January 29, 2024, 2:03 pm
We’re just over a week away from the NBA trade deadline so fantasy managers should prepare to be nimble with the last few spots on a roster. While we can predict a few big names that’ll be on the move, there will always be some surprises, as well as some names who shake out of the frenzy and end up being game-changers down the stretch in fantasy. As such, this next week might be a good one to sacrifice some long-term potential for immediate assistance. If you can hop on the tail end of a hot streak, you can get some nice games and then pivot to the post-deadline winners without much guilt.
As fate would have it, there aren’t a ton of guys with obvious season-long productivity on the table this week. Sometimes things just line up nicely and hopefully they’ll keep it going enough to hold you over for a week or two. Let’s get it.
Josh Hart, G, New York Knicks
Hart hasn’t really found the gas pedal despite the departures of RJ Barrett and Immanuel Quickley four weeks back, but he’s probably going to be the big winner of Julius Randle’s dislocated shoulder. The Knicks roster is structured in such a way that multi-guard lineups are the default Plan B whenever something gets shaken up, and we know that Tom Thibodeau loves what Hart brings to the table. This is probably his last chance to cement himself as a 12-team option this year, and Hart should get enough playing time for the next few weeks to do the trick.
Harrison Barnes, F, Sacramento Kings
Look, this one is almost certainly going to be a short-term fling. But Barnes is cooking right now, and another couple games of him on a heater is worth more than the last guy on your bench. He was a top-5 value last week thanks to 30.3 points per game, as well as 4.7 3-pointers, 1.3 steals and a remarkable (for him) 0.7 blocks. Barnes will turn back into a pumpkin eventually but if you have space, you might as well hop on the ride to see how long that’ll take. Even if he peters out gradually, that’s a handful of decent games on his way back to normal.
Ayo Dosunmu, G, Chicago Bulls
We identified Dosunmu as a stash last week, but he’s playing well enough to get the mention here anyway. He continues to shine in the absence of Zach LaVine — which could become permanent — and was able to deliver top-100 value last week, averaging 14.0 points, 1.3 steals and 1.7 blocks per game on a cool .500 shooting from the field. The Bulls should be looking to go younger and they’ve got some ready-made options in the backcourt for that. As long as Dosunmu is getting 30 minutes a night, he should be a lineup option for you.
Jarred Vanderbilt, F, Los Angeles Lakers
The Lakers finally went back to the starting lineup that brought them their most success last season, which means Vanderbilt should be starting for the foreseeable future. He ran with the ball in his opportunity last week, finishing as a top-40 player in 9-cat formats. The most exciting thing there is that not many of Vanderbilt’s numbers looked too far out of reach beyond his 14.3 points and 3.3 steals per game and a .769 mark at the charity stripe. Even then, the steals will still be positive if not elite, and the free throw number should come on low enough volume that it’s not out of the realm of possibility that he’s an average contributer to FT%. The 7.7 rebounds, 0.7 blocks and .571 FG% should be repeatable as long as Vanderbilt continues to start.
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