Fantasy Basketball Waiver Wire: March 18th
It’s crunch time in fantasy basketball, with the playoffs starting to roll.
The waiver wire is the only way to bolster a roster now, and it’s worth narrowing in on those who can make a short-term difference and/or remain under-owned. With that in mind, my typical five waiver wire adds will be trimmed to four from this point on.
Note: All stats are through games on March 17
Nick Young, SG/SF, Golden State Warriors
A litany of injuries have hit the Golden State Warriors, with Kevin Durant (ribs) now joining Stephen Curry (ankle) and Klay Thompson (thumb) on the sideline.
Young has started the last three games, averaging 18 points, four rebounds and 1.7 assists per game. As expected, he is also averaging over 14 field goal attempts (six makes) and 8.3 three-point attempts (three makes) per contest over that span.
Durant just started what is expected to be at least a two-week absence, and Curry and Thompson will miss at least the next few games themselves. That makes room for Young to play plenty, and go into “Swaggy P” mode if his shot is falling.
Young is practically a must-add for Durant and Thompson owners.
Yahoo! Ownership: 21% ESPN Ownership: 6.8%
Nemanja Bjelica, SF/PF, Minnesota Timberwolves
Jimmy Butler’s absence has unlocked playing time for Bjelica. He has started the last eight games, averaging 13 points, 8.3 rebounds, 2.8 assists and 1.3 steals per game. He is also shooting over 48 percent from the floor, and over 44 percent from beyond the arc, over that span.
Butler has a chance to return before the end of the regular season. But for now, Bjelica is a fantasy contributor with plenty of minutes/opportunity to accumulate stats.
Yahoo! Ownership: 44% ESPN Ownership: 40.9%
Terry Rozier, PG/SG, Boston Celtics
Over his last 18 games (five starts), Rozier is averaging 15.8 points, 4.8 rebounds, 4.1 assists per game. Kyrie Irving (knee) has been in and out of the lineup, and now Marcus Smart (thumb) is at least done for the regular season.
Rozier has seen a substantial boost in ownership rate lately, but he’s still only straddling the line to generally be on my list of fantasy adds (50% percent ownership).
Rozier has been across-the-board productive for a solid stretch, and it’s time for fantasy owners to get fully on board.
Yahoo! Ownership: 53% ESPN Ownership: 47.5%
James Johnson, SF/PF, Miami Heat
Johnson has started eight games in a row, averaging 11 points, 4.3 rebounds and 4.1 assists per game over that span.
Miami’s depth has put a cap on his minutes. But with Dwyane Wade and Hassan Whiteside out recently, Johnson has scored in double figures in three of his last four games while averaging 6.3 rebounds, 5.3 assists and 1.5 steals per contest.
It’s easy to under-appreciate Johnson’s across the board fantasy production. But he’s on a good trend right now, and with the Heat playing four games this coming week fantasy owners have to have him on their radar.
Yahoo! Ownership: 48% ESPN Ownership: 47.9%