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Fantasy Basketball Waiver Wire: As Rui Hachimura fills in for the Lakers, add him in your league

In Sports
March 01, 2024
Rui Hachimura of the Los Angeles Lakers. (Wally Skalij/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images)

Special to Yahoo Sports

The playoffs are right around the corner in most fantasy leagues. With many teams having already dropped out of playoff contention, there will be fewer managers vying for waiver wire adds going forward — but those still in the hunt for the playoffs will be scouring the free agency pool for pickups. Don’t let March Madness distract you too much this month; stay on the ball! Fortunately, there is no shortage of appealing options available; this week’s column suggests nine new players to add — and reminds readers about 10 recent recommendations at the end.

Nesmith (ankle) may miss his fifth straight game this evening against the Pelicans. However, once healthy, he’ll be added quickly across every format. Boasting well-rounded averages of 12.6 points (51.9% FG, 45.2% 3PT, 70.2% FT), 3.9 rebounds, 2.1 threes, 1.4 assists, 1.1 steals and 0.7 blocks in 27.1 minutes (all career highs except for free-throw percentage) while committing only 1.0 turnovers per game, Nesmith is valuable even in shallow leagues. Don’t wait until he returns from injury; do yourself a favor and add him right away.

LeVert continues to struggle with his shot, as evidenced by his career-low field-goal percentage (41.8% FG). Still, his versatile statline is useful if you can afford a dip in that department — and he’s especially valuable in points leagues. With averages of 14.1 points, 4.7 dimes compared to only 1.5 turnovers, 3.8 boards, 1.6 3s, 0.9 steals and 0.5 blocks in 27.7 minutes, there’s a lot to like about what LeVert brings to the table. He has never been a good shooter, but if he can inch closer toward his career mark (43.4% FG) that would help his value as well.

After barely being part of the rotation last season, Robinson is enjoying a career year in 2023-24. With averages of 13.3 points (45.5% FG, 40.9% 3PT, 88.6% FT), 3.0 assists, 2.8 threes, 2.4 boards and 0.7 steals in 28.0 minutes through 54 appearances, Robinson has rounded out his game nicely over the years. Sporting career highs in dimes and steals while providing his usual firepower as a 3-point shooter, Miami will likely continue to exercise caution when it comes to injuries. As a result, Robinson should keep drawing starts here and there and remain worthy of rostering in most formats.

If Robinson isn’t available, or you are wary of him seeing fewer minutes on a deep Heat team going forward, Beasley is of equal appeal. With averages of 11.6 points (47.4% FG, 45.3% 3PT, 64.0% FT), 3.8 rebounds, 3.0 threes, 1.4 assists compared to only 0.7 turnovers, and 0.8 steals in 29.5 minutes across 58 games, Beasley has been super steady in a starting role for Milwaukee. If you’re desperate for 3s in a category league, look no further than Beasley.

It appears the Pistons plan on finding out whether Stewart can be productive alongside sophomore standout Jalen Duren. The early signs aren’t totally discouraging. Stewart is having by far his best season in terms of 3-point shooting, both from a volume and efficiency perspective, sinking a career-best 1.4 per night on a career-high 37.2%. His averages on the year — 11.0 points, 6.9 boards, 1.7 assists and 0.8 blocks in 30.7 minutes — don’t scream immediate add. However, he may be a solid silly-season pickup given his level of involvement.

Jaime Jaquez Jr., Miami Heat (36% rostered)

As is the case with Robinson, Jaquez benefits from Miami’s “next man up” mindset. The Heat are among the league’s deepest teams, both in real life and for fantasy purposes. If the club is forced to grind all season long to get a top-six seed in the Eastern Conference, Jaquez and Robinson may end up having limited upside down the stretch. However, if the Heat leapfrog a few teams over the next six weeks and can comfortably avoid the Play-In Tournament, Jaquez could be a major contributor late in the season when fantasy leagues are deep into the playoffs. If you can afford to stash a high-upside rookie, Jaquez is someone to consider.

Corey Kispert, Washington Wizards (30% rostered)

Kispert has scored in double figures in five straight contests while exploding for precisely 20 points in four of those. During this recent stretch, he has averaged 18.4 points (48.5% FG, 44.7% 3PT, 75.0% FT), 4.0 assists, 3.4 boards, 3.4 3s and 1.2 steals across 28.5 minutes. On a larger scale, Kispert has seen less playing time this year than last, but his per-minute production is up significantly across the board. His Per-36 Minutes averages of 19.6 points, 4.0 rebounds, 3.3 3s, 2.8 assists and 0.7 steals suggest that he should be strongly considered in all formats.

Rui Hachimura, LA Lakers (27% rostered)

The Lakers are dealing with frontcourt injuries to Christian Wood (knee) and Jarred Vanderbilt (foot), leaving the team with little depth down low behind Anthony Davis. However, Hachimura has risen to the occasion offensively, with averages of 16.9 points (58.3% FG, 46.9% 3PT, 57.1% FT), 4.5 boards, 1.9 3s, 0.8 assists, 0.8 steals and 0.6 blocks in 31.9 minutes across the last eight contests. Although best reserved for points leagues given that he impacts the game in just a few categories, Hachimura will likely continue to be heavily involved if the frontcourt remains riddled by injuries.

Taylor Hendricks, Utah Jazz (8% rostered)

Utah is understandably embracing a youth movement as the club rapidly falls out of contention for a playoff spot. Keyonte George has been getting decent burn for much of the year, whereas Hendricks is finally getting more chances to shine. Hendricks has started four games in a row, during which time he is averaging 9.8 points, 6.8 rebounds, 1.5 3s, 0.8 assists and 0.8 steals in 26.9 minutes. The rookie is merely worthy of deep-league consideration at this point, but he’s someone to add to your watch list across all formats.

Recent recommendations still rostered in less than 50% of leagues: Jalen Suggs, Andre Drummond, Keyonte George, Amen Thompson, Brandin Podziemski, Tre Mann, Kelly Olynyk, Cole Anthony, Grant Williams, Cody Martin

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