We are in Week 15 of the fantasy basketball season, and leagues are probably distilling into playoff teams and otherwise. For playoff teams, there are still good players available on the wire in most ESPN leagues. For dynasty teams, there are still good young players available who are worth rostering long term.
(All numbers and stats courtesy of NBA.com, ESPN.com, and Basketball-Reference.com. Thank you!)
AMIR COFFEY, LAC, SG, 5.4% ROSTERED, #36 PLAYER RATING (LAST 15)
Did you know that Amir Coffey, third year player on the LA Clippers, has played THE MOST total minutes on the Clips over the past month? Paul George is nowhere to be seen and may not be coming back this season. Coffey, who, again, has played THE MOST minutes on the team over the last 30 days, has a chance to provide IMMENSE volume for the rest of the season if the Clippers remain without their stars and vets. Over the past two weeks Coffey’s been a top 50 player in basic fantasy, averaging 13.9 points per game, 4 rebounds per game, 2.9 assists per game, 1 steal per game, and 2.3 3-pointers made. He’s giving a little bit of everything in a helluva lotta minutes. I added Coffey in my main league, I strongly suggest you do the same in yours. Can’t ignore this opportunity for minutes and shots from a team that may be going into the tank, whether they like it or not.
PATTY MILLS, BK, PG, 23.8% ROSTERED, #46 PR15
I wonder if you’re tired of me suggesting you add Patty Mills, who has the fourth most total 3PM this season, and who’s #76 on the player rater for the entire campaign thus far. Mills is a top 100 player, who’s an elite stat cat contributor, and who’s been in the top 50 the past two weeks. Do you even need his stat line? (Just in case! 17 PPG, 2.5 RPG, 2.3 APG, 3.8 3PM, 50.5 FG%! the past two weeks!) When the Nets are at home, they’re without an injured Kevin Durant, and an unvaxxed Kyrie Irving, and Patty Mills gets lots of minutes. When the Nets are on the road, Ky gets to play, but the Nets still play Mills a lot, sometimes along Kyrie AND James Harden. Scoring’s coming tough in Brooklyn this year: things have NOT gone as planned. Durant’s injury means Mills’ consistent scoring threat is even more necessary now, it’s goddamn vital. Pick up Patty, PLEASE. He’s fourth in 3PM! He’s great, it doesn’t make sense he’s rostered in so few leagues.
AYO DOSUNMU, CHI, SG, 14.9% ROSTERED, #50 PR15
DID YOU KNOW THAT AYO DOSUNMU, A ROOKIE ON THE WINDY CITY BULLS, HAS PLAYED THE MOST TOTAL MINUTES FOR CHICAGO OVER THE LAST TWO WEEKS?
The Bulls are in SECOND PLACE in the Eastern Conference. And, a rookie is playing that many minutes for them. Ayo is worth paying attention to. Lonzo Ball and Alex Caruso are both out for extended periods with injuries. Dosunmu and Coby White (see below) have inherited their minutes. Ayo’s been a top 50 player since, and the past two weeks he’s giving fantasy players 11.3 PPG, 4.1 RPG, 4.8 APG, 1.3 3PM, on 53% shooting from the floor. Disregard the points and FG%, and just focus on the rebounds and assists. Those are nice counting stats coming from a player who’s rostered in less than 15% of leagues.
Now, he’s a rookie, so his numbers might take a dip, but so long as he’s receiving this many minutes, we must pay attention to him, just like Amir Coffey. Minutes are like water, they make everything grow. If Ayo’s going to continue to be a minutes vacuum in the Windy City, then the counting stats should follow. Get ‘em while they’re cheap.
COBY WHITE, CHI, PG, 23.2% ROSTERED, #56 PR15
Coby’s the other beneficiary of Lonzo & Caruso being out. Over the past two weeks White’s averaged 14.9 PPG, 3.6 RPG, 2.9 APG, and 2.1 3PM. Again, his opportunity for massive volume could result in him being a top 75 player for the rest of the fantasy regular season. He’s played the third-most total minutes for the Bulls the past two weeks.
