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Fantasy Basketball Waiver Wire: 8 widely available targets to consider ahead of Week 13

By Gabe Allen, RotoWire

Special to Yahoo Sports

This week’s fantasy basketball waiver wire article focuses primarily on deep-league options, with all eight suggested pickups rostered in no more than 32% of leagues. As such, most of the following players should be available in all but the very deepest leagues. Some of these players may even be worth adding in 10- and 12-team leagues as well, if only on a short-term basis. As usual, a list of recently recommended players is included at the end.

Moritz Wagner, C, Orlando Magic (32% rostered)

Moritz Wagner headshot
Moritz Wagner
C - ORL - #21
2023 - 2024 season
10.9
Pts
4.3
Reb
0.5
Stl
0.3
Blk
17:41
Min

Small sample size alert! Across the last three games, Wagner is averaging 18.3 points, 8.7 boards, 1.7 assists, 1.7 steals and 1.3 threes in 31.6 minutes. Wendell Carter Jr. continues to suffer through right knee tendinitis and remains questionable ahead of Friday’s matchup versus Miami. Orlando is becoming infamous for listing injured players as day-to-day even when it’s more of a long-term issue. It is possible Carter could be on the verge of returning to the rotation; then again, he could miss another month or more, for all we know. Goga Bitadze has stepped up in a major way, providing stalwart defense down low, whereas Wagner offers offensive firepower. If you’re already rostering Carter, or like me, have doubts about how often he’s going to be available for the remainder of the season, Wagner may be worth adding.

Duop Reath, C, Portland Trail Blazers (27% rostered)

Duop Reath headshot
Duop Reath
C - POR - #26
2023 - 2024 season
9.1
Pts
3.7
Reb
0.5
Stl
0.6
Blk
17:51
Min

Like Wendell Carter Jr., Deandre Ayton is dealing with knee tendinitis, which has caused him to miss nine games and counting. Reath, meanwhile, has averaged 11.5 points, 8.3 rebounds, 1.5 threes, 1.3 assists and 1.0 blocks in 28.2 minutes over his last four outings. With Ayton hobbled and Robert Williams (knee) ruled out for the season, Reath could be relied upon heavily during the second half of the season. At the very least, though, he’s a strong streaming option if Ayton remains sidelined for another week or more.

Alec Burks, PG/SG/SF, Detroit Pistons (24% rostered)

Alec Burks headshot
Alec Burks
SG - NY - #18
2023 - 2024 season
10.4
Pts
2.3
Reb
1.3
Ast
0.4
Stl
18:22
Min

Players on the worst teams produce stats, too, and while it’s typically the younger players who shine in the second half of the season, Burks has been filling it up for the last few weeks. Over the last nine games, Burks has reached double figures in scoring every night while averaging 17.0 points, 3.0 threes, 2.9 boards and 1.2 assists in 23.5 minutes. It would be surprising if he manages to keep this up for the rest of the campaign, but for now, Burks is clearly worthy of consideration for anyone in need of some extra scoring.

Dennis Smith Jr., PG/SG, Brooklyn Nets (16% rostered)

Dennis Smith Jr. headshot
Dennis Smith Jr.
PG - BKN - #4
2023 - 2024 season
6.6
Pts
2.9
Reb
3.6
Ast
1.2
Stl
18:55
Min

Another small sample size alert! Across the last three contests, Smith is averaging 8.3 points, 7.3 assists, 6.0 rebounds, 1.3 steals and 0.7 blocks in 25.6 minutes. Ben Simmons (back) could throw a wrench into Smith’s fantasy value if he continues to progress to the point where he’s able to rejoin the rotation. However, until that happens, Smith seems likely to continue earning ample minutes off the bench while producing well-rounded stat lines.

Luke Kennard, PG/SG, Memphis Grizzlies (15% rostered)

Luke Kennard headshot
Luke Kennard
SG - MEM - #10
2023 - 2024 season
11
Pts
2.9
Reb
3.5
Ast
0.5
Stl
25:37
Min

Kennard has been thrust into the starting lineup because of the Grizzlies’ growing injury list. With Ja Morant (shoulder) out for the season and Marcus Smart (finger) sidelined for at least six weeks, Kennard will probably be heavily relied upon for the foreseeable future. While it hasn’t been a season to write home about for Kennard thus far, he did deliver 14 points, five rebounds, four dimes, three treys and one steal in Tuesday’s win over the Mavericks. Those in deeper leagues should strongly consider adding him in case he establishes himself as the third-most reliable offensive option behind Desmond Bane and Jaren Jackson Jr.

Killian Hayes, PG/SG, Detroit Pistons (13% rostered)

Killian Hayes headshot
Killian Hayes
PG - DET - #7
2023 - 2024 season
6.9
Pts
2.8
Reb
4.9
Ast
0.9
Stl
24:00
Min

Cade Cunningham (knee) will be re-evaluated within the next week. However, given that the response was relief that he avoided a significant injury, it won’t be a shocker if he ends up missing a couple more weeks of games. While Cunningham is on the shelf, Hayes will have the ball in his hands early and often as the team’s starting point guard. Having collected four points, 12 dimes and four boards in 32 minutes during Wednesday’s matchup versus the Spurs, it’s obvious that Hayes is highly capable as a distributor even if his scoring touch is streaky at best. If you need assists and steals, search no further than Hayes.

Kris Dunn, PG, Utah Jazz (12% rostered)

Kris Dunn headshot
Kris Dunn
PG - UTA - #11
2023 - 2024 season
5.4
Pts
2.9
Reb
3.8
Ast
1
Stl
18:55
Min

Dunn, like fellow former lottery pick guards Dennis Smith Jr. and Dante Exum (heel), has emerged as a decent fantasy option this season. Despite Utah’s recent return to full strength from an injury perspective, Dunn continues to hold down the starting point guard gig. During the last two games, he is averaging 5.0 points, 8.0 assists, 4.0 rebounds, 2.5 steals, 1.5 blocks and 1.0 threes in 25.0 minutes. The defensive ability is something he was already showcasing even in the beginning of his professional career, while the sound playmaking decisions are a newer development. Only time will tell if he can hold off rookie point guard Keyonte George, but for now, Dunn has shown enough to warrant consideration, especially in deep leagues.

Thaddeus Young, Toronto Raptors (11% rostered)

Thaddeus Young headshot
Thaddeus Young
PF - PHO - #30
2023 - 2024 season
4.2
Pts
3.1
Reb
1.7
Ast
0.2
Blk
13:18
Min

With Jakob Poeltl (ankle) out for a couple weeks at minimum, Young has been promoted into the starting lineup. During the last two games, the versatile veteran has averaged 9.0 points, 4.5 rebounds, 3.5 assists, 2.5 steals and 0.5 blocks across 26.0 minutes. Given the team’s lack of depth in terms of true centers, Toronto will likely continue to roll out smaller lineups with Young playing plenty of minutes. Those already rostering Poeltl would be wise to consider Young as a stopgap option in case the former’s ankle injury lingers.

Recent recommendations still rostered in less than 50% of leagues: Tari Eason, Brandin Podziemski, Alex Caruso, Nick Richards, Kevin Love, Trayce Jackson-Davis, Kelly Olynyk, Vince Williams Jr., Goga Bitadze, Derrick Jones Jr., Paul Reed, Larry Nance Jr.