NBA Waiver Wire: Looking Ahead to Week 21

NBA Waiver Wire: Looking Ahead to Week 21

This article is part of our NBA Waiver Wire series.

March comes in like a lion, and the waiver wire is certainly roaring. There are tons of appealing options at all positions and with specialties in all categories. With the plethora of players available, almost all teams should be making some moves this week.

It's a slightly slow week for the league, with only 10 teams playing four games: the Hawks, Bulls, Mavericks, Heat, Bucks, Timberwolves, Pelicans, Knicks, 76ers and Suns. On the low end are the Cavaliers and Clippers, who only play twice each.

Through the week the schedule is pretty balanced, but with one glaring exception. There are only two games on Thursday, compared to between six and 10 every other day. The Bucks are the only team who have both four games and play on Thursday. The other Thursday teams are the Blazers, Thunder and Pacer

Per usual, this article will focus on players available in at least 50 percent of leagues. Players are listed in the order I'd recommend them, assuming all are equally good fits for your team.

Avery Bradley, Grizzlies (18 percent rostered)
Next week's schedule: Por, Uta, Orl
Before the dust had settled from the crazy trade deadline, the Grizzlies backcourt was identified as a potential source of fantasy value. At the time, it was still unclear who would be the primary beneficiary, but Bradley has started to seize that mantle. He has played at least 29 minutes in five of his last six, and scored at least 15 in each of

March comes in like a lion, and the waiver wire is certainly roaring. There are tons of appealing options at all positions and with specialties in all categories. With the plethora of players available, almost all teams should be making some moves this week.

It's a slightly slow week for the league, with only 10 teams playing four games: the Hawks, Bulls, Mavericks, Heat, Bucks, Timberwolves, Pelicans, Knicks, 76ers and Suns. On the low end are the Cavaliers and Clippers, who only play twice each.

Through the week the schedule is pretty balanced, but with one glaring exception. There are only two games on Thursday, compared to between six and 10 every other day. The Bucks are the only team who have both four games and play on Thursday. The other Thursday teams are the Blazers, Thunder and Pacer

Per usual, this article will focus on players available in at least 50 percent of leagues. Players are listed in the order I'd recommend them, assuming all are equally good fits for your team.

Avery Bradley, Grizzlies (18 percent rostered)
Next week's schedule: Por, Uta, Orl
Before the dust had settled from the crazy trade deadline, the Grizzlies backcourt was identified as a potential source of fantasy value. At the time, it was still unclear who would be the primary beneficiary, but Bradley has started to seize that mantle. He has played at least 29 minutes in five of his last six, and scored at least 15 in each of those. When he's getting good minutes, he's still a solid source of threes and steals.

Dwyane Wade, Heat (36 percent rostered)
Next week's schedule: Atl, at Cha, Cle, Tor
As the end nears for the Wade Retirement Tour, I expect his play to improve just based on pure emotion and adrenaline. He's already worth rostering, averaging 17.7 points, 3.7 rebounds, 3.3 assists, 1.2 steals and 1.2 blocks over his last six games. That included two games of 20-plus points, including the much-retweeted game-winner against the Warriors. Of all of the players listed in this article, Wade is the one I'm most heavily invested in.

Reggie Bullock, Lakers (19 percent rostered)
Next week's schedule: LAC, Den, Bos
Bullock has emerged as the latest edition of hot three-point specialist who provides decent scoring and not much else. We've talked about these players all season, and how the NBA's new offenses have led to a rotating carousel of players who fit this role. Nothing about Bullock's current production is surprising – if anything, the surprising thing is that he didn't deliver on this potential earlier, which means that there's a good chance he'll be able to sustain the 13.2 points and 3.0 threes per game that he's averaged over his last five games.

Kelly Olynyk, Heat (31 percent rostered)
Next week's schedule: Atl, at Cha, Cle, Tor
Olynyk has started the last 10 games. His workload has steadily increased through that period – from 20.0 over the first three, to 25.3 over the next four, all the way up to 34.7 over the most recent three. He's scored in double-digits in six of his last seven. As much as I've tried to avoid including Olynyk in this column this season, I can't avoid this recent run, especially since the Heat frontcourt was mostly healthy for several of those games. His production might dip once Hassan Whiteside (hip) and James Johnson (shoulder) are back to full health, but even then he'll probably maintain at least deep league value. He's an efficient shooter who provides decent points, threes (for a big) and assists (for a big).

Other recommendations: Wesley Matthews, Pacers (35 percent rostered); Tyler Johnson, Suns (41 percent rostered); Allonzo Trier, Knicks (6 percent rostered); Robin Lopez, Bulls (33 percent rostered); Joakim Noah, Grizzlies (35 percent rostered); Cody Zeller, Hornets (44 percent rostered); Justise Winslow, Heat (48 percent rostered); Maurice Harkless, Trail Blazers (17 percent rostered); Patrick Beverley, Clippers (42 percent rostered); Dwight Powell, Mavericks (34 percent rostered); Henry Ellenson, Knicks (3 percent rostered)

Deep-league-only recommendations: Harry Giles, Kings (6 percent rostered); Jalen Brunson, Mavericks (4 percent rostered)

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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.
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