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Carmelo Anthony is a top 100 fantasy basketball player sitting on your waiver wire

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Melo has been huge for Portland and for your fantasy basketball team lately.

Getty Images/Pete Rogers Illustrations

Let’s talk about the Fake Teams fantasy basketball podcast’s avatar, The Long 2’s Carmelo Anthony.

Melo (the real Melo, not Lam Ball Melo) ended the first half of the NBA season as the 99th player in basic fantasy basketball, with averages of 13+ points per game, 3+ rebounds per game, 1.5 assists per game, 1.7 “stocks” per game (steals + blocks, please see Pete’s STONKS Report every week), and he’s shooting 38% from three on 4+ 3-point attempts per game.

He’s currently 49.5% rostered in ESPN leagues.

Melo’s average draft position was 117th on ESPN, right after Slow-Mo Kyle Anderson. If you drafted Melo there or later, then you’ve gotten a better return than:

  • Russell Westbrook, 99% rostered, #31 ADP, ended the first half at 134th on the ESPN basic Player Rater
  • Kemba Walker, 90% rostered, #71 ADP, #155 PR
  • Tyler Herro, 84% rostered, #76 ADP, #160 PR
  • Steven Adams, 74% rostered, #87 ADP, #171 PR
  • Anthony Edwards, the #1 overall pick in the NBA Draft, 68% rostered, #107 ADP, #137 PR

Melo’s played the fifth most minutes on the Portland Trail Blazers this season, due more to the Blazers’ injuries, perhaps, than to plan. But, since CJ McCollum went out with a fracture in his foot, the Blazers have the 7th best winning percentage in the NBA, so it’s not like Carmelo’s minutes have hurt.

He has his highest usage rate of the past four years BUT also the best true shooting percentage, so maybe the steady diet of minutes are conducive to his play, along with his familiarity with the team in his second season in Portland (and, getting to play with dark horse MVP candidate, Maestro Damian Lillard). Melo’s 38.7 3PT% would be his best since he was scoring 27 points per game for the Knicks in 2013-14. AND his deep shot’s been falling even more recently: since February 1st Melo has a 43 3PT% on 5+ 3PA per game (all of those games without CJ McCollum, remember). He’s also been hitting more of his catch-and-shoot threes since February (40% on 3+ per game).

Is he in a resurgence, or is this just a hot streak?

Right now, Carmelo Anthony is a legit fantasy basketball player. This was no sure thing two years ago. I’m glad Melo’s back in the league, and I hope he keeps it up. Let’s all support Good Things for the snake-bitten Blazers, who took a chance on an NBA exile and are probably pretty damn glad they did. I can’t believe I’m saying this, but can you imagine the Blazers without Carmelo this season? His availability has been crucial for Portland’s continued success this season. On a ship with multiple holes, Melo’s done his part and helped keep Portland afloat. His current production belongs on your fantasy roster.