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Fantasy Basketball: Top NBA Waiver Wire Pickups for Week 23-24 of 2021-22

Zach Thompson gives his top additions from the waiver wire for your season-long fantasy basketball leagues heading into Week 23, which starts Monday, March 28.

Memphis Grizzlies v Indiana Pacers Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images

There are just two weeks left in the NBA regular season, and it’s time to give your season-long fantasy teams one last boost to the finish. It’s been great to search the Waiver Wire each week with you again this season on Playbook, and hopefully, these picks have propelled you deep into your playoffs. Make sure you check your league’s format to see if it has a one-week final that finishes a week before the regular season, a two-week final or two more one-week matchups to close out the season. I’ve listed all the games remaining over the next two weeks for each player highlighted below.

There are some great playoff races in the NBA to watch over the next two weeks. Most teams have seven or eight games left, but there are still a few situations to take advantage of. The Cleveland Cavaliers are especially busy with five games over the next seven days. On the other extreme, the Minnesota Timberwolves have the fewest games left with only six games over the next 14 days.

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 Tyus Jones, Memphis Grizzlies (vs. GS, at SA, vs PHX, at UTA, at DEN, vs. NO, vs. BOS)

It does feel a little weird to be living in a world where Kris Dunn, Davion Mitchell and Tyus Jones may be the PG to power your team to a championship, but that’s where we are at this point due to injuries to Damian Lillard, De’Aaron Fox and Ja Morant, respectively. Morant is expected to miss at least one week, which leaves room for Jones to continue to step in and start for the Grizzlies at PG. Memphis has clinched a postseason berth and is the No. 2 seed by a wide enough margin for them to be cautious with Morant, but the Grizzlies do still have close enough competition to look to get a win when possible.

While De’Anthony Melton, Desmond Bane and Dillon Brooks will all help carry the load, Jones has been the starter this season whenever Morant has been sidelined. In five starts over his past six games, he averaged 12.2 points, 8.6 assists, 2.6 rebounds and 1.0 steals in 29.0 minutes per game. On the season as a starter, his numbers are similar, and if he’s able to continue to deliver a dozen points along with solid assist production, he could be a key contributor for your championship run. Even if Morant does return, the Grizzlies could get him some rest with three games in four days to close out the season at the end of next week.

C Damian Jones, Sacramento Kings (at MIA, at HOU, at HOU, vs. GS, vs. NO, at LAC, at PHX)

Another Jones with a chance to surge into fantasy relevance is Kings center Damian Jones, who has been the primary backup for Domantas Sabonis (knee). According to the latest reports, though, there is a “very good chance” that Sabonis could be done for the year since the Kings are out of the playoff race. With Richaun Holmes (personal) also done for the year, there should be a heavy workload for Jones and Alex Len with Jones taking most of the work in the starting lineup.

Jones has started the past two games and played over 20 minutes in five of his past six. In each of his three most recent games dating back to the game in which Sabonis was hurt, Jones has put up double-digit points, averaging 13.3 points, 6.0 rebounds, 1.0 assists and 1.0 steals in 25.7 minutes per game. He hasn’t approached double-digit rebounds yet in this stint in the starting lineup but should be able to chip in around 12 points and six boards a game the rest of the way with the upside for even more as long as Sabonis is sidelined.

SG/SF Pat Connaughton, Milwaukee Bucks (at PHI, at BKN, vs. LAC, vs. DAL, at CHI, vs. BOS, at DET, at CLE)

The Bucks got Connaughton back last week after he missed five weeks with a finger injury that required surgery. He has looked good in his four games since returning, and the team will likely look to get him fully up to speed before the playoffs. They’ve been finding spots to get their stars a break, but that only gives Connaughton more work to ramp up in his return to action.

In each of his four games back, Connaughton has played over 20 minutes and scored at least nine points. He has averaged 13.5 points on 2.8 made 3-pointers while also adding 4.3 rebounds and 1.5 assists. Connaughton doesn’t add rebounding like Damian Jones or assists like Tyus Jones to his scoring, but he’s a little more of a deep threat and contributes solid percentages and 3-pointers. While the Bucks get ready for the postseason, Connaughton should be a solid option going forward.

PG/SG Killian Hayes, Detroit Pistons (at BKN, vs. PHI, at OKC, at IND, vs. DAL, vs. MIL, at PHI)

Hayes has been leading the Pistons’ second unit over the past month, and when he has been healthy, he has produced good numbers. He missed a game with a head contusion and three games with a bruised thigh, but he has played over 28 minutes in each of the Pistons’ past three games and looked to be past those issues.

In each of those three games, Hayes has produced double-digit points while continuing to add his typically strong non-scoring numbers as well. He averaged 11.7 points, 6.3 rebounds, 5.0 assists, 1.3 steals and 1.3 blocked shots in 32.5 minutes per game over those three contests with a 17.8% usage rate, which is slightly above his 15% usage rate on the season. Hayes is still only 20 and was a top-10 overall pick just a year ago, so there’s still tons of potential to unlock. Look for the Pistons to keep getting him plenty of work in their remaining games, allowing him to help you in multiple categories.

Other options to consider

  • PG Kris Dunn, Portland Trail Blazers
  • PG Jose Alvarado, New Orleans Pelicans
  • PG Payton Pritchard, Boston Celtics
  • PG/SG Donte DiVincenzo, Sacramento Kings
  • PG/SG Gary Payton II, Golden State Warriors
  • PG Theo Maledon, Oklahoma City Thunder
  • SG/SF Josh Richardson, San Antonio Spurs
  • SG/SF Ben McLemore, Portland Trail Blazers
  • SG/SF/PF Deni Avdija, Washington Wizards
  • SF/PF Obi Toppin, New York Knicks
  • SF/PF Oshae Brissett, Indiana Pacers
  • SF/PF Aleksej Pokusevski, Oklahoma City Thunder
  • PF/C Larry Nance Jr., New Orleans Pelicans
  • C Nicolas Claxton, Brooklyn Nets

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I am a promoter at DraftKings and am also an avid fan and user (my username is Z.Thompson) and may sometimes play on my personal account in the games that I offer advice on. Although I have expressed my personal view on the games and strategies above, they do not necessarily reflect the view(s) of DraftKings and do not constitute a representation that any particular strategy will guarantee success. All customers should use their own skill and judgment in building lineups. I may also deploy different players and strategies than what I recommend above. I am not an employee of DraftKings and do not have access to any non-public information.

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