Fantasy basketball -- Taurean Prince among top fantasy basketball free-agent finds

Now healthy, Hawks forward Taurean Prince fills several key categories on a regular basis. Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports

Working the waiver wire is pivotal to succeeding in fantasy basketball. With so many games, injuries and endless shifts in rotations throughout the marathon campaign, we'll need to source stats from free agency to maximize imaginary rosters.

A willingness to entertain competition for the last few spots on your fantasy hoops roster can prove rewarding. When curating this fluid collective of statistical contributors, it helps to consider your end-of-bench players in direct competition with the talent floating in free agency.

The goal of this weekly series is to identify players available in at least half of ESPN leagues at each position. Some nominations are specialists capable of helping in one or two categories, while others deliver more diverse and essential statistical offerings.

In the breakdowns below, I've ordered players at each position with the priority of acquisition in mind, rather than roster percentage in ESPN leagues.

Point guard

Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, LA Clippers (Rostered in 26.4 percent of ESPN leagues): This gifted rookie guard has helped the Clippers win nine of the past 10 games while slashing for 14.4 PPG, 3.2 RPG, 4.2 APG, and 1.6 combined blocks and steals during this successful stretch. We often find teams to turn to their young lottery picks at the end of the season, while Gilgeous-Alexander commanding a leading role for a playoff contender is additionally impressive compared to many of his freshmen peers. Veteran teammate Patrick Beverley (26.1 percent) is also a savvy addition for the stretch run, as strong steal and rebounding rates fuels value in category-driven leagues.

Marcus Smart, Boston Celtics (22.8 percent): The 3-point shot will prove variant for Smart throughout the season, but his elite steal percentage and surprisingly steady assist production merits more attention at a shallow shooting guard position.

Jalen Brunson, Dallas Mavericks (25.9 percent): Like his rookie peer above, Brunson has been a productive lead playmaker down the stretch for his team. Brunson is thriving with more playmaking equity for the Mavericks, with nearly 13 PPG and more than six combined assists and boards per game this past week.

Deep additions (players available in at least 80 percent of ESPN leagues): Tyus Jones (7.3 percent) has averaged seven assists this past week and has a minuscule turnover rate for those that need clean passing numbers in roto formats.

Shooting guard

Tomas Satoransky, Washington Wizards (40.6 percent): Lost in the shuffle of the Wizards' subpar season has been Satoransky's capable play in the starting lineup. This big combo guard has regularly flirted with triple-doubles thanks to a diverse skill set and can help you take down the title during these final weeks of the NBA marathon.

Dwyane Wade, Miami Heat (30.2 percent): The impressive block rate and strong scoring surges are still present even into the final weeks of Wade's Springfield-bound career. With more than 17 points per game this past week, ride the retirement wave with Wade.

Deep additions: The Lakers are letting Kentavious Caldwell-Pope (7.7 percent) play heavy minutes with strong usage the past few weeks, signaling under-the-radar value for those in need of a late-season scoring surge.

Small forward

Taurean Prince, Atlanta Hawks (24.8 percent): You won't find many wings on the wire who can match Prince's blend of volume 3-point production and a pleasant mix of rebounding and passing numbers. On a Hawks team with an eye on pushing the pace, Prince is a fun addition for the fantasy playoffs.

Cedi Osman, Cleveland Cavaliers (22.7 percent): Even as he's cooled down in the shooting department this past week, Osman's well-rounded game supports strong streaming upside for those in need of help at the wing.

Damyean Dotson, New York Knicks (14.9 percent): You won't often find strong scoring pop on the waiver wire this late into the season, but Dotson's role as the Knicks' offensive microwave has him netting nearly 16 points per game this past week with almost three 3-pointers per game.

Deep additions: Miles Bridges (10 percent) is enjoying nearly 26 minutes of run per night this past week and he has been excellent on the glass with eight boards per game and nearly two steals per outing in this busier role.

Power forward

Bobby Portis, Washington Wizards (42.1 percent): This modern league has Portis sinking two 3-pointers per game in addition to tallying 14.3 PPG and 7.3 RPG this past week, as the imposing power forward is wisely stretching his game out with Washington.

Larry Nance Jr., Cleveland Cavaliers (34.9 percent): If only Cleveland trusted Nance to play more minutes, he might be a fantasy star, as this dynamic frontcourt playmaker boasts a surprisingly impressive assist rate to go with stellar scoring efficiency and strong rebounding rates.

Deep additions: The Mavericks' Maxi Kleber (3.8) could help fantasy managers in blocks, boards, and 3-pointers to finish the season.


Bam Adebayo, Miami Heat (25.2 percent): While he'll never blow you away with his scoring prowess, Adebayo claims an atypically awesome assist clip to go with stellar defensive production.

Mitchell Robinson, New York Knicks (22.9 percent): There will be some quiet nights when Robinson only plays 15-or-so minutes, but even then, his historic block rate fuels great value in roto leagues. When the rookie does top 20 minutes, we're talking about one of the best options at the position for fantasy purposes.

Deep additions: With 39 points and 19 rebounds during his past two games, Thomas Bryant (11.2 percent) is proving he should continue to start for the Wizards to conclude the season.