The month of March is arguably one of the most exciting times for basketball fans of all levels. For one, March Madness is underway, and the things we have seen this March are truly unbelievable. There have been plenty of upsets, buzzer-beaters and of course, Sister Jean.
However, the strictly NBA fans also have a lot to be excited and nervous about, as fantasy playoffs for most formats are underway.
We all know who the studs are in the NBA, and owners of guys like Anthony Davis and James Harden are loving life right now. But there is a plethora of players in the NBA that are not as studly as the guys previously mentioned.
Below are five NBA players who are flying under the radar as terrific fantasy options late in the season. Savvy owners should consider trading for one of these players (if your league doesn’t have a trade deadline).
Team: Chicago Bulls
Averages in the last two weeks: 13.7 points on 42.9 percent shooting, 8.6 rebounds, 1.4 steals, 1.4 3-pointers
Since the departure of Nikola Mirotic near the trade deadline, the rebuilding Bulls have found time for young power forward Bobby Portis. As the stats show, he’s made some noise as a good fantasty option.
While some blocks would be nice, the steals and 3-pointers are fantasy gold from the power forward position. He can be inconsistent at times, but as long as the minutes are there, he should be a great option for some points, boards and 3-pointers.
Team: Utah Jazz
Averages in the last two weeks: 15 points on 40.2 percent shooting, 6.7 boards, 7.4 assists, 1.6 steals, 1.1 3-pointers
Rubio is notorious for playing what seems like below capability for the first half of the season or so. Then as soon as the All-Star break hits, he becomes a beast. This was very evident last season as he was a different player after the All-Star break in Minnesota, and similar trends have continued in Utah.
While the percentages may be hard to muster, he really does bring a little of everything else to the stat sheet to help out your fantasy team. With Utah in the ultra-competitive Western Conference playoff hunt, Rubio should continue to get plenty of time on the floor and plenty of numbers to go along with it.
Just keep in mind it may not always be pretty.
Team: Los Angeles Clippers
Averages in the last two weeks: 24 points on 50.4 percent shooting, 7.3 boards, 3 assists, 1.1 steals, 1 block, and 3.1 3-pointers
Similar to Utah, the Clippers are fighting to stay in the playoff race in a conference where just five and a half games separates the third seed from the 10th seed.
Harris is a huge reason why the decimated and Blake-less Clippers are still competing, and are even over .500 (6-4) in their last 10 games. He demands the ball and is finally being assertive, and the move from Detroit to Los Angeles could not have been better for his real life and fantasy value.
He is contributing a little of everything, and is doing so efficiently, shooting 43.1 percent from beyond the arc. If you have stuck with Harris since the trade, you are probably in good shape for your playoffs.
Team: Los Angeles Lakers
Averages in the last two weeks: 22.9 points on 61.6 percent shooting, 10.7 boards, 3.1 assists
If you are an owner in search of efficiency and double-doubles who won’t kill your free-throw percentage, Randle is your best bet right now. He has been on a tear as of late, and Larry Nance Jr. moving to Cleveland has helped him out tremendously in terms of both minutes and production.
The only downside to his play is his lack of defensive stats in the last couple weeks, but at least they aren’t nonexistent. If the boards and efficient scoring is appealing, try to snatch him up.
Team: Atlanta Hawks
Averages in the last two weeks: 22.4 points on 49.1 percent, 6.6 boards, 3.3 assists, 0.4 steals, 1.1 blocks, 4.1 3-pointers
Prince has been one of the hottest players in the NBA. Like most other players mentioned, he brings a little of everything, including an insane 4.1 3-pointers per game in the past two weeks.
It might sound crazy, but these numbers could be sustainable, and possibly even improve. Ironically, he has been great at contributing steals with a one-steal season average, but that is his lowest point right now. The 0.4 steals the last two weeks could increase to at least 0.8 or one from this point on, but owners won’t be complaining much.
The Hawks are playing for lottery balls, and he is their best player right now, so the minutes and production should become more and more consistent after such a shaky first two-thirds of the season. His potential was evident in Saturday’s loss to the Bucks, as he erupted for 38 points, eight rebounds, two blocks and four 3-pointers.
While he won’t be averaging close to 40 points in the last 10 or so games, Prince is the perfect player to have on your team at this point in the season, and he is definitely peaking at the perfect time.
There are a ton of players that could’ve been great for this piece, but these are some of the best five non-star players fantasy owners can have on their team at this time. Fantasy playoffs are some of the most exciting times of die-hard NBA fans’ years, and these players will definitely increase the chances of victory. Good luck to all, and may the best team be victorious.
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