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Weekly Fantasy Basketball Mailbag: Leap Year Rebounds

Like last week, we are going to be fielding questions about keeper decisions which get interesting this time of year, because it adds the factor of playing for now and playing for later. Other than that, the questions have been surrounding players to target on waivers. With impending fantasy playoffs, it is still very important to pick up players when they get hot. If nothing else, it keeps them off of teams going against you or also vying for seeding. One of my favorite things to do when I am not competing is to spoil playoff hopefuls. I wish more teams had more fun with that.

Weekly Fantasy Basketball Mailbag: Leap Year Keep Years

Who should I keep for next season: Walker Kessler (Utah, C) or Dereck Lively II (Dallas, C)? – Davin

Oh boy. This is like asking me to pick which one of my kids is my favorite. How did you end up with both of these players? I almost wish you asked me this question before you got to the trade deadline. I think that these two are incredibly close in current and future value. Walker Kessler is averaging 8.4 PPG/7.3 RPG/3.2 Stocks on 65.3 FG%/55.7 FT% in 23.2 MPG. Dereck Lively II in his rookie season is averaging 8.9 PPG/7.5 RPG/2.2 Stocks on 74.3%/52.9% in 25.1 MPG.  Kessler is barely performing better on an average fantasy output than Lively II.

There are huge issues with each, that can’t be overlooked.

Kessler doesn’t get a lot of playing time but produces a lot when he’s on the court. He’s seeing the same share of minutes as he did in his productive first year. Lively II has been often injured given his thinner frame at his height and playstyle. I think the correct answer is Lively II.

Lively II has a very projectible playing style playing consistently above the basket, and has started all but two games this season. I think betting on his health would be better than betting on Kessler getting more minutes. That being said, I do not think that either is a bad option. If you had to keep one but could trade the other, I would do that. They are both valuable young centers worth more than what you probably paid for them.

Who should I keep for next year? RJ Barrett or OG Anunoby? – Ryan

Gosh, you guys really know how to pick tough matchups for these questions, huh? Both Anunoby and Barrett are rostered within a percentage of one another and play the same positional groups. It is taking me way more time to answer this than I care to admit.

Let’s break down their seasons first. OG Anunoby is averaging 15.3 PPG/4.2 RPG/2.2 APG on 49.8%/37.9%/77.4%. RJ Barrett is averaging 19.3 PPG/5.3 RPG/3.1 APG on 48%/71.9%/36.0%. The biggest differences between the two are shooting and base production. As you can see, Anunoby produces less counting stats on better efficiency while Barrett averages more on worse efficiency. RJ Barrett is the younger of two, at just under 24 while Anunoby is 26.

Between these two, I would say the better long-term prospect may be Barrett. He just gets more of what you want, and can improve as a shooter. OG Anunoby may never get to the level of rebounds and assists Barrett can put out, even if he does get a lot of steals.

Who are three names you’re looking out for? – Geoff

  1. Corey Kispert (SG/SF, Washington Wizards)
  2. Ayo Dosunmu (SG, Chicago Bulls)
  3. Brandin Podziemski (SG, Golden State)

I am going to start with Corey Kispert. He is currently held on 4.2% of rosters and averaged 18 points, 3.5 assists, and 2.8 rebounds over the last 15 days on 47.2 FG% and 48.4 3P%. High-efficiency shooting nights will be his MO. If he is going to continue to play like this he will continue to build confidence through starts and shooting nights. He has always been a great shooter, so the Wizards constantly playing him lower minutes this season when they’ve seriously needed shooting is hilarious. Well, explains why the Pistons aren’t the worst team in the league anymore.

Ayo has taken a huge leap, and I am happy for him. Watching him play at Illinois(ing, Go Green) and getting drafted was cool. He’s come around now as a shooter, and producing with his level of athleticism and ability to do other stuff with the ball than score. He is averaging 10.5 PPG/2.7 RPG/2.6 APG on 49.5 FG%/40.8%/77.9%. The Bulls having Coby White and Ayo Dosunmu in the backcourt is a crazy athletic duo. Bet on that.

Brandin Podziemski has lost favor since hitting a huge cold streak over the last month or so. He was top five in the Rookie of the Year race. Now, he’s back to getting hot and rebounding for a guard at an incredible pace. The bonuses in rebounds and assists are a big reason to pick him up. Especially if you need a last-second keeper for the season.

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