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The second half of the NBA season is in full swing, which also means that fantasy playoffs are right around the corner!
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 worth (buy low) and to trade during their soon-to-end hot streak (sell high). Today, we bring you advice for the fourteenth week of the NBA fantasy basketball season.
Shallow League Adds
Robert Williams III, Boston Celtics (ESPN 66.3 percent, Yahoo! 70 percent) – JD
I’ve been telling you to add Williams for weeks, and I’m not going to stop now. He’s blocking a handful of shots per game (3.3 per in his last three) and pulling down double-digit rebounds on a nearly-nightly basis (11 per in his last three), making him one of the hottest fantasy assets in the entire league. He’s even showing a newfound penchant for dimes, with 4.3 per game in his last three, and that’s just icing on the cake. His ownership is finally right around normal levels, which is nice to see. Most fantasy owners are pretty slow to the chase — he was criminally under-owned for over a month. This fantasy basketball thing really doesn’t need to be that hard when so many owners are checked out from who’s producing a nightly basis. He was a late scratch for an illness against the Mavs on Wednesday, but so far there’s no news that shows any reason for concern and he should be back in there soon. Own him everywhere with confidence.
Malik Beasley, Minnesota Timberwolves (ESPN 81.1 percent, Yahoo! 75 percent) – Kevin
After his 12-game suspension in February, many — particularly in ESPN leagues — were quick to drop Beasley. Understandable, considering his status on the app didn’t allow for managers to put him on IR. Having said that, Beasley is way too talented to be dropped like that. Although his three games since coming back have been far from stellar (14pts on 31/36/87 shooting), his upside is still there, especially while D’Angelo Russell remains out. He was averaging 20pts on 45/40/84 shooting before getting suspended — it isn’t like he’s coming back from an injury.
Jusuf Nurkić, Portland Trail Blazers (ESPN 70.1 percent, Yahoo! 91 percent) – JD
Nurkic is back in Portland’s lineup, and he should be back in yours, too. In all leagues. In all formats. It’s that simple.
Kevin Porter Jr., Houston Rockets (ESPN 60.3 percent, Yahoo! 68 percent) – JD
Houston is in no man’s land. They traded James Harden earlier in the season. They traded Oladipo at the deadline. (And ended up with scrap heaps in return, but I digress). John Wall is sitting out games with an ongoing knee injury that’s in need of being scoped at some point. Do they sit Wall? Do they tank? I don’t know, but I do know that Porter is going to benefit somehow, someway. Oladipo’s departure opens up plenty of playing time for Porter, who’s not going to shoot 0-7 from deep every night like he did on Monday. He’s a stat-stuffer with ample usage. His per-36 averages on the season of 18.5 points / 6.9 assists / 1.6 threes / 1.2 steals / 0.7 blocks show that he can really help your team when seeing increased minutes. I’d expect his threes to go up, too, as he’s shooting a whopping 7.3 treys per-36 at a clip (21.8 percent) well below expectations (41.2 percent in college, 32 percent in the G League). Must-add in 12 teamers, worth consideration in 10 teamers.
Deep League Adds
Kelly Olynyk, Houston Rockets (ESPN 32.4 percent, Yahoo! 50 percent) – Kevin
In last week’s fantasy piece, I wrote: “…Olynyk might get minutes now, but not late in the season… though I’m high on Olynyk being a very solid streamer in the next couple of days (a lot are dropping him, so take advantage).” In the three games Olynyk has played with the Rockets, he’s averaged 20.5pts/6.5reb/3ast on 60/36/100 shooting. In the meantime, he’ll be a starter along with Christian Wood (when healthy) to serve as a veteran and someone that can space the floor, especially for Kevin Porter Jr. He won’t be leading the team in scoring or anything like that, but he will provide a consistent starter, double-digit scorer and shooter to your team. He’ll be a solid streamer before the start of the fantasy playoffs.
Nickeil Alexander-Walker, New Orleans Pelicans (ESPN 22.3 percent, Yahoo! 41 percent) – JD
NAW’s ownership really doesn’t make sense, considering he should be owned everywhere while Lonzo Ball is out. He’s seen over 30 minutes in five straight and put up averages of 17.8 points / 5.4 boards / 2.6 assists / 3.8 threes in that span while chipping in ample defensive stats. He should be owned everywhere until Lonzo is back, and even then he’s not an auto-drop as he should see more extended run after JJ Redick was traded to the Mavs.
