By Gabe Allen, RotoWire
Special to Yahoo Sports
With March Madness here, some hoop-heads may shift their focus away from fantasy basketball to their beloved (and not-yet-busted) brackets. Should that be the case for opposing teams in your league, the waiver wire would provide an excellent opportunity to get ahead of the game or gain some ground.
SHOULDN’T BE AVAILABLE IN MOST LEAGUES
Joe Ingles, Jazz (49% rostered)
Ingles poured in career highs of 34 points and eight treys, to go along with five boards, two assists and two steals across 33 minutes in Thursday’s loss to the Wizards. Already extremely efficient in previous seasons, this year Ingles has taken his game to another level in that regard, sporting career-high shooting percentages from the field (53.4% FG), beyond the arc (48.0% 3PT), and the charity stripe (87.8% FT). Despite a slight reduction in playing time (26.7 MPG) compared to the last three campaigns, Ingles remains a steady source of counting stats, with per-game averages of 12.0 points, 4.3 dimes, 3.5 boards, 2.6 threes (career high), 0.5 steals and 0.3 blocks through 36 appearances. He isn’t quite as valuable when Mike Conley is in the lineup, but Ingles should still be rostered in most leagues.
NOT SO WIDELY AVAILABLE
Bogdan Bogdanovic, Hawks (44% rostered)
Beyond the first four games of the season, Bogdanovic has been either injured or disappointing. On Thursday night, however, he went off for a season-high 23 points (9-14 FG, 5-9 3Pt) while chipping in six boards and three assists across 29 minutes. Picking up a talented player with a somewhat-proven track record often pays off, and the 28-year-old wing was a well-rounded offensive contributor over the previous two seasons.
Moses Brown, Thunder (37% rostered)
Brown burst onto the scene against the Bulls earlier this week, exploding for 20 points, 16 rebounds and five rejections in 30 minutes. If Al Horford, who was held out of that game, is traded prior to the March 25 deadline, Brown would likely stand to benefit the most given that he’s the only young traditional big man on the roster. Isaiah Roby (9% rostered) and Kenrich Williams (3% rostered) would probably get a bump, as well, especially since Darius Bazley (shoulder) is without a clear timetable to return.
KJ Martin Jr., Rockets (37% rostered)
Martin’s highlight dunks, blocks, and overall energy level have been quite a sight for sore-eyed Rockets fans amidst an 18-game losing streak. Following a lengthy absence that has coincided with the losing streak, Christian Wood (ankle) recently rejoined the rotation. However, for one game at least, it didn’t stifle Martin, who produced 13 points and nine rebounds in 30 minutes against the Warriors on Wednesday.
Dwight Howard, 76ers (37% rostered)
Howard has posted a double-double in consecutive contests, as well as in three of the last five games, he’s still a sturdy rim protector (nine blocks in the last six matchups). He’ll hurt your team’s free-throw percentage a bit, but Howard is absolutely worth adding while Joel Embiid (knee) is out for at least the next couple of weeks.
Saddiq Bey, Pistons (30% rostered)
Detroit is clearly committed to developing its young talent, and Bey has reached double figures in scoring during 15 of his last 17 appearances. Furthermore, Bey has now amassed at least 20 points and 10 rebounds in the same game three times following Wednesday’s showing against the Raptors, in which the rookie turned in 28 points (8-14 FG, 6-10 3Pt, 6-6 FT), 12 rebounds, two assists and two steals across 39 minutes. If you can deal with some subpar shooting nights, Bey figures to be heavily involved for the remainder of the year. And while we’re discussing Pistons wings, Josh Jackson (28% rostered) is also worthy of consideration.
MORE WIDELY AVAILABLE
Alec Burks, Knicks (23% rostered)
Burks has managed double-digit point totals in five straight games and pitched in 21 points, 10 rebounds, two dimes and one block in 33 minutes during Thursday’s win over the Magic. With Derrick Rose (protocols), Elfrid Payton (hamstring) and Immanuel Quickley (ankle), among others, sidelined, Burks is a good short-term option. He also has some long-term upside if the Knicks don’t make any major moves prior to the trade deadline, given New York’s place in the standings and coach Tom Thibodeau’s tendency to rely on veterans.
Jordan Poole, Warriors (21% rostered)
Poole splashed a career-high six treys in Wednesday’s win over the Rockets. Golden State is starved for scoring when Stephen Curry (tailbone) sits, and he’s listed as doubtful for Friday’s game against the Grizzlies. Across the last five matchups, Poole has averaged 19.0 points (54.0% FG, 45.9% 3PT, 83.3% FT), 3.4 threes, 2.2 assists, 1.8 rebounds, 0.6 steals and 0.2 blocks in 22.6 minutes. Whether you subscribe to the hot hand theory or not, at the very least Poole makes for an intriguing short-term add.
Tomas Satoransky, Bulls (20% rostered)
Satoransky recently replaced Coby White in Chicago’s starting five, since which the Bulls have won back-to-back games. Satoransky combined to log 65 minutes across these last two starts, and he has handed out exactly seven dimes in three consecutive contests. Another solid night or two and Satoransky’s rostered percentage is likely to shoot up significantly. Assists can be especially hard to come by on the waiver wire, and Satoransky’s well-rounded stat profile should afford him decent value in most leagues if he keeps earning such substantial playing time.
Jeff Green, Nets (16% rostered)
Green continues to earn plenty of run as a small-ball big, as he’s a much more versatile defender than DeAndre Jordan at this stage of their careers. Green has earned at least 30 minutes in three straight showings, and while he remains inconsistent overall, he’s not a bad option for those in deeper formats while Kevin Durant (hamstring) remains out.
Dario Saric, Suns (13% rostered)
Phoenix’s starting five has been in a bit of a funk lately, but Saric’s play off the bench has helped weather the storm. Since the calendar turned to March, Saric has been a steady source of scoring (12.8 PPG) and rebounding (5.3 RPG) and could be a decent add in deeper leagues.
Isaiah Stewart, Pistons (12% rostered)
Stewart has connected on at least 60 percent of his field-goal attempts in nine of the last 10 games, the lone exception being a four-of-seven (57.1% FG) showing against the Nets last weekend. Across the last nine games, Stewart has averaged 8.1 points (62.5% FG, 75.0% 3PT, 50.0% FT), 7.3 rebounds, 1.2 blocks, 1.1 assists, 0.8 steals and 0.3 threes across 22.0 minutes. His offensive efficiency and per-minute production have been very impressive of late, and if the rookie’s role becomes more demanding as the year continues, he’ll have a good chance to prove useful in more than just deep leagues.