Fantasy Mailbag: LaMarcus Aldridge's minutes and early trade targets

Josh Lloyd
·4-min read
Fantasy owners have been dismayed by an early reduction in minutes for San Antonio Spurs big man LaMarcus Aldridge. (Photo by Joe Murphy/NBAE via Getty Images)
Fantasy owners have been dismayed by an early reduction in minutes for San Antonio Spurs big man LaMarcus Aldridge. (Photo by Joe Murphy/NBAE via Getty Images)

The NBA season is here, and it’s spectacular. Sure, there are blowouts and injuries, but that is the case every season.

Let’s get excited about the big scores our players are putting up and lament the disappointments. You have questions so I took them from Twitter, Instagram, and Discord to give you fantasy basketball mailbag. Let’s get to it.

Is LaMarcus Aldridge a worry with his first two games not reaching 30 minutes? - @troynos (Discord)

Aldridge is old. He is already 35, and San Antonio coach Gregg Popovich is not someone who has pushed his older players in the past. Does this mean that Aldridge is now on the Manu Ginobili plan?

I fear it a little, but Aldridge did lay 33 minutes a night last year, so perhaps Pop is just being cautious, considering Aldridge hasn’t played since March.

But I am not counting out that Aldridge will be a 30 minute a night player from now on and I would say there is zero chance he gets back to eclipsing 33 minutes per game, as he did the last three seasons.

Less time on the floor means less time to score fantasy points, so keep that in mind with Aldridge moving forward.

How differently should you view streaming in points leagues compared to category leagues? - @Neil McCauley (Discord)

To win any head-to-head league, streaming is vital, especially when you get to the playoffs.

Depending on your league settings, having one or two roster spots open to churn through players on the days they are playing can be a real key to winning.

But for points leagues, it is even more vital. In points leagues, it is a game of volume.

You don’t need to manage your percentages. You don’t need to care about keeping turnovers low. You need more fantasy points than your opponent and one way to get that is to have more games played than your opponent.

So, holding onto your worst player who averages 15 fantasy points is an unwise move. Say they play four games - that’s 60 fantasy points. You could stream his spot and get multiple waiver wire players who average 12 fantasy points per game. But, by streaming, you can get seven games out of that last roster spot, which equals 84 fantasy points.

Now, it isn’t always like that. Sometimes you can’t get seven games from that spot, but you also likely won’t use all four games of your worst player either. Invariably, streaming is the way to win in points leagues.

Does Alec Burks’ production go down when Obi Toppin comes back? - @Superfly (Discord)

No. It does not. Burks is killing it off the Knicks bench, and it’s why he was one of my favoured late-round targets.

Toppin is not good. He plays a different position to Burks. He can’t create offense. Burks can.

Burks will run the second unit; he will play with the starters. Burks may lose value at some point, but it won’t have anything to do with Toppin.

Is Patrick Williams a good pickup for points league as a flier? - @_darrylsnelling (Instagram)

Patrick Williams is the Bulls’ starting small forward, and I don’t see that changing during the season.

Billy Donovan has said he doesn’t like mixing and matching the starting five, so Williams is there for the foreseeable future.

He is averaging 20 fantasy points in 27 minutes through two games, but that is due to the blowout against the Pacers where he played only 22 minutes and scored 12 points.

Against the Hawks, he had 29 fantasy points in 33 minutes. More often than not, he will play 30 minutes and be close to a top 100 player.

When should I start trading? - @damian_comeau1 (Instagram)

How long is a piece of string? There is no right answer to this.

Don’t trade for the sake of trading.

Reject the majority of trades you receive because if you just willy nilly accept, you will lose in the long run. But, the early season is when people panic the most.

Look for the manager who has Tobias Harris. Get him for cheap. Try to sell Chris Boucher as a top 30 player.

You can start trading now, but don’t deal just because it feels fun to click accept. You can clean up if you do it right.

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