We are three weeks into the fantasy basketball season and there have been some players that have exceeded expectations. The key is whether or not to sell high on these players or keep them for the whole season. These are the biggest surprises in fantasy basketball through three weeks.
Surprises in Fantasy Basketball
Cole Anthony – Orlando Magic
Even the biggest Cole Anthony supporters couldn’t have predicted this. The sophomore is averaging 20.2 points, 7.1 rebounds, and 5.2 assists on 41 percent shooting from three-point range. Anthony went undrafted in most leagues after he had a solid yet unspectacular rookie season. With top-five pick Jalen Suggs struggling, Anthony has taken over as the top guard on the Magic. The question for Anthony is whether or not his production can continue. His three-point shooting and rebound numbers may drop a little, but Anthony has proven to be a well-rounded fantasy player. Managers who roster Anthony have no reason to think the good times will end.
Harrison Barnes – Sacramento Kings
Harrison Barnes has been playing at an all-star level through three weeks of the NBA season. He is averaging 22.2 points and nine rebounds while shooting 48 percent from the field and 43 percent from three-point range. Incredible numbers from the 10th year pro out of North Carolina. While it is hard to trade away this caliber of production, managers should test the market on Barnes in their league. Barnes has always been a mid-teens scorer with decent rebounding numbers throughout his career. His production is likely to regress to the mean but he will still be fantasy relevant for those who hold onto him. However, if Barnes can be traded away for a star that is struggling (ex. Michael Porter Jr.), managers should consider selling high on him.
Miles Bridges – Charlotte Hornets
When Gordon Hayward was injured towards the end of last season, Miles Bridges shined in his absence. Coming into this season, it was expected that Bridges would return to his old form. It is safe to say through three weeks that he has been arguably the biggest surprise of the season. He is averaging 22.5 points, 7.4 rebounds, and 1.6 steals per game. The biggest reason for Bridges jump has been his role in the offense. He is averaging 17.9 field goal attempts this season while he averaged 9.8 last season. Bridges may not be able to completely sustain this level of production, but he is no doubt having a year-four breakout season. Managers who own Bridges should enjoy the ride and hope it continues.
Rookies: Scottie Barnes and Evan Mobley
Scottie Barnes and Evan Mobley were both highly touted prospects coming into the NBA, but what they have done so far nobody thought would happen. Most Rookie of the Year award predictions did not include Mobley or Barnes as finalists. Yet, after three weeks, these two players are the leading candidates for the award. A lot can change from now until the end of the season, but Barnes and Mobley have already proven that they have future star potential. Barnes is averaging 16.6 points and 8.7 rebounds while Mobley is averaging 14.9 points, eight rebounds, and 1.3 blocks per game. Both of these guys were considered projects when they were drafted. Ironically, they have been the most NBA-ready.
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