Fantasy Basketball 2021: Waiver-Wire Advice for Injured NBA Players After May 5

Joe Tansey@JTansey90Featured ColumnistMay 6, 2021

Fantasy Basketball 2021: Waiver-Wire Advice for Injured NBA Players After May 5

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    Carlos Osorio/Associated Press

    The NBA inactive list is lengthy. 

    Between injuries and load management ahead of the playoffs, a handful of notable players have missed time in the last week.

    That list includes Devonte' Graham, Miles Bridges, Brandon Ingram and Malcolm Brogdon among many others. 

    The wave of inactive players each night makes the fantasy basketball waiver wire a busy place as players try to finish off their seasons on top. 

    The best available players do not carry the same name recognition as the inactive stars, but they have been valuable pieces to their respective teams of late. 

Mo Bamba, C, Orlando

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    Phelan M. Ebenhack/Associated Press

    Mo Bamba is averaging 7.7 points and 5.4 rebounds per game for the season, but those numbers do not reflect how valuable he has been recently. 

    The Orlando Magic big man has four double-digit performances in his last seven games, and he has hauled in at least seven rebounds in all but one contest dating back to April 18.

    On Wednesday, the Texas product put up 19 points and 15 rebounds in a starting role with Wendell Carter Jr. out of the lineup. 

    Even if Carter is back in the starting five, Bamba is worth the pickup since he has played well off the bench. His consistency on the floor has resulted in 21 or more minutes in each of the last five games. 

    Bamba could be the best possible frontcourt addition to replace someone like Kristaps Porzingis, who has played once in the last week. 

    The one factor you could argue against adding Bamba is Orlando plays five of its last six games away from home, but you can counter that by saying he will not be a candidate for significant rest. 

    The Magic would likely rather see as much of Bamba as possible while they evaluate all of the young players on their roster before the offseason begins. 

Saddiq Bey, SF, Detroit

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    Carlos Osorio/Associated Press

    Volume is why Saddiq Bey is a valuable waiver-wire pick. 

    The Detroit Pistons rookie is attempting three-point shots at a high rate, and his team plays three games from Thursday to Saturday. 

    Bey has taken 32 three-point shots in the last three games with Jerami Grant, Mason Plumlee and Wayne Ellington among the Pistons players out of the lineup. 

    On Saturday and Monday, Bey eclipsed the 20-point mark. He came one rebound away from recording a double-double in Monday's loss to Orlando. 

    Bey's shot-making ability is far from perfect, as was shown on Tuesday, when he shot 2-of-10 from three and had seven points versus the Charlotte Hornets. 

    While Bey has three single-digit point totals in the last seven games, he is still worth the risk because of how much he will shoot, especially if the Pistons continue to play with a depleted roster. 

    Bey's three-point volume could make up for the absences of Graham, Bridges and Ingram, all of whom have missed time in the last few days. 

Kenyon Martin Jr., SF, Houston

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    Michael Wyke/Associated Press

    The Houston Rockets dressed the minimum of eight players on Wednesday night. Kevin Porter Jr. limped off with an ankle injury and D.J. Augustin did not play. 

    If Porter misses any time with the injury, Kenyon Martin Jr. and others will be asked to contribute even more than they already have. 

    Martin played 44 minutes against Philadelphia, the most of any Rockets player, and he recorded a season-best 23 points. He also tied his season high with 10 rebounds. 

    Similar to Bey, Martin is worth a look on the waiver wire because of the sheer volume he is expected to see in the next week-and-a-half. 

    Since Kelly Olynyk is already widely rostered in most fantasy basketball leagues, Martin could be the best Houston player to pluck from the waiver wire. 

    Unless he suffers an injury, Martin should be in line for plenty of minutes and the scoring opportunities that come with that total.


    Follow Joe on Twitter, @JTansey90.

    Statistics obtained from