August 2, 2021

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The Ideal Sport

Week 5 Takeaways + Updated Rankings (2020-21 Fantasy Basketball)

With Week 6 on the horizon, we polled our experts for their biggest takeaways of the last week and what they mean for fantasy basketball. Here are Brad CamaraAlex BurnsAaron LarsonAdam Koffler, and Zak Hanshew with their takeaways and updated Rest of Season rankings.

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My biggest takeaways this week center on some dominant big men. There hasn’t been a more dominant player over the last week than Clint Capela, who’s been tearing opposing defenses to shreds and blocking everything in sight. In four games played in Week 5, the big man averaged a ridiculous 22.0 points, 18.8 boards, and 1.3 steals … to go with an unbelievable 5.5 swats.

Deandre Ayton is finally turning it on after a slow start to the season. Through the first 11 games of the season, Ayton averaged just 12.5 points, 11.3 boards, and 1.0 blocks. Since then? The big man has averaged 22.0 points, 14.8 boards, 2.0 assists, and 2.0 blocks while recording four straight double-doubles. Is it a hot streak or a sign of things to come from the promising Phoenix center? Some regression may be coming, but his recent production should be closer to the norm than his beginning-of-the-season numbers.

Myles Turner to put up gaudy numbers, and regression still hasn’t come. On the season, Indiana’s center has averaged 14.0 points, 6.8 boards, and an ungodly 5.7 combined blocks/steals. He shows no signs of slowing down, and he easily leads the NBA in blocks. Turner has become an elite fantasy contributor, and that doesn’t look like it will change anytime soon.

Oh, and remember to target players facing Brooklyn when setting DFS lineups. The Nets’ defense is horrendous and can be attacked at will.  -Hanshew


It’s been a little over a week since James Harden was dealt to the Brooklyn Nets and it’s becoming clear that this move has greatly impacted the fantasy basketball landscape. Victor Oladipo appears to be the only one seeing an increase in fantasy value since joining his new team and is averaging 22.3 points, 4.0 rebounds, 6.0 assists, and 2.0 steals in 32.6 minutes while seeing a team-high 33.2% usage rate through his first three games. It will be interesting to see how he and John Wall can coexist when they share the court together, but Oladipo has seen the ball in his hands a ton during his brief tenure in Houston.

On the flip side, Andre Drummond‘s value has seemingly taken a serious hit with Jarrett Allen now in Cleveland. He’s seen just 23.6 minutes per game this week and played only 26 minutes in Wednesday’s double overtime loss to the Nets. The big man double-doubled in every game this season prior to Allen’s arrival but has fallen just short in two of his last three games. It’s clear that Drummond isn’t the long-term answer in Cleveland, but it’s time for managers to begin attempting to sell-high after he strings together a couple good games in a row.

As for some other guys around the league, Gordon Hayward and Clint Capela have quietly been dominating opposing teams. Hayward only played two games this week but averaged 36.5 points, 7.5 rebounds, and 1.5 steals and capped off his stellar week with a game-winner over the Magic on Sunday. He’s been one of the better surprises in fantasy this season and is flourishing in his new role with the Hornets. Capela’s strong start to the year intensified this week as he posted 21.0 points, 20.0 rebounds and 6.0 blocks across three games. He ended his stellar week by recording a triple-double in Friday’s win over the Timberwolves with 13 points, 19 rebounds, and 10 blocks. He’s severely outplaying his ADP and fantasy managers who snagged him in the middle rounds have to be thrilled with his level of production.

In regards to the waiver wire, Jeremy Lamb has returned from injury for the Pacers and has looked impressive. He’s averaged 15.0 points and 4.0 rebounds in his first three games of the season despite being eased back into the rotation. He’s only rostered in 34% of ESPN and Yahoo leagues combined and should be added across all formats as his role will only increase with Caris LeVert out indefinitely. Fantasy managers should continue keeping a close eye on Immanuel Quickley of the Knicks. While it’s tough to label him a must-add at this point, he’s been outstanding every time he gets a chance. His minutes have fluctuated from game-to-game but he ended his fifth professional week with a career-high 31 points in Sunday’s loss to the Blazers. Even more intriguing, he is second on the team in usage rate (26.6%), despite seeing only 17.3 minutes per game this season. It’s only a matter of time before he surpasses Elfrid Payton on the depth chart and fantasy managers need to be ready to pounce.  -Burns


It’s hard to imagine we are already five weeks into the NBA 2020-21 season. I wanted to bring up a few players who are available in most leagues that can contribute to your fantasy teams. Jeremy Lamb returned to action this past week for the first time since tearing his ACL back in February of 2020. He’s been solid since coming back, averaging 15.0 points, 4.0 rebounds, 0.3 assists, 1.0 steals and 1.3 steals across 22.3 minutes. The 28-year-old is only rostered in 44% of Yahoo leagues and should see an expanded role while TJ Warren (foot) is sidelined indefinitely.

