Welcome to the Week 18 Fantasy Basketball Waiver Wire Targets article. This week has a few familiar waiver wire targets and some players finding new homes after the NBA trade deadline action.
The trade deadline came and went without creating too much of a ripple. While no big names were moved, there were plenty of important players who will find new roles on new teams while leaving voids for others to fill on their previous teams.
The biggest name moved at the deadline was Markieff Morris, who was dealt to the Washington Wizards. Brandon Jennings and Ersan Ilyasova have been sent to Orlando for Tobias Harris, who figures to have a big role in the Piston’s lineup. The Clippers grabbed Jeff Greene, and while he helps that team tremendously, his fantasy value may only rise a little.
In a lot of cases, new arrivals from trades take some time to get adjusted, meaning there won’t always be an immediate impact. Remember that the players involved in the trades aren’t the only ones affected, and many of the backups or role players behind them could see more time.
We have a new layout for the waiver wire, where we split up the waiver wire targets by categories to help you find which ones you need. The players included will still be available in the majority of Fantasy Basketball leagues.
Fantasy Basketball Waiver Wire Targets
Courtney Lee, SG, Charlotte Hornets (30 Percent Owned)
Courtney Lee was sent to the Hornets via an early trade with the Grizzlies. He had a limited role in Memphis, but still averaged double digits in scoring. The Hornets have decent depth on the wing when healthy, but for the time being, Lee could slot into the SG position right away.
Lee was already averaging almost 30 minutes per game with the Grizzlies, and will see at least that amount in Charlotte. He is a strictly scoring-oriented guard, and in a Hornets rotation that likes to shoot three pointers, it’s not hard to imagine his ten point per game average jumping up a bit.
Brandon Jennings, PG, Orlando Magic (31.6 Percent)
Brandon Jennings may have been one of the most important trade pieces to move this deadline day. The former All-Star has seen his career slowed down by injury, but has put in a few decent performances with the Pistons before being sent to Orlando. If he returns to his previous skill levels and athleticism, he could be the starting PG soon.
Stats won’t totally do Jennings justice because he has struggled to find time on the court this season. He has a few nights scoring around 20 points, and they usually correspond with more minutes. The Magic might take the leash off Jennings, meaning he could see significant minutes and odds are that he will produce.
Norris Cole, PG, New Orleans Pelicans (46.9 Percent)
Norris Cole has featured on this article recently, but he warranted a second appearance as his situation changed. He started out as a high-upside fill-in for Tyreke Evans as Evans worked his way back from injury, but now that Evans has been ruled out for the rest of the season, it will be the Norris Cole Show. That hesitation of Evans coming back and taking Cole’s minutes might have kept him available in most leagues, so it may not last long.
Subtracting his one game with only 13 minutes played, Cole is averaging over six rebounds per game. He scores as well, notching 16 points during those same games. Cole is a rare waiver wire target where you can find great production and not have to worry about it only being temporary.
Bobby Portis, PF, Chicago Bulls (17.1 Percent)
The Bulls have injury problems all throughout their roster, and many of the remaining players require time off occasionally due to fatigue or age. This makes it an interesting situation for a few of the players who come off the bench most nights, including Bobby Portis. Portis has shown us a few times during the season that he can play, and maybe the roster attrition in Chicago will help him find more time.
Portis is averaging over seven rebounds for his last five games. What’s remarkable is that he is actually averaging over four offensive rebounds in the same time, meaning he has been working the offensive glass very heavily. This translates to a lot of second chance buckets, which would explain why he is scoring almost eleven points per game during that time.
Brandon Wright, PF, Memphis Grizzlies (9.4 Percent)
Brandon Wright is returning from injury just in time for the Grizzlies, who lost their star big man Marc Gasol recently. That means that Brandon Wright will come back to what seems like a starting role. Memphis would prefer not to move Zach Randolph to the center position, so it looks like Wright’s only real competition will be Ryan Hollins.
Before his injury in November, Wright was averaging around four rebounds per game, but in very limited time. He was getting less than 20 minutes during that time, but his minutes might double after he returns. He was getting eight points during that time as well, meaning more minutes might make him a good double-double candidate as well. Grab Wright while he is still available because he looks to make an immediate splash after returning.
Robert Covington, PF/SF, Philadelphia 76ers (51.9 Percent)
You probably don’t associate the Philadelphia 76ers with defense, but there are two players representing Philly in the defensive categories. Robert Covington could be put in a variety of categories given his last few performances, but steals are hard to come by and tough to predict and he seems to have a knack for it.
His minutes are sporadic, but Covington is averaging around two steals per game over the last few weeks. Remember that Covington also had a run earlier in the season where he recorded six, eight, and seven steals in consecutive games. He has the ability to decide weekly matchups with his steals and should be looked at by anyone struggling in that tough category.
Jerami Grant, SF/PF, Philadelphia 76ers (18.3 Percent)
Finding blocks from players who aren’t centers or power forwards is a bonus because that gives you a real statistical advantage for a tough category. Jerami Grant might fit the bill for one of these kinds of players, and he should be available in the vast majority of leagues.
Grant is averaging 2.5 blocks over his last five games, with two separate four block games. He contributes in rebounds and assists as well, and his scoring is sufficient. These aren’t typical stats for a small forward, and Grant should be good value for your team.
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- Week 21 Fantasy Basketball Waiver Wire Targets: Looking Past Points - March 12, 2016