Reggie Bullock

NBA

We all know the feeling of picking up a dud off the waiver wire during the playoffs.

It's almost like the Academy Awards giving anyone besides Chadwick Boseman the Best Actor award this year.

When your season is on the line, you want to be sure you're making an informed decision on a player who can take you over the top. Here are the hottest and coldest players you may want to keep in mind as you make your push for the fantasy playoffs.


Booms

Jakob Poeltl Center San Antonio Spurs

He might not look like David Robinson, but Jakob Poeltl can sure block shots like him. The young Austrian center has been a last line of defense that has rivaled Helms Deep. Poeltl averaged 3.8 blocks, 12.3 points on 67.9 percent shooting, 8.5 rebounds, 2.3 assists and 91.7 percent free-throw shooting in his last four games.

Shot blocking options on the waiver wire are thin, but Poeltl is a legit five-category contributor that's only rostered in 75 percent of Yahoo leagues. He is a must-add if he's available.

Kendrick Nunn Guard Miami Heat

Kendrick Nunn might not have a lot of chances to shine when the Heat are healthy, but when someone is hurt, he is more than capable of stepping up. With Miami missing one key rotation player or another, Nunn filled in and averaged 20.5 points on 52.6 percent shooting, 4.0 made three-pointers, 4.8 rebounds and 3.8 assists.

Still, with the Heat continuing to get healthier and building continuity, there might not be any more opportunities for Nunn to put up star numbers. However, if any guard goes down for an extended period of time, snatch him up with confidence.

Reggie Bullock Guard/Forward New York Knicks

Julius Randle is powering the Knicks' nine-game winning streak, but Reggie Bullock's deadeye from three-point range has provided the team and fantasy managers alike with a needed boost as well. In three games last week, the former North Carolina guard averaged 4.7 threes, 16.7 points on 51.5 percent shooting, and 3.3 assists.

The Knicks rank 28th in the NBA in three-point attempts, but Bullock has nearly a 20 percent share of those attempts per game. He won't win you many other categories, but if you need three-point shooting on your team, there are worse options than Bullock.

Isaiah Stewart Forward/Center Detroit Pistons

The Pistons have been a mess nearly the entire year, but tumultuous seasons give players a chance to take advantage of minutes that have to be played. Isaiah Stewart is the latest to make the best of a bad situation.

Even while averaging less than 24 minutes a game, Stewart averaged 11.5 points on 57.6 percent shooting, 10 rebounds, one steal and 1.8 blocks in the last four contests. The volatility of Stewart's minutes is a result of the team trying to decide on whether to play the veterans or give the young stars a chance to show what they can do.

Still, whether he's getting 20 minutes or 33 minutes, Stewart will get you numbers.

Busts

Montrezl Harrell Forward/Center Los Angeles Lakers

Through all of the injuries, losing streaks and uncertainty, Montrezl Harrell and his relentless energy off the bench has been a constant for the Lakers. Now, that may not be the case anymore.

Harrell was DNP'd via coach's decision in the last contest and only averaged eight points and four rebounds in the two games he played last week. Anthony Davis' return as well as the acquisition of Andre Drummond have halted any real impact he will have fantasy-wise for the remainder of the season and he needs to be dropped if he is on your squad.

Donte DiVincenzo Guard Milwaukee Bucks

Victims of circumstance will always happen in fantasy sports and DiVincenzo can't help he's playing with a perennial MVP candidate and two All-Stars. He's had stretches of good play, but he's hit a bit of a rough patch the past week, averaging seven points on 37.9 percent shooting, 1.3 made three-pointers, 5.5 rebounds and 2.8 assists in his last four games.

Even though he is starting, the Big Ragu's fantasy situation isn't going to change unless someone goes down. If you're in a pinch for a spot in your league's final, look elsewhere for help.

Aaron Gordon Forward Denver Nuggets

Gordon's contribution to the Nuggets may result in Denver winning its first championship, but his contributions to his fantasy managers has been limited. This past week, he only averaged, 9.5 points on 38.9 percent shooting, 1.3 made threes, 5.5 rebounds, 2.3 assists.

He may be the missing piece for Denver, but the days of him putting up numbers in five categories may be over.

Lou Williams Guard Atlanta Hawks

With Trae Young out, Hawks fans were hoping Lou Williams would provide a scoring boost. Luckily, he has and Atlanta has gone 2-1. Unluckily, he hasn't done much else in a fantasy sense.

Last week, Williams averaged 15.3 points, but he only shot 40.4 percent from the field, made 1.8 made threes, two rebounds and 3.5 assists. Williams is good if you need a scoring boost, especially with Young out, but be prepared to take L's in every other category.

Paul George grabbing a rebound in Game 5 of the Western Conference Finals

Barry Gossage/Getty Images

In a must win game for the Los Angeles Clippers, Paul George was finally able to look like the best player on the floor in a playoff game.

After a slow start, George poured it on in the second half on his way to a game high 41 points in Game 5. The performance elevated the Clippers over strong outings from the likes of Devin Booker and Chris Paul as L.A. outlasted Phoenix 116-102.

The Clippers don't have much time to bask in their win however as they have to turn around and play two more elimination games just to make it out of the West. The Suns jumped out to a 3-1 series lead as Los Angeles struggled to find their identity without Kawhi Leonard. If the Clippers are to stave off elimination any longer, George has to continue this level of play.

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Ben Simmons disappointed in the playoffs this season

Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

Following a Game 7 loss to the Atlanta Hawks, the Philadelphia 76ers and coach, Doc Rivers, are questioning if Ben Simmons is the right guy to be running their offense through moving forward.

Offense being the key word here.

Simmons is an all-world defender possessing the ability to guard virtually any opponent on the court from the perimeter to the rim. But it was his lack of offensive help throughout this playoff season that stood out beyond any accomplishments this year. Simmons joined Rudy Gobert as unanimous selections for the NBA's All-Defensive First Team this year and also finished fifth in the NBA in assists per game with 8.8 per contest.

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The Lakers looked lost in the Valley

Christian Petersen/Getty Images

The Phoenix Suns are just a win away from sending LeBron James home in the first round of the playoffs for the first time in the King's illustrious career.

After stating that "These shoulders were built for a reason," James referring to facing the challenge of taking on added responsibilities after Anthony Davis was ruled out for Game 5, the Lakers and LeBron disappointed in a big way Tuesday night. L.A. started off hot jumping out to a 10-5 lead behind a couple shots from James and a three from Davis' replacement Markieff Morris. But it didn't take long for the wheels to completely fall off for the defending champion Lakers as they spent most of the first half trying to remember how basketball works.

LeBron James LeBron looking on during Game 5Christian Petersen/Getty Images

Two numbers stick out in the Game 5 loss for the Lakers and those are 34.5 and 12. Los Angeles shot 34.5% from the field on Tuesday night and were minus 12 in turnover ratio. No matter who's on your team, if you can't shoot and you can't protect the ball, the outcome is already determined.

The Suns weren't simply beneficiaries of a poor performance however as the Suns put it on the Lakers early and often and they never let their foot off the pedal for 48 minutes. Phoenix ended with 15 more assists, had seven more combined steals and blocks, and outscored L.A. in the paint by 12 points. Devin Booker and Cameron Payne were spectacular and they seemed to hit big shots every time the Lakers appeared to threaten a comeback. Mikal Bridges was effective on both sides of the ball adding three steals and two blocks to help electrify his team with the defensive effort.


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