Though the NBA season is almost half over for most teams, the fantasy season feels as if it is just getting into full swing now that fantasy football season is over. We’re here to provide all your basketball needs moving forward, beginning with some shallow league waiver targets.
Keep an eye out for my deep league waiver wire targets in an upcoming article as we continue to ramp up our NBA content.
Josh Richardson (ESPN: 47%, Yahoo!: 69% )
Richardson rode a hot shooting streak in December to average 17.4 points per game for the month. That was aided by a 54.6% field goal percentage, well above any other rate he has posted either this season or in any long stretch throughout his career. It seems unlikely that will keep up, but Richardson has taken on a bigger role on the offensive side of the ball, posting a 19.4% usage rate. That will serve to help him maintain a decent scoring floor, and with Dion Waiters out for an extended time and Justise Winslow out for the time being, his usage rate should stay similar for the time being.
Richardson isn’t a standout in any fantasy categories, but he contributes enough in each category to be an asset. Currently, Richardson is red-hot and is showcasing his ceiling, but even if he cools down he has a floor of production that will keep him fantasy relevant.
Caris LeVert (ESPN: 35.4%, Yahoo!: 47%)
LeVert is currently sidelined with a with left groin strain, but the injury doesn’t appear to be a long-term concern. That said, he should be prepared to return to the lineup shortly, and his run immediately prior to the injury makes him an interesting fantasy add. In his 15 December games, LeVert averaged 14.3 points, 5.3 assists, and 1.3 steals per game. The noticeable change for LeVert was that his role changed, as he came off the bench almost exclusively after being shuffled in and out of the starting lineup to start the season.
Whether it was a bench role specifically or just the he had a more well-defined role coming off the bench, he has scored three points,1.2 more assists, and half a steal more per game when coming off the bench. Given that he isn’t currently on the court, LaVert will hurt in the short-term unless you have an IR spot, but he flashed his upside prior to injury and that appeared to be well worth the wait.
Gerald Green (ESPN: 24.7%, Yahoo!: 44%)
Gerald Green has been a revelation for the Rockets in the absence of James Harden, immediately entering the rotation and providing a scoring punch for the team. He can provide the same for your fantasy team in the short-term, just be careful with expectations. Green is limited in his fantasy value as he only produces points with little other value to go along with it. His value even in that regard is likely to be short-lived, however, as he is shooting 54.9% from the field in this short sample, a mark he has never come close to approaching in any other season of his NBA career. More detrimental is that Luc Mbah a Moute is nearing a return to the floor, likely causing some of the minutes currently allocated to Green to shift around.
There’s nothing wrong with adding Green as a short-term spark for your fantasy team, but like the Rockets, you should be using him as a stop-gap option only and not as a long-term solution.
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