Fantasy basketball waiver wire finds: Why Kevin Love will ignite your team

Kevin Love has carved out a nice role for himself on the Cavaliers' second unit and could help your fantasy team as well. Jason Miller/Getty Images)

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 at each position available in free agency in at least a third of ESPN leagues. Some nominations are specialists capable of helping in one or two categories, while others deliver more diverse and important 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

Anfernee Simons, Portland Trail Blazers (rostered in 53.4% of ESPN leagues)

A regular inclusion in this column ever since he became a starter, it's prudent for fantasy managers to find room for Simons in all formats. After all, he has averaged 24.4 points, 7.1 assists and an awesome 4.6 3-pointers per game during his last 13 games, all starts. For some context as to how prolific Simons has become from beyond the arc, he leads the entire league in 3-pointers made in 2022.

Patty Mills, Brooklyn Nets (25.2%)

Even as uncertainty continues to cloud Brooklyn's season, Mills has been an undeniably great fit in the team's rotation. He is enjoying a career scoring season at 33 years old thanks to lofting the most 3-pointers and shots per game of his career.

Shooting guard

Will Barton, Denver Nuggets (61.9%)

A non-COVID illness has kept Barton off the floor recently, but he's a high-level playmaker whenever active. Barton has at least four dimes in five straight games and should continue to serve as a complementary creator for Denver once he's back in the lineup.

Chris Duarte, Indiana Pacers (23.6%)

With at least one steal in nine of his last 10 games and with a major role in the rotation for much of the last two weeks, Duarte has emerged as a legitimate "3-and-D" threat. The rookie has averaged 15.1 points on strong shooting rates during his last eight games and could even play a larger role if the team is active at the trade deadline.

Small forward

Josh Hart, New Orleans Pelicans (49.2%)

Hart has been a rare rebounding force eligible at shooting guard and small forward. He has averaged a stellar 9.1 boards to go with solid scoring, passing and shooting results in a dozen games thus far in 2022.

Herbert Jones, Pelicans (24.2%)

If Hart is already rostered, take a look at his rookie colleague Jones, who has sustained an impressive steal rate and has been playing heavy minutes lately for a depleted frontcourt.

Power forward

Robert Covington, Trail Blazers (60.9%)

Between Simons and Covington, the Trail Blazers claim two statistical forces. This veteran "3-and-D" wing is back to producing fun fantasy lines rife with plenty of steals and blocks to go with respectable rebounding and scoring results.

Kevin Love, Cleveland Cavaliers (30.7%)

Love has been efficient despite serving a specialized role carrying the second-unit offense for Cleveland. He can deliver a double-double in around 20 minutes if his shot is falling and while you won't get much in the way of defensive production, a nice blend of 3-pointers and rebounds drives value in roto and category formats.


Chris Boucher, Toronto Raptors (64.6%)

If you can handle some lean scoring outings, you'll net some big rim protection performances from Boucher. Now that he's back in the rotation, Boucher, like Covington, can deliver league-winning defensive upside.

Brandon Clarke, Memphis Grizzlies (41.8%)

Clark is an ultra-efficient scorer and his solid defensive production helps offset his limited role in a deep Grizzlies rotation.