The Playlist: Week 19 fantasy basketball waiver pickups and lineup advice

Kyle Lowry #7 of the Philadelphia 76ers

Kyle Lowry has been making a fantasy impact since joining the 76ers. (Photo by Tim Nwachukwu/Getty Images)

Welcome to The Playlist: my weekly column that lets you know who and what to play โ€” when it comes to music or other things in my rotation โ€” for the upcoming week in fantasy basketball.

Each week, you’ll see a compilation of the pickups you need to make, lineup notes (who’s in and out of rotations), followed by key takeaways on the schedule.

So press play and shuffle through the latest fantasy basketball info.

๐Ÿ€ Week 18 wrap-up

Milestone – Smoke Dza & Pete Rock (feat. BJ The Chicago Kid, Jadakiss and Styles P

๐Ÿ† Top performers

Luka Donฤiฤ‡ was the best fantasy player in points leagues in Week 18. The MVP candidate racked up 281 fantasy points across four games. Victor Wembanyama topped the list for the second week in a row in category leagues.

๐Ÿ—ฃ๏ธ Fantasy Basketball trade deadline ends Thursday

Get those trade offers in because the deadline for standard Yahoo leagues ends on Thursday, March 7.

๐Ÿ—“๏ธ Schedule things you need to know

  • The games are distributed nicely across Week 19, with Tuesday and Sunday being the only days with nine games or more.

  • The Brooklyn Nets play five games this week

  • 16 teams play four games this week and 13 teams play three games

๐ŸŽง WHO’S IN MY ROTATION: Players to pick up on waivers who are around 50% rostered or lower in Yahoo leagues.

Top shallow-league streams for Week 19

Andre Drummond – C, Chicago Bulls (53%)

Drummond has been feasting with the Bulls succumbing to a lot of injuries lately. He destroyed the Cavs with a vintage 17-point, 26-rebound performance last Wednesday and is averaging 12 points, 12 rebounds and 1.5 blocks per game over his previous 10 contests. He should be rostered in all formats.

The Food – Common (feat. Kanye West)

Kelly Olynyk – PF/C, Toronto Raptors (51%)

With Scottie Barnes likely gone for the remainder of the season, Olynyk has seen minutes at power forward alongside Jakob Poeltl while logging backup minutes at center. Now that Poeltl’s injured, we could see Olynyk enter the starting lineup. He’s been productive in Toronto before the injuries and is coming off a double-double with three assists on Friday night, followed by putting up 25 fantasy points on Sunday. He’s a must-add in all leagues.

Norman Powell – SG/SF, Los Angeles Clippers (46%)

Powell’s minutes have risen recently; he’s hit at least 30 minutes in four of the last six outings. Now that Russell Westbrook will miss an extended period, Powell is worthy of being scooped up, especially in points leagues.

He’s fresh off dropping 24 points with six triples against the Timberwolves on Sunday, which is a good sign of things to come as the primary scorer off the bench. His efficiency is also suitable for category leagues, but he doesn’t do much for assists, rebounding or stocks. However, the boost in opportunity should help.

Royce O’Neale – SG/SF, Phoenix Suns (37%)

O’Neale leveled up, moving from the crumbling Nets to the playoff-contending Suns. He’s fitting in, too, doing a little bit of everything for a team that needed more depth. Since joining Phoenix, he’s posted a category-friendly 10/6/3 line with over two 3s and almost two steals per game. He’s been 63rd in nine-category leagues over the last 30 days, and with Devin Booker (ankle) potentially day-to-day, O’Neale is needed in the rotation. He’s coming off a 20-point, 10-rebound, two-stock performance on Saturday, so add him if you need a player who has multi-category appeal.

Boom – Royce Da 5’9″

Isaiah Stewart – PF/C, Detroit Pistons (47%)

Since returning from injury and suspension, Beef Stew had two strong outings, just missing a double-double in each contest. If there’s one consistency we can find with Monty Williams this season, he will play Stewart 30-plus minutes if he’s available. Stewart is a capable rebounder and defender, and while I wouldn’t rely on his three-ball nightly, he accumulates enough stats to be rostered in both points and category leagues.

Additional shallow-league streaming options in Week 19

Deep-league streams for Week 19

Dorian Finney-Smith – SF/PF/C, Brooklyn Nets (12%)

DFS is a volume play since the Nets are the only team with five games in Week 19. He’s likely the best option on waivers, so I’d prioritize picking him up on Monday. He’s not going to light up the scoreboard in any particular category or score a ton of points, but across that many games, his points, 3s, rebounds and stocks will help fantasy managers in a critical week.

