• Hey Hoop-Ballers! Welcome to the first installment of what will be a comprehensive dynasty-focused look across the league at stash-worthy players in all league sizes that warrant keeping an eye on throughout the off-season. Regardless of whether you are still riding high fresh off a championship, or debating trading your entire team after a last place finish, now is the time to take inventory of high-upside players available on the wire and under-performing rostered players that can be had at a discount.

    This is going to be a deeeeeep dive that hopefully has a little bit of info for everyone regardless of league size. I’ll also be keeping this updated throughout the off-season as free agent signings and trades alter the chess board. In the interest of keeping things digestible, I’ll be breaking the list into four separate tiers of players to watch based on league size: 1) Shallow League (10-12 teams); 2) Standard League (12-16 teams); 3) Deep League (16-20 teams); and of course, Masochist… I mean… Super Deep League (20-30 teams).

    This look at the Shallow League bucket is free for all dynasty readers, while our deeper dives will be available to premium subscribers moving forward.

    As a general rule, I’m going to skip over players that I assume are rostered in every league (Doncic, Ayton, etc.), but will pause to discuss big-name players that may be acquired at a discount. Also, players are grouped into tiers within league size tiers according to my best guess at their possible fantasy ceiling, and how long it may take them to reach that peak. Try to keep in mind that my ballpark estimate at their ceiling is just that, a very rough estimate of average fantasy production in a vacuum, not taking into account free agent moves and trades that impact their situation.

    So, with all of that said, let’s jump in with a look at some players that 10-12 team league managers should to keep an eye on or consider stashing.

    Shallow League (10-12 Team) Stashes and Players to Watch

    Wendell Carter Jr., F/C, Bulls

    Age: 20 | 2018-2019 Rank: 108 | Contract Status: Team Option for 2020-2021 Season

    Possible Ceiling: Top-30 | Development Timeline: 2-3 Years

    I’m not going to spend a ton of time on Wendell Carter Jr. He is one of the premier prospects out of this draft class, and is almost certainly rostered in nearly every dynasty league out there. If he is somehow on the wire, even in the shallowest of leagues – change that. The main reason I’m including him on this list is due to the fact that he missed the second half of the season with a thumb injury, and there may be an opportunity to buy low. If you can get Carter at a top-100 or top-75 price, do so immediately because I think there is legitimate top-30 upside there within the next few seasons.

    Jarrett Allen, F/C, Nets

    Age: 21 | 2018-2019 Rank: 79 | Contract Status: Team Option for 2020-2021 Season

    Possible Ceiling: Top-50 | Development Timeline: 1-2 Years

    Similar to Wendell Carter Jr., I hesitated to include Jarrett Allen given the fact that he is likely rostered just about everywhere. However, given how much hype he entered the season with, and how disappointing he was over the last few months of the season, it only seems fair to shed some light on whether he is worth buying low on, and what progress he will need to make to sustain his top-50 ceiling.

    Over the last two months of the season, Allen’s per-minute rebounding production actually went up compared to season averages, however his block rate dipped dramatically and his struggles at the line were intensified. All of this, combined with the fact that he was only playing 23 minutes per game, led to his disappointing run as a fringe top-150 player in that time. With that said, I’m still in on Allen as an eventual top-50 player. At the end of last season, Allen’s to-do list was largely focused on rebounding improvement and diversifying his offensive skill-set. He has certainly made strides in the former as his per-36 rebound rate increased to 11.5 this season from 9.7 last year. In particular he has improved on the defensive glass, as his defensive rebound percentage jumped from 18.1 percent to 24.0 this year. That is an encouraging sign of development from a big that can be prone to getting bullied or out-maneuvered on the glass.

    However, the offensive improvement is there, but not as pronounced compared to rebounding. He still scores negatively with a -0.7 OBPM, but it is up from last year’s -1.3 rating. With 77 percent of his looks coming at the rim, he is still primarily a rim-runner. He is clearly working on developing an outside game, but as just a 13 percent shooter from deep, he has a long way to go. Short of Allen becoming an elite rebounder in the Capela camp (I’m not as optimistic that this can happen), or an elite shot blocker in the Myles Turner/Gobert range (he’s close, but a few tiers away) Allen will need to improve offensively to reach his fantasy ceiling. It may not be next season, but I’m betting on Allen putting it all together and reaching his ceiling given the progress we saw this year.

