NBA Waiver Wire: Top Fantasy Adds For A Busy Week 16

NBA Waiver Wire: Top Fantasy Adds For A Busy Week 16

This article is part of our NBA Waiver Wire series.

A light week for NBA injuries has left the waiver wire pool a little sparse. Most of the players mentioned last week are now either too widely rostered or no longer attractive – and the players who have risen to replace them are all a bit more flawed.

But don't despair. There are still several quality pickups, especially if you're in the market for a short-term big man. And even if the available options aren't the most exciting, the players listed below are still better than the alternatives (at least, I think they are). 

As usual, the players in this article must be rostered in less than two-thirds of CBS leagues. Players are listed in the order that I recommend adding them, assuming they are equally good fits for your team

Adds For All Leagues

Goga Bitadze, Pacers (53% rostered)

Myles Turner (foot) and Domantas Sabonis (ankle) are still out. Bitadze might be the third-best center on his own team, but he's the best among those currently healthy. In his four starts, he's averaging 15-8-3. He has only blocked two shots during this run, but he averaged 3.9 blocks per-36 minutes last season, so the blocks should come soon. 

Turner is out for at least another week. And while Sabonis could be back over the weekend, there's a good chance that either Turner or Sabonis gets traded at the deadline. It seems, therefore, that Bitadze should be no worse than No. 2 on the depth chart for the rest

A light week for NBA injuries has left the waiver wire pool a little sparse. Most of the players mentioned last week are now either too widely rostered or no longer attractive – and the players who have risen to replace them are all a bit more flawed.

But don't despair. There are still several quality pickups, especially if you're in the market for a short-term big man. And even if the available options aren't the most exciting, the players listed below are still better than the alternatives (at least, I think they are). 

As usual, the players in this article must be rostered in less than two-thirds of CBS leagues. Players are listed in the order that I recommend adding them, assuming they are equally good fits for your team

Adds For All Leagues

Goga Bitadze, Pacers (53% rostered)

Myles Turner (foot) and Domantas Sabonis (ankle) are still out. Bitadze might be the third-best center on his own team, but he's the best among those currently healthy. In his four starts, he's averaging 15-8-3. He has only blocked two shots during this run, but he averaged 3.9 blocks per-36 minutes last season, so the blocks should come soon. 

Turner is out for at least another week. And while Sabonis could be back over the weekend, there's a good chance that either Turner or Sabonis gets traded at the deadline. It seems, therefore, that Bitadze should be no worse than No. 2 on the depth chart for the rest of the season. That doesn't guarantee he sticks on Fantasy rosters beyond the next few games, but it makes it possible. 

Duncan Robinson, Heat (48% rostered)

Robinson has seen some extra run recently due to the absence of Kyle Lowry (personal) and Tyler Herro (health and safety protocols). His numbers over the last three games put him in obvious all-leagues must-start territory: 23.0 points and 6.0 threes per game. But those players could return soon, at which point Robinson's minutes and usage will drop. So why do I have Robinson listed so high, if his current streak is likely to end soon?

These last few games have officially ended Robinson's shooting slump. One of the five-ish best shooters in the league (yes I firmly believe that) started the season on an inexplicable cold streak, shooting just 32% from deep over the first month-and-a-half. His efficiency started improving in December, but this new run of increased responsibility has finally allowed him to get back to the excellence we've come to expect.

Robinson is shooting 44% from behind the arc in January, and 56% over the last three games. Two seasons ago, when he averaged 29.7 minutes, he finished inside Fantasy's top-90. Now that he's rediscovered his shot, that seems like a realistic rest-of-season outlook, albeit a slightly optimistic one.

Kevin Huerter, Hawks (45% rostered)

As is custom.

Bismack Biyombo, Suns (23% rostered)

The latest Chris Paul renaissance project, Biyombo's career has been revitalized since landing in Phoenix just before the new year. He's currently benefiting from a depleted frontcourt, so it's not totally clear what his role will be when (if?) the Suns bigs all are healthy at the same time. For now, at least, he's a solid source of rebounds and blocks, while providing some unexpectedly solid points and assists numbers.

Biyombo is averaging double-digit points for the first time in his career through his first 10 games in Phoenix, and he's matching his career best in assists (1.2 per game). Over his last five games, he's up to a shockingly good 15-10-2 to go with 1.2 blocks and 1.0 steals.

Hassan Whiteside, Jazz (36% rostered)

Rudy Gobert (calf) is out again Friday, but the Jazz keep indicating that his injury is minor and he'll return soon. That, combined with the Jazz playing only two games in Week 16, is the only reason Whiteside isn't listed at the top of this article. In his five starts with Gobert out, Whiteside is averaging 12-10-1 with 1.6 blocks. Whiteside is one of the best one- or two-game streamers available right now – the only problem is that he might go back to a small bench role soon thereafter.

Kelly Olynyk, Pistons (58% rostered)

I spent a lot of time talking about Olynyk last week, and my advice is unchanged. He's currently out due to health and safety protocols, but he'll probably return shortly. Once he does, I see him as a solid short-term option with the chance to stick for longer if things break right for him at the trade deadline. It's worth noting that most Fantasy analysts are higher on him than I am, but I think they're overstating his likely workload and upside.

Other recommendations: Devin Vassell, Spurs (41% rostered); Ivica Zubac, Clippers (62% rostered); Carmelo Anthony, Lakers (60% rostered); Monte Morris, Nuggets (49% rostered); Otto Porter, Warriors (41% rostered); Matisse Thybulle, 76ers (19% rostered); Justin Holiday, Pacers (37% rostered); Cory Joseph, Pistons (14% rostered); Furkan Korkmaz, 76ers (11% rostered)

Schedule Notes

A pretty straightforward week lies ahead.

Week 16 is on the busier side, with 17 teams playing four games and the Jazz as the only team with a two-game week. Wherever possible, avoid the Jazz, and target players with four games.

Day-to-day, the schedule is very balanced. Every day has between six and nine games. If your league settings permit daily streaming, there are likely to be solid pickups available every day. In most cases, your worst player is not worth more than streaming – even if your worst player is someone who, in a vacuum, absolutely belongs on rosters.

For those with restrictive acquisition rules looking to pseudo-stream, the Warriors, Heat, and Kings begin the week with three games in four nights. The Hawks, Bulls, and Pistons end the week with a 3-in-4. 

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Alex Rikleen
Rikleen writes the NBA column "Numbers Game," which decodes the math that underpins fantasy basketball and was a nominee for the 2016 FSWA Newcomer of the Year Award. A certified math teacher, Rikleen decided the field of education pays too well, so he left it for writing. He is a Boston College graduate living outside Boston.
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