NBA Fantasy Basketball Waiver Wire: Week 12

Mar 11, 2021; Chicago, Illinois, USA; Philadelphia 76ers center Dwight Howard (39) drives to the basket against the Chicago Bulls during the second half at United Center. Mandatory Credit: Kamil Krzaczynski-USA TODAY Sports

Kevin Reyes
NBA Analyst

“Hard work beats talent when talent doesn’t work hard”. 

JD Yonke
College Football Analyst

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The second half of the NBA season is upon us! Like actual NBA teams, fantasy teams are battling for playoff spots in preparation for the fantasy playoffs. With that, using your weekly adds comes at a premium. Unsure about what moves you should be making? Allow us to give you some advice!

Weekly, JD and Kevin will be bringing you add and drop advice, and, occasionally, players to target in trades for less than what they’re really worth (buy low) and to trade during their soon-to-end hot streak (sell high). Today, we bring you advice for the twelfth week of the NBA fantasy basketball season.

Shallow League Adds

Robert Williams III, Boston Celtics (ESPN 47.6 percent, Yahoo! 58 percent) – JD

I mentioned last week that I was going to keep mentioning Williams in this column every week until his ownership percentages reflected his recent production. Owners are finally wising up and adding Time Lord, and — it’s about damn time. He has elite per 36 production, has seen a steady increase in minutes, and received consistent praise from his head coach. Brad Stevens has repeatedly gone out of his way in press conferences to mention Williams as a player who has and will continue to earn more and more minutes as the season goes on. What more can you ask for? Apparently owners were waiting for his recent three game stretch in which he averaged 14.3 points / 12 boards / 3 boards — his ownership if finally ticking up. Own with confidence.

Seth Curry, Philadelphia 76ers (ESPN 52.1 percent, Yahoo! 62 percent) – Kevin

With Joel Embiid out for at least two weeks, the 76ers will have to find 30 points worth of production in order to keep a top two record in the Eastern Conference. So far through three games, Curry has been able to substitute some of that production with averages of 17pts on 48/42/66 shooting. Instead of the team running through the mid-post presence of Embiid, it will be running through the perimeter attack of Ben Simmons and Tobias Harris, which so far has done wonders for Curry’s production.

Larry Nance Jr., Cleveland Cavaliers (ESPN 54.7 percent, Yahoo! 64 percent) – JD

I get it — Nance isn’t an exciting player — but he might be able to help you win leagues. Kevin Love finally returned from injury only to be immediately removed from the lineup once again due to a calf injury that has caused him to miss the last two games. At this point it’s unclear when he will return to the court, which opens up huge minutes for Nance (who himself returned from injury just last week). He saw 38 and 37 minutes in his two most recent contests. His season per 36 averages of 10.5 points / 7.4 boards / 3.3 assists / 1.9 steals / 0.6 blocks / 1.4 threes show that he can help in nearly every category. I’d expect to see an uptick in rebounds from those season averages, as board-eater Andre Drummond is now out of the fold. Small sample evidence: Nance had 9 and 10 rebounds respectively in his two games seeing full minutes since returning.

Deep League Adds

Dwight Howard, Philadelphia 76ers (ESPN 22.4 percent, Yahoo! 36 percent)- JD

I might be wrong, but I think that this is the first time all season that I have mentioned a 6er in this column. Why is that the case? Is it because I hate Philadelphia? No, far from it — it’s because most of their offensive production comes from only three players: Joel Embiid, Tobias Harris, and Ben Simmons. There isn’t a ton of usage left over for the rest of the roster, so they haven’t been a very profitable team to look at on the waiver wire. Well, Embiid is out with an injury for at least two weeks and it’s anybody’s guess how his return will go, given his unfortunate history with injuries. That leaves quite a sizable role for Howard, who has capitalized with back-to-back double-doubles in the last two games while chipping in 4 blocks. The uptick in minutes (28 and 30, respectively) means he’ll be a nice source of boards and blocks. I’d consider him in 10-teamers and wouldn’t hesitate in 12-teamers and beyond.

Aleksej Pokusevski, Oklahoma City Thunder (ESPN 9 percent, 28 percent) – Kevin

After a successful stint in the G-League Bubble, Pokusevski has been greeted back to the NBA with an increased role with the Thunder. In his first four NBA games since Feb. 1, all starts (32 minutes per game), Poku is averaging 11pts/8reb/2.5ast on 34/31/100 shooting. In a clear rebuilding year, especially considering he’s the youngest current player in the league, he’ll continue getting increased chances as the season winds down. There will be some inconsistencies in his play, for sure, but he provides more upside than most in the Waiver Wire.

