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Past Fantasy Outlooks
Monroe played for three different teams during the 2017-18 campaign, including Boston (26 games), Phoenix (20 games) and Milwaukee (5 games). In 51 contests combined, the veteran big man averaged 10.3 points, 6.9 rebounds, 2.2 assists and 0.5 blocks per game. Despite being a late summer addition, Monroe now joins a Toronto team that finished with the best overall record in the Eastern Conference last season and should at least have a minor role in the regular rotation. The Raptors recently traded for Kawhi Leonard in a package that sent young center Jakob Poeltl, along with DeMar DeRozan, in the corresponding move. Along with Poeltl, Toronto let Lucas Nogueira walk in free agency, which means Monroe will have plenty of opportunities to get on the floor. Still, with Jonas Valanciunas locked in as a starter, as well as the Raptors' propensity to give Serge Ibaka time at the position, Monroe could struggle to garner enough minutes to be more than a middle-of-the-road Fantasy commodity. That said, it is worth it to note that Monroe is just two years removed from averaging 15.3 points and 8.8 rebounds.
Among swirling trade rumors – which have surrounded him for the past couple years in Milwaukee – Monroe accepted a bench role with the team last season, drawing no starts, but produced well in limited action. In his 22.5 minutes, Moose posted 11.7 points, 6.6 boards, 2.3 assists and 1.1 steals per game while shooting 53.3 percent from the field. While he didn’t churn out flashy numbers at center, Monroe played a crucial passing role from the high post for the Bucks on offense and swiped quite a few steals on defense, posting 3.7 assists and 1.8 steals per 36 minutes. He didn’t play big minutes often, but excelled when he did, posting 17.7 points, 9.6 rebounds and 2.8 assists while shooting 57.6 percent from the field in games where he saw at least 30 minutes. Though the Bucks are dealing with a logjam at center -- with John Henson, Monroe, Thon Maker and Spencer Hawes all arguably deserving of minutes – Monroe’s role is likely the safest considering the ball ran through him so often in the Bucks’ scheme. The 6-foot-11 big man is probably worth consideration in mid-to-late rounds of many Fantasy drafts and can make for a sneaky DFS play when he’s in line for extended run.
Milwaukee was a surprising landing spot for Monroe in free agency last summer, with the big man spurning other larger-market clubs to ink a three-year, $50 million deal with the Bucks. The team signed Monroe with the hope that he’d end the organization’s revolving door at center, and while he largely produced as expected, he was a poor fit in the Bucks’ offensive system. The lack of stretch four types on the roster often resulted in crowding down low whenever Monroe was on the court, an issue that was all too familiar for him when he played next to Andre Drummond in Detroit. And despite possessing the stout body of a prototypical center, Monroe graded out as a poor defender and didn’t provide much of a rim-protecting presence, despite his 0.8 blocks per game being a career high. Those shortcomings notwithstanding, Monroe was a bully on the low block as usual, averaging 15.3 points and 8.8 boards per game, and a skilled passer for a center, with an average of 2.3 assists per game. Those numbers certainly give Monroe appeal to a number of teams and made him especially useful in the fantasy realm, but it doesn’t appear the Bucks are as bullish on ‘Moose.’ Though Monroe remains in line to open the season as the team’s starting center, he’s reportedly been shopped aggressively throughout the summer and seems likely to be traded at some point in 2016-17 so the Bucks can cash out on him before he (likely) declines his $17.8 million player option for 2017-18. Given his shaky standing with the Bucks, there’s reason to believe Monroe’s playing time will plunge further from last season’s 29.3 minutes per game, especially with backup centers Miles Plumlee and John Henson both signed to high-dollar, multi-year deals of their own. Monroe’s fantasy productivity may thus be more limited than normal when the season begins, but if he indeeds lands with a team where he’d presumably be a better fit, it might be worthwhile for fantasy owners to pursue him in a trade of their own.
After spending five productive seasons with the Pistons, Monroe signed a three-year, $50 million deal with the Bucks as a free agent this offseason. At only 25 years old, Monroe enters the Bucks organization as the oldest starter on the roster, and he'll immediately step in as the team's top interior scoring option. In 2014-15, Monroe averaged 15.9 points and 10.2 rebounds over 69 starts and 31 minutes per game, helping to energize an otherwise pedestrian Pistons offense. The knock against Monroe has always been his lack of a reliable jumpshot, particularly outside of the painted area. Former coach Stan Van Gundy remarked this summer that the Pistons never implored Monroe to develop an outside game, however, instead allowing the big man to operate around the basket, where he's most comfortable. With Andre Drummond no longer at his side, Monroe will be able to play his natural center spot, keeping him closer to the rim on both ends. Last season, he struggled to stick with rangier stretch fours like Kevin Love and LaMarcus Aldridge, whose versatility as jump-shooters challenged Monroe's mobility. The 6-11 Monroe improved to a career-best 75 percent from the free-throw line last season, and he's probably the best bet to lead the Bucks in free throw attempts. Monroe posted 35 double-doubles in 2014-15 - good for 12th in the NBA - and as the picture of durability in his role, he looks to be a valuable starting center option in a complementary system.