    Markelle Fultz, G, Magic

    Age: 20 | 2018-2019 Rank: 340 | Contract Status: Team Option for 2020-2021 Season

    Possible Ceiling: Top-50 | Development Timeline: 2-3 Years

    The saga surrounding Markelle Fultz doesn’t need much introduction, so I’ll keep this one brief. If you ever need to remind yourself of his fantasy potential, go back and look at his college stats for a glimmer of hope. There will be some interesting free agent decisions facing the Magic after an impressive stretch run to lock up a playoff spot for the first time in seven years, but regardless of which direction they go, Fultz should feature in the rotation to some extent next season if healthy. D.J. Augustin flew under the radar, but had arguably one of the better years of his career and remains on the books through next season.

    Given the Magic’s success this season, I’m not convinced they do an about face and bench Augustin to turn the keys over to Fultz, so keep your expectations in line and be ready to buy super low if Fultz starts out slow. The most likely scenario is Augustin continues to start next season with Fultz playing modest reserve minutes early on, then gradually ramping up throughout the year. If someone in your league is fed up with waiting, he is absolutely worth a stash in any league size to see how things play out in Orlando.

    Mikal Bridges, G/F, Suns

    Age: 22 | 2018-2019 Rank: 110 | Contract Status: Team Option for 2020-2021 Season

    Possible Ceiling: Top-50 | Development Timeline: 2-3 Years

    Bridges appeared to be one of the more NBA-ready players out of college and he didn’t do much this season to refute that notion. He may not have a superstar top-25 fantasy ceiling, but this season he demonstrated that he is, without a doubt, a starting-level NBA role-player. Bridges posted a +4.7 plus/minus on a terrible Suns team, and held a 0.3 DBPM – both impressive stats from a rookie. His stat set may limit his ultimate ceiling as a fantasy producer, but I wouldn’t be surprised to see him take a step forward next season and find some more consistency from beyond the arc. He’s probably rostered in most leagues, but he did fly a bit under the radar compared to the likes of Doncic, Ayton and Young, so you still might be able to acquire him without handing over a king’s ransom.

    Zach Collins, F/C, Blazers

    Age: 21 | 2018-2019 Rank: 251 | Contract Status: Team Option for 2020-2021 Season

    Possible Ceiling: Top-50 | Development Timeline: 2-3 Years

    Collins hasn’t done much over his first two years in the league, but there is still plenty of untapped fantasy potential in his game. His season average numbers don’t jump off the page by any means, but upon closer inspection there are significant signs of improvement from his rookie year that give me some hope that a breakout for Collins is on the horizon. In comparing his per-36 stats this season to his rookie year, the large increases in offensive rebounding (2.9 up from 1.6), blocks (1.8 up from 1.1) and efficiency (up eight percent overall and two percent from deep) stand out. Offensive rebounding requires a unique skill set, hustle and awareness, so growth in that area from a big man with Collins’ already-fantasy-friendly bag of tricks is encouraging.

    Turning to advanced stats, Collins posted a 1.0 DBPM (up from 0.9 last season) and made huge strides on offense with a -0.9 OBPM (not great, but way better than his -4.1 as a rookie). Right now, he is primarily a blocks specialist, but the growth of his offensive game and improvement on the glass are an encouraging step toward him becoming a standard league relevant player. He is probably rostered in most dynasty leagues, but managers should consider acquiring him for cheap now in the hope that he takes a big step forward in the next year or two.

    Dzanan Musa, F, Nets

    Age: 20 | 2018-2019 Rank: 511 (only 10 GP) | Contract Status: Team Option for 2020-2021 Season

    Possible Ceiling: Top-75 | Development Timeline: 3-4 Years

    We didn’t get to see much of Musa this season on the big stage thanks in large part to a shoulder injury he sustained playing down in the G-League. He only logged an average of five minutes played in his 10 games this season. I won’t even bother breaking down his NBA numbers given the small sample size, but his G-League play does shed some light on what we can expect from Musa moving forward.

