Special to Yahoo Sports
We’ve reached the halfway point in the NBA regular season; time flies when you’re having fun, and sometimes it flies even if you’re not. One thing that’s seemingly always satisfying, whether you’re managing a playoff-caliber team or playing the role of late-season upset specialist, is making a savvy fantasy pickup via the free agency pool.
This week’s waiver wire article focuses on a couple of players whose rostered percentages are quickly on the rise and several widely available players who may be worth adding in deeper leagues or for streaming or speculative purposes. As usual, I’ve avoided regurgitating the case for recently recommended players, instead including a list of those names at the very end.
Without further ado, here are six players you might want to add heading into Week 14.
Across the last 10 games, Strus is averaging 14.2 points, 4.1 boards, 2.9 threes, 2.5 assists and 0.8 steals in 30.2 minutes. Meanwhile, Miami is dealing with injuries to several rotation regulars, including Tyler Herro (Achilles), Kyle Lowry (knee), Caleb Martin (quadriceps) and Duncan Robinson (finger). Managers searching for threes should seriously consider adding, or at least streaming, Strus, given that the Heat have four games next week.
The Spurs only have two games next week, but Richardson is still a player to add immediately if/while you still can. With Devin Vassell (knee) expected to miss more than a month, Richardson has an opportunity to shine between now and the All-Star break (and perhaps even longer). Although it was almost a half-decade ago, Richardson averaged 16.6 points, 4.1 dimes, 3.6 boards, 2.2 threes, 1.1 steals and 0.5 blocks in 34.8 minutes during his final season in Miami (2018-19). And he’s still capable of stuffing the stat sheet: across his last five appearances, Richardson has recorded averages of 15.0 points (on 53.6 percent from the field), 4.6 assists, 2.8 rebounds, 2.2 threes, 1.2 steals and 0.6 blocks in merely 25.0 minutes for game. Moreover, his recent high level of play could earn him an increase in playing time going forward.
Phoenix has four games next week, and the team’s wing rotation remains hobbled by injuries to Devin Booker (groin) and Cameron Johnson (knee). Meanwhile, during the last four contests, Craig has compiled averages of 12.5 points, 8.5 boards and 2.0 threes in 28.8 minutes. Those searching for a Week 14 streamer who can contribute across multiple categories ought to seriously consider scooping up Craig.
Jae’Sean Tate, SF/PF, Houston Rockets (14% rostered)
Following a two-month injury absence, Tate hasn’t played 20-plus minutes once through his first three appearances and has struggled to score. However, he has quietly averaged 3.7 boards, 3.7 dimes and 1.7 steals in 18.7 minutes during his first three games since late October. Tate may not earn his career average in minutes (27.4 MPG) this season, but if he does inch closer to that level of involvement as the campaign carries on, his ability to pitch in across several categories could make him a valuable contributor, especially in deep leagues.
Connaughton has stepped into a starting role lately, posting averages of 10.0 points, 5.8 rebounds, 2.6 threes and 1.4 assists in 29.7 minutes across the last five contests. Moreover, Grayson Allen (ankle) suffered an injury in Wednesday’s matchup versus the Hawks, while Khris Middleton (knee) has appeared in just seven games all season. If the Bucks are still banged up by the end of the weekend, Connaughton will be a decent streaming option for Week 14.
Joe Ingles, SF/PF, Milwaukee Bucks (6% rostered)
Over his last six outings, Ingles is averaging 8.3 points, 5.5 dimes, 2.3 threes and 2.2 boards in 21.6 minutes. He’s still being brought along relatively slowly, having been held out of Thursday’s game versus the Heat due to left knee injury management. However, he has often been tasked with leading the second unit offensively, evidenced by his high assist totals. Still capable of creating for himself and others in pick-and-roll situations, if Ingles sees an uptick in minutes and his shooting percentages progress toward his career averages, he could be a solid add, especially in deep leagues. The fact that Milwaukee has a handful of players dealing with injuries also bodes well for his short-term fantasy stock.
Recent recommendations: Naji Marshall, Royce O’Neale, Kevon Looney, Tyus Jones, Alec Burks, Quentin Grimes, Malik Monk, Ricky Rubio, Deni Avdija