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Fantasy Basketball Waiver Wire Pickups for Week 18

The NBA's trade deadline changed a lot of things up this week around the league, so this week's waiver wire pickup is going to be reflective of a lot of that change, highlighting guys in new spots or guys whose spot on the depth chart has increased since Thursday. We don't have a ton of data to go off of yet, but what we do have should give us some sense of how minutes will look.

We've also got the All-Star Game coming up, so Thursday is the last day this week with games, though there's a very good chance you play in a fantasy league where Week 18 and Week 19 is combined. The schedule below reflects that, listing how many games teams will play combined in the two weeks. If your league doesn't do that -- well, probably skip past the schedule?

Below are our recommended waiver wire pickups for Week 18 of the fantasy basketball season.

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Week 18/19 Schedule

5 Games - New York

4 Games - Atlanta, Boston, Brooklyn, Charlotte, Chicago, Cleveland, Dallas, Denver, Detroit, Golden State, Houston, Indiana, Los Angeles Clippers, Memphis, Miami, Milwaukee, Minnesota, New Orleans, Oklahoma City, Orlando, Philadelphia, Portland, Toronto, Washington

3 Games - Los Angeles Lakers, Phoenix, Sacramento, San Antonio, Utah


Week 18 Standard Leagues - Waiver Wire Pickups

Players with an ownership rate between 20 and 60 percent

Caris Levert - SG/SF, Nets (71% Ownership)

LeVert's ownership rate is above the cut-off for this column, but I just want to make sure everyone reading this knows that he's returned to the floor for Brooklyn and should be owned everywhere. LeVert can give you strong production in points, assists, and steals once he's off his minutes limit. Grab him.

Ivan Rabb - PF, Grizzlies (28% Ownership)

The Grizzlies retooled some at the deadline, and Rabb's is now the team's third big, flexing up to the starting lineup for now until Jonas Valanciunas is ready to go. Rabb's far from an exciting fantasy option, but over the past three games he's averaging 14.7 points and 9.7 rebounds per game. Rabb is definitely worth a look as he takes over the role previously held by JaMychal Green.

Kenrich Williams - SF, Pelicans (30% Ownership)

Williams recently entered the Pelicans starting lineup amidst the injuries and confusions of the Anthony Davis situation, so you'd be forgiven for not noticing yet that he's actually a pretty good player! The rookie has averaged 13.7 points and 8.7 boards over the last three games, but perhaps most important is that he played 37 minutes on Saturday despite E'Twaun Moore being available and Stanley Johnson making his Pelicans debut. Williams seems to have bitten his teeth into a starting role.

Josh Jackson - SG/SF, Suns (55% Ownership)

While it's been an up and down two seasons for Jackson in Phoenix, he survived this year's trade deadline and has now started Phoenix's last eight games, putting up averages of 18.1 points, 5.6 rebounds, and 3.1 assists while shooting 43.7 percent from the floor. He's struggled immensely with his three-ball, but if you need some consistent scoring and some steals (1.4 per game over this stretch), there are worse places to look than at Jackson.

Jabari Parker - SF/PF, Wizards (58% Ownership)

After signing with Chicago and then promptly becoming so unplayable that the Bulls benched him for a long stretch before deciding to try making things work again, the 2018-2019 NBA season has been a long one for Jabari Parker. Now, he's been traded to the Wizards, a dysfunctional team that might actually be exactly what Parker needs. In his second game with Washington, Parker played his most minutes since November, scoring 20 points and adding six assists and five rebounds. Parker's going to see some big volume increases with a weakened Wizards squad, so expect some high scoring outputs and decent production in other areas. It is worth watching his percentages, though, to make sure he doesn't revert to being an inefficient volume scorer.

Tyler Johnson - PG/SG, Suns (37% Ownership)

The Suns have a point guard, or at least another combo-guard who can play the one! Tyler Johnson is best known as the guy who looks like Mose Schrute from The Office, but he's also a not-bad NBA guard who should see plenty of burn in Phoenix. Will that increase in minutes result in a major increase in his numbers? We'll see -- Johnson's shooting has been off for a couple of weeks now and his assist numbers aren't great. Don't prioritize adding Johnson, but he's worth a look if you need depth at your guard spots.

