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Fantasy Basketball Waiver Wire: Week 11

Does your fantasy basketball team need some help? Every week, we have your back with our waiver wire suggestions!

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The key to winning your fantasy basketball league is not how well you draft, but the players you add off waivers. This is extremely important because securing hidden talent could replace those late-round selections that aren’t having the best season. Here at NFS, we provide the best picks for players you should grab off waivers now before it is too late. As always, both opportunity and performance are taken into consideration for these players, and also all players listed are rostered below 40 percent on ESPN.

Learn to think like a NERD! Check out the NBA New Age Rankings for every player’s year to date performance valuation.

Guards

Bruce Brown, SG, Brooklyn Nets
Since Kevin Durant went down with a hamstring injury, it has been Bruce Brown who has stepped up to the plate to fill Durant’s shoes to the best he can. Surprisingly, Brown has actually done a fine job in his recent games to make him a top selection on the waiver wire. In his last five games, Brown has averaged 18 points, 5.6 rebounds, and 1.6 steals per game. He has also shot an incredible 70 percent from the field on 10 attempts per game in those five games. With Kevin Durant out through the All-Star break, Brown has to be prioritized on the waiver wire. Even when Durant returns, it’ll be hard to avoid giving Brown minutes if he continues to play at this level.

Dennis Smith Jr, Detroit Pistons
After being a top ten pick in 2017, Dennis Smith has seemed to lose his touch after being traded to the New York Knicks only a year later after a solid rookie season with the Dallas Mavericks. Now after being moved to the Pistons, Smith has shown signs he is getting back on track in a low expectation environment. In his last five games, Smith has averaged 11 points, four assists, and 1.8 steals per game. Smith also has the advantage that Detroit’s backcourt is generally empty with rookie Killian Hayes still nursing a hip injury. Smith is a player to keep on your radar in hopes he improves after the All-Star break.

Malik Monk, SG, Charlotte Hornets
Monk was another top pick who has had a slow start to his NBA career. However, in 2021, he has seemed to pick it up to put together one his best seasons to date. Especially in his last five games, where he has averaged 22 points and four rebounds a game, Monk is showing out to be another solid guard that Charlotte has in an already crowded backcourt. The one question with Monk is if this high-level play can continue for long stretches of games. Not only is Monk known to be a streaky scorer in general, but once Devonte Graham returns from injury, James Borrego will have some decisions to make. In the meantime, Monk is definitely worth keeping on your radar for waiver wire selections.

Forwards

Lonnie Walker, SF/SG, San Antonio Spurs
Walker has been part of a Spurs program that has struggled to figure out its position. While they currently sit fifth in the west, they have a lot of veterans who have been targeted by other teams via trade. Nonetheless, they continue to beat expectations and Lonnie Walker has played a big role in that. Walker has been having a breakout season, but in his last five games is where he has been at his best. Walker has averaged 14 points, three rebounds, and 2.6 assists in his last five games. Depending on what the Spurs choose to do about their veterans, Walker could be a candidate for more minutes.

Nicolas Claxton, PF, Brooklyn Nets
Claxton has missed most of the season due to injury and being a healthy scratch. However, with Brooklyn experiencing some injuries in their lineup, Claxton was the next man up to enter the rotation. Claxton has done an excellent job in limited minutes in the four games he has played this season. Claxton has averaged eight points, two rebounds, 1.3 steals, and 1.8 blocks per game. He has also shot 62 percent from the field. Claxton is worth keeping on your radar if your league gives bonus points to defensive stats. Whether Claxton stays in the rotation will be interesting to see over the next few games.

Isaiah Stewart, C/PF, Detroit Pistons
After being the number two player in the country coming out of high school, Isaiah Stewart has made it to the NBA where he has been a solid piece as he continues to expand his role. Recent in his last five games he has played excellent defense, which has earned him more minutes on the floor. Stewart averaged six points, six rebounds, 1.6 steals, and one block per game in the last five. He has also shot 66 percent from the field in those same games. While Stewart might not be an immediate player to add to your fantasy roster, he is certainly worth keeping an eye on. If your league gives point bonuses to defensive stats, Stewart may add more value to your roster as well.

Centers

Jakob Poeltl, C, San Antonio Spurs
Jakob Poeltl was mentioned before when he stepped up into the starting lineup with LaMarcus Aldridge being in and out of the lineup due to injury. However, now his role has become much more consistent. In his last five games, Poeltl has averaged eight points, 10 rebounds, and 2.4 blocks per game. In those same games, he has shot 61 percent from the field. Poeltl is a player I would recommend targeting first on the waiver wire. His production could even see more of an increase if LaMarcus does end up being traded, which has been rumored for over a year now.

Nerlens Noel, C, New York Knicks
Like Poeltl, Nerlens Noel has done a great job of capitalizing on an opportunity with Mitchell Robinson missing time due to a broken hand. And even with Robinson’s absence, the Knicks have still been able to win games with Noel playing center. In his last five games, Noel has averaged seven points, eight rebounds, one steal, and 2.6 blocks per game. He has also shot 70 percent from the field in those game five games. Noel is also a top candidate I would look for on the waiver wire while Robinson is still expected to miss more time as the Knicks head into the All-Star break with a lot of momentum.

Ethan was born and raised in Mount Laurel, New Jersey, right outside of Philadelphia. He's a sophomore at the University of Oregon studying journalism. He is an avid follower of the NFL, NBA, MLB, NHL, NCAA, and UFC. Since the return of sports, he has glued his eyes open only to experience continuous failure amongst his Philadelphia sports team.

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