Fantasy Basketball Waiver Wire: 6 generally available players to prioritize

By | February 23, 2024

Specially for Yahoo Sports

Not much has changed since last Friday’s waiver article; Only one night of games has been played since then, and the All-Star break is usually when fantasy managers are most likely to drop out for a few days. As such, most of last week’s featured additions remain available in at least 50% of leagues.

At the end of the column I’ve included a list of 10 players suggested in recent weeks that still require strong consideration; But rather than rehashing why you should add any of those players, this week’s focus is on six players who are available in at least 75% of leagues.

Cole Anthony, Orlando Magic (24% on list)

Since the second week of January, Anthony has seen his role become smaller and smaller. However, Jalen Suggs (head) left Thursday’s game against the Cavaliers and did not return, and Markelle Fultz (knee) sat out his second straight game. Meanwhile, Anthony recorded 13 points, six assists, two boards, one steal and one block in just 19 minutes. It’s within the realm of possibility that both Suggs and Fultz could be ready to rejoin the rotation once Saturday’s game against the Pistons takes place. But if Suggs and/or Fultz were to miss a few more games, Anthony would likely benefit. Anyone looking for a decent streaming option for next week should keep an eye on the status of Suggs and Fultz — and put Anthony on your watchlist, especially in points leagues.

Kyle Lowry, Philadelphia 76ers (19% on list)

Lowry looked good in his 76ers debut on Thursday, posting 11 points, five assists, four rebounds and one trey in 25 minutes against the Knicks. De’Anthony Melton (back), who has been sidelined since mid-January, is expected to be available for Friday’s game against the Cavaliers. Once Melton’s injury problems are behind him, Lowry will have a lot more competition for playing time. Nevertheless, 76ers coach Nick Nurse’s familiarity with and confidence in Lowry should not be overlooked when projecting his viability as a fantasy contributor in the future. As with Anthony, even if you’re not in a rush to add Lowry right away, keep an eye on him, especially in category competitions.

Cam Whitmore, Houston Rockets (17% selected)

With no indication that Tari Eason (knee) is nearing a return to the rotation, Whitmore’s fantasy stock is on the rise. In his first game coming out of the All-Star break, Whitmore delivered 13 points, four rebounds, two sacks and two 3s in 24 minutes against the Pelicans. Houston is sliding in the standings after losing six of its last seven games; If that trend continues, silly season – a time often ripe for rookies who can score like Whitmore – will arrive sooner or later for the Rockets. Skip the part where you put him on a watchlist; go ahead and pick him up right now.

Luke Kennard, Memphis Grizzlies (14% selected)

Marcus Smart (finger) remains three weeks away from re-evaluation, while Desmond Bane (ankle) is expected to return to the lineup within three to five weeks. In the coming weeks, Kennard thinks he will have the ball in his hands quite often. It all comes down to availability; If Kennard’s knee problems are truly behind him and he can try every night, it’s probably worth adding some competitions in the coming weeks. While he doesn’t bring much defensively, his offensive versatility allows him to contribute in multiple categories, giving him value in a variety of fantasy formats.

Andrew Nembhard, Indiana Pacers (12% on list)

In the five games since Indiana traded Buddy Hield, Nembhard is averaging 9.8 points and 4.8 assists, compared to 1.0 turnovers, 2.6 boards, 1.6 steals and 1.0 3s in 31.6 minutes. His ability to defend, hit 3s, drive and create offensively for teammates while limiting turnovers has helped him earn a more important role of late. The sophomore has also improved his field goal percentage significantly from last year (44.1% to 49.2%), and if the recent increase in playing time continues, his counting stats could continue to rise as well.

Jordan Goodwin, Memphis Grizzlies (4% selected)

Technically, Goodwin is still only on a 10-day contract. However, Marcus Smart (finger) and Desmond Bane (ankle) are still on the mend, and Scotty Pippen Jr. (back) will be sidelined for at least three weeks. If you don’t trust Kennard, you probably don’t believe in Derrick Rose or Jacob Gilyard; and with good reason.

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All signs point to another 10-day contract for Goodwin, who is averaging 10.5 points, 5.0 rebounds, 3.0 assists, 1.5 steals, 1.0 3s in 26.5 minutes in his first two games with the Grizzlies and scored 0.5 blocks. If Goodwin remains with the Grizzlies, a four-game week – with two games against the Trail Blazers and one against the Nets – is in store. Those who need a streaming option in very deep leagues may want to consider adding Goodwin.

Recent endorsements still included in less than 50% of leagues: Marvin Bagley III, Tre Mann, Nick Richards, Keyonte George, Ayo Dosunmu, Amen Thompson, GG Jackson II, Andre Drummond, Grant Williams, Kelly Olynyk

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