Immanuel Quickley erupted for a career-high 31 points in Sunday’s loss to the Trail Blazers.

In his three previous games before Sunday’s loss, Quickley was averaging only 14.3 minutes per contest. He’s currently only rostered in 25% of Yahoo leagues and is second on the Knicks in usage rate (26.6%) behind only star PF Julius Randle. The Knicks rookie PG has a ton of upside and is worth rostering in most league formats.

Jimmy Butler continues to slide down my ROS rankings. He’s missed six straight contests due to COVID-19 protocols. Butler has been MIA (pun intended) and limited to six games this season. The 31-year-old hasn’t played 70 games since his 2016-17 campaign with the Bulls. Miami’s offense revolves around Bam Adebayo, and with the emergence of Kendrick Nunn, Butler could see a less of a role when he returns. Jimmy Buckets is a great player, but it’s tough to rely on him when he’s constantly missing time. The Memphis Grizzlies were the latest team to be hit with COVID-19 and postponed multiple games due to contact tracing. It’s a reminder to fantasy managers to keep on top of the news and adjust their rosters accordingly. On to Week 6.  -Camara


We’re five weeks into the NBA season and it’s clear that COVID isn’t going away for a while. Something worth noting is that the teams that have had multiple games postponed will have to make them up at some point. Savvy fantasy managers can leverage this, especially if playing in a league with daily lineups. Washington went 13 days between games and Memphis is set to go 12 days. While rostering players on these teams has hurt recently, it will pay off later in the season when they make up the games. Now would be a good time to make trade offers for Wizards and Grizzlies.

As far as specific players, two stuck out this week. The first is Clint Capela. After missing the first two games of the season, he was eased into the rotation and slowly improved as the weeks went on. He absolutely exploded this week, averaging 21 points, 20 rebounds, and six blocks in three games over the past week. Those numbers are absolutely absurd and unsustainable but he’s now averaging over 14 points, 14 rebounds, and 2.3 blocks per game on the season, which is more sustainable moving forward. I’ve moved him up to the number six fantasy center in my rest of season rankings.

The other player that stood out was Jeremy Lamb. He suffered a season-ending knee injury nearly a year ago and sat out the first four-plus weeks this season, but looked fantastic in his first two games since returning.

The Pacers are being smart with him as he eases back in, but he showed his potential with 22 points and seven rebounds in 28 minutes of play in his second game back on Friday. Now is the time to cut any dead weight on your roster and add Lamb.  -Larson


With Week 5 in the books, I wanted to highlight a couple players that don’t get nearly enough recognition that have been crushing it of late. The first guy is Myles Turner. Turner leads the league with 59 blocks, good for 4.2 per game. He’s also racked up 21 steals, or 1.5 per game. That’s a league-leading 80 combined blocks + steals. Anthony Davis is second in the league with “just” 47 combined blocks + steals. Turner has 33 more blocks + steals than the next closest player in the league, and nobody is talking about it, so I felt the need to bring it to the forefront. Turner isn’t just a defensive juggernaut; he’s also been contributing across the board in offensive categories. In his last two games, Turner is averaging 23.5 points (65.4% FG, 85.7% FT) with 3.5 3PM in 39 minutes per game. He’s also playing a career-high 33 minutes per game through 14 games this season. His performance early in the season is real and he’s worthy of his current No. 7 rank in Yahoo! 9-category leagues.

OG Anunoby is another one of those guys that tends to get overshadowed by the bigger names surrounding him. Fred VanVleet, Pascal Siakam, and Kyle Lowry were all selected ahead of him in fantasy drafts, but Anunoby has cemented himself as a cornerstone of this Raptors team, and he’s been on an absolute tear in his last seven games. Over that two-week span, he’s averaging 18.7 points on 61.6% FG, 3.7 3PM, 6.3 rebounds, and 2.6 steals in 36 minutes per game. Anunoby has quickly become a top-25 fantasy asset in 9-category leagues.

While he may not be a better player than Luka Doncic, LeBron James, or James Harden, there’s a reason he’s ranked ahead of those guys in Yahoo! 9-category leagues. Simply put, Anunoby does it all.  -Koffler

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