• In this edition of Working the Wire, we’ll take a look at the games scheduled for week 18, including those teams that have a back-to-back set. Before looking ahead, let’s quickly take a look at last week’s waiver wire pickups and whether we struck gold or came up empty. We will then run down the list of players you could consider picking up for longer than a couple of games, although do remember that not every player is going to suit your needs. Finally, we take a look at a list of current streaming options, based on categorical need.

    Games Schedule – Week 18

    WordPress Data Table Plugin

    Back to Backs

    Mon/Tue: LAC, MIL, NOP
    Tue/Wed: ATL, BOS, IND, MEM, MIN, PHX
    Wed/Thu: HOU
    Thu/Fri: 
    Fri/Sat: 
    Sat/Sun: 
    Sun/Mon (of Week 19): 

    A Look Back…

    Guards

    Monte Morris (195th ranked player) – A loss here, not surprising really

    Javonte Green (78th ranked player) – A win but injury could see him out until after the break

    Davion Mitchell (162nd ranked player) – Technically a loss but feels more like a win

    Malik Monk (217th ranked player) – Another loss that feels like a win

    Forwards

    Blake Griffin (182nd ranked player) – A loss and honestly, I might be glad

    Chuma Okeke (47th ranked player) – A clear win but not for everyone

    Jaxson Hayes (128th ranked player) – A close win but trending the wrong way

    Larry Nance Jr. – Clearly a loss given the latest injury news

    Centers

    Alperen Sengun (252nd ranked player) – A loss but I’m still holding

    Isaiah Hartenstein (206th ranked player) – A loss but slowly trending up… maybe

     

    Waiver Wire Options

    Guards

    Devin Vassell

    Arguably the biggest winner after the trade deadline, Vassell has since shifted into the starting lineup, putting up top-35 value over the past week. He has likely been on and off a lot of waiver wires, something that is about the change. His production is almost certainly going to fluctuate, to some degree, but his ability to contribute on both ends of the floor should provide GMs with a solid fantasy floor.

    Justise Winslow

    After years of frustration, Winslow may have found himself a home in Portland. While he has had brief periods of fantasy value throughout his career, injuries have really put a halt to his progression. The Blazers are looking to tear things down with a host of new talent to put around Damian Lillard. Whether or not Winslow is part of their rebuild remains to be seen but for now, fire him up while he is getting a chance to prove his worth.

    Cam Thomas

    Let’s be honest, the Nets are bad right now. Of course, help is on the way but until that arrives, Thomas should continue serving as one of their key offensive weapons. Over the past week, he is the 64th ranked player, averaging 22 points per game. This feels like his ceiling given the talent that will soon be arriving but it’s hard to turn a blind eye when a player is putting up numbers like this. For now, simply add him and ride it out until things slow down.

    Reggie Bullock

    Bullock is inside the top-120 over the past week, continuing to put up 12-team worthy value. With Tim Hardaway Jr. out for an extended period, Bullock has moved into the starting lineup where he has been able to turn things around after a slow start to the season. His game is based around his ability to score from the perimeter and so while he should be rostered in all formats, he isn’t going to be for everyone.

    Forwards

    Aleksej Pokusevski

    Poku has always been one of the more intriguing fantasy prospects and yet he has barely been in the rotation this season. However, over the past week, he has managed to carve out a relatively consistent role, landing as the 24th ranked player in standard formats. Playing time is the key when it comes to projecting his sustainability as a fantasy asset, something that has been tough to do thus far this season. For now, it appears he is back on deck as a rotation piece, meaning he should be picked up everywhere.

    Thad Young

    Finally, Thad was traded and so now we play the waiting game. He did not see the court in his Raptors debut, something that head coach Nick Nurse alluded to prior to the game. However, it does sound as though they view him as a meaningful part of the rotation, after all, why else would they have traded for him? While this one could take some time, he is worth picking up if you can play the waiting game, given he needs only 24 minutes to be a 12-team asset.

    Danilo Gallinari

    This one could have a shelf life, depending on what happens with John Collins following the All-Star break. Gallinari moved into the starting lineup on Sunday but came up well short, delivering a dud of a performance. That said, he had been playing well prior to the game and so managers will want to give him another game or two before cutting bait. If he hasn’t been picked up in your league, feel free to take a flier on him, especially if you are simply seeking points and 3s.

    Deni Avdija

    The Wizards are obviously looking to develop their youth at the moment, and Avdija is an intriguing piece for them. Despite some upside, he is yet to break out and his exact role remains unclear. He is inside the top-100 over the past week, providing managers with a varied skillset. It appears as though they are trying to get the ball in his hands a bit more, something that could see a bump in his assist numbers. He has made some positive strides on the defensive end thus far and so with a nice path to minutes, he should be rostered everywhere.

    Centers

    Brandon Clarke

    After a disappointing season in 2020-21, Clarke has slowly been able to carve out a nice role for himself once again. While he isn’t getting the minutes many of us think he deserves, he has certainly been a viable pickup across most formats. His ceiling is obviously capped given the teams’ unwillingness to give him more than about 24 minutes. However, he is ultra-efficient and puts up solid defensive numbers on most nights, more than enough to maintain value.

    Daniel Gafford

    With Montrezl Harrell out of the way, perhaps Gafford can get back into the rotation, once he returns to the lineup of course. Their frontcourt rotation remains one of the more confusing in the league, especially with the arrival of Kristaps Porzingis. To anyone watching on, Gafford appears to be the better option, at least when compared to Thomas Bryant. Much like Thad Young, Gafford has an opportunity but GMs are going to have to take a bit of a flier in the hopes of a nice payoff.

    Streaming Targets

    Points

    Oshae Brissett

    Coby White

    Terance Mann

    Garrison Mathews

    Bones Hyland

    3-pointers 

    Garrison Mathews

    Coby White

    Bones Hyland

    Corey Kispert

    Gabe Vincent

    Assists

    Dennis Smith Jr.

    Rajon Rondo

    Jordan McLaughlin

    Lance Stephenson

    Gabe Vincent

    Rebounds

    Oshae Brissett

    Jalen Smith

    Hassan Whiteside

    Jae Crowder

    JaVale McGee

    Steals

    Dennis Smith Jr.

    Matisse Thybulle

    Rajon Rondo

    Justin Holiday

    Kyle Anderson

    Blocks

    Hassan Whiteside

    Goga Bitadze

    JaVale McGee

    Oshae Brissett

    Isaiah Hartenstein


    Is Adam on the money with his Waiver Wire piece? Let him know in our Fantasy Basketball Forums or over on our members-only Discord channel

    For anything fantasy basketball-related, Adam has you covered. Follow him on Twitter @adamking91 or hit us up @SportsEthos or @ethosfantasyBK

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