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The Playlist: Week 23 fantasy basketball waiver wire pickups and lineup advice for the championship

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

Below, 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 to capture the fantasy basketball crown!

I'm Ready - The Diplomats

🏀 Week 22 wrap up

  • Jalen Brunson finished second in per-game value — a 61-point outing will do that!

  • Joel Embiid (knee) is eyeing a return in Week 23

  • The first 40-point, 20-rebound game since Dec. '22, thanks Wemby.

  • The Rockets are playing in another stratosphere, finishing March with a league-best 13-2 record.

  • Donte DiVincenzo hit new peaks, setting a Knicks franchise record by knocking down 11 three-pointers against the Pistons.

  • Luka Dončić has more tricks than Criss Angel and David Blaine:

🏆 Top performers

Luka Dončić was the top scorer in points formats for Week 22, scoring 247.8 fantasy points across four games.

Victor Wembanyama took the top spot in nine-category formats, finishing the week with a dominant and efficient stat line (minus the turnovers).

🗓️Schedule things you need to know

  • The best days to stream are Monday, Thursday and Saturday.

  • Hawks have the ideal schedule, playing four games with three games on the lightest slates.

  • Stream players from the Sixers later in the week because they play three games in four nights to close Week 23 (Thursday, Saturday and Sunday).

  • The Nuggets are also a favorable team to target, as two of their three games are on Thursday and Saturday.

🎧 WHO'S IN MY ROTATION: Players to pick up on waivers who are less than 50% rostered in Yahoo leagues.

If a fantasy manager dropped a notable player in haste last week, I'd prioritize picking them up over some of the deeper-league adds listed below. Each team and league is different, so evaluate the best move to improve your roster this week.

Shallow league streamers for Week 23

Miles McBride - PG, New York Knicks (44%)

The Knicks shipping Immanuel Quickley and RJ Barrett to Toronto opened the door for McBride, and he's been taking full advantage despite being one of the youngest players on the team. The third-year pro is on a tear and playing Josh Hart-like minutes. He's been great in any format, averaging an efficient 19/3/4 line with two steals per game over the past 14 days.

Thanks to hitting four threes a night with minimal turnovers, McBride has been a top-20 player in nine-category leagues the past couple of weeks, so add Deuce if he's still floating in your (waiver) pool.

Fountain of Youth - Stalley, Rick Ross and Nipsey Hussle

Marvin Bagley III - PF/C, Washington Wizards (45%)

Richaun Holmes is unsurprisingly hurt and, with Kyle Kuzma sitting out random games, Bagley could have a sizable workload during championship week.

Bagley has recorded consecutive double-doubles, hit double figures in five straight and had at least one stock in four of his last five contests. With four games left, he shouldn't be available.

Malik Beasley - SG/SF, Milwaukee Bucks (43%)

A back-to-back set on Tuesday and Wednesday against the Wizards and Grizzlies stands out as a strong play for Bucks role players. Beasley's been streaky but has 20-point potential, accompanied by a barrage of three-pointers.

He remains a decent streaming option if you want a bucket in points or category formats.

Deep league streamers for Week 23

Vasilije Micić - PG, Charlotte Hornets (29%)

With LaMelo Ball officially done for the year, Micić is a player you'll want to roster this week. He's playing a ton of minutes and had his best month as a pro in March, posting a solid 14 points with six assists, two rebounds, one three and a steal with 49/33/89 shooting splits.

The Hornets play four games, and while three of them are against tough competition (Celtics, Magic, and Thunder), no one threaćens Micic's role down the stretch.

Reggie Jackson- PG, Denver Nuggets (13%)

The Nuggets clinched a playoff berth and are still hunting for the top seed in the West. However, as the reigning champs, being healthy for the playoffs is paramount. Jamal Murray has missed four straight games, and even though he was questionable on Sunday, Nuggets HC Mike Malone deemed him "very doubtful." So, if that remains the case, I'd put him in the "no timetable for his return" category and thus add Reggie Jackson where possible.

