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Fantasy Basketball Waiver Wired, Week 18: Reggie Jackson Back in Action

by Zak Hanshew, Rotoworld

We’re back for another edition of Waiver Wired, and this time, we’ve got a full week of action post-All-Star break to evaluate all of the best adds and drops as we come down the final stretch of the fantasy basketball 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.

Thanks for reading! It’s going to be an exciting season bringing this column to you each and every week. LET’S GO!

Pickups in Order of Priority

  1. Reggie Jackson

  2. Tre Mann

  3. Marvin Bagley III

  4. Andre Drummond

  5. Keyonte George

  6. Nick Richards

  7. Royce O’Neale

  8. Max Strus

  9. Jalen Suggs

  10. Corey Kispert

  11. Malik Beasley

  12. Duop Reath

  13. Taylor Hendricks

  14. Gradey Dick

  15. Jabari Walker

Tired: Ben Simmons 54%
Wired: Reggie Jackson 8% ⚡

Since returning from a two-and-a-half month absence, Simmons has appeared in nine of Brooklyn’s 14 games, averaging 5.9 points, 6.0 rebounds, 5.1 assists and 1.0 steals across 18.7 minutes. Don’t fall in love with his potential or his per-minute numbers. He hasn’t been able to stay healthy, and he’s not posting strong enough numbers to deal with the headache of his frequent injuries.

Jamal Murray left Thursday’s win over Miami early with a right ankle sprain, and Jackson started the second half in his place. If Murray is out Saturday at Los Angeles, Jackson would likely be back in the starting five, where he would be a phenomenal streamer. Jackson started 16 games for Denver this season, and while his performances were a bit of a mixed bag, he had some huge games and ultimately averaged 16.1 points, 2.8 rebounds, 5.4 assists and 1.9 three-pointers across 29.5 minutes while shooting 52.8% from the floor. He’s a must-add in case Murray is sidelined for Saturday or additional games moving forward.

Tired: Jalen Green 87%
Wired: Corey Kispert 29% ⚡

Currently ranked outside the top 200 in per-game fantasy value, there’s no need to roster Green any longer. Revered for his scoring and three-point shooting, he doesn’t offer elite value in either category to compensate for his atrocious efficiency and lack of peripheral contributions. He’s averaging 17.6 points and 2.0 triples per contest, and he’s not even worth a look in points leagues. Green posted a juicy 34/5/2/3 line in Thursday’s loss to Phoenix, but don’t let that fool you. He’s liable to post a dud in his next game out. If you can get good value in a trade, use this game to move on from Green.

Kispert has scored 20 points in back-to-back games and four of his last five outings, averaging 18.4 points, 3.4 boards, 4.0 dimes, 1.2 steals and 3.4 triples in that span. Even with Deni Avdija back in the mix Thursday, Kispert had another fine showing. Washington is hot on the heels of Detroit for the NBA’s worst record, and the team could continue to give Kispert big minutes down the stretch.

Tired: Daniel Gafford 79%
Wired: Andre Drummond 46% ⚡

Big Danny G had no competition for center minutes in Washington, but he’s battling every night with Dereck Lively II for playing time in Dallas’ frontcourt. Since returning from the All-Star break, Gafford has averaged just 7.3 points, 4.8 rebounds and 0.8 blocks across 17 minutes per game. There are likely better options at center available.

Drummond isn’t going to start every night, but when he joins the first unit (or gets starter minutes), he’s an absolute problem in the pain. Over his last two games, Drummond averaged 18.5 points, 18.5 boards and 2.0 blocks, showcasing just how dominant he can be. Don’t sleep on him moving forward, as the Bulls’ frontcourt depth is razor-thin.

Tired: Mark Williams 65%
Wired: Nick Richards 52% ⚡

There’s been no update on Williams’ status since Mitch Kupchak gave him a four-week timetable on February 9. At this point, it’s probably safe to assume he won’t play again this season.

Oh, behave! “Naughty Nicky” has been superb since returning from the All-Star break, averaging 11.8 points, 9.5 rebounds, 1.0 steals and 1.0 blocks while shooting 64.3% from the field and 78.6% from the charity stripe. He’ll remain Charlotte’s starting center for as long as Williams is sidelined.

