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Fantasy Basketball: 5 breakout NBA players to pick up now

New Orleans Pelicans v Oklahoma City Thunder
New Orleans Pelicans v Oklahoma City Thunder
ANALYST
Modified 20 Dec 2020, 10:09 IST
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The NBA 2020-21 season is almost underway and fantasy basketball league players are setting up their rosters for success. Every year, several breakout stars emerge like Trae Young of the Atlanta Hawks, Bam Adebayo of the Miami Heat, and Brandon Ingram of the New Orleans Pelicans last season.

The 2020-21 preseason showed us who some of these breakout NBA stars in fantasy basketball could be. 

Here are 5 NBA players you should pick up for your Fantasy Basketball league:

1. Christian Wood, Forward - Houston Rockets

2019-20 Key Stats: 13.1 points, 6.3 rebounds, 1.0 assists, 56.7% FG, 38.6% 3-pt FG, 74.4% FT

San Antonio Spurs v Houston Rockets
San Antonio Spurs v Houston Rockets

After his scintillating performance in Thursday’s game versus the San Antonio Spurs where he outplayed NBA All-Star LaMarcus Aldridge, Christian Wood showed that he truly belongs in this league and in your fantasy basketball team as well.

He exploded for 27 points, 10 rebounds, two assists, one steal, and one block in an amazing display of all-around NBA fantasy basketball goodness. He also made 10-of-18 field goals, was 5-of-5 from the free-throw line, and even made 2-of-6 shots from 3-point territory.

Skip him at your own risk!

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2. Jerami Grant, Forward - Detroit Pistons

2019-20 Key Stats: 12.0 points, 3.5 rebounds, 47.8% FG, 38.9% 3-pt FG, 75% FT

Denver Nuggets v Utah Jazz - Game Three
Denver Nuggets v Utah Jazz - Game Three

The Denver Nuggets had such a deep roster that Jerami Grant’s contributions didn’t really stand out last season. Now that he’s on a team that doesn’t have as much depth, look for Grant to play more than the 26.6 minutes a game he received from the Nuggets. 

Former NBA All-Star Blake Griffin is on the decline and his body routinely breaks down every season. This gives the 6 feet, 8 inches Grant an opportunity to play lots of significant minutes this year which would be great for fantasy basketball. We could see Grant score between 16 to 18 points and grab around 6 to 7 rebounds on a nightly basis this season.

3. De'Andre Hunter, Forward - Atlanta Hawks

2019-20 Key Stats: 12.3 points, 4.5 rebounds, 1.8 assists, 76.4% FT

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The No. 4 pick of the 2019 NBA Draft by the Atlanta Hawks, De’Andre Hunter had an uneven rookie season but his 2020-21 preseason has been quite good.

He is 18th in scoring this preseason (18.3 per game) and shot the ball well from 3-point range, knocking down 56.2 percent from deep.

If you need more 3-point shooting on your fantasy basketball squad, Hunter is worth a look and he will likely continue to log in 30 minutes again this season. His NBA preseason work should give the Hawks confidence that Hunter is worth the playing time they gave him last season.

4. Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, PG - Oklahoma City Thunder

2019-20 Key Stats: 19.0 points, 5.9 rebounds, 3.3 assists, 1.1 steals, 47.1% FG, 80.7% FT

Oklahoma City Thunder v Houston Rockets - Game Seven
Oklahoma City Thunder v Houston Rockets - Game Seven

The Oklahoma City Thunder did some housecleaning in the offseason, letting go of Chris Paul, Dennis Schroder, Danilo Gallinari, and Steven Adams. This paves the way for Shai Gilgeous-Alexander to rack up major NBA fantasy basketball numbers this season after leading the Thunder in scoring last season.

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Gilgeous-Alexander is a good facilitator who should see his assists numbers go up to around 5.0 per game. As a free throw shooter, he’s a standout at 80.4 percent for his career.

He may not be one of the top picks in NBA fantasy basketball but if you can snatch him in the middle rounds, go ahead. You won’t be disappointed.

5. Coby White, Guard - Chicago Bulls

2019-20 Key Stats: 13.2 points, 3.5 rebounds, 2.7 assists, 35.4% 3-pt FG, 79% FT

Toronto Raptors v Chicago Bulls
Toronto Raptors v Chicago Bulls

Coby White had a really good rookie season, showing poise beyond his years. This season, without Kris Dunn to share point guard duties with, White will take over the point guard spot and will be expected to have a breakout fantasy basketball season.

Those points, rebounds, and assists should go up significantly with more playing time (25.8 minutes per game last season) this year. In the last nine games of his rookie season, White put up an astounding 26.1 points, 4.2 rebounds, and 4.4 assists in 34.1 minutes a game.

Get him on your NBA fantasy basketball squad when you get the opportunity.

Also Read: Fantasy Basketball: 5 sleepers to target

Published 20 Dec 2020, 10:09 IST
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