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Fantasy Basketball Fast Break (Week of 2/19)

We’ve reached the NBA All-Star break, so everyone can take a deep breath and relax for a bit. It’s been a long, grueling four months already, and we still got almost two months to go. We all could use a mental break right about now. This break gives us some time to get our fantasy lineups ready for the stretch run.

Luckily, there are plenty of intriguing options on the waiver wire this week as teams continue to figure out their rotations following the trading deadline last week. On the flip side, streaming will be a little more difficult with only four teams playing more than two games this week.

Games Played by Team This Week

4 Games: None

3 Games: CHA, CLE, PHI, WAS.


1 Game: ATL, BKN, IND, TOR.

Waiver Wire

Alex Len (PF/C – PHO)

There’s so much upside here that whenever his minutes appear to be trending up, Len needs to be scooped up wherever possible. Len got the start Wednesday night in Utah and excelled with 14 points, seven rebounds, three steals, and four blocks in 38 minutes of action. This is exactly the type of upside Len has, and for that, he needs to be owned right now. His per36 numbers back this performance up, too. On the season, Len is averaging 14.8 points, 13.5 rebounds, 0.7 steals, and 1.5 blocks per 36 minutes. Granted, Tyson Chandler wasn’t playing in this one, but Len figures to get more run down the stretch as Phoenix, as do the rest of the young players on this team.

Tomas Satoransky (PG – WAS)

With John Wall looking like he’s going to miss at least one more month, Tomas Satoransky needs to be owned in more leagues. The second-year Czech guard has really hit his stride over the last two weeks averaging 11.8 points, 3.0 rebounds, 6.0 assists, 1.4 steals, 1.0 blocks, and 1.6 three-pointers of 58.5% shooting from the field. What’s even better is that Satoransky only turns the ball over 1.6 times per game on average. Those numbers are good for top-30 value over the last two weeks. His value will be crushed when Wall returns in mid-March, but anyone needing a point guard should be giving Satoransky a very long look right now.

Jae Crowder (SF/PF – ORL)

Welcome back to fantasy relevance Mr. Crowder. He’s yet to start for the Jazz, but Crowder has averaged 29 minutes per game off the bench and that is enough time for Crowder to carve out some solid fantasy value going forward. In three games for Utah, Crowder is averaging 14.7 points, 5.0 rebounds, 2.0 assists, and 2.0 three-pointers. Like with Isaiah Thomas, it didn’t seem like Crowder was a good fit in Cleveland. Give Crowder an add if he’s still floating around on your league’s waiver wire. If the minutes stay this high, so should the value.

Mario Hezonja (SF – ORL)

What would you say if someone told you that Mario Hezonja was a 2nd-round value over the last two weeks and a third-round value over the last month? No way, right? Well, believe it. Due to his across the board contributions, Hezonja has been a top-20 player over the last two weeks. In that timespan, he’s averaging 17.7 points, 6.7 rebounds, 2.3 steals, 0.7 blocks, and 1.8 three-pointers on 48.8% from the field and 81.0% from the charity stripe. The return of Aaron Gordon after the all-star break hurt Hezonja’s fantasy value a bit, but he’s vastly outplayed Jonathan Simmons and seems like a safe bet to stay in the starting lineup once Gordon returns. Until his playing time or production go downhill, Hezonja needs to be owned in all leagues.

Andrew Harrison (PG/SG – MEM)

I understand that Andrew Harrison might not be the most attractive waiver-wire addition. However, over the last two weeks, he’s been doing his best to get everyone’s attention in the fantasy world. He’s put up near top-50 value thanks to 15.6 points, 1.8 rebounds, 3.0 assists, 0.8 steals, 0.8 blocks, and 2.0 three-pointers per game. Harrison has even been shooting the rock at a high clip, too, which is very unusual for him. He’s not going to shoot above 50% for the rest of the season, that’s for sure. But with Mike Conley done for the season, Harrison should continue to get plenty of run.

Injury Report

LaMarcus Aldridge (PF/C – SAS)

A sore right knee caused Aldridge to miss the Spurs’ final two games before the all-star break. “He’s just getting a treatment on his knee,” said coach Popovich. “There’s a certain amount of rest that has to happen. He’s doing it now so he won’t have to miss any games after the break.” That sounds encouraging. Aldridge appears goo to go when the Spurs return to action on Friday in Denver.

Dennis Schroder (PG – ATL)

Schroder missed the last game before the break with a stiff back, but this appeared to just be precautionary. The Hawks are also trying to get a higher draft pick too, which might have had something to do with this decision. That’s a nice way of saying that the Hawks are taking. Schroder should be fine once the all-star break is over.

Nikola Vucevic (C – ORL)

The Magic are expecting to have Nikola Vucevic back in the lineup when they return to the court on the 22nd, one day shy of two months since losing him to a broken hand. Vucevic was having a career year before the injury and should pick up right where he left off. It’s time to get him back into fantasy lineups. Bismack Biyombo will head back to the bench, thus depleting any fantasy value he currently has.

Ricky Rubio (PG – UTA)

Rubio was forced to sit out the last three games with a hip injury. However, it’s not expected to cause him to miss any additional time after the all-star break. Another thing to not expect going forward is his scoring output. This might be a good time to use his hot stretch and sell-high while you can.

Expected to Return After the All-Star Break: Lonzo Ball (PG – LAL), Aaron Gordon (SF/PF – ORL), Trevor Ariza (SG/SF – HOU), Rondae Hollis Jefferson (SF – BKN), Marcus Smart (PG/SG – BOS).

Thank-you for reading and I hope you can use this article to your advantage and get a leg up on your fellow league members. Got a question about a player not covered here? Follow me on Twitter @EricCross04 and ask me there.

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