Reggie Jackson, PG, Los Angeles Clippers
It seems like it’s become a yearly tradition for Kawhi Leonard to miss a large portion of the regular season. However, the Los Angeles Clippers have done a solid job winning games without him, with an 11-10 start to the season, sitting as the fifth seed in the West. And Reggie Jackson has done his fair share, averaging 17.6 points, 3.6 rebounds, and 3.7 assists per game, and starting all 21 games this year. Over the past five games, he averages 19 points, 4.4 rebounds, and 2.8 assists per game, despite losing three of those five match-ups. It doesn’t look like Kawhi is coming back anytime soon, so that gives guys like Reggie Jackson and Eric Bledsoe to prove themselves as main options for this team, even when he comes back. Reggie Jackson has done pretty well lately, but I wouldn’t get stuck on him: Keep cycling through Clippers second options until one of them has proven themselves as a permanent one.
Derrick White, PG, San Antonio Spurs
Derrick White’s recent production has turned heads, averaging 15 points, four rebounds, 4.3 assists, 1.3 steals, and 1.2 blocks per game in his past six match-ups, causing him to be rostered in 81.7% of fantasy leagues. Although his numbers have been pretty solid lately, people seem to forget that this San Antonio Spurs offense is very crowded with average to above average talent. Some week, Derrick White will do very well, and in other weeks, Keldon Johnson will. I’m not really buying the hype quite yet from a fantasy perspective, but if you have some room on your bench, you could let him stay there in case he becomes a solidified second option to Dejounte Murray.
Lauri Markkanen, PF, Cleveland Cavaliers
In the absence of Colin Sexton, the rest of this Cleveland Cavaliers squad were forced to step up their game. And although Evan Mobley has often been credited for their success without Sexton, Lauri Markkanen also deserves a lot of credit. After leaving the NBA health protocols, the Finnish youngster averages 20 points and eight rebounds in four games. To keep this season alive, it’ll have to be a collective effort, and right now Cleveland is trying to figure out which players will play larger roles. Markkanen is a serious candidate to play a large role, and I would keep him just in case he does.
Jusuf Nurkic, C, Portland Trail Blazers
In his sixth season with the Portland Trail Blazers, Jusuf Nurkic’s numbers look nothing like they did earlier in his career, but that doesn’t necessarily have to be a bad thing: Although he averages 1.8 points less than he did in the 2017-18 season, he averages 1.9 more rebounds. And recently his numbers have looked much better than they have all season, with a 12.5 point 10.9 rebound, and 2.2 assist average overall, and a 17.3 point, 8.7 rebound, and 2.2 assist average over the past six games. Nurkic’s numbers shouldn’t fluctuate too much this as the season progresses, and a consistently good center could never hurt your fantasy team. You could sell high if you want, but he should maintain these numbers. I would keep him on your roster, unless you have a really solid replacement at center.
Jordan Clarkson, PG, Utah Jazz
Jordan Clarkson is starting to play like his sixth man of the year season from last year, averaging 16.8 points, 3.9 rebounds, and 2.8 assists per game in his last nine match-ups, with no starts. But Clarkson is a certifies sixth man, and although he sees a lot of minutes on the court, people don’t look at him with too much value. However, that doesn’t mean he can’t provide value on your roster. Trading away Jordan Clarkson would be an absolute waste.
Kelly Oubre Jr, SG, Charlotte Hornets
Kelly Oubre has been heating up recently, averaging 16.8 points and 3.6 rebounds in his past eight match-ups. But those numbers are bound to fluctuate as the season progresses, since Oubre has never really proved himself to be a consistent option. Although he might add some value to your team, it might be time to sell high after a week of averaging 22.3 points, and 3.5 rebounds per game.
Nikola Vucevic, C, Chicago Bulls
The Chicago Bulls have impressed after an offseason of controversial signings. With Zach Lavine, DeMar DeRozan, and Lonzo Ball, they really have a good core going, and Nikola Vucevic has been the perfect big man for the team: He averages a double-double of 14.5 points, 11.2 rebounds, and 4.1 assists per game this year, and he’s just coming off a Chicago win where he recorded 30 points, 14 rebounds, five assists, and two blocks. He could be a piece to a blockbuster trade in your fantasy league, but you would have to receive only the best of the best in return. If you can’t find a trade partner for him (which would be surprising), then there’s no harm in keeping arguably the current best center in fantasy. Only trade him away if you know you’re getting your worth, because he’s bound to continue this production.
Monte Morris, PG, Denver Nuggets
The absence of Jamal Murray has been a pretty big hit for the Denver Nuggets, as they try to look for someone else on the roster to step up and try to fill the void. And although his numbers are nowhere near what Murray’s were last year, Monte Morris has been a solid option so far, averaging 12.6 points, 2.9 rebounds, and five assists per game in his last eight match-ups. If he can solidify himself as the point guard for the Nuggets until Jamal Murray returns, he could fill a spot on your roster for quite some time. Just be conscious of when Jamal Murray returns, since Morris likely won’t do as well from the bench.
Mohamed Bamba, C, Orlando Magic
Mo Bamba is finally starting to live up to the hype (of the song). And it makes sense, because minutes and numbers are basically directly proportional: Last year he averaged eight points, 5.8 rebounds, and 0.8 assists per game in five starts and 46 games played, while he averages 10.8 points, 9.4 rebounds, 1.8 assists, and 2.2 blocks per game in 21 starts this year. He scores a double-double almost every week, not excluding this week, when he recorded an impressive 11 points, 17 rebounds, one assist, and six blocks in the Orlando Magic’s loss to the Philadelphia 76ers. Although Mo would likely have a much higher trade value than he does now if he played this well when Sheck Wes’ song released, but that doesn’t mean that it won’t increase now, it just won’t be because of his name. This is the first real season where we really got to see Mo Bamba get minutes in games, and so far he’s shown a lot of promise. Now we need to see if he can take that next step up, and if he does, he could become a good fantasy asset, and an even better trade piece. Keep an eye out for an increase in production from Mo.
Jaylen Brown, SG, Boston Celtics
Jaylen Brown had a very impressive start to the season, averaging 22.8 points, 5.4 rebounds, and 2.2 assists per game in his first nine match-ups. But since his return from a hamstring injury, his production has gone way down, and now he averages just 16 points, three rebounds, and 1.5 assists per game in his four games back. But it’s always rough coming back from an injury, and Ime Udoka likely doesn’t want to aggravate it again. If someone is willing to sell low on Jaylen Brown because of his recent performances, then I would take it. If you have Jb on your team right now, then I wouldn’t sell at all, since he won’t heed a good return, and he’ll probably return to form sooner or later.