by Will Overton
The preseason is meant for fringe guys to rise to the surface for fantasy owners and emerge as useful fantasy options. One guy who is doing just that this preseason is Otto Porter Jr in Washington. A year ago Porter was picked third overall in the NBA draft, but injuries limited him to just 37 games and he never really had a chance to be a contributor.
A year later Porter had become a bit of an afterthought only talked about in deep leagues, but his preseason numbers are piquing the interest of many fantasy owners. It doesn’t hurt that several members of the Wizards backcourt are dropping with injuries.
Porter has strung together a few nice games in a row, but he really blew up last night. Against the Knicks Porter played 31 minutes, scoring 22 points, including hitting four three-pointers and adding three steals. Porter is averaging 14.3 PPG in 27.6 MPG over his last seven games. He’s also averaging 4.8 RPG and in his last four games he has a total of 12 steals.
One of the big questions on Porter coming out of college was whether he could hit his jumper consistently enough to be a scoring threat in the NBA and a legitimate wing player to stretch the floor. Porter has looked good so far hitting 8 of 17 three-pointers and while he may not shoot them in mass, he clearly takes smart shots and has been efficient which will help his FG%.
What Porter does the best is use his length to his advantage. Porter stands 6’8 and has a nice wingspan for his position. He uses that length to get those rebounds and steals and he has the upside to be top ten in the league in steals at some point in his career.
We already know Bradley Beal is out for at least a month or more. Meanwhile Martell Webster is also going to be out for at least a few weeks and that could also be more. Now the guy who was supposed to start at shooting guard in their place, Glen Rice Jr, has a bum ankle and we don’t know if he’ll be ready for opening night.
Porter is going to backup both wing positions, if he doesn’t end up starting at shooting guard. With players injured Porter should be looking at 20 – 25 minutes per game to start the season. This is a big opportunity and if he can make the most of it for the first couple of weeks we could be looking at more than just a deep league guy.