In fantasy leagues, we all know about the studs, Steph Curry, Anthony Davis, LeBron James, James Harden. They’re owned in all leagues, but that’s not necessarily where you win a championship. It’s about making adjustments, grabbing players who are set to produce when their opportunity arises. So, I thought it would be a good idea to have a look at some of these players.
In “If They Were Starters”, I’ll be looking at the players with the best fantasy value, if their stats were extrapolated out to 36 minutes, an arbitrary standard used for starters. So, in a nutshell, who has the best fantasy value based on per-36 minutes numbers, looking back at the stats from the past two weeks.
Kosta Koufos — Grizzlies
15 mpg, 7.5 ppg, 3.8 rpg, 0.3 apg, 0.8 spg, 1.2 bpg, 68 FG%, 88 FT%
You may think Kosta Koufos’ value was skewed completely by his big game Monday against the Rockets, where he had three blocks and three steals, but in fact, he’s been rock solid over the last couple of weeks. He’s blocked at least one shot in his past four games and has been a solid scoring option behind Marc Gasol and Zach Randolph. When Gasol went down last season, Koufos elevated his game and is a nightly double-double threat with a couple of blocks when he starts. At the moment he’s just a deep 16 team league player, but if something happens to Gasol or Randolph, then it’s time to pounce.
James Johnson — Raptors
20 mpg, 8.0 ppg, 0.2 3pm, 5.0 rpg, 1.6 apg, 1.2 spg, 1.6 bpg, 71 FG%, 71 FT%
That’s just ludicrous, that Johnson is averaging over a steal and a block in 20 minutes a game. Based on that alone, he has value in 12 team leagues, but imagine if he was elevated to a starter’s role. We saw a four steal, four block explosion against the Bulls on national TV, but for now, a sprained ankle has slowed his roll. He’s one guy that since the preseason I’ve been keeping an eye on, because if the minutes are there, he’s an elite fantasy contributor.
J.J. Barea — Mavericks
17 mpg, 8.4 ppg, 0.4 3pm, 1.9 rpg, 5.1 apg, 0.9 spg, 41 FG%, 93 FT%
Waived by Minnesota, Barea is back at his spiritual home in Dallas and the results are showing through. He is taking full advantage of the absence of Devin Harris and Raymond Felton, so his numbers are skewed by that fact, but with his solid play, you could see him having a role over Felton for the remainder of the season. In the short-term, with those absences, Barea is worth a short-term add in most league if you are desperate for assists, but his long-term value is likely muted. Still, he’s raised some eyebrows with his play and is worth watch listing.
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