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Waiver Wired

Top NBA pickups for Week 19

by Steve Alexander

Every single team plays two games this week, so I figured I’d go ahead and provide the weekly games-played schedule for the rest of the regular season. The Pistons and Heat have the most remaining games at 26, and the Nets, Clippers, Grizzlies, Pelicans, Magic, Suns, Spurs and Raptors have the fewest games, with 23 remaining. Once you work through the schedules, the Waiver Wire pickups and some detailed stat information follows. Follow me on Twitter here.

 

Remaining Games Played Schedule

 

26 Games

DET: 2-4-3-4-4-3-4-2

MIA: 2-4-4-3-4-3-4-2

 

25 Games

CHA: 2-4-3-3-4-3-4-2

DAL: 2-3-4-3-4-3-4-2

DEN: 2-3-3-3-4-4-4-2

GSW: 2-4-3-2-5-3-4-2

HOU: 2-4-3-4-4-3-4-1

LAL: 2-4-3-4-3-4-4-1

MIL: 2-4-4-3-4-3-4-1

MIN: 2-4-4-3-3-3-4-2

OKC: 2-4-3-4-3-4-3-2

POR: 2-4-3-3-3-4-4-2

SAC: 2-3-3-4-4-4-4-1

UTA: 2-3-3-4-4-3-4-1

 

24 Games

ATL: 2-4-4-3-3-3-4-1

BOS: 2-4-3-3-4-3-4-1

CHI: 2-4-4-3-3-3-3-2

CLE: 2-4-2-4-4-3-4-1

IND: 2-4-3-3-4-3-4-1

NYK: 2-3-4-3-4-2-4-2

PHI: 2-3-4-3-3-3-4-2

WAS: 2-3-3-4-4-4-3-1

 

23 Games

BRK: 2-4-3-4-2-3-4-1

LAC: 2-4-2-4-3-4-3-1

MEM: 2-4-3-2-3-4-3-2

NOP: 2-4-4-3-3-3-3-1

ORL: 2-4-3-3-2-4-4-1

PHX: 2-3-4-3-3-3-4-1

SAN: 2-3-3-3-4-3-4-1

TOR: 2-3-3-3-4-3-4-1

 

Point Guards

 

Collin Sexton Cavaliers 48 percent owned in Yahoo! leagues – While Sexton’s still not filling up stat sheets, he’s scoring at will and averaging 22.8 points, 3.8 rebounds, 3.8 assists, 0.6 steals and 2.6 3-pointers, shooting a respectable 44 percent over his last five games. There’s no reason the Cavs won’t keep letting him learn and go off the rest of the way.

 

Goran Dragic Heat 69% – Dragic should be back right after the break, and while I’m not sold that he’ll automatically replace Justise Winslow at point guard, chances are that it will happen. He’s averaging 15.3 points, 3.1 rebounds, 4.9 assists, 0.7 steals and 1.6 3-pointers on 41 percent shooting in just 14 games this season, meaning he’s not a guy I’d run to the waiver wire to grab. As for Winslow, I’d just hang onto him until we see how this plays out.

 

Kadeem Allen Knicks 9% - Allen has been rolling and is averaging 16.5 points, 3.0 rebounds, 6.3 assists, 1.5 steals and 1.3 3-pointers over his last four games, hitting 25-of-47 shots. Who knows how long coach David Fizdale will stick with him, but I’ve picked him up in a few leagues and am pretty into what he’s been doing.

 

Delon Wright Grizzlies 8% - Wright had 12 points, two rebounds, five assists, two steals, a block and two 3-pointers in 26 minutes on Wednesday. He’s a Mike Conley shutdown away from being a must-own player, but even with Conley healthy, Wright’s still a guy I’m interested in checking out the rest of the way now that he’s in Memphis.

 

Tyler Johnson Suns 28% - Johnson’s played three games for the Suns and they’ve all been really disappointing, with highs of nine points, five rebounds and four assists. The minutes are there, and chances are he figures it out and starts producing, but I wasn’t high on him when he landed in Phoenix and so far, he’s done more harm than good to fantasy lineups.  But he’s still worth a look.

