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Western Conference Fantasy Basketball Notes: Week 8

We have the Western Conference information for your fantasy basketball needs! Check out what’s going down for Week 8!

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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 Western Conference. The key to winning this week? Look no further than this article. We here at Nerd Fantasy Sports got you covered.

Sleepers to Wake Up

Josh Richardson, SG, Dallas Mavericks
Richardson has been a significant player in his first season with Dallas. Josh did miss ten games due to COVID-19 contact tracing, and had a slow start in his return, but after two games he came back and better than ever. He currently averages 12.5 points, three rebounds, and two assists per game. In his most recent performance, Richardson scored 17 points, one steal, one assist, and two rebounds, helping Dallas beat the Golden State Warriors. The chemistry between Richardson and Luka Doncic is obvious, with flashy passes and alley-oops, most notably when Josh Richardson turned a missed Doncic shot into an easy dunk against the Phoenix Suns. The duo seems to be content with each other’s presence, proving it’s working out for the Mavericks, after trading away Seth Curry for Josh and the draft rights to Tyler Bey. Now that Josh Richardson seems to be back for good, he will be a solid pickup (or someone to try to trade for) in your league.

Talen Horton-Tucker, SG, Los Angeles Lakers
In his second NBA season, Talen Horton-Tucker has seen a lot of playing time. Just last year, he only played six games, and now he’s played 20, averaging 16.6 minutes per game. The Lakers have gotten a lot less production from their other shooting guard, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, as he scored just four points, five rebounds, three assists, one steal, and one block in 42 minutes of playing time recently versus the Detroit Pistons. Meanwhile, Horton-Tucker scored ten points, two rebounds, four assists, and one steal in just half of Kentavious’ time. On the season, Horton-Tucker averages 7.4 points, 2.6 rebounds, and 1.8 assists per game, which are solid numbers when averaging only 16.6 minutes per game. THT has created a special connection with LeBron James, both on and off the court. On the court, there are the long passes, the quick passes, and correcting mistakes. Off the court, LeBron plays the role of the teacher, while Talen is the student. LeBron even commended Talen for his mindset. “He just listens, he’s a sponge. Whatever you say to him, he’s going to apply it. He’s going to accept it first, then he’s going to apply it right away. There’s not that many young guys that can take something on the fly and then make it happen the very next play.” As he spends more time on the court, Talen Horton-Tucker will become another big piece in the Lakers attempt at a repeat.

Royce O’Neale, PF, Utah Jazz
O’Neale has been very consistent this season, especially in terms of “balancing out” his stats. Let me explain it more in depth: Royce O’Neale currently averages eight points and 6.8 rebounds per game (as well as 2.3 assists, 0.6 blocks, and 0.7 steals per game, but those don’t contribute much to the bottom line). The reason for this is when he plays a game with few to no points, he has a ton of rebounds, and vice versa. For example, in Utah’s game against the Atlanta Hawks, he only scored two points, but grabbed 10 boards, while he had six rebounds (which is decent), and scored 20 points in their win against the New York Knicks. Royce also has games where the stats even out, when he scored 12 points and 13 rebounds in the most recent match-up against the Detroit Pistons. O’Neale has proved to be an important part of the squad, and can do what he needs to do to help his team win, whether that may be to score 20 points, or rebound 13 balls. Obviously, these stats will help you win your fantasy match-ups too.

Rookies Doing Work

Josh Green, SG, Dallas Mavericks
The first round pick out of Arizona showed promise in the little time that he’s played. His best performance came against the Indiana Pacers, when he scored eight points and grabbed six rebounds with 23 minutes of playing time. He also scored a decent seven points and one rebound in just nine minutes of playing time against the Jazz. Overall, he averages 2.5 points, 2.3 rebounds, and 0.6 assists per game, in 12.5 minutes per game. Hopefully, we can see more from the young rookie, though he likely won’t spend much time on the court until either next season, or a few key injuries occur. But for the time being, keep an eye out for Josh Green, as he may become an important rotation player for Dallas next season, and may help in very deep leagues this season.

Devin Vassell, SG, San Antonio Spurs
Although San Antonio currently possesses a decent amount of depth at the shooting guard position (or at guard overall for that matter), Vassell has a lot of potential to rise within the ranks. He shoots an impressive 38.9% (221-54) from three, and averages 5.6 points, 3.3 rebounds, 1.2 steals, and 1.1 assists per game. This is all with no starts in 17.6 minutes per game. If the Spurs can give Vassell the blessing of playing time, they may find out that he’s one of the best shooters from the draft. Keep an eye for this potential filled-athlete, as Devin Vassell could prove himself to be a solid sixth man.

Question of the Week

What is the most important position in basketball to help win games?
The shooting guard position was definitely the most mentioned in this week’s article. But do they really help win games more than any other position? I would argue that a good point guard probably couldn’t carry a team to the Finals. Pair that point guard with a big man or a forward that’s great, and now we’re talking. It’s been proven that teams with a good big man tend to win the Finals more often in recent years. Your Shaqs, Yao Mings, and Dirk Nowitzkis are often more useful than your Steph Currys, James Hardens, and Steve Nashes. So if you were to ask me, I’d say that a big man or power forward is the position that helps win the most games if they’re good.

Why stay up all night studying? Let the NERDS do your homework for you!

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