Silent Knight: Fantasy Basketball Dynasty
Updated: Jan 3
The Fantasy Basketball Dynasty season and Christmas season have ONE thing in common: BOTH are HEATING UP! We are officially 8 weeks into the NBA season and only 2 weeks away from Christmas! How's your Christmas shopping coming along? Remember, don't wait until the weekend BEFORE to shop for your family and friends AND if you don't know what to get them, may I suggest getting them a basketball? A basketball is a universal gift that everyone (including grandma) would LOVE to receive.
So... What's up with the article title? Silent Knight? Well, with Christmas right around the corner, we wanted to combine my nickname White Knight with the famous Christmas carol Silent Night.
Silent night + White Knight = Silent Knight
(Thank you for the brilliant idea, Starks!)
Now, we didn't choose this title JUST because it sounded awesome. The purpose of this article is to find those SILENT fantasy basketball players who consistently go under-the-radar BUT have the ability to help your team. Everyone loves those flashy, dominating players who consistently put up Top-100 numbers BUT those players are few and far between. Let's take a deep dive on under-the-radar players or SILENT players who can help boost your team.
If you were to look up silent in the dictionary, you’d come across A LOT of varying definitions, but most of what you would find would look something this:
making no sound; quiet
refraining from speech
MAKING NO MENTION
NOT WIDELY OR GENERALLY KNOWN OR APPRECIATED
Those last two definitions are the driving forces behind the purpose of this article. These silent players are not MENTIONED or APPRECIATED by most of the fantasy basketball community. The following players are BOTH outside the Top-100 AND owned in UNDER 50% of Yahoo leagues. These players have the ABILITY to help vault your team to playoff contention or even WIN YOU YOUR LEAGUE. Each player's category Strengths and Semi-Strengths will be highlighted below as well as a small blurb of each player's current and future outlook
DO ME A FAVOR: After EACH player's blurb, please add: "_________ can be a very valuable player at the end of your bench"
Top 100-150 Players
Norman Powell (Current Rank: 101)
Strengths: 3PM, FT%
Semi-Strengths: FG%, REB, AST, STL, PTS, TO
Despite all of the injuries and rotation shake-ups in Toronto, Powell has been a linchpin for the Raptors getting minutes in the upper-20s and producing across the board. He may not play this well all season, but why not add him and find out if he can keep it up?
Brandon Clarke (102)
Strengths: FG%, FT% STL, BLK
Semi-Strengths: 3PM, PTS, TO
The rookie out of Gonzaga showed a lot of promise during the Summer League, and his game has translated smoothly despite getting limited minutes. As the year goes on, I expect Clarke's role to expand, which could vault him well inside the Top-100.
Larry Nance Jr. (104)
Strengths: 3PM, REB, STL
Semi-Strengths: AST, PTS, TO
Nance Jr. is a high-energy guy who contributes out-of-position stats such as 3PM and AST. Whether Nance Jr. starts or comes off the bench, I see him producing similar numbers all year.
George Hill (110)
Strengths: FG%, 3PM, FT%, TO
Semi-Strengths: REB, AST, PTS
"Curious" George Hill can still produce points, rebounds, and assists at a solid clip. He contributes low-end stats across the board and receives 20+ minutes per night.
Jae Crowder (115)
Strengths: 3PM, REB, AST, STL, TO
Crowder is starting for a wasteland team and getting minutes in the 30s. He makes 2+ 3PM a game and contributes low-end stats across the board. That's a guy I would want hustling for my team.
Royce O'Neale (116)
Strengths: 3PM, REB, TO
Semi-Strengths: FG%, FT%, AST, STL
O'Neale is probably the LEAST sexiest name on this list. I get it. O'Neale chips in with enough stats to warrant consistent streamer consideration while not hurting you ANYWHERE.
Patty Mills (121)
Strengths: 3PM, STL, FG%, FT%
Semi-Strengths: REB, AST
Anyone who averages 2 3PM a game is someone that is always on my radar. On top of 3s, Mills also contributes in steals and doesn't hurt your FG% or FT%.
Bryn Forbes (136)
Strengths: 3PM, TO
Semi-Strengths: FG%, FT%, AST, STL, PTS
Another Spurs PG, Forbes is another guy who gets you over 2 3PM a game while contributing solid points.
Dillon Brooks (145)
Strengths: 3PM, STL, PTS, TO
Semi-Strengths: REB, AST
Brooks is one of MY guys. He doesn't get enough respect in fantasy leagues even though he's starting for a wasteland team and playing almost 30 MPG while chipping in solid stats across the board. Love it.
Cody Zeller (149)
Strengths: FG%, REB
Semi-Strengths: 3PM, PTS, TO
It seems like Zeller has been in the league FOREVER. You know exactly what you're getting with Zeller - Solid FG%, REB, and steady 3PM and points. He's not a sexy player to own by any means, but he could be the anchor at the end on your bench as long as he's playing for the Hornets.
