Working the waiver wire is pivotal for succeeding in fantasy basketball. With so many games, injuries and endless shifts in rotations in the marathon campaign, we'll need to source stats from free agency to maximize imaginary rosters.
A willingness to entertain competition for the last few spots on your fantasy hoops roster can prove rewarding. When curating this fluid collective of statistical contributors, it helps to consider your end-of-bench players in direct competition with the talent floating in free agency.
The goal of this weekly series is to identify players available in at least half of ESPN leagues at each position. Some nominations are specialists capable of helping in one or two categories, while others deliver more diverse and important statistical offerings. In the breakdowns below, I've ordered players at each position with the priority of acquisition in mind, rather than roster percentage in ESPN leagues.
Bruce Brown, Detroit Pistons (Rostered in 25.4% of ESPN leagues): The scoring results for Brown can prove lean at times, but there is still value present with the combo guard averaging 33 MPG and 10.5 RPG and nearly four dimes in the past four games. Once his shot starts falling again, Brown could emerge as a difference-maker in competitive fantasy formats.
Coby White, Chicago Bulls (20.8%): White just became the second Bulls rookie ever -- joining Michael Jordan -- to deliver consecutive 30-point games. Over the weekend, White also became the first NBA rookie with at least 30 points in consecutive games off the bench since the league officially began tracking starters in 1970-71. There will be some inefficient outings for a heat-check rookie dependent on scoring to provide fantasy value, but with Kris Dunn likely out for the rest of the season with a knee injury, White should enjoy tons of minutes and shots off the pine for a Bulls team heading for a spot in the lottery.
Malik Beasley, Minnesota Timberwolves (50.2%): OK, he's rostered in slightly more than half of ESPN leagues, but we couldn't pass up the opportunity to endorse Beasley one last time this season as an elite addition to your fantasy roster. Since joining the Wolves at the deadline, Beasley has averaged 22 PPG with a whopping 4.0 3PG to go with 8.6 combined assists and rebounds.
Josh Hart, New Orleans Pelicans (35.5%): With 23 rebounds in his first two outings since the All-Star break, Hart continues to cement his reputation as one of the best guards on the glass in the entire league. Now that his shot is dropping from beyond the arc, Hart has become a dynamic fantasy asset even in a bench role for the Pelicans.
Alec Burks, Philadelphia 76ers (36.4%): As of Monday morning, we don't have much conclusive information on injuries to Ben Simmons and Tobias Harris, but it appears Simmons could miss some time, given the nature of his back ailment. Burks has seen his fantasy production and usage rate leap whenever he's on the floor without Simmons, as Philly has tasked the former Warrior with a creation role in such situations. Stash Burks now, given the potential for him to play a more significant role in the games ahead.
Malik Monk, Charlotte Hornets (24.2%): With at least 15 points in six straight outings and multiple 3-pointers made in each of these games, Monk has emerged as a scoring microwave for the Hornets and mimics the value White presents from the point guard position for the Bulls.
Norman Powell, Toronto Raptors (17.8%): An impending return from a finger injury means that it's time to begin stashing Powell in competitive fantasy leagues. When he was healthy earlier this season, Powell was a steady scoring and defensive asset for both the Raptors and fantasy managers alike.
Tim Hardaway Jr., Dallas Mavericks (47.3%): An injury to Luka Doncic empowered THJ to emerge as a key scoring force for the Mavericks during the past month. Even with Luka back in the fold, Hardaway continues to fill the bucket and has now scored in double figures in eight straight games. During this stretch, Hardaway has averaged 21.6 PPG and 3.8 3PG, making him a valuable source of scoring at a scarce shooting guard position.
Duncan Robinson, Miami Heat (28.9%): One of the league's best shooters, Robinson ranks second behind only Davis Bertans in catch-and-shoot 3-point attempts per game as the resident floor spacer for the Heat. You won't get much beyond scoring and shooting results from Robinson, but specialists can prove very helpful in category and roto formats down the stretch.
Cam Reddish, Atlanta Hawks (18.6%): Earning more minutes and touches as he matures into a steady NBA rotation role, this rookie has become a viable fantasy addition thanks to 15.8 PPG and 2.3 combined blocks and steals during his past four appearances.
Jae Crowder, Miami Heat (42.8%): It's been Crowder, and not Andre Iguodala, who has emerged as the relevant fantasy option since being dealt to Miami from Memphis a few weeks back. For confirmation of his newfound value since the deal, the veteran combo forward has averaged 28.2 MPG to go with 16.2 PPG and 2.8 combined blocks and steals since joining Miami.
Juan Hernangomez, Minnesota Timberwolves (17.5%): Coming over to the Timberwolves in the same deal from Denver with Beasley, Hernangomez has averaged 13.8 PPG with helpful shooting and defensive results. A significant wrist injury to Karl-Anthony Towns means we'll see plenty of Hernangomez on the floor for the Wolves in the games ahead.
Daniel Theis, Boston Celtics (43.2%): A monster line against the reeling Wolves this past Friday combined with a solid outing against the Lakers on Sunday signals that Theis' breakout is legitimate and worthy of your attention.
Marquese Chriss, Golden State Warriors (45.4%): A calf injury held Chriss out of action over the weekend, but once he's ready to play again, he'll prove to be a valuable frontcourt option, thanks to a helpful blend of blocks and boards for the Warriors.
Naz Reid, Minnesota Timberwolves (18.8%): With Towns sidelined, Reid has become an efficient rebounder and post scorer in limited minutes for Minnesota. With a bit of 3-point production mixed in, Reid is worth considering in deeper leagues for as long as Towns is out.