Fantasy Basketball Waiver Wire: It's time to load up on key NBA talent for Week 22!
The fantasy basketball playoffs roll on, and like every Monday, I'll break down several players who are less than 50% rostered in Yahoo fantasy basketball leagues. For additional tips on navigating Week 22, check out this playoff cheat sheet and schedule analysis as well as my Week 22 teams to avoid and exploit.
Here are the games played by each team in Week 22.
Four games: 76ers, Bulls, Grizzlies, Hawks, Hornets, Jazz, Kings, Mavericks, Nets, Pacers, Rockets, Spurs, Thunder, Warriors and Wizards
Three games: Bucks, Cavaliers, Celtics, Clippers, Knicks, Lakers, Magic, Pelicans, Raptors, Suns, Timberwolves and Trail Blazers
Two games: Heat, Nuggets, Pistons
Okay, now that you know which teams to target for streaming, let's get to the pickups.
Austin Reaves - SG/SF, Los Angeles Lakers (47% rostered)
Reaves had a coming-out party Sunday night, torching the Magic for 35 points with 6 rebounds and 6 assists. His efficiency was on full display, going 9-for-14 from the field and knocking down 16-of-18 free throw attempts. He was stone-cold in the clutch, scoring the Lakers' final 10 points in an important win to keep the Lakers one game out of the play-in race.
His play over the previous five games certainly warrants being rostered in more leagues, as he's averaged over 20 points, 4 rebounds and close to 5 assists with 60/33/80 shooting splits.
LeBron giving Austin Reaves his favorite durag after the Lakers game pic.twitter.com/7ECR1SHCGD
— Josiah Johnson (@KingJosiah54) March 20, 2023
He won't contribute much on the defensive end, and the Lakers' schedule is a little dicey for Week 22; the Lakers are off until Wednesday, and all three of their games are on 9+ game slates (Wed/Fri/Sun). However, he's locked in right now, so if you have the space to hold him, do it.
Xavier Tillman - PF/C, Memphis Grizzlies (44% rostered)
He finished 68th in per-game value last week and has quietly become a strong asset for steals as a frontcourt player. He's also coming off a 14-point, 10-rebound, 5-assist, 2-steal performance in a win over the Warriors on Saturday night.
The Grizzlies have one of the best schedules for Week 22, facing the Rockets twice, a potential Luka-less Mavs and the Hawks. Outside of Monday's contest, the games are on larger slates (M/W/F/Sun), but Tillman is locked into at least 25 minutes a night and has low-end double-double potential with the steals and assists that you may not typically find out of a big man.
Caris LeVert - SG/SF, Cleveland Cavaliers (49% rostered)
LeVert finished Week 21 sixth in per-game value. Sixth! He may have been dropped in your league with the Cavs not playing since Friday, so if he's on the waiver, stop what you're doing and pick him up. The Cavs play Tuesday and Thursday this week (both matchups against the Nets), but more importantly, they're on smaller slates, so you'll definitely be able to fit him in your lineup.
LeVert's been on a heater lately, averaging 18 points, 3 rebounds, 5 assists, 3 threes and 2 steals per night over his last five games. LeVert is typically someone who'll negatively impact your FG%, but he's in the zone right now, shooting 54% from the field over that span and 52% from three-point range. He's become the leader of the second unit and will play an integral role down the stretch for the Cavs (2.5 games lead on the 4th seed in the East) as well as fantasy managers.
Kris Dunn - PG/SG, Utah Jazz (24% rostered)
The Jazz had an unfortunate schedule last week that fantasy managers can profit from in Week 22. Dunn was likely dropped in desperation, so if he's around on waivers, add him *T.I. voice* expeditiously.
He's averaging 11 points, 5 rebounds, 5 assists with almost 2 stocks while shooting over 51% from the field over his past 10 games. The Jazz play the Kings twice this week, the Trail Blazers (which should be high-scoring affairs) and the Bucks. The Jazz may not face a full-strength Bucks team either, since they'll be playing the Nuggets on the second leg of a back-to-back on Saturday.
