Welcome back. The Week 14 waiver wire is loaded with a diverse array of options to choose from. We've got a former Fantasy stud nearing his return from a long absence, injury fill-ins for some currently-injured stars, an untrustworthy-but-high-performing veteran, and more. This is arguably the strongest waiver pool we've had in a few weeks, so it's a good week to stay active and upgrade your roster.
There are many anomalies (including a Thursday afternoon game in France) in the Week 14 schedule, so check out the schedule notes section at the bottom, where I explain what's weird and how to take advantage of it.
As always, the players in this article must be rostered in less than two-thirds of CBS leagues. Players are listed in the order that I recommend adding them, assuming they are equally good fits for your team.
A couple of players this week are top targets worthy of blurbs, but the blurbs would be nearly identical to what I wrote about the player over the last two weeks. I've listed those players below in the order I'd prioritize them, but to keep this article focused on helpful new analysis, I'm just linking to the week where I dove deeper on those players.
Adds for all leagues
Naji Marshall, Pelicans (59% rostered)
I was skeptical of Marshall at first, burying him in last week's other recommendations section. Sorry about that. He's crushing it right now, making the most of extra minutes and touches while Zion Williamson (hamstring) is out. Williamson has missed the last five games and is expected to remain sidelined for at least the next two weeks. Marshall has started all five of Williamson's absences, averaging 20-6-3 with 1.4 steals and 1.8 3s in 35.0 minutes. It's probably too late in most competitive leagues, but this is a run-don't-walk situation if Marshall is still available for you.
Jonathan Isaac, Magic (32% rostered)
Isaac hasn't seen NBA action since The Bubble at the end of the 2019-20 season. He was a dominant Fantasy force, finishing that season inside the top-20 per game on the strength of elite defensive production. But that was 29 months ago, before an ACL tear, a hamstring surgery, and possibly the weirdest and least transparent return-to-play saga since Kawhi Leonard was a Spur.
Now Isaac appears to be on the brink of returning. He's playing two games in the G League this week, and the implication is that he'll upgrade to NBA action soon thereafter. We don't yet know if all the surgeries and time off have undermined Isaac's athleticism, which is a fundamental question for a player whose Fantasy value was tied up in defensive production. Furthermore, the Magic frontcourt is much more crowded now than it was three seasons ago. Back then, Isaac played as many minutes as the training staff allowed. Now he'll have to compete for minutes with Wendell Carter, Bol Bol, and Mo Wagner, not to mention Franz Wagner and Paolo Banchero are locked in for a combined 66 minutes per night at the two forward spots.
There are many ways this could go poorly, but the upside here is too high to ignore. I'd add Isaac to any roster that can tolerate a couple of weeks of potentially low performance.
Jalen Williams, Thunder (67% rostered)
T.J. McConnell (23% rostered) and Andrew Nembhard (41% rostered), Pacers
Tyrese Haliburton (knee, elbow) is out for at least two weeks. His 10.2 assists have him sitting at second in the NBA per game, also averaging 20.2 points in 33.4 minutes. His absence will create a massive hole in the Pacers' rotation, and both McConnell and Nembhard stand to benefit. Haliburton has missed two games so far this season, and McConnell was also out for both. Nembhard put up 16-6-8 and 31-8-13 (!) in those two. Nembhard's production over the next two weeks is unlikely to be quite that good, but he can be a solid source of points and assists. McConnell's game is less well-rounded, but he excels in one of Fantasy's scarcest stats – assists. McConnell is already averaging 8.9 assists per 36 minutes this season, despite sharing the court with Haliburton 21% of the time. With Haliburton out, McConnell's assist rate could get even higher than that.
T.J. Warren, Nets (46% rostered)
Cameron Johnson, Suns (61% rostered)
I cannot believe he still has yet to return. He was supposed to return weeks ago. He's gotta return soon, right? Please return soon.
Dennis Schroder, Lakers (57% rostered)
I couldn't throw Dennis Schroder particularly far. People are not shaped for easy throwing, and Schroder is much larger and heavier than me. Also, if I got close enough to try to throw him, security would intervene. All this preamble is because I want you to understand precisely what I mean when I say I don't trust Schroder as far as I can throw him. But the Lakers' current injury list is getting CVS-receipt long, leading to 36.8 minutes per game for Schroder over the last five. He was previously averaging 28.8 MPG as a starter. He's making the most of the extra time, putting up 22-3-3 during this run. As L.A. gets healthier, I expect the minutes and the production to return to normal "meh fine for a deep league" levels, but for now, Schroder needs to be on rosters.
