Fantasy Basketball Postbag: Bol Bol Second Half Worth, Devin Vassell’s Upside Down Dynasty & More

Let’s dive straight into your questions for this latest fantasy basketball mailbag!

Looking for candidates for next year that you would keep to win next year (I can only keep 2 players in my league). Along those lines, how would you rate the following in terms of next year’s keeper value (cost included): Kevin Porter Jr. ($6), Walker Kessler, Lauri Markkanen ($9), Kyle Kuzma ($7) , Jalen Duren ($3), Alperen Sengun ($20), Tari Eason ($5) Onyeka Okongwu ($10), Cameron Johnson ($6), Jonathan Isaac ($1), Lonzo Ball ($2). —Ioannis H.

Some interesting options here. My gut tells me to keep Markkanen and Porter, but if you’re looking to save some cash, Duren is very intriguing. He could really burst next season alongside a healthy Cade Cunningham, and the Pistons could decide to move on from Isaiah Stewart’s experience sooner or later, which would open up more minutes for Duren. But if you want to play it safe, Markkanen and Porter seem like the way to go, especially given the balance of stats they will provide.

Which guards do you think have a significant advantage in the second half of the season? I’m particularly looking for dimes and efficiency in 9-cat leagues. – Edward M.

When it comes to assists, one name that immediately comes to mind is Tyus Jones. The Grizzlies currently have a four-game cushion over the Sacramento Kings for the second seed in the Western Conference, so it wouldn’t be surprising to see Ja Morant take a few nights off in the final months of the season. And when Jones gets the chance to start, he almost always delivers, averaging strong 20.0 points and 7.8 cents on 52.5% shooting from the field in eight starts so far.

Jaden Ivey is also starting to get strong, averaging solid 15.8 points, 4.5 boards and 6.3 assists in his last 10 games on 43% FG and 78% FT shooting, compared to 41% FG and 73% FT for the whole season. . And he’s more of a winger who contributes with solid assists, but a smart low-cost contender is Brandon Ingram. He’s yet to take off since returning from his toe injury, but with Zion Williamson out for several weeks, Ingram could really shine from now on.

Bol Bol – time to cut the bait, or could he bounce back in the second half? -Brandon H.

What do I do with Bol Bol at this point? He looked good in the first half but now, especially with Isaac back, he has fewer opportunities. Am I holding out for a Mo Bamba swap? Or count it as another streamer? – Chris P.

It would be unwise for the Magic to stop developing Bol given his breakout season and the fact that he just turned 23 a few months ago. I thought Bol’s production would take a hit once players like Jalen Suggs and Jonathan Isaac return to the pitch but, in my opinion, he still needs to play more than 20 minutes per game every night. Besides the potential for a Mo Bamba trade, the Magic could also be looking to deal either Terrence Ross and/or Gary Harris, who both average over 22 minutes per game this season. If that happens, Bol would gladly eat up a bunch of their remaining minutes, making him relevant again. Retaining him or not depends on the quality of free agents available, but I’m not quite ready to count it.

Tari Eason seems to be making progress lately. What do you expect from the next 30 matches? – Dave S.

Without a doubt, Eason is starting to figure things out. Over his last eight games, he has quietly posted 11.4 points, 7.3 boards, 1.0 steals, 0.9 blocks and 0.6 threes per game on 53% effective shooting from the field. However, this all happened without Kevin Porter Jr. in the lineup. The test will be for Eason to continue posting numbers once KPJ returns. But the Rockets are clearly in losing mode now, and they will surely be sellers at the trade deadline. And if Eric Gordon and/or Kenyon Martin Jr. are moved, Eason’s value could really skyrocket after the star break.

Who would you rather have long-term in an 8-cat dynasty league: Kevin Porter Jr., Devin Vassell, Benedict Mathurin, Keegan Murray? —Ben M.

Oooh, I like this question, because it’s always fun to look into the dynasty crystal ball. All four players have a bright future and it’s not hard to make a strong case for each of them. I really like Murray’s future prospects, but did you know that Vassell is actually four days younger than rookie Murray, despite being in his third NBA season? Vassell also has the most complete fantasy game when you factor in his 3-point shooting and free throw combined with his defensive prowess. Vassell would be my pick if he was fully healthy, but you might want to make sure he is recovering well from his current knee injury before giving him your final answer.