Hassan Whiteside, Sacramento Kings (ESPN 32.7 percent, Yahoo! 60 percent) – JD

Yet another big man stepping up as an injury replacement! Marvin Bagley broke his hand on Monday against Charlotte, leaving big minutes up for grabs in the Kings’ frontcourt rotation. Whiteside has always been a huge per 36 producer (career 18.6 points / 15.8 boards / 3.3 blocks) due to his fantasy-friendly but team-damaging style of play. As fantasy owners, we don’t care how badly he tanks his team as long as he is producing. The Kings aren’t going anywhere this year, so Whiteside should be productive barring any trade deadline moves.

Super Deep League Adds

Tony Bradley, Philadelphia 76ers (ESPN 1.1 percent, Yahoo! 3 percent) – Kevin

Like Howard listed above, Bradley will get extended run for these next weeks with Embiid out of the lineup. Though he hasn’t produced quite like Howard in the three games since Embiid’s injury, he has been the big man getting the starting nod, playing 17 minutes per contest and averaging a not-too-shabby 3pts with 7reb and 2.3ast on 62.5 percent from the field. Granted, if you have to choose between the two 6er big men, please choose Howard because he has the better production. Having said that, if he’s not, it doesn’t get much worse than the guaranteed minutes Bradley will be getting in the short term.

Tomas Satoransky, Chicago Bulls (ESPN 12.5 percent, Yahoo! 20 percent)- JD

One of my favorite refrains is that it’s hard to find cheap assists on the waiver wire. It’s highly probable that everybody in your league knows who the starting point guards are and have rostered them already. The leftover ball handlers worth considering on the waiver wire are usually young guards (often rookies) who are struggling through the steep learning curve of the NBA and are posting high turnovers and low shooting numbers. Satornasky is a rare exception. He’s a vetaran who will post nice assists numbers and not kill you in any category. He’s seen over 30 minutes in each of his last two games and posted 7 dimes in both of them. Again, not an exciting add, but one worth considering. He’ll help with dimes and steals. He’s also a possible trade-deadline mover, with his name being tossed around as a target for the Clippers, amongst other teams.

D.J. Wilson, Houston Rockets (ESPN 0.1 percent, Yahoo! 0 percent) – Kevin

This is more of a wait-and-see type of situation, but it’s an intriguing one nonetheless. In his time in Milwaukee, Wilson never had consistent chances to play in the rotation (highest number of games he’s played in a season is 48 in 2018-19), which in turn has led to a development where not a lot of people truly know his game. That could change in Houston, where he would be their third big man on the roster, and should be getting some minutes down the stretch of a lost season. At 25 years old and heading into free agency this offseason, one can assume that the Rockets would be giving him some chances. Whenever those chances come, how many he gets and how he performs in them is left to be seen, but it’s hard to imagine it’ll have more negatives than positives. Monitor his play and adjust accordingly.

Drops

Gary Trent Jr., Portland Trail Blazers (ESPN 36.3 percent, Yahoo! 52 percent)- JD

Trent has been a nice surprise for Portland fans and fantasy owners alike this year, averaging 15.6 points and a whopping 3.1 threes per game while stepping up for the injured CJ McCollum. However, I have to think those numbers will take a dip sooner rather than later given the return of McCollum, who saw the court Tuesday for the first time in two months. Trent will still provide points and threes, but he doesn’t do a whole lot other than that.

P.J. Tucker, Milwaukee Bucks (ESPN 4.2 percent, Yahoo! 11 percent) – Kevin

Even with the Rockets, Tucker wasn’t having the best season, to say the least (averaging 4pts and 4reb on 36/31/78 shooting). And he was doing that while being a starter. Now, after being traded to the Bucks, he’ll have even less of a good fantasy output. The little value he had is gone, given he’ll probably come off the bench for Milwaukee, and provide way more impact outside of the statsheet than in it. Drop him immediately, you can get something with more upside in the Waiver Wire.

What other gems have you found available in your league? Tweet at JD or Kevin and let them know! Be sure to hit them up for any fantasy NBA basketball related questions you have.