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Fantasy Basketball Category Analysis: Week 7 (2021-22)

by Michael Waterloo | @MichaelWaterloo | Featured Writer
Dec 5, 2021
Pat Connaughton

It’s Saturday. You know what that means. So it’s time for another edition of the category analysis.

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 category waste. 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

Kentavious Caldwell-Pope (PG/SG/SF – WAS) 52%
You down with KCP? Did I age myself? Ugh. Either way, not enough of you are down with him. He’s hugely inconsistent, but the one thing that he’s done consistently for the last two weeks is score buckets. Of course, I’m writing this on the heels of a four-point performance, but aside from that, he’s been in double-digits in five of his previous six games while also contributing from behind the arc. He should be rostered in far more leagues at this point in the season with his triple-eligibility. 

Rebounds

Jarred Vanderbilt (PF/C – MIN) 57%
A week ago, we talked about how Vanderbilt’s window was closing, yet he dropped one percent in rostership. So what are we doing here, folks? Vanderbilt balled out again Friday night to the tune of 10 points and 15 boards. He’s the 36th-ranked player in fantasy over the last two weeks, and this will be his last week in this column – I hope. 

Assists

Ish Smith (PG – CHA) 2%
So this is where our Charlotte Hornets talk begins. We woke up Saturday to the news that LaMelo Ball, Terry Rozier, Jalen McDaniels, and Mason Plumlee will all miss the next few games for the Hornets due to COVID protocols. First and foremost, we wish them a full recovery if they test positive for COVID. That’s way more important than any fantasy angle. In their absence, a few players will see increased run. We can leave him off since Kelly Oubre is finally over the threshold (70 percent). But Ish Smith should get the bulk of the ball-handling duties, making him a deep-league streamer if you need some assists. 

Steals

De’Anthony Melton (PG/SG – MEM) 52%
Since Ja Morant‘s injury, Melton has taken off for the Grizzlies. Melton has scored eight, 14, nine, and 19 points off the bench in four games- before Saturday’s. That production should continue, and his greatest contribution – his steals – hasn’t even really kicked in yet. Once they do, Melton will go from must-roster to must-start.

Blocks

Omer Yurtseven (C – MIA) 1%
Yurtseven was a preseason darling, but he couldn’t get any run during the regular season. Yurtseven and Dwayne Dedmon should see equal playing time with Bam Adebayo out for the next few weeks. Dedmon has next to no upside, while Yurtseven his six-of-eight shots from the field for 12 points and two blocks in 19 minutes. After playing just six combined minutes in the previous two games, seeing a near-even split of time with Dedmon is promising for Yurtseven’s short-term value.  

Threes

Pat Connaughton (SG/SF – MIL) 50%
While Giannis Antetokounmpo is nursing a calf injury, Connaughton is sliding into the starting lineup. Since November 12, Connaughton only has two games in which he hasn’t scored in double figures, and he’s averaging 2.6 threes per game on the season. However, calf injuries can linger, so Connaughton has higher short-term value for 12-team leagues and can also be rostered in 15-team leagues moving forward.

Field-goal percentage

Cody Martin (SG/SF – CHA) 10%
After missing the last two games, Martin picked a great time to get healthy, as he will have a big short-term role for the Hornets with their injuries mentioned above. He still ranks as the 96th overall player for fantasy thanks to his hot start, and he’s going to be the No. 2 or No. 3 option in the short term for the Hornets. As a result, he’s a must-grab right now.

Free-throw percentage

James Bouknight (SG – CHA) 1%
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. But this week, it’s a little bit different. We will look at a rookie who has played four minutes all season and has been getting his reps in the G-league. That’s right. It could be Bouknight time in Charlotte. Well, at least for the short term. The Hornets are the current seventh seed in the East, and Bouknight has an exciting game that could keep that momentum going with all of most big players forced to miss time. It’s a deep-league suggestion for now, but if you see, he’s going to be called up to Charlotte, grab and stash him for the upside alone.

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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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