(Photo via Andrew Yang)
Welcome to The Intermission Sports’ weekly NBA fantasy forecast, for week 6 of the 2020-2021 NBA Season. This is a weekly series where we break down every week’s top performers and biggest floppers in the league. Who should you pick up? Who should you drop? Who should you keep an eye on? Those are the questions we hope to answer in this new series.
As a quick refresher, we’ll quickly brief you on each category. The Prime Pick-Ups category consists of players who we strongly recommend you pick up if you or your opponents haven’t already. The Definite Drops category consists of players we recommend you drop, scrap, whatever word you want to use. Just get rid of them. The Watch-Out Wins category consists of players that we recommend you keep a keen eye on. Players that we think will thrive due to certain circumstances around the league, or if it looks like this might be the year where they get the ball rolling. With that being said, let’s get to it.
T.J. McConnell - Indiana Pacers
If you read last week’s fantasy forecast, you might remember that there were 2 Indiana Pacers that made the cut for this category. Well now, there’s a new Pacer on the block, and his name is T.J. McConnell. His name might be unfamiliar to a few, but he’ll certainly have fantasy managers searching for his name, seeing if he’s an available free agent in their fantasy leagues. McConnell may not be performing well in the points category, but it’s the assists and steals where he thrives. In the last week, McConnell has been averaging just under 8 assists per game, as well as grabbing 1.3 steals per game, and 1.7 for the season. McConnell gives fantasy managers about 20 fantasy points a game, or just under that number.
Jae Crowder - Phoenix Suns
Along with Chris Paul being a notable addition to the Valley Boy squad, Jae Crowder also proves to be a great addition to this Suns roster. With Devin Booker out with a hamstring strain, Jae Crowder has earned himself some more minutes on the court. We’ve already seen how much of an impactful player Crowder was in Miami, which means that Phoenix took the W when Crowder made Phoenix his new home. In the past week, Crowder has bumped up the numbers in nearly every major statistical category. 16 points a game, 6 rebounds, and 1.3 steals a game, that’s enough to turn the heads of most fantasy managers.
Delon Wright - Detroit Pistons
If you notice a trend with these fantasy forecasts, a majority of these players come from mid to lower-tier teams. Take the Detroit Pistons, for example, a team that always manages to secure the 10th seed in the Eastern Conference every single year, neighbouring the Chicago Bulls and the Charlotte Hornets. Delon Wright has found himself on the Pistons roster and has been nothing short of impactful for the franchise. Much like Jae Crowder, Wright has increased his numbers in every stat category in the past week. In the last 7 days, Wright has averaged 13 PPG (+4), 6.3 RPG (+1.8), 6.5 APG (+1.9), and 2 steals a game (+0.8). A steady double-digit fantasy point producer, you want Wright on your roster ASAP.
BONUS: Wayne Ellington - Detroit Pistons
Wayne Ellington has never been a popular name amongst fantasy managers, let alone to your average NBA fan. But Ellington has proved that he deserves a spot on our fantasy roster, as well as an NBA roster. The only reason Ellington comes on this list as an honourable mention is his very one-sided game. Sure, Ellington averages a cool 14 points a game, but the numbers in his rebounds and assists don’t tell the same story. He’ll get you enough points to give you that small 20 point boost you need, but don’t expect him to stay on your roster for too long.
Ricky Rubio - Minnesota Timberwolves
Rubio has been a reliable option for all fantasy managers in recent years. A consistent go-getter in the assists and steals category, fantasy managers always kept a roster spot open for the veteran guard. But recently, Rubio’s game has taken a decline, and it isn’t looking good. Rubio is averaging just 6.1 points a game and adding 5.7 assists a game. Nothing impressive, but also nothing too disappointing. But judging by his production in the recent week, we don’t feel that Rubio is worthy of one of those UTL spots on your roster.
Will Barton - Denver Nuggets
Barton has always been a go-to option as a mid-late round draft pick and has always been known as a consistent double-digit scorer for the Denver Nuggets, as well as for fantasy squads who chose to pick him up. But with the increased role of Michael Porter Jr., as well as the rise of Nikola Jokic and Jamal Murray, Barton’s role on the team has taken a step back recently. Sure, Barton gets you a double-digit night every now and then, but it’s his inconsistency that raises eyebrows for fantasy managers, but not in a good way. It’ll only be a matter of time before Barton’s role is increased, and so does his production, but it’s not likely considering the growth of the young stars on the Nuggets.
Luguentz Dort - Oklahoma City Thunder
Thought to be a reliable scoring option for the OKC Thunder, Dort has proved that he is everything but that. His inconsistency is what brings his name into this category, much like Will Barton. Although Dort has seen an increase in minutes in the past week, the numbers in almost every stat category dropped. In the last 7 days, Dort has averaged 10.3 PPG (-2.4), 1.7 RPG (-1.6), 2.0 APG (+0.8), and 0 SPG (-0.8). His disappointing performance has led to him becoming the most dropped player of the week, with his percentage rostered dropping -19.1 per cent. If you choose to keep Dort because you think he might step it up soon, which he has proven that he is capable of doing so, go right ahead. But his inconsistency will cost you.
Jarred Vanderbilt - Minnesota Timberwolves
The third-year power forward has proved to be an important piece in Minnesota’s success*, gaining more minutes with the absence of Karl-Anthony Towns. Vanderbilt has proven that he can do it all, posting around 8 points and 6 rebounds a game, while adding over a steal and a block per game in the last week. His ability to grab boards and make defensive stops is definitely something fantasy managers want to keep their eyes on. It’s only a matter of time before he gains a bigger role on the team, which is very likely at this point.
* see losing record
Immanuel Quickley - New York Knicks
Quickley has been on an absolute tear in his last week of playing, posting 18.7 PPG, 4 RPG, and 2.3 assists a game. The Knicks guard has added to the surprise talent that New York has sprouted in recent years, next to players such as Mitchell Robinson and Julius Randle. Keep a keen eye on Quickley, as his performance could lead to him gaining more minutes for the Knicks.
Reggie Jackson - Los Angeles Clippers
The veteran guard was dealt to Los Angeles after the Clippers signed him back in 2020. A well rounded backup guard, it’s safe to say that most NBA and Clippers fans saw this as a great addition. After proving that he can get the job done as an all-around guard during his time on the Detroit Pistons, Clippers fans were eager to see what Jackson would bring to the team. And Jackson brought nothing but good things to the Clips, especially after seeing that he’s been scoring the ball in the past few games. In the last week, Jackson has been averaging 16 PPG, 6 RPG, 5 APG, and grabbing 1.3 steals a game. Jackson is a great player for your UTL squad, and judging by his performance in the last week, he makes a great case for a backup guard.