    In 36 games with the Long Island Nets, Musa averaged 19.5 points on 44 percent efficiency with 2.3 triples, 6.4 rebounds, 3.6 assists, 0.9 steals and 0.3 blocks in 31.6 minutes per game. G-League stats are not the most reliable metric to translate players to the NBA, however he showed the exact same slashing, 3-point shooting and rebounding ability that made him a first round pick in the 2018 draft – an encouraging sign. I’m not sure he ever becomes a reliable source of defensive stats, but I’m still in on Musa as a versatile NBA-caliber scoring threat with some added upside on the glass and at the line. I don’t love player comparisons, but given his limited body of work in the NBA let’s throw one out. Think 2016-2017 Danilo Gallinari on the Nuggets as his potential upside (with a bit less impact at the line). It won’t likely come next year, or maybe even the year after, but keep an eye on him in shallower leagues and consider buying low in deeper leagues after a basically non-existent rookie year.

    Robert Williams, F/C, Celtics

    Age: 21 | 2018-2019 Rank: 261 | Contract Status: Team Option for 2020-2021 Season

    Possible Ceiling: Top-75 | Development Timeline: 2-3 years

    Williams fell to the back of the first round in the 2018 draft not due to underwhelming talent (he undoubtedly has NBA-level size and athleticism), but rather thanks to a series of off-court incidents and character concerns. He didn’t play much this season (only averaged nine minutes played in per game), but in the 13 games in which he played over 10 minutes, Williams averaged 4.2 points on 73 percent shooting (going 60 percent at the line) with 4.6 rebounds, 0.5 steals and 2.2 blocks. From that small sample size, we can see the picture of a defensive anchor down low with some considerable offensive shortcomings. Williams’ DBPM of 6.7 and OBPM of -2.4 seem to confirm that assessment – again, small sample size warning.

    His offensive game may still be a work in progress, and he has a way to go before entering the “elite” discussion in per-minute rebounding numbers from a fantasy perspective, but Williams showed enough to warrant consideration as eventual 25-30 minute rotation player. With Daniel Theis a free agent this offseason and Al Horford and Aron Baynes only signed through next season (assuming they both accept player options), we may not have to wait too much longer for Williams to potentially crack the top-150 on elite shot blocking ability and solid rebound/efficiency numbers.

    Miles Bridges, F, Hornets

    Age: 21 | 2018-2019 Rank: 192 | Contract Status: Team Option for 2021-2022 Season

    Possible Ceiling: Top-75 | Development Timeline: 1-2 Years

    Bridges came out of nowhere to post top-50 numbers over the last month of the season, and just barely missed out on the top-100 over Charlotte’s 25 games post All-Star break. He was not really high on my radar coming out of the draft largely due concerns I had over his stat set (limited to primarily scoring/rebounding) and the fact that he showed little to no statistical improvement, if not regression in some areas, from his freshman to sophomore year in college. It can be tempting to write off late-season outbursts from young players as garbage time outliers, but Bridges improved as a starter in each game, played meaningful minutes as the Hornets pushed for the playoffs and managed to show an impressive level of consistency on both sides of the ball.

    During his run as a top-50 player over the final month of the season, Bridges averaged 1.3 steals and 0.8 blocks per game while pulling down 6.2 boards, dishing 2.8 assists and scoring 11.7 points (with 1.4 threes) on 52 percent efficiency from the field. Stat set issues… what stat set issues? That production is the stuff of roto dreams.

    Advanced stats also look kindly on Bridge’s defensive impact with a positive 0.5 DBPM. He is almost certainly rostered in most dynasty leagues, but on the odd chance he is floating around on the wire be sure to snap him up. In terms of trade value, short of Bridges becoming a consistent 20 point per game scorer or blocking over 1.3-1.5 shots per game, I’m still not sure he has top-25 type upside, but settling comfortably inside the top-75 seems likely. In terms of trade value, if someone in your league is buying him at the price of a future top-25 player, I wouldn’t hesitate to move on that deal.