The Nuggets play four games, but two are on the lighter Thursday and Saturday slates. Without Murray in the lineup, Jackson is averaging 16 points with 5.5 assists and nearly three rebounds with 50/44/77 shooting splits. I'll take it, and you should too, later in the week.

DENiM (feat. Joey Bada$$)- IDK

Trendon Watford - PF, Brooklyn Nets (2%)

The third-year pro finished Week 22 97th in per-game value in nine-category formats after averaging 14.3 points, 5.8 rebounds, 2.0 assists, 1.5 threes and 1.5 stocks in 24 minutes a night.

Interim HC Kevin Ollie has been quite complimentary of the LSU alum, and Watford is in a good position to showcase his versatility and hustle down the stretch. The Nets are falling further from the Play-In race as well (down by 5.5 games).

Everyday Hustle (feat. Rick Ross) - Future & Metro Boomin

Kyle Lowry - PG, Philadelphia 76ers (25%)

The Sixers continue to slip down the standings and are two games out of sixth place in the Eastern Conference. Needless to say, they need a strong finish to avoid a Play-In game. With Tyrese Maxey dealing with a hip injury, I expect Lowry to step up more.

He's played over 32 minutes in the past two games and posted good numbers. I'd add Lowry late in the week to scoop up a couple of games with one transaction because, like Philly, the Nuggets play on Thursday and Saturday.

Keon Ellis - SG, Sacramento Kings (33%)

The Kings are down Kevin Huerter and Malik Monk, so Ellis will have even more opportunity in the final week of the fantasy season. He's a beast defensively and has shown flashes of being a threat from beyond the arc.

Ellis has provided 10th-round value in nine-category formats over the past week, and that should improve with the Kings down some critical assets in the backcourt.

Other streaming options in Week 22:

  • Max Strus - SG/SF, Cleveland Cavaliers (46%)

  • Sam Hauser - SF/PF, Boston Celtics (21%)

  • Cory Kispert - SG/SF, Washington Wizards (32%)

  • T.J. McConnell - PG/SG, Indiana Pacers (25%)

  • Precious Achiuwa - C, New York Knicks (31%)

  • Brice Sensabaugh - SF, Utah Jazz (2%)

  • Cam Whitmore - SF, Houston Rockets (8%)

  • Bruno Fernando - C, Atlanta Hawks (10%)

🚑 Players to drop if you haven't already

  • Trae Young

  • Scottie Barnes

  • Lauri Markkanen

  • Alperen Sengun

  • Julius Randle

  • Brandon Ingram

  • Jerami Grant

  • Malik Monk

  • Malcolm Brogdon

  • Tyler Herro

  • OG Anunoby

  • Onyeka Okongwu

  • Jeremy Sochan

  • Tyus Jones

  • Vince Willams Jr.


Schedule breakdown

Daily Games Played:

  • Monday: 6

  • Tuesday: 9

  • Wednesday: 9

  • Thursday: 5

  • Friday: 12

  • Saturday: 4

  • Sunday: 13

Teams playing four games: ATL, BOS, BKN, CHO, CLE, DAL, DET, GSW, HOU, IND, LAC, LAL, MEM, MIA, MIL, MIN, NOR, NYK, OKC, ORL, PHI, PHO, POR, SAC, TOR, WAS

[It's not too late: Join or create a Yahoo Fantasy Baseball league for the 2024 MLB season]

Teams playing three games: CHI, DEN, SAS, UTA

Teams with back-to-backs:

  • Monday/Tuesday: None

  • Tuesday/Wednesday: Bucks, Cavaliers, Lakers, Raptors, Thunder, Timberwolves and Wizards

  • Wednesday/Thursday: Hawks

  • Thursday/Friday: Clippers, Heat, Kings, Knicks, Mavericks, Rockets and Warriors

  • Friday/Saturday: Grizzlies and Pistons

  • Saturday/Sunday: Cavaliers, Lakers, Nets and Sixers