Fantasy wire pickups for basketball assignments: Look at Jalen McDaniels

Working the assignment wire is pivotal to success in fantasy basketball. With so many games, injuries, and endless turnovers throughout a marathon campaign, we’re going to need to get stats out of free agency to maximize fantasy rosters.

Being prepared to entertain the competition for the last few spots on the list of fantasy hoops can be rewarding. When coordinating this fluid group of statistical contributors, it pays to look at bench end players in direct competition with floating talent in free agency.

The goal of this weekly series is to determine players at every available wide agency position in the ESPN tournaments. Some nominations are specialists who are able to help with one or two categories, while others offer more diverse and important statistical offerings. In the details below, I’ve ranked players at each position with possession priority in mind, rather than roster percentage in ESPN tournaments.

guard point

Killian Hayes, Detroit Pistons (listed in 22.7% of ESPN leagues): With at least 17 points in four of the past six games and strong pass and steal averages that show his profile, Hayes is among the most underrated guards in all of fantasy hoops.

Dennis Schroeder, Los Angeles Lakers (28.2%): Playing heavy minutes on a shallow dribble in the Lakers’ backcourt, Schroeder responded with 80 points in his last three games and seemed to have secured a permanent role for a team in need of scoring.

Emmanuel Kwikley, New York Knicks (19.4%): Speaking of playing time, Quickley is now in Tom Thibodeau’s inner circle, which often involves netting for as many minutes as possible. The third-year guard has averaged 42.1 minutes since joining the starting lineup in place of an ailing RJ Barrett a few weeks ago.

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Onyeka Okongwu produces excellent fantasy numbers with debutante Clint Capela and can help fantasy directors in many ways.

Shoot the guard

Donte DiVincenzo, Golden State Warriors (8.9%): Between Anthony Lamb and Divincenzo, the Warriors are recording some interesting contributions from their depth at guard in the wake of Stephen Curry’s injury. DiVincenzo claims the real value is given as a solid starting option that results in some defensive mods that make a difference. The Villanova product averaged 1.7 steals to go with 10.4 points, 6.4 rebounds, 3.9 dice and 2.7 three-pointers in his last seven games.

Quentin Grimes, New York Knicks (6.6%): We’ve covered how the bonus can prove to earn Thibodeau’s loyalty, as Grimes earned 36.3 minutes over the past week as New York’s hotspot.

Josh Richardson, San Antonio Spurs (2.5%): Injuries to Devin Vassell and Keldon Johnson could lead to more scoring and playmaking duties for this veteran winger.

small forward

DeAndre Hunter, Atlanta Hawks (16.7%): Atlanta dealt with frontcourt injuries for much of the season, though Hunter has returned to form with 37.1 minutes per game over the three games since returning to the cycle. As long as he’s been busy and productive (18.3 PPG over his last three-game spell), Hunter deserves more attention.

Nagy Marshall, New Orleans Pelicans (5.4%): The Pelicans were also restricted by a string of injuries in their frontcourt, with Zion Williamson and Brandon Ingram getting hit. Marshall answered the call as a complement scorer in recent games.

Jalen Williams, Oklahoma City Thunder (15.7%): The recent acquisition of small forward status allows managers to move this versatile starter across all formations. After all, Williams has averaged 13.4 points, 4.8 boards, 3.4 assists and 1.9 steals and blocks combined since becoming a regular starter for the Thunder in mid-December.

forward force

Jalen McDaniels, Charlotte Hornets (10.0%): Averaging 13.5 points, 7.3 rebounds, 2.0 steals and 1.3 blocks over his past four games this week, McDaniels has thrived in a larger role with Kelly Ober Jr. who has suffered a major injury.

Kevon Looney, Golden State Warriors (16.7%): A rebounding powerhouse with enough passing and defensive production to be more than a pure specialist, Looney deserves to be making midfield lists this latest round.

Zach Collins, San Antonio Spurs (2.3%): It’s always fun working on a one-game sample, but Collins was so productive in a season-high 34 minutes in the team’s last game without both Vassell and Johnson. With the team now claiming very little creativity from the post, Collins could shine for a few weeks.

center

Thomas Bryant, Los Angeles Lakers (29.2%): Averaging a terrific streak over the past few weeks since Anthony Davis was injured, Bryant provides a valuable combination of effective scoring and volume rebounding.

Onyeka Okongwu, Atlanta Hawks (19.9%): Until Clint Capella’s full return from a calf injury, Okongwu is a fantasy contributor of primary caliber while working with two outstanding pass guards on catch combos.

game

0:47

Onyeka Okongwu produces excellent fantasy numbers with debutante Clint Capela and can help fantasy directors in many ways.

Daniel Gafford, Washington Wizards (8.4%): A recent spike in playing time has Gafford posting fun edge protection and rebounding numbers while also claiming eligibility at the power forward.

Jalen Doreen, Detroit Pistons (14.3%): The volume rebound is also important for Duren, as volume has averaged up to double digits over the past week. Keep an eye on the recent ankle problem, but working on the glass is already getting special.

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