Fantasy Basketball Waiver Wire: Feb. 25
The all-star break is behind us on the NBA calendar, and March is approaching.
As the stretch drive of the fantasy basketball season gets going, here’s my five waiver wire adds for the coming week.
All stats are through game action on Feb. 24.
Jamal Crawford, SG, Minnesota Timberwolves
Crawford has scored at least 11 points in six of his last seven games, with at least six three-point attempts in five straight.
On Saturday night with Jimmy Butler (knee) out, Crawford had 19 points on 5-for-8 from beyond the arc. Butler is expected to miss 4-6 weeks, and even though Nemanja Bjelica is in line to start Crawford offers more upside as a scorer.
Scoring is about all Crawford will contribute on anything close to a consistent basis. But that, along with Butler’s absence, is enough to make Crawford a worthy addition in deep leagues.
Yahoo! Ownership: 14% ESPN Ownership: 5.8%
Dwight Powell, PF/C, Dallas Mavericks
Heading into the All-Star break, Powell had at least 17 points in five of six games (five starts). He came out of the break with a dud on Friday night, but he rebounded solidly with 10 points and seven rebounds against the Utah Jazz Saturday night.
In line with the Mavericks going into tank mode, if they weren’t there already, Powell’s playing time has gotten a slight bump. Even with a downturn in two games since the break, a complete drop-off can be offset with a solid minute floor.
Powell’s ownership is on the rise. He’s not someone to put into a starting lineup and forget about it, but as a bench option you can do worse than Powell.
Yahoo! Ownership: 38% ESPN Ownership: 38.1%
John Collins, PF/C, Atlanta Hawks
After not starting a game since Nov. 30, Collins has started the last two games on each side of the All-Star break and topped 30 minutes in each contest. Over his last seven games he is averaging 8.4 points, 8.0 rebounds and 1.4 blocks per game with two double-doubles.
The Hawks are reportedly nearing a buyout with Ersan Ilyasova. That will keep Collins in the starting lineup going forward, and remove a potential threat to his minutes. In his six starts so far this season, Collins is averaging 10.7 points and 7.2 rebounds per game.
Collins may be a little inconsistent, but he has an opportunity in front of him and opportunity is the seed of fantasy value.
Yahoo! Ownership: 49% ESPN Ownership: 42.5%
Mario Hezonja, SF/SG, Orlando Magic
Over his last 11 games (seven starts) Hezonja is averaging 16.4 points, 5.2 rebounds, 1.9 assists and 1.9 steals per game with four 20-plus point games.
The start of Hezonja’s recent run came with Aaron Gordon out. But over the last two games since Gordon returned, the fifth overall pick in 2015 is still averaging 14.0 points, 12.5 field goal attempts, 3.0 rebounds and 2.0 assists per game.
A move back to the bench does not appear to be a death knell for Hezonja’s fantasy value, with Magic coach Frank Vogel promising to play him a lot. Tentative fantasy owners can get on board.
Yahoo! Ownership: 39% ESPN Ownership: 29%
Marcus Smart, PG/SG, Boston Celtics
In two games since coming back from a thigh injury, Smart is averaging 11.5 points, 5.5 assists, 2.5 rebounds and 1.5 steals per game.
With shooting percentages that will leave a lot to be desired, Smart’s fantasy value is driving by counting stats. Even in a bench role for the Celtics, he’s good for nearly 30 minutes per game to drive some volume.
Smart’s ownership rates are not rising much since he returned to action coming out of the All-Star break. If you have a roster that can make up for his percentage deficiencies, eligibility in both backcourt spots makes Smart an appealing waiver wire add.
Yahoo! Ownership: 50% ESPN Ownership: 21%