Is Shai Gilgeous-Alexander ‘a closed candidate’ for this year’s fantasy playoffs? What would you do if you had him on a team? And alternatively, if you didn’t have him on a team, would you try to acquire him instead of people potentially (falsely?) believing he would be shut down? —Alex K.

I mean he’s only missed four games so far, and the Thunder’s current record is only one game under .500, so it’s a little late to start tanking if they’re trying to get a record of the last five. There’s also a lot of value in having a young team competitive every night, even if it doesn’t translate to a playoff spot. So if I had it, I’d hang in there and cross my fingers that it doesn’t get shut down – and, of course, it’s definitely worth targeting if you can redeem it at a discount.

At this point, I’m still holding on to Jabari Smith and Killian Hayes, and I’m climbing the leaderboard as well, moving up to third after spending a month in the basement. However, with the trade deadline approaching, I want to be able to pivot quickly if there is a good rally. Would you be likely to drop either at this point in a 9 cat league? -Jean B

Your question insinuates that both players have struggled to retain their value. While that’s true for Smith, Hayes has played pretty well this season. Over his last 27 games, Hayes has posted 12.7 points, 7.0 assists, 1.6 steals and 1.5 threes per game. I doubt you can find these types of numbers on your waiver feed. His body may be wearing down a bit since he’s never played so many minutes before, but hopefully the All-Star break will rejuvenate him. As for Smith, if you’ve kept him around for so long, it would be foolish to drop him now. He’s still playing plenty of minutes and has been productive defensively, so let’s just hope his shot selection and 3-point shooting accuracy improve soon. Maybe you have someone else to drop off instead?

I have a 12.5 game lead over second place in a 12 team, 9 cat H2H league. Jimmy Butler has been solid for me (when he plays), but my focus now is on the playoffs and would like to move Butler for someone who can play all four games in a week. What is a realistic expectation of a comeback for Butler in a trade? —Jed J.

You have a right to be frustrated with Butler but, man, he’s so good when it counts. We’re talking 57 points scored on 21-of-31 shooting in his last two games – that’s unreal efficiency. As for trade goals, you might want to tackle star players trying to make sure their teams get at least a spot in the play-in tournament. Some of these players will be less accessible than others, but some guys that come to mind include Nikola Vucevic, Zach LaVine, Pascal Siakam, Fred VanVleet, Scottie Barnes and Jerami Grant.

The trade deadline is next Thursday. Which substitutes and bench players should we be aiming for in free agency if the team starter were to be given out? -Jon G.

I touched on this topic a few weeks ago, and you can check out that column here.

Some of the players I’ve suggested could benefit from this include Saddiq Bey, Jeremy Sochan, Onyeka Okongwu, Zach Collins and Mark Williams. Bey and Sochan have had some big games lately, but this trio of centers still come off the bench ready for bigger roles.

Kawhi Leonard. Discuss. —RT

It’s not a question, but I’ll bite. We’re talking about a future Hall of Famer who is fully capable of being the best player on the court any night. It’s very easy to question your health and complain about all the DNPs, but how do any of us know what your body looks like on a day-to-day basis? Yes, it’s true that Leonard did absolutely nothing for his fantastic managers until December, but lately he’s been reminding everyone how good he is.

In his last 17 games, Kawhi has averaged 25.8 points, 6.4 rebounds, 4.2 assists, 1.5 steals, 0.5 blocks and 1.9 threes in 34.4 minutes per game. , while shooting a solid 54% from the field and over 88% from the foul line. Obviously, Leonard is still one of the best players in the league, he just seems to have more pain after every game compared to other superstars.

So what can we expect from him for the rest of the season? Well, the Clippers have the fourth-best record in the Western Conference entering Monday’s games, but only two games in the standings separate them from the Oklahoma City Thunder, who are currently in 11th place. So if you have Leonard on your team you should hope the Clippers keep hovering just above .500 so they need Kawhi to play as much as possible to keep them in the playoff picture and possibly avoid risky play. -in tournament. I like that Leonard is a bit different from other superstars, and I hope he’s completely healthy when the playoffs roll around because the NBA playoffs are better with him.

(Top photo: Kim Klement – USA TODAY Sports)


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