Overlooked productive players and others working their way back from injury highlight this week’s list of fantasy basketball adds.
One of the worst parts about fantasy basketball is that players rest more often than in any other sport. Minor injuries can turn into a player sitting for a week or more and that affects our rosters. Having depth is important. These players not only have good matchups this week, but they can give us value for the rest of the season.
Jonathon Simmons, G/F, Orlando Magic (available in 50 percent of ESPN leagues)
Simmons has been the second option on offense for the Orlando Magic. Over the last two weeks, he has averaged 19 points, six rebounds, three assists and a steal a game. Not only is he providing all-around production, but being eligible at guard and forward helps your roster out. When a player is available in 50 percent of leagues and he offers help in almost every category, he is a player that you need on your roster.
He has three good matchups this week (Chicago Bulls, New Orleans Pelicans, and Washington Wizards), teams that struggle to defend shooting guards and small forwards. He is worth the add this week and if he keeps this up, he will be a valuable piece to have on your roster for the rest of the season.
Austin Rivers, G, Los Angeles Clippers (available in 70 percent of ESPN leagues)
The Clippers have nobody besides Lou Williams who can score the ball now. This team is a mess and full of injuries and Rivers is a reliable source of points. I have watched him play basketball and to be honest, he isn’t very good. For fantasy basketball, he is worth the add, he will get all the shots he can handle, he should get around four or five rebounds and assists a night and if he gets us some steals, he will give us excellent value.
Real life basketball, not so good. Fantasy basketball, he should be on a roster. His next two matchups are fantasy gold against the Phoenix Suns and the Houston Rockets. Both teams play up in pace and those are the kinds of games Rivers will excel in. He’s a good add for the week and could be a fixture on your roster for the rest of the season.
Jabari Parker, F, Milwaukee Bucks (available in 74 percent of ESPN leagues)
Parker is about 10 months out from ACL surgery and was just assigned to the G-league to work some of the rust off. Last season, before he got hurt, he was averaging 20 points and five rebounds a night. It may take him a month or so to get back to that level but he is worth the add. He can be a difference maker for the second half of the season. Just be patient if you do add him because he is coming off a major injury and the Bucks won’t rush him into playing 30 minutes a night.
Trey Lyles. F, Denver Nuggets (available in 81 percent of ESPN leagues)
The Nuggets finally found a role for Lyles and he has been a big surprise to start the NBA season. The Nuggets are playing him next to big man Nikola Jokic. who’s passing ability is getting Lyles a lot of easy baskets. Over the la, t week he has three games with 19 or more points and he is getting over 30 minutes a night. If he keeps seeing around 30 minutes a night he is a must add in leagues because he will not only get you points and rebounds but he is shooting a high percentage from the field. In deeper leagues, he is a must add and if you have a ton of injuries on your team like I do, he is a good fill in for the next couple of weeks.
David Nwaba, SG, Chicago Bulls (available in 94 percent of ESPN leagues)-
If you want to get an advantage in rebounds, you should add Nwaba. Over the last week he is leading all shooting guards in rebounds, 7.3 per game. He isn’t much of a scorer (9.7 points per game over the last week) but having a guard that can rebound gives you an advantage. Most shooting guards stay away from rebounding and just want to score but Nwaba seems to be the opposite. He isn’t the most talented player but if you have an open roster spot and need help on the glass, he is a good add.