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Week 22 Essentials - Fantasy Basketball Waiver Wire

As the regular fantasy season comes to an end in most leagues, things are getting tight for some as a result of various injuries and rotation adjustments thoughout the association. If you are in a deeper league, are faced with injury issues and about to make the playoffs, things are about to get rough. Luckily, there are some options available to help, even though they aren’t as sexy as some of the options available in 10-team leagues.

We are also at a tricky point in the season as teams like the Bulls, who have nothing to play for besides a draft pick, are pushing guys aside in favor of young up-and-coming players, making Justin Holiday and Jerian Grant, who were hot prior to the All-Star break, an afterthought and virtually worthless at this point.

Our staff at RotoBaller has great insight and daily columns how to improve your squad and tips to make your team successful, so be sure to check them out! Also, give me a follow on Twitter @Den_Clausen. Let’s get started.

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Week 22 Schedule

4 Games – Rockets, Clippers, Pelicans, Thunder, Trail Blazers, Kings, Spurs, Raptors

3 Games – Wizards, Jazz, Suns, Sixers, Magic, Knicks, Timberwolves, Bucks, Heat, Lakers, Pacers, Warriors, Pistons, Nuggets, Mavericks, Cavaliers, Hornets, Nets, Celtics, Hawks, Grizzlies, Bull


Week 22 Deep League - Waiver Wire Pickups

Tyler Dorsey - SG, Atlanta Hawks 

With the Hawks being possibly the most meaningless team in the league, there isn’t much to get excited about outside of the inconsistent Dennis Schroder and Taurean Prince. However, Tyler Dorsey has emerged after starting off the season basically doing nothing. He has steadily increased his production, and is currently averaging 10 points per game in the month of March. His weak field goal and three-point percentages are a nightmare in 9-category formats, but he can come in handy in deeper leagues where you won’t be penalized for that sort of thing. Even better, the Hawks have some tough games in the weeks ahead, meaning Dorsey could see even more time on the floor as a result of “garbage time.” Check him out if you are desperate.

Emeka Okafor - C, New Orleans Pelicans 

After taking a few years off as a result of a neck injury, Okafor appeared in some preseason games with the Philadelphia 76ers. However, after being waived and a having a cup of coffee in the G League, Okafor signed a 10-day contract with the New Orleans Pelicans to fill the void left by DeMarcus Cousins, who had suffered a season-ending torn Achilles just a few days prior. After signing and completing a second 10-day contract, Okafor was retained by the Pelicans for the remainder of the season. Though he is a long ways away from his days in Charlotte, he is currently averaging 5.3 boards, 5.1 points and nearly two blocks per game this season. Though he is worthless in standard leagues, he does serve a purpose in deeper ones.

Ersan Ilyasova - PF, Philadelphia 76ers

Ilyasova had his best days last season while playing in Philadelphia and during his first stint with the club, he was averaging a career-high 14.8 points per game. He started off last season in Philly on a roll, but eventually found himself losing some time in favor of Rookie of the Year runner-up Dario Saric before eventually getting dealt to the Atlanta Hawks, his third team during the 2016-2017 campaign. After things didn’t work out in Atlanta, Ilyasova was signed by the Sixers a few weeks ago and is finding some productive time off the bench. Since his return to the City of Brotherly Love, the veteran has been playing well, averaging 9.6 points, four boards and shooting 47 percent from the field. Not great, not bad, but ok if you have been afflicted with injuries in leagues 14-teams and up.

Corey Brewer - SG/SF, Oklahoma City Thunder 

After Andre Roberson went down for the season with a ruptured patellar tendon, Oklahoma City was left with a void at the shooting guard position. Though Roberson didn’t provide much offensively, especially from the free throw line, he was definitely a force on the defensive end. The team played musical chairs in an effort to replace him, inserting Alex Abrines, Josh Huestis and Terrance Ferguson into the starting rotation since his departure. However, the Thunder continue to struggle, especially defensively, going from the fifth ranked defense in the league to 17th without him in the lineup. It’s now Corey Brewer’s chance to enter the starting lineup and so far, he has taken advantage of his time on the floor, averaging 14.5 points per game. Oh and by the way, the Thunder are currently undefeated since he took over at the two spot, gaining wins over San Antonio and Phoenix.  Though he is not the defender that Roberson is, we can agree that he is much better on the offensive end. If you have a chance to snag him up, he does have some value moving forward, but it will be interesting to see where he stands once Ferguson returns from a concussion.

Cameron Payne - PG, Chicago Bulls

With the Bulls unofficially waiving the white flag for the rest of the season, coach Hoiberg has opted to bench veterans such as Jerian Grant, Justin Holiday and Robin Lopez in favor of the team’s up-and-coming group of youngsters. Though nobody has really stood out minutes or production wise for Chicago outside of Kris Dunn and Zach LaVine, Payne has been getting his fair share of playing time and is usually good for anywhere between 15-25 minutes per game. In the last five games, he is averaging 9.5 points and has been solid defensively as well, averaging two swipes per game. Though those numbers aren’t super impressive, they are good enough at this point of the year, especially if you are in a fantasy league with 16-teams and up. However, since the league is cracking down on the team resting healthy players,  you may opt to bench him if Hoiberg opts to insert Grant and/or Holiday into the rotation, which will happen occasionally for the remainder of the year.

Kosta Koufos - C, Sacramento Kings

While Willey Cauley-Stein was out dealing with a back issue for the past four games, Koufos took advantage of his extra time on the court. Though Cauley-Stein returned on Sunday against the Nuggets, it is likely that he will work his way back into the rotation, giving the veteran more time to roll with the starting unit. Over the past five games he has played well, averaging nearly a double-double by way of 11.6 points and 9.6 rebounds per game. With Skaal Labissiere now dealing with a bruised hip for the immediate future and Dave Joerger intermittently playing Zach Randolph, Koufos should see enough action to make a difference in bigger leagues, at least though the final week of the fantasy season. Check him out.


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