Fantasy Basketball Waiver Wire: Feb. 4
It’s Super Bowl Sunday as I write this, so the NFL reigns for the final day of its season. But the NBA will keep going, and here are my five fantasy basketball wire adds for the coming week.
All stats and ownership rates are through game action on Feb. 3.
Jae Crowder, SF/PF, Cleveland Cavaliers
With Kevin Love (hand) out up to eight weeks, Tyronn Lue seems set to split his minutes between Jeff Green, Channing Frye and Crowder. That kind of timeshare is bad for fantasy value, but I’ll make a case for Crowder.
Over 15 games since the start of January, Crowder is averaging 8.9 points, 3.7 rebounds and 1.3 assists per game. Those numbers are all slightly up compared to his season as a whole. He has played more than 26 minutes four times in his last seven games, which is also slightly above his season average.
Crowder has scored in double figures in five of his last eight games, which counts for something in the context of what has been a disappointing season thus far. With more playing time and usage while Love is out, Crowder is an appealing add in deep fantasy leagues.
Yahoo! Ownership: 52% ESPN Ownership: 30.2%
Jarrett Allen, C/PF, Brooklyn Nets
Over his last six games entering Sunday, including starts in the last three, Allen is averaging 13.7 points, 7.2 rebounds and one blocked shot per game. A growing role is making him a rising fantasy asset, with a rise in pure shot volume over that aforementioned span. In January, Allen set a franchise record by shooting 72.2 percent from the floor.
Jahlil Okafor is slowly earning more minutes for the Nets. But there’s room for he and Allen to produce, and no one else should be blocking their playing time.
With starter minutes, Allen is shaping up to a solid fantasy big over the rest of his rookie season. Now’s the time to get on the bandwagon if you have a need.
Yahoo! Ownership: 44% ESPN Ownership: 16.2%
Tomas Satoransky, PG/SG, Washington Wizards
John Wall is expected to miss 6-8 weeks after surgery on his left knee. Over the four games he has already missed, Satoransky is averaging 11.0 points, 5.8 assists, 3.5 rebounds and 1.5 steals per game in a starting role.
Over that same span, in a small sample, Satoransky has made 60 percent of his three-pointers and close to 52% of his overall field goal attempts.
Satoransky is in line to be useful to fantasy owners for two months while Wall is out, as he’ll benefit from sharing a backcourt with Bradley Beal. For across the board contribution and a piece of a solid offensive pie, Satoransky should be one of the top adds in fantasy this week.
Yahoo! Ownership: 19% ESPN Ownership: 7.5%
Bobby Portis, PF, Chicago Bulls
Over the last five games, including the last two with Nikola Mirotic held out and then gone via trade, Portis is averaging 9.6 rebounds, 12.4 field goal attempts and more than three three-point attempts per game. He has scored in double figures three times in that span, but his efficiency (8-for-37 from the floor over the last three games) needs to improve.
Jacking up fewer three-pointers (0-for-12 over the last three games; 3-for-17 over the last five games) would automatically improve Portis’ shooting percentage going forward. But an overall increase in usage and opportunities is a good thing, and that’s not going away.
Portis may be a bit up-and-down from here on out, as he has been this season. But that upside can’t be ignored.
Yahoo! Ownership: 47% ESPN Ownership: 28.4%
Josh Jackson, SF, Phoenix Suns
Since getting a DNP-CD on Jan. 2, Jackson has averaged 14.9 points, 4.7 rebounds and 1.4 assists per game over 13 games (five starts). He has 20 or more points in three straight and four of his last six entering Sunday, with 18 points in one of the remaining two over that span. Over those same six games, Jackson is averaging 16.8 points, 5.7 rebounds and 14.8 field goal attempts per game.
Perhaps most importantly, Jackson’s recent uptick has come with an increase in minutes. He has played at least 25 minutes in five of those last six games.
Jackson will have a dud game here and there, and his recent run is not necessarily sustainable. But he’s moving the right direction in all ways, and the rookie out of Kansas is my No. 1 waiver wire add this week.
Yahoo! Ownership: 40% ESPN Ownership: 21.8%