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Fantasy Basketball Pickups: Waiver wire adds for Week 9

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By Gabe Allen, RotoWire

Special to Yahoo Sports

We’re nearly two months into the season, with most teams having played at least 25 games. In the blink of an eye, we’ll be at the halfway point. The incessant injuries and illnesses have kept waiver wires alive and well in most leagues, and the trade deadline isn’t far off either.

All of which is to say, now is as good a time as ever to be focused on fantasy free agency.

As per usual, most of the players I’ve suggested this week have not been mentioned in previous weeks, with some exceptions.

Josh Hart, New Orleans Pelicans (49% rostered)

What’s with all the sleeping on former Villanova Wildcats? While I’m grateful that I don’t have to get on my soapbox for Jalen Brunson anymore, it’s an odd coincidence that here I find myself making the case for his former college teammate, for at least the third time this year.

*Dad Voice* I’m not mad, just disappointed.

Though Hart recently missed three consecutive contests due to left knee soreness and had been held to single digits in scoring in three straight before that, he made his presence felt in his return, registering 12 points, eight boards and eight dimes across 42 minutes during Wednesday’s matchup versus the Nuggets. With per-game averages of 11.1 points (48.5% FG, 32.7% 3PT, 85.1% FT), 6.4 rebounds, 4.1 assists, 0.9 steals, 0.8 threes and 0.4 blocks in 30.8 minutes through 20 appearances, there’s no valid explanation for why Hart is available in anywhere close to 50 percent of leagues, or for the fact that his rostered percentage is trending downward (-4% last day). Definitely double-check your league’s free-agent pool, just to be sure.

Chris Duarte, Indiana Pacers (48% rostered)

With Indiana actively involved in trade discussions that would set the club on course for a rebuild, Duarte is an obvious add across all fantasy formats. Moreover, the rookie has scored in double figures in eight straight games, averaging 14.4 points, 3.5 boards, 2.3 dimes, 1.6 threes and 1.4 steals in 28.9 minutes during that same stretch. If all goes well — and especially if Caris LeVert is eventually moved — Duarte should be earning 30-plus minutes on a nightly basis going forward. Add him now while you still can.

Chris Duarte #3 of the Indiana Pacers
Last call for Chris Duarte off the waiver wire. (Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images)

Kyle Anderson, Memphis Grizzlies (43% rostered)

Jaren Jackson Jr., Desmond Bane and Tyus Jones have stepped up with Ja Morant (knee) and now Dillon Brooks (protocols) sidelined. Nevertheless, Anderson, who just made his return to the lineup following a four-game absence due to back soreness, will likely be called upon to help pick up the slack offensively. Having managed seven points, four boards, four dimes, two blocks and one three in 15 minutes during Thursday’s victory over the Lakers, Anderson is clearly capable of producing useful stat lines even if he doesn’t earn a ton of playing time.

Joe Ingles, Utah Jazz (39% rostered)

Ingles has supplied exactly 11 points and seven dimes in consecutive contests. Offensively, he’s running the show well for the second unit, even if his own averages remain modest. Ingles isn’t an immediate add outside of deeper leagues, but if oft-injured veteran point guard Mike Conley misses time at some point, the 34-year-old forward would be worth a look in most leagues thanks to his efficiency, both in terms of shooting percentages and assist-to-turnover ratio.

Marcus Morris Sr., Los Angeles Clippers (39% rostered)

Morris has scored 20-plus points in three of the last four games, averaging 19.8 points, 4.0 boards, 3.8 threes and 2.3 assists across 32.8 minutes during this recent stretch. Nicolas Batum (illness) saw 15 minutes in his return to the lineup following a nine-game absence, while Paul George (elbow) missed Wednesday’s matchup versus the Celtics. Luke Kennard has also been solid during this recent stretch, scoring in double figures in five straight showings.

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However, Morris has a more consistent track record of maintaining fantasy relevance than Kennard, and the size and scoring Morris provides mixes well with coach Tyronn Lue’s penchant for rolling out lineups with multiple big wings. It’s likely his production will take a hit when the team is fully healthy, but Morris is worth adding in case he keeps filling it up offensively for a team that may be without Kawhi Leonard (knee) for the entire season.

