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Fantasy Basketball Category Analysis: Week 6 (2021-22)

by Michael Waterloo | @MichaelWaterloo | Featured Writer
Nov 28, 2021
kelly oubre

It’s Saturday. You know what that means. It’s time for another edition of the category analysis. This week, we’re going to keep the lede short and get right into things so we can do some holiday shopping.

But first, if you’re new to this column, here’s what we will be looking at each 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. Finally, 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.

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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

Jeremiah Robinson-Earl (SF – OKC) 30%
JRE remained in the starting lineup Friday night with Shai Gilgeous-Alexander‘s return to the lineup, which was great to see. JRE has four straight games scoring in double-figures, and in two of those games, he also pulled down ten boards. He’s been a top 100 player over the past two weeks, and as long as he continues to see minutes in the mid-to-high-20s, you should roster him in standard 12-team leagues.

Rebounds

Jarred Vanderbilt (PF/C – MIN) 58%
You have to wonder why teams didn’t inquire on Vanderbilt this offseason. Luckily for Minnesota, he didn’t go anywhere and has carved out a huge role with the T’Wolves. He’s playing around 25 minutes per night, but in those minutes over the last two weeks, Vanderbilt is pulling down 9.3 boards per game. Vanderbilt is a great trade target right now before his progression continues. He’s been the 61st-ranked player in fantasy over the last two weeks, and on the season, he’s ranked 77th. The window is closing. 

Assists

Tyus Jones (PG – MEM) 11%

Steals

De’Anthony Melton (PG/SG – MEM) 40%
I’m combining these two blurbs here, and it doesn’t make me happy. No, not because I don’t like Jones or Melton (the latter I love if you’ve followed my writing the last few years). It’s because Ja Morant suffered an injury Friday night and had to be helped off the court. The Grizzlies are notoriously tight-lipped regarding injuries, so we have little to go off of besides the initial reports of a “knee sprain.” If Morant misses significant time, we’ll see increased value for Jones, who can help with assists and steals, and Melton, who has seen his playing time decrease with the return of Dillon Brooks. Both will see their rostership numbers increase depending on the Melton news.

Blocks

Nerlens Noel (PF/C – NYK) 60%
Noel was quiet in 18 minutes Friday, but he had eight blocks in his previous three games before that contest. He’s a mainstay in this column, but he’s right at the threshold and should be ineligible come next week. He’s a per-minute stud, and his value will skyrocket if any injury happens to Mitchell Robinson.

Threes

Kelly Oubre (SG/SF – CHA) 57%
Speaking of mainstay, why is Oubre rostered in fewer than 60 percent of leagues still? He’s been essentially a top-100 player this season, and he’s scored 48 points in his last two games. What’s more, against Minnesota Friday, he racked up seven three-pointers. Hopefully, this will be the last week that we have to talk about him here.

Field-goal percentage

Brandon Clarke (SF/PF – MEM) 12%
Clarke had major hype coming into the 2020 season, but he was all but forgotten by fantasy managers and the Grizzlies alike. Over the last two weeks, Clake has been putting up 11th-round value, shooting 72.7 percent from the field, and his minutes have been trending up as a result. It’s a big season for the third-year forward out of Gonzaga. The talent on offense is there, and he could step up if Morant were to miss a long stretch of time. 

Free-throw percentage

Franz Wagner (SG/SF – ORL) 54%
You know the drill by now with this category. We find someone who can knock down free throws, yes, but it’s also to highlight a player who we can’t quite squeeze into any of the above categories. Wagner has been fantastic as a rookie for the Magic, and while he doesn’t excel in any one area, he does enough with his scoring, rebounding, and assists to be a top 100 player on the season. With news that Jonathan Isaac is not yet cleared for live-game reps, Wagner should continue accumulating his way to fantasy value. 

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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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