The NBA is a fast-paced league where trends can switch as quickly as a lightbulb. Keeping up to date with these trends is vital to your success in fantasy basketball. We’ll be looking at the expected top performers, sneaky options, injuries updates, rookie trends, individual team schedules, and some other points for the Eastern Conference. The key to winning this week? Look no further than this article. We here at Nerd Fantasy Sports got you covered.
Expected Top Performers
Domantas Sabonis, PF/C, Indiana Pacers
Sabonis has been on an absolute tear to start the season. In his fifth season, Sabonis is averaging 21.6 points, 12.6 rebounds, and 6.1 assists per game. He is also shooting a monster 42.9% from deep. After being a key member of the Paul George trade that shipped off PG to Oklahoma City, Sabonis has taken significant steps to improve his game every season. Now, he has finally cracked the superstar barrier as he should be an All-Star starter, granted, as long as he keeps up this play. He has now become the future face of the franchise as he’s only 24 years old. He is also one of the top players in terms of fantasy.
Andre Drummond, C, Cleveland Cavaliers
Drummond has always been labeled as a player to be dominant in fantasy basketball because of his automatic double-double scoring and high shooting percentage from the floor. That label continues into this season as he’s had another strong start in his first full season in Cleveland. Drummond is currently averaging 17.9 points, 15.2 rebounds, 1.7 steals, and 1.5 blocks per game. He is also chasing his fourth straight league-leading rebounding title, a lost art considering he hasn’t been an All-Star since 2018. For being in his eighth season in the league, this is something we should expect all season from Drummond.
Julius Randle, PF/C, New York Knicks
Randle has taken a huge step forward in his sixth season in the league and second with the New York Knicks. Through nine games, Randle has averaged 22.6 points, 12 rebounds, and 7.3 assists per game. New York has had many things going for them, but Randle may be someone they choose to build around (or trade for zero reasons) for the future. Randle is still only 26 years old and has plenty of room to develop and become more consistent with his play. It’ll be fascinating what the Knicks front office chooses to do with their seemingly crowded backcourt. Nonetheless, Randle is looking to become an All-Star for the first time in his career.
Wendell Carter Jr., C, Chicago Bulls
The third-year big man is off to another solid start. Despite being a top pick, he hasn’t completely lived up to expectations, but he has been a strong contributor to the team as a traditional big scoring in the paint and securing rebounds. He is currently averaging 12.9 points and 8.1 rebounds per game. He is still only 21 years old, so there is plenty of time for Carter to grow into a much more productive role in Chicago. But for now, expect Carter to be a nightly double-double threat for the franchise with still plenty of room to evolve into a possible star in the league.
PJ Washington, PF/C, Charlotte Hornets
Washington is coming into his second season in the league with expectations to become the predominant starting power forward for the Hornets. However, we haven’t seen much growth out of Washington yet. Not to say his numbers are bad because he is still having a solid second season. He is currently averaging 11.8 points, 6.2 rebounds, 1.1 steals, and 1.5 blocks per game. Most of these numbers are very similar compared to his rookie season. But he has improved a lot defensively and that shows in his stats, after averaging 0.9 steals and 0.8 blocks per game in his rookie year. Look to see if Washington takes any sort of step forward in future games.
Larry Nance Jr., PF/C, Cleveland Cavaliers
Nance has been a solid all-around contributor for both the Los Angeles Lakers and Cavaliers. The start to this season has likely been one of his most complete starts thus far. He is currently averaging 10.3 points, 5.8 rebounds, 4.4 assists, and a league-leading 2.6 steals per game. With Kevin Love out due to injury, expect Nance to be the starting power forward moving forward for the Cavaliers. This will be Nance’s first test on how productive he can be for Cleveland moving forward.
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