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Category Strategy: Motown Calderon

James Anderson

James Anderson

James Anderson is a University of Minnesota graduate, with allegiances to the Packers, Brewers, Bucks (sigh) and Gophers (double sigh). He is an editor and scribe at Rotowire.com, primarily focused on basketball and baseball. In 2013 he was a FSWA finalist for Fantasy Basketball writer of the year.

By now, you've probably seen the three-way trade between the Grizzlies, Raptors, and Pistons broken down a number of ways from a fantasy hoops perspective, but just to get it on record, I'm going to offer my two cents.

Rudy Gay - The notion that Gay's fantasy value is trending upward after this trade is a hard argument for me to buy. He was 13th in the league with 16.4 field goals attempted per game while a member of the Grizzlies, and somehow he's now going to start taking 18 or 20 shots a game now that he's on the Raptors? I could maybe see that happening (although in his first game as a Raptor he attempted exactly 16 shots), but how good are his looks going to be? He'll be playing with lesser table setters - Mike Conley strikes me as a better facilitator than Kyle Lowry (a purported franchise point guard, who still had a teammate averaging 7.4 assists per game in Jose Calderon), and Marc Gasol might be the best passing big man in the league. Gay went from a team where he had a lot of great looks playing around Conley, Gasol, and Zach Randolph, to a team where his two best teammates are the mercurial Lowry and DeMar DeRozan, who's never been accused of making his teammates better.
Fantasy Value: Stays the same.

Jose Calderon - In my opinion, the most interesting piece of this trade is Calderon. He is still pretty underrated from a straight basketball sense, but fantasy owners are well aware of what he brings to the table - excellent assists per minute. Now he'll be the leading facilitator on a team with more appealing offensive weapons in Greg Monroe, Brandon Knight (who should play very well off the ball with Calderon), Andre Drummond, Rodney Stuckey, and Kyle Singler. Calderon was seeing less than 29 minutes per game in Toronto, and it's hard to see him seeing any less run on the Pistons, who are said to view Calderon as a potential long-term option.
Fantasy Value: Slight increase.

Tayshaun Prince - It's hard to make a case for Prince gaining much fantasy value from this trade. He was averaging 32-plus minutes per game for the Pistons and failing to put up significant fantasy production. Is he really going to see any more playing time or opportunity on a better team with more weapons surrounding him? The case for Prince's fantasy value seeing a spike is that he'll be rejuvenated by being trade from a non-contender to a contender, but he doesn't strike me as someone who was necessarily mailing it in on the Pistons.
Fantasy Value: Stays the same.

Ed Davis - Probably the biggest loser in this deal, Davis averaged 13.9 points and 8.1 rebounds per game while shooting 54.7 percent from the field in 33.5 minutes per game in January for the Raptors, and now he'll be the backup big man behind two top-tier options in Randolph and Gasol. Davis is probably in line to see the same kind of run Marreese Speights was getting in Memphis (less than 20 minutes per game) and is now droppable in standard leagues.
Fantasy Value: Significant decrease.

Austin Daye - Only ever a deep league option, Daye was never able to stand out on a Pistons team that never had the talent that is currently on this Grizzlies team. Look for Daye to be used as a three-point specialist for the Grizzlies and see less than 20 minutes per game.
Fantasy Value: Stays the same.

CATEGORY STRATEGY

Each week, this article highlights players who are widely available in standard leagues that can help in specific roto categories. However, the information is still highly relevant in points leagues and deeper leagues. Remember, while each player highlighted can help in a specific category, there's no guarantee for production in other areas.

POINTS

Jerryd Bayless, SG, Grizzlies - Bayless has benefitted greatly from the Grizzlies' two salary dumps, averaging 16 points on almost 50 percent shooting over his past five games, while seeing almost 37 minutes per game. Even in Tayshaun Prince's first game with Memphis, Bayless still attempted 13 shots and played 36 minutes, so his ability to help fantasy squads should remain for the rest of the season, and he's owned in less than 20 percent of Yahoo! leagues.

REBOUNDS

Earl Clark, SF, Lakers - In each of his last three games, Clark has played more than 30 minutes, and he is averaging 10 rebounds over that span, making him very valuable in roto leagues because of his small forward eligibility. As Dwight Howard continues to have shoulder issues, Clark should have no problem seeing enough run to make him very ownable for the rest of the season in standard leagues, and he's available in almost 75 percent of Yahoo! leagues.

ASSISTS

Alexey Shved, SG, Timberwolves - With Shved healthy again, he should once again be looked at as a great assists provider from the two guard spot. In his last two games, he has seen 25-plus minutes and averaged seven assists, which, given his position, makes him a hot commodity in 12-team roto leagues.

STEALS

Thabo Sefolosha, SG, Thunder - Over the past two weeks, only Ty Lawson has averaged more steals than Sefolosha, who is available in the vast majority of standard leagues. He doesn't contribute much elsewhere, but he's the best option if your team really needs a spike in steals.

BLOCKS

Bismack Biyombo, PF, Bobcats - Biyombo is averaging almost 30 minutes per game over his last five contests, which has translated into a couple four-block games and a 2.6 blocks per game average over that span. Like many specialists, he can be erratic in other categories, but nobody in the league has averaged more blocks than him over the past two weeks, and he's available in 80 percent of leagues.

THREE-POINTERS

Nick Young, SG, 76ers - Young is taking full advantage of his extended minutes with Jason Richardson (knee) out of the lineup and Dorell Wright struggling to see significant run. In his last five games, Young is averaging 18.2 points and 2.2 three-pointers while shooting 40.7 percent from beyond the arc. He appears to be doing enough to warrant a significant role in Philly's rotation even when Richardson returns, and he's available in more than 70 percent of leagues.

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