The NBA season has already given us plenty to be thankful for as we reach Thanksgiving week, which is in the middle of Week 6 of season-long fantasy leagues. The schedule is a little uneven since everyone gets Thursday off creating mega slates on Wednesday (12 games) and on Black Friday (14 games).
Whether you’re starting your holiday shopping or saving it until later, you can pick up a few good deals for your fantasy team this week. In this weekly post throughout the season, you can find some of the hottest trending players, some deep league additions to consider, and a more in-depth look at four sleeper pickups. The sleeper targets listed below aren’t quite mainstream, but they are emerging as options with plenty of potential upside. The top trending players are good pickups to consider if available but are quickly vanishing off waiver wires. The deep league options at the bottom of the post can be a help if the top options and the four sleeper pickups have already been picked up.
In week 6, which starts Monday, November 21, 15 of the 30 teams in the NBA are scheduled for four games. The Charlotte Hornets, Houston Rockets and Toronto Raptors have light weeks with only two games and the other 12 teams each play three times. Depending on if you’re looking for short-term or long-term help, you may want to lean into teams that play more this week.
Things change in a hurry from day to day throughout the season, so follow along on my Twitter account @ZT_sports if you are looking for single-game streaming options, along with cheap DFS plays on a daily basis.
Top Trending Players
- PG Tyus Jones, Memphis Grizzlies
- PG/SG De’Anthony Melton, Philadelphia 76ers
- PG/SG Jalen Suggs, Orlando Magic
- PG/SG Bones Hyland, Denver Nuggets
- PG/SG Killian Hayes, Detroit Pistons
- PG/SG Derrick White, Boston Celtics
- PG/SG Cameron Payne, Phoenix Suns
- SG/SF Max Strus, Miami Heat
- SG/SF Malik Beasley, Utah Jazz
- SG/SF Royce O’Neale, Brooklyn Nets
- SG/SF Lonnie Walker IV, Los Angeles Lakers
- SF/PF Harrison Barnes, Sacramento Kings
- SF/PF Bruce Brown, Denver Nuggets
- PF/C Bol Bol, Orlando Magic
- PF/C Jalen Smith, Indiana Pacers
- PF/C Marcus Morris Sr., Los Angeles Clippers
- PF/C Thaddeus Young, Toronto Raptors
- PF/C Larry Nance Jr., New Orleans Pelicans
- C Mo Bamba, Orlando Magic
PG/SG Shake Milton, Philadelphia 76ers (vs. BKN, at CHA, at ORL, at ORL)
The 76ers were already without James Harden (foot) and now will likely be without Tyrese Maxey (foot) for a while after he suffered an injury Friday night against the Bucks. Maxey broke bones in his foot and is expected to miss three to four weeks. De’Anthony Melton has done a nice job filling in for Harden, but the Sixers will need someone else to step up as well for the next several games.
Milton averaged just 12.4 minutes over his first 10 games of the season and had only played over 20 minutes one time before playing a season-high 31 minutes in the game in which Maxey left injured. He made the most of his increased opportunity posting season-highs with 15 points and six assists while also adding his first steal of the year.
On Saturday, Milton moved into the starting lineup and had 27 points, six rebounds and two assists in 38 minutes against Minnesota. His ceiling is extremely high while Harden and Maxey are out, but he’s still owned in less than a third of leagues as of early Sunday.
Last season, Milton had a few bursts of fantasy production. In his six starts, he averaged 16.0 points, 5.3 rebounds and 3.8 assists with a 19.8% usage rate in those contests. He had a 24.0% usage rate Friday and 26.8% usage rate Saturday. If he keeps getting so much work, he should be able to deliver great multicategory production for as long as Maxey and Harden are sidelined. He will quickly be snatched up on waiver wires, so get your claims in fast!
SG/SF Jalen Williams, Oklahoma City Thunder (vs. NY, vs. DEN, vs. CHI, at HOU)
The Thunder inserted their No. 12 overall pick from last year’s draft into their starting lineup, and his trajectory seems to be back on track after getting derailed by a fractured orbital bone suffered on opening night. Williams still has a lot of growing to do, for sure, but his raw talent makes his upside off the charts. He should keep getting run, although the Thunder are constantly getting a look at different rotations and combinations.
