With only three weeks left in this wild and crazy NBA regular season, it’s time to focus on bringing your season-long fantasy basketball team in for a successful landing. Hopefully, you’re in the playoffs and pushing for a title, and just need a last-minute addition or two to put you over the top. The good news is that all the turmoil of the season has produced plenty of roster upheaval, so there are some great additions available on the waiver wire for many leagues. Some of the best addition options are highlighted below.
Looking at the week ahead, it’s going to be an especially active week for the Dallas Mavericks, Toronto Raptors and Oklahoma City Thunder, who each play five times in the next seven days. Twenty-two of the other 27 teams play four times, and the remaining five teams play three games. While you need to always go for the best players, it is worth noting that some pickups could have almost twice as many games if things go their way, so keep that in mind, especially in formats where the number of pickups is limited. As always, remember to consider your specific team needs and league rules when making your pickups.
PG/SG PJ Dozier, Denver Nuggets (vs. MEM, vs. NOP, vs. TOR, at LAC)
The Nuggets are in the heat of a playoff chase but are dealing with multiple significant injuries in their backcourt. Will Barton was the latest to go down with what coach Mike Malone called a “significant” right hamstring strain, joining Jamal Murray (knee) and Monte Morris (hamstring). Austin Rivers was brought in to help with depth, but Dozier is ahead of him on the depth chart right now and should continue to play a very significant role for the coming week.
Dozier made his first start of the season on Saturday against the Rockets and produced a season-high 23 points along with seven rebounds, three assists, two steals and two blocks on his 21.4% usage rate. His usage rate was already climbing, and he has a 19.9% usage rate over his past seven games in just under 26 minutes per game. He won’t always be as efficient as he was on Saturday, but he should stay very involved and contribute across the board in multiple categories in the coming week. He brings lots of positional versatility as well, so he can help fill in where needed on your roster depending on his positional eligibility in your specific format.
Bazley is still surprisingly available in about half of season-long leagues and should be a key acquisition for the upcoming week. While the Thunder have been shuffling players around, they have pretty much left Bazley locked in as their starting PF. He has started all eight games since returning and averaged 33.4 minutes per game with a usage rate of 25.7%.
In those eight games since returning, Bazley has shot 43% from the field while averaging 1.6 3-pointers per contest. He has averaged 19.1 points, 6.9 rebounds, 1.8 assists and 1.0 steals per game over that stretch and has at least 19 points in five of his six most recent contests. While watching the Thunder may not be a ton of fun, their five games this coming week should bring Bazley plenty of fantasy goodness, which makes him a key pickup to grab if he’s still on the wire in your league.
The Raptors added Birch as a free agent two weeks ago, and it now looks like the 28-year-old big man will play a ton of minutes for them coming down the stretch with Chris Boucher (knee) sidelined. Birch has started five straight games for Toronto and has played 28.3 minutes per contest while averaging 8.8 points, 6.4 rebounds and 1.8 blocked shots per game. Birch doesn’t shoot many 3-pointers, but he also won’t hurt your percentages while still chipping in meaningful big-man numbers.
Without Boucher, he played almost 33 minutes on Saturday — a new high for his time with Toronto. He had eight points and seven boards and will be a threat for a low-level double-double in his five games coming up this week. Big man numbers can be hard to come by at this point in the season, but Birch should be able to contribute counting stats despite his low usage rate.
PG Brandon Goodwin, Atlanta Hawks, (at DET, at PHI, at PHI, vs. CHI)
The Hawks lost Trae Young (ankle) to a Grade 2 lateral left ankle sprain, which could keep him sidelined for a few weeks. The injury came at an awful time for both the Hawks and Young’s fantasy owners, who are left scrambling for fill-in options. One player who should step into a bigger opportunity for Atlanta is Goodwin, who still came off the bench in Young’s absence but did play 22 minutes against the Heat.
Goodwin had a 29.9% usage rate in his time on the floor and made 6-of-10 shots while handing out four assists to go with three rebounds as well. Lou Williams will also be in the mix, but the veteran sixth man may not be able to carry as much of the workload as Goodwin can. The Hawks went big in their starting five against Miami, but Goodwin could end up getting more run and could be inserted into the starting lineup if the matchup dictates Atlanta go more guard-heavy moving forward.
Other options to consider
- SF/PF Oshae Brissett, Indiana Pacers
- C Mo Bamba, Orlando Magic
- PG Theo Maledon, Oklahoma City Thunder
- PG Cole Anthony, Orlando Magic
- PG/SG Shake Milton, Philadelphia 76ers
- SG/SF Reggie Bullock, New York Knicks
- PG/SG Raul Neto, Washington Wizards
- SG Bruce Brown, Brooklyn Nets
- SG/SF Josh Jackson, Detroit Pistons
- PG/SG/SF Delon Wright, Sacramento Kings
- PG/SG Kendrick Nunn, Miami Heat
- PF/C Xavier Tillman, Memphis Grizzlies
- PF/C Davis Bertans, Washington Wizards
- PF/C Tristan Thompson, Boston Celtics
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