Tired: Russell Westbrook 71%
Wired: Tre Mann 41% ⚡

Russ is in the midst of the worst statistical campaign of his career, and things haven’t improved following the All-Star break. Over his last four, the veteran has averaged just 7.8 points, 2.3 boards, 2.5 dimes and 1.5 steals while shooting a putrid 30.2% from the field.

Mann has provided strong production in a number of statistical categories since joining Charlotte, and he’s been able to get it done on both ends for his new team. In eight starts with the Hornets, he’s averaged 11.9 points, 5.5 rebounds, 4.8 assists, 1.8 steals and 1.8 triples in 29.8 minutes per tilt, making him a must-roster player. It’s unclear when or if LaMelo Ball will take the court again this season, but it doesn’t seem likely at this point.

Tired: Wendell Carter Jr. 65%
Wired: Taylor Hendricks 8% ⚡

WCJ’s production has been just a smidge better over his last two games, but that small bump is due to Paolo Banchero’s absence due to illness. In the 12 games before Banchero was forced to sit out, Carter Jr. averaged just 11.8 points and 5.9 boards with almost no defensive stats. He posted another dud Thursday with six points, five boards and a block in 22 minutes. He can be dropped.

Hendricks’ production hasn’t been phenomenal since stepping into the starting five, but he’s getting solid minutes for a tanking team that has every incentive to play him even more down the stretch. In four games as a starter, Hendricks has averaged 9.8 points, 6.8 rebounds, 0.8 steals and 1.5 triples across 27 minutes. He’s not a must-roster guy just yet, but if you have space on your roster, he’s a luxury stash.

Tired: Markelle Fultz 39%
Wired: Jalen Suggs 49% ⚡

Since returning from a nearly two-month absence, Fultz has logged 19 games and missed six, averaging just 7.4 points, 3.6 boards, 3.3 dimes and 1.1 steals in that span. He’s started just 10 of his last 19, and the production just doesn’t align with a player who needs to occupy a roster spot.

Suggs had a solid performance Thursday, posting a 15/2/2/1/1 line with four triples. Over his last four, he’s posted 13.0 points, 2.0 rebounds, 3.8 assists, 1.8 steals, 0.8 blocks and 2.3 three-pointers while shooting a blistering 66.7% from the field. His elite defensive stats have been huge for his fantasy value, but he’s found ways to get it done in other categories as well.

Tired: Kelly Oubre 49%, De’Anthony Melton 54%
Wired: Max Strus 54% ⚡

Oubre had a brief run of solid production shortly before the All-Star break, but any equity he built in that span has faded. Over his last five, he’s averaged just 9.6 points, 4.4 boards and 1.6 steals across 29 minutes. The promise of a productive fantasy season is behind him, and Oubre is a drop. After just three games back from his month-long absence, Melton is again dealing with a back injury and has no timeline for return.

The Strus is officially loose again! He started the season on a heater, had a major dip in production, got dropped in plenty of fantasy leagues and is now a hot pickup! Over the last three weeks, he’s averaged 11.6 points, 3.4 boards, 4.8 assists, 0.7 steals and 2.0 triples while shooting 50% from the floor. If that wasn’t enough for you, check out his heat check late in the fourth quarter of Tuesday’s crazy win over Dallas, including his half-court buzzer-beater for the win.

Tired: Bradley Beal 92%
Wired: Royce O’Neale 17% ⚡

Beal’s streak of missed games was extended to five when he missed Thursday’s matchup with the Rockets due to a groin injury, and it’s unclear when he’ll be available again. Beal is ranked just outside the top 120 in per-game production this season, and while it sounds ludicrous to say, he’s not worth rostering due to his propensity for missing games and his decreased production in his first year with Phoenix. You can surely get someone useful in return for him, so trade Beal rather than dropping him, and give the headache of predicting his availability to another manager in your league.

O’Neale has started two straight for Phoenix, averaging 15.5 points, 7.5 rebounds, 5.5 assists, 2.5 steals, 1.5 blocks and 4.5 triples across 37 minutes. With Bradley Beal and Eric Gordon sidelined, RON has surged, and it’s time to add him for his stat-stuffing abilities.