 

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Shooting Guards

 

Caris LeVert Nets 73% – LeVert’s (ankle) been back for three games and had 12 points, seven boards, nine assists, a block and two 3-pointer son 5-of-14 shooting in his last one on Wednesday. He may not ever get back to the value he offered before he got hurt this season, but he’s worth grabbing if he’s still available in one of your leagues.

 

Allen Crabbe Nets 38% - Crabbe has been rolling over his last three games, averaging 18.3 points, 3.7 rebounds, and 4.3 3-pointers over them. He’s not going to stuff the stat sheet each night, but if you need a scorer who bombs 3-pointers, he looks like your guy.

 

Luke Kennard Pistons 5% - With Reggie Bullock in Laker land, Kennard is now the starting shooting guard in Detroit, who happens to have one of the better, if not the best, remaining schedules out there. He’s averaging 12.7 points, 3.0 rebounds, 3.3 assists, and 2.7 3-pointers over his last three games. He’s not doing enough stealing for my tastes right now, but I still think there’s a decent chance he figures things out and takes off over Detroit’s remaining 26 games. I’m picking him up where I can.

 

Avery Bradley Grizzlies 17% - Bradley got off to an inauspicious start in Memphis, hitting 3-of-10 shots for eight points and two assists, mirroring his stat lines for most the season. But then went crazy last Tuesday with 33 points, six rebounds, six assists, a steal and three 3-pointers on 15-of-21 shooting, and played well again on Wednesday with 15 points, five assists, a steal and a 3-pointer in 29 minutes. I don’t trust Bradley at all, and cut him just before his mini explosion, but I’ve picked him back up, just in case those last two games for Memphis weren’t a fluke. If anything, the Grizzlies should be playing their youth and ignoring Bradley, but so far, that hasn’t happened.

 

Kevin Huerter Hawks 28% – Huerter laid a zero-point egg on Thursday against the Knicks, and wasn’t good last Tuesday vs. the Lakers, either, but has generally played very well this season when healthy. He’s averaging 9.3 points, 3.2 rebounds, 2.8 assists, 0.9 steals and 1.8 3-pointers on the season, and peaked in January, averaging 12.7 points, 3.8 rebounds, 3.8 assists, 1.3 steals and 2.2 3-pointers in 11 games. Hopefully he stays healthy, avoids the rookie wall, and lights it up for the Hawks final 24 games of the season.

 

Small Forwards

 

Jonathan Isaac Magic 72% – If you didn’t grab Isaac before now, it’s probably too late. This is a 'just-in-case' reminder that he’s averaging 15.8 points, 5.6 rebounds, 1.0 steals, 2.8 blocks and 2.2 3-pointers on 51% shooting over his last five. And he should only get better. Congratulations if you held onto him through the storm clouds. It should be all sunshine and rainbows going forward.

 

Kenrich Williams Pelicans 36% – Perhaps the most exciting thing about Williams is that he’s now played at least 30 minutes in nine straight games. He’s also scored in double digits in five of those games, and hit double digits in rebounds in two of his last three. He’s averaging 10.3 points, 8.7 rebounds, 3.3 assists, 0.6 steals, 0.9 blocks and 1.7 3-pointers on 43 percent shooting in his seven February games. He’s a really good rebounder, and solid scorer, and shouldn’t hurt you anywhere. And with Anthony Davis’ situation completely up in the air, I like Williams’ chances of being worth owning the rest of the way, which not many of us saw coming.

 

Jabari Parker Wizards 62% - Parker’s off to an interesting start in Washington, nearly triple-doubling in his debut on Feb. 8, putting up a big line on Feb. 9, completely disappearing and failing to even score on Feb. 11, and then bouncing back with 22 points, nine boards, a steal and a 3-pointer on Feb. 13. That one big dud scared some people off, but the bottom line is that he should be owned across the fantasy landscape.

 

Jake Layman Blazers 14% - Layman’s ownership is lower than the guys listed below him, but it seems to me he should be owned in about 50 percent of the leagues out there, as opposed to the 14 percent he’s actually owned in right now. He’s averaging 16.2 points, 3.6 rebounds, 1.4 assists, 0.8 steals, 0.8 blocks and 1.8 3-pointers on 64 percent shooting in 29 minutes per game over his last five. And while the arrival of Rodney Hood in Portland is a little concerning, Layman looks like the better basketball player to me. Layman and Kennard are two of my favorite pickups right now.

