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NBA Bench Risers: Waiver Wire Sleepers for Fantasy Basketball (Week 10)

NBA teams have a multitude of players coming off the bench, each with a unique role to fill. As a fantasy owner, you need to decide which of those players can contribute across multiple categories and have the potential to make the most of their time on the court.

To find bench players that can contribute more than just energy and defense during their time on the court, I will analyze usage rate and Per 36 statistics. Below are my Week 10 bench risers and waiver wire adds for fantasy basketball. These are some bench players whose stock should be rising based on their recent play and could be great fantasy pickups for deep leagues.

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Rising NBA Bench Performers

Note: I will only be selecting players who are not regular starters and who are owned in less than 50% of Yahoo! leagues.

Montrezl Harrell (PF/C, HOU) 22% owned - Harrell seems to be the winner for playing time with the Clint Capela injury. He has started three of the last four games, playing 28 minutes in the first two, followed by 23 and 26 in the last two. Not surprisingly, his per 36 minute stats have jumped significantly. Since December 20th, Harrell is averaging 18.5 points, almost six rebounds and 2.1 blocks per 36. The rebounding is disappointing for a big man, but that is mostly a result of the Rockets' offensive-minded style of play and lack of defense.

Harrell won't have much competition for playing time up front while Capela is on the shelf. Nene's minutes have hovered around his 17 MPG season average and the Houston bench lacks depth at the big man positions. Harrell saw very limited playing time as a rookie, averaging under 10 minutes a game, so his pro game is still developing. His .645 FG% will be a boon to fantasy owners, as he has improved on his .586 clip from college. Luckily, he only shoots 1.2 free throws per game, but his .571 FT% will be a slight drag. Harrell will primarily help teams in need of offensive help at center for the time being. His rebounding numbers will need to improve in order to make him worth starting on a regular basis.

Jamal Crawford (PG/SG, LAC) 49% owned - The best bench player in the league is on fire lately and is still available in half of Yahoo! leagues. Crawford has stepped up with at least 20 points in the last three games while Chris Paul is on the mend. J.J. Redick is also suffering from a hamstring issue, so Crawford will be depended on heavily for the next couple of games. He had been playing around 25 minutes per game, but has played more than 30 in each of those three games. Known mainly for his prowess as a shooter, his 15 assists over that span have been a pleasant surprise as well. However, his 2.4 assists per game suggest he won't be of much help in that category long-term.

He's actually enjoying one of the better shooting seasons of his career, with a .431 field goal percentage that is well above his .410 career average. He remains one of the better free throw shooters in the league at an .885 mark. Paul and Redick should be back soon, but Crawford is already worth owning for his scoring ability alone. Crawford may be more valuable in DFS or points leagues than rotisserie due to a lack of multi-category contributions.

Ty Lawson (PG, SAC) 21% owned - Lawson has scored in double digits for five straight games, averaging 14.4 points during that span. He's also collected at least one steal in each of those games, raising his average to 1.8 steals per 36. Most importantly, his playing time and usage have jumped up. Lawson is playing 25 MPG and 26.4 in the last five games. His 17.2 usage rate is not far behind starting PG Darren Collison, but he is quickly catching up.

Lawson is enjoying career highs in rebounds and steals on a per 36 minute basis at 4.2 TRB and 1.8 STL. His shooting percentages are a bit down from his career marks, so there is room for improvement. Lawson is shooting just 31% from three-point land and 42% overall. That number is climbing, as he is at a 55% FG% in the last five contests. The Kings don't have an especially grueling schedule coming up, so Lawson looks like a good add in most leagues.

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.