NBA action resumes on Thursday following the All-Star Weekend, with only four days of action in week 19. As the final stretch of the fantasy basketball regular season begins, now is the time for owners to fill out their roster with high-upside waiver pickups. Keeper leagues, pay attention. This week’s waiver wire has a couple of players with breakout potential following the All-Star break. I’ve also listed a couple of under the radar guys that can contribute to a fantasy playoff push.
As per usual, these waiver wire 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 19 Fantasy Basketball Waiver Wire:
- Marquese Chriss – Cleveland Cavaliers
- Kadeem Allen – New York Knicks
- Landry Shamet – Los Angeles Clippers
- Avery Bradley – Memphis Grizzlies
- Luke Kennard – Detroit Pistons
- Jake Layman – Portland Trail Blazers
- Delon Wright – Memphis Grizzlies
- Malik Beasley – Denver Nuggets
- Markieff Morris – Oklahoma City Thunder
- Robin Lopez – Chicago Bulls
Waiver Wire Breakdown:
Marquese Chriss (31% owned)
Through four games, Chriss has been a nice addition to the Cavs. For now, Chriss provides three-point shooting (2.3 as a Cav) and rebounds (6.3) on good percentages (53.7%), making him a top 125 fantasy asset over the past couple of weeks. He also has defensive upside due to his athleticism. The Cavs seem keen to develop their young talent, and Kevin Love will continue to be in and out of the lineup. Expect Chriss to keep getting minutes in the mid-’20s. He’s got the potential and opportunity in Cleveland to have a post-All Star breakout stretch.
Kadeem Allen (24% owned):
Kadeem Allen is the next player in the line of G-League projects for the Knicks. Over his last four games, Allen is putting up 16.5 points, 6.3 assists, 1.5 steals and nailing 1.3 threes a game on 53% shooting. The Knicks are in full throttle tanking mode and Allen figures to stay in the rotation at least for week 19. Allen looks to be the biggest waiver wire contributor coming out of the waiver wire and looks poised to play 20-25 minutes per game.
Landry Shamet (30% owned):
Outside of the first round pick, Shamet was the key return piece in the Tobias Harris trade. Shamet is already an established shooter in the league. With Avery Bradley being shipped off, Shamet has a clear path to minutes in Doc Rivers’ 9-man rotation. He has seen no less than 23 minutes since his Clippers debut, and the 23 minutes were in a blowout win against Phoenix. Fantasy owners in search of consistent threes can do much worse than picking up Shamet. He’ll be a focus in terms of development for the Clippers down the stretch and should keep seeing consistent minutes. Although we need to see more before adding him to 12-team leagues, Shamet is worth a pickup in 14-team leagues and should be a priority for keeper leagues. He will not be this widely available on the waiver wire if owners wait until after week 19.
Avery Bradley (43% owned):
Speaking of the Clippers, Bradley was sent from LA to Memphis at the deadline and since then has shown shades of vintage Avery Bradley. He looked spry in a career-high 33-point outing against the Spurs. Bradley is likely to stick in the Grizzlies rotation for the rest of the season and brings defensive upside along with long-range shooting and efficiency to the table. It’s worth noting Bradley has also managed to dish 12 assists in his first three games as a Grizzly. Owners shouldn’t add him with assists in mind, but it’s a nice bonus if he keeps it up.
Luke Kennard (33% owned):
It took two trades for the Pistons to open up some minutes for Kennard, but it looks like the sophomore wing is going to get some run to close out the season. Since the trade deadline, Kennard’s minutes have jumped from 20 per game to over 31 minutes per outing. Since then, he’s putting up a respectable 12.7 points, 3 rebounds, and 3.3 assists to go with 2.7 threes per game. His biggest issue is his efficiency. 40% shooting is not going to cut it for long if he hopes to stick in the rotation, so the hope is that he starts knocking down shots to boost his fantasy value even further.
Jake Layman (25% owned):
Layman continues to impress in Portland and looks to have locked up a spot in the rotation. He’s a top 70 fantasy asset in 9-cat leagues over the past two weeks and is poised to keep this run going. Layman is one of the most efficient waiver wire options for week 19 and is shooting above 59% over his last 14 games. He’s not a flashy name, but Layman can chip in through multiple categories. He’s a valuable pickup for owners looking for a consistent contributor in week 19.
Delon Wright (33% owned):
Despite a slow start with his new team, Delon Wright is still a top 100 fantasy asset over the past week. The 28 minutes per game are encouraging and his last performance against Chicago shows his upside. Wright should keep getting minutes in the mid to high 20’s playing behind Mike Conley. Wright will help owners needing assists and defensive numbers for the rest of the season. I think we’ve seen the bad with Wright in Memphis already, I expect the good to be a worthy week 19 waiver wire pickup.
Malik Beasley (50% owned):
(From last week’s waiver wire) Beasley continues to be a bright spot among all the injured wingers in Denver. Including an 8-minute outing in Utah, Beasley is averaging 17 points on 57% shooting and draining 3.1 triples a game. He’s the best source for threes out on the waiver wire in week 18 and is quietly putting together the most overlooked 50-40-90 season in NBA history. Beasley has been a top 75 player for the past month and needs to be owned for ROS value.
Markieff Morris (50% owned):
Morris went through a whirlwind of a trade deadline, going from Washington to New Orleans only to get cut. Kief landed with the Thunder last week and will assume an important role in Oklahoma City. Patrick Patterson is a liability and the team released Alex Abrines, so minutes are available. Morris should easily slide into a role that sees him playing around 25 minutes per game. He brings a lot to the table fantasy-wise with points, threes, and rebounds being his forte. Morris had a good shooting season last year in Washington but regressed this year. He should be better now on a team where he won’t be asked to create shot opportunities as much as in DC.
Robin Lopez (22% owned):
Lopez is another benefactor from the trade deadline. The Bulls shipped Jabari Parker and Bobby Portis, and Lopez now finds himself playing meaningful minutes. Over his last five, Lopez is dropping 16.6 points, 1.4 blocks while shooting nearly 68% from the floor. With Wendell Carter down for the year, it’s hard to imagine Lopez losing minutes to Cristiano Felicio. Lopez is an ideal pickup for owners looking to make a playoff push. He’s a top 100 asset over the past two weeks.
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