Week 16 Fantasy Basketball Waiver Wire
The Nets and Rockets are two of the hottest teams in the league amidst injuries. Houston has been bruised all year and made roster moves to address their issues. The Nets, on the other hand, are just now starting to feel the injury bug. Fantasy basketball owners are feeling the same with the likes of Anthony Davis, Deandre Ayton, Victor Oladipo, Derrick Rose and Spencer Dinwiddie sidelined. This week’s waiver wire is all about filling those holes.
Once again, these rankings take rest of season value into account, and these players are all owned in under 60% of Fantrax fantasy basketball leagues.
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Week 16 Fantasy Basketball Waiver Wire:
- Kenneth Faried – Houston Rockets
- Ante Zizic – Cleveland Cavaliers
- Ivica Zubac – Los Angeles Lakers
- Shabazz Napier – Brooklyn Nets
- DeAndre’ Bembry – Atlanta Hawks
- Allonzo Trier – New York Knicks
- Jahlil Okafor – New Orleans Pelicans
- Jerryd Bayless – Minnesota Timberwolves
- Dragan Bender – Phoenix Suns
- Aaron Holiday – Indiana Pacers
Waiver Wire Breakdown:
Kenneth Faried (49% owned):
As expected, Faried instantly earned the big man minutes in Houston upon his arrival. In 3 games with the Rockets, the Manimal is averaging 15 points, 9.3 boards, 1.7 blocks and a steal on 62% shooting. There’s no reason to why Faried can’t keep it going with the Rockets winning 17 of their last 23 games. If you’re suffering from losing Anthony Davis, Deandre Ayton, Wendell Carter or Clint Capela, Faried’s production for a meager price is a godsend. Make sure he’s scooped up off the waiver wire, especially if you need bigs.
Ante Zizic (40% owned):
Both Zizic and Zubac are somewhat interchangeable, depending on your preference. I have Zizic ahead because I believe he’ll be more of an asset for the rest of the season. The Cavs are focussing on talent development which gives them an incentive to keep starting Zizic over Tristan Thompson. Heck, with averages of 16.2 points, 8.3 boards, and 0.8 blocks in his last six games, he may have already locked up his starting role for the rest of the season.
Ivica Zubac (40% owned):
Although I believe Zubac to be more talented than Zizic, it’s hard to envision him playing a bigger role when LeBron James returns. Zubac is averaging a ridiculous 17.8 points and 7.8 rebounds in just under 23 minutes a game. His 90% plus from the charity stripe is also a nice bonus for a big man. Zubac may have been in Magic Johnson’s plans all along. He has a clear path to remain the starter for the rest of the year. His production might take a slight tumble at some point, but there’s no harm in scooping him up to see how the rest of the season plays out. At the very least, he’s once again a top streaming option for week 16.
Shabazz Napier (21% owned):
Spencer Dinwiddie is expected to miss 3-6 weeks of action following thumb surgery. Insert Shabazz Napier, who was already getting some run with Dinwiddie the past couple of weeks. The Nets are one of the hottest teams in the league with a 19-5 record in their last 26 games. In eight games between December 26th and January 11th, Napier chipped in 14.9 points, 4.1 assists and 2.1 threes in 25 minutes per game. Now with the Nets’ sixth man on the shelf, Napier has a clear path to minutes. If you’re ok with his sub-par FG%, he can be a valuable asset until Dinwiddie returns. He’ll be one of the top waiver wire adds in week 16.
DeAndre’ Bembry (47% owned):
Bembry has been heavily mentioned on my waiver wire pieces, but still available in over 50% of Fantrax leagues. Understandable, given that his contributions are defensive oriented. But Bembry has had a couple of noteworthy recent performances that should intrigue fantasy owners in points leagues. He posted a 35-point outing against Orlando thanks in large part to 7 assists, 4 steals, and 2 blocks. Two games prior, Bembry dropped 16 points, 8 rebounds and 6 assists along with 2 steals for a grand total of 37 points. He’s one of the best-kept secrets still available on the waiver wire in points leagues.
Allonzo Trier (41% owned):
The Knicks have been a mess all season rotation-wise. It looks like Trier is making his way back into coach Fizdale’s plans. As a result, he’s averaging 18.3 points, 4.8 rebounds, 4 assists, and 1.5 steals in his last four games. The Knicks are embracing the tank by benching Enes Kanter and putting their young talent on display. Trier was playing well earlier in the season, and the minutes should keep coming for the rest of the year. He’s not the most consistent player, so some duds are expected. But his highs can be exceptional, like his 31-point, 10-rebound outing against Houston.
Jahlil Okafor (42% owned):
What is this 2015? It’s been a long time since Jahlil Okafor was fantasy relevant, yet here we are. Okafor was the main benefactor from Anthony Davis’ injury and played well in his stead. The Pelicans are banged up so he’ll keep getting minutes while AD and Mirotic recover. Okafor is a worthwhile pickup in the short run amid the injuries in New Orleans. He’s still 23 years old, so this could be an opportunity for him to prove that he deserves another role in the future. He’s a sneaky pickup in larger dynasty leagues depending on where he ends up next year. But for now, Okafor is at least a nice streaming option for week 16.
Jerryd Bayless (8% owned):
The Wolves are down one Derrick Rose, one Jeff Teague and one Tyus Jones. Enter Jerryd Bayless. He’s getting just under 33 minutes over his last three games and has dished at least 5 dimes in each of them. He’s also scoring 13.7 points and grabbing 4.7 boards. Like Napier, Bayless is a liability in terms of FG%, but he’s a nice plug-and-play for week 16 if you’re in need of guard play.
Dragan Bender (16% owned):
First Okafor now Bender. Is this redemption week? Like Okafor, Bender is filling in for an injured big in Deandre Ayton. Still just 21, Bender has time to turn his career around. This might be the best four-game stretch of his career averaging 14 points, 7 rebounds a steal and 1.3 threes in just under 30 minutes. There’s still enough talent to believe he can turn a lackluster start to his career around. But the fact that it took two injuries for him to get a shot is why he’s this low on my list of waiver wire pickups for week 16.
Aaron Holiday (18% owned):
Rough week for the Pacers. They just lost Victor Oladipo for the season and Tyreke Evans should be the main beneficiary. The Pacers are a nice landing spot for Mike Conley, but with Dipo out, it’s hard to envision Indiana giving up assets with their star out. The Pacers are in a strong spot to make the playoffs and Evans won’t be able to fully replace Oladipo’s production. Indiana might just see what they have in their rookie point guard. By no means is he a must-add in week 16, but Aaron Holiday is a name to keep in mind for the future.
Keep an eye on:
Mitchell Robinson – New York Knicks (55% owned):
It looks as though Mitchell Robinson is back in the Knicks’ rotation with Kanter sitting out. Despite playing just 32 games this year, Robinson has blocked 61 shots good enough for 19th best in the NBA. Robinson won’t play much, but he’s the premier name out on the waiver wire if you’re looking for blocks. Plus with the Knicks tanking, who’s to say he won’t get more playing time to close out the season.
Theo Pinson – Brooklyn Nets (6% owned):
Pinson seemingly came out of nowhere (or Long Island) and put up 19-8-2-2 in 26 minutes on Friday. A nightly 26 minutes might not be so far-fetched with the Nets down Dinwiddie, Caris LeVert, Allen Crabbe, Jared Dudley, and Dzanan Musa. No need to scoop him up yet, but just keep an eye on his production in week 16.
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