NBL Fantasy | Contender or Pretender time

This weekly column is produced by Dean Zardo and Steve Chalmers.

Six rounds to go, four of those regular season rounds for your respective leagues that you participate in. This is the business end and where the NBL sorts out the men amongst boys.

For the fantasy perspective, it is very much the same. The schedule gets a little tighter, players to choose from get a little thinner and mind games start to kick in for those at the pointy end trying to decipher their final moves.

Our advice?

Keep your eyes peeled across socials for any injury updates - clubs are now doing a FANTASTIC job of this since our outcry for it earlier this season.

Don't take someone you're not willing to back in. Just because three out of four friends are picking up a suggested player, doesn't mean you have to as well if you have your doubts! Still don't know where your next move is? Well that's why we've got the below:

Lamar 'freakin' Patterson

It's not often we allocate an entire recap section to one player and one player only. However, Patterson's last fortnight has been off the charts.

If you have him, well played, he'll probably see out the season or at least up to the last round with you.

If you haven't...sorry ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

An average of 50.75 fpoints over the last four games, including two 35 point games has the Bullets back firing and can be major contenders over the last six rounds of the NBL season.

The better part is however, is that he's had his teammates come with him. Nathan Sobey has lifted, Will Magnay has lifted and it's time to take Brisbane seriously again!

Do you go early?

The South East Melbourne Phoenix recently announced Keith Benson being waived, which saw Dane Pineau grab the most of his expansive opportunity at the State Basketball Centre last weekend registering a monster stat line which included 20 rebounds.

With the Phoenix having back-to-back doubles commencing in Round 16, could it be possible (for those that don't currently own) to go early on some SEM players after seeing the minimal rotations applied by Simon Mitchell in Round 14?

Corey 'Homicide' Williams has spruiked that former NBA player Trevor Booker is the replacement, however it's doubtful he'll be in uniform by Sunday when the Phoenix have a favourable fixture against the Hawks.

The Stars

Daniel Johnson (Adelaide 36ers)

It was a little bit of a slim week for finding players that would 'go big' so it was unsurprising to see no player register triple figures. DJ did however lead the charge with 98 and was a fair reward for those who stuck with the 36ers veteran.

The Value

Will Magnay (Brisbane Bullets)

There's no question that Magnay is in the running for the league's Most Improved Player award at the end of season gala, and he's taken another step further since starting alongside fellow big man Matt Hodgson. He's managed to spread the floor with relative ease and provides the Bullets with another piece to the puzzle.

Pressure Cooker

Kyle Adnam (South East Melbourne Phoenix)

Adnam would have been a very popular bench Point Guard product throughout NBL20 and owners would have been even more delighted when minutes went through the roof when Adam Gibson was in street clothes. That bubble has burst now and with the Phoenix now having to play every game like it's their last, don't expect to see a bucket load of production out of Adnam.

Injury List

CairnsKouat NoiAnkle - TestIllawarra Aaron BrooksAchilles - SeasonAJ OgilvyUnknown - ProbableLaMelo BallFoot - UnknownMelbourneCasey PratherHamstring - 2 to 4 weeksNew ZealandGlen Rice Jr.Contract TerminatedCorey WebsterOn Loan - ChinaAter MajokUnknown - UnknownPerthDamian MartinHeel - 1 weeksSydneyCraig MollerAnkle - TestKevin LischAnkle - TestDidi LouzadaCalf - 1 week

The Tweets

We see you! Anything that catches our eye, we'll attempt to share with all of our readers.

The Summary

So, you've come here for a reason haven't you? Who do you bring in for the next round? Let's make it simple, below are a few names (at different levels) who you can target:

Doubles in Round 15: CNS, ILL, NZ

SG/SF: Mitch Creek (South East Melbourne) $1.83m

SF: Darrington Hobson (Illawarra) $1.09m

SF: Scotty Hopson (New Zealand) $1.18m

PF: Xavier Cooks (Sydney) $0.73m

PF: Finn Delany (New Zealand) $1.15m

C: Dane Pineau (South East Melbourne) $1.35m

For those you should be keen to oppose

As you can tell above, we haven't mentioned any Cairns guys. For what it's worth, if you don't have them in your side already, don't bother too much about moving the world to bring them in. Their fixture after this weekend isn't too favourable and it's looking like Kouat Noi will return which will spread a few of those points that some players have become accustomed to over the last few weeks.