Week 19 of the fantasy basketball season is upon us, and, like every Monday, I’ll break down several players who are less than 50% rostered in Yahoo fantasy basketball leagues. Remember, the fantasy trade deadline for most leagues ends this Thursday, with the fantasy playoffs starting as early as next week, so now’s the time to retool and reload.
But before we get to this week’s waiver pickups, here are the games played by each team in Week 19.
Four games: 18 teams (76ers, Bucks, Bulls, Celtics, Clippers, Grizzlies, Heat, Hornets, Knicks, Lakers, Magic, Nets, Rockets, Spurs, Thunder, Trail Blazers, Warriors and Wizards)
Three games: 10 teams – Hawks, Jazz, Kings, Mavericks, Pacers, Pelicans, Pistons, Raptors, Suns and Timberwolves)
Two games: 2 teams (Cavaliers and Nuggets)
Okay, now that you know which teams to target for streaming, let’s get to the pickups.
Priority Adds in Shallow leagues (10 teams or less)
Kyle Anderson – SF/PF, Minnesota Timberwolves (48% rostered)
Anderson’s rostered percentage is still too low, considering he’s been a top-100 player in 9-cat leagues over the past month. He’s still putting up a respectable 12.0 points with 6.2 rebounds, 5.2 assists, 1.8 stocks and 52/33/81 shooting splits in his previous five games. Slo-Mo should be rostered in all leagues if he continues to start in place of Karl-Anthony Towns.
Talen Horton-Tucker – SG/SF, Utah Jazz (33% rostered)
Mike Conley’s been traded, and Collin Sexton’s latest hamstring injury clears the way for THT to detonate this week. His assists have been great, notching at least 6 in 6 of his past 7 games, but he’s been stuffing the stat sheet, too. He’s averaging 12.0 points with 6.7 rebounds, 5.7 assists, 0.5 steals, 2.0 blocks in 30.2 minutes over his previous three games, so make sure he’s not sitting on the wire.
Kevin Love – PF/C, Miami Heat (44% rostered)
Love fished his wish into more playing time since being bought out by the Cavs, starting and seeing 20+ minutes in each of his first two games with Miami. He racked up a double-double on Saturday, finishing with 13 points and 13 rebounds with two assists and a block in 26 minutes of action. You’ll find few starters on waivers this late in the season, so take advantage of his contributions in these primary categories: Points, rebounds, threes and FT percentage.
Malaki Branham – SG/SF, San Antonio Spurs (40% rostered)
The rookie is logging heavy minutes lately, and Branham benefits from the Spurs’ successful tank job. They’re in the midst of a 16-game losing streak, and it’s been crucial to his late-season surge. He’s morphed into the Spurs’ second-best scorer after the deadline, scoring at least 22 points in 5 of his last 10 games and double-figures in the previous 10 contests.
He dabbles in rebounds and assists, but fantasy managers should expect him to help in the scoring department for 9-cat leagues. The Spurs have a cake schedule playing the Rockets twice, the Jazz and the Pacers in Week 19, so pick him up if he’s available. All signs indicate that he’ll also have staying power down the stretch.
Josh Richardson – SG/SF, New Orleans Pelicans (39% rostered)
Pelicans HC Willie Green must really like J-Rich because the newly acquired combo guard has started the past two nights for the Pelicans, sending Trey Murphy III to the bench even though he’s started in 46-of-63 games thus far. Richardson has been a thief on the perimeter, registering 14 steals and 3 blocks in only four games since joining his new team. He played 33 minutes in Saturday’s contest, and with Herb Jones struggling, Richardson’s role is secure, especially with Zion Williamson still on the mend.
And by the way, what is my guy rocking?
Richardson is 48th in per-game value over the past 14 days, and by all indications, a move to a playoff contender flipped a switch for his game. I’d pick him up in all leagues while he’s playing great defense and providing cross-categorial value in 9-cat formats.
Delon Wright – PG/SG, Washington Wizards (25% rostered)
Arguably one of the most undervalued fantasy assets in 9-cat formats, Delon Wright ranks 62nd in per-game value this season because of his efficiency and ability to contribute across categories.
