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Week 13 Fantasy Basketball Category Analysis

by Michael Waterloo | @MichaelWaterloo | Featured Writer
Jan 17, 2020

Sekou Doumbouya is set to get a lot playing time with Blake Griffin out indefinitely

Sometimes it’s just fun to have a player on your team because you enjoy watching them. I know that’s not the most hard-hitting or even helpful fantasy advice there is, but it makes watching the games more enjoyable.

The first time I saw Ja Morant, I had my friend in town and we went out to a sports bar and he said, “Dude, you have to watch this kid. He is so damn good.” Immediately, he became my favorite college player and I was trying to push the Ja Morant > Zion Williamson in the draft narrative as much as I could.

In a startup dynasty this year, I was able to draft Morant in the fifth round, while taking Deandre Ayton in Round 3. A team who was looking to the future was looking to move the second overall pick, Anthony Davis, so I offered up Morant and Ayton for Davis.

It was a good move. It was the right move. But man, does that move hurt, especially because I’m watching the Grizzlies every single night since they are just so much fun to watch. 

We’ll get a glimpse of Zion Williamson finally next Wednesday and it’s fantastic for the game of basketball that he’s back. I still think he’s more Julius Randle than a superstar, but it’s great to have him on the court.

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 eight-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 and can be nabbed 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

Norman Powell (SG/SF – TOR): 51% Owned
When Powell was first injured, it looked like he was going to be out for a while. Then poof, he returned on fire after 11 games. He’s helped with the fact that there’s no clear return date for Fred VanVleet, but even when FVV returns, Powell should hold value as the sixth man off the bench. In his first two games backs, he’s scored 20 and 23 points in 31 and 27 minutes, respectively. That’ll play.

Rebounds

Sekou Doumbouya (SF/PF – DET): 33% Owned
No Blake Griffin, so it’s #FreeChristianWood time, right? Well, kind of. We saw Wood put up monster stats, but then he had a nagging injury and was used sparingly Wednesday night. I still stand firm that Wood has league-winning ability, but it looks like Dwane Casey prefers the 19-year-old Sekou Doumbouya over Wood. That’s great, because we love seeing young guys get the run. Over the past 14 days, Doumbouya has averaged 14 points, 5.3 rebounds, 0.8 assists, 0.5 blocks, and one steal. 

Assists

Markelle Fultz (PG/SG – ORL): 48% Owned
So I explained above why I love watching Morant, but if you read my bi-monthly column, you’d think that my favorite player was Fultz by how much I write about him. Guys and girls, what are we doing here? Why is he rostered in fewer than 50 percent of leagues? He’s one of the best stories in the league this year, and that has translated to fantasy value. 

Steals

Thaddeus Young (SF/PF – CHI): 41% Owned
Down goes Wendell Carter. Then down goes rookie replacement Daniel Gafford. All aboard the Thad Young train, I guess? Young impressed Wednesday, as he scored 18 points to go along with eight rebounds, but what I like the most about Young’s game is that he’s able to get you some steals and you have to expect the minutes to be there for him. Ride the hot hand. 

Blocks

JaVale McGee (C – LAL): 43% Owned
Here’s what I wrote about McGee two weeks ago:

“God, we’re doing this again, aren’t we? McGee and Norm Powell feel like two guys who at some point during the season are players we pick up, and then drop. Then we pick them up, and then we drop them. It’s time for another pick up for McGee. He’s going to give you field goal percentage, blocks, and rebounds. He’s a per-36 darling, but he’s not even averaging half of those minutes per night. An injury to Dwight Howard would open up more playing time, but he’s still doing enough in his limited time to make a difference for fantasy managers each night.”

His rostership went up just five percent in two weeks, even though he’s 14th in the NBA in blocks. 

Threes

Jordan McRae (PG/SG – WAS): 41% Owned
Bradley Beal has returned, but that’s OK. McRae’s usage has dipped down to 27.4, but that’s OK. McRae’s actually been better without Beal next to him on the court. I don’t expect the 42.5% mark from behind the arc to continue, but I’m OK with riding the hot hand with McRae here, too. 

Field-Goal Percentage

Dwight Powell (PF/C – DAL): 59% Owned
Here’s what I wrote about Powell two weeks ago:

“Powell, like Culver, has been another rollercoaster player this year. He’s in the midst of a hot streak, though, and is rewarding those managers who stuck it out with him. He does enough to help you across the board without really thriving in one area, but that’s OK. Powell doesn’t qualify because of the time he missed at the beginning of the season, but if he did, his .606 field goal percentage would rank 8th in the league.”

Powell continues to be red hot for the Mavericks and a lot of that has been without Kristaps Porzingis on the floor. However, we saw this upside from Powell last year, too. He’s going to maintain his value even when Porzingis returns. He’s creeping up on the 60 percent threshold, so this is your last chance to grab him.

Free-Throw Percentage

Damion Lee (SG – GS): 31% Owned
The Warriors ran out of time with Lee, so they had to send him down to their G-League affiliate. However, they inked him to a three-year deal and he’s able to rejoin the team. If a manager dropped him in your league, grab him. He’s cooled off a bit in January after a red-hot December, but he’ll be starting at least until Steph Curry returns and provides across-the-board production.

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

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