It’s NBA season, which means it’s time to set your fantasy rosters. In this weekly series, I will be your guide, informing you and giving you advice on sleepers flying under the radar as well as who will perform well in the week.
As a journalist, I believe transparency is essential to fantasy teams, so I will keep the student body updated on my own success this season with my team ‘Thon “The Cake” Maker.’ I will be taking everything I’ve learned in my six years of fantasy experience to prove why you should make certain moves.
Help for a week or a winning-streak
Players in this category can always become long-lasting members of your team, but they don’t need to be. What’s most important is that this trio of potential free agents can at least make a difference at the end of your roster for a short period of time, so don’t be afraid to pick them up.
Daniel Theis, C, Boston Celtics
Big men are a group in fantasy basketball that always offer solid production despite the talent discrepancies between the field. Theis is by no means a hot commodity, but he’s averaging over 20 minutes for a Celtics team that focuses on its perimeter play. That lack of cache is why he’s only owned by 1.4% of fantasy owners. Most fantasy owners are ignoring the fact that he’s averaging 13 fantasy points per game, and more importantly coming off a four-game stretch where he racked up a total of 78 fantasy points. This is a well-rounded, modern-day big man who can grab rebounds and score from anywhere on the basketball court. With players like Kemba Walker and Jayson Tatum on the team, Theis’ minutes consist of high-quality shot opportunities while sharing the floor with potent offensive weapons.
Moritz Wagner, PF, Washington Wizards
The Wizards’ big man is currently averaging 17 fantasy points, reminding owners what made him a star at Michigan. He’s been consistently using his high motor to grab rebounds and make smart plays on offense. Wagner’s versatility on the offensive side helps the Wizards in pick-and-roll situations, while able to bang in the paint or knockdown. Every now and then he flashes high-quality role-player potential, like against the Timberwolves on Nov. 15 when he scored 30 points and notched 15 rebounds. Wagner has shown himself to be a useful piece for the struggling Wizards and he can also make an impact on your fantasy team.
Malik Monk, SG, Charlotte Hornets
Since his college days at Kentucky, Monk has been a scoring guard whose ceiling is high and as it stands now the man is heating up. Over a four-game stretch, Monk has averaged 21.5 fantasy points per game, but what makes this seem sustainable is the fact that it is not just his scoring. Monk’s game has become more well-rounded, as he averages six rebounds and over three assists over that same stretch. His play may prove that he’s turned over a new leaf and worth a pick up for teams struggling with their current guard rotation. Monk’s tear may have easily been a streak of lucky performances, but if that were to be the case, you can at least expect a couple of solid performances for at least a week.
Believe the hype or take a hike
Fantasy owners are always hungry to find the next best deal but need to stay up to date about when they should get rid of their broken goods. In this section, you will find out which players are worth the hype and which players should take a hike.
Andrew Wiggins, SG/SF, Minnesota Timberwolves
What a time for reformed number one overall picks! Two weeks ago I mentioned Derrick Rose, and how I believed he’s back to being an impact fantasy player, which is the same sentiment I share with Wiggins. After looking passionless during the early-goings of his career, Wiggins has bounced back with a smile on his face, and is no longer the inefficient black hole that plagued the Timberwolves roster. This season, Wiggins has been averaging 26.3 fantasy points, and although I do believe his game will regress a little, that still doesn’t change the fact that he can really help any fantasy team in need.
Take a hike!
Ricky Rubio, PG, Phoenix Suns
The most well-groomed point guard in the league has been a walking double-double his whole career, but this season in Phoenix, Rubio has seemed to find a system that really allows him to excel. The issue here is that his current play does not seem sustainable while averaging 24 fantasy points in November. Rubio’s play will come back to Earth the same way I think the entire team will. The Phoenix Suns have been playing like one of the best teams in the Western Conference this season, but after years of them being the laughing-stock of the Association, I just can’t see them keeping staying consistent. The team has improved immensely and may contend for a playoff spot as they currently sit at the fifth seed with a 7-4 record, ahead of the Clipper and Mavericks. Rubio and his team have become a nice story, but for fantasy owners, just know that this does not always translate into fantasy production.
Here are some sleepers you should look at each week if you’re in need of a last-minute roster change.
PG: Markelle Fultz, Orlando Magic (TOR, IND)
SG: Nicolas Batum, Charlotte Hornets (TOR, BKN, WAS, CHI)
SF: Dillon Brooks, Memphis Grizzlies (GSW, LAL)
PF: Noah Vonleh, Minnesota Timberwolves (UTAH, UTAH, PHO)
C: JaVale McGee, Los Angeles Lakers (OKC, OKC, MEM)
UTIL: Derrick White, San Antonio Spurs (DAL, WSH, PHI, NYW)
UTIL: Darius Garland, Cleveland Cavaliers (ORL, NYK, MEM, BOS)