March 20, 2022, 4:47 am
In this edition of Working the Wire, we’ll take a look at the games scheduled for week 22, 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 22
Back to Backs
Tue/Wed: ATL, GSW, NYK, ORL
Wed/Thu: IND, MEM, PHX
Fri/Sat: HOU, MIA, POR
Sat/Sun: BKN, NOP
Sun/Mon (of Week 23): BOS, CHA, GSW, NYK
A Look Back…
Alex Caruso (281st ranked player) – Hasn’t been super impressive so let’s go with a loss
Austin Reaves (175th ranked player) – Role is solidifying, I’ll go with a pass
Alec Burks (165th ranked player) – Locked in as the starter, a soft win
Devonte Graham (108th ranked player) – A win here but can be dropped if he is ruled out on Sunday
Trendon Watford (89th ranked player) – A bit up and down but a clear win
Marvin Bagley III (268th ranked player) – Some obvious flaws but in a punt situation, a clear win
Kevin Huerter (93rd ranked player) – A nice stretch here, a clear win
Jonathan Kuminga (210th ranked player) – The return of Draymond Green has hurt but I’ll take a soft win
Goga Bitadze (124th ranked player) – Trending up, a clear win
Dwight Powell (116th ranked player) – Nothing flashy but doing just enough to be a win
Waiver Wire Options
Wright is coming off arguably his best game in a Hawks uniform, a game in which he flashed his ability to fill up the boxscore. When handed the starting role, he quickly becomes a must-roster player across all formats. However, before running to grab him, we need to keep in mind Trae Young did not play in said game. Young is questionable again on Sunday and if he is unable to suit up, make sure Wright isn’t sitting around on your waiver wire.
After a confusing start to the season, head coach Steve Nash appears to have realized Brown can actually contribute to winning basketball. Much like Wright, Brown has the ability to chip in across the board when logging meaningful minutes. He has been a top-40 player over the past week and as long as his role sticks, he should be added everywhere.
A top-65 player over the past seven days, Hyland is beginning to add an element of consistency to his game. While others around him have struggled in recent times, Hyland has emerged as a reliable source of offense off the bench for the Nuggets. Add to that an improved passing game and serviceable defensive contributions, and you have a player who is finally living up to some of the expectations from earlier in the season.
Alvarado has been a steady source of steals all season, despite playing fewer than 20 minutes per night. However, with a couple of injuries to other players, he has been able to up his playing time over the past week, elevating him into the top-60. Keeping in mind his value is still highly dependent on steals, Alvarado is worth a look as a short-term option.
Craig has been fantastic over the past two games, taking advantage of injuries to both Jae Crowder and Cam Johnson. To put things in perspective, he is inside the top-15 over the past week. Obviously, that is unsustainable and so nobody should be fooling themselves here. Crowder is questionable again on Sunday, while Johnson remains without a timetable. If Crowder is to get back out there, Craig’s upside would take a hit. However, as long as Johnson is out, Craig should be able to hold down a steady role moving forward.
The Clippers rotations are a bit all over the place which does make Mann a bit of a risky add in competitive leagues. Over the past week, his playing time is up over 30 minutes per night, landing him as a top-50 player. This could all come crashing down but as long as he is featuring prominently, he is worth a look in most formats.
With Brandon Ingram on the sideline (yet again), Hayes has been able to step things up for the Pels. Since entering the starting lineup alongside Jonas Valanciunas, Hayes has seen his value fluctuate wildly. At one point, he was a must-add player, even in shallow formats. His numbers then declined rapidly, seeing him land on a number of waiver wires. He is back inside the top-50 over the past week and as long as Ingram is out, Hayes should be considered in most places.
Lyles has been playing 30 minutes per night over the past week, putting up top-50 production. While it may not make much sense to onlookers, the Kings are never afraid of throwing out some wacky rotations in their quest for success. This feels as though it is going to come to an end at some point but for now, Lyles is arguably a must-roster player.
John Collins is dealing with multiple injuries right now, freeing up some playing time for Okongwu. While he hasn’t seen the bump many would have hoped for, he has been a top-40 player over the past week, despite playing just 20 minutes per night. As long as he can clear that threshold, he should probably be picked up in most leagues, especially for anyone seeking an efficient scorer who can rack up both boards and blocks in a hurry.
Much like Okongwu, Hartenstein only needs 20 minutes to be a standard league asset, something he has been able to achieve over the past seven days. In fact over that span, he has been a top-60 player while scoring just 9.5 points per game. He is unlikely to see additional minutes moving forward, barring an injury to Ivica Zubac of course. As of right now, he is worth considering as long as expectations are kept in check.
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