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The Specialists

Diamonds in the Rough

by Ethan Norof
Updated On: October 4, 2018, 4:04 pm ET

Waiver wire gems have never shone brighter than during the fantasy playoffs, and that’s why this week’s edition is dedicated to finding potential production.


Josh Richardson, G/F Miami Heat: Steals, 3-pointers


I’ve talked about Richardson not once, not twice, but three different times in the last two weeks, and it’s almost inconceivable that he’s currently only featured on 25% of Yahoo rosters.  The second-round pick has been worth a roster spot in 12-team leagues since the All-Star Break, and he’s been even better in March while playing a key role in Miami’s rotation. There’s a fun story on how Richardson has emerged into this player when most expected him to be a D-League project, and the Heat’s “other” rookie is enjoying the best stretch of his inaugural campaign, averaging 16.3 points, 2.8 rebounds, 1.3 steals, 1.0 blocks and 3.2 treys on 66% from the field, including an insane 70.4% from distance.


Doug McDermott, SF Chicago Bulls: 3-pointers


Pau Gasol (knee) is eyeing a return to action this week, and that means it’s about to get crowded on the wing again with McDermott, Mike Dunleavy and Nikola Mirotic all vying for minutes. As a result, it’s going to be pretty hard to trust McBuckets to come through with any kind of consistency, but if you’ve got someone to dump and find yourself shopping on the clearance rack for triples in a deeper (14+ teams) league, McDermott is worth a roll of the dice


Channing Frye, F/C Cleveland Cavaliers: 3-pointers


Prior to Saturday’s three-point dud in which the Heat smoked LeBron’s Cavs, Frye had actually had a solid five-game stretch, averaging 14.2 points, 4.0 rebounds and 3.6 triples on 66.7% shooting. He is what he is and will likely only play around 20 minutes per game, but he should be available if you really need the help.


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Bismack Biyombo, C Toronto Raptors: Blocks


Biyombo doesn’t need Jonas Valanciunas (hand) on the sidelines to hold value as a standalone blocks specialist, but he’s obviously a better fantasy asset every time JV is forced to sit. I wouldn’t drop Biyombo right away even when Valanciunas does return, and I’d give him a comfortable two-game cushion before deciding to move on.


Isaiah Canaan, PG Philadelphia 76ers: 3-pointers


Canaan has been a solid source of triples since Robert Covington (concussion) has been sidelined, but he’s about to lose a lot his appeal with RoCo targeting a return no later than Wednesday. Given an inefficient approach from the field paired with the fact that Canaan averages under a steal per game, he’s not someone you should hesitate cutting as quickly as he was picked up.


Thabo Sefolosha, G/F Atlanta Hawks: Steals, 3-pointers


Kent Bazemore is clinging to fantasy relevance because of his versatility, but Sefolosha is making a nice little charge over his last five games. Averaging 11.6 points, 5.8 rebounds, 1.8 steals and 1.4 3-pointers during that stretch, the veteran wing has also played 25-plus minutes in three of those contests. Sefolosha has potential to be an under-the-radar pickup down the stretch, and fantasy GMs—especially those with Bazemore—should be watching him carefully.

Ethan Norof
Follow Ethan Norof on Twitter @Ethan_Norof for more fantasy basketball analysis, advice and all things Los Angeles Lakers.