OUTSIDE Top 150 Players
Now that we have covered the SILENT players in the Top 100-150, let's take a look at the players who are currently OUTSIDE the Top 150 who we think have a chance to work their way up into Top 150 status for the rest of the season.
Dorian Finney-Smith (156)
Strengths: FG%, 3PM, REB, TO
Finney-Smith keeps starting and playing minutes in the mid-30s for a VERY GODD Dallas Mavericks team. He doesn't hurt you anywhere.
Kent Bazemore (161)
Strengths: 3PM, REB, STL TO
Bazemore's outlook recently enhanced with the unfortunate news of Hood going down for the rest of the season. Bazemore is a hustle guy who will chip in with valuable stock stats to go along with low-end points.
Josh Okogie (178)
Strengths: REB, STL, TO
Semi-Strengths: 3PM, AST
I'm a sucker for players who start and get a vote of confidence from their coaches. Okogie will continue to start for the foreseeable future, and he should provide consistent, low-end stats with the occasional great game.
D.J. Augustin (179)
Strengths: 3PM, FT%, TO
Semi-Strengths: REB, AST, STL
Augustin came into the year the starting PG for the Magic, but as I predicted, Fultz took over the starting job within the first few weeks. Even though Augustin is coming off the bench, he is averaging minutes in the upper-20s. He is always a safe bet to get you traditional PG stats without hurting you anywhere.
Joe Ingles (181)
Strengths: 3PM, STL
Semi-Strengths: REB, AST
Ingle Bells, Ingle Bells, Ingles ALL THE WAY! Ingles had such a great year last year (12PTS, 2.3 3PM, 4 REB, 5.7 AST, 1.2 STL) that I am willing to bet he turns it around sooner than later. Ingles is a solid add wherever he was dropped and a decent buy-low candidate.
Dwight Powell (186)
Strengths: FG%, TO
Semi-Strengths: REB, STL
Powell is an athletic freak who just needs the opportunity. Since he's not starting, he may have a tough time producing consistent numbers currently, but he should always be on your radar as a potential streamer if he's getting the minutes or if an injury occurs.
De'Andre Hunter (196)
Strengths: 3PM, FT%, PTS
Semi-Strengths: REB, AST, STL, TO
The promising rookie out of Virginia, Hunter stepped right into the starting role in Atlanta. I expect his steals numbers to rise as he gets more acclimated to the speed of the NBA.
Kevin Huerter (240)
Strengths: 3PM, STL, TO
After a promising rookie year, Huerter entered the year with a shoulder injury that sidelined him for the beginning of the season. He's currently on a minutes-limit, but the Hawks are desperate to get him back out there playing at full strength. He reminds me of a young Kyle Korver. He hits 3s and gets steals.
Jarrett Culver (259)
Strengths: 3PM, STL, TO
Semi-Strengths: REB, AST, BLK, PTS
Another promising rookie out of Texas Tech, Culver is a delight to watch. He does everything well on the court and is very coachable. The Wolves love him and have given him a long leash despite his FG% woes. Despite his poor FG%, Culver is playing minutes in the upper 20s and producing SOLID across the board stats.
Elfrid Payton (295)
Strengths: 3PM, FT%, AST, STL
Payton is the only TRUE PG in New York and I expect the coaches to turn to Payton full-time to facilitate New York's inept offense. If they allow Payton to run the offense and get 25-30 MPG, I can see him finishing the season well inside the Top 150.
Wrapping it Up
Do me a favor and take a look at your squad's needs. Are you lacking in a specific category or categories? Are you dominating in a few categories and struggling in others? When it comes to rounding out your bench, I hope you don't overlook the SILENT players mentioned above. As you can see, most of these players can help you in one or multiple categories WITHOUT hurting you in FG%, FT%, and/or TOs. Whether you decide to stream one or more of these players OR you want to roll with one of these players long-term, I hope you heed my advice and be mindful of the categories you need help in and take advantage of my list.
It’s time to to give these silent players more love and clout. If you give up on a player too easy, you might be handing your opponent a lottery ticket to the playoffs. I understand there are circumstances where you need to drop a player based on the needs of your team, but the players I mentioned above are WIDELY available and always seem to get the job done despite not being flashy about it. It’s those SILENT players that can help you win your weekly matchups and EVERY WEEK COUNTS when it comes to future playoff seeding or even making the playoffs!
As always, If you need help streaming a specific category, please let us know! We would love to help. You can send us a message on the website or you can tweet at us any time.
Don't forget to subscribe to NewLifeFantasy.com mailing list and sign up as a member for FREE to get all updates from us. Also, please subscribe to Take A Ride Podcast and to our YouTube Channel. It helps us keep the site, podcast, and YouTube channel going.
God bless you and I hope everyone is having a wonderful Christmas season!
Jacob W. Dunne