Fantasy Mailbag: Jerami Grant's ceiling and Deandre Ayton's hopes

Josh Lloyd
·4-min read
Detroit's Jerami Grant and Phoenix's Deandre Ayton have had contrasting starts to their NBA seasons. Pictures: Getty Images
Detroit's Jerami Grant and Phoenix's Deandre Ayton have had contrasting starts to their NBA seasons. Pictures: Getty Images

COVID is hitting the NBA at the moment, so many teams are putting out shells of their usual squad, plus lots of underperforming players and surprises. I scoured Discord, Instagram and Twitter to find some good questions for this week’s NBA Fantasy Basketball Mailbag. So, let’s get to it.

Does Kelly Oubre get to 12 team value. Is he a drop candidate now? - @gaftra (Discord)

It’s been a pretty rough start for Kelly Oubre.

In some cases, he was drafted high near the top 50 but is ranked 136th on the season, averaging 22.5 fantasy points per game.

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That is not what you want from an early pick. Despite all of the shooting struggles and the fact he is only playing 26 minutes a game, he is a top 150 player.

A 12 team league rosters 156 players, soi he falls well within that range, and that isn’t even taking into account an improvement which is sure to come in terms of shooting and playing time.

I am holding Oubre pretty firmly.

In the wake of Thomas Bryant’s injury, in a 14 team league, who benefits the most? - @oivinf_a (Instagram)

If you haven’t seen, Thomas Bryant will miss the rest of the season with a torn ACL. Robin Lopez will likely be the starter, but it’s Moritz Wagner I am keeping an eye on.

I believe Wagner will play more than Lopez and he has by far the more fantasy-friendly game. Wagner had 26 fantasy points Sunday when Bryant went down, and he is a player I would look at in 12 team leagues and 14 teams from there.

Shot attempts could be spread to Davis Bertāns and Deni Avdija a little more too. Lopez is only a deeper league option.

Is Deandre Ayton a buy low? - @justin._wade (Instagram)

It’s been a rough start to the season for Ayton.

He is the 65th ranked player, averaging 32 fantasy points per contest and looks passive on the court. He is not adjusting well to playing on a good team, a team that wants to and is winning and the Suns aren’t just feeding him touches to aid his development.

It’s year three for Ayton, and the Suns sit atop the Western Conference, so I doubt they are just going to go back to pumping him the ball.

His usage has plummeted to 18%, down from 24% last season and it’s getting worse as things roll on.

So, while yes, he could improve from where he is, I think we have to adjust to the new reality of Deandre Ayton this season.

Will Jerami Grant finish the season as a top 20 player? - @tarinkot (Instagram)

Grant has been amazing to begin the season, averaging 39 fantasy points per game, but that only ranks him 33rd this season.

I don’t see a reasonable argument for how he gets better than he currently is playing, or plays more minutes, given he is seeing 37 minutes a night already.

A top 20 player is someone scoring 44 a night, so it’s not entirely outrageous to see another five fantasy points per night, but I don’t see it as a reality.

Will Tyrese Maxey have 10 team value when Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons are back? - @davidzoric_ (Instagram)

The Sixers have been hit with COVID, as well as injuries to Simmons and Embiid.

They have five games this week and will be without Seth Curry, and Shake Milton, as well as Tobias Harris and Ben Simmons, has already been ruled out for Tuesday’s game.

Maxey thrived on the weekend without any of the high usage players, but that will reduce a bit during the week, but the critical thing to remember is that Philadelphia plays five games this week.

So, even if his usage drops, those five games from Maxey, at least one of those without Simmons, makes him someone I would be interested in for this week.

After this week, forget about him in 10 team leagues.

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