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Fantasy Basketball Category Analysis: Week 10 (2021-22)

by Michael Waterloo | @MichaelWaterloo | Featured Writer
Dec 26, 2021
cam johnson

It’s Saturday. You know what that means. It’s Christmas! Merry Christmas to those who celebrate. I hope you can enjoy the day with those you choose to be with – even if it’s yourself. It’s time for another edition of the category analysis.

Typically, we hop right into things, explaining what the column is about and listing the players. We’ll get to that, of course, but first, a little word. It feels awkward writing this column. Just like it’ll feel awkward writing the waiver wire piece, the trade chart, and the buy/sell for next week.

When there’s a COVID outbreak and new players are being put into league protocols daily, it’s weird to think about fantasy values when players like Joe Johnson take the court in 2021.

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. 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.

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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

Cameron Johnson (SF/PF – PHX) 44%
Sure, Johnson comes off the bench, but he essentially plays starter minutes each night for the Suns. What’s more, he’s scored in double digits in every game since Nov. 27. He turned heads his last time out in the Suns’ 12-point win over the Thunder by dropping 21 points – five three-pointers – with nine boards off the bench. 

Johnson has been putting up fifth-round value over the last month, which makes his rostership number insanely low for the production he’s providing.

Rebounds

Omer Yurtseven (C – MIA) 12%
Little did I know a few weeks ago when I wrote about Yurtseven that we’d be counting on him in December. With the COVID outbreak in Miami and Bam Adebayo‘s injury, and now Dwayne Dedmon, Yurtseven is elevated into a big role with the Heat.

Is it that he’s good? Well, not necessarily despite his good Summer League play. But it’s Yurtseven and Udonis Haslem as the big men for Miami. In his last four games, Yurtseven has grabbed 49 boards for the Heat, and that’s while averaging about 20 minutes per game. Grab him and stream him until the Heat gets healthy.

Assists

Alperen Sengun (C – HOU) 55%
It’s always fun putting a big man in the assists category, and that’s where we’ll slot Sengun in this week to mix it up a bit. NBC Sports Edge has a great note about Sengun’s passing ability, mentioning that he is fifth among big men in assists per 36 minutes.

A few years ago, we had Christian Wood in this column seemingly every week, waiting for him to get a bigger role in Detroit. That’s what we are hoping for with Sengun this year, too. The production is sporadic, but he’ll be worth the wait when Houston fully lets him loose. 

Steals

Chuma Okeke (PF – ORL) 46%
Okeke is such a polarizing player, and it makes sense as he shows flashes of being a key cog for a fantasy team.

He’s been a key contributor in fantasy over the last week, and a lot of that has to do with his defensive play with a pair of six-steal games over his previous four games.

He’s worth rostering, but he’s hard to trust offensively, so unless you need the defensive help in your roto or categories league, He should settle in as a mid-round pick when all is said and done. 

Blocks

Darius Bazley (SF/PF – OKC) 27%
I was shocked – shocked, I tell you – when I looked at the statistical leaders for this column and saw that Bazley was 11th in the NBA in total blocks and 16th in blocks per game.

While he hasn’t broken out into the key player fantasy managers hoped he’d be last year, he’s still been a useful fantasy player providing mid-round value. 

Threes

Max Strus (SG/SF – MIA) 38%
Miami always has someone, don’t they? They don’t get enough credit for churning players out at their rate.

The latest has been Strus, who has been good all season in real life but has stepped up for fantasy managers over the last couple of weeks.

Strus has played 34-plus minutes in four straight games – including 41 in the Heat’s most recent game – and he’s averaged 25 points and 5.25 threes per game in those contests.

Strus should be rostered and streamed for the short term, but his production has mainly come with Jimmy Butler out of the lineup. Hopefully, Strus has done enough to earn 20 minutes per night once the Heat is healthy.

Field-goal percentage

Cam Reddish (SG/SF – ATL) 36%
Reddish has stepped up big time for the Hawks, who, like every other team, have been dealing with players entering the league’s COVID protocols. Over the last week, Reddish has been the 52nd overall player in fantasy, and most of that production has been over his previous two games.

In those games, Reddish has scored 52 points – including a 34-point performance against the Magic, where he hit six three-pointers – and he’s been shooting 50 percent from the field during that stretch. 

Free-throw percentage

Garrison Mathews (SG/SF – HOU) 37%
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. This week, we’ll talk about Mathews, who has been a quiet contributor for the Rockets since November, as he’s put up top 100 numbers over the last month.

Mathews has averaged 12.9 points, 3.9 boards, 0.9 assists, and 2.9 threes per game during that stretch. He’s playing big minutes for the Rockets and is a good streamer for fantasy purposes. 

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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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