Week 15 of the fantasy basketball season is upon us, and, like every Monday, I’ll break down several players who are rostered in 50% or less of Yahoo leagues.
But before we get to this week’s waiver pickups, here are the games played by each team in Week 15.
Four games: 13 teams (Bucks, Bulls, Cavaliers, Celtics, Clippers, Grizzlies, Hornets, Magic, Pacers, Pelicans, Rockets, Spurs and Timberwolves)
Three games: 14 teams (Hawks, Heat, Jazz, Kings, Knicks, Lakers, Mavericks, Nets, Nuggets, Pistons, Raptors, Suns, Trail Blazers and Wizards)
Two games: Three teams (76ers, Thunder and Warriors)
Okay, now that you know which teams to target for streaming, let’s get to the pickups.
Priority adds in shallow leagues (10 teams or less)
Caris LeVert, SG/SF, Cleveland Cavaliers (50% rostered)
In eight games without Donovan Mitchell in the lineup this season, LeVert is averaging 19.0 points with 4.6 rebounds and 4.9 assists while earning over 33 minutes per contest. The Cavs play four games this week, and it appears that the Cavs are taking a conservative approach to Mitchell’s return, so LeVert’s value should remain intact for Week 15.
Derrick White, PG/SG, Boston Celtics (50% rostered)
The Celtics open up Week 15 with a back-to-back set against the Magic and Heat. Malcolm Brogdon (personal reasons) and Marcus Smart (ankle) have been ruled out ahead of Monday’s contest. That leaves a lot of available minutes for White, the only Celtics player who’s played in every game this season.
He’s been struggling from the field lately, shooting 39% over the past two weeks, but he’s otherwise useful in category leagues for his high free-throw percentage, assists, steals and threes, while also being one of the best shot-blocking guards in the league. The Celtics play four games this week, and with a battered backcourt, White is worth streaming this week.
Priority Adds in Deep Leagues (12+)
Josh Richardson, SG/SF, San Antonio Spurs (33% rostered)
Richardson has been a top-60 fantasy player over the past two weeks, and one could argue that he’s auditioning for a potential trade. He’ll be an unrestricted free agent this offseason, and his skill set is undoubtedly coveted by contending teams. Either way, that’s good news for fantasy managers because he’s incentivized to drive his value up — not only for a chance to get off a lottery-bound team but also to earn his next contract.
He’s been an asset for both points and category leagues due to his efficiency, the volume of threes, scoring and stocks. He’s playing close to 25 minutes per night in January, and even though he’s not starting, I’d prefer rostering him over Romeo Langford right now. The Spurs play four games against tough opponents, but Richardson should be a viable option for fantasy managers.
Kenyon Martin Jr., SF/PF, Houston Rockets (25% rostered)
The Rockets are down two starters in Kevin Porter Jr (foot) and Jabari Smith Jr. (ankle), and Martin’s minutes and production continue to rise. He’s enjoying the best stretch of the season, playing over 27 minutes per game and averaging over 13 points and 6 rebounds. Those numbers also went up slightly over the past week, averaging 14 points with 7 boards and 1.3 threes in Week 14. Fantasy managers should ride this out as long as the Rockets are short-handed, but if or when Eric Gordon gets traded, there could be a longer-term appeal.
Seth Curry, PG/SG, Brooklyn Nets 30% rostered)
Kyrie Irving can only do so much to carry the Nets without Kevin Durant, but Seth Curry is also stepping up. Without KD in the lineup, Curry is averaging 14.7 points with two triples over the past two weeks while shooting almost 51% from the field.
He won’t do much outside of scoring, threes and the occasional steal, but he’s playing a shade under 30 minutes per night in his last six contests and has been clutch thus far in crunch time. Turnovers aside, he should be rostered in more than 30% of leagues, especially in H2H, where you can take advantage of his shooting efficiency.
