Fantasy Basketball Waiver Wired, Week 20

We are in the home stretch of the fantasy hoops season. One month from today, the regular season will be over, which means that your fantasy playoffs will likely wrap up earlier than that. Every day, more and more injuries pile on, which has managers scrambling to find production from players that never sniffed their draft board before the season.

The format for this article will feature players who are “tired” and those who are “wired.” Tired players are those worth adding off the wire but with tempered expectations or highly rostered players who can be dropped in favor of a hot pickup. Wired players are those who are the best additions with the highest rest-of-season ceilings.

Pickups in order or priority:

  1. Amen Thompson

  2. Vasilije Micic

  3. Jock Landale

  4. Bilal Coulibaly

  5. De’Andre Hunter

  6. Gradey Dick

  7. Brice Sensabaugh

  8. Georges Niang

  9. Bruno Fernando

Tired: Alperen Sengun (86%)
Wired: Amen Thompson (44%) ⚡️

Sengun’s injury may not have been as severe as it appeared to be, but the odds of him playing again this season are still slim. He had a phenomenal season, and he should be drafted really early next year, but there is no reason to continue to hold on.

Look to his teammate instead. On Tuesday, Thompson got the starting nod in place of Sengun, though he didn’t provide much value in 23 minutes. Thursday went much better for him, as he contributed 20 points, 10 rebounds, four assists and three steals in 28 minutes. Thompson should be streamed as long as he remains in the starting unit. The playmaking may not be there with Fred VanVleet running the show, but Amen should be able to do enough in other categories to make up for it.

Tired: Dalano Banton (28%)
Wired: Vasilije Micic (30%) ⚡️

Banton has started four of Portland’s last six games, including the front end of their back-to-back on Wednesday and Thursday. While he was effective as a starter when Scoot Henderson was out, he only played 19 minutes when he started on Wednesday. He started that game so that they could manage Scoot’s minutes, and he started again on Thursday with Anfernee Simons sidelined. While he did play big minutes, the production wasn’t there. Banton had a solid run as a streamer, but he can be returned to the waiver wire.

Micic has started the last six games for Charlotte and is averaging 15.8 points, 3.3 rebounds, 6.3 assists, 1.2 steals and 1.7 triples per game. In their last game on Wednesday, Micic had 25 points and eight assists despite Tre Mann returning to the lineup. Mann finished that game without an assist, so Micic may be the primary playmaker moving forward.

Tired: Karl-Anthony Towns (80%)
Wired: Jock Landale (28%) ⚡️

After undergoing knee surgery on Tuesday, Towns is expected to be re-evaluated in four weeks, which means that the earliest he could return would be the final few days of the regular season. That would be the best case scenario, and he will likely be on a strict minutes limit. He could be rostered in so many leagues due to teams already being eliminated, not paying attention or having him as a keeper. However, if those don’t apply to you, it’s time to let go.

Landale has played well in Houston’s first two games without Alperen Sengun. He has averaged 12.0 points, 4.5 rebounds and 3.0 assists in 26.5 minutes off the bench. The fact that he is coming off the bench may discourage managers from adding him, but he is their only true center option. He’ll continue to play a large reserve role for the remainder of the season.

Tired: Isaiah Hartenstein (63%)
Wired: Georges Niang (11%) ⚡️

Hartenstein has been on a pretty strict minutes restriction since the All-Star break, and he is averaging 5.4 points, 6.6 rebounds, 3.0 assists and 0.9 blocks in 21.2 minutes per game. He was effective at first when he took over the starting center spot, but in such a limited role, he may not be worth keeping around.

Niang has started Cleveland’s last five games as Dean Wade remains sidelined due to personal reasons. During that stretch, Niang is averaging 14.6 points, 4.2 rebounds, 2.4 assists, 1.0 steal and 2.8 triples per game, which has allowed him to produce top-75 value in 9-cat leagues. Cleveland has a four-game week next week, so keep an eye on the injury report to make sure Wade remains sidelined.

Tired: Bojan Bogdanovic (59%)
Wired: Brice Sensabaugh (4%) ⚡️

Bogdanovic has been disappointing since he was traded to the Knicks, and his role has decreased even more as of late. He was held scoreless in 22 minutes on Tuesday, which was OG Anunoby’s first game back, and he had just five points off the bench on Thursday. He held value as a volume scorer with the Pistons, but he isn’t worth rostering as a reserve in New York.

