The NBA has been hit by a lot of injuries of late, making this an opportune time to hit the waiver wire. While weekly leagues have likely already run, consider adding these players immediately in leagues where lineups run daily.
Some of the players listed below are “watch list” candidates in shallower leagues, and all are owned in 70 percent or less of leagues on CBS – Yahoo and ESPN ownership is generally lower than CBS.
- Denver Nuggets
The Nuggets rotation has been depleted by long-term injuries to Paul Millsap and Gary Harris, which has opened up a lot of minutes and corresponding value. Those who have benefited the most are Juancho Hernangomez and Monte Morris. Hernangomez was seeing fairly consistent time even prior to Millsap’s injury, and that has only increased since. He contributes across the board, with his only real deficiency being assists. Somehow, he’s only owned in 65% of CBS leagues, so make sure he’s not available in your leagues.
Monte Morris appears to be the other big winner, as he has seemingly surpassed Malik Beasley in the last few games. While he hasn’t shot the ball well, he has been aggressive in finding his shot, giving him potential to score in bunches. In addition, he has flashed the ability to provide strong steal and assist contributions, making it likely he has value so long as Harris is sidelined.
Other potential beneficiaries worth monitoring include Beasley, Trey Lyles, and Mason Plumlee.
- De’Anthony Melton
Elie Okobo appeared to have the inside track on minutes after Isaiah Canaan was waived and Devin Booker was sidelined by injury, but De’Anthony Melton has had the more impressive play (Okobo is now in the G-League). Melton’s 21-point performance on December 4 is an outlier based on 75 percent shooting, but he has managed at least one steal and four assists in each game since he saw an uptick in minutes.
While many players on this list are dependent on injuries to increase their role — likely to last only a limited time — Melton has the chance to maintain this level of value for the remainder of the season. Like any rookie, there will be ups and downs in his performance, but he is an immediate add in deeper leagues and a name to monitor in shallower leagues.
- Emmanuel Mudiay
Let me start with this: good luck figuring out the Knicks rotation. However, with Trey Burke out for the time being and Frank Ntilikina seemingly out of favor, David Fizdale may have no choice but to play Mudiay.
When he has been on the floor the results have largely been impressive, as he’s averaging 16 points and five assists across 30 minutes in his last five games. There are two major caveats when dealing with Mudiay. First, the Knicks rotation is unpredictable; and second, he is a poor shooter and provides next to nothing besides points and assists.
- Tomas Satoransky
John Wall has been and out of the lineup recently, which has given Satoransky the chance to emerge as a starter and retain consistent minutes. While he hasn’t been aggressive in finding his shot — he’s averaged only 5.2 field-goal attempts even with increased minutes — he has chipped in with both assists and rebounds, boosting his value. Satoransky isn’t a must-add in shallow leagues, but will be valuable in the short-term so long as John Wall remains out.
Update: Wall appears likely to return this week, but his heel injury may be a lingering issue that gives Satoransky value in deeper leagues.
- Josh Hart
Brandon Ingram may be on the way back from his ankle injury soon, but in the meantime, Josh Hart should be picked up in deeper formats. Though his statistics have been inconsistent in the three games with an expanded role, Hart has seen no fewer than 35 minutes and flashed some steal and block upside to go along with the ability to hit threes.
- Others to Consider:
Justise Winslow – On a high right now, but larger sample suggests it won’t continue
Larry Nance – Tristan Thompson’s injury should open the door
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