Fantastic Basketball Waiver Wire Pickups: Watch Reaves
Working the waiver wire is essential for success in fantasy basketball. With so many games, injuries, and endless shifts in rotations throughout the marathon campaign, we’ll need to get free agency stats to max out fantasy rosters.
A willingness to entertain the competition for the last spots on your fantasy hoops list can prove rewarding. When curating this fluid collective of stat contributors, it’s helpful to consider your end-of-the-bench players in direct competition with the talent floating around in free agency.
The goal of this weekly series is to identify players at each position widely available in free agency in the ESPN leagues. Some appointments are specialists who can help in one or two categories, while others offer more diverse and significant statistical offerings. In the breakdowns below, I’ve ranked the players at each position with acquisition priority in mind, rather than roster percentage in ESPN leagues.
Talen Horton-Tucker, Utah Jazz (enrolled in 9.5% of ESPN leagues): The Jazz moved to Horton-Tucker as primary point guard following Mike Conley’s transfer to Minnesota. This unique wing has paced Utah in passing and is second in drives over the past 10 games, signaling valuable use as the team pursues development and lottery fairness over time.
Immanuel Quickley, New York Knicks (32.1%): The current favorite for Sixth Man of the Year honours, Quickley has thrived in his recent starts in place of Jalen Brunson. Regardless of his starting status, it’s a good idea to add “IQ” for fantasy playoffs.
Tyus Jones, Memphis Grizzlies (26.7%): With Ja Morant still off the ground, Jones should continue to start and deliver as the team’s top resident distributor. After all, Jones has at least 10 cents in three of his last four games.
Trey Murphy III, New Orleans Pelicans (23.3%): A career goalscoring effort on Sunday capped off a good week of production for this two-way wing. Active defensive rates complement a growing attacking role for a player who could burst at the right time.
Delon Wright, Washington Wizards (27.7%): A nasty recent outing against the 76ers confirms that the floor may be low for this defensive-minded wing. Again, pacing the league in steals per game and steal percentage (min. 300 minutes) still equates to ongoing value for Wright.
Austin Reaves, Los Angeles Lakers (8.4%): The Lakers have leaned on Reaves for significant minutes lately as a key guy in the rotation. Solid scoring and improved game numbers make Reaves worth signing up for until LeBron James is back in the mix.
Jalen Williams, Oklahoma City Thunder (54.0%): A triple-double skill set and know-how beyond his rookie status means Williams deserves more attention from fantasy managers. In some context, he ranks sixth among Player Rater small forwards over the past month as peers with Kawhi Leonard and Anthony Edwards.
Kyle Anderson, Minnesota Timberwolves (21.4%): D’Angelo Russell’s switch to Mike Conley has opened up scoring and playing moments for Anderson in recent weeks. While he won’t impress you in any category, the sum of Anderson’s contributions can prove rewarding.
Tim Hardaway Jr., Dallas Mavericks (17.9%): With the Mavericks’ superstar duo limited lately, Hardaway Jr. could be tasked with increased scoring duties in stride for a Dallas team that needs some pop on the periphery.
Herbert Jones, New Orleans Pelicans (30.2%): A constant source of steals and blocks who has recently surfaced with stronger offensive production, Jones rarely gives voice to a team that needs his defensive impact.
Jabari Smith Jr., Houston Rockets (35.1%): Even though the wins are showing, Smith’s improvement since the break has been noticeable; he’s nearly averaged a double-double over the past week while maintaining a quietly stellar block rate.
Jeremy Sochan, San Antonio Spurs (9.8%): As long as a seemingly minor knee ailment doesn’t prevent him from staying on the ground this week, Sochan is a fun addition given the versatile role he’s played in recent outings.
Walker Kessler, Utah Jazz (53.4%): Unquestionably named the most of all pivots as the best free agent this season, Kessler remains available in far too many leagues for a player with an undeniably elite block rate and a new double-double pattern. Her teammate Kelly Olynyk (30.7%) is also worth listing given the recent increase in offensive workload.
Xavier Tillman, Memphis Grizzlies (9.7%): With Brandon Clarke badly injured and Steven Adams unlikely to return this regular season, Tillman is positioned for unfettered opportunities to work the glass and collect defensive numbers for a suddenly shallow Memphis frontcourt.
Zach Collins, San Antonio Spurs (15.8%): Stringing together impressive lines in one of the best spells of his career, Collins has little competition for minutes or after touches on Spurs.