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Fantasy Basketball Category Analysis: Week 12

by Michael Waterloo | @MichaelWaterloo | Featured Writer
Jan 9, 2022

It’s Saturday. You know what that means.

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 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.

Check out today’s NBA Shot from FanDuel >>

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

Malik Monk (PG/SG – LAL) 56%
Anthony Davis? Russell Westbrook? Malik Monk?

Malik Monk.

Monk has been lights out for the Lakers of late, averaging 19.9 points per game as a starter for the Lakers. His latest standout performance came Friday night as he dropped a season-high 29 points on the Hawks.

His performance gives him three straight games with 22 points or more scored, and he’s scored 20 or more points in five of his last seven games. 

Rebounds

Brandon Clarke (SF/PF – MEM) 31%
The Grizzlies have been the best team in basketball since December 1, and it’s not like they’ve been the only team to stay healthy. 

Right now, the Grizzlies are without Kyle Anderson, Steven Adams, and Xavier Tillman, meaning Clarke should get all the run he can as a short-term must-start player.

He’s already a great guy to have on the backend of your bench, but he’s about to give you a stretch of top-100 play over the next week.

Assists

Coby White (PG/SG – CHI) 46%
I wrote about White in my buy or sell column this week as he was one of the top risers in our NBA trade chart.

He’s continuing to grow as a player and the rust looks like it’s totally off. Over the last two weeks, White is averaging 17.1 points per game with 3.9 assists and 3.1 threes made on average.

It’s your last chance to get him now off the wire or in a trade at a decent price.

Steals

Herb Jones (SF/PF – NOP) 50%
With all the talk of the rookies this year, Jones isn’t getting the respect he’s earned so far this season.

He’s the 68th-ranked player in fantasy on the season, and he’s been the 16th-ranked player over the last two weeks. 

Jones has 13 steals over his last four games, including a five-swipe game his last time out against the Warriors.

The kid is legit, and he’s going to continue to play in the mid-30s for minutes.

Blocks

JaVale McGee (C – PHX) 27%
Both McGee and Deandre Ayton are back, putting an end to Jalen Smith’s fantastic fill-in run. 

Now, there’s a chance Smith sees more playing time going forward from his performance – which we all hope he does – but for now, McGee will resume his 20ish-minute role per game as a per-minute beast.

If you need some cheap blocks or rebounds, look to McGee.

Threes

Cameron Johnson (SF/PF – PHX) 59%
We’re keeping Johnson in this column again, which he occupied last week, and he may remain here until he gets over 60 percent, which looks like it will be by the time waivers run Monday. 

It’s about time that Johnson graduates, as he’s just been lights out this season for the Suns and fantasy managers as the 65th-ranked player on the season. Johnson is coming off a game where he scored 24 points, which is a new career-high, and he’s averaged four three-pointers per game over his last four contests. Congrats on graduating from the list, Cam.

Field-goal percentage

Dorian Finney-Smith (SF/PF – DAL) 51%
DFS should be rostered in most leagues right now, making his rostership percentage a headscratcher.

He doesn’t stand out in one category, but he’s been a top 90 player over the last month shooting 46 percent from the field while averaging 12.5 points, 5.4 boards, 2.6 assists, and nearly a block and steal per game.

He’s not a sexy player but he has a great floor.

Free-throw percentage

Kawhi Leonard (SG/SF – LAC) 59%
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 Leonard, who you may have heard of before.

Fantasy basketball Twitter was debating all week whether or not Leonard was worth grabbing, as Yahoo! Sports’ Chris Haynes reported there’s a “strong possibility” of Leonard returning this year.

Exciting, but also cryptic.

Is this year in March? April? The playoffs? The NBA Finals?

In a normal year, grabbing and stashing Leonard makes all the sense in the world. But with nearly 300 players – not exaggerating – being put in the league’s health and safety protocols this season, it’s really, really hard to justify stashing a player unless you have unlimited IR spots.

If you do, go crazy. But if you don’t, it’s best to pass on Leonard and maximize your bench with players who can actually help you for sure.

Check out today’s NBA Shot from FanDuel >>

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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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