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Fantasy Basketball: Top NBA Waiver Wire Pickups for Week 17 of 2021-22

Zach Thompson gives his top additions from the waiver wire for your season-long fantasy basketball leagues heading into Week 17, which starts Monday, Feb. 7.

Oklahoma City Thunder v Dallas Mavericks Photo by Glenn James/NBAE via Getty Images

The NBA has one more full week of action before the All-Star break with the NBA Trade Deadline looming on Thursday. Teams are trying to make their final roster tweaks for the stretch run, and there’s still time to give your fantasy team a similar boost from the waiver wire. Whether you’re shopping for help in a specific category or contributions across the board, there are widely available options that can help your roster.

In the upcoming week, there are at least five games each day building to an 11-game crescendo on Saturday night before a light two-game schedule on Sunday afternoon pre-Super Bowl. Eight teams have four games in the upcoming week while 20 teams play three times. The Houston Rockets and the Milwaukee Bucks are the outliers, only playing twice this week. The quality of matchups and the quantity of games for each team are definitely factors to consider, especially if you’re looking for shorter-term pickups, but you can also choose to sacrifice volume in the short term if you are looking for a longer-term solution.

At the top of this post each week, you can find the top trending pickups who are rapidly disappearing off the waiver wire and probably unavailable in your league. If they are still kicking around the waiver wire, they’re great options to consider. On the other extreme, you can find some very available deep-league options to consider at the bottom of the post. In between those two groups, you can find four highlighted sleepers who I think are good pickups trending in the right direction. Things change in a hurry from day to day and with the trade deadline coming, so stay locked into 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


C Jaxson Hayes, New Orleans Pelicans (vs. HOU, vs. MIA, vs. SA)

Hayes was the No. 8 overall pick in the draft in 2019 but hasn’t gotten consistent playing time with the Pelicans since Jonas Valanciunas and Guillermó Hernangomez take up most of the room in the middle. That’s starting to change, though, as the Pelicans look more to the future and start giving the 21-year-old some extra playing time and usage. While Valanciunas was battling a bad back and the health and safety protocols, Hayes ran off a string of three straight games with at least 13 points and an average of 5.0 rebounds per contest.

Three games ago, when the Pelicans visited the oversized Cavs, the Pelicans used a different lineup and started Hayes next to Valanciunas. With Josh Hart (knee) sidelined, they’ve stuck with the big starting five and Hayes has produced three strong games. He had 19 points, seven rebounds and three blocks against the Cavaliers on Monday and followed that with six points and seven rebounds against the Pistons the following night. On Friday, he had his best game of the season with 22 points on a perfect 9-for-9 from the field while adding 11 rebounds, a steal and a blocked shot. While he obviously won’t have that perfect shooting night every game, he is shooting 63% on the season from the field and his per-36 numbers indicate a double-double should be within reach on most nights if he continues to log starters minutes. The Pelicans are a team expected to be active at the trade deadline with Hart being one of many names swirling in rumors. If the dust settles with Hayes in a starting role, he could be a great big-man pickup coming down the stretch.


SG/SF Reggie Bullock, Dallas Mavericks (vs. DET, vs. LAC, vs LAC)

On the season, Bullock has a usage rate of only 13.5% but that has jumped lately, and over his past five games he has a 19.5% usage rate. The veteran wing has stepped into a larger role with Tim Hardaway Jr. (foot) and Sterling Brown (foot) sidelined. With Maxi Kleber (knee) and Kristaps Porzingis (knee) also sidelined, Bullock climbed into the starting five for Friday night’s game against the 76ers. He had a 22.3% usage rate in that spot start and poured in 20 points to help the Mavs get a win even without all those key pieces.

Bullock has knocked down at least three 3-pointers in five straight games and has averaged 18.2 points on 4.4 3-pointers while adding 5.0 rebounds and 1.4 steals per contest. Bullock’s increased role should make him a great addition for any roster that needs some outside shooting.


SG/SF Terry Taylor, Indiana Pacers (at ATL, vs. CLE, vs. MIN)

Taylor has been red hot since stepping into a bigger role for the injury-depleted Pacers and has probably earned a longer look depending on who moves in and out of Indiana at the deadline. He has a lot of positional and situational flexibility and is being used mostly in the front court right now with Myles Turner (foot), Domantas Sabonis (health and safety protocols), Goga Bitadze (foot) and Isaiah Jackson (ankle) all battling injury or illness. Taylor has profiled as a big wing for most of his development and could move to more time on the wing as players start to return to the lineup.

In his four G League regular-season games with the Fort Wayne Mad Ants, Taylor dominated with 29.8 points and 12.0 rebounds per game after averaging 18.9 points, 12.2 rebounds, 2.4 assists and 1.4 steals over his 14 games played in the Winter Showcase in Vegas. He has played over 20 minutes in three straight games for the Pacers and has been very impressive. He had 24 points, 16 rebounds and three assists on Wednesday against the Magic, which was enough to earn him a start on Friday against the Bulls, when he dropped 21 points to go with 14 boards and five more assists. Taylor’s role is a little uncertain which makes him a riskier addition, but he’s still widely available and has proven he can be a major contributor if given the chance.


PF/C Zach Collins, San Antonio Spurs (at CLE, at ATL, at NO)

After three years with the Trail Blazers, Collins signed with the Spurs this offseason but has been sidelined all season following foot surgery. He hadn’t played in the NBA for 540 days before returning Friday night against the Rockets. He did play eight games with the Austin Spurs in the G League to work on his conditioning, and he averaged 15.3 points, 8.5 rebounds and 1.8 blocks in 25.8 minutes per game.

In his 13 minutes on Friday, Collins chipped in a quick 10 points, seven rebounds, three assists and two steals. He looked healthy and comfortable on the court and showcased the full range of offensive moves that made him an interesting fantasy option before the injury. He’s rostered in under 5% of leagues and obviously isn’t a must-add after such a long layoff with uncertain playing time. However, if you’re in a competitive league and need size, Collins has a very high ceiling and makes a very interesting speculative pickup to see if he can work his way into a large enough role to thrive. The Spurs are headed on their annual rodeo trip, and Collins’ role will be something to monitor after his impressive return.


Other options to consider

  • PG Brandon Goodwin, Cleveland Cavaliers
  • PG/SG Patrick Beverley, Minnesota Timberwolves
  • PG/SG/SF Javonte Green, Chicago Bulls
  • SG Tre Mann, Oklahoma City Thunder
  • SG/SF Tony Snell, Portland Trail Blazers
  • SG/SF Gary Harris, Orlando Magic
  • SF/PF Darius Bazley, Oklahoma City Thunder
  • SF Ziaire Williams, Memphis Grizzlies
  • SF Mamadi Diakite, Oklahoma City Thunder
  • SF/PF Taurean Prince, Minnesota Timberwolves
  • PF Justise Winslow, Portland Trail Blazers
  • PF/C Serge Ibaka, Los Angeles Clippers
  • PF/C Larry Nance Jr., Portland Trail Blazers
  • C Alperen Sengun, Houston Rockets

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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.


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