Fantasy Basketball Waiver Wire: March 11th
It’s playoff time, or close to it, in most fantasy basketball leagues. That means half of your league may be set to check out, while the other half stays engaged to make waiver wire moves.
But I’m still doing the waiver wire list now and going forward, and here are my five adds for the coming week.
Note: All stats (trends, etc.) are through games on March 10th.
Dwight Powell, PF/C, Dallas Mavericks
Over his last 14 games (11 starts), Powell is averaging 13.0 points, 8.6 rebounds and 1.9 assists per game with three double-doubles over that span.
Powell’s role is not really threatened by Nerlens Noel’s return to action, and the Mavericks clearly want to see what they have.
Fantasy owners have been slow to add Powell, so there’s a nice opportunity to add an underrated playoff difference maker.
Yahoo! Ownership: 38% ESPN Ownership: 36.7%
Taurean Prince, SF, Atlanta Hawks
Prince was benched for the second half on Friday night, and he failed to score in double figures for the second straight game as a result.
But over his previous four games Prince topped 20 point twice while averaging 4.5 rebounds, 2.3 assists and 2.3 steals per game over that span. Going back 13 games before the last two, Prince averaged 15.4 points, 3.5 rebounds, 2.2 assists and 1.5 steals per game over that span (13.5 shot attempts and 7.2 three-point attempts per game).
Prince has not been a model of efficiency, which has led to inconsistency as a scorer. But heavy minutes and the green light offensively buoys that downside, as long as Prince avoids head coach Mike Budenholzer’s ire for lack of effort defensively.
Yahoo! Ownership: 51% ESPN Ownership: 27.6%
JaMychal Green, PF, Memphis Grizzlies
Over his last 15 games (14 starts), Green is averaging close to a double-double (10.9 points, 9.5 rebounds) along with 2.0 assists per contest. Over his last 11 games, Green has posted eight double-doubles while averaging 11.6 points, 10.2 rebounds and 2.3 assists per game over that span.
Green is toeing the line between nice shot volume and diminished efficiency over those last 11 games, so a dud game here and there can be expected. But the tanking Grizzlies should keep running him out there for heavy, high usage minutes, and that means Green should be owned more than he is.
Yahoo! Ownership: 43% ESPN Ownership: 40.3%
Caris LeVert, SG/SF, Brooklyn Nets
LeVert returned from a knee injury six games, and he has scored in double figures in four of the last five (18 or more points three times).
Over that same five games, LeVert is averaging 3.8 assists, 3.6 rebounds, 1.2 steals and 13 shot attempts (4.4 three-point attempts) per outing. So he has come back to a high-volume role.
In ESPN leagues, LeVert is eligible at power forward and in Yahoo! leagues he’s eligible at point guard. His ownership rates are jumping, but there’s room to act quickly and add a potential playoff stud. As a side note, LeVert’s price in DFS has not yet caught up to his rising stock.
Yahoo! Ownership: 38% ESPN Ownership: 19.9%
Kawhi Leonard, SF, San Antonio Spurs
Through a mostly lost season, fantasy owners have hung onto Leonard in case he was able to return. Now that return seems to be coming, with a reported early target of Thursday night’s game against the Oklahoma City Thunder.
An initial minutes limit and rest on the back-end of any remaining back-to-backs can be expected for Leonard. But it’s obviously rare to be able to add a star player at this point in the season, and Leonard is in line to play soon even if he doesn’t return on Thursday night.
With miniscule availability rates in mind(97 percent owned in CBS leagues as well), it’s at least worth checking to see if Leonard is out there in your league for the playoff drive.
Yahoo! Ownership: 97% ESPN Ownership: 88.6%