Week 7 Fantasy Basketball Sleepers
Thaddeus Young, PF, Chicago Bulls (29% rostered)Hard to argue against the production here, right? Thaddeus Young is absolutely back to fantasy basketball relevance with his performances of late. The veteran Bulls big is putting up monster numbers across-the-board even before Wendell Carter Jr.‘s injury. Since Jan. 15, Young is averaging 10.8 points, 7 rebounds, 5.7 assists, and 1.5 steals per game on great efficiency from the field. The free throw percentage will hurt (as it always has) but at least he takes fewer than two per game. The assists are the biggest reason to add him. Getting anywhere close to that sort of production is insane from a big man, particularly one you find off of the waiver wire. A big reason for Young’s re-emergence into relevance could be attributed to his comfort zone on the court. Last season, his worst ever arguably, was met with a career-high three-point attempt rate. This resulted in a career-low field goal percentage and a dip in his productivity overall. Young is a much better player attacking the basket. He is not a shooter - or at least, not a very good one. Young is a viable add until Carter Jr. returns. He is still available in a majority of leagues and plays four games this week.
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Nickeil Alexander-Walker, PG/SG, New Orleans Pelicans (13% Rostered)Nickeil Alexander-Walker‘s field goal percentage is tough to swallow, but if you have a team capable of taking that hit, pull the trigger on him as an add. The Pelicans are moving away from J.J. Redick; he has been a DNP-CD over the past two games. As the kids say “The future is now old, man." Redick is of no use on the court to a 5-10 Pelicans squad that is desperate for a shake-up. NAW notoriously erupted for 37 points in mid-January with half the Pelicans roster out and has just recently begun picking up steam with more consistent minutes and shots per game. His three blocks versus Houston are an aberration and should be disregarded but 1.2 steals per game are very real and could range around 1.5 with his recent opportunity gains.
The Pelicans could even take things a step further to upgrade NAW’s value by trading away Lonzo Ball, which would be the final piece in transitioning the backcourt over to him as the future piece next to Zion Williamson and Brandon Ingram. NAW is highly regarded and will be given a chance to prove himself in the short-term. Pick him up and see if the minutes stay up during this 4-game week against mostly weak competition.
Keeping Up With The Canadians 🇨🇦— NBA Canada (@NBACanada) January 31, 2021
Nickeil Alexander-Walker | vs. Houston
3 BLOCKS pic.twitter.com/XFockK6ojC
Bonus Week 7 Fantasy Basketball Sleepers
De’Anthony Melton, PG/SG, Memphis Grizzles (10% Rostered)De’Anthony Melton is a fantastic role player who unfortunately did not start this season properly. Health and safety protocols related to COVID took five games away from him after the season opener and he could not find his footing in the rotation afterward.
This was likely due to a lack of practice and game time which was presumably made up for as he looked back in rhythm in the Grizzlies’ most recent game versus San Antonio. Although Memphis did blow them, Melton led the team in minutes and scoring. His 20 points, 5 rebounds, 4 threes, 2 assists, and 2 blocks are difficult to ignore, especially with a 4-game week at hand. While his minutes will not typically be this high without an injury elsewhere going forward, Melton should range around 24 per game and provide stats across the board. He is hitting threes at the highest clip of his career at 42% on three attempts per game. A reasonable stat-line for Melton ROS should range around 10 points, 4 rebounds, 3 assists, 2 stocks, and a three per game with turnovers and percentages that do not hurt you. Pick him up for this week and see what he can bring to your team.
Since the start of the 2019-20 season, the Grizzlies are -3.6 points per 100 possessions when De'Anthony Melton sits and +6.5 when he plays.— Andy Bailey (@AndrewDBailey) January 31, 2021