Fantasy Basketball Waiver Wire: Win the battle for late-season pickups for the stretch drive

By Gabe Allen, RotoWire

Special to Yahoo Sports

The fantasy basketball waiver wire is overflowing with high-upside adds for your late-season or playoff pushes. This is especially good news for all those trying to improve their team around the edges and maximize your odds of winning your league. Injuries have been widespread as the season has carried on, so any manager still in the hunt will be searching high and low for players to plug in. This week’s column focuses on 10 players who might make a difference for you down the stretch. As usual, another dozen recently recommended players have been included at the end.

Jalen Suggs, Orlando Magic (49% rostered)

In recent memory, Suggs has missed a pair of games due to injury and posted a four-point stinker against the lowly Hornets. However, it’s a tad surprising to see his rostered percentage slip below 50%. His shooting percentages won’t hurt you in category leagues, and he contributes enough across every category to be relevant in all types of formats. Suggs is averaging 12.3 points, 3.3 boards, 2.6 assists, 2.1 3s, 1.4 steals and 0.6 blocks in 26.7 minutes. Moreover, his playing time may be on the rise; he has seen at least 30 minutes in three of the last four games. Cole Anthony’s role has regressed over the course of the year, and the Magic continue to take the cautious approach with Markelle Fultz, who is held out regularly in the name of injury maintenance and rarely plays more than 20 minutes when he does suit up. As such, Suggs seemingly has a safe and demanding role for the stretch run.

Simone Fontecchio, Detroit Pistons (42% rostered)

Fontecchio has taken on a more significant role since being dealt to Detroit. This has been especially true of late due to the Pistons’ plethora of injuries. Across the last six games, he’s averaging 16.2 points, 5.0 rebounds, 2.7 3s, 2.0 assists and 1.0 steals in 32.1 minutes. His field goal percentage for the year isn’t bad, but he’s probably a more trustworthy option in points leagues. With four games on tap for next week, though, Fontecchio is worthy of consideration in all formats.

Vasilije Micic, Charlotte Hornets (36% rostered)

Charlotte has just two games next week, which likely explains why Micic hasn’t been added in a higher percentage of leagues. However, the Hornets have four games the following week, so he may be worth adding in the long run. He is my only repeat recommendation from last week, but his stock has risen considerably since then. Tre Mann has returned to the rotation following a brief injury absence. Nevertheless, Micic seems likely to remain in the starting point guard role while often playing alongside Mann. Through seven March matchups, Micic is averaging 15.4 points (49.4% FG, 37.9% 3PT, 94.4% FT), 6.4 assists, 2.9 rebounds, 1.6 3s and 1.3 steals in 31.3 minutes. Based on what we’ve seen from Micic lately, he shouldn’t be so widely available.

Jock Landale, Houston Rockets (29% rostered)

Small sample size alert! In the two games since Alperen Sengun suffered an injury that may ultimately end his season, Landale has combined for 24 points, nine boards, six dimes, two steals, one block and one trey across 53 minutes. He’s coming off the bench, but he has gone from being a rotation afterthought to playing ample minutes. If you’re searching for a center who can contribute across several categories, Landale is worthy of consideration.

Dalano Banton, Portland Trail Blazers (27% rostered)

Banton is probably too erratic from the field to fully trust in category leagues, but he’s someone to consider adding in points leagues. During the last seven outings, Banton is contributing 17.4 points (on 39.1% shooting) to go along with 5.1 boards, 3.7 dimes, 2.6 3s and 0.7 steals in 32.3 minutes. Given Portland’s long list of injuries, Banton will probably remain very involved over the final month of the season.

Matisse Thybulle, Portland Trail Blazers (23% rostered)

Thybulle is typically a player to leave on the waiver wire unless you’re desperate for defensive stats. However, given how banged up Portland has been with injuries, Thybulle has been earning enough minutes and playing well enough lately to warrant consideration in most formats. Across the last six contests, he is averaging 8.7 points (on 54.3% FG), 3.8 boards, 2.5 assists, 2.0 steals, 1.8 3s and 1.2 blocks in 25.4 minutes.

Bilal Coulibaly, Washington Wizards (23% rostered)

Coulibaly’s struggles from the field don’t preclude him from having decent value in deep category leagues down the stretch, as he doesn’t exacerbate the problem by hoisting a ton of shots. Washington’s rookie is worthy of consideration in all formats; across the last six games, he’s averaging a well-rounded line of 9.5 points, 4.0 boards, 1.8 assists, 1.3 3s, 1.3 steals and 1.0 blocks in 31.9 minutes.

T.J. McConnell, Indiana Pacers (20% rostered)

McConnell has been a monster in modest minutes during March. Through seven games this month, he is averaging 13.6 points (on 59.2% FG), 4.3 assists, 2.7 rebounds and 1.7 steals in 19.7 minutes. A four-game week with a matchup against the Pistons looms for Indiana. As such, if you’re in need of dimes, swipes and efficient scoring, McConnell is a player to consider.

Jontay Porter, Toronto Raptors (13% rostered)

With Jakob Poeltl (finger) and Chris Boucher (knee) sidelined indefinitely, Porter is worth a look, having combined for 24 points, 11 dimes, eight boards, six treys, four blocks and two steals across 43 minutes during the last two contests. He had a brief run of relevance earlier in the season when the Raptors were similarly decimated by injuries. His ability to contribute amply across multiple categories is evident, which makes Porter an appealing add in all formats.

James Wiseman, Detroit Pistons (11% rostered)

Another small sample size alert! Across the last three games, Wiseman is averaging 11.0 points (on 75.0% FG), 10.3 boards, 2.0 assists and 1.7 blocks in 22.4 minutes. Based on his production of late and the four-game week on the horizon, Wiseman is an intriguing deep-league option.

Recent recommendations still rostered in less than 50% of leagues: Amen Thompson, Max Strus, Jaime Jaquez Jr., Aaron Nesmith, Brandin Podziemski, Corey Kispert, GG Jackson, Grant Williams, Rui Hachimura, Kyle Anderson, Tre Mann, Jake LaRavia