Fantasy Basketball Category Analysis: Week 17 (2020)
If there’s one takeaway from the NBA All-Star weekend, it’s that the other leagues are behind by a mile in terms of excitement. The skills challenge, while quick, was fun to see the big guys knock out the guards. The three-point contest literally came down to the last shot. The slam dunk contest gave us some of the best dunks we’ve ever seen to the point where we just gloss over the fact that Pat Connaughton jumped over Giannis, pinned the ball against the backboard, and then dunked it.
You can’t blame Aaron Gordon for being upset, either.
Then in the actual game, the fourth quarter was a must-watch affair, which came down to the last second with Anthony Davis icing it at the line.
Well done, NBA. Well done, indeed.
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:
- Field-goal percentage
- Free-throw percentage
Let’s get to it.
Malik Beasley (PG/SG – MIN): 52%
As soon as the trade deadline passed, Beasley was crowned as one of the top winners for fantasy, and rightfully so. In his three games with the Wolves, he’s averaging 22 points, 4.7 threes, .7 steals, 3 assists, and 6.7 boards per game. With KAT missing more time, there should be even more opportunity coming his way. This should be his last time eligible for this list.
Naz Reid (C – MIN): 6%
Speaking of KAT, his absence opens things up for the rookie out of LSU. The Wolves don’t seem to be inclined to give Omari Spellman any minutes – or even a roster spot – so that leaves Reid and James Johnson as the primary centers for Minnesota while KAT is out. He played 22 minutes without KAT in the Wolves’ last game before the All-Star break, posting 12 points, six boards, and one block.
De’Anthony Melton (PG/SG – MEM): 10%
Melton hasn’t taken off like many of us had hoped, but the minutes are there, which should lead to production. Steals and assists will be his calling card, and it’s been nice to see Memphis go with a Melton, Tyus Jones, Ja Morant pairing on the court of late.
Danuel House Jr. (SG/SF – HOU): 42%
House is a quiet winner from the deadline, as he becomes a fixture in the Rockets’ small-ball starting lineup. Over the last two weeks, he’s averaging two steals per game.
Marquese Chriss (PF/C – GSW): 56%
It’s an audition for 2021 from here on out for Chriss for the starting center job for the Warriors. It’s a big audition, too, with James Wiseman potentially falling to the Warriors in the NBA Draft. He’s been helping fantasy managers across the board, and along with Beasley, is as close to a must-roster player on this list.
Duncan Robinson (SG/SF/PF – MIA): 52%
He started slowly in the three-point contest, but he found his groove toward the end. His story is remarkable as a former Division III Williams College and Michigan Wolverine transfer turned Miami Heat sharpshooter. He’s essentially three-point only contributor, but he’s averaged three assists and three rebounds per game over the past two weeks.
Jae Crowder (SF/PF – MIA): 41%
Crowder has actually been … good so far in Miami in his bench role. He’s offering across-the-board production for fantasy managers in his three games for the Heat so far, and he’s shooting an incredible 58.6 percent from the field. We can expect his production to go down some, but he’s a solid pickup for the second half of the season.
Damion Lee (SG – GSW): 20%
Lee is a fringe guy to roster with Stephen Curry nearing a return in the first week of March. He did, though, go off for 26 points last week, and there is still room for production even once Curry returns between Lee and Ky Bowman. Pick your poison.