Although some of the biggest names on the market stayed put, many NBA teams shuffled their roster this week at the trade deadline. As a result, many players have new fantasy basketball potential, whether with new teams or new situations because their team moved other players. While there are still plenty of situations to be resolved in the coming weeks, the dust is starting to settle and a few players appear poised to step up and roster-worthy production for your fantasy team the rest of the season. Make sure to evaluate each category and see where your team needs help, since there are some great specialists available on the waiver wire.
This week is the 18th week of the regular season, which will be a short week due to All-Star break. Most teams play two games this week before the break, but the Jazz, Spurs, Kings, Suns and Lakers only play one while the Knicks play three. After the week-long break, the regular season resumes next Thursday and each team plays twice to finish out that week. As a result of the week off, many formats combine weeks 18 and 19. The matchups listed after each selection include the next two weeks’ opponents to help you plan accordingly.
As you make your roster choices for the coming week, take a look at these four pickups who are widely available and trending the right direction. There are also some additional options at the bottom of the page if you can’t get any of the four main additions. If you have specific questions about your roster or league format, I’d be happy to answer them on Twitter @ZT_Sports.
PF/C IVAN RABB, MEM (VS. SA, AT CHI, VS. LAC, AT CLE)The Grizzlies parted ways with 11-year veteran Marc Gasol at the trade deadline and also sent JaMychal Green to the Clippers. Memphis’ frontcourt went from over-crowded to very open, giving the 22-year-old Rabb a chance to step up. Before the trade, Rabb had only played 20 minutes three times this season and sat out 30 games entirely. With all the moves, though, Rabb started each of the past three games for Memphis. He averaged 14.7 points, 9.7 rebounds, 1.7 assists, 1.0 steals and 1.0 blocks in over 30 minutes per game in those three contests.
Even with Jonas Valanciunas in Memphis now, coach J.B. Bickerstaff has said that Rabb will remain in the starting lineup. Rabb posted a double-double with 19 points and 11 rebounds against the Timberwolves and fell just one rebound short of a double-double in each of his next two contests. With good matchups over the next few weeks, Rabb is a great addition at this point and should produce good points and rebounds as long as he remains in Memphis’s starting five.
PG/SG PATRICK BEVERLEY, LAC (AT MIN, VS. PHO, AT MEM, AT DEN)Of the players moved at the trade deadline, Tobias Harris was one of the biggest names as the Clippers sent him to Philadelphia. Harris’ absence leaves a huge void of usage for the Clippers, and Beverley will be one of many Clippers asked to step into a larger role. Beverley has shown he can produce in multiple categories while Danilo Gallinari (back) was out and will now remain in the lineup even though Gallinari has returned to the lineup.
On Saturday, Beverley showed his upside with 12 points, nine rebounds, seven assists and a pair of steals. He averaged 30.3 minutes over his past six contests and produced 11.5 points, 6.0 rebounds, 3.7 assists and 0.8 steals. Beverley should get all the minutes he can handle and heavy usage since Harris and Avery Bradley vacate plenty of opportunity for Beverley.
SF KENRICH WILLIAMS, NO (VS. ORL, VS. OKC, AT IND, VS. LAL)The Pelicans didn’t make their big move at the trade deadline and decided to hold on to Anthony Davis, despite the All-Star’s trade request. New Orleans did trade Nikola Mirotic to Milwaukee, but the biggest fantasy basketball option emerging for the Pelicans has been the rookie wing man. Williams has averaged over 35 minutes a game over his past six games, including starts in each of his past four contests. During that span, he has averaged 13.7 points, 8.3 rebounds, 3.7 assists and 1.2 blocks per contest.
Even with E’Twaun Moore returning from a quad injury, Williams remained in the starting lineup and played 37 minutes Saturday against the Grizzlies. Williams had 10 points, 13 boards and seven assists, scoring double-digit points for the sixth time in his past seven games. Williams has offered solid outside shooting, good rebounding and plenty of defensive versatility. The Pelicans have been searching for pieces on the wing all season, and it looks like this rookie out of TCU could be a piece of their future. Make sure he keeps getting major minutes with Moore back, but if he does he can also be a big boost for your fantasy team.
C MITCHELL ROBINSON, NY (AT CLE, VS. PHI, AT ATL, VS. MIN, VS. SAS)Robinson is one of several specialists available who might be a great fit for your team. While the 20-year-old rookie is still a bit raw on the offensive end, he brings elite production in blocked shots. He is averaging 2.0 blocks in 17.4 minutes in his 39 games this season and 2.7 blocks in 18.8 minutes over his past 10 games.
The Knicks added DeAndre Jordan at the trade deadline, but Robinson is considered a big part of the Knicks’ future and should still get minutes off the bench. He has scored double-digit points in three straight games and has averaged over 20 minutes per game during that run. Robinson can definitely give you a boost if you need blocks over the next two weeks with favorable matchups. At his best, he can chip in solid points and boards along with his great blocks production. If you aren’t searching for blocks, there are some great names to consider below. Pay special attention to Wayne Ellington if you need three-point production, or if you can wait for him to settle into his new home in Detroit where he has great potential the rest of the way.
Other options worth watching
- SG/SF Wayne Ellington, Detroit Pistons
- PG/SG Terry Rozier, Boston Celtics
- PG Trey Burke, Dallas Mavericks
- PF Jake Layman, Portland Trail Blazers
- C Ivica Zubac, Los Angeles Clippers
- PG/SG Landry Shamet, Los Angeles Clippers
- SG/SF Reggie Bullock, Los Angeles Lakers
- SF/PF Jeff Green, Washington Wizards
- PG/SG Tyler Johnson, Phoenix Suns
- PF/C Maxi Kleber, Dallas Mavericks
- PG/SG Delon Wright, Memphis Grizzlies
- SF/PF Dorian Finney-Smith, Dallas Mavericks
I am a promoter at DraftKings and am also an avid fan and user (my username is Z.Thompson) and may sometimes play on my personal account in the games that I offer advice on. Although I have expressed my personal view on the games and strategies above, they do not necessarily reflect the view(s) of DraftKings and I may also deploy different players and strategies than what I recommend above. I am not an employee of DraftKings and do not have access to any non-public information.