Alex Caruso, PG/SG, Chicago Bulls (47% rostered)
Despite being rostered in over 40% of leagues, I’ve seen Caruso available in several 12-team H2H leagues. But that should change ahead of Week 15. The Bulls have arguably the best fantasy basketball schedule, playing against the Hawks, Pacers, Hornets and Magic this week. And I’d want Caruso because he’s been racking up a ridiculous amount of stocks lately.
Last Thursday, he tallied four steals and three blocks versus the Pistons. He’s also swiped at least two steals in each of his last three games, plus at least one block in four of his previous five games. Caruso’s been a top 55 player over the past two weeks, and if he’s on waivers, I’d even take the plunge in shallow leagues, given the Bulls’ fantasy-friendly schedule.
Short-term but worth a look
Jericho Sims, C, New York Knicks (16% rostered)
The debate is settled — Sims is the center to roster in fantasy basketball while Mitchell Robinson (thumb) is out. Initially, I thought Isaiah Hartenstein would emerge as the winner (given he signed a 2-yr/$16M guaranteed deal this offseason), but he’s fallen out of favor with Knicks head coach Tom Thibodeau.
Sims has logged 28 and 33 minutes in the Knicks’ past two games, compared to only 15 and 17 minutes for Hartenstein. Week 15 could be challenging for Knicks bigs because they play the Cavs, Celtics and Nets. But if you want to take a flier on a player that can rebound well, accumulate stocks and shoot a high FG percentage, go with Sims.
Delon Wright, PG/SG, Washington Wizards (16% rostered)
The Wizards combo guard is 71st in per-game value this season. He’s 256th in total value because he’s only played in 17 games, but he’s been very productive in limited minutes. Since returning on December 23, Wright ranks 10th in total steals and 5th in steals per game in the NBA.
He’s been averaging close to 22 minutes per night in the new year, and while he won’t light up the scoreboard, he’s reached double-figures in his past two games. He’s good for assists and obviously steals and is worth streaming midweek with the Wizards playing a Tuesday/Wednesday back-to-back set against the Mavs and Rockets.
Bradley Beal has not played 30 minutes since returning from his latest hamstring injury, and Wright only needs a limited amount of minutes to provide value. Anyone looking for a quick boost mid-week should consider scooping up Wright.
Dyson Daniels, SG/SF, New Orleans Pelicans (3% rostered)
The Pelicans were without Naji Marshall (and Brandon Ingram) on Sunday, and Daniels turned in his best game as a pro.
He committed four turnovers, but he still showed a lot of appeal if he were gifted more minutes. I doubt he’ll carry much fantasy value, but he’s at least on my radar in deeper leagues. The Pelicans play a Tuesday/Wednesday back-to-back, and if either Marshall or Ingram misses the game(s), he could be a sneaky stream.
I don’t expect him to score much, but he’s a competent passer, and his size gives him an edge defensively against smaller guards.
Drew Eubanks, PF/C, Portland Trail Blazers (7% rostered)
Jusuf Nurkic hasn’t been doing much outside of rebounding lately and only played 16 minutes on Sunday without being in foul trouble.
It might be too early to sound the alarm for Nurkic.
Still, Billups did indicate that some lineup changes could be on the horizon after Sunday’s collapse against the Lakers. But for those looking for blocks, Eubanks may be the best option considering he’s swatted a shot in seven straight contests, including a six-block performance on Sunday night.
Others to consider by my rankings:
Grant Williams, SF/PF, Boston Celtics (27%)
Patrick Williams, PF, Chicago Bulls (33%)
Daniel Gafford, C, Washington Wizards (26%)
Dennis Smith Jr., PG, Charlotte Hornets (27%)
Quentin Grimes, SG/SF, New York Knicks (29%)
Joe Harris, SG/SF, Brooklyn Nets (10%)
Naz Reid, C, Minnesota Timberwolves (26%)
Larry Nance Jr., PF/C, New Orleans Pelicans (17%)