Dunn's role is secure as long as Collin Sexton is out (and it surely doesn't hurt with Jordan Clarkson missing time with a finger injury, too) so keep Dunn locked into your lineup.
Aaron Nesmith - SF/PF, Indiana Pacers (27% rostered)
It's that time of the year when you need to ride the hot hand. Nesmith played at least 31 minutes in his last three contests and is averaging 20.7 points, 5.7 rebounds, 2.0 assists, 4.0 3PM and 1.7 stocks. He finished Week 21 25th in per-game value, and with four games on deck, he's worth adding.
Dennis Smith Jr. - PG, Charlotte Hornets (32% rostered)
There's a good chance Smith Jr. was dropped because of the Hornets' two-game schedule last week; if so, you need to pick him up with the quickness. Like Kris Dunn and T.J. McConnell (more on him later), Smith Jr. will be a valuable addition for assists and steals. However, his minutes are more secure than McConnell's, averaging 30 minutes a night over his last three games while putting up 8 points, 6 rebounds, and 8 assists with almost 3 stocks. Those stocks will be crucial for fantasy managers relative to his position, so grab him if he's available.
Malik Monk - PG/SG, Sacramento Kings (47% rostered)
The Kings have a unique schedule this week, playing two back-to-back sets on Monday, Tuesday, Friday and Saturday. So off one pickup, you can start Monk for at least three games since the Monday, Tuesday and Saturday games all fall on lighter slates. And while we don't know the severity of Kevin Huerter's ankle injury, he did miss Saturday's game, and he's listed as questionable ahead of Monday.
Newly acquired guard Kessler Edwards drew the start, but Monk and Terence Davis (more on him later, too) filled in for Huerter offensively. Monk put up 17 points with 4 rebounds, 6 dimes and 5 triples in only 23 minutes. He's averaging close to 17/3/3 with 4 threes in four games without Huerter this year, so if Huerter misses any additional time, Monk stands to benefit from it. Either way, he's been a top-100 player for the past two weeks, and given the Kings' scheduling advantage, he's worth adding this week if you're looking for points, threes and assists.
Jordan Nwora - SF/PF, Indiana Pacers (17% rostered)
The former Bucks forward is getting some solid run for the Pacers lately, and it looks like that'll stick for the time being. At the end of February, Pacers coach Rick Carlisle said he wanted to give Nwora an opportunity to play, and he's been useful for points, rebounds and threes. His fantasy contributions are similar to Aaron Nesmith's. Still, he should be a good streaming option in the short term playing four games and averaging over 14 points with 6 rebounds and 2 triples per contest over his past 10 games. Just be aware of his poor free-throw shooting.
Terence Davis - SG/SF, Sacramento Kings (5% rostered)
Davis scored 21 points (8-13 FG, 5-7 3PM) with 7 rebounds and 2 steals across 29 minutes with Huerter out of the lineup Saturday night. And he's done similar damage in four games without the Red Velvet, averaging 17.0 points. 5.5 rebounds, 1.8 assists, 3.8 3PM and 1.8 stocks.
Huerter (ankle) is questionable to play Monday. You'll want to make sure Huerter misses Monday's contest because if he does, Davis will eat.
T.J. McConnell - PG/SG, Indiana Pacers (41% rostered)
Tyrese Haliburton (ankle) is out on Monday night, and we'll see if he can make it back by Wednesday's game. In the meantime, McConnell will provide a nice boost in assists and steals and may even surprise with some double-digit scoring and some rebounds. He did notch a 19-point, 12-assist double-double two games ago, so it's not out of the realm of possibility. He finished Week 21 35th in per-game value, and with a cake matchup versus the Hornets on Monday, make sure he's not on your waiver wire.
Dillon Brooks - SG/SF, Memphis Grizzlies (46% rostered)
The Klay/Warriors talk must've revved him up because Brooks has been surprisingly hitting threes at a high rate over the past few games. He's hit at least 4 threes in three of his last four games, scoring at least 16 points.
Stay calm; I know it sounds crazy to recommend the chuckers of all chuckers, but if you need points and threes and a steal, Brooks can do that on Monday versus the Mavericks. I recommend streaming him for Monday only.