NBA players that will finish the season strong

Excitement and anticipation are two terms one will find most positively associated with fantasy basketball. Take Anthony Davis for example; in his very first contest of the 2016-17 regular season, Davis dropped 50 points on the Denver Nuggets. He also added 15 rebounds, 5 assists, 4 blocks and 5 steals in his 41 minutes of action. Performances like these create a feast/famine scenario in fantasy sports. It is why we both love and hate them at times. Below are some of the under-the-radar prospects that you can target in trades, or if lucky enough, might even be available to add.

D’Angelo Russell
Photo credit: Keith Allison

D’Angelo Russell – LAL PG

First we start with a team that has surprised many so far this season: the Los Angeles Lakers. Russell is no doubt one of the team’s premier talents, but hasn’t quite reached his full potential. Russell has battled some injuries this season and has seen his playing time decrease because of it. Fantasy players should not be discouraged by this drop off, however. First-year head coach Luke Walton is a develop-minded coach and he understands that maturity is something that must be built up over time. Russell is finally getting his minutes back as he recovers from a few nagging knee problems. When healthy, the 20-year-old guard plays his position with fluency and can stand up to critics that question his leadership capabilities. Russell can and will average a double-double throughout the season (when healthy), so there is no reason he should be left off your roster with his high ceiling and potential.

Myles Turner – Ind PF/C

Turner is getting run due to the Pacers’ lack of roster depth and is making good use of it. He was handed some big shoes to fill when Indiana parted ways with Roy Hibbert. The team brought in a few other big men with experience in the league by acquiring Thaddeus Young and Al Jefferson. Big Al has Young beat in the age category, but that doesn’t diminish the value he brings to Turner. Jefferson can mentor Turner and can help shape him into one of the top centers in the league. Turner has already improved off his first-year averages immensely and his role has brought him to the starting lineup. His minutes have also increased, making him a must-own big man in any league.

Elfrid Payton and Nikola Vucevic – Orl

Here are two guys fantasy owners have turned away from. Frank Vogel is constantly fine-tuning his roster and searching for combinations that increase the team’s chances of winning. Payton and Vucevic started off the season as two starting players; now both are featured heavily off the bench. Where most see despair in demotions, we see incredible value potential. This drop-off has done wonders for both players. Featuring these two off the bench allows the Magic to bring in more talented players than an opponent’s bench contributors.

A raw point guard in Elfrid Payton is able to gain confidence against another team’s journeyman or veteran 6th man. Posting Vucevic up against backups and role players have allowed for him to feast on the opposition in the major statistical categories. The move hasn’t really boded well for the team as they are still struggling in a rather strong Eastern Conference. The move does benefit fantasy players and it will continue to do so as these players are still finding minute allotments that compare against their previous starting numbers.

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