Fantasy Basketball Waiver Wire: Don't drop or look past Brandin Podziemski

Brandin Podziemski #2 of the Golden State Warriors
Brandin Podziemski has been solid all around for the Golden State Warriors, averaging 10.7 points, 6.1 rebounds, 4.0 assists, 1.5 threes and 1.2 steals over his last 20 games to become a solid fantasy contributor. (Photo by Melissa Tamez/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

By Gabe Allen, RotoWire

Special to Yahoo Sports

We’re already past the halfway point of the NBA regular season, with the trade deadline and All-Star break on the horizon. This week’s waiver wire article has something for everybody — from those in shallower leagues to those in much deeper ones; for those searching for streaming options to those thinking more long-term. However, like last week, I’ve especially emphasized players to consider adding for the second half of the season, many of them rookies. Without further ado, here are eight players to consider adding ahead of Week 15.

Nick Richards, Charlotte Hornets (38% rostered)

Returning from a three-game absence on Wednesday, Richards (ankle) recorded 21 points, 10 boards and one block in 27 minutes. Sophomore center Mark Williams (back) has missed 22 consecutive games and counting, and there has been no indication that he’s on the verge of rejoining the rotation. Until that happens, Richards is worth rostering in all formats, as he’s averaged 9.5 points (65.0% FG, 69.4% FT), 8.7 boards, 1.3 blocks and 1.2 assists in 29.0 minutes over his last 19 appearances while Williams has been sidelined.

Jabari Walker, Portland Trail Blazers (33% rostered)

Walker has been playing well for more than a month now. Over the last 14 games, the rookie forward is averaging 11.1 points (51.5% FG, 36.7% 3PT, 76.9% FT), 8.6 rebounds, 1.2 assists and 0.8 threes across 26.9 minutes. While he’s not contributing all that much beyond points and boards in terms of counting stats, his offensive efficiency has been noteworthy. Given Portland’s position in the standings, Walker will almost certainly continue to see ample minutes for the remainder of the season. As such, he’s someone to add in all but the shallowest formats.

Brandin Podziemski, Golden State Warriors (23% rostered)

Podziemski has seen his rostered percentage drop considerably even though he’s been a solid contributor for nearly two months now. During the last 20 games, he’s averaging 10.7 points, 6.1 rebounds, 4.0 assists, 1.5 threes and 1.2 steals in 28.8 minutes. A scoring drought (single digits in five of his last seven appearances) — and the fact that Golden State went a week without playing any games (RIP Dejan Milojević) — have probably been the primary culprits in his reduced rostered percentage. Nevertheless, Podziemski has been a key cog for the Warriors, and that’s unlikely to change going forward. If he’s available in your league, don’t look past him.

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Amen Thompson, Houston Rockets (17% rostered)

Last week it was Amen’s brother, Ausar, who was recommended. This week, the Rockets’ rookie received the nod, having put together a few stellar showings in recent memory, including twice against the league-leading Celtics. It may take Houston falling out of the playoff race or getting bit by the injury bug for Amen to be statistically impactful consistently. However, the flashes have certainly been there, especially when he’s afforded a decent amount of playing time. Across the last six contests, Thompson has tallied averages of 9.2 points, 6.5 rebounds, 2.2 dimes, 1.3 steals and 0.8 blocks in 19.8 minutes. Like his brother, he’s not much of an outside shooter yet, but he brings a lot to the table defensively. He has also showcased impressive vision and execution as a passer. If you have a spot on your roster that you can devote to stashing a high-upside player, Thompson should be on the short list of options.

Ayo Dosunmu, Chicago Bulls (14% rostered)

Zach LaVine (ankle) has missed three games in a row and may be held out through the Feb. 8 trade deadline. This keeps the door of opportunity open for Dosunmu, who has scored in double figures in six straight games while averaging 15.3 points, 2.8 assists, 2.5 boards, 1.5 threes, 1.0 steals and 0.7 blocks in 28.0 minutes during that same span. His shooting percentages during this stretch (59.6% FG, 50.0% 3PT, 93.8% FT) are unsustainable, but the versatility in terms of his stat profile is something for which he has earned a reputation. His wide range of skills on both ends makes it easy to slot him in at several different positions and thus earn plenty of playing time. As such, Dosunmu could end up being valuable in all but the shallowest leagues, but for now, he’s clearly a solid snag in deep leagues of every format.

Georges Niang, Cleveland Cavaliers (9% rostered)

With Evan Mobley (knee) likely to miss at least another week, it might be a good idea to toss Niang in the blender as a one-week streamer. Over the last nine games, Niang is averaging 14.6 points (55.4% FG, 48.3% 3PT, 84.6% FT), 5.1 rebounds, 3.1 threes and 1.3 assists in 23.6 minutes. Moreover, a looming four-game week with matchups against the lowly Pistons, Grizzlies and Spurs is the ideal recipe to help keep Niang’s recent hot streak alive.

Monté Morris, Detroit Pistons (3% rostered)

Morris (quadriceps) made his season debut on Wednesday, posting seven points, three boards and three assists in 11 minutes of action. Cade Cunningham (knee) is expected to return very shortly, perhaps as soon as Saturday. Nevertheless, if Morris’ performance in his Pistons debut is a sign of things to come, he’s likely to supplant Killian Hayes as the team’s backup point guard. Furthermore, Cunningham’s size gives Detroit the flexibility to play Morris and Cunningham together, at least for stretches. At 28, Morris may not fit the typical profile for a player who’s going to be relied upon heavily by a rebuilding team with the league’s worst record. With that being said, if Morris can help the team be a bit more competitive and functional, that may result in him playing a meaningful role for the rest of the season.

Cody Martin, Charlotte Hornets (4% rostered)

In terms of scoring, Martin has been a disaster thus far this season, averaging more field-goal attempts (7.1 FGA) than points (6.7 PPG) while shooting a career-low 35.3% from the field and 56.3% from the charity stripe. However, his ability to contribute across multiple categories (3.2 RPG, 2.5 APG, 1.5 SPG, 0.9 BPG) makes him someone to keep an eye on, at the very least. If a few more of his shots start to find the bottom of the net – and he receives an uptick in minutes (25.9 MPG) following the Terry Rozier trade — he’ll be a definite add in all deep leagues.

Recent recommendations rostered in less than 50% of leagues: Markelle Fultz, Ausar Thompson, Tari Eason, Alec Burks, Luke Kennard, T.J. McConnell, Xavier Tillman.