We’ve made it! In most season-long fantasy basketball leagues, this week is championship week. Some leagues may use a two-week final and some may only use the final week of the regular season but most think this time of year is already wild enough without pushing all the way to the last day of the season. While it would be ideal to have all your best players available for this week, that’s not going to be the case with all the roster churning, resting and injuries that teams are navigating coming to the finish of the regular season. Since the NBA teams are altering their rosters, you may have to as well, but the good news is that the same churn also means there are lots of opportunities for players on the waiver wire.
The schedule for this week culminates in a pair of massive 13-game slates on Friday and Sunday, sandwiched around the college basketball semifinals (Final Four) next Saturday. There are just two games Saturday and two games Thursday, so players with games on those days bring a little extra value. Every team plays at least three games in the coming week with 18 of the 30 teams scheduled for four games.
In this weekly post, you can find some of the hottest trending players, some deep league additions to consider and a more in-depth look at a few sleeper pickups. The sleeper targets listed below aren’t quite mainstream, but they are emerging as options with plenty of potential upside. The top trending players are good pickups to consider if available but are quickly vanishing off waiver wires. The deep league options at the bottom of the post can be a help if the top options and the four sleeper pickups have already been picked up.
Things change daily throughout the season, so follow along on my Twitter account @ZT_sports if you are looking for single-game streaming options, along with cheap DFS plays on a daily basis.
Top Trending Players
- PG Cole Anthony, Orlando Magic
- PG/SG Derrick White, Boston Celtics
- PG/SG De’Anthony Melton, Philadelphia 76ers
- SG/SF Royce O’Neale, Brooklyn Nets
- SG/SF Kevin Huerter, Sacramento Kings
- SG/SF Talen Horton-Tucker, Utah Jazz
- SG/SF Austin Reaves, Los Angeles Lakers
- SG/SF Caris LeVert, Cleveland Cavaliers
- SF Simone Fotecchio, Utah Jazz
- SF/PF Saddiq Bey, Atlanta Hawks
- PF/C Marvin Bagley III, Detroit Pistons
- PF/C Kelly Olynyk, Utah Jazz
- C Nick Richards, Charlotte Hornets
SG/SF/PF Shaedon Sharpe, Portland Trail Blazers (vs. NO, vs. SAC, vs. SAC, at MIN)
PF/C Trendon Watford, Portland Trail Blazers
The Trail Blazers are one of the few teams in the Western Conference that seem to have packed it in, and according to reports on Saturday, they’re leaning towards shutting down Damian Lillard (calf). With Jusuf Nurkic (knee), Jerami Grant (quad) and Anfernee Simons (foot) all sidelined by injury as well and Josh Hart traded to New York at the trade deadline, the Trail Blazers are without all of their regular starting lineup coming into the final weeks.
With so much usage available, there should be some strong considerations from the Blazers for the coming week, especially with four good matchups on the schedule that should be high scoring.
Sharpe was actually listed here as a pickup several weeks ago but has been in a smaller role than I expected until recently. As a result, he’s still available in about two-thirds of leagues.
With Dame out the last two games in addition to the rest of the Blazers’ injuries, the 19-year-old rookie has stepped into a larger role and entered the starting lineup. He had 24 points, nine rebounds, four steals and three assists on Wednesday against the Jazz and followed that up with 24 points, four rebounds and two assists Friday against the Bulls. He took 19 and 20 shots in those two games while logging a usage rate of 25.4% and playing over 38 minutes in each contest. With so much work coming his way, he has a very high ceiling and can contribute in multiple categories.
If you need help up front, Watford has also been getting more run and is another young player that should get lots of work in the coming week. He was also in one of my earlier pickups lists but is still widely available. He has started four of the last five games for the Blazers, averaging 33.2 minutes per game and producing 13.6 points, 6.4 rebounds, 4.0 assists and 1.6 steals per contest. He has shown the potential to approach a triple-double and has scored double-digit points in eight straight contests.
Watford and Sharpe are both very strong options to consider adding for the week ahead and can each help in a variety of categories. Sharpe has slightly more scoring upside while Watford helps across more categories.
PG/SG Coby White, Chicago Bulls (at LAC, vs. LAL, at CHA, vs. MEM)
If you need point guard help, White seems to have finally found his stride, as the Bulls wrap up the regular season. He’s still available in about 90% of leagues and is getting a lot more run lately, although he’s still usually coming off the bench.
White is still a score-first guard, but he has also flashed some assist potential lately. He has played over 26 minutes in each of his past six games and scored at least 11 points in five of those contests, averaging 14.5 points to go with 4.5 assists. He has also averaged 3.0 three-pointers made per game over those six contests, and he can be a big boost to your points and three-pointers if he continues to get so many opportunities. On Friday, he also posted a season-high nine assists while scoring 19 points for a second straight game.
Part of the increase in usage is that DeMar DeRozan (quad) and Alex Caruso (foot) are dealing with injuries, but White has shown he can contribute, so look for the Bulls to continue to give him opportunities coming down the stretch. He’s still only 23, so he can still prove he’s part of the core the team will look to build around moving forward.
SG/SF Luke Kennard, Memphis Grizzlies (vs. ORL, vs. LAC, vs. LAC, at CHI)
If you need points and three-pointers, another option worth considering is Grizzlies wing Luke Kennard. He was traded from the Clippers to the Grizz at the trade deadline. It took him a while to find his footing with his new squad, but he’s settled into a nice role.
He has scored double-digit points in six straight games, culminating in a 30-point outburst on Friday against the Rockets. He made 10-of-11 shots from the field in that game, all from long-range. Knocking down 10 three-pointers definitely skews the average, but he has averaged 4.5 three-pointers made over his past six games and should continue to bring his long-distance production off of Memphis’ bench.
Kennard doesn’t typically contribute in many other categories, so White actually has more diverse production potential. However, Kennard has been able to get hot and go on great runs, and Friday could be the start of such a streak. He’s definitely worth considering if he keeps getting so many opportunities.
Other options to consider
- PG Dennis Smith Jr, Charlotte Hornets
- PG Jordan Goodwin, Washington Wizards
- PG/SG Bones Hytland, Los Angeles Clippers
- PG/SG Andrew Nembhard, Indiana Pacers
- PG/SG Kris Dunn, Utah Jazz
- SG/SF Terance Mann, Los Angeles Clippers
- SG/SF Ochai Agbaji, Utah Jazz
- SG/SF Pat Connaughton, Milwaukee Bucks
- SG/SF Max Strus, Miami Heat
- SG/SF Corey Kispert, Washington Wizards
- SF/PF Deni Avdija, Washington Wizards
- SF/PF Joe Ingles, Milwaukee Bucks
- SF/PF Taruean Prince, Minnesota Timberwolves
- PF/C Isaiah Jackson, Indiana Pacers
- PF/C Chris Boucher, Toronto Raptors
- PF/C Jonathan Kuminga, Golden State Warriors
- PF/C Drew Eubanks, Portland Trail Blazers
- C Bismack Biyombo, Phoenix Suns
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I am a promoter at DraftKings and am also an avid fan and user (my username is Z.Thompson) and may sometimes play on my personal account in the games that I offer advice on. Although I have expressed my personal view on the games and strategies above, they do not necessarily reflect the view(s) of DraftKings and do not constitute a representation that any particular strategy will guarantee success. All customers should use their own skill and judgment in building lineups. I may also deploy different players and strategies than what I recommend above. I am not an employee of DraftKings and do not have access to any non-public information.