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, injury 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. Check both our Consistency Rankings and New Age Rankings to get a data-driven take on fantasy basketball!
Sleepers to Wake Up
OG Anunoby, SF/PF, Toronto Raptors
OG Anunoby seems to finally be healthy again after missing time with multiple injuries over the last couple of months, including some time on the COVID-19 list. He played two recent games against the New York teams and performed extremely well. Between those two games, he averaged 26 points, four rebounds, and a block and a steal. He also shot 56 percent from the field and 50 percent from beyond the arc. If he can keep this play consistent, he should be a major boost to help the Raptors make a push for the play-in tournament.
Coby White, PG/SG, Chicago Bulls
While Coby White has struggled to keep his offense consistent over his first two seasons in the NBA, he has come to a high point towards the end of this one. In his last five games, he has averaged 18 points, three rebounds, six assists, and a steal per game. He has also shot 48 percent from the field and 48 percent from three. While those percentages may not seem extremely high, those are much better than the averages he has maintained his first two seasons. The Bulls currently hold the 11th seed in the East and Coby White’s play will be extremely important whether the Bulls will be able to compete for a spot in the playoffs.
TJ McConnell, PG, Indiana Pacers
TJ McConnell could be in line to earn a solid contract after putting up excellent numbers over the last season as the backup point guard for the Indiana Pacers. His last five games have also been very productive. He has averaged nine points, three rebounds, eight assists, and 1.6 steals per game. He has also been shooting 51 percent from the field and 40 percent from three in those same games. McConnell may potentially be available in some smaller formatted leagues. If so, he is a quality addition for playoff implications while he continues to produce well.
Rookies Doing Work
Killian Hayes, PG, Detroit Pistons
After dealing with a major hip injury, Killian Hayes has returned and is starting to show promise for what was originally hoped for when he was drafted. He isn’t in the lineup every game, but when he plays in his limited minutes, he is impactful. He’s also making progress nonetheless. In his last five games, Hayes has averaged eight points, six assists, and 1.4 steals per game. His percentages haven’t been the brightest, but that’s understandable considering he is a rookie. Hayes may not hold any fantasy value this late in the season, but he should be a quality sleeper target for next season’s drafts.
Payton Pritchard, PG, Boston Celtics
Despite being a late first-round draft pick, Payton Pritchard has defied the odds and has been playing some productive basketball even in a backup role. In his last five games, Pritchard has averaged 12 points, two rebounds, and two assists a game. But his most impressive stats are his percentages from the field, which have been both above 50 percent. He could be in line to have a quality role off the bench next season for the Celtics if they choose to trade away someone or someone walks in free agency. But for now, Pritchard looks to line up as a quality steal in the draft for the Boston Celtics who have continuously drafted impactful talent.
Question of the Week
Are the Washington Wizards legitimate enough to make the playoffs?
The Wizards currently hold the tenth seed and if they maintain that the rest of the season, that would be enough to secure their spot for the play-in tournament. They have currently won nine games in a row and there is not much to stop them. Russell Westbrook and Bradley Beal are living up to the duo they were expected to be at the beginning of the season. Daniel Gafford has also looked like a quality steal at the trade deadline. But on paper, it is hard to see how this team will compete with others not only in the playoffs, but in the play-in tournament itself. However, I am not going to doubt the Wizards. They continue to beat expectations every game they’ve played so far.