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Fantasy Basketball: 9 players still available in Week 3 you should be adding

Yogi Ferrell is good, plus what should you yell when you dunk on John Wall and should the Cavs trade for Porzingis?

Tony Snell is owned in 2.7% of leagues. Out of all players who average at least 20 minutes per game Tony Snell has the very best true shooting percentage of 72.5. Clint Capela is second, his TS% is 72.4. Snell takes six or so shots a game, and four of them are from beyond the arc. Clint Capela has only taken one three point attempt all season (he missed). So, Tony Snell is super accurate. He doesn’t get a lot of opportunities since he’s on the Bucks and he follows Giannis, Khris Middleton, and Malcolm Brogdon in attempts. And, while the Bucks as a whole are shooting very well, they should probably try to get Snell some more looks from outside. He’s 5th in 3PT% from players who shoot at least 2 threes a game and play at least 20 minutes. Seems like easy points and easy assists; we’ll see if the Bucks start to focus more on Snell. Regardless, if you have a streaming roster spot open, I think Snell is probably the best guy to fill it. He scores when given the opportunity. 2.7% is waaaay too low.

Here are some other players who are owned in less than 20% of leagues that are worth your while, either for streaming or for filling out your roster:

Yogi Ferrell (13.7%)

Yogi is currently 60th on ESPN’s player rater (T.A. Dinwiddie is 59th). He’s playing almost 30 minutes a game, and he’s scoring 12 points, with two assists, two rebounds, and two steals over the past week. His true shooting percentage is just a shade under 60%, which puts him in the top 50 of all players who have played at least 4 games and average at least 20 minutes per game. If you focus that down to just guards, he’s top 15.

The Mavericks have a somewhat fluid lineup right now, and Yogi switches between starting and coming off the bench, but top 15 is top 15, and minutes are as minutes do. He’s 3rd in minutes on the team, 5th in points, 2nd in 3PT%, 3rd in free throw attempts, and he’s currently ranked higher than DeMar DeChozan on the player rater. I mean...I don’t really care about when Seth Curry comes back, Yogi’s playing well (at least, on offense) and should continue to produce.

Taj Gibson (12.3%)

Taj is currently 80th on the player rater. He has a better rating than Lonzo Ball, Malcolm Brogdon, Jimmy Butler, and Stanley “I’m Literally Blind” Johnson (Go Pistons Forever, but COME! ON! STAN! LEY! It’s called Orange-In-The-Bucket for a reason! Throw the big orange inTO the bucket! NOT around, or near, or clanking off of, but INTO! Make the net go swooshee! God DAMNIT! ).