 

Cedi Osman Cavaliers 35% - Osman’s been back from his ankle injury for one game, and looked good in it, finishing with 13 points, five rebounds, three assists and two 3-pointers in 25 minutes. He fizzled at the Rising Stars Game over All-Star Weekend, hitting 1-of-6 shots in 15 minutes, but that doesn’t matter. Osman was hot before his injury, and should be ready to start rolling again after the break. He’s not a must-own player, but he’s worth a shot in most leagues.

 

Mikal Bridges Suns 38% - Bridges has been a really intriguing player all season, but has yet to become reliable for fantasy owners. He’s averaging 9.8 points, 4.2 rebounds, 3.2 assists, 2.2 steals and 1.2 3-pointers over his last five, but is shooting just 37 percent. The minutes have been there all year and there’s still a chance for a full breakout, but it will probably only happen if the Suns start shutting guys like Devin Booker down.

 

Dorian Finney-Smith Mavs 7% - DFS is getting every opportunity for success lately, but he’s yet to really walk through the doors that have been opened. His shot has been broken for a couple games, but he did entice us with a 15 & 10 double-double on Feb. 6. He’s getting almost 32 minutes a night right now, but is averaging just 9.6 points, 6.4 rebounds, 2.0 assists, 1.2 steals and 1.2 3-pointers on 43 percent shooting. And if you take out the double-double when he shot 7-of-11, those numbers take a big hit. I still like his game and he should keep starting and playing a big role for the Mavs, giving him the potential for a breakout sometime in the next few weeks.

 

Power Forwards

 

Larry Nance Cavaliers 77% – Nance probably isn’t available in your league. This is just a reminder that if he is, he shouldn’t be. Thank you.

 

Bobby Portis Wizards 66% - Portis went crazy with 30 points on 12-of-18 shooting in his Wizards debut on Feb. 8 and has scored in double figures in all four of his games with his new team. There’s no reason to think he won’t keep it going for the rest of the season, and he’s another player that should be owned everywhere.

 

Josh Jackson Suns 55% – Jackson was in foul trouble and only lasted 15 minutes on Wednesday, giving his owners a feeling a dissatisfaction heading into the break. But he was cruising before that one and is still averaging 19.4 points, 4.4 rebounds, 3.2 assists, 1.6 steals, 0.6 blocks and 1.0 3-pointers on 48 percent shooting over his last five games. It’s a little concerning that T.J. Warren (ankle) sounds like he’s ready to go after the break, but I’ve still got a good feeling about Jackson finishing up the season on a high note after another slow start earlier in the year. And speaking of Warren, he’s probably worth a stash if he’s available in your league.

 

Jeff Green Wizards 38% - Green was slowed by a hip injury recently, but bounced back with 23 points, seven rebounds, two assists, a steal and four 3-pointers on Wednesday. I’m still not sure how he’s done it, but Green’s held fantasy value for most of the season. The arrival of Portis and Parker is a bit concerning, but so far, they haven’t really slowed Green down much at all. The only thing that has is the hip injury. It still feels like the clock is ticking on his value with the new arrivals in Washington, but you might as well ride him until the wheels fall off.

 

Maxi Kleber Mavs 9% - Kleber’s game log is boring. There’s nothing eye-popping about it, but it’s also oddly consistent. He’s scored either 11 or nine points in each of his last five games. He’s hit exactly four field goals in four straight, he’s played between 23 and 29 minutes in his last five, he’s hit at least one 3-pointer in each of them. The five-game averages come in at 10.2 points, 4.0 rebounds, 1.0 assists, 0.6 steals, 0.6 blocks and 1.4 3-pointers on 50 percent shooting. As long as he’s getting 25 minutes a night, he should offer some sneaky fantasy value, especially in deeper leagues.

 

Davis Bertans Spurs 13% - This guy has only missed six games this season and continues to be a great source of 3-pointers. His misses included four games for personal reasons and two for a concussion, so it seems that he might be impervious to random resting from coach Gregg Popovich. He’s also a bit hot, with last five-game averages of 10.6 points, 3.8 rebounds, 1.2 assists, 0.6 steals, 0.8 blocks and 2.2 3-pointers on 47 percent shooting. He’s getting 28-plus minutes a night and is worth a look on four-game weeks, especially if you need 3-pointers.

