Fantasy Basketball Category Analysis: Week 18 (2021-22)

It’s Saturday. Do you know what that means.

Not only is it time for another edition of category analysis, but it’s also All-Star Saturday Night.

Ahead of the slam dunk and three-point contest, take a few minutes to read our Week 18 Category Analysis article as we prepare for our playoff push.

If you’re new to this column, here’s what we’ll be looking at each week.

Each week we’ll be looking at widely available and registered players in less than 60% of the fantasy leagues on Yahoo. We will focus on 8 cat leagues as the turnovers are a waste of a category, to be honest. We’ll be looking at which players can help you in each of the eight categories you can get before your teammates realize.

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The eight categories we will focus on each week are:

  1. Points
  2. Bounces
  3. Aids
  4. Fly
  5. Blocks
  6. Three
  7. Field goal percentage
  8. Free throw percentage

Let’s go.

Points

Devin Vassell (SG/SF – SAS): 52%
I wanted to change that here but decided to put Vassell here for the second week in a row.

Spurs embrace the tank and, with that, the youth. Throughout the season we’ve seen Vassell’s advantage in goalscoring, and he’s going to be one of the main options for Spurs’ offense going forward.

Jason Richardson isn’t going to cut into his production, and over the past week Vassell has a solid 69 overall in fantasy, with 14.4 points per game.

I can see a top 50 stretch to end the season for the sophomore wing.

Bounces

Jonathan Kuminga (SF/PF – GSW): 29%
Departure. Off the bench. No matter.

I’m confident that Kuminga will play around 22-26 minutes per game going forward and do enough at all levels to matter to fantasy managers.

Draymond Green is still a few weeks away, so Kuminga should continue to be something of a secret weapon that coach Steve Kerr can unleash.

Aids

Ish Smith (PG-WAS): 9%
Both Smith and new teammate Raul Neto are worth signing up for, and even in a back-up role, Smith is capable of making a difference for fantasy managers.

In four games with the Wizards, Smith has 21 assists in a substitute role where he sees 23 minutes a night.

He also scored in double figures in two of the games, making him a useful player in deeper leagues and a good backend option in 12-team leagues.

Fly

Chuma Okeke (FP – ENT): 40%
Okeke has been playing more minutes lately, averaging 30 minutes in his last two games.

Over the past two weeks, however, Okeke is tied for second in the NBA with Gary Trent Jr. and Kyle Lowry in total steals.

I question his overall cap, but he’s been a top 45 player for the past month.

Blocks

Jaden McDaniels (SF/PF – MIN): 40%
You know I’m a huge Jarred Vanderbilt fan if you’ve read this column.

Big fan.

But we may be seeing a shift in Minnesota, as McDaniels has surpassed him, both in production and minutes.

McDaniels has played 32.3 minutes per game over his last three games with 15.7 points, 4.7 rebounds and 3.3 STOCK per game.

Vanderbilt, meanwhile, is averaging 26.3 minutes, six points, eight boards and 1 STOCK per game.

Three

Luke Kennard (SF/PF – LAC): 19%
It’s around noon EST as I write this on Saturday — well before the three-point game.

My bet is on Desmond Bane to win the contest because I’m a Memphis fan, but the betting favorite is Kennard.

After his performance on Thursday, we understand why.

Kennard hit eight threes against the Rockets, and he’s averaging four per game over the past week and 2.7 per game this season.

It is widely available and is capable of doing damage even with inconsistent minutes.

Field goal percentage

Brandon Clarke (SF/PF – MEM): 48%
We often talk about players with high ceilings. We also talk about players who are good at the minute but who are inconsistent.

Then you have players with high floors that just offer solid overall production.

It’s Clarke.

He’s posted top 66 numbers for the past month and he’s been a top 40 player for the past two weeks.

In the past month, he’s shot 73% from the field with 12.3 points, 6.4 boards, 1.6 assists, and 1.9 STOCK.

It will play, even if it will not blow you away.

Free throw percentage

Goran Dragic (PG/SG – FA): 5%
You now know the exercise with this category. We find someone who can knock down free throws, yes, but it’s also to highlight a player that we can’t quite fit into one of the above categories. This week we’ll be talking about Dragic.

Dragic has just been acquired by the San Antonio Spurs, making him a free agent and able to sign with any team.

Landing spot matters, of course, but like most redemption players, he’s more than likely to land with a team in contention.

It’s likely to be a bench role for Dragic going forward, but he’ll offer 12 team worth in the back in a 20-minute-per-game role in the right landing spot.

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Michael Waterloo is a featured writer for FantasyPros. For more on Michael, check out his archive and follow him @MichaelWaterloo.