Join a Yahoo Fantasy Basketball League and Target These Players

Special for Yahoo Sports

If you were officially knocked out of your fantasy football league last weekend, don’t worry. The NBA season is only heating up and you can still draft a fantastic basketball team on Yahoo. As we get you ready for your draft and catch up with you on what you might have missed in the first quarter of the NBA season, here are some players to target in the middle to late rounds.

It was a difficult start to the season for the Nuggets. Already down Jamal Murray (knee), they also lost Michael Porter Jr. to undergo back surgery after playing just nine games. These are two of their top three scorers. Nikola Jokic can mask a lot of problems, but they need others to step up and take some of the pressure off her.

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One of the main side options behind Jokic now is Barton, who averages 34 minutes per game, a career-high. Its utilization rate stands at 22.2%, more than three percentage points higher than last season. The result was averages of 16.3 points, 5.1 rebounds, 4.2 assists and 2.6 three points per game. That’s good enough for him to be ranked 79th per game in the leagues of nine categories. Murray should still be sidelined for a long time, Barton’s role shouldn’t diminish anytime soon.

The top pick in the 2021 NHL Draft saw his career start off tough when he missed five of the Pistons’ first six games. He struggled when he finally spoke up, averaging 13.2 points and shooting 34.0 percent from the field in 13 games. Turnovers were also an issue at 3.5 per game, but he showed why he’s so popular averaging 6.2 rebounds, 5.2 assists, 1.5 steals and 1.8 three-pointers. during this sequence.

The No. 1 overall pick has a clear mid-term draft goal. (AP Photo / Carlos Osorio)

Looks like Cunningham is starting to get more comfortable. He has shot 46.3% from the field in the last seven games, averaging 21.6 points and 3.6 three points during that span. That is in addition to the averages of 6.3 rebounds, 3.7 assists and 1.6 steals. Rotations should remain a problem for him, and he will continue to have efficiency issues, but shooting attempts shouldn’t be difficult for him, especially with Jerami grant (inch) for at least the next six weeks. Cunningham has even more fantastic value if you are in a points league.

Most of the hype about the Bulls’ offseason moves revolved around the additions of DeMar DeRozan and Lonzo ball. They instantly made them a better team, although a recent outbreak of COVID-19 has dampened their debut somewhat.

As good as these additions have been, don’t sleep on Caruso. He has become an integral part of the team, whether he starts or leaves the bench. No, he’s not scoring a ton, averaging 8.4 points and 1.0 three-pointers per game. However, he provided averages of 3.6 rebounds, 4.1 assists and 2.2 steals to help increase his value. In a 10-game streak before suffering a hamstring injury, he averaged 9.1 points, 5.4 rebounds, 4.9 assists, 2.0 steals and 1.0 three-way shots. points.

Caruso returned in the Bulls’ last game and will now have more time for his hamstrings to heal with the postponement of Chicago’s first two games this week (Tuesday and Thursday). Expect him to continue to be a key part of Chicago’s rotation, so if you’re looking for assists and steals as your draft moves into the intermediate rounds, don’t forget Caruso.

Josh Giddey, Oklahoma City Thunder

The Thunder are full of young talent. They added Giddey to the fold by selecting him with the sixth overall pick in the 2021 draft and immediately made him an important part of the squad. He averages 30 minutes per game and has started every game he has appeared in. Like Cunningham, he struggled with his efficiency, hitting just 39.4% from the field. In addition, it pulls 70.0% of the unattractive charity strip. That being said, Giddey brought overall value counting the stats with 10.4 points, 6.7 rebounds, 5.8 assists, 1.0 steals and 0.9 three-pointers per game.

What’s intriguing about Giddey is what he did in games Shai Gilgeous-Alexandre missed. In two games he played without SGA, Giddey averaged 17.0 points, 7.0 rebounds, 8.0 assists and 1.5 three-pointers. If the Thunder returns to their downstroke tanking ways and relies more on SGA, Giddey could provide some important feedback for fantasy managers.

Chris Duarte, Indiana Pacers

The Pacers made headlines after reports published that they were looking to shake their roster. Domantas Sabonis, Myles Turner and Caris LeVert would all be on the commercial block, which is expected to have multiple league teams making calls before the February deadline. Duarte could be one of the players the Pacers plan to rebuild around after selecting him 13th overall in the 2021 draft.

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Duarte has started 21 of the 27 games he’s played, averaging 13.3 points, 4.0 rebounds, 1.8 three-pointers and 1.0 steals in that role. In the six games he’s been off the bench, he’s averaged just 11.7 points while shooting 37.8 percent from the field. A lot may depend on what the Pacers would receive in the trade, but if Duarte can solidify his starting status, he can be a good source of three points late in the draft.

Alec Burks, New York Knicks

Burks seemed like an afterthought on the Knicks roster given their offseason moves. They added both Kemba Walker and Evan Fournier towards the rear area, forming a deep group with restraints Derrick Rose, Emmanuel Quickley, RJ Barrett and Burks. This positional stalemate helped Burks average just 21 minutes in the Knicks’ opening 19 games.

However, with the team off to a slow start, coach Tom Thibodeau decided to take Walker out of his rotation entirely while dragging Burks into the top five. Since that move, Burks has averaged 15.4 points, 4.0 rebounds, 3.1 assists, 1.5 steals and 2.0 three-pointers on good games. There is no indication that Walker will be playing again anytime soon, so Burks’ place in the starting five appears to be secure for now.

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