Working the waiver wire is pivotal to succeeding in fantasy basketball. With so many games, injuries and endless shifts in rotations throughout the season, we need to make constant moves to keep a relevant roster that scores the most points or contributes in every category
Here are our recommended free agents, available in more than 40 percent of ESPN leagues at each position. Some nominations are purely specialists capable of helping in one or two categories, while others deliver more diverse and important statistical offerings.
I'll keep beating the Rondo drum until the market appreciates the potential he offers. Rondo was a key endorsement in this space last week and yet is now rostered in even fewer ESPN leagues heading into Week 4 of the NBA campaign. It's understandably challenging to endure the opportunity cost of stashing an injured Rondo on the end of your bench, but the viable prospects for stellar pure point guard production merits more attention from the market. As I mentioned last week, Rondo was 13th in potential assists in the league and 11th among guards last season in rebounding opportunities. With two elite scoring forces in Anthony Davis and DeMarcus Cousins for pick-and-roll production, Rondo could become the rare waiver acquisition to challenge for 10 assists per game. Keep an eye on updates regarding Rondo's looming return, as recent reports suggest a November 17 return is possible.
The market is warming to the premise that Dinwiddie is a valuable fantasy asset, as a season-ending injury to Jeremy Lin has added minutes and usage to his profile. The Nets lead the league in pace with 109.26 possessions per 48 minutes, 5.4 percent faster than their league-leading rate from last season. This is relevant for Dinwiddie's fantasy profile BECAUSE he's tasked with being a key distributor and playmaker for a team that consumes added possessions relative to the average NBA offense. Forgiving a recent performance plagued by foul trouble, Dinwiddie averaged 15.8 PPG, 6.3 APG, 1.8 SPG with healthy 3-point metrics over a recent five-game stretch.
Twentieth on the Player Rater among point guards over the past seven days -- just ahead of Darren Collison and just behind John Wall over this sample -- Timothy John continues to provide a rare blend of steals and dimes. With very little help in producing points, you'll need a specific statistical appetite to enjoy McConnell's production, but he's a truly helpful rotation piece for those in deeper and challenging fantasy leagues.
After years of struggling from the field, Mudiay has hit 44.6 percent of all field goals and most impressively 46.2 percent of 3-point attempts over the past six appearances. It might just be that Mudiay went to the Andre Drummond shooting camp this past summer and this could be a real shift in efficiency, or it's merely a small-sample outlier. Sometimes we need to suspend disbelief and simply ride the results.
The potential for Kris Dunn to take Grant's minutes and lead distributor role in Chicago is very real, but even recent returns suggest this vet is the best short-term option for fantasy managers. Grant is shooting around 17 percent from 3-point range, which is obviously ugly, but he's also averaging seven assists and nearly a steal in 29.2 minutes per game this season.
JJ Redick, Philadelphia 76ers (39.8)
I'll take a break this week from endorsing Rodney Hood (who I still believe should be rostered in more leagues) and instead focus on another efficient scoring guard, as Redick is sinking nearly three 3-pointers per game and is just now heating up from beyond after enduring a balky back.
Yet another impressively productive rookie from this past summer's lauded draft class, Mitchell has averaged 20.8 points with elite efficiency and an awesome steal rate over the past four games. On a Utah roster that struggles to score (24th in offensive rating), Mitchell should earn plenty of burn over the coming weeks.
Leveraging a simple comparison to create proper context for just how prolific Prince's opportunity rates in Atlanta have proven this season, he's averaging 15.8 field goal attempts over the past four games, while Paul Millsap never took more than 14.1 per game in a season for the Hawks. With a stellar steal rate and such rare freedom on offense, Prince is arguably the most underappreciated wing in ESPN leagues at the moment.
Ninth on the Player Rater among small forwards over the past seven days, Bogdanovic is a famously streaky shooter in the middle of a hot stretch. With at least 15 points in five of the past six games and so much on-court exposure (29.1 MPG for season), it's a good time to ride the hot hand.
Widely available despite averaging 31.6 minutes and truly helpful defensive rates over the past six games, Mbah a Moute is thriving as a complementary 3-and-D contributor for the Rockets.
John Collins, Atlanta Hawks (31.9)
It's entirely rare to find a rookie power forward enjoying a usage rate of 23 percent, but Collins is consuming a rich share of offensive work for an Atlanta frontcourt in need of his aggressive play going both ways. A double-double beast in college, Collins is sporting a strong rebounding rate of 20.6 percent and is among the rare Atlanta players with a positive net rating. Even if his minutes don't rise, which they honestly should as the season matures, Collins can provide consistent value given his high-floor fantasy profile.
We know how Tom Thibodeau loves to ride his key rotation players for heavy minutes and that Gibson has long been his power forward of choice. It's time to add Gibson now that his minutes are one the rise, as he's averaged 11.5 PPG, 8.5 RPG, 1.8 SPG and one block over the past four appearances.
Center is a uniquely top-heavy position this season, as we find only a few relevant fantasy options past the top tier. We can find this veteran glass cleaner just behind Ben Simmons and Blake Griffin with 14.7 rebounding chances per game, an NBA tracking metric that measures the rate of rebounds within 3.5 feet of a player per game. You won't net the helpful block rate Chandler once offered, but those in need of a rebounding specialist can look to this savvy vet. If you prefer a bit more defensive upside at the position, the Milwaukee Bucks' John Henson is earning more minutes to flex his impressive block rate of late.