NBA Fantasy Basketball Waiver Wire: Week 17

Kevin Reyes
NBA Analyst

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

JD Yonke
College Football Analyst

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After 17 weeks’ worth of fantasy league matchups, the NBA fantasy playoffs are underway.Unsure about what moves to make in the Waiver Wire? Don’t worry about that, we got you covered!

Weekly, JD and Kevin will be bringing you add and drop advice. Today, we bring you advice for the seventeenth week of the NBA fantasy basketball season, the first week of the 2020-21 NBA fantasy playoffs.

Shallow League Adds

Isaiah Stewart, Detroit Pistons (ESPN 35 percent, Yahoo! 60 percent) – Kevin

Expected or not, the youth movement has commenced in Detroit. Jerami Grant has had his occasional rests along with Cory Joseph, but the biggest beneficiary of the change in rotations has been Stewart. He’s averaging 25 minutes per game in his last 11 games, five of which have been starts. In those games, he’s averaging a 11/10 double-double on 65 percent from the field. Whether it’s off the bench or in the starting lineup because of rests, he’ll continue producing with his high energy. Saddiq Bey and Killian Hayes are also players to monitor, all for the same reasons.

Kevin Huerter, Atlanta Hawks (ESPN 70.7 percent, Yahoo! 66 percent) – JD

Huerter has had an up and down year, and he’s been difficult to trust over the long haul. Right now is a good time to pounce on him though, as he’s seeing huge minutes for the Hawks and shucking up threes. He’s always had a more fantasy-friendly game than real-life impact, so he’s a player I monitor closely. He chips in everywhere and hits threes and is playing 35~ minutes per night — what’s not to love?

Derrick White, San Antonio Spurs (ESPN 63.7 percent, Yahoo! 79 percent) – Kevin

Over his last seven games, White is averaging 18pts, 3reb and 5ast per game, on 43/41/83 shooting. A combination of the Spurs resting key players down the stretch of the season, continuing to develop their youth, and White getting into a groove after missing 24 of the first 32 games of the season. He’ll continue producing at a high level, whether it’s near 20 points or 15, shooting a good percentage, and will continue getting consistent minutes. You can count on him to be a main part in your fantasy playoffs.

Deep League Adds

Bruce Brown, Brooklyn Nets (ESPN 35 percent, Yahoo! 42 percent) – JD

Brown has spent most of this season filling the void for missing Nets players, and he’s done a good job of it. Lamarcus Aldridge called it a career and Brown has stepped up nicely. He’s averaged 13.8 points and 11 boards over his last four contests, and we can expect to see some more good statlines as he sees minutes in the upper 20s.

Oshae Brissett (ESPN 15.1 percent, Yahoo! 27 percent) and Goga Bitadze (ESPN 1.6 percent, Yahoo! 3 percent), Indiana Pacers – Kevin

With Myles Turner sustaining a season-ending injury, the center position is wide-open for anyone who’s willing to be half the defensive presence that Turner was all-season long, and be a solid offensive player to relieve some pressure in the frontcourt for Domantas Sabonis. Bitadze was set to be that guy, being one of the Pacers’ youngest players (21-years-old) and showing good upside all season long. He had 7pts, 9reb and 5blk in his first game substituting Myles in the starting lineup, but has since missed two games with an ankle injury. In those two games, the 6-foot-7 Brissett has stepped up at the center spot, with a 13/6 outing against the Spurs, and then a 23/12/3blk performance against the Thunder.

It will be interesting to see how the center minutes are sorted out when Bitadze is healthy. For now, bet on Brissett to continue getting the opportunities until further notice, and monitor Bitadze when he’s healthy.

Cole Anthony, Orlando Magic (ESPN 44.9 percent, Yahoo! 49 percent) – JD

Anthony has really started coming into his own for a Magic team in desperate need of a pulse. He’s provided that sign of life, with double digit outings in his last seven games. He’s a nice source of assists, too, with 30 total dimes in his last five contests. He should continue to see plenty of run as the Magic try to determine whether or not he is the point guard of their future. He’ll hurt your shooting percentages, but is an auto-add in 12-teamers.

Super Deep League Adds

Khem Birch, Toronto Raptors (ESPN 10.3 percent, Yahoo! 18 percent) – Kevin

Since arriving to the Raptors, Birch has averaged 8pts, 6reb and 1blk on 52 percent shooting from the field in 25 minutes (six games, four starts). And with Chris Boucher sustaining a knee injury, those minutes and production will have a larger opportunity to stay high with the added minutes he’ll get. And even when Boucher comes back, Birch found a good role next to Boucher. Target him now until Boucher returns, and then evaluate as you see fit.

Landry Shamet, Brooklyn Nets (ESPN 12.1 percent, Yahoo! 26 percent) – JD

I was a long-time Shamet stan as a Clippers fan. I realize now that my trust was a little bit misguided, but Shamet can shoot the hell out of the rock and belongs in this league. Young guys don’t just ice playoff games with a dagger three against the death star KD Warriors and go on to become nothing in this league. Shamet will rain threes while seeing 30~ minutes per night, but don’t expect a ton of ancillary production.

Trevor Ariza, Miami Heat (ESPN 5.1 percent, Yahoo! 12 percent) – Kevin

If you’re looking for consistent shooting, Ariza is the perfect player available in most Waiver Wires. He’s averaging 11pts and 6reb on 51/51/71 shooting in his last seven games for a Heat that’s still looking to avoid the Play-In, meaning they’re willing to play the veteran (30.5 minutes per game in those seven contests). He’ll continue getting the high leverage playing time until the season ends, and unless his percentages completely fall off, he’s a solid player to have.

Drops

Mason Plumlee, Detroit Pistons (ESPN 74.4 percent, Yahoo! 54 percent) – Kevin

Like I wrote with Stewart, the youth movement has arrived in Detroit, which doesn’t bode well for the 31-year-old Plumlee. He’s been rested in three of the last five Pistons games, and that trend will likely continue throughout what’s left of the season. When he does play he can be solid, as shown by his 13/16/7 outing against the Mavericks, but those chances to perform won’t come as often as you might need them in the postseason. Don’t hesitate in pressing the ‘drop’ button.

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.

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