Yo, spoiler alert, I’ma get into a bit of a Pistons rant at the end of this piece, so feel free to skip to the bottom if you’re in the mood to read about the team with the LOWEST amount of free throw attempts but the (second) HIGHEST AMOUNT OF FIELD GOAL ATTEMPTS! WHAT! You know who’s averaging the most free throw attempts? The Brooklyn Nets. You know who’s also averaging the most field goal attempts? The Brooklyn Nets. You know who’s averaging the second most free throw attempts? Dr. Wall’s Wizards of Washington. You know who’s averaging the (third) most field goal attempts? THE MF’ING DR. JOHN WALL AND HIS DAZZLING WIZARDS EXPERIENCE! Goddamnit, man. Goddamnit. I just want nice things, y’know? I just want things to make sense sometimes. Not even always! Or, even most of the time! Just SOME! TIMES! Drummond, you know we love you, you know we will always be there for you, you know we’ll support you no matter what, even if you don’t want to play basketball, anymore, and you return to your first love as a Rogue Ornithologist. THAT’S OKAY! We love you, and we’re proud of you, and we just want you to be happy. And, we’re so glad you can finally breathe through your nose! I’m, like, kind of deeply concerned that it took your doctors and the Detroit medical staff so long to diagnose and fix the problem, but nobody’s perfect and we’re all just relieved that you can inhale oxygen via your nostrils now. But, Drum: if you’re going to play basketball and be a big, gigantic, muscled man-guy, THEN YOU HAVE TO DRAW SOME GODDAMN CONTACT IN THE GODDAMN PAINT! This is infuriating. If I had any hair on my head, I’d pull it out. Maybe I should head further south, like the Night King, just ripping out trees for no reason and breaking boundaries. By the way: if you were an NBA player, what would you yell when dunking on John Wall? (Shyeah, right, like that’s even possible!) Would you scream “Night King!” Or, “I’m Bran!” I don’t think you can just shout “WIGHTS!” I guess “Viserion!” counts, but, c’mon and get real, nerd, you can do better than that. This question really only applies to Dragan Bender, I suppose. I rillyreallyREAL-EE want him to dunk on Dr. Wall and just scream DRACARYS!! I want that more than I want to know why Ned’s promiscuous* sister and her pretty, banjo-playing fop secret husband aren’t considered the Big Bads in A Song of Ice and Fire. Like, Rhaegar totally Bartolo Colons it, and decides to get married instead of killing his bananas Daddy; and, Lyanna, who is a full-on homewrecker and a major league ghoster, COULD HAVE JUST YELLED OUT THE WINDOW TO NED AND HOWLAND, “It’s me, I wasn’t kidnapped, I eloped, sorry-not-sorry, and I’m screaming in pain because I’m going through a rough childbirth, and ALL YALL fighting each other isn’t helping, GIVE ME DRUGS!” Oh my God, dude. Also, thanks for nothing, Howland! Please, by all means, return to Greywater Watch and never help anyone ever again. That’s so kind of you to send your children rather than, I don’t know, some soldiers or something. Ugh! Crannogmen, amirite? They’re down to stab Ser Arthur Dayne in the back, but when you need $20 or to save the world, they’re nowhere to be found. No wonder Meera bounced right when Bran needed her most.

What were we talking about? Oh, yeah, Taj Gibson. I mean, who cares, you’re not going to pick him up, so let’s not pretend that it matters what his stats are. He’s 94 trillion years old, he doesn’t average 10+ points or rebounds, and you don’t even know what team he plays for. Just move on, man.

DJ Augustin (14.1%)

He just suffered a hamstring injury, so stay away for now. If he comes back healthy next week, then he’s worth a look, unless Elfrid Payton returns, in which case, who knows with this team. The Magic have the 5th best plus-minus and are averaging the 2nd most points per game AND the 2nd best field goal percentage. Quick Magic IRL question: is Eric Bledsoe better than Elfrid Payton?

James Ennis III (3.7%)

Ennis is ranked 117th on the year on the player rater, but he’s been doing better recently (he’s currently ranked 85th in my league, right after Goran Dragic). He shoots well (65 TS%) and Memphis is giving him the minutes. He’s been attempting more and more shots (now averaging 8+ per game) as the season goes on, so maybe you hitch your wagon to this Ursa Minor and hope he becomes an Ursa Major? Does that make sense? Y’know, cuz bears? Grizzlies are bears?

Marco Belinelli (12.7%)

Marco’s been dealing with an Achilles issue but he’s still been a useful guy though he’s been coming off the bench. He’s taking 6 threes a game and making half of them. He’s currently ranked 77th on the player rater. Again, he might be more valuable as a streamer, but he’s absolutely helpful for your team, especially since he also gets a few rebounds and a few assists. Good filler, in other words, and his ratios won’t hurt you like some streamers will (42 FG%, 49 3PT%, 59 TS%).

Jerryd Bayless (4.8%)

Bayless is ranked 91st, right behind Jimmy Butler. That says more about Butler than it does about Bayless. But, Bayless gives you good minutes and good filler. He’s maybe been relegated to the bench if the 76ers are intent on having Ben Simmons be the Point Forward. But, when Bayless came off the bench he still played 30+ minutes and took 9 shots. He’s taking more shots than Dwyane Wade which is hilarious. Welcome to Cleveland, Flash! Everyone lovvvvvves it here.