    Tyus Jones, G, Wolves

    Age: 22 | 2018-2019 Rank: 169 | Contract Status: RFA

    Possible Ceiling: Top-75 | Development Timeline: 1-2 Years

    If you’ve followed my Dynasty Top-150 Rankings here on Hoop-Ball for a while, you’ve probably gotten used to the comment next to his name saying something along the lines of “have patience… If he ever starts… etc.” Well, Jones is a restricted free agent this year, so we may finally get to see Jones in a consistent starting role as early as next season depending on how things shake out (Jeff Teague still has one year left on his deal). Following an extended injury to Teague this season, Jones finally got some consistent run for the Wolves and looked the part of an NBA caliber lead guard. In his final 10 games of the season, he averaged 11.6 points per game on 49.5 percent shooting with one triple, 2.3 rebounds, 7.8 assists and 0.8 steals in 31 minutes.

    His offensive struggles have been well documented, though he seemed to find some consistency in his shot down the stretch. However, an interesting note from this season was the decline in his per-minute steal production as a starter. We can expect some decline in per-minute defensive stat production when players enter the starting lineup as they are asked to do more, and are generally matched up against higher level players, but the drop his steal rate per 36 minutes from 2.1 as a reserve to 1.6 as a starter is significant. I’m not reading into it too much, but it is something to note as we attempt to project what to expect if Jones ends up in a starting role.

    Richaun Holmes, F, Suns

    Age: 25 | 2018-2019 Rank: 142 | Contract Status: UFA

    Possible Ceiling: Top-75 | Development Timeline: 1-2 Years

    If you are reading this, you’ve probably already heard plenty from my fellow Hoop-Ballers about what Holmes can do in even limited minutes. He may not be the highest upside stash candidate of this bunch, but give Holmes a solid 20-25 minute role and we can expect at least a top-100 floor. He may not get paid big money as an UFA to start anywhere, but depending on where he lands, a consistent backup role could be in the cards making Holmes an interesting stash candidate that may be available in a number of leagues.

    Christian Wood, F/C, Pelicans

    Age: 23 | 2018-2019 Rank: 279 | Contract Status: UFA after 2019-2020 Season

    Possible Ceiling: Top-75 | Development Timeline: 2-3 Years

    Wood has been terrorizing the G-League for the past four seasons after going undrafted in the 2015 NBA Draft. Seriously, look at his numbers from the last two seasons in particular. He has played spot minutes here and there on the big stage, but never got a chance to play meaningful minutes until the Pelicans claimed him off waivers in late March and let Wood loose. In eight games with the Pels, Wood posted top-70 numbers, averaging 16.9 points per game on 53.3 percent shooting with 7.9 boards and 1.3 blocks in 24 minutes.

    Despite the gaudy numbers, Wood does struggle at times with positioning and defensive awareness. In a very small sample size with New Orleans, Wood posted a -1.0 DBPM and posted a -6.6 net plus/minus. However, some of this can likely be corrected with coaching and more exposure to the NBA game. With Anthony Davis almost certainly gone next year, Julius Randle likely to decline his player option and become and UFA, Cheick Diallo a RFA and Darius Miller an UFA, Wood’s late-season breakout and cheap contract lead me to believe he will be a feature of the Pelicans frontcourt rotation next year. He’s been a journeyman to this point, and there is no telling exactly what his role will be going forward, but he is one of the more attractive stash options or trade targets for dynasty managers in all league sizes.

