NBA Waiver-Wired: Week 14

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Week 15 Schedule: Games Played

4 Games: CHA, CHI, DAL, DEN, IND, LAC, LAL, MIN, NOR, PHX, POR, SAS, UTA

3 Games: ATL, BKN, BOS, CLE, DET, GSW, MEM, MIA, MIL, NYK, ORl, PHI, SAC, TOR

2 Games: HOU, OKC, WAS

Week 15 Back-to-Backs:

Sunday (Jan. 23rd)-Monday: CHI, NYK, UTA

Monday-Tuesday: NOR

Tuesday-Wednesday: BKN, CHA, DAL, DEN, LAC, POR, SAC, SAS, TOR

Wednesday-Thursday: N/A

Thursday-Friday: LAL, MIN

Friday-Saturday: BOS, IND, MEM, MIA, NOR

Saturday-Sunday: DAL

Waiver Wire Pickups:

*To qualify for this list, players have to be available in over 60% of Yahoo Leagues.

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Ayo Dosunmu (40%)- Dosunmu has exploded onto the fantasy scene in the wake of injuries to Lonzo Ball and Zach LaVine. Lonzo will miss roughly 6-8 weeks after opting for surgery, while LaVine isn’t going to be rushed back. Despite a usage rate of only 15%, Ayo has been a top-5 fantasy player over his last three games with 18.0 points, 8.0 dimes, 5.7 rebounds, 2.3 steals, 0.7 blocks and 2.3 triples on 76% from the field and 50% from the line. I’m not going to pretend that these numbers are anywhere close to sustainable, but you still have to add him in what has been a phenomenal stretch.

“His maturity is amazing,” DeMar DeRozan said of Dosunmu. “For him to be on a great team, for one, the presence that he brings, you wouldn’t think he’s a rookie. You’ve got to be special to carry yourself that type of way. It’s not in an arrogant way because he’s one of those guys that’s inquisitive, always asking questions, always consistently trying to find ways to learn.” And while he’s been scorching hot on offense, his defense has been ever better with impressive shifts against the likes of Jayson Tatum, Kyrie Irving, James Harden, Stephen Curry and Ja Morant.

Goga Bitadze (18%)- After playing 25 minutes vs. the Clippers on Jan. 17th, including 11 of those alongside Domantas Sabonis, the Pacers pulled the rug out from under him against the small-ball Lakers with just three total minutes. However, Domantas Sabonis suffered a pretty significant sprain, so the door is wide open for Goga to make a fantasy impact.

And that’s exactly what he did on Thursday night. Goga ended up playing 31 minutes with 13 points, nine rebounds, five assists and a block. He did get ejected for going full Luis Suarez on Gary Payton II, but a suspension isn’t likely. Bitadze’s per-minute upside has always been through the roof but this is the first time he has a legitimate shot at sustained playing time. Add him and don’t look back.

Onyeka Okongwu (22%)- I’m becoming more intrigued with Onyeka by the day after some incredible defensive performances against the likes of Julius Randle, Giannis Antetokounmpo and Karl-Anthony Towns. Giannis wasn’t able to get anywhere close to the rim when Onyeka guarded him, and KAT was getting swatted left and right as he was held to 17 points.

“Defense is all about effort and the want to guard,” Okongwu said. “That’s how I’ve always been growing up. I’ve just wanted to guard. I feel like it’s a pride thing. I’m always going to take the challenge. I feel like no matter who I guard in this league, I’m always going to do my thing.” His performance was so good on Wednesday that coach Nate McMillan had to tell reporters that Clint Capela was still his starting center. Capela can’t be traded this season due to his extension, so the Hawks are in a tricky spot here. Do they start Onyeka and risk a lower return in Capela trade talks this summer, or do they keep starting Capela and lower his workload in favor of Onyeka? I’m expecting the latter, and I don’t think a timeshare is out of the question.

Okongwu is averaging 9.9 points, 7.3 rebounds, 1.3 dimes, 0.8 steals and 1.9 blocks in 26.5 minutes over his last eight, and his defensive rating has been the best by far among the rotation regulars. I’d add and hold everywhere while we see how this position battle plays out when Capela returns from an ankle injury.

