Week 18 Fantasy Basketball: Key Pick-ups Edition
Entering the homestretch of the fantasy season, we are just about a month away from fantasy playoffs. If you’re still hanging on to players who aren’t contributing, perhaps it’s time to cut bait. If you are still struggling, this might be the last week to make key trades that can improve your team. Knowing when to surrender your picks who hasn’t panned out for you is key to fantasy basketball as well.
The following players are worth a long look that might be available in your waiver wire. These are key guys with great rest of the season outlook that can really balance out your roster.
Scouting the Waiver Wire:
Maurice Harkless SF POR – Mo Harkless is a must-own in standard leagues until farther notice. He has cranked out 3rd round value over the last week. He is fully capable of sustaining top 75 value and that’s critical to have glue guys like him on your roster.
Buddy Hield SG SAC – The Kings are very high on Hield as he is probably going to eventually start for the Kings. He might not be more than your points and 3-point bomber but he has some upside on the right teams. Just be wary of the FG%.
Jordan Clarkson PG/SG LAL – With the Lakers shipping Lou Williams to Houston, Clarkson’s outlook went from poor to great. He is going to be the primary playmaker and scorer off the bench and is a threat to average 30+ minutes the rest of the way for the tanking Lakers.
Terrence Ross SG/SF ORL – Ross found a new home in Orlando as he is going to be the starting small forward going forward this season. He has the absolute green light in Orlando, evident of his 16 field-goal attempts in 2 games played. He’s a must own as long as he’s getting 30 + minutes.
Frank Kaminsky PF/C CHA – Frank the Tank has really made the most of the injured Hornets frontcourt as he’s been on a tear lately, averaging 20 PPG 7 RPG with 4 3PTm. Look for him to stay busy and he might’ve won over the starting role despite of what Cody Zeller does.
Kelly Olynyk C BOS – The inconsistent Olynyk is a headache to own sometimes, but if you catch him hot he can really give you a lead in head-to-head leagues. He has top-50 upside but can disappear on any given night. Look for him as a streamer if you have someone you won’t miss on your roster.
Jameer Nelson PG DEN – The Nuggets are fighting for the 8th seed in the Western Conference playoffs race and they are leaning heavily on Nelson to get them there. With Emmanuel Mudiay incapable of running the point guard spot in Denver, Nelson could provide a very nice boost of PG stats.
Marquese Chriss PF PHO – The Suns are finally going tank/player development mode as Tyson Chandler has DNP-CD in the past 2 games. They are going to give Chriss all the minutes he can handle and he is worth a very long look if you have deadweight on the end of your bench.
Willie Cauley-Stein PF/C SAC – DeMarcus Cousins is gone and WCS could very well average 30 minutes per night the rest of the way. He had a stinker in his last game but is still worth a gamble to see if he can average a double-double with some blocks upside.
Jusuf Nurkic C POR – Nurk Alert is on full affect as the Blazers desperately needed his size. Nurk has averaged 10 PPG 8 RPG 3.5 APG with 2 steals and a block in 2 games with the Blazers.
Yogi Ferrell PG DAL – Deron Williams being waived probably means the Mavericks have given up on going for the 8th seed, and it will mean a lot of Yogi Ferrell and Seth Curry running the guard spots in Dallas the rest of the way.
Brandon Ingram SG/SF LAL – Ingram is really frustrating as he has flashed some upside with a lot of duds. However, the minutes are going to be there and the Lakers have every reason to give him a long leash as they tank for the top-3 protected pick they want back from the 76ers.
Channing Frye PF/C CLE – Frye is a hot pick up as long as Kevin Love is sidelined. The Cavs need his 3-point shooting so he’s likely to average 30+ minutes.
Skal Labissiere PF/C SAC – Labissiere is more of a 14+ teams guy right now as he’s going to have trouble adjusting to the NBA with his lanky frame. The Kings are going to tank for the best possible lottery pick so don’t be surprised if he’s getting 30+ minutes very soon.
Willy Hernangomez C NYK – Joakim Noah may not regain his starting spot when he returns. Willy has really played well in his absence and has great ROS outlook despite the fact the Knicks may or may not fall out of the playoff picture. He’s going to be their center for the future.
Ivica Zubac C LAL – Magic has stated Zubac will eventually get more minutes as the Lakers continue to tank. If you have someone to cut (Tyson Chandler, for example), Zubac might be your guy if you can handle some inconsistency.
Cameron Payne PG CHI – Payne is a 14+ teams guy right now but he can quickly jump into the standard league consideration if he starts for the Bulls. His competition MCW and Jerian Grant isn’t exactly doing anything special.
Dario Saric SF/PF PHI – Must own, run don’t walk if he’s somehow available in your league. But if you didn’t know that you’re probably not going to win your fantasy league.
Nikola Mirotic SF/PF CHI – Most thought Bobby Portis would be the main beneficiary of the Taj Gibson trade. I for one, knew that wasn’t the case as I picked up Mirotic in leagues where available. Mirotic despite of his consistency issues, is still a better player than Bobby Portis. If he’s going to get 30+ minutes a night, he deserves a spot on your team.
Week 18 Schedule Analysis
4 Games – ATL, BOS, CLE, DAL, GSW, MIA, MIL, NYK, OKC, PHI PHO, TOR, UTA, WAS
3 Games – BKN, CHA, CHI, DEN, DET, HOU, IND, LAC, LAL, MEM, MIN, NOR, ORL, POR, SAC, SAS
Wednesday and Friday are busy days, as you probably have a full line-up. Only the Warriors have a Monday-Tuesday back-to-back. The Warriors, Suns, Thunder, Hornets, Trail Blazers and Bulls play both Tuesday and Thursday. There are no back-to-backs Wednesday and Thursday, and only the Suns and Thunder play both Thursday and Friday. Friday and Saturday, we have nine teams with play back-to-back: Heat, Cavaliers, Bucks, Raptors, Sixers, Clippers, Spurs and Nets. There are no back-to-backs to end the week.