Who needs an Avengers incorporated ESPN broadcast when the real nerd-sports crossover is right here?
Welcome to the final round of the basketball fantasy season. You're either in the championship or you've decided that you wanted to set your lineups early and actually enjoy watching basketball.
In any case, you need to fill your rosters and we have the players you need to look out for on those waiver wires.
Oshae Brissett Guard/Forward Indiana Pacers
You'd be excused for not knowing who Oshae Brissett was before this week. He went undrafted in the 2019 NBA Draft and started his professional career in the NBA G League. Now, he is making a name for himself in Indianapolis.
Domantas Sabonis posts a first-half triple-double in the @Pacers victory! Sabonis: 26 PTS, 19 REB, 14 AST Doug McD… https://t.co/zt6NWnvi3L— NBA (@NBA) 1619924840.0
Last week, the former Syracuse forward averaged 16 points, made three three-pointers, 10.7 rebounds, 1.3 steals and four blocks. With multiple Pacers players fighting injuries, Brissett should have plenty of opportunities to prove he can be a consistent contributor in the final stretch of the NBA season.
Ricky Rubio Point Guard Minnesota Timberwolves
Much like the Timberwolves, it has been an objectively bad statistical year for the Rubio. Also much like the Timberwolves, even he can have a span of success. Rubio didn't provide a ton in any category this past week, but he did average a solid 10.5 points, 1.8 made threes, four rebounds, 5.3 assists, 2.8 steals and 0.8 turnovers.
Anthony Edwards says he's going to Spain with Ricky Rubio and Juancho Hernangomez this summer. Says he's gonna lea… https://t.co/4tDF6e9KgC— Dane Moore (@Dane Moore) 1620270912.0
Rubio may have had a good week, but even his good week isn't much in terms of massive contributions. He may be high on last week's rankings, but he isn't worth the pick-up unless you're really desperate for steals and assists.
Isaiah Stewart Forward/Center Detroit Pistons
Stewart goes back-to-back on the list despite his scoring numbers dropping. In three games last week, Stewart scored 11 points on 53.8 percent shooting, 7.7 rebounds, one steal and 3.3 blocks.
While minutes volatility is still a fear with any Pistons player, Stewart has shown that he can contribute in four or more categories for another week. Pick him up for the rest of the season if you can.
Saddiq Bey Small Forward Detroit Pistons
Bey may still be figuring out how to be successful in the league, but at least he can score like a seasoned vet. In three games last week, he averaged 17 points, four made threes, 7.7 rebounds and 1.3 steals.
Most games with 5+ threes by a rookie in NBA history: 11 — Saddiq Bey 9 — Steph Curry 9 — Allen Iverson https://t.co/2XWEHxrCeo— StatMuse (@StatMuse) 1620090686.0
He's still a liability in terms of accuracy (39.5 percent from the field last week), but if you need scoring and rebounding, there aren't a ton of other options on the waiver.
Dillon Brooks Guard/Forward Memphis Grizzlies
The former Duck has developed into a consistent scorer for the Memphis Grizzlies. Unfortunately for fantasy owners, he doesn't provide much else. Last week, he averaged 17.5 points, but only managed to average 1.8 made threes, 1.5 rebounds, 1.5 assists and 0.8 steals.
Dillon Brooks getting cooked always cleanses the soul https://t.co/sOHc8CzrWa— 𝗧𝘆 𝗝𝗮𝗴𝗲𝗿 (@𝗧𝘆 𝗝𝗮𝗴𝗲𝗿) 1620103888.0
He may not provide much in fantasy, but Memphis is fighting hard to stay in the playoff picture. Brooks will have plenty of chances to keep up his scoring numbers so if that's something you require, he is a great option to give you a boost.
Duncan Robinson Guard/Forward Miami Heat
Shooters in fantasy basketball are DCEU movies: Sure, you'll get a Snyder cut of "Justice League" or "Wonder Woman," but you have to wade through the other travesties to really appreciate them. Duncan Robinson's last week was "Batman vs. Superman: Dawn of Justice"-esque.
Fastest to 500 3's, NBA history (regular-season games): 1. Duncan Robinson, 152 2. Luka Doncic, 187 3. Damian Lill… https://t.co/6AUVdWYImI— Tim Reynolds (@Tim Reynolds) 1619918867.0
In four games, Robinson averaged three made three-pointers but only 10.3 points, 2.0 rebounds and 0.8 assists. People aren't picking up Robinson for his other stats, but if he's not scoring or shooting at an elite level, he's a tough pickup at best.
