Monday, March 4 2024

Special to Yahoo Sports

Fantasy managers will be introduced to the inaugural In-Season Tournament Quarterfinals, Semifinals and Finals next week. So what does this mean for fantasy?

In short, every team plays two games — Monday through Friday — that count toward fantasy. The teams who lose in the quarterfinals will play a “normal game” again later in the week, while the teams who win the quarterfinals will play their semifinal game later in the week. Both games for each set of teams count. The only game next week that will not count toward fantasy is Saturday’s IST Finals.

With that in mind, here are waiver wire suggestions based on every team playing two fantasy games next week. Without streaming options, most potential adds are based on potential value for deeper formats.

The lone widely rostered player of the bunch, Beasley has come on strong lately after a slow start to the season. Over the last nine outings, the veteran wing is averaging 15.2 points (50.5% FG), 5.6 boards, 3.8 treys, 1.4 dimes and 1.0 steals in 32.5 minutes. He’s not a top option offensively, but the attention that opposing defenses devote to containing Giannis Antetokounmpo, Damian Lillard, Brook Lopez and Khris Middleton typically results in wide-open looks for Milwaukee’s role players. As it stands, Beasley is worth adding in most formats.

Richardson has earned 30-plus minutes in six of the last nine games, and while injuries have played a part in this, he may be in the process of playing himself into a more significant role that he’ll hold onto even once the team is closer to full strength. Across the last 10 contests, Richardson is recording averages of 12.2 points, 3.8 assists, 3.0 rebounds, 1.3 threes and 0.9 steals in 30.7 minutes. His versatile two-way skill set enables him to slot in at multiple positions and contribute across several categories. A couple more good games and he’ll probably see his rostered percentage skyrocket.

Minus Ja Morant (suspension) and Marcus Smart (foot), Memphis has been relying relatively heavily on Rose recently since he returned from a knee injury. Across the last three games, the former MVP is averaging 14.3 points (62.5% FG), 4.7 dimes, 2.7 boards and 0.7 steals in 22.7 minutes. As such, for at least another week or two, Rose is a decent streaming option.

Fontecchio has stepped up and performed admirably as a starter during Lauri Markkanen’s recent injury absence. During the last four matchups, the 28-year-old sophomore small forward is averaging 13.0 points, 4.0 rebounds, 2.8 assists, 2.8 treys and 1.0 swipes across 28.2 minutes. While Fontecchio may not remain in the starting lineup long-term, he could be carving out a considerable role for himself going forward. Utah has proven capable of identifying and developing late-blooming wings over the years, most notably Joe Ingles and Royce O’Neale — and Fontecchio could be next. As such, he’s worthy of consideration if you’re searching for a streamer, or better yet, if you’re a long-term believer.

Caleb Martin, Miami Heat (14% rostered)

If you already missed out on Josh Richardson and Duncan Robinson, Martin has some appeal based on his ability to play multiple positions and contribute across most categories. Capable of earning minutes at three positions, Martin is averaging 13.2 points, 3.8 boards, 1.8 dimes, 1.2 steals and 1.0 threes in 25.1 minutes across the last five contests. It remains to be seen what his role will be if/when the club is closer to full strength from an injury standpoint, but for now Martin is worthy of consideration in deeper leagues.

Hayes is the first player to be recommended twice this season by yours truly. It has been a roller-coaster start to the year for Hayes; he got off to a superb start before suffering a minor injury, and then it seemed like he wasn’t going to regain a demanding role, having earned less than 20 minutes in three straight games from Nov. 20-27. But he was stellar during Detroit’s recent back-to-back set on Wednesday and Thursday, combining for 30 points, 12 dimes, four boards, three steals, two threes and one block in 50 minutes against the Lakers and Knicks. Hayes’ well-rounded season averages of 9.3 points, 4.4 assists to 0.7 turnovers, 2.7 boards, 1.2 swipes, 0.9 threes and 0.7 blocks make him an attractive add in all but the shallowest formats.

Furthermore, the reportedly imminent return of Bojan Bogdanovic (calf) promises to improve the Pistons’ offensive spacing, which has been arguably the team’s most glaring weakness — and which should help Hayes continue to thrive as a driver and distributor.

Recent recommendations still rostered in less than 50% of Yahoo leagues: Saddiq Bey, Keyonte George, Duncan Robinson, Jeremy Sochan, Dereck Lively II, Obi Toppin, Dario Saric, Alex Caruso, Reggie Jackson, Kyle Anderson, Goga Bitadze, Jordan Hawkins, Isaiah Joe

Source: Yahoo Sports

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