Fantasy Basketball Waiver Wire Targets: Playoffs Edition

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Drew Gooden

Wizards forward Drew Gooden has returned to the NBA with a bang. Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

It’s here. With just 13-17 games left, depending on the team, the fantasy basketball season is in its final stretch and the fantasy playoffs are upon us. If you’ve made the playoffs, it’s no time to rest on your laurels. With finicky schedules and rest days, the waiver wire game is both most vital and most tricky at this point in the year. You don’t want to take any unnecessary risks, but you also want to find a few waiver wire gems and streamers that can give your lineup some extra oomph and send your opponent packing.

Let’s take a look at some top readily available fantasy basketball waiver wire targets for your most important weeks of the season.

Drew Gooden (Owned in 7 percent of Yahoo leagues): It’s been a long time since Gooden has been relevant, or even with an NBA team, but the Wizards have signed the 32-year-old through the rest of the season and are giving him big time minutes. He’s played at least 26 minutes in each of his last two games, averaging 19.5 points, 7.5 rebounds, 1.5 threes, and a steal while shooting 71 percent from the floor. Don’t look for that kind of production consistently but he clearly offers a ton of upside given his first two big games – and the promise of heavy minutes considering how well he’s done.

Ramon Sessions (17 percent): Sessions has now scored double-digits in seven of his last eight games, including a combined 41 points over his last two. Over his last six games, the former Bobcat is averaging 14.8 points, 5.0 assists, and shooting 45.5 percent from the floor and 40 percent from deep. If you need assists, and who doesn’t, with a healthy dose of scoring, this is the guy to talk to.

Jarrett Jack (38 percent): With Kyrie Irving out for the rest of the season, Jack’s fantasy value has increased at just the right time. Without Irving around, Jack played nearly 42 minutes against Miami on Tuesday night, posting 22 points, four assists, four rebounds, and four threes. He has now played 34 or more minutes in four of his last five games, has scored double-digits in five of his last six, and has posted four or more assists in five of his last six and nine of his last 11. If you need a decent assists boost, Jack can be of service.

Patrick Beverley (26 percent): I’ve tried to stay away from Beverley given his inconsistency but a point guard playing 30+ minutes per game has undeniable value in the playoffs. Inconsistent or not, Beverley helps out in a multitude of categories, averaging 14.3 points, 3.7 assists, 1.7 steals, nearly one block, and one three-pointer on 33 minutes per game over his last three. The shooting percentages aren’t pretty but the minutes are there for him to contribute.

Kendall Marshall (42 percent): As you can see, assists are the stat we have been targeting most since it’s at a premium. Because of that, Marshall could be worth a look if you’re willing to live with next to no scoring. Marshall is only averaging 4.5 points over his last eight games but is dishing out 9.6 assists per game over that stretch and has posted double-digit assists in five of his last eight games. At a steady 25 minutes per game, Marshall could be a nice lineup fill-in to give those assist numbers a boost.

Tim Hardaway (21 percent): While Marshall doesn’t score, it’s just about the only thing Hardaway does. Having seemingly found his niche playing alongside Iman Shumpert, Hardaway is averaging 23.3 points and 3.3 threes over his last three games. He doesn’t provide anything in the other categories, and his 67 percent shooting over those games isn’t going to last, but there are few waiver wire targets who could provide more help in the threes department.

Kris Humphries (45 percent): The Celtics’ on-again, off-again starting center has now started 12 straight games and is averaging 12.3 points, 8.3 rebounds, and 1.2 blocks on 26 minutes per game since. Over his last six, he’s averaging an even better 13.7 points, 10.7 rebounds, 1.2 blocks, and a steal while shooting 56 percent from the floor. Yes, Brad Stevens’ minutes economy can be infuriating but a big man averaging a double-double is a must-have in every league.

Ryan Kelly (13 percent): Kelly’s numbers are inconsistent game-to-game but there are few readily available waiver wire targets who contribute in just about every category. Kelly has played 29+ minutes in four straight games, averaging 13.5 points, 6.5 rebounds, 4.3 assists, 1.5 blocks, 2.0 threes, and a steal over that stretch. As long as he keeps playing 30+ minutes per game, the weekly production should be very similar, even if the game-to-game production isn’t.

Igor Derysh is Editor-at-Large at XN Sports and has been featured in The Los Angeles Times, Chicago Tribune, Boston Herald, Baltimore Sun, Orlando Sun-Sentinel, and FantasyPros. He has previously covered sports for COED Magazine, Fantasy Alarm, and Manwall.com.