The NBA world is still mourning the loss of Kobe Bryant and it’s been a tough week to get through. We do have to push through, so here is my Fantasy Edge for this week, as I look into the numbers across the league to help in your fantasy league.
You can add Kobe Bryant in Fantasy
Let’s start with a tribute to Bryant. Yahoo fantasy added Kobe Bryant back into the player pool and in the last 24 hours alone, he has been added by 5296 teams and is the second most added player.
He obviously can’t help your fantasy team, so adding Bryant to a roster is a sign of respect that people have for him and it was a nice gesture for Yahoo to allow him to be added, as many fantasy basketball fans have a connection to Bryant through his many years of fantasy dominance.
Is Zion Williamson hurting Brandon Ingram?
It’s been hard to try and parse the impact of Zion on the rest of the Pelicans, especially since Ingram hasn’t been able to hit a shot in the majority of games that Williamson has played.
Is it realistic to think Ingram will be able to keep his numbers up? I would say no. It’s only been 60 minutes so far, but when on the court with Zion, Ingram’s usage has dropped to 21.9% (down from 29.4%), he scored 1.1 fantasy points per minute (down from 1.21), but most importantly, his rebounding has evaporated.
Ingram hasn’t grabbed a single offensive rebound and his total rebound rate has decreased down to 6.5% from 17.1%.
The rebounding being this low is probably a bit extreme, but it makes sense that Zion, a superb rebounder, would take boards from Ingram.
Luka Dončić has hurt his ankle again
Luka has gone down in practice with an ankle injury and the Mavericks are a little worried.
He missed 11 days earlier this season with an ankle problem and the Mavs are comparing this sprain with that one.
So what happened last time Dončić was out?
During those five games, Kristaps Porziņģis was the 12th ranked player in fantasy, scoring almost 15 additional fantasy points per game, so hopefully, KP can step it up again.
If we are looking to the waiver wire, there is a name that stands out. Jalen Brunson started for Dončić and was a top 50 player over the five games Dončić was out, averaging 15 points and nine assists, to go with 34.2 fantasy points per game.
It’s true that Delon Wright was dealing with a sore groin at the same time, so he may get a chance to start, but I feel like Brunson will get that job and will be a fantasy option to add.
Derrick Rose has no minutes limit
The Derrick Rose renaissance could all come crashing down next week at the trade deadline, but for now, he is putting up huge numbers.
It coincided with Rose moving into the starting five and with his minutes limit being lifted. In his eight starts, Rose has averaged 30 minutes and 37.5 fantasy points, well up on his 26 minutes as a reserve and 30.54 fantasy points.
27 PTS | 4 REB | 6 AST | 2 STL | 45.8 FPTS— NBA Fantasy (@NBAFantasy) January 26, 2020
Derrick Rose continued his 🔥 play, recording his 12th straight 20-point game! pic.twitter.com/WerGIraoSg
Some of that has been his improved efficiency, as his field goal percentage has risen to 51 percent as a starter, while it was at 49 percent in his reserve role.
If Rose is to be traded, as many in NBA circles are predicting, he wouldn’t be exceeding 30 minutes a night, nor would his usage be 31% as it is for Detroit. This would certainly cause a big tumble in the fantasy ranks.
Larry Nance Jr. is shaking off his early season rust
Having Nance on your fantasy roster this season has been tough.
Not only did he miss weeks with a knee injury, but before that was even an issue, Nance just wasn’t producing.
But since returning from that knee problem, Nance has been on a different level. Setting aside his first game back, Nance has averaged 32 fantasy points per game in 26 minutes a night.
He is scoring well, he is rebounding, and most importantly, he is taking some minutes away from Tristan Thompson.
He also would be a likely starter in case of a Kevin Love injury or trade, so while for now, Nance is putting up great numbers, there is potential for it to get much, much better
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.