Fantasy Basketball Category Analysis & Wavier Wire Advice (Week 6)
It’s Friday. You know what that means.
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.
But if you find the turnovers helpful, let me know. I’m happy to include them if enough of you play in 9-cat leagues.
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.
The eight categories we’ll focus on each week are:
- Field-goal percentage
- Free-throw percentage
Let’s get to it.
Alec Burks (PG/SG/SF – DET) 32%
I recommended Killian Hayes earlier this week in the waiver-wire piece. I stand by that, but I think that I’m ready to put Burks over Hayes as the main recommended pickup option from the Pistons with Cade Cunningham out for at least the next 10 weeks.
Where Burks has especially thrived so far is in the scoring category, as he has averaged 19.5 points over his last four games. Those numbers have been good enough to make him a top-75 option during that stretch. While that’s a little bit too high of a mark to hope for long term, top-100 is definitely achievable.
Thaddeus Young (PF/C – TOR) 25%
Well, if this isn’t a little blast from the past. Yes, Pascal Siakam is likely to return in the next week, but, until then – and even after, really – Young should be on standard-league radars. He’s averaging 11.2 points and 6.2 boards to go along with two STOCKs per game over the last two weeks, making him a top-65 option.
It’s always been about the opportunity and not the talent for Young. With Toronto, who has typically avoided having a traditional big man for the last couple of years, Young could be set for more regular minutes once everyone is healthy.
Shake Milton (PG/SG – PHI) 55%
I wrote about Milton in this week’s waiver-wire piece: The Sixers just can’t stay healthy. Joel Embiid is missing a few games, joining Tyrese Maxey and James Harden on the shelf. They avoided another scare Tuesday after Tobias Harris seemed to injure his ankle before returning to the game.
While the biggest beneficiary is – and has been – De’Anthony Melton, don’t ignore Milton over the next couple of weeks while Harden and/or Maxey are on the shelf. Milton has averaged 19.3 points, 5 rebounds, and 4.3 assists over his last three games. He’s worth the short-term look.
Jose Alvarado (PG – NOP) 11%
Where is your boy tonight, I hope, he is a gentleman. While Grand Theft Autumn was a banger by Fall Out Boy, Grand Theft Alvarado can be a banger for your fantasy squad. With C.J. McCollum missing the last two games for the Pelicans, it’s been Alvarado who has been the biggest benefactor.
In the first game – I’m writing this Friday – Alvarado dropped nine dimes and had three steals in 30 minutes. New Orleans is absurdly deep, so Alvarado needs the playing time to matter for fantasy. At least for the short term, he has it.
Aleksej Pokusevski (SF/PF/C – OKC) 59%
Poku was out for a bit, but as I wrote about earlier this week, him missing time allowed him to be included in these articles. In his first game back, the unicorn swatted three shots and it was as if he missed no time at all. Over the last two weeks, despite the time missed, Poku is leading the league in blocked shots. The breakout might finally stick.
Max Strus (SG/SF – MIA) 59%
Strus has been the latest Miami player to miss time, but his doesn’t seem like a long-term absence. When he’s healthy, he’s one of the top streaming options in fantasy given his ability to consistently hit shots from behind the arc. Strus is tied for eighth in the league for most three-pointers made, and the biggest thing of late is that he’s been playing big minutes.
A.J. Griffin (SG/SF – ATL) 5%
Griffin’s value is tied to injuries, like so many others. But for him, there’s more of a chance to stick going forward as De’Andre Hunter has yet to show the consistency in his NBA career to lock him into a starting lineup. The rookie, meanwhile, is at least showing glimpses of the future.
Griffin has three straight games in double-figures, scoring 15.3 points per game over that stretch. More impressive is that he’s shooting 60 percent while hitting those numbers in 30 minutes per game.
Torrey Craig (SF/PF – PHX) 33%
With this category, we typically highlight a player who doesn’t fit in the other areas but can be a sneak deep-league pickup. This week, it’s Craig. Craig is still under rostered despite being one of the more secure streaming options in Cam Johnson’s absence.
Craig has put up top-60 value over the last two weeks, including shooting 85.7 percent from the charity stripe. He’s not a sexy option, but he’s a great floor player to have on your roster.
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