Welcome to the Week 21 Fantasy Basketball Waiver Wire Targets article. This week’s group of targets offer stats that go deeper than simple points.
Injury, fatigue and returning players are making this time of the season chaotic. Older players are getting rested and their backups are putting in great performances on a single night basis. Barring an injury or a rotational mix-up, most of these one night blow-ups will be isolated events, but they are worth monitoring in case something does happen.
The big names to look for in injury reports include Brandon Knight and Jimmy Butler. Butler has had an amazing year, but has been a surprise scratch from a few games lately. Knight has been out far longer than most expected, but he is returning to a gutted Phoenix Suns team, meaning he could see an uptick in value.
It’s crunch time in fantasy basketball leagues, and it should always be considered when doing waiver wire moves. Some leagues may have already entered playoffs, making weekly waiver wire additions crucial.
All the players below are owned in 50 percent of leagues or less, though some are right on the border. That means grab these waiver wire additions quick while they are still available.
Fantasy Basketball Waiver Wire Targets
Ronnie Price, PG, Phoenix Suns (7.6 Percent Owned)
It could be a short time in the spotlight for Ronnie Price, with Brandon Knight returning to the court recently, but with the shake-up in Phoenix taking place, Price could stick around. Before their injuries, the Suns would often deploy Eric Bledsoe at PG and Brandon Knight at SG. While Knights natural position is at the point, he would likely spend time at both spots, meaning Price could still get valuable minutes. When he’s gotten the chance, Price has looked like a worthwhile waiver wire addition.
Price is putting up eleven points per game while grabbing close to three rebounds over his last four contests. During that same time, he is dishing over four assists. The most category that will profit most from adding Price will be steals, where he’s averaging over two steals per game over his last five. Pick up Price and monitor his use as Brandon Knight returns, because they might be able to coexist.
Iman Shumpert, SG/SF, Cleveland Cavaliers (4.9 Percent)
Injuries halted Shumpert’s 2015 campaign, and have slowed his 2016 return, but when healthy, Shumpert holds a lot of value. Picking him up now would put you ahead of the curve and give you an advantage for the playoffs, when Shumpert should be most effective. He is getting the minutes to be effective; over 30 in three of his last four in fact.
Shumpert is only averaging seven points in his last four games right now, but that may go up as he gets more consistent time. Meanwhile, Shumpert is averaging over seven rebounds, which is a stat buffed by his 16 rebound performance. Wait till he gets fully healthy and Shumpert could be a guard averaging close to a double-double, with solid defensive stats. Who doesn’t need that?
Hollis Thompson, SF, Philadelphia 76ers (4.1 Percent)
Consistency has been Hollis Thompson’s best attribute over the last few games, and that makes him an intriguing waiver wire option. A long list of injuries has forced Thompson into a bigger role, and he’s given the 76ers reason to keep him on the court long term. Young players are trendy in Philadelphia, and considering they have been out of the playoff picture since the beginning of the season, many of the young players are getting a chance.
Thompson is averaging over 13 points per game over his last three contests. In the same time, he’s bringing down around six rebounds. He doesn’t offer a lot in the assists or defensive categories, but his scoring and rebounding makes him a good addition to fill in for a while. Keep monitoring his playing time as players enter and leave the 76ers lineup.
Nikola Mirotic, SF/PF, Chicago Bulls (49 Percent)
Mirotic has returned from injury and it’s not easy to see how he will fit into the Bulls plans. Jimmy Butler is on his way to a full return, and Taj Gibson has already returned as well. Even so, Mirotic’s versatility makes him a good candidate for time at a few different positions. When on the court, Mirotic is a solid contributor, and he might not be available for long.
In his last three games since returning, Mirotic is averaging right around ten points. Meanwhile, his rebounds are sitting right at six during those three games. What’s impressive are his defensive stats, as you won’t find many players who average over one assist and one steal per game. His minutes could bounce around while players come back to the lineup, but he should level out to some solid playing time.
Andrew Bogut, C, Golden State Warriors (34.6 Percent)
Andrew Bogut’s stats are strange, due to a number of reasons. His time on the court is sporadic, as the Warriors opt for smaller lineups on some nights. Even when his time is consistent and heavy, he still gets the stats that not many centers claim, such as assists and steals. Even so, having a center who can contribute to some categories other than rebounds and points is valuable, and might tip those battles in your favor.
Averaging just over five points during his last four games might not catch your eye, but if you are targeting Bogut it’s for more than his points. He’s also grabbing near seven rebounds, and dishing out over four assists. You will be hard-pressed to find another center who could drop seven dimes per game, but games like that are normal for Bogut. Throw in close to two blocks and steals per game, and you have a plethora of categories that Bogut helps with.
- Week 23 Fantasy Basketball Waiver Wire Targets: Parts for Playoffs - March 26, 2016
- Week 22 Fantasy Basketball Waiver Wire Targets: Getting Lucky after St. Pats - March 19, 2016
- Week 21 Fantasy Basketball Waiver Wire Targets: Looking Past Points - March 12, 2016