NBA Fantasy: 6 waiver wire targets ahead of Week 21


RotoWire breaks down the top players to consider on the waiver wire heading into Week 21 of the 2023-24 NBA season.

Charlotte’s Tre Mann has averaged 11.6 points, 5.2 rebounds, 4.7 assists, and 1.6 steals in his last 11 starts.

Injuries continue to pile up across the NBA, making things difficult for fantasy managers at a time when some of them are already in their league’s playoffs. Luckily, there is still value to be had on the waiver wire. Here are six players to consider adding who are still available in the majority of Yahoo leagues.

Gary Trent Jr., Toronto Raptors (53% available).

The Raptors are limping toward the finish line. There is a very real possibility that we have already seen the last of Scottie Barnes (hand) and Jakob Poeltl (finger) for this season. Bruce Brown Jr. has also battled a knee injury that has forced him to miss three straight games.

Trent has logged 27 minutes per game for the season, but he has averaged 32 minutes over the last eight games. During that span, he averaged 16.5 points, 3.5 rebounds, 1.0 steals and 2.9 3-pointers. Never one to shy away from jacking up shots, Trent is on pace to average at least 2.4 3-pointers for the fourth straight season. The Raptors will play four times in Week 21, leaving Trent with plenty of scoring upside.

Nick Richards, Charlotte Hornets (54% available).

For one week, Richards finally didn’t qualify for this column. However, with Richards missing a game last weekend because of injury and the Hornets playing only three games in Week 20, he is now available in more than half of leagues again. He struggled when he took on the Magic in his return from his one-game absence, but the good news was that he still played 27 minutes.

Even with his poor showing against the Magic, Richards has averaged 11.8 points, 8.2 rebounds and 1.2 blocks since the trade deadline. During that span, he shot a robust 73% from the field. He doesn’t have anyone pushing him for playing time, and the Hornets have four games in Week 21, so don’t hesitate to snag him off waivers.

Tre Mann, Charlotte Hornets (67% available).

With the Hornets having four upcoming games and a limited depth chart, we are going to mention a few of them in this column. Mann is another great option still available in far too many leagues. LaMelo Ball (ankle) still doesn’t have a timetable for a return, and with the end of the season rapidly approaching, the Hornets could ultimately decide to shut him down without having him play another game.

Mann has started all 11 games since being acquired from the Thunder. He has turned that into valuable all-around production, averaging 11.6 points, 5.2 rebounds, 4.7 assists, 1.6 steals and 1.5 3-pointers. After shooting 39.3% from the field over his first two seasons in the league, he has shot 44.4% with the Hornets. He is listed as questionable for Friday’s game against the Wizards with a groin injury, but the injury isn’t believed to be serious at this time, so he might not miss any of Week 21.

Grant Williams, Charlotte Hornets (70% available).

Williams has been coming off the bench for the Hornets, but he has still averaged 30 minutes per game since joining the team. While he has had a few disappointing stat lines along the way, he has averaged 13.7 points, 5.5 rebounds, 2.3 assists and 1.6 3-pointers. Not only has he shot 50% from the field, but he has shot 81.6% from the free-throw line and 36% from behind the arc.

Williams and Davis Bertans are the main two big men off the bench for the Hornets. That leaves them to cover backup minutes at both power forward and center, with Williams better suited to play both positions. The combination of a secure role and a favorable schedule makes Williams yet another member of the Hornets to consider.

Simone Fontecchio, Detroit Pistons (76% available).

Fontecchio has both started and come off the bench at times during his tenure with the Pistons. Regardless of which role he has filled, he averaged 28 minutes over his 11 games with the team. Even with Isaiah Stewart back, Fontecchio has averaged 26 minutes across the last five games.

Fontecchio has thrived in an expanded role, chipping in 14 points and 2.5 3-pointers per game. If there is a downside, it’s that he provided modest averages of 3.6 rebounds and 1.9 assists during that stretch. Still, the Pistons will play four games this upcoming week, making Fontecchio another potentially valuable source of points and 3-pointers.

Vasilije Micic, Charlotte Hornets (81% available).

We close with yet another member of the Hornets. Micic showed promise in a limited role off the bench in his first nine games with the team, averaging 8.3 points and 5.9 minutes. He logged only 21 minutes per game during that span, which ultimately capped his overall fantasy upside.

Not only is Ball out, but Cody Martin (ankle) and Seth Curry (ankle) should both be out for at least Week 21, if not longer. Micic moved into the starting lineup with them out the last two games, playing at least 29 minutes in both contests. He started with 12 points, six assists and two steals in a matchup with the Raptors. Then, he produced 21 points, five rebounds, four assists and two steals in a difficult matchup with the Magic. He’s just as appealing as Mann for fantasy purposes, maybe even more so.

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