• Dennis Smith had another decent game on Monday night, picking up 17 points, three rebounds, six assists, two steals and two 3-pointers in a drubbing of the Wizards.

    Perhaps the biggest takeaway here is that Smith went 7-of-16 from the floor. He’s still outside the top-200 on the year but is now up to top-50 production in the last two weeks, mostly on the back of dynamite scoring and improved percentages. While 46 percent from the floor isn’t much to write home about, it’s a massive swing for a player who’s posting a .406 mark on the year. There’s little doubt that DSJ was bound to improve on his early struggles, but this current run might be a bit much. You should be able to turn a tidy profit right about now if you’re leery of Smith for the rest of the season.

Fantasy News

  • Brandon Clarke
    PF, Memphis Grizzlies

    Brandon Clarke finished his rookie year averaging 12 points and 5.8 rebounds, landing him a 104/80 ranking in 8/9-cat leagues.

    While Ja Morant stole most of the headlines in Memphis, Clarke may have been the most surprising rookie for the squad. After an ADP in the tenth round, Clarke out performed those expectations and nearly cracked the top-100 in both 8/9-cat, finishing the season ranked 104/80. His value was carried by his consistency and FG%, where he finished top-five in the NBA at 62.3%, the highest mark for any rookie with at least 300 FGA, ever. Before missing the the final two weeks of the season with hip and quad injuries Clarke had proven to be a valuable fantasy asset scoring 12 points and grabbing 5.8 rebounds per game. He should sneak into the top-100 of drafts next season.

  • Jaren Jackson Jr.
    PF, Memphis Grizzlies

    Jaren Jackson Jr. finished his second season ranked 65/66 in 8/9-cat leagues, averaging 16.9 points, 4.7 rebounds and 1.6 blocks per game.

    After an impressive rookie campaign, expectations were high for Jackson Jr., as he came into the year with an ADP just inside the top-40. Although he did not quite live up to those standards he did manage to improve on his overall rankings and jumped from top-90 to top-70. The long, 6'11" forward provides a combination of shooting and defense no other player in the league can. Jackson Jr. is the only player in the NBA to average over 2.5 3PM and 1.6 blocks per game on at least 46% shooting from the field. The substantial increase from 2.4 3PA last year to 6.3 this year, while shooting just under 40% from deep has made him an unique offensive threat. While his block numbers already have him in an elite category we would like to see the big man assert himself more often on the glass and increase his rebound stats from his 4.7 per game career average. The tools are there, we just hope JJJ can continue to improve and solidify himself as a superior fantasy option.

  • Jonas Valanciunas
    C, Memphis Grizzlies

    Jonas Valanciunas held 5th-round value all season, averaging 14.9 points and 11.2 rebounds per game.

    Valaciunas posted the best fantasy season of his career finishing the year ranked 54/49 in 8/9-cat formats. After an ADP in 69 heading into the season the consistency and value he provided was all an owner can ask for. He was a double-double machine, ending the year in the top-eight in both FG% (59%) and rebounds per game (11.2). For a big man he was decent from the line and was the only player in the league that at least shot 73% from the line, 55% from the field while averaging at least 11 rebounds and 1 block. He has shown the consistency over the last few years and we expect more of the same to come next season. He could sneak into the top-five rounds in next years drafts.

  • Ja Morant
    PG, Memphis Grizzlies

    Ja Morant finished his rookie season holding 73/129 value in 8/9-cat formats.

    Morant, the presumptive Rookie of the Year, finished his first season averaging 17.6 points, 6.9 assists and 3.5 rebounds on 49% shooting from the field. The high-flying Morant has become one of the more exciting players in the league but could not solidify himself as a top-tier fantasy player at any point this season. His playmaking ability carried him throughout the fantasy season, with well above average assists and average scoring and field goal percentage numbers. The lack of any other stats to speak of and very high turnover rate held Morant back from becoming a top fantasy player, as seen with the disparity of his 8 and 9-cat rankings. As a rookie, much of this is to be expected and he should post more well rounded numbers in the future. More threes (0.9/game) and steals (0.9/game) could eventually substantially increase his fantasy impact and have him flirting with being a top-50 player sooner rather than later.