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Amir Coffey (39%)- Coffey played 31 minutes on Wednesday despite the return of Luke Kennard and we just learned that Paul George (elbow) will miss at least a few more weeks. Coach Ty Lue also recently said that Coffey could remain a starter when George gets back, so the Clippers are obviously high on this kid. And it’s easy to see why, as he leads the Clippers in fantasy value over his last six games with 14.7 points, 4.7 rebounds, 4.3 dimes, 1.5 steals and 3.0 triples.

Devin Vassell (26%)- Vassell’s fantasy line on Jan. 19th is exactly why I’m so high on his fantasy outlook. Vassell had 19 points with eight rebounds, one assist, two steals, two blocks and four triples in only 23 minutes, and it would’ve been much better if not for the blowout. His minutes are really starting to ramp up and that’s going to be the case going forward with Bryn Forbes no longer around. In just 26.1 minutes over his last five games, Vassell has been a 9th-rounder in 9-cat leagues with 12.2 points, 6.6 rebounds, 1.2 steals, 0.8 blocks and 2.2 triples on 38% shooting. When he finds his rhythm, it’s over.

Kevin Huerter (34%)- Cam Reddish is no longer around and Bogdan Bogdanovic can’t shake a knee injury that has sidelined him for three games and counting. Huerter has been a traffic cone on defense this season but has been somewhat productive on the other end, averaging 13.7 points, 4.1 rebounds, 3.6 dimes, 0.8 steals and 1.7 triples.

Isaiah Jackson (1%)- Goga is the priority in Indiana, but don't sleep on Jackson. He is armed with one of the best block rates in the NBA and could be a sneaky fantasy producer down the stretch with Indiana's starting frontcourt on the trade block. Thursday was his first taste of action in a while and he didn't disappoint, scoring 15 points with seven rebounds, three steals and an assist across 19 minutes.

Max Strus (20%)- A bunch of fantasy managers abandoned ship when he had a six-point dud vs. Toronto but he bounced back nicely vs. the Blazers on Wednesday with 15 points, five rebounds, two assists, one block and four triples. Strus has been a 10th rounder over his last seven games with 14.0 points, 3.9 rebounds, 1.7 dimes, 0.7 blocks and 3.7 triples in 25.3 minutes, so he should be rostered in far more leagues even though he’s trending down slightly with the Heat getting healthy.

Talen Horton-Tucker (12%)- The Lakers benched Russell Westbrook down the stretch of Wednesday’s game and that situation is about to get ugly. I can’t imagine the Lakers being able to trade Westy, but they will almost certainly try. THT is the Laker who is most likely to be moved though, as he’s the only real trade chip they have if they want to make a splash. But even if he stays in Los Angeles, his recent play has been encouraging – he closed Wednesday’s game vs. Indiana and racked up 20 points, seven assists, two rebounds, two blocks and two triples in only 25 minutes.

Terence Davis (9%)- Davis is officially back on the fantasy scene after disappearing in December after his hot stretch due to some poor coaching decisions. Poor coaching decisions in Sacramento!!?? You don’t say!

Tyrese Haliburton is in the protocols, and the timetables for those have varied greatly. Davis is coming off a career night vs. Detroit and is averaging 22.0 points, 4.0 rebounds, 3.0 diems, 2.3 steals, 0.7 blocks and 4.0 triples over his last three games, good for first-round value. Is there a chance he vanishes again when Haliburton is back? Absolutely, but keep in mind that Sacramento is toying with the idea of a rebuild and De’Aaron Fox could be on the way out. Basically, a lot of things could break nicely for Davis around the deadline.

UPDATE: Haliburton has cleared the protocols, so it will be very interesting to see how Alvin Gentry handles the rotation. Davis can play the three, so let’s hope he stays heavily involved.

