It’s the business end of the fantasy season and making the right moves now is key in lifting the silverware at the end of the season.
In today’s Fantasy Edge, I’ll take a look at some interesting performances that you need to pay attention to.
Aaron Gordon, point guard?
Since the All-Star Break, Gordon has been great, ranking as the 18th best player scoring 43.83 fantasy points per game.
But it hasn’t been his usual type of output.
To be fair, his usual output has been much lower, averaging 31.43 this season, but it’s been a change in Gordon’s game that I am most interested in.
Over the season, Gordon is averaging just 3.6 assists, but since the break, that number is all the way up to 7.3 per game. That is a whopping change.
With that additional focus on distribution, Gordon has seen his usage drop to 17%, down from 21% over the season.
It’s not a one-off, it seems like a more deliberate change in his game and the Magic’s offence.
If it results in this sort of fantasy output, we’ll be happy with the change in Gordon’s game after losing the Slam Dunk Contest.
New York’s Porzingis trade is looking worse by the day
Porziņģis struggled to get into a groove early in the season playing alongside Luka Dončić, but recently, KP has exploded.
Since the break, Porziņģis is the third-ranked player for fantasy, averaging 55.30 points, which is over 15 points per game better than his season average.
It’s not because Dončić has been out over those six games, either, because there has only been one game in which Porziņģis has played that Dončić hasn’t.
In the minutes they have played together post break, Porziņģis is averaging 1.3 fantasy points per minute.
Before the break, that number was only at 0.97.
If KP can continue this level of form with the second-year star next to him, fantasy managers will be rewarded big time.
Caris LeVert is giving the Nets new life
We all saw LeVert bring Brooklyn back for a stirring upset over the Boston Celtics, ending with a career-high 51 points and his fantasy GMs have to be thrilled.
LeVert struggled to fit in with Kyrie Irving earlier this season before, and after, he hurt his thumb.
With Irving out for the season though, LeVert is the Nets’ best fantasy option.
Since the break, LeVert is averaging 40.35 fantasy points, mainly because his usage skyrockets with Kyrie on the sidelines.
With Irving off, LeVert’s usage is up at 31%, while when they shared the court, it was a paltry 22%.
We aren’t seeing Kyrie again this season, so Caris has every opportunity to remain as a top 50, and perhaps even higher, fantasy player.
OG Anunoby, King of Steals
Anunoby is one of the best defenders in the NBA and after the All-Star break, he has taken it up a notch.
For a guy who isn’t even a top 125 player this season, Anunoby’s rank of 38th after the break is certainly eye-raising.
He is averaging 37.72 fantasy points, mainly because of those sensational steal numbers.
Anunoby has 19 steals in six games after the break.
OG Anunoby is the first person to have a game with 30+ points and 7+ steals since Lou Williams more than two years ago.— Basketball Reference (@bball_ref) March 2, 2020
He's also the only player with a game like that in #Raptors history https://t.co/7CoTkZSC3Y pic.twitter.com/eyMQiV0dwB
He has been more active in playing passing lanes as his deflection numbers have also risen from 2.4 pre-break to 3.3 post-break.
He is also shooting 62% from two-point range in those six games, which has vaulted up way up the ranks. Now, the steals numbers and shooting are unsustainable, so I would expect Anunoby to drop down the ranks pretty soon.
Coby White has turned things around
Coby White hasn’t started a game this season, but that hasn’t stopped his second-half surge, right into fantasy relevance.
Since the All-Star break, White is a top 50 player, averaging 36 fantasy points per game in 32 minutes.
Now, some of it is due to the absences of Lauri Markkanen, Otto Porter, and Zach LaVine over that time, but he has shown an ability to play big with all of them individually.
We won’t see LaVine for another week, so in terms of volume scoring, that job is White’s for now.
Coby stayed hot against the Timberwolves.— Chicago Bulls (@chicagobulls) March 5, 2020
26 points | 11-22 shooting | 6 assists pic.twitter.com/ptrUkjIdZ4
The major reason we have seen this increase from White is not just the boost in minutes, but the fact that he is hitting 49% of his shots, which when you compare it with his season-long number, 39%, is great.
He has also hit his free throws. He is, weirdly, only at 79% from the line over the season, but in his last ten games, White has knocked down 31 of 33 free throw attempts.
With Kris Dunn out for the season and LaVine banged up, White’s minutes and usage will stick and if his shooting keeps at a solid level, he is going to be a league changing waiver wire add.
Every week, I’ll be looking at some weird trends across the NBA and seeing what they mean, so make sure you’re checking out The Edge, here every Friday.