Deni Avdija, Delon Wright shining brightly for Washington
So let’s recap Tuesday night before we get into some of the pickups. The Bulls blew a 21-point lead to the Pacers, who are still without Tyrese Haliburton. The Heat without Jimmy Butler overcame a 10-point deficit entering the fourth quarter to beat the Celtics, who were without Jaylen Brown. Julius Randle hit eight threes to lead the Knicks past the Cavaliers. Nikola Jokić recorded his fourth straight triple-double and hit a game-winning floater to prevent the Pelicans from completing a 19-point comeback. Delon Wright came up big defensively to prevent Dallas from getting a shot off as the Wizards held on to win by one. Cameron Johnson scored 24 points in 18 minutes as Phoenix blew out the Hornets. To cap off the night, the Clippers won their 10th straight matchup with the Lakers as they withstood a 46-point night from LeBron James, who became the first player in NBA history to score at least 40 points against every team in the NBA. While many Laker fans are down after the loss, there is reason for hope. Despite sitting in 13th place in the West, they’re just three games out of fifth place, because of how tight the playoff race is. They’re also getting reinforcements at the right time, with Anthony Davis (foot) expected to return for Wednesday’s matchup with the Spurs. That will likely mean a return to the waiver wire for Wenyen Gabriel and Thomas Bryant until the Lakers play a back-to-back. As for the guys currently on the waiver wire, here’s the ones that shouldn’t be any longer.
Deni Avdija- 19% rostered in Yahoo! leagues
In the wake of Rui Hachimura being traded to the Lakers, Avdija was seen as the clear beneficiary. In Washington’s first game since the deal, Avdija finished with 15 points, 10 rebounds, three assists and three steals. He won’t start, but he’ll continue to play a large role off the bench. He played 32 minutes in this game, and if he continues to see that large of a role, he can easily provide top-100 value.
Delon Wright- 27%
In terms of per-game 9-cat value, Wright has nearly provided top-50 value this season. He leads the league in steals per game at 2.2 and can also provide some value with his assists. He mentioned that he’s feeling more comfortable offensively, and he finished with 10 points, three rebounds, six assists and three steals in this game. He has played 20.7 minutes per game this season, yet he’s been a top tier fantasy asset.
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Jalen McDaniels- 47%
There aren’t many bright spots for Charlotte these days, but McDaniels has been solid all season long. He has posted top-100 numbers over the past two months and finished with 15 points, 10 rebounds, two assists and two steals on Tuesday. There’s no reason for him to be this available, though he’s likely already rostered in competitive leagues.
Payton Pritchard- 4%
Marcus Smart said that he hopes to be back in “a week or two”, so it seems inevitable that he at least misses a few more games. Malcolm Brogdon and Jaylen Brown were also out on Tuesday, which allowed Pritchard to get the spot start and finish with 10 points, seven rebounds and four assists. He won’t continue to start, but he should play a larger role off the bench, especially if Brogdon remains sidelined. That makes him worth a look in deeper leagues.
Dario Šarić- 4%
With Cameron Johnson back in the lineup, Saric has returned to a role off the bench. However, that has actually helped his value, as he has averaged 16.5 points, 8.0 rebounds, 3.5 assists, 1.5 steals and 1.5 threes in 22.5 minutes per game over their last two. He’ll be worth a look in deeper leagues if he keeps playing this well.