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Kessler Edwards (8%)- Brooklyn is extremely thin on the wings these days with Kevin Durant out, and they haven’t been shy about feeding Kessler all the minutes he can handle. He’s played at least 35 minutes in three straight, averaging 10.7 points, 4.3 rebounds, 0.7 dimes, 1.0 steals, 0.7 blocks and 2.7 triples on 54% shooting. He’s a freak athlete who knows his role, and he offers good steal/block rates with an outside shot. The window for him to offer streaming value will stay open until Kevin Durant gets the green light.

“He’s really coachable. You tell him to do anything and he’ll give it his best shot. Competitor,” Patty Mills said. “He’s quiet, but you can see that he’s calculating the things in his head to be able to go out and get the job done. Super-athletic obviously, can shoot it.”

Bismack Biyombo (14%)- JaVale McGee used to be the pickup when Deandre Ayton missed time and then it was Jalen Smith’s turn, but Biyombo has changed all that. The journeyman has played 25+ minutes in two straight, averaging 13.0 points, 9.0 rebounds, 1.0 assists and 1.5 steals. He didn’t record any blocks, but we know those are coming too with 2.3 swats per 36 minutes for his career.

Cameron Payne (12%)- Payne is a player to watch very closely. Heading into Thursday’s game vs. Dallas, he was starting to get a lot more run in two-PG lineups. From Jan. 14th-17th, Payne averaged nearly 10 minutes alongside CP3 with Devin Booker moving up a position. He averaged 14.0 points, 4.7 assists, 2.7 rebounds and 1.7 triples in that span, and then cooled off slightly vs. Dallas with 12 points, three rebounds, one steal and a triple in 19 minutes. The Suns play four times next week, so he should be able to put up late-round value.

*Joe Ingles (27%)- This one needs an asterisk because Ingles is only worth deploying when Donovan Mitchell (concussion) sits. Ingles had 10 points, five rebounds, six assists, two triples, one steal and zero turnovers through 31 minutes on Wednesday and has a per-36 line of 12.3 points, 4.9 assists, 4.3 rebounds, 0.6 steals and 3.0 triples with Mitchell off the court this season (578-minute sample size).

Malik Beasley (34%)- Patrick Beverley is a little banged up so Beasley could be in line for even more run. The Wolves play four times and Beasley has been on a heater with 21 triples over his last six games. If you want to make up some ground in 3s, look no further.

Cory Joseph (11%)- I personally don’t have the will to log in to add Cory Joseph, but he’ll have some value until Killian Hayes returns. The veteran led a comeback vs. the Kings on Wednesday night, but he’s been serviceable in six straight outings with 10th round numbers of 12.5 points, 5.8 assists, 2.8 rebounds and 2.2 assists. You’ll also get the added bonus of bragging to your friends that you beat them with Cory Joseph on your roster.

Caleb Martin (11%)- Miami’s utility man refuses to go away and has been an awesome surprise in Miami. With Jimmy Butler getting ejected vs. Portland, it was Caleb who stepped up with 26 points, eight rebounds, two assists and three 3-pointers on 8-of-12 shooting. I still prefer Max Strus, but Martin has the multi-position versatility that keeps him relevant any time the Heat are missing a key player.

Day’Ron Sharpe (5%)- Don’t drop someone you’ll miss for Sharpe, but he has another game or two of streaming value until Nicolas Claxton (hamstring) returns. Over his last five games, Sharpe has gotten the job done with 12.0 points, 7.0 rebounds, 1.0 assists and 1.0 blocks in only 21 minutes per game.

Davion Mitchell (8%)- Kings reporter James Ham said on Thursday that everyone not named Tyrese Haliburton and De’Aaron Fox was on the trade block, but he did add that the Kings could be persuaded to change their mind on Fox. Just like Terence Davis, a lot of things could break nicely for Mitchell and he’s not a bad option to hold in the short term while Haliburton is on the sidelines. In his last two games, Mitchell averaged 14.5 points, 2.5 rebounds, 5.5 assists, 2.0 steals, 0.5 blocks and 2.5 triples in his last two games.

UPDATE: Haliburton has cleared the protocols, reducing Mitchell to just a stash in deeper leagues ahead of the deadline.

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