5 NBA Bench Players You Need On Your Fantasy Basketball Roster
As NBA teams approach the regular season’s home stretch, fantasy basketball players will want to fortify their lineups with bench players who can make a difference.
It’s not enough to have a solid starting lineup. As injuries and player slumps take hold, smart fantasy managers have to make changes in their lineup to maintain or improve their position. This can be done by making sure they have valuable players who come off the bench and produce on a consistent basis.
In this piece, we look at five of the best bench players to pick up for the stretch run.
Tyler Herro, Miami Heat
One of the best off-the-bench scorers in the Association, Tyler Herro has improved in each of his first three seasons. After averaging 13.5 points per game as a rookie in 2019-20, Herro improved to 15.1 last year and that figure is an impressive 21.0 PPG this season. He was at his best Tuesday night in the Heat’s 105-98 victory over the Detroit Pistons, scoring 29 points in his familiar role off the bench.
Herro has played in 57 games this season and he has come off the bench in all but 10 of those games. The shooting guard from Kentucky is adding 4.8 rebounds and 3.8 assists per night, and he has shown that he can hit big shots in clutch situations, thereby making him a key go-to player for Heat head coach Erik Spoelstra.
Jordan Clarkson, Utah Jazz
Jordan Clarkson has been a consistent scorer throughout his career in the NBA and has become a mainstay in his third season with the Jazz. Clarkson has come off the bench in 64 of 65 games and he is averaging a solid 15.8 PPG while connecting on 41.3% from the field. That figure includes his three-point shooting, but it is his mid-range game that stands out because Clarkson is connecting on 53.0 percent of his shots from inside the arc.
Clarkson has won the confidence of head coach Quin Snyder because of his ability to get his shot off quickly and his ability to hit his free throws. Clarkson has made 84.8% of his free throws this season, and that comes on the heels of connecting on 89.6 percent from the line a year ago.
Derrick White, Boston Celtics
The Celtics picked up Derrick White at the trade deadline in a deal with the San Antonio Spurs and he has been a sensational fit in Boston. He has been equally good as a fantasy player, as he is averaging 25.7 minutes per game in his 13 outings with the Celtics. He is a double-figure scorer with an average of 10.7 points per game and is also contributing with 3.4 rebounds per game and 2.9 assists per night.
White’s numbers are likely to improve in the coming weeks, as he is connecting on just 40.5 percent of his shots from the field. White has connected on 44.3 percent of his shots throughout his career. White sees the court extremely well and Boston coach Ime Udoka and his new teammates love the way he delivers the ball to the open man on a regular basis.
Montrezl Harrell, Charlotte Hornets
Montrezl Harrell has been one of the game’s best off-the-bench performers for the last five years. Since being traded to the Hornets from the Washington Wizards in February, Harrell is averaging 12.7 PPG and is also pulling down 6.3 rebounds per night. Harrell is tough, aggressive and punishing on the boards, and he is known for his ability to corral offensive rebounds when his team needs them most.
Harrell is not going to be a factor from the outside, but he knows his role and he excels at it. He is connecting on 61.5% of his shots from the field and he also knows how to avoid fouls while asserting himself. He is averaging 2.5 fouls per game while playing 24.0 minutes per game.
Kevin Love, Cleveland Cavaliers
Kevin Love is a dynamic all-around player and he has played a key role in Cleveland’s success this season as he has come off the bench in 57 of 60 games played. The 33-year-old Love is averaging 13.8 PPG along with 7.2 rebounds per night along with 2.1 assists. Love is making a strong contribution while averaging 22.2 minutes of game action per night.
Love is a five-time NBA All-Star, and that includes twice being named to the All-NBA second team. Love was a dynamic starter throughout the majority of his 14-year career, but he has adjusted well to coming off the bench and he should remain a key player for the Cavs in the season’s stretch run.
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