Fantasy Basketball
Jim McCormick, Special to ESPN.com 45d

Fantasy NBA Daily Notes: How Kyle Anderson is outpacing LeBron and Kyrie

Fantasy NBA, Fantasy, NBA

Players who can do a little bit of everything, but no single thing spectacularly, are often underappreciated by the fantasy market. Take Kyle Anderson of the Memphis Grizzlies, for instance, as the veteran forward produced a seemingly quiet 13 points in an impressive blowout of the LA Clippers last night. Looking deeper, Anderson filled the stat sheet with 13 combined assists and rebounds and a plus-12 net rating.

During the past 15 days, Anderson rates 44th overall on the Player Rater, just ahead of LeBron James and Kyrie Irving. While he won't amaze you with his scoring prowess, it's worth noting Anderson's leap from fringe rotation player last season (just 19.9 MPG) to becoming a top-75 fantasy value includes an 88% leap in scoring production this year from his previous three seasons.

Modernizing his shot profile has been key to Anderson's ascent, as he's lofting four 3-pointers per game this season after averaging just one per game the prior three seasons. Always an adept playmaker for a forward, Anderson is now enjoying a career campaign in assists while also establishing a new career rebounding rate. Throw in 1.8 combined steals and blocks per game this year, and you have a player contributing positive production across several key statistical categories.

Still available in free agency in roughly 22% of ESPN leagues, Anderson is also an intriguing trade target given most managers likely still undervalue how the sum of his versatile contributions combine to make him an impact fantasy option this season.

Thursday recap

 

Highlights

 

Donte DiVincenzo, Milwaukee Bucks: 24 points (9-16 FG), 7 rebounds, 9 assists, 2 steals

Jamal Murray, Denver Nuggets: 34 points (12-23 FG), 6 rebounds, 6 assists, 2 blocks

 

Lowlights

Will Barton, Denver Nuggets: 2 points (1-7 FG), 4 rebounds, 1 assist, 3 TO

Evan Fournier, Orlando Magic: 8 points (3-9 FG), 1 rebound, 3 assists, 3 TO

 

Thursday takeaways

 

  • Giannis Antetokounmpo outscored Zion Williamson 38 to 34 in Milwaukee's narrow win over New Orleans, becoming the first Bucks player with three straight 35-point games since Kareem Abdul-Jabbar did it in 1973. Williamson netted a career-high 15 field goals, all of which came in the paint and 14 of which came in the restricted area. Zion, who became the second-youngest player in the past 25 seasons with 30 points in the paint, has scored 54 points in the restricted area over his past two games, tied with Shaq for the second most in a two-game span over the past 25 seasons.

  • It wasn't just Giannis who played well for the Bucks, as DiVincenzo delivered his best game of the season. Not only did he net a season-high in points, but the Villanova product tallied a season-high in assists and was solid on defense. DiVincenzo can help fantasy rosters at least until Jrue Holiday is back in the rotation.

  • Minnesota's Malik Beasley has been suspended by the league for 12 games for off-court conduct. It will take some time to figure out which Timberwolves rotation players will step up during his absence, but it's likely that rookie Anthony Edwards will take more shots and control more possessions in the weeks ahead.

  • New York's Immanuel Quickley scored 25 points in just 20 minutes in a blowout win over the reeling Kings. Most impressive was the rookie getting to the stripe 12 times. The minutes aren't there yet for Quickley to be truly trusted in fantasy lineups, especially whenever Elfrid Payton returns from a hamstring injury, but it's clear that the future is bright for the Kentucky product. Derrick Rose is quite relevant for fantasy managers at the moment, though, as he started in place of the ailing Payton and scored 18 points with six assists.

 

Injuries of note  

 

  • Philadelphia's Tobias Harris exited last night's win over Dallas early with a knee contusion. Further testing on Friday will provide more information about the nature of his injury.

  • Oklahoma City will be without Hamidou Diallo due to right groin soreness for at least the next two games. This signals more minutes and shots for Luguentz Dort.

  • Miami's Bam Adebayo is questionable for tonight's game against Utah due to knee tendinosis. If Adebayo is ruled out, rookie Precious Achiuwa becomes a viable streaming option. Second-year guard Tyler Herro is questionable with a lingering hip contusion. If Herro can't go, Kendrick Nunn figures to start and play and a sizable role for Miami.

  • Detroit's Saddiq Bey is questionable for tonight's game versus the Sacramento. Bey injured his ankle during Wednesday's game but was able to play through it. If Bey misses the contest, Josh Jackson's already impressive fantasy profile improves.

Analytics advantage for Friday

 

Atlanta's wing injuries have mounted this season. Bogdan Bogdanovic, De'Andre Hunter, and Kris Dunn are all sidelined by injuries for tonight's matchup with the Thunder. Even Cam Reddish is questionable with Achilles soreness.

Danilo Gallinari, fresh from a season-high 38 points that included a franchise-record 10 3-pointers, has averaged 19.9 points and 3.4 3-pointers per 36 minutes this season with Hunter and Bogdanovic off the floor. Gallo's usage and DraftKings points per 36 jump even more if Reddish is also out of the lineup. You can still find the Italian sharpshooter in free agency in roughly 63% of leagues.

Top players to watch on Friday

 

For all the talk of Trae Young being snubbed from the All-Star game this season, there is also a compelling argument for Shai-Gilgeous Alexander. The Oklahoma City star sports a better net rating and significantly higher true shooting clip than Young this season with a nearly identical rate of win shares per 48 minutes. Young and Gilgeous-Alexander meet tonight in a rare matchup for these gifted third-year guards.

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