The trade deadline is quickly approaching, and though it often brings more speculation than actual deals getting done, there are some young players who are worth speculating on a bit in advance of the deadline. A pair of Spurs have also emerged as valuable fantasy assets, and they should be the primary focus of fantasy owners this week.
For those looking for a streamer, Greg Monroe should remain in the rotation so long as Alex Len is sidelined by an ankle injury. He has showcased what he is capable of when given minutes in two games this week, posting big fantasy lines in each.
Kyle Anderson and Dejounte Murray
It makes sense to focus on the Spurs’ youngsters together for a few reasons. First, both seem to have secured a significant role with the team for the remainder of the season. Anderson has an increased role due to Kawhi Leonard’s injury while Murray has seen an uptick in value due to taking over the starting point guard position from Tony Parker. Neither will have especially high usage as LaMarcus Aldridge will remain the centerpiece of the offense, but they do enough across all categories to remain impact players. For example, over his past five games Murray has recorded multiple steals three times and has averaged 7.4 rebounds. Similarly, Anderson has averaged 2.2 steals pre game and 2.0 blocks per game over his past five. At this point, both are highly owned as well, but be sure to check your waiver wire as each could play a key role in fantasy leagues down the stretch.
Labissiere isn’t exactly a soaring stock, but despite a bumpy season to this point, he is now worth a look. After seeing his minutes dip drastically in November and December, Labissiere has averaged 24.1 minutes in January thanks to the Kings stated goal of turning more to their youth. With trade rumors swirling around he and many other members of the Kings, there is a strong chance he will continue to see minutes as the season wears on. Similarly to both Anderson and Murray, Labissiere isn’t likely to see a high number of field-goal attempts on a game to game basis. However, he has exhibited the ability to produce fantasy lines in a number of ways over his past four games, posting at least one block in each and more than five rebounds in two of the four. Labissiere is more of a speculative add at this point in the hopes of the trade deadline clearing the way for him to have a bigger role to close the season, whether that’s with the Kings or another team.
Kennard has also seen a nice jump in minutes in January due to both improved play as well as injuries to key role players in the Pistons’ rotation. With Avery Bradley shooting terribly from the field and likely still being hampered by an injury in addition to Reggie Bullock battling injury, Kennard has had the chance to see the court more. He’s taken advantage of that, shooting 51% from the field and 40% from 3-point range for the month. Teammates and coaches alike have taken note of Kennard’s strong performance and have advocated that he be more assertive in looking for his shot. Kennard is trending upward and if a rotation spot opens for him he will have a fantasy impact to close the season.
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