Welcome to week 18 of the fantasy basketball season! The NFL season is now over which pushes the NBA season to the forefront. The All-Star break is around the corner so keep an eye on your league settings! Most leagues will operate in a two-week matchup so don’t max those adds too quickly! The trade deadline has come and gone which has provided lots of new opportunity on the horizon! Here are five names who are set for expanded roles and ready to make a huge impact to your fantasy playoff aspirations!
Week 18 Fantasy Basketball Waiver Wire
Mark Williams, C – Charlotte Hornets (51% rostered)
There’s a new starting Center in Charlotte and it’s rookie Mark Williams, everybody. The Hornets traded away Mason Plumlee to the Clippers and also dealt Jalen McDaniels to Philadelphia freeing up a ton of minutes in Buzz City. Williams per 24-minute averages this season are 12.1 points and 8.8 rebounds and he got off to a solid start Friday posting 11 points, 12 rebounds, and 1 block. In his one game this season he saw over 21 minutes and dropped 17 points and 13 rebounds. Williams offers game-changing defensive stats as he’s posted a block in seven straight games and his minutes are going to skyrocket. Pick him up!
Zach Collins, PF/C – San Antonio Spurs (47% rostered)
The Spurs made a couple of moves on deadline day creating all tons of new opportunity in San Antonio. One of the big winners is Zach Collins after fellow Center Jakob Poeltl was shipped off to Toronto. Collins balled out in first start dropping 29 points, 11 rebounds and 3 assists. In his last game he received over 21 minutes he posted 16 points with 11 boards. Not too shabby baby! Collins is taking over the frontcourt in the Alamo City and is a great add.
Malaki Branham, SG/SF – San Antonio Spurs (18% rostered)
Sticking in San Antonio, another player emerges in rookie Malaki Branham. The 20th overall pick in this year’s draft was called one of the steals of the draft and he’s showing why right now! Branham is on a tear to start February with three 20-point performances and is averaging 25 points, 3.3 assists, 1.0 steals, and 3 3PTM in three of his past six games. He also has posted at least five rebounds in four straight. The Spurs are not in the playoff race so it’s all development from here on out. Expect heavy minutes for the 19-year-old going forward. Great add to your fantasy basketball teams.
Kenyon Martin Jr., SF/PF – Houston Rockets (44% rostered)
The Houston Rockets may be one of the least talked about teams in the Association and deservedly so as they sit in last place in the NBA. Don’t let that get in the way of adding Rockets to your fantasy teams as there are always diamonds in the rough and right now that’s Kenyon Martin Jr! The Rockets traded away Eric Gordon who was taking away minutes from the 22-year-old Martin and his stock is on the rise. Martin Jr. is now averaging a cool 16.7 points, 6.3 rebounds, 1.0 steals, 1.3 blocks, and 1.3 3PTM over his last three games. He’s posted at least 15 points in five rebounds in three straight which is hard to find on the waiver wire. I’m adding here.
James Wiseman, C – Detroit Pistons (40% rostered)
The Pistons acquired sophomore James Wiseman on deadline day, and I am licking my chops on this one. Pistons GM Troy Weaver stated Detroit wants to give the 21-year-old the chance to prove why he was the 2nd overall pick in the 2020 draft. The Warriors were just too stacked to give Wiseman a true opportunity and once he was given one, he flourished. In his last start, Wiseman dominated with 30 points and six rebounds. Those kinds of stats don’t grow on trees folks! The upside is way too juicy to pass up on and he’s worth the add as his minutes will only go up from here.