The Memphis Grizzlies were a surprisingly good team last season. With Jaren Jackson Jr. currently injured, they may take a step back but remain a source of fantasy value.
|Kenny Loften Jr.
*When Jaren Jackson Jr. returns it’s expected he’ll retain a starting spot
Points League Star
Ja Morant is a nightly highlight reel. His fearlessness when attacking the basket is remarkable, but it probably also increases his chances of getting injured. Morant’s ADP on Fantrax is 21.8 making him too expensive to draft in category leagues as he ranked 48th in per-game stats last year. In points leagues, there’s a good chance Ja can deliver first-round value. That’s the format that will provide you with a surplus in value based on ADP.
Desmond Bane broke out last season and still played less than 30MPG. He was the 36th-ranked player in category leagues last season. With an ADP of 52.2, I’ll be targeting Bane 9-cat roto where the return on investment is greatest. On top of that, his fantasy value could easily grow. If Desmond Bane got 5 more minutes per game he could potentially deliver second-round value.
Jaren Jackson Jr. is injured but with an ADP 156.9 on Fantrax, you must draft him in roto. Also, feel free to draft him in H2H if your league grants you an injured list spot. JJJ was a top 40 asset in category leagues in per-game numbers last season. Draft Jaren Jackson Jr. with your second-last pick and hope he plays 40 games. If he’s able to get and remain healthy in 2023, Triple-J could be a league winner.
Points League Profit
Dillon Brooks doesn’t really excite me for category leagues where he has an outside shot of maybe being a top 100 guy. I become interested in him in points leagues where FG% doesn’t dampen his value. With an ADP of 123.9 on Fantrax, there is profit to be had in points leagues.
Santi Aldama didn’t do too much last season in a limited role aside from two games where he went bananas! Shoutout to u/Sorry_Motor on Reddit. They suggested Aldama could be the biggest beneficiary with Jaren Jackson out. Through three preseason games, we have seen Santi Aldama start and produce for the Grizzlies. He is worth a last-round pick in fantasy as a flyer.
Steven Adams will start at center but doesn’t have much fantasy appeal unless you are using him to stream rebounds.
Don’t Pay Over Sticker
Brandon Clarke seemed like the obvious guy to pick up value while JJJ was out, but that may not be the case. Personally, I thought it was a given Clarke would play at least 25MPG at least in the short term. As a rookie, he looked like an absolute steal for the Grizzlies being a late first-round pick. However, he hasn’t improved his game since then. At one point I remember Clarke trying to change his shooting form and that didn’t go over too well. Plus, there was a stretch where he found himself almost out of the rotation. I recently made the mistake of sinking 15% of my draft budget into Clarke. Don’t be me. With an ADP of 99.5 on Fantrax, Brandon Clarke is an okay pick in category leagues there’s no need to overdraft him. I made the mistake so you don’t have to.
Ja Morant Handcuff
Tyus Jones could have an elevated role this season with Melton gone, but probably not enough to make him a fantasy factor even in category leagues. It would likely take god forbid an injury to Ja Morant for Tyus to become a fantasy asset.
Ziaire Williams didn’t prove to be fantasy-friendly as a rookie, but he improved his shot and garnered trust from Taylor Jenkins in the second half of the season. Ziaire has an ADP of 368.9 on Fantrax. You don’t need to draft him in standard leagues, but monitor the box scores early in the season while Jaren Jackson is out.
John Konchar doesn’t have a fantasy-friendly game so even if he saw an uptick in minutes it’s hard to imagine him being fantasy relevant in standard leagues.
Xavier Tillman looked like a real NBA player as a rookie, but for whatever reason, he had a smaller role in his second season (last year). It would take something bad to happen to Steven Adams with JJJ still out for Tillman to become interesting for fantasy purposes.
It’s hard to expect any of these rookies to produce this season. For dynasty leagues, Jake LaRavia and David Roddy would be the ones to target from the Grizzlies. Kenny Lofton Jr. was an absolute joy to watch in the summer league, but I have to calm myself here considering he was undrafted and is signed to a two-way contract. Kennedy Chandler probably has the hardest path to minutes of anyone with fellow point guard Ja Morant being the superstar on the team.
For more great analysis check out our full 2022-23 Fantasy Basketball Draft Kit!