Special to Yahoo Sports
With one month left in the NBA regular season, fantasy leagues are entering the final stretch. The playoffs are either on the horizon or in full swing. In situations where the remaining teams are closely competitive, the managers who make the most of the waiver wire may tilt the scales in their favor.
As was the case in last week’s column, I’ve separated my suggested pickups into two categories: Players who aren’t widely available who you’ll want to double-check for, and widely available players who could be particularly valuable in deep leagues .
As usual, I’ve included a list of recent recommendations at the end of the article. Without further ado, here are seven players to consider adding for the final month of the season.
Monte Morris, Washington Wizards (45% rostered)
Having just returned from a six-game absence with a lower back injury, Morris’ rostered percentage plummeted while he was sidelined. Furthermore, he came off the pine behind Delon Wright in his first game back, so fantasy managers have continued to drop Morris (-1% Last Day) despite him joining the rotation.
While Morris struggled from the field in Wednesday’s loss to the Hawks, he turned in an encouraging stat line considering he logged only 16 minutes, registering five points, five dimes and four boards. Wright has been a steady contributor off the bench all season. But in time, Morris will likely take back the starting gig — and, more importantly, play most of the minutes — at the point guard position for the Wizards.
Although his scoring (10.3 PPG) and minutes (27.9 MPG) are down compared to last season, Morris is averaging career highs of 5.3 assists and 3.4 rebounds while maintaining impressive shooting percentages and leading the entire NBA in assist-to-turnover ratio, ceding a mere 1.0 turnovers per game.
If someone in your league let Morris go, add him while you can.
Xavier Tillman, Memphis Grizzlies (41% rostered)
Tillman’s rostered percentage is rising rapidly (+16% Last Day). While you’re reading this sentence, someone, somewhere, is adding him. Tillman was already an obvious pickup after the news broke Brandon Clarke (Achilles) would miss the remainder of the season. Then it was announced on Thursday that Steven Adams (knee) would be sidelined for at least another four weeks. With averages of 10.9 points, 8.5 rebounds, 2.8 assists, 1.4 steals and 0.8 blocks in 29.3 minutes over the last eight games, Tillman should be added across all formats.
Moritz Wagner, Orlando Magic (31% rostered)
Wendell Carter Jr. (hip) has missed three consecutive contests, and Wagner has stepped up in his absence just as he did earlier in the season. Over the last four outings, Wagner has compiled averages of 14.3 points, 6.8 boards, 1.5 steals, 1.3 assists and 1.0 threes in 23.2 minutes. Until Carter is healthy, Wagner is worth a look in most leagues.
TJ McConnell, Indiana Pacers (16% rostered)
The Pacers have been involved in plenty of high-scoring matchups lately and are still in the hunt for the final play-in spots. Despite the club’s heavy reliance on Tyrese Haliburton, McConnell has also had a hand in Indiana’s success. Across the last six games, the backup ball-handler is generating 8.0 points, 5.3 dimes, 3.8 boards and 1.4 steals in 20.7 minutes. Those in deeper leagues needing assists and swipes should consider adding McConnell for the stretch run.
Isaiah Livers, Detroit Pistons (6% rostered)
Detroit may shut down Bojan Bogdanovic (Achilles), and Livers could be the primary beneficiary from a fantasy standpoint. During the last three contests, Livers has accumulated averages of 13.0 points, 4.0 rebounds, 2.3 threes, 1.7 assists and 0.7 steals in 35.7 minutes. If Bogdanovic isn’t removed from the rotation, then Livers’ fantasy value will be short-lived. However, if the veteran has played his final game this season, Livers is worthy of deep-league consideration.
Jordan Nwora, Indiana Pacers (5% rostered)
Nwora has scored in double figures in six consecutive contests, averaging 14.7 points, 4.3 rebounds, 2.5 assists, 1.7 threes and 0.8 steals in 23.5 minutes. He is a good bet to continue filling it up off the bench for a Pacers team pushing the pace offensively. Typically not known for his contributions outside of the scoring department, Nwora has been showcasing an ability to pitch across several categories lately and could be a decent addition in deep leagues.
Cory Joseph, Detroit Pistons (4% rostered)
Joseph has not been a viable fantasy option this season — until now. Across the last three matchups, the veteran point guard is averaging 14.0 points, 4.3 dimes, 3.7 boards, 1.3 threes and 1.3 steals in 29.0 minutes. While the Pistons will likely continue committing more minutes to the younger players on the squad, the plethora of injuries combined with their shallow roster makes Joseph a relevant option in deeper formats. If he keeps playing close to 30 minutes per night over the final month of the season, Joseph will be worth adding in plenty of formats.
Recent recommendations: Kyle Anderson, Tari Eason, Bruce Brown, Donte DiVincenzo, Dennis Smith Jr., Jeremy Sochan, Matisse Thybulle, Kris Dunn, Austin Reaves, Devonte’ Graham, Talen Horton-Tucker, Malaki Branham, Patrick Beverley