averaged 12 points, eight rebounds, around a steal and a block per game. Compared to his 32 percent average on the season, Craig has hit 60 percent of his threes on around three attempts per game. Despite a consistent role, this run likely won’t last forever. So Craig is worth adding temporarily for the fantasy playoffs.
De’Andre Hunter, SF/PF, Atlanta Hawks
As the fourth overall selection in the 2019 draft, De’Andre Hunter had a ton of expectations coming into the league. He’s yet to hit a lot of those due to consistent injuries but he has shown some promise as a versatile forward. Over his last 10 games, Hunter has averaged 17 points, two rebounds, and around a steal per game. He’s done a great job stretching the floor for Trae Young and company, hitting around 43 percent of his threes. He still has some question marks for his health, but when on the court, Hunter is a proven quality player.
Damian Jones, C, Sacramento Kings
With Richan Holmes out for the rest of the season and Domantas Sabonis now expected to miss the upcoming road trip, Damian Jones is now expected to receive a lot of minutes at the center position for the Kings. He had a quality outing against the Suns where in only 22 minutes, he finished with 13 points, seven rebounds, and two steals. He’s far from the most talented player on this column, but his current opportunity could lead to having great stat lines over the next few games.
Alperen Sengun, C, Houston Rockets
One of the many young prospects on the Rockets roster, Alperen Sengun is one who shows a lot of “unicorn” potential as he’s a very versatile player at 6’9″. In his last 10 games. Sengun has averaged 10 points, six rebounds, and a steal and a block per game. His percentages lack him being an efficient scorer, as he only hits around 44 percent from the field. But his raw ability makes a great candidate to watch for the remainder of the regular season and for future seasons.