• Allow me to introduce myself. My name is Jake, I’m taking over The Wire from Bruski. I look forward to disappointing our readers from a name brand perspective and making up for it with insights.

    Editor’s Note: You can get the Hoop Ball Premium Membership for FREE (normally $29.99) by signing up as a new user with DraftKings. Check this page to see how the promotion works.

    Guards

    Donovan Mitchell: The Jazz need scoring. A good way to frame the urgency of their need is that Ricky Rubio is averaging 17 and 6 (career 10 and 8) and his usage is at 26. That’s a 150% increase from the last two years when his usage was around 17. They really need scoring without Hayward, and Derrick Favors is not who he once was.

    Enter Mitchell, who has dropped 20+ points in three of his last four games, stolen the ball at least twice in three of those four contests, and totaled 12 makes from deep. He’s been chucking from long range all season with 5 attempts in 24 minutes per game. The rookie spent two years at Louisville and nabbed 2.1 steals per game in his second season, so he could be a plus there going forward.

    The downside is that he’s going to hurt your FG%. Don’t expect better than 40 percent going forward, as he shot 40.8 percent his sophomore year in college.

    Bottom Line: He’s available in 45 percent of Yahoo leagues and unless your team can’t stomach the FG% he’s a strong add in 12 team leagues with his upside in scoring, threes, and steals.

     

    Courtney Lee: In Yahoo, he’s owned in only 25% of leagues. If he’s available in your league he should be added. He’ll get you threes and steals and won’t hurt you anywhere. Last year, with Melo, he was just outside the top 100 in 8-cat. So far this year on the back of 1.4 steals per game he’s just within the top-100.

    Bottom Line: Add him in 12-team leagues unless you are stacked.

     

    Emmanuel Mudiay: A popular add recently after a few pretty good games. Over his last five games he’s just inside the top 125 in 8-cat while playing 24.6 minutes per game. He’s a beast athletically, so if he figures it out it the rewards may be big. Upside aside, it’s also true that he hasn’t shown he can distribute, score, shoot or defend consistently.

    I’m not bullish on his ability to figure any of those out entirely this season, but small improvements are likely. If he were traded to the Suns he would become a must-add based on upside and opportunity.

    Bottom line: Needs to be rostered in 14-team leagues, potentially in 12-team leagues depending on your ability to stash and handle his historically very poor FG%.

     

    Deep League Options

    Ben McLemore: Coach David Fizdale has refused to name a starter at shooting guard until McLemore is healthy, and his target date is November 14th. McLemore can hit the three, shooting better than 35 percent from downtown in each of the last three seasons. He should see better shots in something that resembles an offensive system with the Grizzlies.

    There is no shortage of opportunity. We are seeing a lot of Andrew Harrison, Mario Chalmers and Dillon Brooks at the two. Additionally, McLemore’s game is shooting and scoring, and Memphis plays a lot of guys who aren’t known for getting up shots. Expect 10+ points and contributions in threes. If he eventually earns minutes in the 25 range then the supporting stats may be decent as well.

    Bottom Line: Add him now in 18-team and take a look in 16-team leagues if you can handle a short stash. Best case scenario is probably late round value in standard leagues.

     

    David Nwaba: I saw him go for nearly 10% FAAB budget in one 12-team league, and he’s Yahoo’s most added player on both Friday and Saturday. He’s playing a lot right now and coach Fred Hoiberg is a fan of his intensity (Bobby Portis trending up). The problem is that he’s a guard who doesn’t score much, create for others, or shoot from deep. Those trends go back to his college days.

    He’s pretty limited but could serve as a sneaky option for out of position rebounds and FG%. Stay tuned on the FG% as we don’t have much of a sample. His role will likely be minimal once Zach LaVine returns.

    Bottom Line: Should be rostered in the short term in 16-18 team leagues as long as he’s around 30 minutes per game. I wouldn’t expect long term value, though. Not a priority add.

    Update: Helped off the floor Saturday night with an ankle injury, didn’t look good.

     

    Forwards

    Bojan Bogdanovic (IND): Over his last four games he’s contributing 17.5 points, 2.8 threes, 1.5 steals, with .543/.818 in the percentage categories. We know that those steals are not going to last. In his last two seasons, playing 25+ minutes per game in both, he’s averaged 0.5 combined defensive stats.