Moses Brown, Oklahoma City Thunder (ESPN 52.4 percent, Yahoo! 66 percent) – Kevin
Brown looked more like a long-term project for OKC than a short-term option, especially when he inked an extension with the franchise. However, given his incredible play since the conclusion of the G-League Bubble and the team deciding to sit Al Horford for the remainder of the season, Brown’s time is now. He’s averaged 12.5pts and 12reb since getting playing time in March, and 13.8pts and 14.7reb since March 21 (six games, 30.9 minutes per outing). He’s a must-own in all formats.
Ivica Zubac, LA Clippers (ESPN 50.2 percent, Yahoo! 52 percent) – JD
Zubac should be owned for as long as Serge Ibaka is out. It’s unclear just how long that will be, but he’s missed the last nine games with back soreness and still hasn’t moved to on-court work. Zubac has stepped up for the Clippers. He’s really the only big worthy and capable of seeing big minutes as long as Ibaka is out. He’ll average a double-double while Serge is out, and he chips in a few blocks. Consider him in 10-teamers if you need boards and pull the trigger in 12-teamers and above.
Super Deep League Adds
Luke Kennard (ESPN 3.3 percent, Yahoo! 11 percent) and Terance Mann (ESPN 11.2 percent, Yahoo! 11 percent), Los Angeles Clippers – Kevin
I grouped them because they’re here for the same reason: the trade that sent Lou Williams to Atlanta is a huge win for both of their values, especially while Rajon Rondo hasn’t debuted and Patrick Beverley remains out. Kennard has especially seen his production increase with Paul George out with injury. And considering PG has no timetable to return, Kennard should be a good streamer in the next week or so (unless George injury news determines the contrary). He scored 21 and 17 points in his last two games, respectively.
Mann, on the other hand, has stepped up as a consistent rotation player in Tyronn Lue’s rotation in the middle half of the season. Recently, Mann has played the best basketball of his career, averaging 14.3pts and 7reb on 51/38/75 shooting in his last seven outings (28.7 minutes). He adds a little playmaking, some spot-up shooting, and a versatile body on both ends of the court. His production will only continue to increase while the team deals with multiple injuries.
Tomáš Satoranský, Chicago Bulls (ESPN 15.6 percent, Yahoo! 21 percent) – Kevin
If you’re in a deep league and need assists, Sato is the perfect pickup that is probably available in your waiver wire. Since getting inserted into the starting lineup in the place of Coby White, he’s averaged 10pts and 6ast on 48/33/94 shooting, while playing 28 minutes per outing. He doesn’t do anything fancy, and won’t wow you with his numbers. His play is the epitome of “solid”, something you should have at the end of your bench in a 12 and above team league.
Delon Wright, Sacramento Kings (ESPN 59.6 percent, Yahoo! 45 percent) – JD
If you didn’t read us last week and drop Wright’s ass, then you’re wasting a roster spot. It appears that an unfortunate amount of people don’t tune into this column weekly, however, as Wright is still grossly over-owned. To recap: he’s been traded to Sacramento, where he’s the fourth guard in the rotation and likely won’t see minutes above the 22-25 range.
Enes Kanter, Portland Trail Blazers (ESPN 77.9 percent, Yahoo! 75 percent) – Kevin
With Nurkic back, Kanter’s run as a go-to fantasy big man option is over. He’ll still be useful in deep leagues, considering he can still come off the bench, score close to double figures and be a menace on rebounds. However, he won’t be the double-double machine he was while Nurk was on the shelf. Kanter has averaged 11.7pts/10reb in 24 minutes per game (he averaged 30 minutes per game when he was starting). And mind you, this is while the team steadily increases Jusuf’s workload. If you’re in a league no deeper than 12-14 teams, scout possible adds with more long-term upside.
Evan Fournier, Boston Celtics (ESPN 74.7 percent, Yahoo! 74 percent) – JD
Call it an overreaction, but I’d be fine dropping Fournier in leagues with an attractive waiver wire option. This isn’t about his 0-10 stinker in his Celtics debut; it’s about the fact that he went from being the clear second option in Orlando to being just another wing on a Celtics team full of them. I mentioned last week that his PPG might drop by 4-5 points, and his true value lies in scoring and shooting. The dimes will almost definitely decrease. He’s now just a guard with some shooting and some scoring, but without much else. Those options are plentiful on the waiver wire.