• Fantasy playoffs are upon us which means we’re not just looking for best player available, but also specialists to give us the boost we need in certain categories. Let’s take a look at the players who we think should be picked up as we scan The Wire. The criteria to be considered for The Wire is to be owned in less than 50% of Yahoo! Leagues.

    Follow me on Twitter for advice and news during the week by clicking here.

    Editor’s Note: We have a brand new APP for all of our FREE Hoop Ball podcasts. You can download it for your Apple devices here and for your Android devices here. ALSO, you can subscribe to our flagship show Fantasy NBA Today on iTunes right here and on Stitcher right here.

    Point Guards

    Tyler Ulis (47% owned) – When news broke about Eric Bledsoe being out for the season, the immediate add was Ulis. After seeing Ulis with a few games under his belt, we’re starting to understand where his value is. Ulis doesn’t hit a ton of treys, but he can provide above average scoring, elite assist numbers, excellent free throw shooting and some steals. The Suns offense makes Ulis a must-own in shallow formats, especially with a couple four-game weeks on the horizon.

    Recommendation: Should be owned in 10-team leagues.

    Malcolm Brogdon (43% owned) – The Bucks also have a few four-game weeks coming up, which makes their players highly valuable. Brogdon is a staple in Jason Kidd’s lineup, which has made Brogdon a top-75 player since earning significant playing time. He does a little bit of everything so grab him if he’s still on the wire in your leagues.

    Recommendation: Should be owned in 12-team leagues.

    Jameer Nelson (17% owned) – Even in his old age, Nelson continues to be fantasy relevant. He is the starting point guard for one of the best offenses in the NBA and his assist numbers reflect it. Nelson gets the occasional steal and trey, but if you need assists, then he’s one of the best options out there.

    Recommendation: Should be owned in 12-team leagues as a specialist.

    Jamal Murray (36% owned) – Murray is finally getting sufficient playing time and seems to be performing quite well lately. He is a legitimate threat from deep and above average in scoring. Right now he’s a two or three category specialist who can put fantasy owners over the top on the way to a championship.

    Recommendation: Should be owned in 12-team leagues as a specialist.

    Patty Mills (23% owned) – Mills had been playing lights out as of late, but Tony Parker’s return limited his ceiling. There are plenty of treys, points, assists and steals to have if Parker cannot go. We consider Mills a nice option for the upcoming week, but not a must-own in standard leagues.

    Recommendation: Should be owned in 14-team leagues, justifiable as a specialist in 12-teamers.

    Shooting Guards

    Joe Ingles (11% owned) – With Favors out indefinitely and Hood out temporarily, Ingles has become a great fantasy option as of late. He’s not a must-own, but he can knock down treys, dish out assists and grab some steals. Give him a look if you need those categories.

    Recommendation: Should be owned in 12-team leagues as a specialist.

    Caris LeVert (18% owned) – With the Nets season spiraling out of control, LeVert continues to get ample playing time down the stretch. He may sit some back-to-backs, but he has been able to string together a couple of great games lately. He is one of the better options for steals that is available.

    Recommendation: Should be owned in 14-team leagues.

    Josh Richardson (22% owned) – J-Rich is starting to get more playing time. He has high upside but hasn’t been able to put it together for much of the season. Adding Richardson is more of a leap of faith, but it can pay off as teams head into the stretch run.

    Recommendation: Should be owned in 14-team leagues.

    Jeremy Lamb (6% owned) – Lamb is a guy who showed he’s capable of big things when the opportunity presents itself. He’s a good option for the Hornets off the bench and can step up when Batum or MKG are out. Right now, he’s a deep league player.

    Recommendation: Should be owned in 14-team leagues.

    Lance Thomas (2% owned) – Thomas has been playing a lot more and the Knicks are out of the playoff race. He has been an elite rebounder at the shooting guard slot and can help owners who need boards. We expect Thomas to continue to play a ton as the season winds down.

    Recommendation: Should be owned in 14-team leagues as a specialist.

    Small Forwards

    Terrence Ross (31% owned) – The minutes are there for Ross, but he hasn’t been able to do much with the opportunity as of late. We think that he is in a bit of a rut, but it is nearly impossible to find his usage rate on the wire elsewhere so he should be owned in 12-team leagues.