    What’s important to note with Bojan is he’s one of the few impactful resources in FT% once you get outside the top 100. With Glen Robinson out he is averaging nearly 30 minutes per game and will provide solid scoring and threes along with his FT%. He was ranked just outside the top 150 in 25.7 minutes per game last season.

    Bottom Line: Someone to consider in 12-team leagues, strong add in 14-team leagues. A more attractive target if you need to boost your FT% on the cheap.

     

    Dragan Bender: The former fourth overall pick has upside in the money stats and should play more as the season goes on. The bad news is it looks like he’s been shooting on one of those extra skinny 12-foot rims you see at the county fair to start his career. In 22 minutes this year he’s scoring 5.4 points per game on .348 shooting from the field.

    Even with those stats plummeting his value, he’s ranked just outside the top 175 in 8-cat. If he can approach 40% from the field and 10 points per game, with his blocks and threes, he could enter the top 100. He also has a four game week upcoming.

    Bottom line: Should be rostered in 14-team leagues. A reasonable stash if you can help it in 12-teams.

     

    Deep League Options

    Luc Mbah a Moute: 9.3 points, 4.3 rebounds, 0.9 assists doesn’t jump off the page but so far in 8-cat leagues he’s been ranked within the top-125. His value is anchored by current averages of 1.3 steals, 0.7 blocks, 0.9 threes and over 50% from the field. None of his stats seem unsustainable as long as he continues to get 29 minutes a game.

    Bottom Line: He may not have the upside you want in 12-team leagues, but he’s someone to certainly look at in 14-team leagues. I saw him dropped for a streamer in my 20-team league. I definitely think he is undervalued.

     

    Jerami GrantHe’s played 23-28 minutes per game in each of his last 5. He’ll provide good defensive stats with a sprinkle of help elsewhere. He’s only 23 years old, so his improved free throw stroke may be real. He may also be solid from the field with next to no attention paid to him by opposing defenses. Right now he’s lurking around the top 150 value in 8-cat.

    Bottom Line: Add him in 16-team leagues, stream him when you need help defensively in shallower leagues.

    Centers

    Alex Len: At some point, the Suns have to give Tyson Chandler the Luol Deng treatment, right? Len would be pretty interesting if he got closer to 30 minutes per game. He’s been just outside the top-150 consistently in his career with 20-23 minutes. He’s a huge rebounder, good in blocks, and will shoot over 70% from the line. He won’t be helping you in points, threes, steals, or FG% to the extent most centers will.

    Bottom line: Should be owned in 14-team leagues. Add him in 12-team leagues if you need rebounds or don’t need to rely on him for top-125 numbers immediately.

     

    Richaun HolmesHolmes made his season debut on Friday and got 10 minutes, matching Amir Johnson on that front. Amir may be a problem as he was signed to a pretty lucrative offer this offseason, but Holmes doesn’t need big minutes to make an impact. Over 20 minutes per game last season he was ranked just outside the top-100 with 2.1 combined money stats and a big boost at FG%. There is also potential for big games if/when Embiid misses time.

    Bottom line: Priority add in 14-team leagues, should be owned in 12-team leagues as well.

     

    The Drop Zone

    Jae Crowder: Owned in 71% of Yahoo leagues, Jae thrived in recent years with Brad Stevens’ ball movement offense. Most of the ball movement in Cleveland goes from LeBron’s right hand, across his body, to his left hand. It’s just not a good fit for the newly acquired Cav, who has never been a very good rebounder, and the 1.7 steals per game in 2015-2016 looks like an outlier.

    Bottom Line: He’ll reenter the starting lineup with Tristan Thompson out a few weeks, so his value may get a few extra weeks of life support, but feel free to drop Crowder for a hot free agent if you are in a 12-team league. He’s just inside the top-200 in 8-cat. 

     

    Dario SaricThe loud second half he had last season is keeping him at 50% owned in Yahoo leagues, but that was without Embiid, Simmons, and Redick on the roster. Right now he’s averaging 8.3 points and 4.7 rebounds on 36.4% shooting over 23.3 minutes per game. He is outside the top-225 in 8-cat leagues.

    Bottom Line: With few defensive stats and reasonably 1-1.5 makes from three per game he’s not worth a roster spot in most 12-team leagues. He doesn’t provide much upside in any one stat when the Sixers are healthy.

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