  • Dillon Brooks
    SF, Memphis Grizzlies

    Dillon Brooks shot his way into the top-175 in bot 8/9-cat leagues.

    With the addition of Justise Winslow, Brooks could be relegated to a bench role but this season proved to fantasy owners what type of player he is. Starting all 65 games and playing 28.5 minutes a night Brooks was a hit or miss points and threes guy finishing the year averaging 15.7 points and 2.0 threes per game. It was boom or bust from the field for the most of the season as he shot 40% from the field and 37% from deep. The volume was consistent, but the output was not, as seen over the final two months of the year where Brooks was outside the top-325 due to his poor shooting (36% on 16.3 FGA). If he can contribute consistent steals, he averaged 1.0 per game the first 49 games and 0.5 the final 16, he is a worthy end of the bench, points and threes fantasy player.

  • De'Anthony Melton
    PG, Memphis Grizzlies

    De'Anthony Melton completed his second season ranked 167/169 in 8/9-cat formats.

    Melton proved he had value for not only Memphis but fantasy owners, as well. In 52 games this season he averaged a pedestrian 8.1 points, 3.0 assists and 3.7 rebounds. The upside came with his low turnovers and high steals. Averaging 1.3 steals per game, Melton was one of only two players in the league to average 1.3 steals in less than 20 minutes per game. If Melton can increase his percentages in future seasons he can become a consistent backup fantasy option.

  • Rajon Rondo
    PG, Los Angeles Lakers

    Rajon Rondo will miss 6-8 weeks after surgery on his fractured right thumb.

    ESPN's Dave McMenamin reports Rondo suffered the "significant" hand injury during practice on Sunday. Rondo averaged 7.1 points and 5 assists in 20.5 minutes per game this season. With Avery Bradley opting to sit out the remainder of the season Rondo was expected to pick up some of the available backcourt minutes. LeBron James will continue to run the show with the first unit while Alex Caruso and Quinn Cook have the opportunity to get some extra run.

    Source: Dave McMenamin on Twitter

  • Alize Johnson
    PF, Indiana Pacers

    Second-year forward Alize Johnson spent most of his time in 2019-20 playing in the G League than with the Pacers, allowing him to finish ranked just inside the top-500.

    Johnson was a little bit less than an afterthought in fantasy this season as he simply could not crack the team's rotation. In 13 games played for Indiana, the former second-round pick was able to post averages of 1.4 PPG and 1.4 RPG. He's not in line to see a significant bump in value anytime soon.

  • TJ Leaf
    PF, Indiana Pacers

    T.J. Leaf found himself on the outside looking in the Pacers' regular rotation in 2019-20, averaging just 7.7 minutes for 2.9 points, 2.6 rebounds and 0.2 threes per game in 26 games.

    The 6-foot-10 power forward is still widely regarded as a "project" for the team. He saw some action in the G League, where he was able to shine 23.3 PPG and 2.3 3PG. Leaf's fantasy value is still close to the bottom of the proverbial barrel, ranked at 421/411 in 8/9-cat per-game value.

  • Jakarr Sampson
    SF, Indiana Pacers

    Jakarr Sampson was underwhelming in 26 games for the Pacers, winding up ranked 382nd in 8-cat per-game value and 359th in 9-cat.

    There were enough productive forwards ahead of Sampson on the depth chart that pushed him back. He also dealt with the injury bug, stymying his opportunities to deliver when the Pacers were shorthanded. Sampson was pretty much a non-factor, averaging just 13.1 minutes per game and producing 4.2 PPG and 2.3 RPG. He was actually a bane from the line, shooting at a dismal .550 clip from the stripe.

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