 

Marquese Chriss Cavaliers 8% - One of the most frustrating fantasy puzzles over the last few years has finally landed in Cleveland, which just might be a match made in heaven. The team’s going nowhere, Kevin Love’s still not ready for huge minutes (and the Cavs don’t really need to run him out there for massive minutes), and Chriss is suddenly a thing again in fantasyland. He had 23 points, seven boards, two steals and three 3-pointers just before the break, and is averaging 14.3 points, 6.3 rebounds, 1.0 assists, 1.0 steals and 2.3 3-pointers in his four games in Cleveland. He’s played between 22 and 28 minutes in all four of those games, and just might be able to keep it going. I don’t trust him, at all, but he’s played well enough in his short time in Cleveland to be worth a flier going forward. Especially if you’re in a deep league with a thin wire. He hasn’t blocked a shot yet for his new team, but he can do that too. Just remember that he’s still Marquese Chriss and has a better chance of breaking your heart than helping you win a fantasy championship.

 

Centers

 

Mitchell Robinson Knicks 47% – The shot-blocking specialist is finally getting it done consistently in New York, averaging 11.2 points, 8.2 rebounds, 0.8 steals and 3.2 blocks over his last five games, shooting 70 percent from the field and 63 percent from the line. The Knicks have no choice but to try to let him figure things out the rest of the way, and he looks like he’s ready to explode. He should be owned everywhere at this point, and it’s just too bad that DeAndre Jordan is now in NYC.

 

Cody Zeller Hornets 28% - Zeller dodged a Marc Gasol bullet with the big man was shipped to Toronto instead of Charlotte, and has responded by averaging 11.2 points, 9.6 rebounds, 2.2 assists, 1.0 steals and 0.6 blocks on 53 percent shooting over his last five games. He’s getting 28 minutes a night and is the only center you need to think about owning in Charlotte. He just might be the most consistent center option on this list.

 

Jahlil Okafor Pelicans 43% – Anthony Davis (shoulder) should play in the All-Star Game on Sunday, but what his role will be down the stretch is anyone’s guess. If Davis plays a ton and stays healthy, Okafor will likely be a roller coaster. If the Pels eventually just shut AD down, Okafor would turn back into a beast. We just don’t know how or where this saga is going to end up. Okafor had 12 points and eight boards in 23 minutes on Thursday before the break, and played 29 minutes last Tuesday. He’s not a must-start player, but it makes sense to stash him until we see how the Davis circus plays out.

 

Ivica Zubac Clippers 33% - Zubac played 23 minutes in his Clippers debut on Feb. 9 and had 12 points, nine boards and three blocks, followed that up with three points and one rebound in 15 minutes on Feb. 11, and then bounced back with 16 points, seven boards and a block on Feb. 13. Montrezl Harrell is still the center of choice for the Clippers, but Zubac has looked pretty good in his short stint, and is worth grabbing if you need a big man.

 

Dwight Powell Mavs 19% – Powell is coming off the bench and getting about 26 minutes a night in Dallas, averaging 10.8 points, 7.2 rebounds, 1.4 assists, 0.6 steals, 0.4 blocks and 0.8 3-pointers on 57 percent shooting over his last five games. He should be able to offer some low-end value the rest of the way with DeAndre Jordan now in New York.

 

Mason Plumlee Nuggets 19% - Plumlee was fun to own when Paul Millsap (ankle) was hurting, but Millsap is back and Nikola Jokic is a monster. Plumlee’s averaging 13.6 points, 8.0 rebounds, 3.6 assists, 1.0 steals and 1.2 blocks over his last five, but most of his big games happened when Millsap was out. He still has a chance to make some noise going forward and had eight points, seven boards, three assists and a steal in 22 minutes on Feb. 13, with Millsap back in the lineup. He’s a borderline player to own now that Millsap’s healthy, but if he goes down again, Plumlee will become a must-add player again. 

Steve Alexander
Steve "Dr. A" Alexander is the senior editor for the NBA for Rotoworld.com and a contributor to NBCSports.com. The 2017-18 NBA season marks (at least) his 16th year of covering fantasy hoops for Rotoworld. Follow him on Twitter - @Docktora.