There are still plenty of viable options on the free-agent market for fantasy basketball owners looking to bolster a specific category.
We are just over a week into the NBA season and coaches are already driving us insane with their rotations. The first two to three weeks of the season will result in some unusual minutes for players that we thought were going to get more (or less) in some cases.
Let’s take a look out there and see what players can help in category-scoring leagues.
Kendrick Nunn, Guard, Miami Heat (available in 57% of leagues)
Even with the return of Jimmy Butler, Kendrick Nunn still played 30 minutes and scored 17 points. He seems to be locked into 30-plus minutes a night and will hold the starting job over Goran Dragic. He won’t provide much else besides getting buckets but he will help provide you with some three’s (2.8 per game) as well. Add him now because there aren’t many players available on the free-agent list who can provide around 20 points a night.
Evan Fournier, Guard/Forward, Orlando Magic (available in 55% of ESPN leagues)
Evan Fournier is a walking bucket-getter. He’s in the league for one reason and one reason only, and that is to score. He’ll give you around two or three rebounds and an assist each night. But if your team falls behind in points to start off the week, look to add Fournier because of his ability to drop 30 on any given night.
P.J. Tucker, Forward, Houston Rockets (available in 69% of ESPN leagues)
P.J. Tucker does three things well: play defense, rebound and knocking down corner threes. He has two elite ball handlers to find him and he is tied for second in the league with four made threes per game.
Small forward is thin this year and Tucker will provide consistent production in rebounding, steals, and three-point shooting. He is also averaging over 36 minutes per game. The more minutes for the player, the more stats he will provide.
JJ Redick, Guard, New Orleans Pelicans (available in 64% of ESPN leagues)
JJ Redick has been one of the most consistent three-point scorers in the league for over the past decade. If you fall behind in a 3PM to start the week, look to add Redick because he will be available in most leagues.
Cody Zeller, Center, Charlotte Hornets (available in 71 percent of ESPN leagues)
Cody Zeller is taking advantage of the thin and lacking Charlotte Hornets roster. He is averaging 15.0 points, 13.5 rebounds, 2.0 assists, and a combined 1.6 steals and blocks per game. The guy is putting up numbers across the board and when it comes to rebounds, he will be an elite source for the rest of the season.
Rui Hachimura, Forward, Washington Wizards (available in 53% of ESPN leagues)
Rui Hachimura is averaging seven rebounds per game. He is doing just more than rebounding however, he is also providing 18 points per game. If you need rebounds and points, Hachimura should be a good option for owners dealing with early injury woes.
Devonte’ Graham, Guard, Charlotte Hornets (available in 75% of ESPN leagues)
I will have to admit, I never would have guessed that Devonte’ Graham would be averaging 7.6 assists per game (more than Kyle Lowry, Steph Curry, and Kyrie Irving). It’s early, but Graham is playing close to 30 minutes each night.
Steals and Blocks:
Alex Len, Center, Atlanta Hawks (available in 92% of ESPN leagues)
Alex Len might be offensively challenged but he gives the hawks a big opposing body down-low and in fantasy purposes, he will be among the top 20 in blocks this season. There are going to be players that you add just for one or possibly two categories and for Len, it will be both blocks and rebounds. There aren’t many teams that will roll out a true 7-footer every night but the Hawks will.
OG Anunoby, Forward, Toronto Raptors (available in 80 percent of ESPN leagues)
OG Anunoby is a defensive specialist. He will provide fantasy owners with both steals and blocks. He provides numbers in the other categories as well, but his long-term value derives from his defensive statistics. He’s going to be playing big minutes for the Raptors and there aren’t many players in the NBA today that are in the league for their defense. Add Anunoby now if your team is lacking in steals and blocks.