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Mid-week fantasy basketball waiver wire pickups at each position

We go over each position and recommend players to add in your season-long fantasy basketball league mid-way through Week 5 of the NBA season.

Enes Kanter of the Portland Trail Blazers warms up before their game against the San Antonio Spurs at Moda Center on January 18, 2021 in Portland, Oregon. Photo by Abbie Parr/Getty Images

The fantasy basketball waiver wire roller coaster continues in Week 5 after a few major injuries and plenty of games being postponed still. The Washington Wizards haven’t played in over a week and we don’t know when they’ll take the court again. As a result, you’ve probably had to compensate by scouring the waiver wire for replacements for some of their lesser players, while eating the goose eggs from guys like Bradley Beal and Russell Westbrook.

The same can be said about the Miami Heat, though they are getting closer to full strength with the only big name being Jimmy Butler in health protocols. The Minnesota Timberwolves are in a similar situation with Karl-Anthony Towns having tested positive for Covid-19 last week. We can only hope that the new health and safety protocols puts an end to this madness soon. If not, we’ll need to continue to adjust our lineups to stay ahead of the competition. Here are some good waiver wire adds for season-long fantasy basketball that should be available in most leagues.

Point Guard

Goran Dragic, Miami Heat

Ownership percentage: 50.4 on ESPN

Like I mentioned above, the Heat are still down a few players in Butler, Avery Bradley and Meyers Leonard. The other non-Covid related injury is Tyler Herro (neck), who is questionable for Wednesday night. If Herro remains out, Dragic should stick in the starting lineup. He’s started the past two games since returning from a bruised foot. In those two games, Dragic has a combined 34 points and 13 assists in 32 minutes per contest. This is more of a short-term stop-gap add. When Butler and Herro are back, Dragic will go back to the bench. But as long as Dragic is healthy, he’ll have some value given he’s the only pure PG on the Heat roster.

Other options: Delon Wright, DET, 46.1 percent; Elfrid Payton, NYK, 36.8 percent

Shooting Guard

Tyrese Maxey, Philadelphia 76ers

Ownership percentage: 30

Maxey still feels underowned and if you’re in a dynasty or keeper league, he should be closer to 60-75 percent owned depending on your roster space. The Sixers didn’t play over the weekend due to Covid-19 concerns. Those should be close to being over with Seth Curry expected to be back. That could force Maxey to the bench. It also could not force Maxey to the bench. He’s played well enough to warrant starters minutes and has been great since the Sixers had their health protocols outbreak.

In the past six games, Maxey is averaging 18.8 points, 3.8 rebounds and 3.5 assists in 30.3 minutes per contest. He’s shooting a miserable percentage from beyond the arc (26.9) but is at 50 percent from the floor. If the 3-point shooting starts to come around, Maxey will have some value whether he’s starting or not.

Other options: Nicolas Batum, LAC, 49.9 percent; Gary Trent Jr., POR, 6.9 percent

Small Forward

Too many good options

There are a lot of good options at SF, so we’re going to try and highlight a few in this section. We’ll start off with Rodney Hood (POR, 6.5 percent), who will remain in the starting lineup with CJ McCollum injured. Hood started on Monday, finishing with 21 points in 25 minutes. He was very efficient scoring the rock and we know Hood is a “heat-check” type of player. He’s a good replacement for CJ owners.

Cameron Johnson (PHX, 14.1 percent) is also starting in place of Jae Crowder for the Phoenix Suns. This didn’t appear to have anything to do with an injury or anything, so it seems Johnson could end up starting moving forward. Johnson played 23 minutes on Monday, scoring 10 points, 4 rebounds and 3 assists.

Kevin Huerter (ATL, 38.6 percent) is — you guessed it — starting for the Atlanta Hawks! This is due to the injury to Cam Reddish, who could be back in the lineup soon. If that isn’t the case, Huerter will continue to get big minutes; he’s played at least 36 minutes in back-to-back games. Huerter can do a little bit of everything, providing category coverage throughout.

Power Forward

Royce O’Neale, Utah Jazz

Ownership percentage: 18.2

I know Royce doesn’t score. Like at all. That’s fine. You’re going to be hard-pressed to find a PF who plays as many minutes as O’Neale and is at this type of ownership. If you’re in a points league and you get more points for rebounds, assists and steals, O’Neale has some value. He’s averaging 32.1 minutes per game and is at 7.2 points and 6.8 boards with a handful of assists and some steals here and there. If you’re dealing with injuries and need someone to just take up a slot, O’Neale can get you some catties.

Other options: Kyle Anderson, MEM, 51.2 percent; Darius Bazley, OKC, 24.4 percent


Enes Kanter, Portland Trail Blazers

Ownership percentage: 51.6

This is still a very low ownership percentage for Kanter, who should be starting for the Blazers for the next month or so in place of Jusuf Nurkic (hand). Kanter — if nothing else — is an excellent rebounder. Since entering the starting lineup two games ago, Kanter has a total of 23 rebounds. His scoring numbers have gone up. His assist numbers have gone up. Kanter needs to be owned in probably every 12-team league and deeper formats. You could argue at this point while starting, Kanter should be owned in 10-team leagues.

Other options: DeAndre Jordan, BKN, 43.9 percent; Kelly Olynyk, MIA, 24.7 percent