Danilo Gallinari Forward Atlanta Hawks
Gallinari's up and down year hit another valley last week when he averaged 10.3 points on 37.9 percent shooting, 1.3 made threes, 3.3 rebounds and 1.3 assists.
With Kevin Huerter and Bodgan Bogdanovic to compete with for minutes, anything consistent from the Italian baller can't be counted on moving forward.
Delon Wright Guard/Forward Sacramento Kings
Wright was making the most of his minutes in Detroit but since he was traded to Sacramento, his lack of opportunity has been frustrating for anyone who manages him. In four games last week, he averaged 10 points, one made three, 3.3 assists and 1.3 steals.
If you are holding out hope that Wright will step up in the finals weeks of the season, I have a monorail I think you'd be interested in.
Booms, Busts, Battlestar Galactica: NBA Week 18
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.
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.
Kendrick Nunn since the Oladipo injury: 16.1 PPG on 51% shooting (42% from three) in 9 games— 𝙃𝙀𝘼𝙏 𝙉𝘼𝙏𝙄𝙊𝙉 (@𝙃𝙀𝘼𝙏 𝙉𝘼𝙏𝙄𝙊𝙉) 1619364730.0
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.
https://t.co/wWGNmWnCY9’s updated rookie ladder: 1) Anthony Edwards 2) Jae’Sean Tate 3) Saddiq Bey 4) Tyrese Ha… https://t.co/GHzX2wu0r9— NBA Central (@NBA Central) 1619022816.0
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.
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.
Frank Vogel after Montrezl Harrell played just 13 minutes against Utah on Monday: "We're evolving as a team ... and… https://t.co/XFgAsnrGG9— Bill Oram (@Bill Oram) 1619314995.0
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.
No Aaron Gordon at all in the 4th or OT without Murray or Morris is extremely questionable.— T.J. McBride (@T.J. McBride) 1618889567.0
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.
Booms, Busts, Battlestar Galactica: NBA Week 17
Congratulations! You made it to the end of a fantasy basketball season full of injuries, health and safety protocols, and postponed games. Now what?
Spoiler alert: It isn't less stress. You can't enjoy the new Shang Chi in peace like a normal nerd. Playoff participants still need to set lineups, and consolation participants need to avoid punishments.
So here are some players on the waiver you need (or need to avoid) to help you in the final stages of the fantasy year.
Luguentz Dort Guard/Forward Oklahoma City Thunder
Dort hasn't taken the massive leap many hoped after his 30-point performance in the playoffs, but he is still improving and showed what he is capable of this past week. In his last three games, the former Arizona State Sun Devil is averaging 32.3 points on 51.5 percent shooting, 5.0 made threes, 5.7 rebounds and 2.3 steals a game.
Luguentz Dort tonight: 42 points 7 rebounds 3 assists 4 steals 16/31 FG 7/11 3PT https://t.co/57wxR8help— NBA Central (@NBA Central) 1618370599.0
Shai Gilgeous-Alexander is already the future of the Thunder, but if Dort continues to perform at this level, he can be another building block for the team as well.
Nerlens Noel Forward/Center New York Knicks
For all of the conversation around Ben Simmons and Rudy Gobert being Defensive Player of Year, it's Nerlens Noel who holds the best individual defensive rating in the NBA. Normally, that hasn't translated into fantasy relevance this season, but he gave fantasy managers some help this past week.
Noel put up 8.0 points on 80 percent shooting, 9.0 rebounds, 1.3 steals and 2.3 blocks per game in his last three contests. If you need a boost in field goal percentage and defensive stats, there are few better specialists than him.
Kevin Huerter Guard/Forward Atlanta Hawks
It's been tough for Huerter to shine with so much competition in Atlanta, but he showed what he can do with decent minutes. Red Velvet showed that smooth shooting stroke, averaging 18.7 points on 59.5 percent shooting, 3.3 made threes, 5.0 rebounds, 3.7 assists and 1.3 steals in three games.
DIMEEEE🔥 https://t.co/TNBFCt3ADx— Kevin Huerter (@Kevin Huerter) 1618369324.0
With Danilo Gallinari still fighting a foot injury, Cam Reddish still weeks away from reevaluation and De'Andre Hunter out, Huerter will continue to have plenty of chances to put up big numbers.
