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Fantasy Basketball Category Analysis: Week 2

by Michael Waterloo | @MichaelWaterloo | Featured Writer
Oct 31, 2021
Terance Mann

It’s Saturday. You know what that means.

It’s a new season, and with that, it’s a new day for our weekly look at players who can help you out in each category for eight-cat leagues.

I love writing this early in the season because there are a lot of new, fun names that have made an early, immediate impact on their teams and fantasy teams.

In case you’re new to this column, here’s what we will be looking at each and every week.

Every 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.

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

  1. Points
  2. Rebounds
  3. Assists
  4. Steals
  5. Blocks
  6. Threes
  7. Field-goal percentage
  8. Free-throw percentage

Let’s get to it.

Points

Terance Mann (SF – LAC) 29%
Typically the players we recommend are on a current hot streak, which warrants an increase in rostership. But every now and then, we’ll have a player whose value has dipped some, presenting a nice window to acquire them for lower than their value. That’s what we have for Mann, who many expected to start out of the gate this year. He hasn’t, but he is playing right around 30 minutes per night off the bench. With that volume, it’s only a matter of time before his scoring takes a step forward. I’d be putting out offers for him in leagues where I don’t currently roster him.

Rebounds

Precious Achiuwa (SF/PF – TOR) 55%
Achiuwa has three double-doubles in six games this year and he’s steadily been playing in the mid-20s for minutes. Now when Pascal Siakam returns and Khem Birch is fully back, Achiuwa could take a slight hit in playing time, but that’s a future problem to worry about. For now, he’s a great source of rebounds and will contribute in points, too. 

Assists

Jalen Brunson (PG/SG – DAL) 37%
The hardest category to fill is assists, so that makes Brunson a highly-coveted player. He only played 19 minutes in the Mavs’ last game, but he’s consistently been in the mid-to-high-30s in every other game. Brunson is averaging 5.2 assists on the year, which is tied for 28th in all of basketball. He should be rostered in more leagues going forward.

Steals

Alex Caruso (PG/SG – CHI) 46%
The Patrick Williams season-ending news is brutal. That Bulls team is not only so much fun to watch, but they are really good, too. Losing Williams hurts, but Caruso should benefit from increased minutes. He’s one of the best defenders in the game, and his steals should only go up with his minutes. 

Blocks

Franz Wagner (SG/SF – ORL) 43%
Mo Wagner has been a popular fixture in this column for the past couple of years, but it’s his brother’s turn now. Now the blocks haven’t been the standout category for him, but he’s been offering across-the-board production for the Magic so far. What’s more, he’s played fewer than 32 minutes in just one game for Orlando this year. He should be scooped up and be above the threshold. 

Threes

De’Andre Hunter (SF/PF – ATL) 60%
Like Mann, here is another player whose output so far has presented a buying opportunity. Hunter just hasn’t been good so far, and that’s the reason for his 11 percent rostership decrease in the past week. As NBC Sports Edge points out, he’s been responsible for the opposing team’s best wing player most nights, which can take away from his offense. We saw what Hunter was capable of last year when he was healthy, though, which is a fringe top-50 player. The buying window could soon close. 

Field-goal percentage

T.J. McConnell (PG/SG – IND) 53%
Many eyes have been on Chris Duarte, which makes total sense with the way he’s been playing to start his career. But with the Malcolm Brogdon injury, enter McConnell. As FantasyPro’s Alex Burns pointed out, McConnell was a stud without Brogdon last year.

Free-throw percentage

Cody Martin (SG/SF – CHA) 16%
So the free-throw percentage category each week typically looks at a player who is good at foul shots, but also offers more to his game. If I can’t put him elsewhere, I’m going to slot him in here. This week, it’s Martin, who is having a fantastic start to his season. On the season, he’s averaging 10.3 points, 4.2 rebounds, 2.3 assists, 1.5 steals, shooting 51.4 from the field with an 85 free-throw percentage per game. On a team with LaMelo Ball, Miles Bridges, Gordon Hayward, P.J. Washington, and Terry Rozier, it’s easy to overlook what Martin has done so far. He’s worth rostering during his hot streak.

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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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