If you’re still searching the NBA waiver wire for value, you’ve probably had a strong showing in season-long fantasy leagues, since it’s playoff time in head-to-head leagues with just three weeks left in the season. There are still some last-minute pickups that can help push you to success and fill in any game limits you have in your format.
With three weeks left and some great playoff races to watch, it should be a great month of basketball, and the coming week is a busy one. Twelve teams play three times in the coming week, while 15 teams have four-game weeks ahead. The Los Angeles Clippers, the Sacramento Kings and the San Antonio Spurs only play twice, though, so be sure to keep that in mind if you’re looking to make pickups from those teams.
At the top of this post each week, you can find the top trending pickups who are rapidly disappearing off the waiver wire. Many of them have appeared in this post earlier this season, but if they are still available on your league’s waiver wire, they’re definitely worth considering. On the other extreme, you can find some very available deep-league options at the bottom of the post. In between those two groups, you can find four highlighted sleepers who I think are good pickups trending in the right direction. Things change in a hurry from day to day at this point in the season, so follow along on my Twitter account @ZT_sports if you are looking for single-game streaming options, along with cheap DFS plays on a daily basis.
Top Trending Players
- PG/SG Seth Curry, Brooklyn Nets
- PG/SG Patrick Beverley, Minnesota Timberwolves
- PG/SG Tre Mann, Oklahoma City Thunder
- PG Brandon Williams, Portland Trail Blazers
- SG/SF/PF Saddiq Bey, Detroit Pistons
- SG/SF/PF Bruce Brown, Brooklyn Nets
- SF/PF Darius Bazley, Oklahoma City Thunder
- SF/PF De’Andre Hunter, Atlanta Hawks
- SF Trendon Watford, Portland Trail Blazers
- PF/C Mason Plumlee, Charlotte Hornets
- PF/C Marvin Bagley III, Detroit Pistons
- PF/C Drew Eubanks, Portland Trail Blazers
PG/SG Bones Hyland, Denver Nuggets (vs. LAC, vs. PHX, vs. OKC)
Although it has taken a long time and some twists and turns, Hyland has earned his way to a significant role in the Nuggets’ offense coming down the stretch during his rookie season. Despite his growing role, he is still owned in under one-third of leagues but has become a key part of the Nuggets’ second unit, often pushing starter Monte Morris for playing time. There’s still a chance that Jamal Murray comes back before the end of the regular season, but his role will likely be extremely limited at first, and Hyland has enough upside to be worth the risk.
Hyland has scored double-digit points in all but one of his nine games this month, averaging 14.1 points, 4.3 assists, 3.2 rebounds and 1.2 steals in 22.3 minutes per game. Over his past four games, his usage rate has spiked to 24.1% in 27.4 minutes per game, which has resulted in double-digit shot attempts and at least 17 points in each of those four contests. Hyland is a fun and dynamic playmaker to watch, and he’s earned his way into a big piece of coach Mike Malone’s rotation at this point in the season.
SF/PF/C Precious Achiuwa, Toronto Raptors (at CHI, vs. CLE, vs IND)
Achiuwa is another player that has been around the fringes of fantasy viability most of the season but is settling into a critical role for his team in the midst of their playoff push. Like Hyland, Achiuwa has produced double-digit points in eight of his past nine games but offers a different set of non-scoring numbers to support those points with 6.1 rebounds, 0.6 steals and 0.6 blocks to go with his 12.8 points per game over that stretch.
In most of those games, Achiuwa came off the bench, but he has still managed to put up good totals whether in blowout losses, runaway wins or competitive contests. His multi-category contributions seem reliable in any scenario and his positional versatility makes him a very useful fit at multiple positions. His ceiling isn’t quite as high as Hyland’s but he brings better rebounding and shooting percentages most of the time.
SF/PF Aleksej Pokusevski, Oklahoma City Thunder (vs. BOS, vs ORL, at DEN)
The Thunder are a little bit of a mess with multiple key players injured and not any hope of the playoffs this season. The team still plays hard every game and makes most closer than expected, but they have dropped eight straight and gone just 2-12 since the All-Star break. Despite the team’s overall downturn, Pokusevski has been impressive since rejoining the rotation after spending time in the G League earlier in the season. The second-year forward rejoined the Thunder in early February and has become a key contributor, averaging 25.5 minutes with a usage rate of 19.9% over his most recent 18 contests.
Pokusevski has scored double-digit points in eight straight games, averaging 12.6 points, 7.6 rebounds and 2.9 assists per contest. He had one of his strongest games of the season while returning to the starting lineup on Friday against the Heat, totaling 15 rebounds, 10 points and five assists in a well-balanced showing that flashed his upside to be a multi-category contributor. The second-year seven-footer is still barely over 20 years old, so it makes sense for the Thunder to let him keep growing on the job. His role may still fluctuate coming down the stretch because this is the Thunder, but he has made the most of his playing time and should be able to stay fantasy relevant the rest of the season.
SG/SF Corey Kispert, Washington Wizards (at HOU, at MIL, at DET, vs. GSW)
The Wizards are another team outside of the playoff hunt for this year but looking to fit younger players into their big-picture long-term. As the team’s first-round pick from last year out of Gonzaga, Kispert has looked strong since stepping into the starting five and has produced good numbers whether starting with newly-acquired Kristaps Porzingis or with more makeshift lineups at times when Porzingis rests or like Saturday night when Kyle Kuzma (knee) was sidelined.
Kispert has started 17 straight games for the Wizards and over his past 10 he is averaging 12.0 points, 2.8 rebounds, 1.2 assists and 2.5 3-pointers made. On Saturday against the Lakers, he played 32 minutes in Washington’s comeback victory, totaling 13 points, three assists, two rebounds and a steal.
Other options to consider
- PG/SG Immanuel Quickley, New York Knicks
- PG/SG Davion Mitchell, Sacramento Kings
- PG/SG Cory Joseph, Detroit Pistons
- PG/SG Gary Payton II, Golden State Warriors
- SG/SF Austin Reaves, Los Angeles Lakers
- SG/SF Isaac Okoro, Cleveland Cavaliers
- SG/SF Pat Connaughton, Milwaukee Bucks
- SG/SF Nickeil Alexander-Walker, Utah Jazz
- SG/SF/PF Torrey Craig, Phoenix Suns
- SG/SF/PF Deni Avdija, Washington Wizards
- SF/PF Taurean Prince, Minnesota Timberwolves
- SF/PF Rui Hachimura, Washington Wizards
- SF/PF Brandon Clarke, Memphis Grizzlies
- PF/C Jaxson Hayes, New Orleans Pelicans
- PF/C Dwight Powell, Dallas Mavericks
- PF/C Onyeka Okongwu, Atlanta Hawks
- PF/C Moritz Wagner, Orlando Magic
- C Goga Bitadze, Indiana Pacers
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