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Week 6 Fantasy Basketball Category Analysis

Somehow, someway, it’s already the final week of January. The NBA and fantasy basketball seasons continue to chug right along for the time being. Here’s hoping we get through a full season without any major hitches! 

Of course, injuries plus virus crap equals an ever evolving fantasy basketball landscape in points and category leagues alike. As we do each week in our category analysis column, let’s take a look at some sparsely owned players who are making an impact across a number of statistical areas. 

**Note: Criteria for inclusion requires players to be owned in 60% of leagues or less**

eric gordon fantasy basketball category analysis
Credit: Erik Williams/USA TODAY Sports

Points | Fantasy Basketball Category Analysis

Eric Gordon, SG, Houston Rockets (47.2% ESPN Ownership)

The Rockets lineup has undergone a full-fledged transformation over the last two years. In fact, shooting guard Eric Gordon is one of the few holdovers on a roster that has seen each of James Harden, Chris Paul and Russell Westbrook come and go. While Houston currently has a new pair of stars in John Wall and Victor Oladipo, injuries to both have opened the door wide open for players like Gordon at the offensive end. For fantasy basketball category managers in need of added scoring production, the Rockets shooting guard is a quality addition. Gordon missed a few games earlier in the year himself due to injury but is averaging a solid 18.0 points per game thus far. He is typically good for multiple made 3-pointers on a nightly basis as well.

Other Players to Note

  • Derrick Rose, PG, Detroit Pistons
  • Anthony Edwards, SG, Minnesota Timberwolves
  • Doug McDermott, SF/PF, Indiana Pacers
Josh Hart fantasy basketball category analysis
Credit: Sean Gardner/Getty Images

Rebounds | Fantasy Basketball Category Analysis

Josh Hart, SG, New Orleans Pelicans (10.2%)

We highlighted Josh Hart as a strong fantasy basketball category option for rebounds back in Week 3 as well. Three weeks later and he is deserving of mention once again. A larger sample size of games has hardly diminished Hart’s rebound average. His 7.7 boards per game even outpace his scoring average of 7.6 points. Fantasy managers should not claim Hart with the expectation of major contributions across all categories. With that said, he is easily the best option out there when it comes to guards capable of providing a boost in rebounds.

Other Players to Note

  • Royce O’Neale, SF/PF, Utah Jazz
  • JaMychal Green, PF/C, Denver Nuggets
  • Khem Birch, C, Orlando Magic
Thaddeus Young
Credit: Getty Images

Assists | Fantasy Basketball Category Analysis

Thaddeus Young, PF/SF, Chicago Bulls (13.4%)

Week 6 hasn’t been kind to the fantasy basketball outlooks of Chicago Bulls players. While just two games this week aren’t appealing in the short term, Thaddeus Young projects to have a solid fantasy floor for the next month or so. His 24.2 average minutes per game should increase with starter Wendell Carter Jr. set to miss at least four weeks with a quad contusion. In Chicago’s game against the Boston Celtics on Monday, Young dished out nine assists to go along with 16 points and 9 boards. He is a priority add regardless of one’s standing in the specific category of assists. With that said, it’s likely that we will see his assists average rise right along with the rest of his stats in the coming weeks.

Other Players to Note

  • Derrick Rose, PG, Detroit Pistons
  • Kevin Huerter, SG/SF, Atlanta Hawks
  • Cedi Osman, SF, Cleveland Cavaliers
Wayne Ellington
Credit: Tim Fuller-USA TODAY Sports

3-Pointers | Fantasy Basketball Category Analysis

Wayne Ellington, SG, Detroit Pistons (17.5%)

It’s hard to believe that the 11th best 3-point shooter on a per game average is rostered in less than 20% of fantasy basketball leagues. Yet, that’s just the case with Pistons’ sniper Wayne Ellington. The 33-year-old veteran has scored in double figures in each of Detroit’s last five games. He has knocked down a total of 27 treys in the five games combined. After connecting on six of his nine attempts from deep to finish with 20 points in Monday’s game against the Philadelphia 76ers, Ellington’s 3-point field goal percentage now sits at 51.9% on the season. Is this shooting and fantasy production sustainable? Probably not. But for the time being, it’s hard to beat Ellington (3.3 triples per game) when it comes to 3-pointers category production.

Other Players to Note

  • Patty Mills, PG, San Antonio Spurs
  • Gary Trent Jr., SG, Portland Trail Blazers
  • Marcus Morris Sr., PF/SF, Los Angeles Clippers
Naz Reid fantasy
Credit: Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports

Blocks | Fantasy Basketball Category Analysis

Naz Reid, C, Minnesota Timberwolves (19.6%)

The Timberwolves’ frontcourt has been hit by a mixture of injuries and virus protocol in the first five weeks of the season. Currently, both star center Karl-Anthony Towns and power forward Juan Hernangomez are sidelined by the virus. This has opened up extra minutes for other Minnesota bigs like Naz Reid. The former LSU Tiger has made good on the additional playing time, particularly on the defensive end where he is averaging 1.4 blocks per game. Reid has recorded multiple blocks in three of the Wolves’ last four games. With his minutes set to hover in the mid-to-upper 20’s until the Timberwolves get healthier, Reid is a viable add for those fantasy basketball managers in need of additional rejections.

Other Players to Note

  • Nerlens Noel, C, New York Knicks
  • Bismack Biyombo, C, Charlotte Hornets
  • Daniel Gafford, C, Chicago Bulls
T.J. McConnell fantasy basketball
Credit: Justin Ford-USA TODAY Sports

Steals | Fantasy Basketball Category Analysis

T.J. McConnell, PG, Indiana Pacers (9.7%)

We featured T.J. McConnell in this very column last week for his prowess in the assists category. For those who weren’t willing to bite at that, let it be known that he’s among the best in the NBA at picking pockets too. McConnell’s 1.9 steals per game average ties for the fourth-most in the league. Those joining him at that average are Nikola Jokic, Marcus Smart and Jrue Holiday. Pretty good company, eh? Of course, fantasy basketball managers that add him for steals will also be getting his 5.5 assists per game. While McConnell is not feared as a scorer (4.4 points per game average), his 52.7% field goal percentage is not one to drag down that category either. It’s not the sexiest pickup, but McConnell deserves to be on fantasy rosters going forward.

Other Players to Note

  • David Nwaba, SG, Houston Rockets
  • Isaac Okoro, SF, Cleveland Cavaliers
  • Jarred Vanderbilt, PF, Minnesota Timberwolves

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