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. Check both our Consistency Rankings and New Age Rankings to get a data-driven take on fantasy basketball!
Sleepers to Wake Up
Markieff Morris, PF, Los Angeles Lakers
After a slow start to the season, Markieff Morris is finally making an impact in LA. It’s safe to say Markieff is only getting his minutes due to the recent injuries of Lebron James and Anthony Davis. Regardless, he’s shown up when he is needed, and has proven himself to become a solid starter without AD and Lebron, and reliable backup in their return. Since Davis’ injury, Morris averages 9.9 points and 6.6 rebounds per game in an attempt to fill the void the big man left. Since Lebron’s injury, he averages 11.5 points and 6.5 rebounds per game. With an impressive 11 points double-double of 12 rebounds, one block, and one steal, Markieff is an excellent fantasy pickup. Plus, he’s only rostered 4.1% in ESPN fantasy, so Morris is probably available in your league. Markieff Morris is a good temporary fantasy forward, as his numbers will likely decrease after the return of Anthony Davis and Lebron James.
DJ Augustin, PG, Houston Rockets
Following an ok first half of the season in Milwaukee, DJ Augustin finds himself on a depressing Houston team. However, since his arrival, DJ averages 10.3 points, 2.3 rebounds, and 4.3 assists per game, while shooting 38 percent from outside the arc. Plus, he has made all 12 of his free throws as a Rocket. In Houston’s recent win against the Timberwolves, Nacho Libre scored an impressive 20 points, three rebounds, and four assists in just 24 minutes. If he can keep this up, Augustin could take over John Wall’s starting spot. Rostered just 1.3% in ESPN fantasy, DJ Augustin is almost guaranteed to be available in you league. Fantasy managers should look to pick him up, if they’re looking for some depth at point guard.
Jalen Brunson, PG, Dallas Mavericks
The Dallas Mavericks have seen tremendous improvement from point guard Jalen Brunson in his third season. He averages 12.5 points, 3.5 rebounds, 3.3 assists, and enjoys a solid 17.87 PER. Jalen has put up some impressive numbers recently, most notably a 16 point double-double of 11 rebounds, five assists, and one steal against Minnesota, and 24 points, two rebounds, and four assists in Dallas’ loss to the Pelicans. Brunson has also developed some chemistry with his teammates, as he provides flashy assists in abundance. In the case that (God forbid) Luka Doncic suffers an injury, there’s no doubt that Brunson will be able to step up to the plate, and help Dallas win some games. Even if that doesn’t happen, the 24 year old is still a reliable bench player who, when is given the minutes he needs, can have big, impactful games. If available in your league, Jalen Brunson is a consistent point guard to add to your roster.
Rookies Doing Work
Jae’Sean Tate, SF, Houston Rockets
Jae’Sean Tate has been just the spark the Rockets have been looking for, but unfortunately it’s too little too late. Despite a not-so-impressive average of 10.6 points, 5.5 rebounds, 1.8 assists, and 1.1 steals, that accounts for earlier this season, when James Harden was still in Houston, dominating the scoresheet. However, this week especially, Jae’Sean’s performances have helped Houston lose games by less points, as scored 24 points, seven rebounds, and one assist against Memphis. At this point, Jae’Sean Tate isn’t just a rookie to watch for anymore: He’s a reliable fantasy asset, and it may be a good player to bring him to your team.
Josh Hall, SF, Oklahoma City Thunder
The undrafted rookie out of Moravian is finally getting his minutes: And the Thunder like what they see, as Josh hall scored four points, five rebounds, and one assist in his first 20 minute game. In OKC’s loss against the Mavericks, Hall put up ten points, one rebound, and one assist. Although these numbers are quite small, the Thunder may look to give the rookie some more playing time, since their playoff chances are basically out the window. Keep an eye on the potential-filled Josh Hall.
Question of the Week
Aaron Gordon is indeed the missing piece for the Nuggets (get it?) that helps them transition from a playoff contender to a Finals contender. With Nikola Jokic already leading the race for MVP, Jamal Murray averaging more than 21 points per game, and now an elite scorer in Gordon joining the team, the Denver Nuggets are now the Western Conference team to beat. I’m excited to see how far the Nuggets will go, since last year they shocked us all and made it to the Western Conference Finals. The sky’s the limit!