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.
Norman Powell, SG/SF, Toronto Raptors
Powell is a player that can elevate your fantasy team just because of how versatile he is. Powell is coming off a string of four games where he averaged 25 fantasy points but followed it up with an egg against the Philadelphia 76ers on Dec. 8. Despite that recent letdown, there is still plenty of reason to believe in the Raptors’ wing. This recent dud was a game when he played against opposing wings like Ben Simmons and Josh Richardson, a deadly defensive duo that overpowered Powell. Luckily for him, the Sixers are outliers in this sense, leaving plenty of room for optimism to pick back up his hot-streak. Powell has doubled his percentage owned from 6% to 12% in a week’s span.
Jakob Poetl, C, San Antonio Spurs
The fact that Poetl is only owned by 5.4% of fantasy teams is a travesty. The big man has impressed this season, averaging 13 fantasy points with that number likely to increase. Over the course of the last week, Poetl has seen an increase in game-time, having jumped from 18 to 28 minutes per game. As a result, the center is averaging 21 fantasy points this month With a plethora of points, rebounds and blocks to his name, Poetl is making himself a great candidate for the end of your bench.
De’Anthony Melton, PG, Memphis Grizzlies
Opportunity is everything and with starter Ja Morant still sidelined, Melton has made the most of his extra playing time. Since the increased role, the guard has been averaging 19.5 fantasy points per game coming off the bench. This is encouraging for those looking for depth at the point guard in the short term. With Morant likely to come back in the near future, it may be worth giving Melton a flier if you need a wild card in the short term.
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.
Aaron Gordon, PF, Orlando Magic
After an up-and-down start to the season, Gordon has started to pick things up following teammate Al-Farouq Aminu’s torn meniscus. Since the injury, Gordon has been averaging 26 fantasy points per game, a major increase from his average of nearly 18. Without any significant increase in his minutes, Gordon instead making the most of his opportunities by working as more of a focal point in the offense. Whether Gordon can continue averaging this high amount of fantasy points remains to be seen, but with a significant change to the team, it’s very likely that head coach Steve Clifford will lean more on the forward for the rest of the season.
Take a hike!
Dennis Schroder, PG, Oklahoma City Thunder
The Thunder has a logjam at the point guard position and Schroder is the player who holds the least amount of value. This team’s priority is Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, as he is its promising point guard of the future. Chris Paul is an all-star point guard that deserves to play for whatever team he is on and needs the requisite value for a possible trade. Schroder has been averaging nearly 18 points this season, which is a steady number to be at but isn’t something the guard can keep up consistently. Now is the time to package Schroder in a trade for a more valuable piece for the foreseeable future.
Here are some sleepers you should look at each week if you’re in need of a last-minute roster change.
PG: Patty Mills, San Antonio Spurs (CLE, PHX, HOU)
SG: Kent Bazemore, Portland Trailblazers (NYK, DEN, PHX)
SF: Garrett Temple, Brooklyn Nets (CHA, TOR, PHI)
PF: Taurean Prince, Brooklyn Nets (CHA, TOR, PHI)
C: Alex Len, Atlanta Hawks (MIA, CHI, IND, LAL)
UTIL: Kevin Huerter, Atlanta Hawks (MIA, CHI, IND, LAL)
UTIL: Jeff Green, Utah Jazz (OKC, MIN, GSW)