Quick Cleveland question: Would the Knicks trade Porzingis for everyone good on the Cavs who is NOT LeBron James? That would be Kevin Love, Tristan Thompson, Jae Crowder, Isaiah Thomas, JR Smith, and Iman Shumpert. I know Shump and JR are ex-Knicks, but whatever, this is just a hypothetical. Forget all the salaries and roster formation: if you made that trade, the Knicks could (eventually) roll out this lineup:

PG - Isaiah Thomas/Frank Ntilikina

SG - Tim Hardaway, Jr./Shumpert

SF - Jae Crowder/JR Smith

PF - Kevin Love/Enes Kanter

C - Tristan Thompson/Willy Hernangomez

Meanwhile, Cleveland’s rotation would be:

PG - Derrick Rose (I mean, whatever, it’ll be LeBron)

SG - Flash

SF - LeBron/Korver

PF - Channing Frye/LeBron

C - Kristaps/Who Cares

Now, obviously this won’t happen. LeBron isn’t going to give up an entire season, and the Cavs 90% wouldn’t make the Finals if they had that roster (anything is possible with LeBron, though). HOWEVER. People will come to a team with LeBron and Kristaps, no problem. Would that be enough to keep LeBron in Cleveland? Could that team convince Paul George and Boogie to join them for at least two seasons? I think the King and the Unicorn playing together would break basketball. I also think that the KLove Knicks would make the playoffs.

Maybe I’m just already tired of watching these Cavs play. They are NOT fun to watch. And, I don’t mean methodical-boring-Spurs no fun, I mean the Cavs just suck right now. I’m sure they’ll be fine, but I think the most likely outcome of this start and possible tension on the team is to fire Ty Lue. Knowing the Cavs, they’ll fire their GM instead, and then lie about offering players in trades, and then LeBron leaves and their owner writes a racist letter crying about it.

Jakob Poeltl (15.1%)

This one’s a little weird. Poeltl is in his second year. Technically, he’s behind Jonas Valanciunas on the depth chart (and, Lucas Nogueira is in the mix, too). He doesn’t play 20 minutes a game and he usually doesn’t take more than 5 shots a game. BUT, he has the 2nd best plus-minus on the Raptors. (Rookie OG Anunoby is 1st; he is on my fantasy team, humble brag; I like him! He can pass and he doesn’t turn the ball over.) Poeltl also has the second best TS% (66, behind Nogueira’s 72), he basically gets as many boards as Valanciunas, and he’s played good defense. He’s averaging 8 points and 8 boards in under 20 minutes; if he played 25 minutes a game, he’d get a double-double every night. Just sayin’, be on the lookout, and see if the Raptors trade one of their bigs. If Poeltl gets more minutes, then he could double-double every game. Only 15 players are averaging double digits in both points and rebounds; he could turn into the 16th.

Bojan Bogdanovic (11.8%)

Bojan took a hot minute to get his stroke, but he’s been great over the last week: 16 points, 3 threes a game, 4 rebounds, 3 assists, and a steal. His 62 TS% means his scoring isn’t a fluke (I used to watch him when he was in Brooklyn; the dude can shoot). If you’re looking for a wing, you should give him a chance. He’s kiiiinda one of those guys who looks better in real life than when you watch him on TV, so if you’re a Pacers fan you should do yourself a favor and try to go see him. It’s weird but he brings a lot of energy to the floor; he always seemed to be able to shift the momentum in the Nets’ favor.

Wow, you know what? That’s the most pathetic thing I’ve ever said in my whole life. “He was always able to lift the Nets.” WTF am I talking about. Gosh, he was so good! That’s why the Nets were so amazing! FOH, Natty.

(But, seriously, he was a top 100 player last year and can definitely help you. I, ugh, maybe sorta kinda like him and Dipo together?)

Marvin Williams (17.2%)

I know, I know, I know. But, he’s averaging 10 points and 6 boards over the last week. You know who’s doing that on the season? Larry Nance, Jr. And, errrrrybuddy was excited about him. So, why no love for Uncle Marv? Is it because he’s somehow added to his Professor Snore reputation by playing for three of the boringest teams ever: Atlanta, Utah, and now Charlotte? Don’t get me wrong, I’ve loved some of their teams and players over the years, but those three teams are like the unsalted peanuts-only trail mixes as a snack option at the NBA Halloween party. Like, even the Pacers, a team that plays in the Aristotelian Ideal of a Boring State, has at least some sugar (we see you, Oladipo’s sweetass play!). The Hawks, the Hornets, and Utah. It sounds like an awful Godspeed album. Just kidding! They’re all awful.

