NBA Waiver-Wired: Week 16

Hello and welcome back to another Waiver Wired! The Super Bowl tonight is going to be the calm before the storm for fantasy basketball purposes, as chaos should ensue on Monday as NBA front offices scramble to make deals before the Feb. 6 deadline. This article will serve as your weekly reminder to hold onto Christian Wood in addition to bringing you the top waiver-wire adds under 40% owned in Yahoo Leagues. For questions about fantasy basketball and way too many Jaren Jackson Jr. stats, find me on Twitter here!

Week 16 Schedule: Games Played



2 games: CHI

Top 10 Adds under 40%

1.) Christian Wood (38%)- I promise I’m not getting paid by Wood’s agent as the big man makes what seems like his 47th appearance in my column. For those of you who have been stashing for several weeks, congrats for hanging in there because this could potentially be the last week that Andre Drummond is in Detroit. Wood has had plenty of standalone value in the past couple weeks in addition to his stash appeal though, averaging 14.7 points, 5.3 rebounds, 0.8 triples and 0.7 blocks over his last six games. 

This is a player with per-36 stats of 21.0 points, 11.0 rebounds, 1.4 assists, 0.8 steals, 1.8 blocks and 1.3 triples, so this is league-winning upside we’re talking about. To put these numbers into perspective, only three players in the past 10 seasons have averaged 21+ points, 11+ rebounds, 1.5+ blocks and 1+ triples: Karl-Anthony Towns, DeMarcus Cousins and Joel Embiid. And even if Drummond isn’t moved, I still see a path to 20-24 minutes with the Pistons willing to use those two guys alongside each other — Wood has played an average of 7.1 minutes next to Drummond in 31 different games. 

2.) De’Anthony Melton (8%)- I had to laugh at myself because of course Melton misses two games with a hand injury that comes out of nowhere right after making him my top pickup from Week 15. I’m still holding everywhere with Melton returning on Friday, but made plenty of “loud noises” with Melton playing just 17 minutes compared to 26 for Solomon Hill. I just don’t understand what is stopping coach Taylor Jenkins from giving Melton a full workload, as he leads the team in net rating and consistently makes winning plays on both ends. 

Melton averaged 9.3 points, 3.3 assists, 3.3 rebounds, 1.2 steals, 0.5 blocks and 0.5 triples on 51.4% from the field in 20.8 minutes over his last 10 active games, so his floor right now is a top-100 player. All he needs to do to break into the top-75 is approach 25 minutes, and if we want to really reach we could be talking about a top-40 player if his minutes move closer to 30. Yes, he’s that good.

I had some fun with some Christian Wood stats so let’s do the same for Melton. He’s averaging 16.3 points, 7.4 rebounds, 6.0 dimes, 2.6 steals, 0.7 blocks and 1.1 triples per 36 minutes. Here’s the list of players in NBA history to average 16+ points, 7+ rebounds, 6+ dimes, 2.5+ steals and 1+ triples for a season: Michael Jordan, Fat Lever, Magic Johnson. Here’s hoping the Grizzlies make a trade or two to open up some minutes for this stat monster. 

3.) Jalen Brunson (18%)- Coach Rick Carlisle scared us all when he started J.J. Barea vs. the Rockets but he came to his senses vs. Atlanta and was handsomely rewarded with a monster performance from Brunson. The Villanova product went off a season-high 27 points on 12-of-22 shooting, eight assists, four rebounds and two 3-pointers in just 27 minutes, and he’s going to have a nice little window for top-50 numbers with Luka Doncic (ankle) expected to miss at least a couple weeks. He averaged 11.8 points , 6.1 assists, 4.0 boards, 1.1 triples and 0.4 steals in his previous starts, so we know he has the resume of being a good contributor when the usage/minutes are there. Brunson is a priority add if you need immediate production as opposed to long-term upside. 

4.) Donte DiVincenzo (18%)- He’s been a recurring name on this list as a player who continues to fly under the radar. He sat out his last game with a minor ankle issue, but is already back for Sunday’s action. In his last 10 active games, Donte is posting top-70 numbers of 11.9 points, 4.8 rebounds, 2.3 assists, 1.6 steals, 0.4 blocks and 1.8 triples in 23.8 minutes per game. He doesn’t have quite the same per-minute upside as someone like Melton, but right now he has the more established role. The thing that intrigues the most about Donte is the possibility of a lot of rest for the key players in Milwaukee, so maybe the Bucks give the second-year wing a larger share of the workload — The Bucks have a 6.5 game lead at the top of the East. 

