Fantasy Basketball Category Analysis: Week 3 (2021)
It’s Saturday. You know what that means. Another week in the books and another win for the Thunder over the Lakers. It’s just as we all predicted before the season started. The Lakers rule the headlines every year no matter what, but I can’t stop keeping tabs on them with the interesting roster they’ve built and the early-season injuries to LeBron James.
While we track the Lakers, we keep tabs on each team and players who are stepping up into larger roles that translate to fantasy success for you (yes, you!) If you’re new to this column, here’s what we will be looking at 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. We’ll be looking at players who can help you in each of the eight categories, which 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.
Dillon Brooks (SG/SF – MEM) 54%
Brook should be making his regular-season debut at any point now, and for the Grizzlies, despite the early-season play of guys like De’Anthony Melton and Desmond Bane, remain a team in need of scoring. The Oregon product offers that, averaging nearly 18 points per game in 2020. So Brooks should start immediately, and while it may take him time to get fully up to speed, he’s worth grabbing now and exercising some patience with.
Ivica Zubac (C – LAC) 58%
It’s all about volume for Zubac, and it’s been inconsistent throughout his career. However, after playing just 13 minutes three games ago, Zubac has eclipsed 30 minutes in each of his past two games, and he’s averaged ten boards per game in those contests.
Jalen Brunson (PG/SG – DAL) 58%
I try to mix it up each week with players, but if there’s a player with a glaringly low rostership number, I will run it back until he goes above the threshold. Last week at this time, Brunson was at the 37 percent mark. Now, he’s rostered in 58 percent of leagues, and that’s still far too low. He’s been the Mavs’ second-best player this year, and over his past two games, he’s scored 56 points with 17 assists. Get him off your waiver wire now.
Matisse Thybulle (SG/SF – PHI) 54%
Is this the breakout season that we hoped for with Thybulle? It seems that way so far – at least from a real-life perspective. He’s in NBA protocols now, which isn’t great, but on the court so far, he’s been fantastic for the Sixers – especially defensively. He has 14 steals in his last five games and is one of the elite defenders in the game whose stats translate to fantasy.
Nerlens Noel (PF/C – NYK) 57%
Noel made his season debut for the Knicks this past week, and while he’s relegated to the second unit, he only needs about 21 minutes per game to feel his impact. What’s more, he’s behind Mitchell Robinson, who isn’t exactly the poster boy for health. So the main contributions you’re getting with Noel are blocks and rebounds, and if (when?) the Knicks suffer any injuries to their bigs, Noel’s value will go to the moon.
Joe Harris (SG/SF – BKN) 57%
We know who Harris is at this point, and that’s an elite three-point shooter who is a third- or fourth-offensive option on what should be a high-scoring team. Harris should be rostered in far more than 60 percent of leagues just for his three-point shooting alone, as he has 18 threes in his past six games.
James Wiseman (C – GSW) 49%
Like Brooks, Wiseman is in line to make his season debut soon for Golden State, as he’s been cleared for full practices. Wiseman feels like a forgotten man after the seasons that LaMelo Ball and Anthony Edwards put together. Still, with Kevon Looney as the only real competition for him, Wiseman could sneakily put up top 50 numbers from now on in a sophomore breakout campaign. So take the shot and go for the upside.
Grayson Allen (SG/SF – MIL) 42%
Allen has been fantastic so far for the Bucks this year, as he’s averaging 14 points and 4.3 rebounds on the season. What’s more, Allen is shooting 92 percent from the line, having just missed one shot in 12 attempts. So putting Allen here is more to highlight the outstanding season he’s had for the Bucks and urge managers to pick him up while he’s hot.
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