Fantasy Basketball Category Analysis: Week 12 (2021)
It’s Tuesday. You know what that means.
Big thanks to Zak Hanshew for covering for me a couple of weeks ago on this article. His reward, besides my thanks, is the recent opportunity and play of Kevin Porter Jr. in Houston. Porter’s rostership is up to 71 percent, but he’s the primary player to grab in your league for any need that you have.
Porter has the talent, yes, but he also has the opportunity. For fantasy purposes, opportunity often outweighs talent. With the trade deadline upon us, plenty of guys are going to become fantasy relevant that weren’t before, thanks to an opportunity.
Every other week, we’ll be looking at players who are widely available and rostered in fewer than 60 percent of fantasy leagues on Yahoo. We’ll be focusing on 8-cat leagues because turnovers are a waste of a category, to be honest. We’ll be looking at players who can help you in each of the eight categories who you can get before your league-mates catch on.
The eight categories we’ll focus on each week are:
- Field-goal percentage
- Free-throw percentage
Let’s get to it.
Hamidou Diallo (SG/SF – DET) 23%
Diallo was a player in this column a few times earlier in the year, and now he’s on a new team. The Pistons aren’t going anywhere, so once he’s healthy, he should get all the run he can in Detroit. They’re high on him, and he should volume his way to production if nothing else.
Isaiah Stewart (PF/C – DET) 11%
Speaking of the Pistons, Stewart is getting more time on the court, and we should see him crack the starting lineup – or at least get a starter’s usage – in no time. His ceiling is capped, but he can be a 12/10 guy for fantasy purposes.
Michael Carter-Williams (PG/SG – ORL) 22%
The Magic are going nowhere, and they’re being cautious with Cole Anthony’s injury. That means Michael Carter-Williams, who has had a career resurgence of sorts this year, will continue to get the bulk of the guard minutes for the Magic. With Orlando listening to calls for Aaron Gordon, Carter-Williams could be the main distributor on offense.
De’Anthony Melton (PG/SG – MEM) 21%
Melton seems to be back in the regular rotation for the Grizzlies for now, but we’ve seen how that can change with Taylor Jenkins. Melton gives Memphis a much-needed spark defensively, as he can lock down the opposition down the stretch. He’s a great addition for steals help, but he can contribute across the board … if Jenkings lets him.
Moses Brown (C – OKC) 5%
If you missed out on Kevin Porter, Jr., Brown isn’t a bad consolation prize. He doesn’t have the league-winning upside that Porter does, but the 7’2 center is FUN. Al Horford is on the block in Oklahoma City, and Mike Muscala is, well, Mike Muscala. Brown should have a clear path to playing time to at least show that he belongs.
Saddiq Bey (SF – DET) 29%
Having three Pistons on this list will probably backfire, but Bey is the safest of the group with his carved-out role. He’s averaged 2.8 threes per game over the past month, and he should continue to get extra run as the season goes on.
Justin Patton (C – HOU) 7%
With P.J. Tucker out of the picture, playing time opens up for Patton. Even when Christian Wood comes back, Patton should maintain his playing time while Wood slides to the four. He’s shooting 44 percent over his past five games, and he should get extended run down the stretch of the season.
Jalen Brunson (PG – DAL)
Brunson has been sneakily good for the Mavs this year, and he’s shooting 82 percent from the charity stripe. With Dallas resting Luka Dončić and Kristaps Porziņģis more, Brunson can be the second or third option on the court most nights.