Fantasy Basketball 2021: NBA Pickups to Watch After Jan. 27

Joe Tansey@JTansey90Featured ColumnistJanuary 28, 2021

Fantasy Basketball 2021: NBA Pickups to Watch After Jan. 27

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    Tony Dejak/Associated Press

    The James Harden blockbuster trade did not just affect the Brooklyn Nets. 

    The Cleveland Cavaliers bolstered their frontcourt depth with the additions of Jarrett Allen and Taurean Prince, and both have played well so far for the Eastern Conference franchise. 

    Since Allen was a high fantasy producer prior to the trade, he is not available in many fantasy basketball leagues, but Prince is still listed on a large number of waiver wires. 

    Cleveland's Wednesday night matchup with the Detroit Pistons was a showcase of two players who could provide instant help to fantasy basketball rosters. Detroit guard Wayne Ellington is the other player in that category alongside Prince. 

    Over in the Western Conference, a handful of big men have stepped up in Karl-Anthony Towns' absence for the Minnesota Timberwolves, with Jarred Vanderbilt being the latest to show potential from a fantasy perspective. 

Taurean Prince, SF/PF, Cleveland

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    Michael Dwyer/Associated Press

    Prince put up decent numbers from the bench in the Cleveland frontcourt. 

    Prince wracked up 16 points, seven rebounds, five assists and two blocks, and he knocked down three shots from three-point range. 

    Since the Harden trade, Prince has recorded a trio of double-digit point performances and knocked down at least a pair of threes in four of five games. 

    Prince also chipped in across most stat lines, which gives him value as a backup forward on fantasy rosters. 

    As long as Prince's bench role does not affect his numbers, he should be a great depth piece for fantasy rosters. 

    At the moment, Prince is rostered in just 17 percent of Yahoo competitions, per Fantasy Pros, and he carries some versatility since he is listed as a small forward and power forward. 

Wayne Ellington, SG/SF, Detroit

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    Carlos Osorio/Associated Press

    Ellington has been a rising star on the waiver wire over the last two weeks and is available in 62 percent of Yahoo leagues. 

    The 33-year-old has six straight double-digit point outings, which has been aided by some terrific shooting from three-point range. 

    Ellington has knocked down at least four triples in each of the last six games. He shot over 50 percent from the field in five of those contests as well. 

    The veteran out of North Carolina has been able to chip in some rebounds and assists, but his best fantasy value comes from three-point range. 

    If he continues to knock down shots from beyond the arc, Ellington will carry great value as a secondary guard in any fantasy basketball lineup. 

    Even if he stays hot, Ellington should still be a secondary backcourt piece, but there could be nights when he outscores some of the top guards on your roster. 

Jarred Vanderbilt, SF, Minnesota

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    Jeff Chiu/Associated Press

    Vanderbilt hopped on to the fantasy basketball radar with three consecutive 10-point performances prior to a four-point outing against Golden State. 

    During that span, the 21-year-old experienced an uptick in minutes as the Timberwolves try to find answers down low to replace Towns' production. 

    Vanderbilt and Naz Reid are the preferred starters down low right now, while Ed Davis and Jaden McDaniels have received time off the bench. 

    The Kentucky product may not be an instant addition in the next few days since he faces Joel Embiid and the Philadelphia 76ers on Friday, but he may turn into a decent depth piece after that. He is owned in just 19 percent of Yahoo leagues.

    Minnesota plays Cleveland twice, Oklahoma City on two occasions and San Antonio in the next five games following Friday's home clash with Philadelphia. 

    If Vanderbilt continues to put up double digits in the scoring column and adds a sizable chunk of rebounds, he could be a decent value play while Towns remains out.


    Follow Joe on Twitter, @JTansey90.

    Statistics obtained from