CHRIS DUARTE, IND, SG, 27.1% ROSTERED, #57 PR15
The injuries are piling up for the Pacers. TJ Warren, TJ McConnell, Malcolm Brogdon, Myles Turner, and Domantas Sabonis have all been out (though Sabonis should be back soon). That’s five-sixths of their presumed starting 5 and 6th man rotation. It’s kind of amazing how obliterated this squad has been, but that just means that the Pacers’ rookie, Chris Duarte, gets to play. He’s played the third most minutes for Indy the past two weeks, with averages of 15.9 PPG, 4.9 RPG, 2.9 APG, 1.7 SPG, and 1.7 3PM. Little bit of everything from a rookie who’s playing big minutes, you love to see it.
DE’ANDRE HUNTER, ATL, SF/PF, 18.7% ROSTERED, #61 PR15
Speaking of a rookie getting big minutes, Hunter is back and Cam Reddish is gone. Hunter’s played the third most minutes for the Hawks, after Trae Young and Kevin Huerter, the past few weeks, and he’s been a top 75 player in fantasy during that time. Also averaging 15.9 PPG, he’s grabbing 3.9 boards, and dishing 1.4 dimes, with 1.9 3PM. He’s a young player with pedigree. Dynasty league owners, you’d better pay attention to him. He’s worth rostering for the long haul now that Cam’s in New York. In the unlikely event that the Hawks trade Hunter for a veteran star, Hunter’s minutes will maintain, as whichever team trades for him will want to play their new young 3D wing as much as possible.
DEVIN VASSELL, SAS, SG/SF, 7.3% ROSTERED, #67 PR15
Vassell hasn’t been playing as much as Duarte or Hunter, but he’s fourth in minutes on the Spurs recently, averaging 13 PPG, 5.3 RPG, 1.1 APG, and 2.1 3PM. He’s mainly a dynasty pick, though he has been top 75 recently. If he continues to get minutes for the Spurs down the stretch, then we could see more production from the young player. I have him as a dynasty player in my main league; I’m a big believer in him as the next Spurs development story.
KEVIN LOVE, CLE, PF, 28.1% ROSTERED, #68 PR15
Can KLove win sixth man of the year? Lauri Markkanen, the Finnisher, is out for the next few weeks due to an ankle sprain. Love’s averaged 14-6-2 the past two weeks, with 2+ 3PM, making him a top 75 player during that span. He’ll presumably get even more minutes while Markkanen’s out since the Cavs are a team contending for the playoffs. Until or unless there’s a trade made by the Cavs that will eat into Love’s minutes, you should feel safe in playing him during his Renaissance season.
HERB JONES, NOP, SF/PF, 20.7% ROSTERED, #75 PR15
Jones has also been a top 75 player on the season, by the way. He’s played the third-most minutes on the Pelicans FOR THE SEASON, during which time he’s accumulated 86 total assists, 64 total steals, and 43 total blocks. Do you know who else in the NBA has at least 80 dimes, 60 thefts, and 40 rejections? NOBODY. It’s Herb and Herb alone right now. He’s averaged 12.5 PPG, 4.2 RPG, 2.7 APG, 1.7 SPG, and 1.2 3PM the past two weeks on 58% shooting. He’s a must add player, in my opinion. He’s a rookie, so dynasty league managers, please pay attention. Not only is Young Herb a good add for this season, he’s a dynamite dynasty player.
JARRED VANDERBILT, MIN, PF, 25.1% ROSTERED, #104 PR15
V8 is one of my favorite young players because he’s in a season where he just keeps getting better, month after month. He’s fourth in total minutes on the Timberwolves the past two weeks, and he’s averaged 9-11-2 in the month of January on 65% shooting. There are 18 players who’ve grabbed at least 385 rebounds this season, including Vanderbilt. He’s the only one of those players to also grab at least 60 steals. He’s EXCRUCIATINGLY close to averaging a double-double, at which point his fantasy value, and roster percentage, will steadily increase. He’s not a must-add but I’d certainly pick him up, especially if you need rebounds and steals.