Fantasy Basketball Waiver Wire: 6 widely-available players to prioritize

By Gabe Allen, RotoWire

Special to Yahoo Sports

Not a lot has changed since last Friday’s waiver wire article; only one evening of games has since been played, and the All-Star break tends to be the time when fantasy managers are most likely to tune out for a few days. As such, most of last week’s recommended adds remain available in at least 50% of leagues.

At the end of the column, I’ve included a list of 10 players who have been suggested in recent weeks and should still be strongly considered; however, rather than reiterating why you ought to add one of those players, this week’s focus is on six players available in at least 75% of leagues.

Cole Anthony, Orlando Magic (24% rostered)

Since the second week of January, Anthony has seen his role continue to be reduced. However, Jalen Suggs (head) exited Thursday’s game against the Cavaliers and did not return, and Markelle Fultz (knee) sat out his second straight contest. Meanwhile, Anthony recorded 13 points, six assists, two boards, one steal and one block in just 19 minutes. It is within the realm of possibilities that both Suggs and Fultz are ready to rejoin the rotation as soon as Saturday’s matchup versus the Pistons. Still, if Suggs and/or Fultz were to miss a few more games, Anthony would presumably benefit. Anyone searching for a decent streaming option for next week should keep tabs on the status of Suggs and Fultz — and put Anthony on your watch list, especially in points leagues.

Kyle Lowry, Philadelphia 76ers (19% rostered)

Lowry looked good in his 76ers debut on Thursday, logging 11 points, five assists, four rebounds and one trey across 25 minutes against the Knicks. De’Anthony Melton (back), who has been sidelined since mid-January, is expected to be available for Friday’s game against the Cavaliers. If Melton’s injury issues are behind him, Lowry will have a lot more competition for playing time. Nevertheless, 76ers coach Nick Nurse’s familiarity with and trust in Lowry should not be overlooked in projecting his viability as a fantasy contributor going forward. As with Anthony, even if you aren’t rushing to add Lowry right away, do keep an eye on him, particularly in category leagues.

Cam Whitmore, Houston Rockets (17% rostered)

With no indication that Tari Eason (knee) is nearing a return to the rotation, Whitmore’s fantasy stock is on the way up. In his first game coming out of the All-Star break, Whitmore delivered 13 points, four rebounds, two rejections and two 3s in 24 minutes against the Pelicans. Houston is sliding in the standings, having lost six of the last seven games; if that trend continues, silly season — a time that’s often ripe for rookies who can score like Whitmore — will be arriving sooner rather than later for the Rockets. Skip the part where you put him on a watch list — go ahead and pick him up right now.

Luke Kennard, Memphis Grizzlies (14% rostered)

Marcus Smart (finger) remains three weeks away from being re-evaluated, while Desmond Bane (ankle) is expected to return to the lineup within three to five weeks. During the next few weeks, Kennard figures to have the ball in his hands quite a bit. It all comes down to availability; if Kennard’s knee issues are truly behind him and he can give it a go on a nightly basis, he’s probably going to be worth adding in a bunch of leagues for the next few weeks. Although he doesn’t bring much to the table defensively, his offensive versatility allows him to contribute in multiple categories, affording him value in a variety of fantasy formats.

Andrew Nembhard, Indiana Pacers (12% rostered)

In the five games since Indiana traded Buddy Hield, Nembhard is averaging 9.8 points and 4.8 assists, compared to 1.0 turnovers, 2.6 boards, 1.6 steals and 1.0 3s in 31.6 minutes. His ability to defend, hit 3s, drive, and create offense for teammates while limiting turnovers has helped him earn a more significant role of late. The sophomore has also substantially improved his field-goal percentage from last year (44.1% to 49.2%), and if the recent increase in playing time continues, his counting stats may keep rising as well.

Jordan Goodwin, Memphis Grizzlies (4% rostered)

Technically, Goodwin is still merely on a 10-day contract. However, Marcus Smart (finger) and Desmond Bane (ankle) are still on the mend, plus Scotty Pippen Jr. (back) is sidelined for at least three weeks. If you don’t trust Kennard, you probably also don’t believe in Derrick Rose or Jacob Gilyard either; and with good reason.

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All signs point to at least another 10-day contract for Goodwin, who has averaged 10.5 points, 5.0 rebounds, 3.0 assists, 1.5 steals, 1.0 3s and 0.5 blocks in 26.5 minutes through his first two games with the Grizzlies. If Goodwin remains with the Grizzlies, a four-game week — featuring two contests against the Trail Blazers and one against the Nets—is on the horizon. Those in need of a streaming option in very deep leagues may want to consider adding Goodwin.

Recent recommendations still rostered in less than 50% of leagues: Marvin Bagley III, Tre Mann, Nick Richards, Keyonte George, Ayo Dosunmu, Amen Thompson, GG Jackson II, Andre Drummond, Grant Williams, Kelly Olynyk