Fantasy Basketball Category Analysis: Week 14 (2021)
It’s Tuesday. You know what that means.
There are two times during the year that we are reminded that the NBA is just simply the best:
- The start of free agency
- The trade deadline
Yet again, we had another jam-packed trade deadline, which not only sees new faces in new places, but we see new roles and opportunities opened up for players on teams around the league.
Of course, the terrible, terrible buyout system in the NBA is really dumb and not fun, but let’s focus on the positives today.
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 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.
Moses Brown (C – OKC) 60%
If you missed out on Kevin Porter Jr., have no fear. There’s another league winner available in Brown. The Thunder clearly believes, too, as they signed him to a multi-year deal and aren’t playing Al Horford going forward. All the UCLA product has done – besides, dominate the G-league – is produced at a high level for fantasy managers. In the past week, he’s averaging 14.7 points, 17.7 (!) rebounds, and two blocks per game. Taking it back further, he’s averaging a double-double over the past month. The gloves are off, and the Thunder knows they have a fantasy – and potential real-life – stud at their disposal. Grab him if he’s available, and don’t look back.
Ivica Zubac (C – LAC) 49%
Zubac has produced this year when he’s had the opportunity. Serge Ibaka hasn’t been healthy over the past few weeks, which has resulted in Zubac averaging a near double-double over the past two weeks. It shouldn’t really surprise you if he’s the starting center going forward for the Clippers.
Theo Maledon (PG – OKC) 17%
Shai Gilgeous-Alexander doesn’t have a timetable, but the Thunder have about 25 picks in the next seven years – only slightly exaggerating – so they won’t rush their superstar back as they are embracing the tank. That’s great for Maledon, who has performed really well with no SGA in the lineup.
Nicolas Claxton (C- BKN) 15%
The Nets seem to be doing all they can to block the big man – the most talented big man they have on their roster – but talent should hopefully win out here. His rostership number reflects managers who have panicked and dropped him, but he’s better than DeAndre Jordan, Blake Griffin, and LaMarcus Aldridge. Steve Nash is smart, and he’ll play his best players as the Nets push for the title. All we need is 26 minutes a night for Claxton to put up top 50 numbers.
Nerlens Noel (PF/C – NYK) 54%
You really have to feel for Mitchell Robinson. He just returned from injury, and he’s going to miss more time now with a broken foot. Noel was an immediate grab last time Robinson went out, and he played 31 minutes when Robinson went down Saturday. Noel will slide back into the starting lineup and offer across-the-board production.
Chuma Okeke (PF – ORL) 42%
Okeke was always a guy I liked this year, as the former first-round pick was kind of forgotten after recovering from his ACL surgery. He was hurt earlier in the year, too, but after the trade deadline, with the Magic shipping out everyone to rebuild, it’s Okeke’s time to shine. He’s going to get as much run as he can handle as he’ll audition for the starting gig next year when the Magic gets Jonathan Isaac, Markelle Fultz, and others healthy.
Daniel Gafford (C – WSH) 17%
Gafford was a player who reminded me of Claxton a bit in Chicago, as the talent was there, but he was stuck on the bench with a limited role. Now he’s with the Wizards, and while we are going off one game, he looked quite impressive. The Wizards have many big men, but Gafford has the highest upside and skill set there. We can see a ton of Russell Westbrook and Bradley Beal to Gafford down low soon.
Seth Curry (PG/SG – PHI) 58%
Curry started off the season looking like a huge breakout, as he was shooting lights out for the Sixers – something they’ve desperately needed for the past few years. But then, after missing time with COVID and an ankle injury, he hasn’t been the same, and who can blame him, really? But Curry has turned it back on as of late and gives you a plus-three-point shooter, as well as elite free throw numbers.