    Recommendation: Should be owned in 12-team leagues.

    Ersan Ilyasova (40% owned) – Since the move to Atlanta, Ilyasova lost a lot of value, but there is still value to be had. He has been putting together good defensive numbers for a while now and should be considered an end of bench player in 12-team leagues.

    Recommendation: Should be owned in 12-team leagues.

    Jamal Crawford (41% owned) – We meet again Mr. Crawford. The Clippers have FIVE games in the upcoming week which means plenty of four-point plays (or treys). If Crawford gets hot, fantasy owners will not want to be on the receiving end of that, so be the one who adds him for FIVE games. He should be owned in 12-team leagues for this week.

    Recommendation: Should be owned in 12-team leagues.

    Vince Carter (13% owned) – We never thought that we would be recommending VC as a fantasy add after the way his season started. The more the Grizz rest/sit Tony Allen, the more playing time VC gets. He has large swings in value from game to game so we only recommend him as a deeper league add.

    Recommendation: Should be owned in 14-team leagues.

    Solomon Hill (20% owned) – Hill just had one of the best games of his career in a riveting 30-point and six trey outing. The minutes are there for Hill, so we’re optimistic that he can be useful in a couple of categories in deeper leagues.

    Recommendation: Should be owned in 14-team leagues.

    Power Forward

    Marquese Chriss (33% owned) – Chriss has really impressed us as of late and has vaulted himself in the must-own category for standard leagues. He is the rare big that can make treys, grab boards and rack up blocks all at a high rate. Stop getting in foul trouble Marquese!

    Recommendation: Should be owned in 12-team leagues.

    Richaun Holmes (36% owned) – Holmes is starting to take form. All he has needed is minutes from the beginning. If Okafor sits soon, then Holmes can be a top-75 player. Right now, we have him as top-100. Add him in 12-teamers for the stretch run.

    Recommendation: Should be owned in 12-team leagues.

    JaMychal Green (24% owned) – Green is shooting well again, which makes him a player to own again. He had a game this past week where he had a double-double and two blocks and steals, which shows the potential that he has when his shot is falling. He should be owned in 12-team leagues.

    Recommendation: Should be owned in 12-team leagues.

    Skal Labissiere (23% owned) – The man who blew up earlier this week followed up his best performance with a below average one. Skal has a ton of potential, but he looks like a player who will only score, grab boards and shoot at a high rate. He’s a deep league add until he shows some consistency on the defensive end.

    Recommendation: Should be owned in 14-team leagues.

    Jon Leuer (31% owned) – Similar to Skal, Leuer is a player who only contributes in a few categories. His status from game to game is fickle because SVG seems to sit him at times. If you want points and a high free throw percentage without hurting your team in field goals at the center or power forward spot, then Leuer is your guy.

    Recommendation: Should be owned in 14-team leagues as a specialist.

    Centers

    Cody Zeller (45% owned) – Zeller is a defensive monster who can shoot at a high rate. He has been very unlucky with injuries so far this year, but now that he’s strung together a few healthy weeks, he is an elite center option off the waiver wire. He should be owned in shallow formats.

    Recommendation: Should be owned in 10-team leagues.

    Ivica Zubac (34% owned) – Zubac has been a stoned cold killer since entering the starting lineup and is a consistent threat to record a double-double. The fantasy gods are happy that the Lakers made Zubac a priority. He should be owned in 12-team leagues.

    Recommendation: Should be owned in 12-team leagues.

    Willy Hernangomez (38% owned) – Foul trouble has got the best of Willy lately, but when he actually receives ample playing time, he is a double-double threat who can also record a couple of blocks and shoot at a high clip. The Knicks have two four-game weeks coming up so Hernangomez should be owned in 12-teamers.

    Recommendation: Should be owned in 12-team leagues.

    Frank Kaminsky (41% owned) – Kaminsky is back from his injury and while he has not been as lights out as we was pre-injury, he is still someone who should be owned in standard leagues. He can accumulate a ton of treys, points, rebounds and blocks when he’s playing well.

    Recommendation: Should be owned in 12-team leagues.

    Kosta Koufos (17% owned) – Much like Skal, Koufos mainly contributes in efficiency stats and boards, but he also adds a few more defensive stats. Overall, he has a lot less potential, but he continues to receive 20-25 minutes which is the sweet spot for him. He should be owned in deeper leagues.

