Fantasy Basketball Waiver Wire: Pickups to consider ahead of Week 17
Special to Yahoo Sports
It’s the calm before the storm in advance of next Thursday’s trade deadline, but seasoned fantasy managers are still staying sharp. While next week’s article will address the aftermath of the deadline, I won’t suggest any preemptive pickups based on rumored deals today — instead, let’s focus on players whose values are on the rise or who make for decent streaming options.
Here are six players to add heading into Week 17. Recently recommended players rostered in less than 50 percent of leagues are listed at the end, as usual.
Patrick Williams, Chicago Bulls (43% rostered)
Williams delivered a dud during Thursday’s matchup versus the Hornets. However, he has been trending upward, especially across the previous eight games when he averaged 13.1 points (50.7% FG, 40.0% 3PT, 88.2% FT), 5.6 boards, 1.8 threes, 1.6 assists, 0.9 steals and 0.9 blocks in 31.1 minutes. The third-year forward continues to improve from a consistency standpoint. Although, as evidenced by the last contest, there are still nights when he fails to make much of an impact.
Nevertheless, he’s maintaining career-high averages in scoring (10.3 PPG), blocks (0.8 BPG), free-throw percentage (89.2% FT) and minutes (29.4 MPG), and his well-rounded stat profile makes him worth rostering in most formats.
Kenyon Martin Jr., Houston Rockets (37% rostered)
Across the last dozen matchups, Martin has managed averages of 14.4 points (56.8% FG, 35.1% 3PT, 51.4% FT), 7.7 boards, 1.7 dimes and 1.1 threes in 30.0 minutes. He contributes next to nothing in terms of steals and blocks and struggles from the charity stripe. However, he rarely turns the ball over, having averaged just 1.0 giveaways over the last 12 games. With Kevin Porter (foot) still sidelined and Jalen Green (calf) and Jabari Smith (ribs) dealing with injuries as well, Martin could be heavily involved in the short term and merits consideration across all formats.
Nance has recorded three consecutive double-doubles while averaging 9.4 points (63.3% FG, 28.6% 3PT, 84.6% FT), 7.8 rebounds, 1.5 dimes, 1.1 steals and 0.6 blocks in 24.8 minutes across the last eight games. Meanwhile, Zion Williamson (hamstring) is still on the mend and will be re-evaluated in a couple of weeks, and Jonas Valanciunas has seen less than 20 minutes in three of the last six games while surpassing 22 minutes just once during that same stretch of play.
Although his role remains modest — the last time he earned 30-plus minutes was back on Dec. 11 — Nance is shooting a career-high percentage from the field (62.0% FG) and has proven himself to be worth a look in most leagues.
Frontcourt starters Jusuf Nurkic (calf) and Jerami Grant (concussion) both exited Wednesday’s win against the Grizzlies due to injury, and Eubanks stepped up to the tune of 11 points, 11 rebounds, three assists, one steal and one block across 24 minutes. With Nurkic out through the All-Star break, Eubanks is a solid streaming option, especially in deep leagues. In six starts this season, Eubanks is averaging 7.7 points (on 72.4 percent shooting from the field), 6.8 boards, 1.8 dimes, 1.3 blocks and 0.7 steals across 28.2 minutes.
Eric Gordon, Houston Rockets (19% rostered)
Since the turn of the new year, Gordon has averaged 16.1 points (46.1% FG, 33.3% 3PT, 80.7% FT), 3.4 assists, 2.4 rebounds and 1.8 threes in 30.9 minutes across 14 appearances. Moreover, he has combined for 49 points, 10 dimes and four steals in the last two contests. For those in leagues with daily lineups, Houston has four more games (including tonight versus Toronto) before the trade deadline, during which time Gordon should have the greenest of green lights.
Following the recent injury to Steven Adams (knee), Tillman has been thrust into a meaningful role after being a rotation afterthought for most of the campaign. Across the last six games, Tillman is averaging 6.2 points (64.0% FG, 62.5% FT), 7.7 rebounds, 2.5 assists, 2.0 steals and 0.5 blocks in 23.2 minutes. Adams (knee) is minimally expected to miss another two weeks, so for the time being, Tillman is a quality streaming option, particularly in deep leagues.
Recent recommendations: Tari Eason, Jeremy Sochan, Alex Caruso, Kevon Looney, Victor Oladipo, Royce O’Neale, Rui Hachimura, Daniel Gafford, Donte DiVincenzo, Isaiah Hartenstein, Pat Connaughton, Grayson Allen, Delon Wright, Hamidou Diallo