Every week, we’ll look at players that you should consider picking up who are rostered in four different roster tiers:
CLE, DAL, HOU, LAC, MIA, NOP, POR, WAS
ATL, BOS, BKN, CHA, CHI, DEN, GSW, IND, MEM, MIL, MIN, NYK, OKC, ORL, PHI, PHX, SAC, SAS, TOR, UTA
Rostered in 50-60% of leagues:
Jarred Vanderbilt (PF/C – MIN) 58%
You have to wonder why teams didn’t inquire on Vanderbilt this offseason. Luckily for Minnesota, he didn’t go anywhere and has carved out a huge role with the Wolves. He’s playing around 27 minutes per night, but in those minutes over the last week, Vanderbilt is pulling down 11 boards and 8.3 points per game. Vanderbilt is starting to get hype within fantasy circles, so the window to acquire him is slowly closing. He’s been the 61st-ranked player in fantasy over the last two weeks, and on the season, he’s ranked 77th.
Franz Wagner (SG/SF – ORL) 54%
Wagner has been fantastic as a rookie for the Magic, and while he doesn’t excel in any one area, he does enough with his scoring, rebounding, and assists to be a top 100 player on the season. With news that Jonathan Isaac is not yet cleared for live-game reps, Wagner should continue accumulating his way to fantasy value. In his last three games, Wagner has scored 43 points, pulled down 20 boards, and dealt 12 assists. He’s a true jack of all trades.
Rostered in 30-49% of leagues:
De’Anthony Melton (PG/SG – MEM) 42%
When Dillon Brooks returned to the Grizzlies’ lineup, Melton was relegated to the Memphis bench. He’s going to get a stretch of fantasy relevancy again, but not for a good reason. Star guard Ja Morant went down with a knee injury, and he’s going to miss a few weeks. Melton will be one of the benefactors, and his defense alone is reason enough to roster him.
Alec Burks (SG/SF – NYK) 30%
Burks had a colossal night Saturday, dropping 23 points on the Hawks. That came, of course, with Kemba Walker resting and missing the game. While a considerable scoring output like that isn’t expected from Burks on a night-by-night basis, he’s still been a top 120 player during the last calendar month and the 59th player in leagues over the previous two weeks. You should roster him in all 12-team leagues.
Rostered in 15-29% of leagues:
Jeremiah Robinson-Earl (SF – OKC) 28%
It’s my third time writing about JRE this week. Here’s what I wrote about him in my category analysis piece from Saturday:
“JRE remained in the starting lineup Friday night with Shai Gilgeous-Alexander‘s return to the lineup, which was great to see. JRE has four straight games scoring in double-figures, and in two of those games, he also pulled down ten boards. He’s been a top 100 player over the past two weeks, and as long as he continues to see minutes in the mid-to-high-20s, you should roster him in standard 12-team leagues.”
Willy Hernangomez (C – NOP) 21%
I was a huge Hernangomez fan in Charlotte. I thought he’d be the next big thing. I was wrong, but he’s been a big thing for the Pelicans lately. He’s taken the backup center role from Jaxson Hayes, and he’s produced across the board in his 20ish minutes per night. He’s on a streak of four straight double-digit scoring games where he’s averaging 13.7 points, 8.5 rebounds, and three assists. He’s not a must-roster player, but he should be on your radar in 15-team leagues.
Rostered in 0-14% of leagues:
Tyus Jones (PG – MEM) 14%
Like Melton, Jones now has fantasy relevancy with Morant’s injury. Jones should be the starting point guard while Morant is out, and while he’s capable of some double-digit scoring games, the main contributions he’ll offer are steals and assists. He’s the definition of a streamer.
Brandon Clarke (SF/PF – MEM) 11%
To go along with JRE Week, we must have Memphis Week here, too, as Morant’s injury impacts a lot of players. Clarke is next. Remember, Clarke had major hype coming into the 2020 season, but he was all but forgotten by fantasy managers and the Grizzlies alike as the season went on. Over the last two weeks of this season, Clarke has been putting up 11th-round value, shooting 72.7% from the field, and his minutes have been trending up as a result. The talent on offense is there, and he could step up with Morant out for a while.