Williams has scored double-digit points in four of his past five games, including each of his two starts. He has averaged 11.6 points, 5.2 assists, 3.8 rebounds and 1.2 made 3-pointers during that five-game stretch. He had his first career double-double to start that run in a blowout win over the Raptors, and he also posted a new career-high with 16 points in his most recent game on Friday night. In that game, he also showed his multi-category potential adding seven assists, six rebounds and two steals while playing 33 minutes.
He’s only owned in under a quarter of leagues after his injuries and slow start, but he has a high ceiling in multiple ways in what should be a favorable four-game schedule this coming week.
C Thomas Bryant, Los Angeles Lakers (at PHX, at SA, at SA)
Bryant was brought in as a free agent this past offseason after a torn ACL and back issues slowed his development during his four years in Washington. In mid-October, he was forced to undergo thumb surgery, though, and couldn’t make his season debut until just this past Friday.
Bryant came off the bench in his debut but could move into the starting lineup soon if he’s healthy and makes an impact. Anthony Davis likes playing at power forward rather than at center, so Bryant’s emergence could help him be more comfortable as well.
In his debut, Bryant had eight points, five boards and a block in just 13 minutes. If you are looking to add a big man, Bryant can be a nice speculative add since when he’s healthy he has a high ceiling of points, blocks and rebounds. His per-minute production throughout his career shows he can be a great option if he is healthy. You’ll have to act fast, though, because he’s already been added in over 10% of leagues and that number could spike in a hurry if his role increases.
SF/PF Torrey Craig, Phoenix Suns (vs. LAL, vs. DET, vs. UTA)
The Suns lost Cameron Johnson (knee) for a month or two just a week ago, and they have also been without Chris Paul (heel) for the past few games. Filling in for Johnson has provided a nice opportunity for Craig, who bounced around the league and is in his second stint with the Suns, who reacquired him in a trade from the Pacers in the middle of last season.
Craig has averaged 27.9 minutes per game while starting each of the team’s seven most recent contests. As per usual, he isn’t a high-usage player but chips in production across multiple categories. He has averaged 1.7 3-pointers, 1.0 blocked shots, 1.1 steals, 5.7 rebounds and 1.9 assists to go with his 8.9 points per game.
He has reached double-digit points in three straight games and posted a double-double on Wednesday in a nice win over the Warriors. His steals and blocks are reliable enough that he can help fill in the peripheral categories as a “Three-and-D” option for your fantasy team just like he is for the Suns.
Other options to consider
- PG/SG/SF Alec Burks, Detroit Pistons
- SG/SF Tim Hardaway Jr., Dallas Mavericks
- SG/SF Austin Reaves, Los Angeles Lakers
- SG/SF John Konchar, Memphis Grizzlies
- SF/PF Rui Hachimura, Washington Wizards
- SF/PF Kenyon Martin Jr., Houston Rockets
- SF/PF Grant Williams, Boston Celtics
- SF/PF Yuta Watanabe, Brooklyn Nets
- PF Jeremy Sochan, San Antonio Spurs
- PF/C Isaiah Jackson, Indiana Pacers
- PF/C Santi Aldama, Memphis Grizzlies
- PF/C Marvin Bagley III, Detroit Pistons
- PF/C Jalen Duren, Detroit Pistons
- PF/C Walker Kessler, Utah Jazz
- C Jericho Sims, New York Knicks
- C Nick Richards, Charlotte Hornets
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I am a promoter at DraftKings and am also an avid fan and user (my username is Z.Thompson) and may sometimes play on my personal account in the games that I offer advice on. Although I have expressed my personal view on the games and strategies above, they do not necessarily reflect the view(s) of DraftKings and do not constitute a representation that any particular strategy will guarantee success. All customers should use their own skill and judgment in building lineups. I may also deploy different players and strategies than what I recommend above. I am not an employee of DraftKings and do not have access to any non-public information.