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.
Jordan Poole, PG/SG, Golden State Warriors
Towards the end of last season, Jordan Poole showed major improvements in his overall game that made him a top waiver wire pick up last season. He improved massively in his shooting percentages across all three categories. And with Klay Thompson likely missing part of the season, Poole will form a still solid backcourt with Steph Curry once again. His preseason performance also makes him a perfect feature pick up on the waiver wire for at least the first half of the season,
Gary Trent Jr., SG/SF, Toronto Raptors
Since the trade involving Normal Powell that sent Gary Trent Jr. to We the North, his performance has been outstanding. Since his arrival, Trent averaged 16 points per game and even finished with 44 points in a game against the Cavaliers. His partnership with Fred VanVleet could be underrated amongst league backcourt. His only negative is newly acquired guard Goran Dragic from the Kyle Lowry trade. However, he’ll likely be traded based on the timeline of the franchise as a small rebuild.
Tyrese Maxey, SG, Philadelphia 76ers
The unfortunate circumstance for Tyrese Maxey is that his development lies on the shoulders of Ben Simmons and the 76ers Front Office. If Simmons does end up being traded and the return does not involve another point guard, Maxey’s sophomore season could be huge with a stacked supporting cast around him. His ability to score quick buckets with shifty and swift speed. His playmaking and passing could use improvement. But if everything works out, Maxey could be a solid steal off the waivers.
DeAndre Hunter, SF/PF, Atlanta Hawks
After a strong sophomore season, DeAndre Hunter dealt with a lingering knee injury that limited him to only 23 games last season. However, he did average 15 points with a much better shooting percentage. And with no real development from Cam Reddish, it seems like Hunter is lined up again to be the starting small forward for the contending Atlanta Hawks. His only limitation is his health, especially with an off-season knee surgery. But the talent is there for another solid campaign.
Terance Mann, SF, Los Angeles Clippers
After an incredible playoff performance that helped the Los Angeles Clippers reach the Western Conference Finals without Kawhi Leonard, there should be little doubt that Terance Mann can carry that over to his third season in the pros. He made a major improvement on his outside shooting, knocking down 41% of deep balls. With Kawhi expected to be out for most if not all of this season, it’ll be Terance Mann handling his duties no doubt, making him an immediate sleeper pick in all formats.
Aleksej Pokusevski, PF, Oklahoma City Thunder
This is a fun pick but Aleksej Pokusevski is one of the most entertaining non-superstar players to watch. He is the forthcoming of the next “unicorn” and it shows in his game. Between the wild highlights and all-around play, he has all the tools to be the second star for the OKC Thunder. His thin frame and lack of an outside shot can cause problems for him. But the volume he’ll get makes him a hard player to pass up on waivers once the season is underway.
Mo Bamba, C, Orlando Magic
Despite the Orlando Magic committing $50 million over the next four years to Wendell Carter Jr., that doesn’t rule out Mo Bamba to still bring solid production. Carter has struggled to stay healthy and hasn’t played more than 55 games in a season. Carter also struggles defensively, something that Bamba is much better at with his insane wingspan. Expect to see some split time between the two to start the season until one eventually pulls away. Keep Bamba on radars until then because this is a critical year for his career.
Moses Brown, C, Dallas Mavericks
After moving around a few teams, Moses Brown now finds himself with the Dallas Mavericks who are still trying to make the next step forward. Moses Brown may certainly help with his dominance offensively and defensively in the paint. In only about 20 minutes a game, Brown was able to average 8 points, nine rebounds, and a block per game. With a much better supporting cast including superstar Luka Doncic, Brown should have much more effective plays set up for him.