Jae'Sean Tate Guard/Forward Houston Rockets
Tate's journey to the NBA has taken him from the NBA Summer League to Belgium to Australia and back. Now, he is putting up some numbers in the Association and showing he belongs in the league.
In his last four games, Tate averaged 14 points on 66.7 percent shooting, 5.8 rebounds, 5.0 assists, 2.0 steals and 1.0 block. He is stuffing the stat sheet for Houston and he can stuff it for you if you pick him up right now.
R.J. Barrett Guard/Forward New York Knicks
The Knicks have been a roll lately, but Barrett has had a rough time finding the same consistent success. He's still been able to score (13.8 points this past week), but he's only shooting 37 percent from the field, 4.8 rebounds and 2.0 assists in the last four games.
On March 31st, Anthony Edwards called out RJ Barrett's (in)ability to close games. Here's what happened this week… https://t.co/aRSx3qnTNe— Rob Perez (@Rob Perez) 1618197497.0
Barrett still averaged nearly 36 minutes in that same stretch so he is still getting plenty of runway to take off. But with such minimal contributions in anything other than scoring, it may be time to cut him in favor of a more versatile option.
Eric Bledsoe Guard New Orleans Pelicans
Bledsoe has been a fantasy roller coaster this season, but the valleys have been more consistent than the peaks. In his last four games, the Kentucky Wildcat alum averaged 12.3 points on 36.4 percent shooting, one made three-pointer, 3.5 rebounds and 2.5 assists, a far cry from what he has produced his last few seasons in the NBA.
Despite averaging over 30 minutes a game, there are plenty of streaming options that will be better for your mental health in the playoffs. Any remaining Bledsoe managers should feel free to drop him.
Lauri Markkanen Forward/Center Chicago Bulls
Many fantasy managers were hoping that Markkanen's season would get back on track after the trade deadline, only to be greeted with even worse stat lines as his minutes continue to evaporate. In his last four games, he's only scored 6.3 points on 32.1 percent shooting, 1.5 made threes, 4.8 rebounds and 1.5 assists.
If Lauri Markkanen is done for night, this will be back-to-back games with just 4 FGAs. Very limited role for him a… https://t.co/EJiCce1X91— K.C. Johnson (@K.C. Johnson) 1618193161.0
It seems the Bulls are hellbent on limiting Markkanen as much as possible with restricted free agency on the horizon in the offseason. This means his value as a fantasy asset is pretty over. Feel free to drop him without regret
Coby White Guard Chicago Bulls
Markkanen isn't the only Bull struggling in this critical time for fantasy managers. Coby White has been a victim of lineup volatility, finding himself playing 12 minutes one game and 33 minutes another. This week, he has averaged 10.8 points on 33.3 percent shooting, 2.3 made threes, 3.0 rebounds and 4.5 assists per game as a result.
White's outlook is slightly better than Markkanen's as the former has filled in as a starter since Zach LaVine has entered the health and safety protocol. For this week at least, White has a better shot at producing decent playoff numbers if you're desperate.
Booms, Busts, and Battlestar Galactica: NBA Week 16
For many managers, their playoff prospects are dark and hot as hell heading into the final week of the fantasy basketball regular season.
But before you can compete to be grand champ, you need to stop, drop, shut your duds down and open up the waiver wire for your last gasp this regular season. Here are some names you should be looking for to give you that push you need.
Rest in peace, DMX.
Kyle Anderson Forward Memphis Grizzlies
The former UCLA star might have taken the tale of the tortoise and the hare a little too seriously, but the "slow and steady" mantra has given him a successful NBA career and impressive fantasy numbers. For the past week, Slow Mo has averaged 16.3 points on 48.9 percent shooting, seven rebounds, 4.8 assists, 2.3 made threes, two steals and one turnover a game.
Ja and Kyle Anderson having too much fun out there 😳 Off-the-glass oop 🔥 https://t.co/lbCrd3edzz— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) 1617847190.0
Anderson has been a consistent contributor throughout the season and it's tough to see his numbers take a hit even when Jaren Jackson Jr. returns at the end of the month. If you haven't rostered him yet, it would be a huge mistake.
