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Fantasy Basketball Category Analysis: Week 9 (2019)

by Michael Waterloo | @MichaelWaterloo | Featured Writer
Dec 20, 2019

Fultz seems to be be on his way into a major breakout

Was it worth it, Toronto? I mean, the obvious answer is of course, idiot. When it comes to winning an NBA title, or any title, really, it’s usually always worth it.

But man, have the injuries been rough for the Raptors this year.

with the latest wave of injuries, Pascal Siakam, Norman Powell, and Marc Gasol are all expected to miss weeks of action. Add that to the time that Kyle Lowry and Fred VanVleet have already missed, and it’s shocking that the Raptors are as high in the standings as they are.

Will this cause Toronto to shop Lowry if they fall back in the standings? With FVV’s breakout season and Powell showing he’s more than able to hold his own as a starter, you have to think that Lowry has a good chance of being moved within the next couple of months.

There are fantasy implications here, too, though we are totally sure how it’s going to play out. We’ll touch on the top two options available on the wire in Toronto below.

Every other week, I’m going to be looking at players who are widely available and rostered in fewer than 60 percent of fantasy leagues on Yahoo. We’ll be focusing in on 8-cat leagues, because turnovers are a waste of a category if we’re being honest. We’ll be looking at players who can help you in each of the eight categories who you can get before your leaguemates catch on.

The eight categories we’ll focus on each week are:

  • Points
  • Rebounds
  • Assists
  • Steals
  • Blocks
  • Threes
  • Field-goal percentage
  • Free-throw percentage

Let’s get to it.

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Points

Bruce Brown (SG – DET) 15%
Down goes Blake Griffin. Down goes Andre Drummond. Here comes Christian Wood, right? Wood is a cult-type hero for fantasy basketball Twitter, but Wood failed to impress in his first game replacing Griffin, and he, too, got injured. It’s actually been Brown who has been the most impressive Piston of late. Over the last two weeks, Brown is averaging 11.3 points, six rebounds, 3.8 assists, and 1.3 steals per game. His stock is on the rise, and his minutes should keep climbing even when the Pistons are at full health.

Rebounds

Enes Kanter (C – BOS) 43%
It’s really, really hard to trust Kanter, but he’s had 22 rebounds in his past two games, and he’s been playing 22.5 minutes in those two contests with the injuries the Celtics have upfront. We’ve been fooled before by Kanter, but I’m grabbing and stashing him in hopes that his recent play is indicative of what we can expect moving forward.

Assists

Jalen Brunson (PG – DAL) 37%
It’s Brunson, not Tim Hardaway, Jr., who is the biggest recipient of a fantasy boost with the injury to Luka Doncic. It’s unknown how long Doncic will be out, but Brunson is the top guy to grab on this list. Rick Carlisle turned to Brunson down the stretch over Delon Wright, and he’s logged 31-plus minutes in his last three games, with eight, 11, and 11 assists in those games, respectively. Grab him and enjoy the ride while Doncic is out.

Steals

Rondae Hollis-Jefferson (SF/PF – TOR) 9%
I wrote about RHJ about a month ago, because I really liked what I saw when watching him on the court. But his playing time went down, and he was an instant cut. With all of the injuries that the Raptors have accrued, RHJ should find playing time all over the court. He had three steals his last game out, and that’s what I’m picking him up for, but with the minutes he’s going to see, he should be able to offer a well-rounded fantasy game for his managers, too. 

Blocks

Chris Boucher (PF/C – TOR) 18%
Boucher is another guy that I’ve written about a few times in this column this year, and he’s a no-brainer add with Siakam and Gasol missing time. He’s a true difference-maker at the rim, and if you’re in need of blocks, there’s no one better on the wire that you can get. His minutes have been horrible of late, but expect a major uptick to about 18-19 for the next few weeks.

Threes

Gary Harris (SG/SF – DEN) 57%
Harris is getting a ton of minutes, but he’s not doing a lot with them. So why, then, is a guy who is shooting 36 percent from three with a low usage rate on here? Well, if you look at any trade scenario out there right now, the speculation is that Harris would be a key piece going back to the other team. Perhaps for Jrue Holiday? I want to get out ahead of the rush if Harris gets dealt, so I want to stash him if I have the room.

Field-goal percentage

Markelle Fultz (PG/SG – ORL) 45%
Here’s what I wrote about Fultz two weeks ago:

“It’s so, so great to see Fultz putting together a great season finally. There’s still a lot of superstar, untapped potential here. What helps Fultz succeed is that he’s getting to the rim more and cutting back on his long-range shots. That’s helped him with his 51.1 field goal percentage from the floor. He’s a must-roster player.”

Fultz had two back-to-back low-outcome cames – one was a DNP – but there’s no reason for his rostership to have dipped. He’s still shooting a respectable 47.3 percent from the field, which is 54th in the league. He needs to be rostered at least at a 60 percent clip.

Free-throw percentage

Terrence Ross (SG/SF – ORL) 50%
I initially had Ross slotted in the points category, but I needed somewhere to slot Brown. We’ll go with Ross here instead, who still has some upside if you’re looking for points or free-throw help. He’s on the second unit, sure, but he’s still averaging in the high 20s for minutes per game. 

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Michael Waterloo is a featured writer at FantasyPros. For more from Michael, check out his archive and follow him @MichaelWaterloo.

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