5.) Danuel House (28%)- I was expecting to write up Isaiah Hartenstein as a pickup this week, but coach Mike D’Antoni is suddenly opposed to playing anyone taller than P.J. Tucker. Clint Capela has aggravated his right heel several times and coach Mike D’Antoni told the media that he doesn’t want him playing again until he’s 100 percent. That means a shut down until the All-Star break is likely on the table. 

House had a red hot start to the season before forgetting how to shoot, but has his touch again and has been deployed as a small-ball four in recent games. Over his last four, House has been putting up top-40 numbers in 9-cat with 13.0 points, 5.8 rebounds, 2.0 assists, 2.0 steals, 1.0 blocks and 2.8 triples. The defensive stats won’t be this beefy, but he can make up for it by shooting better than his current mark of 39% in that stretch. He’s a strong short-term add and maybe he holds onto some value when Capela is back like we saw earlier in the season. 

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6.) Marquese Chriss (14%)- He seems to have a pretty strong grasp on the starting center job, but you never know with Steve Kerr. Chriss is putting up top-55 numbers in 9-cat over his last six games in just 23.2 minutes, averaging 12.0 points, 5.3 rebounds, 1.5 assists, 1.0 steals and 1.2 blocks, hitting 64% from the field and 70% from the line. He lives in the paint which will keep his FG% high too with a whopping 210 out of 257 shots coming in the restricted area, and the steal/block rates have always made him intriguing. If his minutes hang around the 24-28 range, Chriss will be a must-own player. 

7.) Cam Reddish (20%)- He’s in the NBA’s concussion protocol, but if he’s cleared in a couple days then I’d be comfortable putting Reddish third or fourth on this list. The rookie has really found his stride after struggling to even throw the ball in the ocean earlier this season, hitting 40% of his triples in January after some slight tweaks to his jumper (mainly his footwork and readiness to shoot when the ball is coming to him). 

If we throw out the 7-minute game in which he left with a possible concussion, Reddish is showing real signs of a breakout with 14.3 points, 5.3 rebounds, 1.2 assists, 0.7 steals and 2.3 triples over his last six. The steals were way up before that stretch too, so we might be looking at a top-75 post All-Star break run if he can keep his FG% at least around 40%. 

8.) Kevin Porter Jr. (6%)- The rookie has been on an absolute tear since returning from his knee injury. In his last three games, KPJ is averaging 17.7 points, 2.7 rebounds, 1.7 assists, 0.7 steals and 3.3 triples in 26.1 minutes. He no longer has restrictions and coach John Beilein has been talking him up too.  «He was becoming a plus defender and he’s one guy that can just get us a bucket out of nowhere,» Beilein said. «That’s a need everywhere, for every basketball team.” The turnovers have been a problem, but hey, at least he’s getting some nice usage — he’s flirting with a 28.0 usage rate in his last three with his season average barely eclipsing 20.0. He’s a strong flier as the rookie should get a ton of burn down the stretch with his team looking towards the future. 

9.) Terence Davis (3%)- This is more of a speculative add with Norman Powell (finger fracture) out indefinitely. Hopefully coach Nick Nurse has given up on the Patrick McCaw experiment, as Davis has run circles around him all season. Davis has a strong stat set, and assuming the Raptors run a tight rotation, Davis could be looking at some serious burn. In a sample size of over 500 minutes, Davis has per-36 stats of 16.7 points, 7.1 rebounds, 3.6 assists, 1.0 steals and 2.9 triples with Powell off the floor. That is some mouthwatering upside and it means I’ll be adding him everywhere if he eclipses 24 minutes vs. the Bulls on Sunday. Plus, the Raptors are a team to watch on the deadline as they could be buyers or sellers (only Masai Ujiri knows). 

10.) Justin Holiday (8%)- This is a sneaky one. T.J. Warren is doubtful for Monday with a concussion and missed a ton of time in Phoenix for the same reason. For all we know Warren could be day-to-day, but I’ve added Holiday in some deeper leagues because he’s proven in the past that he only needs 25 minutes to be relevant. The last two weeks is a great example of that, as Holiday is posting top-70 numbers in 9-cat in 25 minutes with 9.5 points, 3.3 rebounds, 1.5 assists, 1.3 steals, 1.0 blocks and 2.0 triples. Players that contribute in every category are quite rare, and Holiday’s Robert Covington-like upside could give him some really nice value in the coming days.