May 10, 2021, 11:51 am
With the final week of the regular season upon us, seeking out value is primarily going to boil down to who you trust getting consistent minutes the rest of the way. Young guys on tanking teams, injury replacements and players on teams with something left to play for are the most important factors to consider, which can be somewhat difficult to pinpoint. Here are names from Sunday’s games who fit that bill:
Jaxson Hayes – Rostered in 19% of Yahoo leagues
MIN FG% FT% 3PM PTS REB AST STL BLK TO 26 .727 (8/11) .500 (2/4) 0 18 8 0 1 6 0
The Pelicans could very well be folding the last week of the season with Zion Williamson (finger), Brandon Ingram (ankle) and Steven Adams (toe) possibly all out moving forward, and of the several names emerging on this team without them, Jaxson Hayes may be the biggest. He’s finally getting a chance to show off his impeccable shot blocking prowess, and though he isn’t starting games, he is closing them (he also won the positional minutes split over Hernangomez for the first time this game). The big man is positioned to be an elite source of shot blocking, FG% and boards for the stretch run of the year provided Steven Adams remains sidelined, and with the Pelicans likely not making a push for the play-in, it’d make sense to get the youth more run in these final games.
James Johnson – Rostered in 9% of Yahoo leagues
MIN FG% FT% 3PM PTS REB AST STL BLK TO 31 .538 (7/13) .250 (1/4) 2 17 8 0 3 0 2
Zion Williamson is confirmed to miss the rest of the season, which really only leaves James Johnson as the logical starting PF for the Pelicans’ final games. While he may ding your percentages pretty good JJ has shown himself to be a versatile fantasy contributor in these types of minutes, making him a viable target to stream for numerous teams looking to close the gap across any of their nine/eight categories in Roto. There is some risk in him getting shut down if the Pelicans elect to go small the rest of the way, but surely you’d be able to at least squeeze one or two more games out of Johnson even if that happens.
Evan Fournier – Rostered in 65% of Yahoo leagues
MIN FG% FT% 3PM PTS REB AST STL BLK TO 35 .688 (11/16) 1.000 (1/1) 7 30 3 8 0 1 0
Fournier finally seems to be finding his groove after missing about half of his games as a Celtic with a Covid diagnosis. Now that Jaylen Brown (ankle) is sidelined, Fournier has a chance to see big minutes and shots for some, or all, of the Celtics’ final games this week. He likely loses all value whenever Brown returns, but Fournier is worth a gamble for a game or two if he’s shooting the ball at this kind of clip.
Nickiel Alexander-Walker – Rostered in 11% of Yahoo leagues
MIN FG% FT% 3PM PTS REB AST STL BLK TO 21 .455 (5/11) .500 (1/2) 2 13 4 3 1 0 2
The electric swingman finally made his return from his high-ankle sprain, and looked pretty spry in limited minutes in his first game back. His path to value solely relies on Brandon Ingram sitting out the rest of the way. If he does, NAW becomes an intriguing source of scoring stats should he work up to a starter’s level of minutes down the stretch.
Dwight Powell – Rostered in 18% of Yahoo leagues
MIN FG% FT% 3PM PTS REB AST STL BLK TO 27 .750 (6/8) — 0 12 9 4 1 4 2
Powell has really come alive as Dallas’ primary center without Kristaps Porzingis, and should be good to go the rest of the way for bigman stats and defensive numbers. The Mavs get wonky with their minutes distributions as is, and that could amplify this week with Dallas likely locking up a top-5 seed, so be mindful of the potential for reduced minutes here and there. Otherwise, feel free to trot him out there while he’s producing like this.
Alex Caruso – Rostered in 5% of Yahoo leagues
MIN FG% FT% 3PM PTS REB AST STL BLK TO 32 .545 (6/11) .500 (4/8) 1 17 3 8 3 0 3
LeBron James (ankle) is a sure bet to return this week, so Caruso won’t be giving you full lines like these the rest of the week. That being said, he still figures to play big minutes without Dennis Schroder (health and safety protocols), and even next to LeBron could prove to be a decent source of points, steals and assists for the end of your bench. Finding guaranteed minutes this week is critical, and Caruso feels like safe bet to play a good deal regardless of who is in and who is out for the Lakers.
R.J. Hampton – Rostered in 38% of Yahoo leagues
MIN FG% FT% 3PM PTS REB AST STL BLK TO 29 .538 (7/13) .600 (3/5) 2 19 5 3 0 0 1
Hampton looks locked in as a scoring threat off the bench for the Magic, and that playing time and role he’s playing with now is a good enough reason to consider rostering him the rest of this week. He still has some limitations to his fantasy game with rough percentages and a lack of defensive stats, so if you roll with him make sure you have a need for what he actually is able to provide.