Dorian Finney-Smith, Dallas Mavericks (39% rostered)

Over the last eight games, Finney-Smith is averaging 11.3 points, 4.0 rebounds, 2.5 assists, 2.3 treys, and 1.8 steals across 33.3 minutes. He’s not a flashy addition, especially in points leagues, but he’s still the Mavericks’ best 3-and-D wing, which all but guarantees him 30-plus minutes on a nightly basis. For those in need of a fairly well-rounded forward who’s both durable and (somewhat) dependable, Finney-Smith fits the bill.

Cody Martin, Charlotte Hornets (37% rostered)

Over the last three games, Martin is averaging 15.0 points, 5.7 boards, 3.3 dimes, 2.3 threes and 1.7 steals across 39.0 minutes. He is essentially a must-add player for the short-term while LaMelo Ball, Terry Rozier and Ish Smith are sidelined due to health and safety protocols, especially considering Charlotte has four games on the schedule during Week 9. However, Martin has been a viable fantasy option and a solid statistical contributor all season, so don’t necessarily drop him right away once the team is healthy.

Terence Davis, Sacramento Kings (34% rostered)

Davis has scored 13 points or more in five of the last six games and remained a starter during Wednesday’s matchup versus the Magic despite the return of Harrison Barnes (foot). Across the last six contests, Davis is averaging 16.8 points, 4.8 rebounds, 2.7 treys, 1.3 assists, 1.2 steals and 0.8 blocks in 24.8 minutes. He seems to be quickly gaining the trust of coach Alvin Gentry and warrants consideration in most formats.

Eric Gordon, Houston Rockets (32% rostered)

Kevin Porter Jr. (thigh) will miss his third straight game on Friday against the Bucks, while Jalen Green (hamstring) will miss his seventh straight and remains without a firm timetable to return. Meanwhile, Gordon has gone for 20-plus points in three consecutive outings. Gordon’s fantasy value is tied to the availability of Houston’s young backcourt duo since Gordon becomes the team’s top source of perimeter offense on nights when both are out. As such, Gordon is a solid streaming option at least until Porter and Green rejoin the rotation, at which point he can probably be dropped in most formats.

Danilo Gallinari, Atlanta Hawks (29% rostered)

Gallinari has earned 30-plus minutes only once in his last 10 games. However, across the last three contests, he’s averaging 18.3 points, 5.7 rebounds, 2.7 assists and 2.3 treys in 26.3 minutes. With Bogdan Bogdanovic (ankle) out for at least another few weeks, Gallinari is worth considering even though Cam Reddish (wrist) is listed as probable for Friday’s matchup versus the Nets, in large part since Atlanta has four games on tap for Week 9.

Herbert Jones, New Orleans Pelicans (17% rostered)

Jones has scored at least 13 points in three of the last five games. However, it’s his defensive contributions that have resulted in his rising rostered percentage (+7% last day). Delivering his best Matisse Thybulle impression, Jones has swiped 17 steals across the last eight games while recording eight rejections over the last five. Having earned 30-plus minutes in six of the last nine games, his defensive effort is forcing coach Willie Green to take note. Given the team’s inability to get stops through the first couple of months of the season, Jones is a good bet to continue earning ample minutes for the remainder of the campaign.

Caleb Martin, Miami Heat (6% rostered)

Though he hasn’t been a fixture in Miami’s regular rotation to the extent that his brother Cody has in Charlotte, Caleb Martin is coming off a career-high 28-point performance during Wednesday’s win over the defending champions. Moreover, Jimmy Butler recently re-aggravated his tailbone injury, and Martin has scored in double figures in five of the last six games. With averages of 14.7 points, 4.3 boards, 2.1 dimes and 2.0 treys across 28.8 minutes during this recent stretch — and a four-game matchup period on the horizon for Week 9 — Martin makes for a quality streaming option, especially if Butler misses more time.

Recent recommendations: Tyus Jones, Kevin Huerter, Alperen Sengun, Garrison Mathews, Dennis Smith Jr., Dewayne Dedmon, Patrick Beverley, Nicolas Batum, Immanuel Quickley, Cameron Johnson, Willy Hernangomez, Marvin Bagley, DeMarcus Cousins