    Thomas Bryant, C, Wizards

    Age: 21 | 2018-2019 Rank: 90 | Contract Status: RFA

    Possible Ceiling: Top-75 | Development Timeline: 1-2 Years

    Giving Bryant a top-75 ceiling when he was a top-75 fantasy player over the past two months of the season may seem a bit unfair, but I’m trying to keep expectations in check here. Give him 30+ minutes and you will get a double-double on solid efficiency (without hurting you at the line) with the possibility of a block or two and a three – great stuff. My concerns lie more in the fact that he may struggle to see 30 minutes due to his defensive liabilities (a positive, but low for a center DBPM of 0.4 illustrates his struggles). As a restricted free agent, there is some uncertainty about his role next season, but staying in Washington would probably be good for his fantasy outlook. Bobby Portis (RFA) and Jeff Green (UFA) are both on expiring deals, and may not be back long-term. Dwight Howard has a $5.6M player option, which is a no-brainer for him to accept, but there is no telling if he will be healthy enough to play next season, or if Scott Brooks would consider starting a 33-year-old Dwight over the newly re-signed 21-year-old Bryant. All of that is to say, if the minutes are there (and they may be in Washington next season) Bryant could be a consistent top-100 player for the foreseeable future, with the talent and upside to break the top-50 eventually with some improvement.

    Harry Giles, F/C, Kings

    Age: 21 | 2018-2019 Rank: 345 | Contract Status: Team Option for 2020-2021 Season

    Possible Ceiling: Top-75| Development Timeline: 3-4 Years

    Giles got some burn last season in fantasy circles as a potential sleeper pick, trade deadline stash player and beyond, so odds are good that he is not around on too many waiver wires. While it is enticing to look at his per minute statistical profile, Giles is still largely an unknown commodity. The bigger problem with Giles is that we simply don’t have much else to go on beyond what he showed this year. He only averaged 11.5 minutes per game in 26 games played at Duke (again, with impressive per-minute numbers), and dominated in the G-League this season, but only played four games at that level with the Stockton Kings.

    His ceiling is fairly apparent – big production in blocks, rebounds with efficient scoring to go along with some steals and out of position assists and potential to expand his range beyond the 3-point line. The defensive potential is plain to see with his long, athletic frame. He often passes the eye-test and looks like a plus defender out there, which is backed up by a solid 2.3 block percentage and even more impressive (given his experience level) 0.9 DBPM.

    However, the golden rule of fantasy applies as always… none of this matters if Giles doesn’t get minutes. His foul rate of 6.6 per 36 minutes currently limits his fantasy ceiling, but that will hopefully become less of an issue with experience. The bigger question is following Dave Joerger’s dismissal (presumably over playing veterans over youth), and a string of fairly public in-house feuds between front office camps – are the Kings ready to let Willie Cauley-Stein walk as a RFA and commit to a Bagley/Giles frontcourt? If not, will they bring in stopgap veteran frontcourt help or even look to land one of the household name big men on the market this offseason? It is too early to answer any of these questions, but early signings may help paint a picture of the Kings’ vision for their future frontcourt. Regardless, Giles should be rostered in every dynasty league until we know more, but his path to fantasy relevance could be more complicated than it seems.

    Rodions Kurucs, F, Nets

    Age: 21 | 2018-2019 Rank: 247 | Contract Status: Team Option for 2021-2022 Season

    Possible Ceiling: Top-100 | Development Timeline: 2-3 Years

    Kurucs exceeded expectations in his rookie year after entering the Nets rotation in mid-December following an injury to Caris LeVert. After a string of impressive games in the starting lineup, he eventually cooled off and settled in as a roughly top-250ish type player thanks to fairly consistent defensive stat and rebound production. With a 0.2 Defensive Box Plus/Minus (DBPM), he was a plus defender on the court, but struggled to maintain consistent production on offense as shown by his -2.6 Offensive Box Plus/Minus. Kurucs is already ahead of schedule, and appears to have tantalizing triple one money counter upside with solid, but not elite production across the board.

    With DeMarre Carroll, Jared Dudley and Rondae Hollis-Jefferson all on expiring deals, and Allen Crabbe and Joe Harris only signed through next season (assuming Crabbe picks up his player option), Kurucs has the chance to become a solid top-100 rotation player in the next two season with a very well-rounded and roto-friendly game.