Tired: Bojan Bogdanovic 69%
Wired: Malik Beasley 38% ⚡

Uncle Bogey has averaged just 13.3 points and 2.4 triples on 41.3% shooting in seven games with the Knicks. As expected, his playing time (23.9 minutes) has taken a significant hit, and so has his production. His best cats have always been points and three-pointers, and now that those have dried up, there’s no reason to hold.

Beasley had another great game Thursday, posting 19 points and five triples. Like Bogey, he’s mostly a points and threes guy, but he’s been hot over his last four, posting averages of 14.8 points, 2.5 rebounds, 2.0 assists, 1.0 steals and 4.3 triples while shooting 53.8% from the floor. He’s got the hot hand, so enjoy it while it lasts.

Tired: Zach LaVine 50%
Wired: Marvin Bagley III 56% ⚡

LaVine underwent season-ending surgery on February 8, but he’s still rostered in 50% of Yahoo leagues. It’s time to move on and open up your roster for players who are still healthy enough to play this season.

Bagley III continues to get it done for Washington as the team’s unquestioned starting center, and he finished Thursday’s loss to the Lakers with 23 points and two blocks. Over his last four, the big man has averaged 16.8 points, 9.0 boards, 0.8 steals and 1.5 swats. Bagley III has never had a problem scoring, but his improvements as a rebounder and defender since joining the Wizards have made him a must-roster player who’s still widely available.

Tired: Desmond Bane 95%
Wired: Gradey Dick 11% ⚡

As of February 22, Bane was given a 3-5 week timeframe to return. That doesn’t even include ramp-up time and doesn’t take minutes restrictions into account. Fantasy managers can’t afford to hold him until late March or early April, and he should be sent to the waiver wire.

Over his last six, Dick has scored exactly 18 points three times and exactly seven points three times. He’s averaged 12.5 points and 2.2 triples in that span, and while these numbers are far from elite, the rookie is trending in the right direction as we approach “silly season.” Toronto will likely fall farther out of the playoff picture in the coming weeks, opening up more opportunities for Dick.

Tired: Marcus Smart 69%
Wired: Duop Reath 4%, Jabari Walker 7% ⚡

Smart was given a three-week timeline on February 22, and like Bane, he’s not worth hanging onto. The earliest he could return would be mid-to-late March, and that’s assuming he returns at all. Given the trajectory of the Grizzlies this season, it would behoove Memphis to keep him sidelined until next season.

Deandre Ayton suffered a right hand sprain Tuesday against the Heat, and he’s considered day-to-day. Given how few wins the Blazers have, it’s entirely feasible for Portland to shut down Ayton for the remainder of the season. Reath averaged 12 points, 6.5 boards, 1.5 assists, 0.7 steals, 0.7 blocks and 1.7 threes in 26.4 minutes across 11 starts this season, and he recently inked a three-year deal with Portland. Walker has averaged 8.8 points and 8.2 boards in 29.4 minutes across 14 starts this season. Both players are worth a look in case Ayton is forced to miss time moving forward. Reath is the higher-upside play considering his ability to hit threes and rack up defensive stats.

Tired: Spencer Dinwiddie 45%
Wired: Keyonte George 47% ⚡

In seven games with the Lakers, Dinwiddie’s role has decreased significantly from what it was with Brooklyn. His production has taken a monster hit, and with averages of just 5.9 points and 3.7 assists across 24.3 minutes, he’s simply not worth a roster spot in fantasy leagues.

George erupted for 33 points in his final game before the All-Star break, and while he hasn’t come close to that scoring mark over the last week, he’s posted useful numbers for fantasy managers. Across his last four, the rookie has averaged 14.0 points, 2.5 rebounds, 6.5 assists and 2.3 triples across 31.3 minutes. His 37% shooting is certainly a drag, but if you can deal with that, his assists and triples make him worth rostering.

Others: Trey Muphy III, De’Andre Hunter, Kobe Bufkin, Terance Mann, Caris LeVert, Matisse Thybulle, Ziaire Williams, GG Jackson, Delon Wright