Every Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday, we pose a question to a rotating panel of ESPN fantasy basketball experts to gauge their thoughts on a hot topic. Today's contributors are ESPN NBA Insider Bradford Doolittle and ESPN Fantasy's Kyle Soppe and Joe Kaiser.
While Klay Thompson's ridiculous 60 points in 29 minutes grabbed all of Monday's headlines, Memphis Grizzlies guard Troy Daniels continued his own hot scoring streak, racking up 29 points and 7 3-pointers against the New Orleans Pelicans. Injuries have opened up a larger role for the journeyman, who has responded with 19, 19, 31 and 29 points with a total of 20 3s over his past four outings. Is his scoring legit? Should fantasy owners add him for the short or long term?
Bradford Doolittle: The scoring and shooting are legit. Daniels has been one of the best long-range shooters in the NBA for a couple of years. Unfortunately, the rest of his game is limited enough that he's always been a third-stringer. The instant-offense role the Grizzlies have been using him in is his ideal gig, and hopefully, he's opened some eyes with his outburst. There is nothing he's done the last four games that is out of line with his career numbers except for the key factor: He's played more.
As the Grizzlies gradually get healthier, Daniels' role will become more inconsistent. He's a poor defender, doesn't make plays well enough for more than spot duty at point guard and can swing to small forward only in very small lineups. However, Memphis' short-term injury prognosis is ugly enough that they should continue to lean on Daniels for scoring. Even as they get guys back, it would be surprising if Daniels started getting DNPs once again, but his court time will be limited enough that he won't be an impact producer.
Kyle Soppe: As is always the case, the true answer lies somewhere in the middle. No, Daniels isn't Stephen Curry-lite after scoring 60 points in his last two games, but the fantasy relevance is here to stay ... in the right situation. Daniels never has been given an extended opportunity, but in limited playing time, he has yet to show much promise in non-scoring categories.
It doesn't help his case that the Grizzlies are functioning as the third-slowest offense, so counting on volume is dangerous to say the least. That said, the bump in playing time makes Daniels a strong contributor in points and 3-pointers for the foreseeable future. Daniels is an add in all formats, but expectations need to be tempered a bit -- there are high peaks and low valleys to come.
Joe Kaiser: The scoring is legit. Anyone who can hit seven 3s in an NBA game has to be taken seriously as a shooter and a scorer, and Daniels always was regarded highly for his 3-point shooting while in college at VCU.
What this all comes down to is opportunity, though. Right now, the minutes are there for Daniels (he played 44 minutes in the overtime win over the Pelicans on Monday), but as soon as James Ennis, Chandler Parsons, Vince Carter and Mike Conley return, you can expect Daniels to play fewer than 20 minutes a game off the bench. The right thing to do is ride him while you can right now, and be prepared to sell high if you get the chance.