(Image via Andrew Yang)
Welcome to The Intermission Sports’ weekly NBA fantasy forecast, for week 7 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.
Norman Powell - Toronto Raptors
Playoff Powell doesn’t just shine in the valuable playoff minutes, he’s just as talented on the floor during the regular season. In the last week, Norm has been putting up 20.3 PPG, 3.7 RPG, 1.3 APG, and 2 steals a game. With numbers like these, expect Powell to see valuable minutes from now on. Yet another example of the deep roster that the Toronto Raptors have, that many teams in the league don’t.
Thaddeus Young - Chicago Bulls
Alas, many thought the last of Young’s days were back in Indiana, but Young said “I’m not done” (he didn’t actually say this, but you’ll see what we mean). In the past week, Young has bumped up the numbers in each stat category, with 14.5 PPG (+3.4), 5.5 RPG (+0.2), 4.8 APG (+0.5), 2.3 SPG (+1.0), and 1 BPG (+0.5). With numbers like these, you better act fast, because he won’t stick around for long. Although this is a nice jump start to Young’s season success, he’ll have to fight for his minutes with Wendell Carter Jr., Patrick Williams, and Daniel Gafford.
Derrick White - San Antonio Spurs
After coming back from a toe injury, Derrick White has proven that he is very deserving of that UTL slot on your roster. With fantasy numbers of 30, 31, 17, and 31 in the last 4 games, White is not playing around. Despite being a guard, White backs up his 11.2 PPG with an impressive 1.4 blocks a game, something a bit out of the ordinary for a guard of his size. Expect White to play a pivotal role in the Spurs’ season from here on out.
Wayne Ellington - Detroit Pistons
While he was a prime prospect for fantasy managers a few weeks ago times have changed. With the rising role of Delon Wright, it’s going to be harder for Ellington to see any valuable minutes. Sure, a beacon of hope comes in the form of Derrick Rose being traded away to New York, but it will only be a matter of time before the Pistons decide that they want to stick with Wright. The Ellington hype is over, but maybe keep a keen eye on him, as his scoring has been proven to be in Detroit’s favour.
Jae Crowder - Phoenix Suns
Crowder had a jump start to his season after Devin Booker was out with a hamstring injury. But Booker is back, and Crowder has been moved back to the bench unit. Pair this with his DTD injury, and you have yourself a recipe for a Definite Drop. In the last week, Crowder has been averaging just 2.5 PPG, 2 RPG, and 1 APG. This is partially due to his short time playing before his injury, but not that he has returned to the bench, don’t have your hopes high on Crowder.
Seth Curry - Philadelphia 76ers
Thought to be a vital piece in Philly’s offence, and in many fantasy lineups, Curry just hasn’t been the same since his return from COVID-19 protocol. Curry’s season average has dropped to 12.1 PPG, as he’s been averaging just 3.7 PPG in the last week. The other stats are just as disappointing, with the only plus side of his statline are the 0.7 steals he grabs per game. But this can all change very quickly, if Curry finds a way to pick his game back up, and give a better fighting effort for his minutes against players like Ben Simmons, Danny Green, and Shake Milton.
BONUS: Carmelo Anthony - Portland Trailblazers
One word: Inconsistency. That is all. Sure, Melo may pose as a scoring threat with the absence of C.J. McCollum, but Anthony’s inconsistency and efficiency will play into his fight for valuable minutes. This gives you a chance to consider Gary Trent Jr. as your next pickup.
Jakob Poeltl - San Antonio Spurs
Although he doesn’t do much in the point category, Poetl backs it up with his rebounding and blocking. The big man in San Antonio has been averaging 9 PPG and 8.3 RPG in the last week while chipping in 2.3 blocks a game. Poeltl seems like a good fit for a UTL position but can even act as your backup centre if you're really that desperate.
Josh Jackson - Detroit Pistons
With an excellent start to his season, then a disappointing fall, it looks like Jackson has picked up his game and is on a roll once again. With Rose leaving the Pistons for the Knicks, Jackson could be seeing more minutes as a result. In the last week, Jackson has averaged 20.3 PPG, 6.3 RPG, 3.3 APG, and a steal per game. Expect Jackson to receive more minutes as this kind of production continues. A great all-around choice for your roster, but only time will tell how long this kind of production can continue.
Theo Maledon - Oklahoma City Thunder
Another rookie making strides in the league, Maledon’s game specializes in the steals category. A good comparison we would make for Maledon would be last year’s rookie out of Philly, Matisse Thybulle. Both players thrive in the steals category while providing in other categories. In the last 10 games, Maledon has been averaging 9.1 PPG, 3.3 RPG, 2.9 APG, and 1.4 SPG. The Thunder are still looking for backup scorers behind Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, and Maledon has made a good case in the last week. Keep your eye on this young gun.
BONUS: Jalen Brunson - Dallas Mavericks
Brunson comes into this list as a reliable scorer on an already elite offensive lineup from Dallas. Brunson will give you a boost in all stat categories, averaging 11.1 PPG, 3.6 RPG, 3.3 APG, on 55-48-86 splits. Talk about reliability and offensive efficiency. Brunson’s ability to take smart shots will help in preventing fantasy managers from losing points from missed field goal attempts. A fantastic option for a backup guard, and a reliable option in the long run.