Jalen McDaniels Forward/Center Charlotte Hornets
Staying on the court has been a problem for McDaniels this season, but the absence of Gordon Hayward has forced the Hornets to look for other options on the court and the second-year player has been one of the beneficiaries. In the last three games, the San Diego State product averaged 16.3 points on 62.5 percent shooting, two made threes, five rebounds and 3.3 assists. He even threw in 1.3 steals and one block per game.
JALEN MCDANIELS. THROW IT DOWN. (via @hornets) https://t.co/j6vTaidh4w— SLAM (@SLAM) 1618022175.0
Hayward is expected to be out for at least three more weeks. Until he's back, expect McDaniels to continue his more proactive approach on this team.
Miles Bridges Forward Charlotte Hornets
McDaniels isn't the only one who has taken advantage of Hayward's injury. Bridges has cranked his game up a notch, averaging 21.7 points on 60.5 percent shooting, three made threes, six rebounds and one steal in the last three games. He may have even had the dunk of the year, posterizing Clint Capela on Sunday.
😤 MILES BRIDGES posterizes Capela! 😂 LaMelo’s reaction. https://t.co/y8kAanwhgq— Ballislife.com (@Ballislife.com) 1618168845.0
Until Hayward is back, Bridges will get a lot more freedom to operate and that means more fantasy contribution in the coming weeks.
Reggie Jackson Guard Los Angeles Clippers
Depth has not been a problem for the Clippers the last few seasons, but it has been trouble for fantasy managers looking for consistent contributors on that team. Rest and injuries haven't slowed the Clippers' winning ways this week because Reggie Jackson stepped up for them and gives fantasy participants a short-term high performer to lean on for the week.
In a week where Patrick Beverley, Rajon Rondo and Paul George missed time, Jackson thrived, averaging 17.3 points on 61 percent shooting, three made threes, 4.8 assists, and 1.3 turnovers in four games.
With Beverley out with a fractured hand and Rondo/George/Kawhi undoubtedly taking games off to save themselves for the playoffs, Jackson may not be a bad desperation option in standard fantasy and worth tracking in daily fantasy formats.
Tim Hardwaway Jr Guard/Forward Dallas Mavericks
The Dallas Mavericks' recent success has not translated into numbers for all players. Tim Hardaway Jr. is one of them.
The Michigan product averaged 12 points on 37.5 percent shooting, 3.5 rebounds and 1.8 assists in four games last week. He did make two three-pointers per game in that span, but that is like threading a silver lining on a used rag.
Tim Hardaway Jr. missed the 3, so it won't be a highlight, but Luka just threw a pass to him in the corner from the… https://t.co/5Ncj9MbnYE— Dan Devine (@Dan Devine) 1616212345.0
Hardaway is still the third scoring option on the team, so he will get more chances to increase his production, but this week was a tough pill to swallow for a lot of fantasy managers.
Derrick Rose Guard New York Knicks
Rose has found a home with the New York Knicks, but his role has not been kind to fantasy managers. We all know the former MVP can still score, but head coach Tom Thibodeau hasn't asked him to do much else.
In the last four games, Rose has averaged 14.3 points on 43.1 percent shooting, 0.8 made threes, 1.5 rebounds and 2.8 assists. That kind of one-dimensional play is a killer of many fantasy teams looking for a more diverse portfolio of contributions.
If you need a boost in scoring, Rose isn't a terrible option to consider, but if you need anything else, you should leave him on the waiver.
Lou Williams Guard Atlanta Hawks
Like Rose, Williams isn't asked to do anything other than score at this point in his career. But even in the past week, he can't even do that at an elite fantasy level. Only averaging 11.8 points per game, 1.8 made threes, 2.8 assists and basically non-existent in every other category in fantasy sports.
Cool moment from first half, as Lou Williams welcomes Isaiah Thomas back to #NBA https://t.co/vv9dImK1fA— Jim Eichenhofer (@Jim Eichenhofer) 1617756493.0
It's safe to say that Lemon Pepper Lou's effectiveness as a fantasy star is gone.
Jusuf Nurkic Center Portland Trail Blazers
Okay, I know Trail Blazers have been trying to ease Nurkic back into the lineup and giving him restricted minutes. However, with the fantasy managers looking for that final push to the postseason, there might have to be an executive decision on whether Nurkic needs to be played or pitched.
Teams firmly in playoff position can hold out for him to be used properly again, but other managers won't be able to stomach another week of missed games and low-end production.