Week 5 Fantasy Basketball Sleepers: Cole Anthony’s Magic Play 4 Games

Last Updated: Feb 19, 2021

Kev Mahserejian offers up his Week 5 Fantasy Basketball Sleepers, and his NBA Week 5 Sleeper Picks might include waiver wire pickups who’ve fallen through the cracks into free agency, including Orlando Magic PG Cole Anthony. Roster percentages refer to figures from Yahoo! Sports fantasy basketball leagues.

The NBA season is at a near standstill as COVID-related cases rise. Postponements are coming left and right. While the fantasy world holds its breath as to whether the league will choose to delay the season by 10-14 days, we must persist for the time being and continue setting lineups to act as if this week will still be played until a ruling is reached.

These players are the best sleepers for the week of January 18, 2021, which may include possible fantasy basketball waiver-wire pickups.

Week 5 Fantasy Basketball Sleepers

Cole Anthony, PG, Orlando Magic (31% rostered)

Since taking over as the starter for injured PG Markelle Fultz, Cole Anthony is averaging 13.2 points, 3.2 rebounds, 3.6 assists, 1 three, and 1.2 steals per game. These numbers are not *spectacular*, especially with the ugly field goal percentage that comes with it but they do the trick for someone looking for a Week 5 sleeper/streamer. Volume stats are hard to come by nowadays with all of the COVID-related issues around the league. Games are canceled left-and-right so no longer can you just stream one or two categories, you need players who can do a little bit of everything and most of all, score.

Anthony and the Magic have four games this week against some tough defensive matchups in the Knicks (surprisingly), Pacers, and Hornets. All three are in the top-12 in defensive rating. However, the Magic’s matchup versus the Timberwolves on Wednesday could even things out given that they currently deploy the worst defense in the NBA and will be without Karl-Anthony Towns this week.

Another reason to grab Anthony is that he plays on Monday in Week 6. You can use him for a game then drop for a streamer whose 4-game week begins on Tuesday to maximize a roster spot.

🏀 In addition to starting one of these Week 5 fantasy basketball sleepers in your NBA league, you can guess their stats for any game this week!

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Immanuel Quickley, PG/SG, New York Knicks (27% Rostered)

Quickley is proving to be a late-first round steal for the New York Knicks and deserves consideration among Week 5 fantasy basketball sleepers. His offensive presence is so, so refreshing to one of the worst-spaced teams in the NBA. The Knicks willingly started a lineup consisting of four non-shooters for a dozen games and are finally coming to their senses and mixing/matching the rotation.

Quickly has played at least 20 minutes per game in each of the past four games and has double-digit shot attempts in each. He may have gone 1-for-10 in the first game but is shooting 52% through the past three games. Obviously, this is a small sample of production. It very well could be noisy numbers that calm down soon enough but for fantasy managers looking to capitalize on a lowly-rostered guard with four games to play this week, Quickley is a strong option. He is going to hurt your FG% at the end of the day given that 52% is highly unlikely to sustain but he is a monster from the free-throw line. Quickley has only missed one free throw all year and averages just above two per game.

What needs to occur expeditiously is the removal of Elfrid Payton from the starting rotation to allow either Quickley or Austin Rivers to play alongside R.J. Barrett at guard. Payton/Barrett is the worst-spaced backcourt in the NBA and the sooner Tom Thibodeau stops this madness, the better.

Bonus Week 5 Fantasy Basketball Sleepers

Xavier Tillman, PF, Memphis Grizzles (5% Rostered)

Jonas Valanciunas has entered the NBA’s health and safety protocols due to COVID and will miss at least the next week of games. While Jaren Jackson Jr. is not too far from returning, Xavier Tillman looks to step in as the next-man-up in Memphis for the time being. Tillman was a four-year starter at Michigan State and has an “NBA-ready" body. He has already contributed fairly well in limited minutes and will look to add more to his rookie stat-sheet this coming week.

The Grizzlies play four games in Week 5 - three of which are against bottom-five teams in defensive rating (two versus Portland, one versus Sacramento). Tillman will have his opportunity to eat in the paint against some of the worst rim-protection in the league. Per-36 minutes he is averaging 15 points, 6.6 rebounds, 3.2 assists, 2.4 steals and 1.1 blocks. He should not be expected to play over 30 minutes per game but this just goes to show that he is a multi-category contributor who can actually boost your field-goal percentage (55% at the moment).

Brandon Clarke will surely take on an expanded role in the front-court, as will Kyle Anderson. However, Tillman’s recent play has earned him a legitimate opportunity to expand his role and minutes played.

Get in the NBA betting game

After reading Week 5 Fantasy Basketball Sleepers and finding your NBA Week 5 Sleeper Picks (including a Cole Anthony sleeper choice), check out our full NBA betting picks, tips, and strategy page.


Kev Mahserejian

Kev Mahserejian is an NFL/NBA/MLB analyst at The Game Day, residing in Los Angeles, CA. He graduated from the University of Southern California in 2017 and began creating sports content soon after. Kev currently writes fantasy and betting pieces while also hosting his podcast The Operating Room with various guests from the sports industry to discuss topics primarily regarding fantasy. He also writes for RotoBaller and is quite active on his Twitter @RotoSurgeon.

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