Mikal Bridges - SG/SF, Suns (41% Ownership)

Another Suns player! Looking at trends this week, no team has seen its players leap in ownership rate more than Phoenix. As an actual NBA player, Bridges is my favorite of the three I've mentioned. He's been a good outside shooter for Phoenix and while he's not going to wow anyone with his numbers right now, he can give you high-teens scoring while providing steals, rebounds, and assists.

Malik Beasley - PG/SG, Nuggets (48% Ownership)

With Gary Harris (groin) still out, Beasley remains a starting guard for the Nuggets and a consistent fantasy option. Beasley has done things like "score 35 points in a game" recently, but his biggest value is in his high floor. He's scored at least 12 points and hit multiple threes in nine consecutive games, and he's only failed to reach those marks once in a game he started. Beasley gives next to nothing in rebounds and actually nothing in assists, but if you need scoring, he's a good option.

Bobby Portis - PF/C, Wizards (59% Ownership)

Literally right at the cut-off mark here is Bobby Portis, who finds himself in a pretty good situation with the Wizards since their team management isn't taking shots at him like Chicago's, which has said they traded Portis because they didn't want to spend the money it would cost to re-sign a backup. Portis responded with 30 points in his Wizards debut, and he should give Washington 25 minutes of solid bench production every night, with the occasional flashy scoring night, a good number of rebounds, and the ability to leak out and hit from deep.


Week 18 Deeper Leagues - Waiver Wire Pickups

Players owned in under 20 percent of leagues

Jake Layman - PF, Trail Blazers (12% Ownership)

In his third year, Layman seems to actually be existing at the NBA level for the first time. He's put up some incredibly impressive numbers lately, including a pair of 20-point games over his last five outings. I'm not sure how consistent Layman is, but he's showing that he can score at a high volume when given the chance and has some rebounding ability in him as well. Portland's found a great bench option, and while he's bound to have bad games still, players in deeper leagues should be willing to ride out the low points to get Layman's strong nights.

Delon Wright - PG/SG, Grizzlies (10% Ownership)

Part of the Marc Gasol trade, Memphis got Wright involved immediately, playing him 23 minutes in his Grizzlies debut. The numbers from that game weren't great (seven points, two rebounds, one assist on 3-for-7 shooting) but I like his playing time and his upside. He's a low risk option who can be dropped if the performance doesn't come, but for now I'd grab Wright if I need guard depth in a deep league.

Cheick Diallo - PF/C, Pelicans (7% Ownership)

Diallo's had a couple of bad games in a row, dropping him down on my priority list, but I still think there's something there after a three-game stretch where he averaged 14.3 points and 10 rebounds. The return of Anthony Davis hurts Diallo, but he'd be a decent option to play when/if Davis sits. The Pelicans are built to have multiple successful bigs at any time, so keep an eye on Diallo for nights where it looks like he could enter the rotation and be one of those.

Dorian Finney-Smith - SF/PF, Mavericks (10% Ownership)

The Mavericks made a lot of trades this year that don't ultimately make the current product on the floor stronger, but it does give some of their depth pieces a chance to shine. Finney-Smith has solidified his role as the starting four for Dallas, and while he's not ever going to be an exciting option, he should provide fantasy owners with some good numbers in terms of points and rebounds while shooting efficiently from the floor. DFS could be a really good option to help stabilize your percentages and to knock down some threes.

Maximilian Kleber - PF, Mavericks (14% Ownership)


The DeAndre Jordan trade opened up room for Kleber to start at the five for the rest of the season, and this could be really, really fun. Kleber, over the last three games, is averaging 10.7 points, 6.3 rebounds, and 1.3 blocks per game and is shooting 41.7 percent from three. Kleber offers something that can be really useful -- an outside game on the offensive end but with shot-blocking ability on the defensive end.

More Fantasy Basketball Analysis

By popular demand, RotoBaller has aggregated all of our fantasy basketball NBA waiver wire pickups into a running list of NBA waiver options, so bookmark the page and check back often for updates.