Fantasy basketball waiver wire pickups: Look to Al Horford

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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 widely available in free agency in 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

Cameron Payne, Phoenix Suns (Rostered in 17.2% of ESPN leagues): The Suns won’t have team leader and star point guard Chris Paul in the lineup for the next several games as he continues to heal from a foot injury. Payne has been relatively great in his place from a fantasy perspective, averaging 20 points and 5.8 dimes with awesome shooting metrics during his past five games entering Sunday, all starts. For as long as Paul is sidelined, Payne is a fantasy starter.

Killian Hayes, Detroit Pistons (8.3%): The Pistons have turned to Hayes as the starting point guard with Cade Cunningham facing a serious shin injury. Hayes will struggle to score efficiently at times, but strong assists and steal rates drive value while he’s getting so many minutes and touches for Detroit.

Pistons PG Killian Hayes may not be a great shooter yet, or even a passable one, but he does display solid point guard skills and that may be enough for fantasy managers to rely on him.

Shake Milton, Philadelphia 76ers (2.6%): The Sixers lost yet another star guard to a foot injury with Tyrese Maxey suffering a fracture over the weekend, vaulting Milton into a big scoring and creation role for a suddenly depleted Philadelphia rotation.

Shooting guard

De’Anthony Melton, Philadelphia 76ers (20.6%): In the wake of injuries to James Harden and Maxey, Melton is among the league leaders in steals and rated really well as a rebounder for the position in his time with Memphis. Expect Melton to play heavy minutes through the end of the calendar year.

Malik Beasley, Utah Jazz (45.0%): A confident bucket with the freedom to hunt for his own shot, Beasley has turned it up lately with some signature scoring performances. Utah will continue to feed Beasley on the second unit, making him the rare bench scorer with some level of consistency.

Derrick White, Boston Celtics (44.9%): No single stat will wow you with White, but his assists are up, his block percentage is atypically high for a guard and this blend has him 12th among point guards on the Player Rater the past two weeks.

Alec Burks, Detroit Pistons (3.7%): A scoring guard capable of posting some strong rebounding… Visit Source www.espn.com.

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