He’s only played in 31 games this year, mostly seeing 22 minutes per night off the bench, and still, he’s averaging two steals per contest, which is a substantial boost to his ranking. However, Monte Morris (back soreness) missed Sunday’s game, and Wright started in his place, finishing with 14 points and 4 rebounds in 28 minutes.
Even if Morris returns during the Wizards’ four-game week, Wright is still the preferred fantasy option at point guard.
Drew Eubanks – PF/C, Portland Trail Blazers (15% rostered)
It’s hard to recommend anyone on the Blazers when Damian Lillard is locked in like this, but Eubanks is a cheap source of rebounds and blocks. The Blazers play four games, and as long as Jusuf Nurkic remains out with a calf strain, Eubanks will play at least 20 minutes.
His schedule is favorable, too, going up against teams that allow over 53 fantasy points per game to opposing centers this season: The Warriors, Hawks, Magic and Pelicans.
Jaylin Williams – PF/C, Oklahoma City Thunder (12% rostered)
Not to be confused with his teammate J-Dub (Jalen Williams), Jay Will has recently been serviceable in 9-cat leagues after averaging 8.5 points with 7.5 rebounds, 1.8 assists and 2.2 triples over his last four outings. He flashed his upside while pulling down 16 boards a few games ago, but he’ll likely only be helpful in deep competitive leagues for fantasy managers looking for rebounds and a couple of threes.
It’s worth noting that Jay Will has started in four straight and 7 of his last 10 games. His minutes have fluctuated a bit, but as long as he plays 20 minutes or more a night, the rookie forward can hold a consistent role for the Thunder as they fall out of playoff contention.
Gabe Vincent – PG/SG, Miami Heat (19% rostered)
Kyle Lowry’s out indefinitely, so Vincent will start at PG, keeping him relevant as a streaming option in Week 19. If you need help in FG%, Vincent isn’t the player for you, but despite his poor play recently, now is an excellent time to turn it around. Three of the Heats’ four games this week are at home, where Vincent’s been more efficient with higher production and usage this season.
Josh Okogie – SG/SF, Phoenix Suns (44% rostered)
The Suns and fantasy managers anxiously await KD’s return, but until then, Okogie will hold down the starting SF position. He’s been 67th in per-game value over the last 14 days, but the clock is ticking. Kevin Durant aims to return for Wednesday’s tilt against the Hornets, so Okogie’s time as a starter is likely over. However, the Suns have limited depth on the perimeter, so he could still be a helpful stream in deeper leagues even when KD comes back. Being that he’s rostered in 44% of leagues, you’ll probably be able to scoop him up later in the week. Hard to argue with a guy putting up 18.5 points, 5.8 rebounds, 1.5 assists, 3.0 threes and 2.0 steals over his past six games.
Alec Burks – PG/SG/SF, Detroit Pistons (18% rostered)
Hamidou Diallo – SG/SF – Detroit Pistons (5% rostered)
Both players will get an uptick in playing time, with Poor Ivey (personal) and Bojan Bogdanovic (Achilles) missing Monday night’s contest. Burks finished 93rd in 9-cat leagues in Week 18, even though he played less than 20 minutes in his last two games. With more floor time available to start a three-game week, Burks should be a solid source of points, threes and at least a few rebounds and assists.
Outside of last week, Diallo has been shooting a very high percentage from the field this season (58%) and seeing a 24.5% usage rate in February. He’ll be good for double-digit points (he scored at least 10 points in five straight), but I’m more inclined to pick him up for his defense, as he’s accumulated 37 stocks (29 steals and 8 blocks) across his last 21 games.
Also, if you’re looking ahead, the Pistons play three games in four nights to start Week 21, so given their standing and situation, players like Burks and Diallo could be strong stashes for the fantasy playoffs.
Keita Bates-Diop – PF, San Antonio Spurs (4%)
Isaiah Hartenstein – PF/C, New York Knicks (27%)
Isaiah Joe – PG/SG, Oklahoma City Thunder (13%)
Austin Reaves – SG/SF, Los Angeles Lakers (7%)
Kris Dunn – PG/SG, Utah Jazz (5%)
Xavier Tillman – C, Memphis Grizzlies (6%)