The NBA has only five weeks remaining in the regular season, so season-long fantasy basketball is coming down to crunch time. At this critical point in the season, every roster spot and every line in every box score matters. Although we are late in the year, that doesn’t mean there aren’t some strong options on the waiver wire, so check out the below options who I think can give your team a nice boost to the finish.
In the coming week, 16 teams are scheduled to play while the other 14 all play three times. There aren’t any outliers with five or two games to take advantage of or avoid, so it’s a solidly balanced week. There is a monster slate with 12 games on Wednesday with just two games on Thursday, so there’s a slight advantage to targeting teams that play Thursday, but that advantage is fairly minor.
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 Spencer Dinwiddie, Dallas Mavericks
- PG/SG Tre Mann, Oklahoma City Thunder
- PG/SG Jalen Suggs, Orlando Magic
- PG/SG Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, Washington Wizards
- SG/SF Lonnie Walker IV, San Antonio Spurs
- SF/PF Cameron Johnson, Phoenix Suns
- SF/PF Aleksej Pokusevski, Oklahoma City Thunder
- PF Jalen Smith, Indiana Pacers
- PF Chuma Okeke, Orlando Magic
- PF/C Isaiah Jackson, Indiana Pacers
C Isaiah Roby, Oklahoma City Thunder (vs. MIL, at MIN, vs. MEM)
The Thunder seem to always be a good source of late-season value since they give young players big roles toward the end of the season. Roby was one of those players last year too, but he spent the first part of this season totally out of the Thunder’s rotation behind rookie Jeremiah Robinson-Earl and veteran addition Derrick Favors. With JRE (foot) injured, Favors limited and other options released, Roby has again climbed into a large role with Oklahoma City at this point.
Over his past six games dating back to just before the All-Star break, Roby is averaging 15.2 points, 7.5 rebounds, 2.3 assists and 1.7 steals in 28.8 minutes per game. He had an impressive 26-point game against the Nuggets on Wednesday and followed that up with a 21-point, 10-rebound double-double against the Timberwolves on Friday. He’ll get a rematch with Minnesota this week, and he shapes up to be a very nice source of big-man stats with a significant number of steals mixed in due to his energy on defense.
PG Cameron Payne, Phoenix Suns (at ORL, at MIA, vs. TOR, vs. LAL)
Payne is still available in over half of season-long leagues, and he’s set up for a huge finish now that he has shown he is healthy. He was sidelined from Jan. 22 through March 2 with a wrist injury, and while he was out Chris Paul (thumb) sustained an avulsion fracture which will keep him out six to eight weeks. In addition, Devin Booker (health and safety protocols) has been sidelined for the past two games, so Payne has jumped right back into a huge role.
He returned and only played in short bursts but still produced eight assists to go with five points and two steals in 20 minutes in a 30-point blowout win over the Trail Blazers. In his second game back in a much more competitive contest against the Knicks, Payne had 17 points, 16 assists and a steal while logging 32 minutes. If he keeps getting so much work, he’ll be an outstanding pickup for the rest of the season. Payne will likely have a reduced role when Booker returns, but with Paul out there should still be enough room for him to produce good point guard numbers, especially assists.
SG/SF Reggie Bullock, Dallas Mavericks (vs. UTA, vs NYK, at HOU, at BOS)
The Maverickss shuffled their roster around at the trade deadline, but they’ve won six of their past seven games after winning on Saturday in a matinee against the Kings even though Luka Doncic (toe) was unable to play. Bullock missed a pair of games just before the All-Star break with a hip contusion but has been very involved since Tim Hardaway fractured the fifth metatarsal in his left foot. In the 14 games since then, Bullock has scored double-digit points 13 times, averaging 14.7 points, 4.1 rebounds, 1.2 steals and 1.1 assists per game.
Bullock has been a key contributor of 3-pointers throughout that run, making 3.7 per game, so if your team needs some long-range scoring he’s a great option to add. He has been playing huge minutes since returning after the All-Star break, averaging 37.5 minutes in those five games and averaging 10.2 shot attempts per contest. With some tasty matchups highlighted by a revenge spot against his former team, the Knicks, Bullock is definitely an outside threat who should be owned in every format where 3PM is a category.
PF/C Drew Eubanks, Portland Trail Blazers (at MIN, at UTA, vs. WAS)
The Trail Blazers scooped up Eubanks as a free agent after he was traded to the Raptors by the Spurs along with Thaddeus Young in exchange for Goran Dragic. Dragic and Eubanks were both released but quickly found new teams. Eubanks is still on a 10-day contract (his second with Portland), but he is getting significant enough playing time to be worth a pickup while the Blazers are so shorthanded. It has been a little bit of a homecoming for the 25-year-old who went to high school in Troutdale, OR, and then went to Oregon State.
Since Jusuf Nurkic (foot) is out, Eubanks has started all four of his games with the Blazers and has averaged 10.3 points, 7.8 rebounds and 1.0 assists in 24.0 minutes per game. He had a double-double of 13 points and 10 rebounds against the Nuggets and also scored exactly 13 points in each of his two games since then while adding exactly eight rebounds against the Suns and Timberwolves. While Portland will likely get some bodies back on the wing after playing with just eight players Saturday, they don’t have much help coming at center until Nurkic returns, so Eubanks should continue to get all the work he can handle and provide good points and rebounds in his three games this week.
Other options to consider
- PG Malachi Flynn, Toronto Raptors
- PG Aaron Holiday, Phoenix Suns
- PG/SG Donte DiVincenzo, Sacramento Kings
- PG/SG Malik Beasley, Minnesota Timberwolves
- PG/SG Immanuel Quickley, New York Knicks
- PG/SG/SF, Alec Burks, New York Knicks
- SG/SF Victor Oladipo, Miami Heat
- SF Trendon Watford, Portland Trail Blazers
- SF/PF Taurean Prince, Minnesota Timberwolves
- SF/PF Dorian Finney-Smith, Dallas Mavericks
- PF/C DeMarcus Cousins, Denver Nuggets
- PF/C Dwight Powell, Dallas Mavericks
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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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