Eastern Conference Fantasy Notes: Week 18

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

Caris LeVert, SG/SF, Indiana Pacers
While Caris LeVert isn’t recognized to be much of a “sleeper”, considering he’s been a borderline all-star for the past two seasons. However, because of his recent play after missing 25 games to remove a potential cancerous number found on his kidney, I thought this would be a good opportunity to give some recognition for overcoming adversity. While Indiana has struggled recently as a whole, LeVert had ascended to a new level we have not seen yet. In his last five games, LeVert has averaged 24.4 points, five rebounds, three assists, 1.8 steals, and 1.6 blocks per game. Despite the serious injuries and health concerns that LeVert has faced, that has not stopped him from continuing to pursue his basketball goals and evolution as a player. Major props to Caris LeVert. 

Kevin Huerter, SG/SF, Atlanta Hawks
With DeAndre Hunter continuing to miss games for the team, it has been Kevin Huerter picking up the slack and he has done a wonderful job for the team. In his last five games, Huerter has averaged 15 points, four rebounds, 4.6 assists, and 1.2 steals per game. He has also done a great job shooting the rock, something he has struggled to keep consistent throughout his young career. In those same five games, Huerter has hit 53 percent from the field and 44 percent from beyond the arc. As long asHunter continues to miss games, Huerter is a perfect pickup in your league if he still happens to be available. 

Wendell Carter Jr, C, Orlando Magic
After being moved to the Magic in the trade that involved all-star Nikola Vucevic, Wendell Carter is now in a much better environment where he can continue to progress his game since being selected as the fifth pick in the 2018 NBA Draft. In his last five games, Carter Jr has averaged 14.6 points, nine rebounds, and 1.2 steals per game. He also has done an impressive shooting from the field at 55 percent from the field in those same games. Carter Jr will be another key young player for the Magic as they continue to build for the future. 

Rookies Doing Work

Isaiah Stewart, C/PF, Detroit Pistons
The Detroit Pistons are really looking like they will finish the season with a quality set of young players to move forward with. Isaiah Stewart specifically, has been on a recent stretch of very productive games, including a 21 rebound game against the Thunder. In these last five games, Stewart has averaged 11 points, 1o rebounds, and 1.2 blocks. He has also done a great job shooting 63 percent from the field and even 50 percent from three in those same games. However, don’t be fooled, he shoots less than one three per game. Regardless, Stewart is a quality young prospect and a perfect fantasy add while he is on this streak of highly productive games. 

Cole Anthony, PG/SG, Orlando Magic
Cole Anthony is back! Anthony missed 24 games with a broken rib injury he suffered before the all-star break. He has already returned to playing a normal role instead of dealing with a minute restriction. In his last five games, Anthony has averaged 13.8 points, five rebounds, and five assists. He is still struggling with his three-point percentage, only shooting 20 percent in those same games. But Anthony will look to end his rookie year on a high note with the regular season coming to a close soon. Anthony is still a solid waiver wire selection if available. 

Question of the Week

What is the ceiling for the Atlanta Hawks?
I think it’s difficult to judge the Atlanta Hawks ceiling because of their slow start to the season due to injuries. However, I think they have a decent chance to win a playoff series depending on their seeding when the playoffs come around. However next season, if everyone stays healthy and they can resign John Collins, I think this team has a decent shot to make a deep playoff run. We’ve seen what Bogdan Bogdanovic contributes to this team since he is finally healthy. We also had the opportunity to see DeAndre Hunter have a breakout season before dealing with multiple knee injuries and only playing in a handful of games with limited minutes. Atlanta has all the pieces they need to make a deep playoff push. It will just require all the players to be at peak performance at the same time, which they have yet to do this season. 

Other Notes

Every week I will share an opinion of mine about something going on in the Eastern Conference. This week’s take is:
It is championship or bust for the Milwaukee Bucks. How much help does Giannis actually need to win a championship? They acquired Jrue Holiday who turned out to be a major upgrade over Eric Bledsoe, but even that might not be enough. If this team disappoints again, it might be time to find some new stars and possibly reorganize how this franchise is built for Giannis. That could start with Khris Middleton and Brook Lopez. Possibly finding a new upgrade at the center position is probably the most realistic move for this team. But even that just might not be enough for this team because of their reputation. It will be very interesting to see how far of a playoff push this team can make. 

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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