Let’s look around the fantasy basketball landscape and see what’s trending.
I’m gonna start with a fantasy boyfriend of mine. Here is a list of 12 NBA players (in descending order of PPG) who average 15+ points per game, 6+ rebounds per game, 4+ 3-point attempts per game, and have a 36+ 3PT%:
- Kawhi Leonard, 100% in ESPN leagues, #11 on the ESPN Player Rater (27+ PPG)
- Karl-Anthony Towns, 99% owned, #32 PR (out injured)
- Brandon Ingram, 99% owned, #14 PR
- Pascal Siakam, 99% owned, #33 PR
- Jayson Tatum, 100% owned, #15 PR
- Paul George, 100% owned, #76 PR
- Khris Middleton, 99% owned, #18 PR (!)
- Jaylen Brown, 98% owned, #69 PR
- Tobias Harris, 99% owned, #34 PR
- Kevin Love, 99% owned, #53 PR
- Gordon Hayward, 97% owned, #85 PR
- Carmelo Anthony, 71% owned, #160 PR
Melo’s played in more games than Gordon Hayward, and only one less than Kawhi. You have to admit, this is a pretty nice fantasy basketball list to be on.
Replacing Kelly Oubre, Jr.
Kelly Oubre, Jr., is probably done for the season after tearing a meniscus. Oubre’s been a top 50 player in fantasy this year, with averages of 18+ PPG, 6+ RPG, 1+ SPG, and 1+ 3PM, one of only 28 players to have that line this season. He’s 24 years old. This is tough.
Mikal Bridges, a top 100 player this year, may be in store for greater fantasy value due to Oubre’s injury. Bridges is less than 30% owned in ESPN leagues.
Robert Covington’s change of scenery, for the better
Robert Covington is a top 50 player this year in basic leagues, who’s averaging 12+ PPG, 6+ RPG, 1+ APG, 1+ SPG, 1+ BPG, and 6.5 3PA, and a 34.6 3PT%. He’s one of only four players in the NBA to average 6+ 3PA, have a 34+ 3PT%, and 1+ BPG: Covington, Towns, Jaren Jackson Jr, and Kristaps Porzingis. This is another nice fantasy basketball list to be on.
Since he was traded to the Houston Rockets, RoCo’s numbers are 12.3 PPG, 6.9 RPG, 1.5 APG, 1+ SPG, and 2+ BPG. Obviously, that’s a nice little roll to be on, blocks-wise (18 over the past five games), but Covington has also taken 8.4 3PA on Houston, nearly two more three point attempts per game than in Minnesota.
Covington’s game hasn’t changed that much, except for the jump in 3PA and BPG. If those keep up, he may be leveling up. He’s 84% owned, and his scoring is less than ideal, but Covington’s other counting stats more than make up for his lack of points per game, and keep his fantasy value very high. THIS is the kind of player you want to trade for before your fantasy playoffs.
Andre Drummond’s change of scenery, for the worse
On the other end of the fantasy spectrum is Andre Drummond. Before his trade to Cleveland, Drum was averaging 17.8 PPG, 15.8 RPG, 2.8 APG, 2 SPG, 1.7 BPG, and was shooting 53% from the floor on 13.9 shot attempts per game for the Pistons.
Since going to the Cavaliers, Drum is scoring 12.8 PPG, grabbing 10.4 RPG, 1.4 APG, 1.2 SPG, 1.2 BPG, and shooting three fewer times a game, and playing 9 fewer minutes.
Why did this trade happen again? I kind of feel like advising you to sell Drum as quickly as you possibly can, but maybe this is just early kinks and Cleveland will ramp him back up as he and they adjust to their new situation.
Your fears are justified, though. This could be an utter disaster. He’s an old school center in a crowded front court. And to make matters worse, Larry Nance, Jr. has been playing well. Again, why did this trade happen?
Malik Beasley’s change of scenery, for the better
On a brighter note, Malik Beasley is DOMINATING in the Twin Cities:
- On the Nuggets: 18+ minutes per game, 8 PPG, 4 3PA, 36 3PT%, 2 RPG, 1+ APG, 7 FGA, 39 FG%.
- On the TWolves: 33+ MPG, 21+ PPG (!), 9+ 3PA (!), 42 3PT% (!), 6 RPG (!), 2+ APG, 17+ FGA, 45.5 FG%.
The hater will say that the Big KAT’s been out injured in Minnie, so we can’t fully trust these numbers. On the other hand, Beasley is 54% owned. If you can’t take a chance on a player with stats like this, in a new starting position, then you must have a seriously good team. Would I trade Andre Drummond for Malik Beasley straight up? I’d be tempted. Folks have believed in Beasley for a long time, and he’s finally in a position to deliver. These are heady times for fans of the Mutant.
Andrew Wiggins’ 3-point shooting
Andrew Wiggins on Minnesota: 33 3PT%.
Maple Jordan on Golden State: 42 3PT%.
Wiggins has been a top 50 player in basic fantasy over the past 2 weeks. Is that the new norm? Steph Curry may be coming back soon, so we’ll have to see how Wiggins adjusts to yet another change, but Curry’s presence could increase Wiggins’ newfound efficiency even more.
Zion. That’s the tweet.
Here are Zion Williamson’s numbers through 13 games: 23+ PPG, 57+ FG%, 7+ RPG, 2+ APG.
Here’s the list of players averaging 23 and 7 this year: Joel Embiid, Tatum, Siakam, LeBron James, Big KAT (he’s on every goddamn list), Anthony Davis, Kawhi, Sergeant Russell Westbrook, Luka Doncic, and Giannis Antetokounmpo.
Zion is 19 years old.
Top waiver adds for the fantasy playoffs
I know you don’t care, but Marcus Smart (51% owned), is one of only 20 players in the NBA (including Steph, who’s only played in 4 games so far) to average 12+ PPG, 3+ RPG, 4+ APG, 1+ SPG, and 2+ 3PM. Smart has the worst 3PT% of that group, but I’ll take the counting stats, and let the ratios kiss my ass.
Look at this list, and then tell me why Tomas Satoransky is owned in less than 40% of ESPN leagues. Or, look at this list, wherein Tomas Satoransky is the only player who’s shooting less than 10 FGA per game. Satoransky is a top 75 player in fantasy this year. He’s literally provided more value than Ja Morant. He’s a 28 year old, 6’7” lead guard. I know he plays for the Fightin’ Jim Boylens, but Sato’s just a really nice, solid, high floor fantasy player. He could be extremely helpful in the playoffs, especially if you need assists.
Less than 50 players in the NBA average 15+ PPG and 5+ RPG. Four of those players also average 8+ 3PA per game: James Harden, Luka, PG13, and Steph Curry (who, again, doesn’t really count). Davis Bertans (54% owned) is averaging 15 PPG, 8.4 3PA per game, and 4.6 RPG. He should be owned more.
If you have an open roster spot, you almost have to pick up Duncan Robinson (27% owned). Only Harden, Maestro Dame Lillard, and Steph Curry 2.0: Buddy Hield, have more 3PM than Robinson. He can help you win an entire category. Elite specialists are violently valuable in fantasy playoffs.