Sensabaugh was disappointing in his most recent start, but he’s a rookie. That happens. In his first two starts, he had a 15/12 double-double and a 16/2/3/3 line. The Jazz still play two more games this week and have a four-game week next week. The rookie has plenty of upside, and the opportunity in front of him makes him worth the dice roll, especially in leagues that limit transactions.

Tired: Scottie Barnes (86%)
Wired: Gradey Dick (14%) ⚡️

While an official timeline for Barnes’ return hasn’t been given, it is a safe bet that he will be sidelined for the rest of the season. Toronto’s pick goes to San Antonio if it falls outside the top-6, and they currently have the seventh-worst record in the league. If you’re hoping for Barnes to push you over the edge in the championship for your league that goes until April 14th, it may be best to look in a different direction.

One of those directions could be Toronto’s first round pick from last season. Dick has started their last three games and is averaging 11.3 points, 4.0 rebounds, 3.3 assists, 1.0 steals and 1.7 triples while playing 36 minutes per game. RJ Barrett has already been ruled out for Friday, and Gary Trent Jr. is questionable, so Gradey should continue to play a large role. The production hasn’t been consistent, but he has had a few really good performances.

Tired: Khris Middleton (80%)
Wired: Bilal Coulibaly (19%) ⚡️

Want to know when Middleton is going to be back? Try deciphering this Doc Rivers quote after he was asked if Middleton was listed as questionable on Tuesday because he may actually play. “I don’t know. It was probably done because he was questionable. I don’t know. I think, yeah. There had to be a little bit, for sure. But he practiced [Monday]. Looked really good, but not good enough yet, so.” Middleton was immediately ruled out on Thursday without a questionable tag, for what it’s worth. He has been sidelined for over a month, and when he is back, he will likely have his minutes monitored strictly, which will limit his fantasy impact.

Coulibaly has been a consistent starter over the past month, and he has been improving every game. Over the last two weeks, he is averaging 9.5 points, 4.0 rebounds, 2.3 assists, 1.8 steals, 1.0 blocks and 1.3 triples per game. The field goal percentage is bad, but he has been a solid contributor of defensive stats and triples. Washington still has two more games this week, which will make him even more valuable as a streaming option to close out the matchup.

Tired: Joel Embiid (96%)
Wired: Bruno Fernando (5%) ⚡️

The latest injury update on Embiid is that he is still expected to return during the first or second week of April to get ready for the playoffs. So, if your playoffs end in March, it’s time to move on. If your championship is the first or second week of April, can you make it with Embiid taking up a roster or IL spot? They play four games in the first week of April and three in the second, with one back-to-back in that first week. With their sights set on the postseason, Embiid won’t see his usual workload, and he will definitely sit out one leg of that back-to-back. A few games of Embiid with limited minutes while he is ramping it probably isn’t worth holding onto in most leagues.

With Onyeka Okongwu sidelined, Clint Capela hasn’t been forced to play huge minutes. Instead, Quin Snyder has relied on Bruno Fernando to fill about 20 minutes per game off the bench. Fernando has provided top-150 value in the month of March with averages of 5.7 points, 7.7 rebounds, 1.2 steals and 1.7 blocks per game. If you’re looking for some defensive stats to get you the edge in your matchup, Fernando may be of assistance on Friday in Utah and on Sunday in LA.

Tired: Trae Young (91%)
Wired: De’Andre Hunter (51%) ⚡️

While there is still a chance that Young plays again this season, it will likely be after your league’s playoffs have ended. His initial diagnosis set his re-evaluation date for late March, which doesn’t mean that he will return by then. Atlanta currently has a 3.5 game lead on the Nets for the 10th spot in the East, and that race should go a long way in determining Young’s return. The Nets don’t own the rights to their first round pick, so they aren’t going to pack it in early. If the Hawks don’t have a chance to make the postseason, they won’t have a reason to bring Young back.

With Saddiq Bey out for the rest of the season, Hunter should continue to play big minutes at forward. He didn’t return to the starting unit in place of Bey, and his points have been down over their last few games. However, he is one of their top scoring options that is healthy, and he played 33 minutes in their last game after playing 36 in the game before. He is seeing starter minutes as a reserve, and though he isn’t going to contribute in many categories, the scoring should be there, which makes him more intriguing in points leagues.