NBA Waiver Wire: Best Adds for Week 21

NBA Waiver Wire: Best Adds for Week 21

This article is part of our NBA Waiver Wire series.

Times are good here on the waiver wire, where a typical post-All-Star break boom is in full effect. Some of the names are unexpected – who saw Kelly Olynyk becoming a must-start? -- while In other cases, players have stepped up to fill roster holes created at the trade deadline. And, of course, there are some young players seizing bigger workloads on bad teams.

Managers in daily lineups leagues should take note of Thursday's light schedule: only the Trail Blazers, Bucks, Thunder and Pacers play in a tiny, two-game slate. Players on those teams are slightly more valuable this week, especially for managers who have a streaming spot in their lineup.

There are slightly fewer games than usual this week, as two teams (Cavaliers and Clippers) play twice and only 10 teams play four times. That means there is extra advantage to targeting players with a four-game week, and starting a Cavalier or a Clipper is less damaging. The teams with four games are the Hawks, Bulls, Mavericks, Heat, Bucks, Timberwolves, Pelicans, Knicks, 76ers and Suns.

As always, the players in this article must be rostered in less than two-thirds of CBS leagues. Players are listed in the order that I recommend adding them, assuming they are equally good fits for your team.

Adds for all Leagues

Avery Bradley, Grizzlies (47 percent rostered)
In my post-trade deadline waiver wire column, I highlighted the Grizzlies backcourt as a situation to watch moving forward. While it was not yet clear who

Times are good here on the waiver wire, where a typical post-All-Star break boom is in full effect. Some of the names are unexpected – who saw Kelly Olynyk becoming a must-start? -- while In other cases, players have stepped up to fill roster holes created at the trade deadline. And, of course, there are some young players seizing bigger workloads on bad teams.

Managers in daily lineups leagues should take note of Thursday's light schedule: only the Trail Blazers, Bucks, Thunder and Pacers play in a tiny, two-game slate. Players on those teams are slightly more valuable this week, especially for managers who have a streaming spot in their lineup.

There are slightly fewer games than usual this week, as two teams (Cavaliers and Clippers) play twice and only 10 teams play four times. That means there is extra advantage to targeting players with a four-game week, and starting a Cavalier or a Clipper is less damaging. The teams with four games are the Hawks, Bulls, Mavericks, Heat, Bucks, Timberwolves, Pelicans, Knicks, 76ers and Suns.

As always, the players in this article must be rostered in less than two-thirds of CBS leagues. Players are listed in the order that I recommend adding them, assuming they are equally good fits for your team.

Adds for all Leagues

Avery Bradley, Grizzlies (47 percent rostered)
In my post-trade deadline waiver wire column, I highlighted the Grizzlies backcourt as a situation to watch moving forward. While it was not yet clear who would become the best pickup, the team's deadline moves created an opening. It took a couple games to settle, but Bradley has emerged as the player to pick up. He's scored in double-digits in seven of his last eight and is averaging 18.6 points in 32.3 minutes per game during that period – and that includes a dreadful four-point, 19-minute outing. He played at least 29 minutes in every other game during that run.

Joakim Noah, Grizzlies (40 percent rostered)
Strange as it may seem, Noah is firmly back in the Fantasy picture as a member of the post-Gasol Grizzlies. Noah is no where near the top-20 asset he was nearly a decade ago, but his core skills still remain strong. He's one of the best passing bigs in the league, and he's capable of contributing in both defensive categories. Since the All-Star break, he's averaging 3.7 assist and 1.7 blocks per game. He was never much of a scorer, so the 13.0 points he's averaged over the same window is likely to drop, but if he can keep his minutes up then his 8.3 rebounds are completely sustainable. Noah will probably have some ugly games (as he did Sunday), since that was always a part of his profile, but he can provide a lot of value in multiple categories.

All that said, managers looking at Noah should take note: Noah's minutes have steadily decreased, as he's played fewer minutes than the previous game in each of the last five contests, going down from 30 minutes in the first game after the All-Star break, all the way down to 16 minutes on Sunday. He's still worth rostering right now, but this trend should be closely monitored.