    Recommendation: Should be owned in 14-team leagues.

Fantasy News

  • Nerlens Noel
    C, Oklahoma City Thunder

    Brett Dawson of The Athletic believes that Nerlens Noel could see a slight bump in minutes if the Thunder limit Steven Adams' usage.

    Noel is a great per-minute producer of steals and blocks but only appeared in 13.7 minutes per contest last season. Additional playing time would make him more useful in deeper leagues.

    Source: Brett Dawson of The Athletic

  • Joel Embiid
    C, Philadelphia Sixers

    In a video, Joel Embiid announced that he lost about 25 pounds over the summer.

    Embiid is one of the best fantasy players around but has struggled at times with conditioning. The Sixers will gladly accept any improvements from last season's averages of 27.5 points and 13.6 rebounds.

    Source: NBC Sports

  • TJ Warren
    SF, Indiana Pacers

    According to Pacers beat writer Scott Agness, Pacers forward T.J. Warren has no injury worries heading into the season.

    Warren has missed 56 games during the last two seasons, but he hopes to stay healthy for all of 2019-20. Warren is likely to start for the Pacers and could hold top-100 value if he can stay on the court.

    Source: Scott Agness on Twitter

  • Damian Lillard
    PG, Portland Trail Blazers

    Damian Lillard expects to play for Team USA during next year's Summer Olympics.

    Lillard skipped this year's World Cup but is planning to play in Tokyo. He should be a late first-round or early second-round fantasy pick this year.

    Source: news.com.au

  • Stephen Curry
    PG, Golden State Warriors

    Warriors guard Stephen Curry expects to play at next year's Summer Olympics in Tokyo, Japan.

    Curry will have a busy year ahead of him. Still, it's no surprise that many potential members of Team USA skipped this year's FIBA World Cup in favor of an Olympics appearance. Curry will be a popular early first-round pick in fantasy drafts.

    Source: ESPN

  • Isaiah Thomas
    PG, Washington Wizards

    Wizards guard Isaiah Thomas will be sidelined for 6-8 weeks after undergoing surgery on his left thumb.

    This is rough news for the Wizards, who already have John Wall on the shelf. Thomas was a candidate to start at point guard, but instead he'll have to recover from yet another injury. Thomas averaged 8.1 points and 1.9 assists in limited action for the Nuggets last campaign.

    Source: Washington Wizards on Twitter

  • Carmelo Anthony
    PF, Free Agent

    According to Ian Begley, several Nets players are pushing for the team to sign Carmelo Anthony but it's unknown whether the front office will go forward.

    Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving have already been reported as being among Anthony's supporters. Still, Melo could end up with a team other than the Nets or nowhere at all in the NBA. He averaged 13.4 points and 5.4 rebounds before the Rockets parted ways with him last November.

    Source: Ian Begley on SNY

  • Justin Anderson
    SF, Washington Wizards

    The Wizards signed forward Justin Anderson.

    The Wizards could use depth, but Anderson's deal is non-guaranteed and he is unlikely to make a major fantasy impact. He averaged 3.7 points last season in limited action for the Hawks.

    Source: Fred Katz on Twitter

  • Isaiah Taylor
    PG, Toronto Raptors

    The Raptors have signed guard Isaiah Taylor, according to Adrian Wojnarowski.

    It's a partially guaranteed deal for Taylor, who missed last season due to injury. The Celtics, Nuggets, and Suns had also shown interest. Taylor averaged 6.6 points and 1.3 assists in 2017-18 with the Hawks. He's unlikely to put up big numbers with the Raptors.

    Source: Adrian Wojnarowski on Twitter

  • Darius Miller
    SF, New Orleans Pelicans

    The Pelicans have applied for a disabled player exception worth $3.625 million, after losing forward Darius Miller for the season with an Achilles injury.

    Miller became a reliable perimeter threat for the Pelicans last year averaging career-highs in points (8.2) and assists (2.5) in 69 games. He then signed a two-year deal worth $14 million early in the summer. Without Miller, the Pelicans will likely give more minutes to Kenrich Williams and Nicolo Melli.

    Source: Shams Charania on Twitter