Eastern Conference Fantasy Notes: Week 16

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

Bogdan Bogdanovic, SG/SF, Atlanta Hawks
Bogdan Bogdanovic has finally his rhythm after missing the first half of the season due to knee surgery. Even when he came back, he struggled to find consistency with his new team. However, since mid-march, he has played some of his best basketball across his entire career. In his last five games, Bogdanovic has averaged 19 points, four rebounds, five assists, and 1.8 steals per game. He has shot above 50 from the field and a sizzling 54 percent from beyond the arc in those same games. Bogdanovic may still be available on some waiver wires but grab him fast. His role will likely stay the same the entire season, making him a perfect player to carry into the playoffs with. 

Gary Trent Jr, SG/SF, Toronto Raptors
After being moved to the Toronto Raptors at the trade deadline, Gary Trent Jr has the perfect opportunity to earn an extension with the Raptors and become a part of their mostly young core. he has had a good start with Kyle Lowry missing the past couple of games. Trent Jr in his last five games has averaged 17 points, three rebounds, and 1.2 steals per game. His three point shooting as been impressive as well, hovering around 43 percent in those same games. Trent Jr’s role will likely take a step back once Lowry returns from injury.but in the meantime, he is a solid pickup on the waiver wire. 

Hamidou Diallo, SG, Detroit Pistons
Hamidou Diallo was traded to the Detroit Pistons during the trade deadline but has been in and out of the lineup due to injury and COVID Protocols. However, in the four games he has played for the Detroits, he has shown great promise to be a key member of the Pistons’s young core for the future. In those four games, Diallo has averaged 14 points, five rebounds, and two assist per game. His shooting numbers have also been impressive as well, shooting 59 percent from the field and 55 percent from three. Diallo is worth keeping on the radar of deeper leagues. but once when his play gets more consistent, he will be a solid addition off of the waiver wire. 

Rookies Doing Work

Patrick Williams, SF, Chicago Bulls
Patrick Williams has continued to impress the league after being a questionable selection at fourth overall. Recently he has been an increase in production now that Otto Porter has been traded to the magic, paving more minutes for Williams. In his last five games, Williams has averaged 11 points, 3.6 rebounds, and two assists per game. His shooting percents have been his best improvement recently. He shot 58 from the field and 37 percent form three in those same games. This season, Williams may only be worth keeping on there radar in deeper fantasy leagues, but if he continues to make more improvements, he could be a quality sleeper pick for next season. 

Malachi Flynn, PG, Toronto Raptors
Not much has been mentioned of Malachi Flynn after being selected in the first round of this past draft. He was already coming into an extremely coward backcourt so it seemed that the plan was for him to a project player for at least his rookie season. But after the Raptors were blowing out the Warriors and eventually won by 53, Malachi Flynn was able to get some solid playing time. He was able to play 30 minutes where he finished with 16 points, five rebounds, five assists, and two steals. He shot 7/12 from the field but did struggle from three, only shooting 1/4. Flynn likely won’t have any legitimate fantasy implications for the rest of the season but his game against the Warriors shows that he is slowly making progress. 

Question of the Week

Will the Charlotte Hornets be able to stay above water without LaMelo Ball?
With the Hornets being 5-5 in their last 10 games, I think that they have the players to fill what they will miss from Ball now that he is expected to be out for the rest of the regular season. The only team that everyone is waiting to turn around is the Boston Celtics and the clock is ticking for them. For Charlotte, Terry Rozier and Devonte Graham have done a great job in the absence of Ball. The only question for this team is health. They will miss Gordon Hayward for the next four weeks and Malik Monk is expected to miss a few games as well. Miles Bridges will now also have to step up to keep Charlotte in the playoffs. The next few games for the Hornets will be worth watching. 

Other Notes

Every week I will share an opinion of mine about something going on in the Eastern Conference. This week’s take is:
The Raptors need to pick a side. It is very hard for teams to stay in the middle and expect that with the players they have, they can make a championship run. We recently saw this with the Magic, who after about three years of trying to build a championship roster, finally gave up and traded away their main player in exchange for picks and younger prospects. While trading Norman Powell on a contract year wasn’t a bad move, and Gary Trent has out quite solid to start, they should have moved Kyle Lowry as well if they felt that this isn’t their year. However, I do not think a full rebuild is necessary. Pascal Siakam, Fred VanVleet, OG Anunoby, Chris Boucher, and now Gary Trent Jr is a great core to have. But choosing to hold onto players that aren’t necessarily needed anymore, like Kyle Lowry, has only shown to hurt teams in the future. Toronto’s best bet is that Lowry comes back on a budget deal, which is too hard to predict at the moment. 

Published by Ethan Hartley

Born and raised in Mount Laurel, New Jersey, right outside of Philadelphia. Junior at the University of Oregon studying journalism with minors in sports business and music studies. An avid follower of the NFL, NBA, MLB, NHL, NCAA, and MMA.

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