Luke Kennard, Pistons (18 percent rostered)
Kennard's path to becoming a hot waiver-wire pickup is the same as Bradley's. After the deadline, the Pistons' trades created room for a small forward to emerge as a three-point specialist serving a large role in the rotation. While Kennard was one of the players who had a chance to take that role, at the time I viewed Wayne Ellington as the more likely candidate. But Kennard has edged out Ellington, playing more minutes, scoring more points, and connecting at a much higher rate. Ellington is starting, but Kennard has provided steadier value. Since the deadline, Kennard is averaging 28.4 minutes, 14.9 points and 3.1 threes per game while shooting 51.1 percent from the field.

Kelly Olynyk, Heat (46 percent rostered)
The specter of a fully healthy Heat frontcourt still looms, and assuming it comes soon, it could damage Olynyk's Fantasy prospects. But he entered the starting lineup back when both Hassan Whiteside (hip) and James Johnson (shoulder) were healthy, so their return might not necessarily send Olynyk back to the waiver wire. I the meantime, he's been great. He's scored in double-digits in seven of his last eight games, and he's averaging 22.3 points, 6.5 rebounds, 2.8 assists and 2.8 threes over his last four games. Whether or not he's a long-term play, Olynyk is worth starting in all leagues right now.

Other recommendations: Dwyane Wade, Heat (53 percent rostered); Kevin Huerter, Hawks (45 percent rostered); Robin Lopez, Bulls (38 percent rostered); Allonzo Trier, Knicks (19 percent rostered); Wesley Matthews, Pacers (48 percent rostered); Landry Shamet, Clippers (15 percent rostered); Maurice Harkless, Trail Blazers (18 percent rostered)

Deep League Special

Cheick Diallo, Pelicans (31 percent rostered)
As the Anthony Davis saga wears on, the Pelicans frontcourt has become less-and-less appealing for Fantasy purposes. Jahlil Okafor (51 percent rostered) provided several weeks of excellent production, but he's become inconsistent as his workload has been reduced. I'm only interested in Diallo in deep leagues because of Okafor's presence, combined with the way the Pelicans have tinkered with the rotation regardless of how well Okafor or Kenrich Williams (34 percent rostered) were playing. But Diallo is only in his third season, so continued improvement is not surprising. Furthermore, he's logged four double-doubles in his last six games, averaging 12.7 points, 9.5 rebounds and 1.3 steals on fantastic shooting efficiency during that window.

Other recommendations: Harry Giles, Kings (15 percent rostered); Maurice Harkless, Trail Blazers (18 percent rostered)

Want to Read More?
Subscribe to RotoWire to see the full article.

We reserve some of our best content for our paid subscribers. Plus, if you choose to subscribe you can discuss this article with the author and the rest of the RotoWire community.

Get Instant Access To This Article Get Access To This Article
RotoWire Community
Join Our Subscriber-Only NBA Chat
Chat with our writers and other RotoWire NBA fans for all the pre-game info and in-game banter.
Join The Discussion
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Alex Rikleen
Rikleen writes the NBA column "Numbers Game," which decodes the math that underpins fantasy basketball and was a nominee for the 2016 FSWA Newcomer of the Year Award. A certified math teacher, Rikleen decided the field of education pays too well, so he left it for writing. He is a Boston College graduate living outside Boston.
Nick on VSiN: NBA Win Totals for 2024-25
Nick on VSiN: NBA Win Totals for 2024-25
NBA Summer League 2024: Rookie Notes From Pre-Vegas Schedule
NBA Summer League 2024: Rookie Notes From Pre-Vegas Schedule
NBA Free Agency 2024 Full Recap: Analysis for Every Deal
NBA Free Agency 2024 Full Recap: Analysis for Every Deal
2024 NBA Draft Recap: Big Trades, Fantasy Expectations, Bronny James
2024 NBA Draft Recap: Big Trades, Fantasy Expectations, Bronny James