    Josh Hart, G, Lakers

    Age: 24 | 2018-2019 Rank: 193 | Contract Status: Team Option for 2020-2021 Season

    Possible Ceiling: Top-100 | Development Timeline: 1-2 Years

    Hart is another fairly well known player that you may be able to buy super low on, or even grab for free off the wire in shallower leagues following an injury-plagued year. He may not have the upside of Wendell Carter, or even Miles Bridges above, but in a 28-32 minute role per night, Hart can be a top-100 player providing some 3&D wing stats with added upside of out-of-position rebounds and decent assist numbers. With Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, Reggie Bullock and Lance Stephenson all on expiring contracts, there is a chance that he jumps into a meaningful role in the rotation. The wildcard here is the Lakers front office with an abundance of cap space at their disposal, so expectations around Hart may need to be tempered depending on which players they bring in through free agency.

    Jakob Poeltl, F/C, Spurs

    Age: 23 | 2018-2019 Rank: 211 | Contract Status: RFA after 2019-2020 Season

    Possible Ceiling: Top-100 | Development Timeline: 1-2 Years

    After an uninspiring start to his first season as a Spur, Poeltl eventually picked up steam and was able to post near top-100 numbers over the last two months of the season. His value was largely predicated on the 1.5 blocks, 7.0 rebounds, 0.4 turnovers and 64 percent efficiency from the floor that he posted in 22 minutes per game over that span. Poeltl has a limited offensive game, but finds ways to impact the offense outside of scoring through offensive rebounding and playmaking. He increased both offensive and defensive rebounding percentages by a considerable margin (14.4 rebound percent to 17.6) this season, nearly doubled his assist percentage (5.4 to 10.0) but did slip back a bit in block percentage (5.2 to 4.5). All of that adds up to the picture of a positive player on both sides of the ball (1.5 OBPM and 2.7 DBPM). Regardless of what happens with Rudy Gay this offseason as an UFA, it is hard to see Poeltl not seeing enough time to be a top-150 fantasy player with top-100 potential next year and beyond given what he adds when on the floor.

    OG Anunoby, F, Raptors

    Age: 21 | 2018-2019 Rank: 296 | Contract Status: Team Option for 2020-2021 Season

    Possible Ceiling: Top-100 | Development Timeline: 2-3 Years

    Anunoby failed to take a step forward as he was barely able to post top-300 numbers in 67 games played this season. He ended up posting almost identical numbers to his rookie year, and actually regressed in both OPBM (0.2 last season to 1.3 this year) and DPBM (0.4 to 0.1). Despite the lack of progress, I’m still in on Anunoby as a dynasty prospect. In some ways, this season has to be viewed as a lost year from a development standpoint. He battled a series of injuries this season (most recently an emergency appendectomy that has kept him out of the playoffs so far) and spent some extensive time away from team following the death of his father. Between those factors, Pascal Siakam’s emergence and Danny Green’s resurgence, Anunoby wasn’t able to settle in and find any consistency. If he was dropped, dynasty managers should strongly consider an add, as Anunoby still has plenty of room to go up from here and nightly triple-one potential guys don’t grow on trees.

    Aaron Holiday, G, Pacers

    Age: 22 | 2018-2019 Rank: 360 | Contract Status: Team Option for 2020-2021 Season

    Possible Ceiling: Top-100 | Development Timeline: 2-3 Years

    When Holiday was drafted by the Pacers last season, many were quick to appoint him as the heir apparent to the lead guard role in Indiana with the aging Darren Collison entering this offseason an UFA. On paper it makes sense, but I wasn’t convinced that a franchise that has only missed the playoffs once since 2010 would be willing to hand the keys over to a raw late first round prospect in Holiday. It seemed like Holiday may take on more of a project backup role for the foreseeable future while the Pacers bring in stopgap veteran options or re-sign Collison to keep competitive. While that still may be what ultimately transpires, Holiday flashed impressive enough stuff in limited runs this year to make me reconsider his trajectory.

    His season averages aren’t impressive, but when we look only at games in which he played at least 20 minutes things get more interesting. Over 14 games this season with at least 20 minutes played, Holiday averaged 11.0 points per game on 45 percent shooting with 2.0 triples, 2.9 rebounds, 3.2 assists, 1.0 steal and 0.5 blocks in 23 minutes. His advanced stats paint a slightly conflicting picture. On one hand, he doesn’t score particularly well in OBPM (-1.5) or DBPM (-1.1), and from a fantasy perspective, ideally you would like to see a steal percentage a bit higher than 1.6 from a lead guard. However, his contributions on the court led to winning basketball, as he posted an impressive +5.1 net plus/minus.

