Welcome to the Week 23 Fantasy Basketball Waiver Wire Targets article. It’s finally playoffs, and if you were lucky enough to make it to this point, we have the waiver wire additions that can help you go all the way.
In Fantasy Basketball playoffs, being short-sighted can be beneficial. While your studs are irreplaceable, it might be worth it to grab a player filling in for an injured or fatigued starter for the week. Knockout fantasy playoffs are do-or-die.
The New Orleans Pelicans are featured pretty heavily in this week’s article, and with the constant change-ups in the Big Easy, why wouldn’t they be? With Anthony Davis shut down, the season is definitely done for the Pelicans, so there might be a few more changes to come.
In fact, only two of the five players on this list aren’t from the New Orleans Pelicans or the Brooklyn Nets. Naturally, teams who aren’t highly competitive will tinker with lineups more, meaning deeper rotation players can pop up as relevant on a week to week basis. There are plenty other teams in the same position as Brooklyn and New Orleans, so keep an eye out for teams like this.
Since it’s a particularly special week, we have provided a different layout with more players to choose from, so you can maximize your waiver wire moves. As always, the players included are owned in less than 50 percent of leagues.
Fantasy Basketball Waiver Wire Targets
Tim Frazier, SG, New Orleans Pelicans (16 Percent Owned)
Only in New Orleans can a player on a 10-Day Contract outshine the players who’ve been with the team all season. Injuries have decimated this team all season, and with a lack of bodies on the team, Frazier has been given his chance and continues to perform. It is always a risk with the Pelicans, but monitor who comes back from injury and when, because they could eat into Frazier’s time.
In Frazier’s first five games with the Pelicans, he is already averaging over twelve points. He actually averages around five assists and four rebounds during that timeframe as well. As you can see, Frazier didn’t take long to acclimate to his new surroundings and should only improve moving forward.
Sean Kilpatrick, SG, Brooklyn Nets (11.6 Percent)
Another NBA rags-to-riches story, Sean Kilpatrick has carved himself a niche as the go-to scoring guard from the Nets bench. It wasn’t long ago that Kilpatrick was playing in the D-League, although he was impressive at that level too. It’s not incredibly likely that anyone comes in the way of Kilpatrick’s court time, so he should be a safe play throughout playoffs.
Kilpatrick has scored below double digits only once in his last ten games, and is averaging over 17 points in his last three games. A good chunk of those points come from three-point shooting, so he can be looked to for help in those categories as well. Thats important, because he won’t give you much in terms of assists or rebounds, but those are big-time scoring numbers.
Omer Asik, C, New Orleans Pelicans (20.6 Percent)
Omer Asik has had a disappointing season overall, with very sporadic minutes and a lot of nights spent on the bench. He had trouble getting on the court with names like Anthony Davis and Ryan Anderson ahead of him. Now that Davis is being shut down, the center role belongs to Asik, and he is putting up numbers that warrant ownership in all leagues.
In his last three games in charge of the center spot, Asik is barely averaging over eight points. However, in that same time, he brought in around 13 assists. The numbers don’t support it yet, but in his career Asik has been a solid rim protector, and he should eventually elevate to respectable block stats as well.
Salah Mejri, C, Dallas Mavericks (6.2 Percent)
Salah Mejri has missed a few games in the last month, and even in his absence Zaza Pachulia was losing his grip on the starting center job. Sure enough, when Mejri returned he had a double-double off the bench, earning him a chance to start over Pachulia the next week, where he also had a double-double. The Mavericks aren’t solid on lineups just yet, but Mejri could be in for some good games in the near future.
It’s been a quick turnaround for Mejri, but in his only two games since returning, he has averaged 13 points and 13 rebounds. Not only has his scoring been a surprise, he’s been doing it in a very effective way, maximizing his field goal percentage. He also had six blocks in his first game back, and while that could be an anomaly, it also could not.
Shane Larkin, PG, Brooklyn Nets (2.7 Percent)
While other players see their stock go up as they get more court time due to injuries or fatigue, Shane Larkin earning his spot in the starting lineup the old fashioned way. Previous starter Donald Sloan has been disappointing, and Larkin was doing enough to earn the start in the Nets last game against the Cavaliers. In that game specifically, Larkin showed why he could be a good fantasy option going forward.
Larkin’s scoring stats had been sporadic throughout the season, just as his minutes were. However, he dished assists pretty consistently coming off the bench, averaging about four per night. However, in his last game as a starter, we saw Larkin dish nine assists and score 16 points. I think this could be the new normal for Larkin if he holds on to this starting role, making him a very interesting waiver wire option.
Amir Johnson, PF/C, Boston Celtics (26.1 Percent)
There is inherent risk when picking up a guy like Amir Johnson, because he hasn’t really seen a wealth of minutes all season. Somehow, he has still managed to make the most of his limited time, because Johnson is looking like a double-double machine. Throw in his blocks and increasing minutes, and he could be the playoff boost your team needs.
During Johnson’s five game streak, he has really done it all for the Celtics. He is averaging a double-double, with over eleven points and just over ten rebounds. More importantly, he has been notching two rebounds per game in a very consistent manner. He even has 2.5 assists, which isn’t too common for big men. He won’t be on the waiver wire for long, so pick him up if you need help with blocks and rebounds.
Toney Douglas, PG, New Orleans Pelicans (32.4 Percent)
Toney Douglas is another beneficiary of the injury crisis in New Orleans. While his opportunity was inevitable, I don’t think anyone was expecting the high level of output we’d see out of Douglas. Norris Cole could return and spoil the party, but New Orleans simply doesn’t have enough contributors to bench Douglas and forget about him. With that in mind, Douglas might be safe moving forward, no matter what happens.
Douglas has only scored single digits once in his last eight games, and is actually grabbing around 5.5 rebounds and five assists as well. His main attraction could be the steals, where he has averaged a solid two steals per game over those same eight matches. Its hard to find consistently high steals without sacrificing other categories, but Douglas might be the guy to do it.
Photo Credit: Keith Allison
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