NBA Week 11: Waiver Moves
December 27, 2017 | Matt Terelle
Hey there Fake Basketballers! Welcome to the Week 11 edition of Waiver Moves, where we will take a look at the waiver wire in your fantasy basketball league and make recommendations based on NBA risers and fallers. When looking at adds, we will be focusing on players who are owned in around 50% of Yahoo! leagues (with a few exceptions). All ownership percentages come from Yahoo! and are current as of December 27.
Isaiah Canaan (PG) – Phoenix Suns
Canaan snapped a streak of five straight games with double-digit points on Tuesday but the 26-year-old point guard has played well enough to be mentioned here. He’s shown the ability to rack up assists while chipping in 1.1 three-pointers per game and an excellent 96.4% free-throw percentage. He’s worth a roster spot in deeper leagues for as long as he’s the chief point guard in Phoenix.
Ish Smith (PG) – Detroit Pistons
Look for Smith to take over as Detroit’s starting point guard while Reggie Jackson is sidelined by an ankle injury. While X-rays on Jackson’s ankle were negative, we should see Smith operating in a valuable role in the near future as a starting point guard. While he isn’t likely to provide much assistance with his low shooting percentages, Smith will contribute points and assists while he’s the starter in Motown.
J.J. Barea (PG/SG) – Dallas Mavericks
Barea has been on a hot streak of late, averaging 12.8 points, 2.8 rebounds, 7.4 assists, and 1.8 three-pointers over his last five games. While the nature of his role will leave him open to some duds from time to time, Barea is also capable of filling up the stat sheet when he’s on. You could do a lot worse than Barea with one of your reserve guard spots.
Wayne Ellington (SG/SF) – Miami Heat
With Dion Waiters dealing with an ankle injury which will eventually require surgery, look for Ellington to see an uptick in playing time and shots going forward. Waiters recently told the media that he plans to play through the issue but it remains to be seen whether that happens and how effective he is when he does return to action. Ellington has played well over the past three games, averaging 36.0 minutes and 19.7 points per game over that stretch.
Jamal Crawford (SG/SF) – Minnesota Timberwolves
Crawford may finally be finding his footing with his new team. The veteran shooting guard has reached double-digit points in four straight games while averaging 2.3 three-pointers. While he isn’t likely to provide much outside of scoring and threes made, Crawford is on the radar as a deeper league add based on his strong play.
Caris LeVert (SG/SF) – Brooklyn Nets
LeVert continues to go overlooked in fantasy leagues, despite piecing together an excellent stretch of basketball for the Nets. The second-year guard/forward has been playing some backup point for Brooklyn, which has raised his ceiling in the assists department. He’s shooting 51.5% over the past seven games while scoring 13.3 points and posting 3.3 rebounds and assists.
Maxi Kleber (PF) – Dallas Mavericks
Kleber is an add option in deeper leagues as he is coming off an excellent 15-point, eight-rebound, five-block outing against the Raptors. The rookie remains an inconsistent fantasy option due to wildly fluctuating minutes but he does have some upside if he’s able to carve out a more solid role with the rebuilding Mavs. He’s worth a look in deep leagues if you have a roster space open.
Bobby Portis (PF/C) – Chicago Bulls
Portis remains a strong add in all leagues, having averaged 11.6 points and 6.8 rebounds per game over his past five contests. While it would be nice to see him get more minutes, Portis can be useful in deeper leagues if you need a boost in points or rebounds. If something were to happen to Lauri Markkanen or Nikola Mirotic, then Portis would become a must-add.
Bismack Biyombo (PF/C) – Orlando Magic
The Magic will be without starting center Nikola Vucevic for the foreseeable future after he broke his left hand. Vucevic has since had surgery and is expected to be out for 6-8 weeks. Look for Biyombo to step in as the team’s starting center in the meantime. Biyombo showed well in his first start in place of Vucevic, posting 12 rebounds and five blocked shots in 30 minutes of action. He’s not going to score much but he will be a reliable source of defensive stats while he’s playing starter’s minutes.