    All of these numbers are coming in a pretty limited sample size, so as always with advanced metrics, we need to take them with a grain of salt. However, Holiday flashed enough this season to warrant a flier in all dynasty leagues in the hope that he earns additional minutes, or perhaps even the starting job within the next few years.

    Landry Shamet, G, Clippers

    Age: 22 | 2018-2019 Rank: 216 | Contract Status: Team Option for 2020-2021 Season

    Possible Ceiling: Top-125 | Development Timeline: 1-2 Years

    Given the hype surrounding Shamet, there is a strong chance that he is not sitting around on many wires. I’m probably not as high on him as others out there, but he has at least flashed enough (and carries enough name value as a trade chip) to warrant keeping an eye on.

    Starting with the good, he clearly took no time at all to adjust to the distance of NBA 3-point line. As a 42.2 percent shooter from deep, he barely missed out on being one of the top-10 most efficient three-point shooters in the NBA as a rookie. That efficiency shooting contributed to his 1.4 OBPM on the season, which indicates his offensive value added above league-average. Even better for his value going forward, his OBPM while playing for the Clippers was even higher at 2.1. Shamet also improved his statistical output as a distributor after joining the Clippers, upping his per 36 assist rate from 1.9 with the Sixers to 3.0 in Los Angeles. The improvement is nice to see, but it still doesn’t move the needle on his overall value from a fantasy perspective.

    Unless Shamet can significantly improve on the defensive end (averaging on 0.5 steals per game) or up his modest assist output, it is hard to see him becoming much more than a fringe top-100 player. At this point, his name has some sizzle to it based on his playoff performance, so a stash is worth it if nothing more than to add a trade chip. Managers should consider testing the market and trying to sell Shamet if someone is buying him as a locked in top-40 fantasy asset.

    Kenrich Williams, F, Pelicans

    Age: 24 | 2018-2019 Rank: 198 | Contract Status: UFA after 2019-2020 Season

    Possible Ceiling: Top-150 | Development Timeline: 1-2 Years

    As the prospect of a rebuild looms large, the Pelicans have done well to pull another diamond off the scrap heap in Kenrich Williams. In 46 games played this season, Williams posted fairly pedestrian numbers good enough to barely scratch the top-200. However, if we zoom into his play down the stretch he was a top-150 player over the final two months of the season, and a top-100 player over the final month. His fantasy ranking in the last month of the season is closely tied to his impressive per-36 steal rate of 2.4 and block rate of 0.8. That impressive level of defensive production (backed up by a positive 0.9 DBPM), was enough to keep him on the floor over the last month of the season even as his shot wasn’t falling (36 percent from the floor over that period).

    He has probably earned a spot in the Pelicans rotation moving forward (how large of a role is to be determined). The bigger question we need to ask is, was that simply a fluke or can we expect that level of defensive production moving forward? Williams averaged 2.6 steals and 1.2 blocks per 36 minutes over seven games played in the G-League this season, and averaged 1.9 steals and 0.5 blocks per 40 minutes in final year of college, so the body of evidence would indicate that the defensive stat production is real.

    It is hard to imagine that Williams ended the year available on many wires given his strong play down the stretch, but keep him on you watch list and jump on it if he becomes available. He may not pick up right where he left off as a starter next season depending on which players the Pelicans get in return for Davis (assuming the 99.9% chance of a trade going through), but at the very least he has proven that he can be a capable NBA role-player worth a rotation spot.

    That does it for this first look. If you have any questions, or think that I missed anyone, feel free to reach me on Twitter: @z_bodhane.

Fantasy News

  • Eric Gordon
    SG, Houston Rockets

    Eric Gordon (left leg contusion) will be playing for the Rockets on Saturday but will be coming off the bench.

    The return to action is good for his owners and the transition via an initial bench role is to be expected. Gordon is a legitimate third scoring option for the Rockets and his return will surely eat into the value of the likes of Ben McLemore.

