by Will Overton
On a night where the role players and some of the under the radar guys shone through a bit on a small slate of games. We’re going to break down each of those guys that stood out and what that might mean for fantasy value and whether these guys can keep this up going forward. We’re also going to dive into Derrick Rose a bit, someone who clearly isn’t under the radar, but is a fantasy basketball mystery. Let’s get started:
Kelly Olynyk – Boston Celtics (33 MINS, 6 – 14 FG, 16 PTS, 9 REBS, 2 ASTS, 2 3PM)
The rotation of big men in Boston is a bit frustrating because there are so many and there minutes never really seem to be set enough to trust them. Kelly Olynyk seems to be the guy getting the extended look right now. Olynyk played 33 minutes last night and is averaging 32 MPG these last three games. His stellar play goes back nine games though as he has 11.8 PPG, 6.1 RPG and 1.4 3PG. Olynyk is an intriguing option for fantasy because even though he doesn’t block shots like you want from a big man, his threes add another layer to his game. Olynyk’s minutes vary more than any other Boston big man, but while he’s getting the minutes right now, he’s got the ability to give value at a weaker position.
Kent Bazemore – Atlanta Hawks (25 MINS, 8 – 15 FG, 22 PTS, 6 REBS, 4 ASTS, 1 BLK, 2 STLS, 3 3PM)
It amazes me that with the way Kent Bazemore is playing right now he is still available to be owned in 30% of ESPN leagues. Looking back to just his last four games he is averaging 20.3 PPG, 4.3 RPG, 3.0 APG, 1.5 SPG and 3.8 3PG. That’s a small sample size, but he’s been playing well for a while now. His point scoring can at times be inconsistent, while he is capable of these 20+ point games on any given night, he also has a lot of games in the single digits too. He does so many other things well though. It’s rare a game goes by that Bazemore doesn’t have a three and a steal, if not more than one. He’s also a surprisingly strong rebounder with 5.4 RPG his last nine games. With a guy like Bazemore he does so many good things that you don’t necessarily need 20+ points, and that’s just a nice added bonus.
Terrence Jones – Houston Rockets (32 MINS, 6 – 10 FG, 14 PTS, 8 REBS, 2 ASTS)
This line certainly doesn’t leap off the page the way some of the other listed here do, but it is significant for fantasy owners. Currently Jones is only owned in 30% of leagues and really his play hasn’t justified more than that, but I think it’s only a matter of time before his fantasy value gets a bump. Jones got the start last night with Clint Capela playing center in Dwight Howard’s absence. Jones had a chance to remind the Rockets how important a true stretch four can be in that offense and that’s what Jones is. The pairing of Capela and Howard hasn’t been bad, but it doesn’t really create the space that guys like James Harden need. I think it’s only a matter of time before we see Jones minutes pick back up and he starts making an impact like this and more a lot more often.
D’Angelo Russell – Los Angeles Lakers (29 MINS, 11 – 16 FG, 27 PTS, 4 ASTS, 2 REBS, 2 STLS, 3 3PM)
After missing one game with an illness, D’Angelo Russell was back in action last night and giving the Sacramento Kings all kind of heck on offense. Russell outplayed his fellow guards in Louis Williams and Jordan Clarkson, a trio that all typically play a similar amount of minutes, even though Russell is coming off the bench. So far this season we’ve had a lot of inconsistency from Russell, particularly with his shot, but we’ve all seen some really good glmpses of his upside as a multiple category contributor and a potentially number two scorer on a team one day. Russell still has a lot of work to do, but he’s going to give you value from time to time this year and his long term value is high in dynasty leagues.
Derrick Rose – Chicago Bulls (34 MINS, 9 – 16 FG, 18 PTS, 7 REBS, 3 ASTS, 2 TO)
This wasn’t vintage Derrick Rose or anything like that, but this game was still a good sign. First, it’s nice to see him playing so many minutes after a knee and hamstring injury last week that had him out for three games. It’s also really nice to see him being so efficient on offense. Rose is shooting just 39.6% from the field for the season, but in his last two games since returning from injury he is 17 – 33 from the field total. He’s not hitting his threes, but it might be better if he doesn’t really worry about that as much right now. Fantasy owners would be better served by Rose getting to the lane and hitting higher percentage shots and keeping his FG% up. The assists and rebounds will fluctuate, but he’s going to give value in both spots still. I still think Rose may be worth at least a stab as a buy low because his value really has never been as low as it is right now.