Kyle Anderson, Timberwolves (38% rostered)
Anderson put up a tidy 10-4-5 with 1.5 steals over his last five starts, though he was sidelined Wednesday due to illness. He's likely to return soon, and as long as Karl-Anthony Towns (calf) remains out, Anderson looks like a solid start and a high-priority pickup for teams punting points. The last update on Towns came last week when The Athletic reported that he remains "weeks away."
Duane Washington, Suns (11% rostered)
How long will Chris Paul (hip) remain out? Will he come back this weekend? Or in April? The Suns are obnoxiously giving us no information other than that he will miss his fourth straight game on Friday. As long as he remains out, Washington looks like a solid play. Paul was injured early last Friday, so he's functionally missed four games. Washington is averaging 17-1-5 with 3.0 3s in those four games, and he's started the last two. Washington is also benefiting from the injuries to Devin Booker (groin), Landry Shamet (hip) and Cameron Payne (foot). Washington's value can survive the return of one of those, and with Booker out for at least two more weeks and Payne out for at least one, Washington's value remains most closely linked to the status of Paul.
Other recommendations: Jalen McDaniels, Hornets (47% rostered); Daniel Gafford, Wizards (35% rostered); Quentin Grimes, Knicks (57% rostered); Victor Oladipo, Heat (62% rostered); Seth Curry, Nets (20% rostered); Josh Richardson, Spurs (30% rostered); Torrey Craig, Suns (16% rostered); Alec Burks, Pistons (29% rostered); Terance Mann, Clippers (10% rostered); Max Strus, Heat (48% rostered); Royce O'Neale, Nets (60% rostered); Zach Collins, Spurs (29% rostered);
Week 14 is weird. Though the total number of games and their distribution throughout the week are both average, there is massive variation from team to team.
The Bulls play the Pistons in France on Thursday, meaning both teams have a one-game week. This is the only time all season that any team has a one-game week. The game starts at 3pm EST, so set your lineups early.
On the other extreme, the Raptors have a 5-game week. It's just the second and final five-game week for any team this season.
The Magic and Spurs play only two games. The Magic's pair is a Friday-Saturday back-to-back, which we'll discuss below.
There are 11 teams with three games and 14 teams with four. That means that, overall, half the league plays fewer than 3.5 games, and half the league plays more.
Day to day, there are two small slates, while the rest of the week sees between seven and nine games. Tuesday has four games, while Thursday has five (including the 3pm EST France game).
Daily lineups leagues
The balanced daily schedule means managers should have no difficulty fitting waiver pickups into their lineups.
Teams that play Tuesday or Thursday are a bit more valuable, but that advantage is muted compared to small slates in a more imbalanced week. The Raptors (5 games), Nets (4), 76ers (3), and Trail Blazers (3) play on both short slates.
If you have an extra pickup to use late in Week 13, the Warriors, Rockets, Lakers, and Knicks each play a Sunday-Monday back-to-back. Of those, the Warriors, Lakers, and Knicks have four games in Week 14.
The Raptors and Timberwolves are the only teams to start the week with a three-games-in-four-nights set (3-in-4). The Nets, Warriors, Suns, and Raptors all end the week with a 3-in-4.
If you are considering adding a member of the Magic, you should probably add someone else for the first half of the week (especially if you can add someone with an early week 3-in-4) and wait until Thursday night or Friday morning to pick up your desired Magician.
Weekly lineup leagues
There's nothing complicated about pointing out that managers should target the Raptors' five-game week and avoid the Bulls and Pistons with their lone game. It's obvious but still needs to be said.
Other things are less obvious.
With half the league playing fewer than 3.5 games, I'd typically advise that the Magic's and Spurs' two-game weeks are not that harmful. Sure, more games are better, but two games from Josh Richardson or Zach Collins might reasonably be more valuable than three- or four-game weeks from several of the "other recommendations" listed above. There are enough teams with light weeks that a two-game week isn't necessarily a problem.
That said, I'd be very cautious with non-stars on the Magic this week, which is basically their entire roster. The fact that their only two games are a late-week back-to-back is concerning. When we set our lineups, we will have no helpful health information. So far this season, Terrence Ross has been the only Magician to sit out half of back-to-backs (excluding players who just returned from injuries), but that doesn't necessarily mean we can safely pencil everyone else in for both games. And, of course, there is plenty of evidence that players perform worse on the second night of a back-to-back, especially players with more prominent roles (and, therefore, more Fantasy relevance). I'd treat Orlando players as barely better than the Bulls or Pistons this week.
On the attractive end of the scheduling spectrum, several teams have four games without any back-to-backs: the Lakers, Grizzlies, Heat, Pelicans, and Knicks. The Nuggets have a Tuesday-Wednesday back-to-back, but they also play all four of their Week 14 games at home. The Mavericks play only three games, but all are at home, and they also have no back-to-backs. All of these teams are worth targeting.