    Source: Jonathan Feigen on Twitter

  • D'Angelo Russell
    PG, Minnesota Timberwolves

    D'Angelo Russell (planned rest) will not play on Sunday.

    Russell sat out Saturday's practice, which was planned, as the Wolves will pump the brakes on a key player with some light knee soreness. Pretty much everyone else on the Wolves gets an upgrade for tomorrow with this news, though Jordan McLaughlin, Malik Beasley and Josh Okogie come to mind first.

    Source: Jon Krawczynski on Twitter

  • Kemba Walker
    PG, Boston Celtics

    Kemba Walker (left knee soreness) will sit out Sunday's tilt with the Lakers.

    Walker recently had his knee drained but he's still day-to-day status-wise. Obviously this isn't great news but we're still not panicking about his long-term outlook just yet. Look for all of the other Celtics to pick up more shots, with Brad Wanamaker the big winner in terms of sheer minutes. The other Celtics are better fantasy plays.

    Source: Jay King on Twitter

  • Deandre Ayton
    C, Phoenix Suns

    Deandre Ayton (left ankle soreness) will play on Saturday without minutes restrictions, as will the rest of the Suns aside from Frank Kaminsky.

    For those keeping track, that's good for Aron Baynes, Elie Okobo and Dario Saric. Everyone played on Friday but there was some concern over whether everyone would be ready for the back-to-back situation. Fire up your Suns as usual.

    Source: Gina Mizell on Twitter

  • Seth Curry
    SG, Dallas Mavericks

    Seth Curry (right knee soreness) is in the starting five on Saturday night.

    Curry was initially questionable but could be looking at a big night with Luka Doncic and Kristaps Porzingis both out. Feel free to fire him up, with Delon Wright and Jalen Brunson also in the mix.

    Source: Dallas Mavericks on Twitter

  • Ivica Zubac
    C, Los Angeles Clippers

    Ivica Zubac came away with eight points and 15 rebounds on Saturday.

    Zubac needed only 20 minutes to do that damage, adding a block for good measure. He took advantage of a matchup against the undersized Harry Giles but will settle down in the near future. Zubes is a traditional big with a late-round ceiling, though he's viable when he's playing well like this.

  • Kawhi Leonard
    SF, Los Angeles Clippers

    Kawhi Leonard posted 31 points, eight rebounds, five assists, two steals and four 3-pointers in Saturday's 103-112 loss to the Kings.

    The Clippers' funk continues, but fantasy GMs may be alright with it if it forces Kawhi to keep playing at his exceedingly high level. The other reliable Clippers did their thing today in the losing effort, with Montrezl Harrell posting 16 points and 10 boards and Lou Williams clocking in with 24 points and two threes, though he did also commit eight turnovers.

  • Marcus Morris
    PF, Los Angeles Clippers

    Marcus Morris put up six points on 3-of-9 shooting in Saturday's home loss.

    Morris started and played 32 minutes, so there really isn't any excuse for this performance. He might be worth hanging onto as a low-end option for as long as Paul George is out but it's hard to envision him maintaining the volume he needs for middle-round value when the Clippers get to full health.

  • Reggie Jackson
    PG, Los Angeles Clippers

    Reggie Jackson started in his Clippers debut on Saturday but wasn't anything special, producing eight points, four assists and two 3-pointers on 3-of-9 shooting in 23 minutes.

    Jackson may hold low-end value while Patrick Beverley is out but will just be a depth option when the Clippers are fully healthy. Even now, he's not a recommended option if you're trying to preserve FG% and is really just a specialist for threes and assists.

  • Kent Bazemore
    SG, Sacramento Kings

    Kent Bazemore finished Saturday's road win with 23 points, six rebounds, two 3-pointers, four steals and a block in 30 minutes off the bench.

    Bazemore's minutes are trending up as Luke Walton continues his game of chicken with Buddy Hield, and he's been a top-150 option in high-twenties minutes in the past. He's got six threes and six steals over his last three contests so give Bazemore a look for 3-and-D numbers.