Get Dis Money – Slum Village

Kyle Lowry – PG/SG, Philadelphia 76ers (28%)

When Lowry came home to Philly, I didn’t think he had much left in the tank, but he’s played at least 33 minutes for the Sixers in their last two games. The Sixers won both games with Lowry starting at PG, so I suspect that will be the wave heading into Week 19. He’ll likely have off nights shooting from the field (as seen by Sunday’s 1-for-9 showing), but he can still tally enough 3s, steals and dimes to be helpful in category leagues. The Sixers play two games in three nights to start the week, so pick him up early and adjust if you don’t like the results.

This Can’t Be Real – Freeway (feat. Marsha Ambrosius)

Jabari Walker – PF/C, Portland Trail Blazers (24%)

Walker posted consecutive double-doubles off the bench against the Grizzlies this weekend, averaging 17 points, 11 rebounds, two assists and 1.5 steals in those contests. Deandre Ayton missed both games (hand), while Jerami Grant (quad) missed the second game, a trend I’d expect to continue considering the Trail Blazers have the fifth-fewest wins in the NBA. Grant was also ruled out on Monday. It’s also encouraging to see a 25% usage rate over those games, so with the Blazers playing four games in Week 19 and the injuries working in Walker’s favor, he’s a player I’d consider holding beyond this week.

Grant Williams – PF/C, Charlotte Hornets (27%)

He’s down over 9% from last week after an up-and-down week in terms of production, but the man is still averaging 14 points with six boards, two 3s and shooting 50% from the field as a member of the Hornets. He’s still a player I’d want to roster in category leagues because he’s efficient and has an easy path to 27-30 minutes a night playing power forward and center for Charlotte.

Taylor Hendricks – PF, Utah Jazz (18%)

Monday is for the Taylor gang. Lauri Markkannen and Walker Kessler will miss Monday’s game against the Wizards, so this could be a big game for the rookie. Hendricks had a career-high 13 rebounds versus the Heat on Saturday night, but more importantly, he’s playing 27 minutes per game over his last five contests. He should get his first double-double on Monday. Plus, there’s no guarantee Markkannen or Kessler play on Wednesday against the Bulls either. While I like Hendricks as a stream, he’s another player I’ll watch closely as the season winds down.

Find a way – Wiz Khalifa & Curren$y

Miles McBride – PG, New York Knicks (11%)

I’m speculatively adding Deuce McBride in a couple of spots because I can’t see how Brunson will play in the near term after suffering a knee contusion. The good news is that Brunson’s x-rays were negative, but he’s without a timeline, so I’d expect to hear something in the coming days. In the meantime, Deuce had 16 points (6-15 FG) with five dimes and four 3s playing 47 minutes in relief of Brunson on Sunday and even broke Evan Mobley’s ankles in the process. I’m in.

Breaker, Breaker – GZA

Additional deep-league streaming options in Week 19

Watchlist for Week 19 and beyond

๐Ÿš‘ Injury news

Suns G Devin Booker (ankle) day-to-day, still undergoing assessments

The play: Add Royce O’Neale.

Blazers C Deandre Ayton (hand) is listed as questionable on Monday

The play: Monitor Ayton’s progress throughout the day, and if he misses another game, expect Duop Reath to draw another start.

Warriors F Andrew Wiggins (personal reasons) is away from the team

The play: Moses Moody can be streamed in deep leagues in Wiggins‘ absence, plus Brandin Podziemski is dealing with inflammation in his right knee, so Moody should stick in the rotation for the upcoming week.

Rockets F Tari Eason to undergo knee surgery, expected to be out four months

The play: Cam Whitmore will get run, and while he may not be playing heavy minutes now, he’s someone I’d monitor as the Rockets are moving further out of the play-in race.

Bucks F Khris Middleton (knee) remains out

The play: No play, more usage to the starters and Bobby Portis.

Nets G Cam Thomas (ankle) and F Ben Simmons (back) are out on Monday

The play: Roll with the aforementioned DFS. If heโ€™s not available, Dennis Smith Jr.

Schedule breakdown

Daily Games Played:

  • Monday: 6

  • Tuesday: 9

  • Wednesday: 8

  • Thursday: 7

  • Friday: 8

  • Saturday: 7

  • Sunday: 9

One team plays five games: Nets

16 teams play four games: 76ers, Bulls, Cavaliers, Clippers, Grizzlies, Hawks, Heat, Lakers, Magic, Rockets, Thunder, Timberwolves, Trail Blazers, Bucks, Kings and Wizards.

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13 teams play three games: Celtics, Hornets, Jazz, Knicks, Mavericks, Nuggets, Pacers, Pelicans, Pistons, Raptors, Spurs, Suns and Warriors

Teams with back-to-backs

  • Monday/Tuesday: Nets

  • Tuesday/Wednesday: Cavaliers, Hawks, Magic, Rockets and Sixers

  • Wednesday/Thursday: Bulls, Kings and Warriors

  • Thursday/Friday: Heat and Timberwolves

  • Friday/Saturday: Hornets and Trail Blazers

  • Saturday/Sunday: Nets and Clippers