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Fantasy Basketball Mid-Week Pickups for Week 17-18


All-Star Weekend is fast approaching, which has always provided worthwhile entertainment to NBA fans and a much-needed break for the players at what is -- wrongly -- considered the halfway mark of the season.

For fantasy players, however, the All-Star break is a different story. It combines two shortened weeks of games into one, potentially halting hot streaks at their peak while allowing injuries to heal with fewer consequences.

The range of impact varies, but it's no doubt an adjustment that needs to be made if only not to fret about your matchup come Friday. Here are five mid-week waiver wire pickup options for the combined Week 17-18 of the NBA fantasy season.

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Week 17-18 Mid-Week Waiver Wire Pickups

Jae Crowder - SF/PF - Miami Heat - 30% owned

Jae Crowder was one of several players traded in the deal that landed Andre Iguodala on the Miami Heat, going from the Memphis Grizzlies down to South Beach.

It's been only two games for Crowder in a Heat uniform, but he already seems right at home, combining for 39 points, 19 rebounds, nine three-pointers, and six steals.

Of course, Crowder has had similar stretches of superb production in the past, only to follow it up with cold stretches lasting several games. So there's no way to know if this level of play for Crowder is now the norm.

But until it stops, consider the new environment on a team in the thick of the playoff picture a spark that helped Crowder elevate his level of play.

OG Anunoby - SF/PF - Toronto Raptors - 48% owned

The Toronto Raptors have been one of the league's biggest surprises this season, the second-best team in the Eastern Conference due to the nightly contributions they get out of every inch of their roster.

One such example was this past Monday, where OG Anunoby had 25 points, 12 rebounds, three assists, three steals, and three three-pointers to help Toronto to a win over the Minnesota Timberwolves.

Anunoby has been wildly up and down all season, but he has two factors working in his favor. For starters, Norman Powell is still likely to be out quite a bit after fracturing his left hand. Marc Gasol has missed seven straight on account of hamstring tightness and Serge Ibaka was out with the flu versus Minnesota.

Those absences are why Anunoby got 13 shots up against the Wolves, the most he's seen in nearly a month. He's had plenty of single-digit outings, but in the 22 games he's taken more than 10 shots, only three times has he scored less than 10 points.

Toronto's rotation might look a lot healthier following the All-Star break. If not, perhaps Anunoby can capitalize on the extra opportunities as he has throughout this season.

Dewayne Dedmon - C - Atlanta Hawks - 40% owned

Dewayne Dedmon got his wish at the deadline when he was shipped away from the Sacramento Kings to the Atlanta Hawks, where he had previously played from 2017-19.

In search of a greater role, Atlanta has so far given Dedmon exactly that, and the sixth-year center has answered the call. Across two games since the trade, Dedmon has combined to put up 24 points, 17 rebounds, seven blocks, and three makes from beyond the arc, all in an average of 30.5 minutes a game.

With the addition of Clint Capela to the Hawks as well, Dedmon will eventually find himself coming off the bench, but that doesn't have to affect his numbers.

Atlanta doesn't have much size down low, and Dedmon's ability to semi-shoot the three-ball -- he's at least keeping defenses honest by taking more than two a game this season -- adds a dimension to the offense that Capela doesn't have.

In an environment he probably prefers to be in compared to Sacramento where he previously put up the best numbers of his career, that should be enough for Dedmon to continue his encouraging play past the All-Star break.

Thon Maker - PF/C - Detroit Pistons - 15% owned

By trading Andre Drummond at the deadline, the Detroit Pistons decided to take their franchise in a completely different direction.

They're diving head-first into a rebuild, the first step of which requires figuring out who to keep around long term. It's the reason Thon Maker has seen north of 20 nightly minutes in Detroit's three games since the deadline, where his potential has seen the light of day.

He posted 19 points, seven rebounds, and two three-pointers in his first game as a starter in over a week. Maker followed that up by blocking three shots in what was otherwise a sub-par performance, only to bounce-back with 12 points, 12 rebounds, and two blocks in his most recent game.

Maker has never been able to put his intriguing skill-set all together. It's part of the reason many consider him close to a bust in just his fourth season. But if the minutes and touches are there for a team that's seemingly waved the playoff flag, who's to say Maker can't finish the year strong and prove to be a valuable piece to Detroit's future?

Shabazz Napier - PG/SG - Washington Wizards - 24% owned

Shabazz Napier had strung together several quality outings in a row for the Minnesota Timberwolves, and it looked like he was carving out a spot in the rotation before being traded to the Washington Wizards.

Across three games with his new team, Napier has sandwiched a measly six-point performance with two in double-figure scoring in less than 20 minutes of action.

There was the win over the Dallas Mavericks in which he produced 14 points, five three-poninters, three rebounds, three assists, and two steals. Two games later, Napier put up 15 points with another three makes from beyond the arc in a victory over the Chicago Bulls.

After Isaiah Thomas was traded away at the deadline, Napier is only in competition with Ish Smith at the point guard spot. Even if he continues to come off the bench, there should be plenty of room for Napier to continue his hot shooting from the three-point line.

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