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'll need to source stats from free agency to maximize our imaginary rosters.
Here are some of the top options widely available in ESPN leagues to pick up ahead of this week's games.
De'Aaron Fox, Sacramento Kings (Rostered in 43.5 percent of ESPN leagues): The Kings have finally turned to a youth movement on the court, rather than merely when talking to the media. Fox has averaged 30.9 MPG while providing a unique blend of steals (1.6 SPG), dimes (4.6 APG) and points (15.4 PPG) during the past five starts. Fox is 10th on the Player Rater at the position over the past seven days and should be rostered ahead of the fantasy postseason.
Tomas Satoransky, Washington Wizards (37.6 percent): There is no one player on Washington who can singularly replicate the workload and production John Wall provides when healthy, yet Satoransky has at least proven efficient and effective as the team's lead distributor with the superstar sidelined. A player more valuable when considering the sum of his diverse production profile, Satoransky has netted 11.1 PPG, 5.9 APG and 1.3 SPG with clean percentages in the past 14 games sans Wall.
D.J. Augustin, Orlando Magic (10.7 percent): After flirting with a committee approach to the position in the wake of trading Elfrid Payton, the Magic seem to have settled on giving Augustin the featured gig; he has averaged 33.2 MPG en route to 14.3 PPG and 7.3 APG over the past four games, all starts. For some context about his positional value, Augustin is seventh on the Player Rater among point guards over the past seven days.
Austin Rivers, LA Clippers (30.0 percent): Rivers is one of a select group of wings averaging at least 15 PPG, 1.5 3PG and a steal this season. While these appear to be seemingly arbitrary cutoffs, I think they speak to how rare it is to find above-average offensive and defensive rates from the perimeter positions. With Danilo Gallinari ailing once again, Rivers is an ideal addition for the stretch run.
Allen Crabbe, Brooklyn Nets (18.3 percent): Could you use a player who is averaging 20.8 PPG while leading the NBA in 3-pointers over the past eight outings? That's right, Crabbe is tied with Stephen Curry with 4.3 made 3-pointers over this sample. It's not aberrational efficiency driving Crabbe's success lately, but rather incredible opportunity rates (10.5 attempts per game from 3-point range) during the past eight games. Playing for an offense that will challenge for the pace crown this season, Crabbe is an excellent addition for the final weeks of the campaign.
David Nwaba, Chicago Bulls (11.8 percent): Since earning a starting role two weeks ago, Nwaba has averaged 12.4 PPG, 8.2 RPG and 1.8 SPG to go with awesome shooting efficiency (61 percent from the floor and 62.5 percent from beyond). The team appears intent on starting Nwaba to finish the season, making him one of the savvier acquisitions for this final leg of the NBA marathon.
Bogdan Bogdanovic, Sacramento Kings (34.7 percent): Another beneficiary of Sacramento's plan to feature young playmakers, Bogdanovic is netting a robust 14 shots per game (including 5.2 from deep) during the past five outings. Solid assist and rebounding rates mean Bogdanovic is a fine free agent to target.
Taurean Prince, Atlanta Hawks (24.6 percent): Surely among the most popular inclusions in this column for the season, fantasy managers just haven't appreciated the diverse production Prince has delivered in his second pro season. The Baylor product is tied for fourth in the NBA in steals since the break and is hot from beyond of late.
Lance Stephenson, Indiana Pacers (12.0 percent): With the highest assist-to-pass ration on the team (14.1 percent) over the past 10 games, Stephenson has capably handled point forward duties recently. There isn't much upside with Stephenson, but I appreciate his full floor game in deeper and more competitive formats.
Nemanja Bjelica, Minnesota Timberwolves (7.2 percent): Welcome to my spellcheck, Bjelica. With Jimmy Butler sidelined and Shabazz Muhammad bought out recently, this Serbian wing has averaged 36.5 MPG during the past four outings. Even as a low-usage wing, minutes are the coin of the realm in fantasy hoops.
Bobby Portis, Chicago Bulls (42.3 percent): Even as his minutes prove inconsistent on a team intent on improving lottery positioning, it makes sense to roster Portis in 10-team leagues with shallow benches, as he's averaging 19.8 PPG, 7.2 RPG and 26.2 MPG since the break.
JaMychal Green, Memphis Grizzlies (24.1 percent): Targeting forwards with heavy minutes on team's in the tank race can prove rewarding. Green has five straight double-doubles and is being asked to carry a much bigger offensive role than before the break.
Montrezl Harrell, LA Clippers (12.3 percent): The Clips are affording Harrell steady minutes since dealing Blake Griffin and the results have been promising lately. He's averaging 17 PPG while shooting 66 percent from the field over the past four games.
Dwight Powell, Dallas Mavericks (38.3 percent): Found at 19th in rebounding chances per game with 17.6 per game since the break, Powell is arguably the best widely available player for rebounding production.
Jarrett Allen, Brooklyn Nets (35.1 percent): Auditioning as the rim-to-rim center of the future for the pace-driven Nets, Allen is among the league leaders in rebounding chances and post touches over the past 10 games.
Jakob Poeltl, Toronto Raptors (7.0 percent): As a key member of Toronto's amazing bench, Poeltl is impressively third in the NBA behind only Anthony Davis and Rudy Gobert in blocks since the All-Star break.