The NBA Trade Deadline is over and lots of teams made moves, some big ones, and some on the periphery.
So for this week’s Fantasy Edge, I’m looking at the five biggest winners from the trade deadline.
Andrew Wiggins is now in San Francisco
The Andrew Wiggins experiment in Minnesota is over and he now gets to play for a competent franchise with the hopes they can rehabilitate his career.
Why is he a winner for fantasy? Well, now he doesn’t have to share touches with a better player in Karl-Anthony Towns.
His teammates are going to be Jordan Poole, Damion Lee, and Marquese Chriss. We should see Wiggins’ usage rise. Plus, the Warriors have no point guard.
Wiggins could nominally be the point guard at times when Draymond Green isn’t doing that job, and we’ve seen him a little in that role in Minnesota and he had some improvements with his passing.
So, while the minutes won’t really change, Wiggins will get more shots and more ball handling, plus a good coach and franchise environment and I think it pushes him up a round or two in value for standard points leagues this season.
Christian Wood is ready
Andre Drummond is gone from Detroit and Wood finally has a chance for good minutes.
Yes, John Henson returned in the deal with the Cavs, but Wood has played over 30 minutes the last two games next to Drummond and the Pistons have spoken about him as part of their core, weirdly enough given he is a free agent at the end of the season.
But, now his minutes should skyrocket, even if he doesn’t start and he is a must roster player in every single fantasy league, regardless of size or format.
Marquese Chriss feels locked into a good role
Chriss has been starting at centre for a while for the Warriors, but Omari Spellman was there and eating into his upside a little.
Now, Spellman is in Minnesota, so Chriss should see his minutes rise a little.
Now, there is a superior player behind him, Kevon Looney, but Looney has battled health issues basically his entire career.
I think there is a chance Looney starts at some point, as he should’ve done all season if healthy, but for now, Chriss profiles as a nice top 100 option for fantasy points leagues.
He is averaging one fantasy point per minute so far and if he plays 27 minutes, well, that’s enough for him to be interesting enough to add.
Could it finally be time for De’Anthony Melton?
Melton has been fantastic for the Grizzlies this season, ranking 186th per game this season for standard points leagues in only 18 minutes per game.
But now, the Grizzlies lost their starting small forward, Jae Crowder, a backup forward, Solomon Hill, and brought in big men Gorgui Dieng and Jordan Bell.
They also added Dion Waiters, who they will waiver and the news also came out that Grayson Allen will be out for the season with a hip issue.
Last game, when Crowder was held out for the trade, Melton pushed close to 30 minutes and if he gets even close to that, he is an add for leagues, averaging 1.14 fantasy points per minute.
There is some risk, but things have opened up nicely for the second-year guard.
It’s time for RJ Barrett to step up
Marcus Morris is out in New York and it’s Moe Harkless who comes back as his replacement.
But for a standard points league, Barrett is one of the guys that is going to have to step up.
Morris took a lot of shots and dribbles on this team in the starting lineup, and Harkless just isn’t that guy.
Julius Randle will get a boost, and Mitchell Robinson and Elfrid Payton should also get a few more shots, but Barrett is going to have to step up taking on a larger role in the offense.
Now, in a category league, that could actually be worse for his value as it amplifies his horrible shooting, but in a points league, more volume is always a winner, so Barrett could see himself jump into the top 100 the rest of the way.
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.