Here are some other notes from around the league. By “some,” I mean “two.”

1. Kevin Durant is 2nd in blocks right now. Ohhhh yeahhhhh, he’s 7 feet tall.

2. Reggie Jackson, who is the (supposed) starting point guard for the Detroit Pistons, has apparently been offered, sorry, dangled, in a trade for Eric Bledsoe. Color me stupid, but I don’t see a discernible difference between the two. [Editor’s note: “discernible” means you can see it, so Natty’s saying he can’t see a see-able difference between the two. That’s damn good writing. Let’s see what he can’t see that is see-able next!] They’re both 27. Reggie’s career averages are better, but Bledsoe is a better defender (when he wants to be). Seriously, I looked at their numbers throughout their careers, and they seem pretty mas o meno, y’know? On Basketball-Reference they have a section with a player’s closest historical similarity; GUESS WHICH TWO PLAYERS ARE ON EACH OTHER’S SIMILARITY LISTS???? I guess Bledsoe gets to the line more, and I guess Reggie gets more assists, what’s the reason for doing this, Stan Van Gundy?

Has your movie career impinged upon your Orange-in-the-Bucket acumen? Why are you pissing Reggie off by dangling him in trade offers WITH A 1ST ROUND DRAFT PICK?? Okay, let’s say that you have a good reason for wanting Bledsoe rather than Reggie. Let’s say that your team’s 5-3 record doesn’t matter, nor does team chemistry, nor does the fact that you have Reggie under contract for a year more than you’d have Bledsoe, and let’s say that the money doesn’t matter (they’re only a few million apart in salary, anyway). Let’s say, all other things being equal, since they are, Bledsoe is a better player than Reggie (even though, again, they seem to be mighty, mighty samesies). Why, o why, do you have to add a 1st round pick?!?!?! Phoenix is ACTIVELY TRYNNA TRADE HIM! He has little to no value! Why would you offer even a heavily protected first round pick for a guy that no one is willing to trade for??! I don’t care if the protections mean that Phoenix probably gets a 2nd rounder instead of a 1st; you should NOT have to send anything close to that in order to acquire Eric “I don’t want to be here” Bledsoe. Besides which, the Pistons don’t need their draft picks in the next two years? Because they’re done building their Championship team? And, all their contracts are good so they don’t need cheap, young, presumably good talent to help fill in the roster? GET. REAL. Is Eric Bledsoe supposed to fill all the empty seats in the Pistons new downtown arena? By the way, great job, Pistons. Nothing shouts “contender” and “rejuvenated city” more than empty seats. God damn.


By the way, to hearken back to “color me stupid” and to continue with the Pistons, the color of stupid is teal. Teal, sometimes referred to as the thinking man’s vomit-green, is the dumbest color. Everyone knows that. Like, go with aquamarine if you want a blue-green, y’know? Or, hell, go crazy and cerulean up that MFer. But, don’t be trashy teal. Teal is the Godspeed of the color spectrum.

*This is hyperbolic, and unfair to Lyanna. She was betrothed to Robert Baratheon (it was an arranged marriage, red flag) then bounced to her Rhae bae. Meanwhile, Prince So Sensitive was cheating on his actual wife with Lyanna, so if anyone’s promiscuous, it’s the guy. Also, in defense of Lyanna and all other people who find themselves in a similar circumstance: you OBVIOUSLY go with the magic prince over the other option. DUH. Hmmm, let’s see: do I want the magical heir to the throne who plays acoustic guitar for me? Or, do I want the other guy, who has no magic, and isn’t the heir to anything except the Seattle of Westeros (I assume Storm’s End is rainy and populated by grunge bands). I mean, let’s get real, I only know two things for sure: when someone asks you if you’re a god, you say yes; and, if given a choice between an option with magic and an option without magic, YOU CHOOSE THE MAGIC ONE.