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Hidden Gems: Got Hart?

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

Writer’s Note: As a reminder, this column is slanted toward formats that utilize the NBA’s Official Fantasy Scoring System. We look for players owned in under 40% of Yahoo leagues.

We’re getting to an illogical, whacky point in the campaign when it comes to waiver wire recommendations, especially with just a handful of games remaining in the regular season. With so much on the line entering the weekend, consider the following five players as possible streamers:

Isaiah Taylor, Atlanta Hawks (3%)

This isn’t the first time I’ve included Taylor’s name in this column, and there is at least a decent chance that he’s poised to finish the season as Atlanta’s starting point guard. Dennis Schroder’s ankle injury hasn’t shown any (reported) signs of improvement—and we already know the Hawks have additional incentive to keep him sidelined—and Taylor has been taking advantage of the opportunity as a result. In his last two outings, Taylor has averaged 23.0 points, 5.5 assists, and 1.5 steals. With games against the Sixers (minus Joel Embiid) and the Magic this weekend, Taylor is in a good spot to continue producing.

Josh Hart, Los Angeles Lakers (4%)

The Lakers are incredibly shorthanded, and Hart’s return—whether it’s Friday vs. Milwaukee or Sunday vs. Sacramento—will be welcomed by head coach Luke Walton. With Lonzo Ball now nursing a knee contusion, Los Angeles could be incredibly shorthanded at the point position with Isaiah Thomas (hip surgery) done for the season. Hart is looking at returning to a significant role regardless of Balls health, but if Lonzo is forced to sit for any period of time, Hart could be asked to play 30-plus as he was prior to going down. Given the fact that Hart has earned his keep under Luke Walton and the Lakers are emphasizing their core guys down the stretch, Hart should be on a lot of radars and fantasy GM’s should prepare to pick him up should he get clearance to go on Friday.

Mario Hezonja, Orlando Magic (21%)

Terrence Ross (knee) was never going to return this season and it feels like Jonathon Simmons (wrist) is still multiple games away, so Hezonja should continue to get an opportunity to boost his free agent stock as another disappointing season winds down in Orlando.

In 75 minutes played over his last two games, Hezonja has averaged 18.5 points, 7.5 rebounds, 3.5 assists, 2.5 steals, and 1.0 block. It’s worth noting that Orlando has a highly-appealing four-game stretch upcoming with games vs. Chicago, Atlanta, New York, and Dallas on the docket.

Noah Vonleh, Chicago Bulls (11%)

Cristiano Felicio (back) is still on the sidelines and Robin Lopez hasn’t been a threat for big minutes of late, so Vonleh—who has now had a double-double in two straight contests—is a candidate to be a late-season surprise this weekend.

Vonleh has played at least 20 minutes in six straight, averaging a solid 10.2 points, 9.8 rebounds, and 1.2 steals. The former first-round pick may be an afterthought for most, but he’s producing very usable numbers and should be on your short list of available big men if you’re in need of help in that department.

Anthony Tolliver, Detroit Pistons (3%)

Regardless of Blake Griffin’s (ankle) timeline to return—he's out for at least the next week—there is reason to believe he's done for the remainder of the regular season. That means Tolliver stands to benefit from a playing time perspective, and the veteran big man has now averaged 18.0 points and 3.7 rebounds (with 3.3 triples) over his last few games. Although he’s got additional value in formats that reward him from his work from behind the arc, Tolliver can be a sneaky source of production in a back-to-back New York set with games vs. the Knicks on Saturday and Nets on Sunday.

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