Monroe's fourth campaign with the Pistons was nearly identical to his previous two years. The 24-year-old power forward was once again a double-double machine, ranking 16th in the NBA with 35 double-doubles. He finished 2013-14 with averages of 15.2 points and 9.3 rebounds in 32 minutes per game. Monroe also proved to be one of the most durable big men in the league, appearing in all 82 games, and he has now missed just three contests in four seasons. A skilled passing big man, Monroe saw his assists drop from a career-high mark of 3.5 helpers per game to 2.1 last season, as new teammates Brandon Jennings and Josh Smith were the primary facilitators on the squad. Monroe also struggled with inefficiency again, shooting 50 percent from the field and 66 percent from the line. While his field-goal percentage doesn't appear too low, he should be more efficient considering the majority of his shots come at the rim. On defense, Monroe is a solid source of steals (1.1), but his lack of athleticism and verticality doesn't lead to many blocked shots (0.6). Monroe was a restricted free agent this summer. Instead of working out a long-term deal, he has verbally committed to a one-year qualifying offer with the Pistons. That means Monroe will be playing for a big payday next summer. The Pistons have done a good job upgrading their three-point shooting, and improved spacing should lead to more efficient numbers in the post for Monroe. Entering his fifth season, Monroe remains a nightly double-double threat, who holds value in most formats despite his struggles with inefficiency and defensive production.
Monroe had a solid season in his 2012-13 campaign despite not living up to some of the hype of a potential breakout year. He averaged 16.0 points (49 percent from the field, 69 percent from the line), 9.6 rebounds, 3.5 assists, 1.3 steals and 0.7 blocks in 33 minutes per game. The fact that Monroe did not break out completely last season left owners on a sour note, but it could mean that his inevitable breakout year is coming this season. Despite the addition of Josh Smith and the emergence of Andre Drummond crowding the frontcourt, Monroe still has the potential to showcase his best stuff due to his uncanny ability to pass and rack up assists as a big man, in addition to getting his hands dirty on the defensive end with steals. With new point guard Brandon Jennings at the helm of the offense, the Pistons may take a run-and-gun approach which would allow a skilled passing forward like Monroe to thrive with two athletic frontcourt mates in Smith and Drummond. Monroe will be just 23 years of age heading into his fourth season in the NBA, and his breakout season may come sooner than later.
With a breakout season in 2011-12, Monroe solidified himself as the Pistons’ primary building block and one of the more intriguing young big men to target in fantasy. In just his second season in the NBA, the Georgetown product put together averages of 15.4 points, 9.7 rebounds, 2.3 assists and 1.3 steals while showing effectiveness from both the floor (52.1) and charity stripe (73.9). He showed vast improvements in his offensive game during his sophomore season, taking and hitting mid-range jumpers with confidence while also being able to take most opposing big men to the rack and finish with a sweeping, left-handed baby hook. While athletic, Monroe isn’t a high-flyer and spends most of his time below the rim. This has resulted in an average of just 0.6 blocks per game through his first two seasons. As his defensive game develops, Monroe will start swatting away more shots, but he’ll never be an elite shot blocker like other big men. Instead, Monroe will rely on his ability to rack up good amounts of steals and assists – both of which are a rare treat from a center-eligible player. The Pistons will continue to give Monroe more of the load to shoulder, so his best days should be ahead of him. If you’re looking to go young in your fantasy frontcourt, you’ll be hard-pressed to find many up-and-coming big men more attractive than Monroe.
Relegated to a reserve role for most of the first half of the season, Monroe initially struggled to find his footing in the NBA. He averaged 5.4 points and 5.2 rebounds in 32 games off the bench. It wasn’t until Monroe was promoted to the starting lineup that he truly blossomed. In 48 starts, Monroe averaged 12.0 points, 9.1 rebounds, 1.4 steals and 0.7 blocks. The 21-year-old out of Georgetown turned into a double-double machine after the All-Star break, recording 14 in 25 post-break games. Monroe isn’t terribly athletic and often plays below the rim, so he might never be an elite rebounder or shot blocker, but he has active hands and has the ability to be one of the better thieves among pivots. Although his assist numbers (1.3) weren’t impressive during his rookie campaign, Monroe is also a quality passer for a big man and should post decent numbers in that category as his game matures. The Pistons are in full-blown rebuilding mode, and Monroe figures to be one of the team’s centerpieces. He’s among the better up-and-coming centers in fantasy and should be a nightly double-double threat for years to come.
The Pistons selected Monroe with the seventh overall pick in the 2010 Draft. At 6-11, 247, the Georgetown product will provide the Pistons with much needed size in the frontcourt. Monroe’s scoring tools are still a bit raw and he lacks the explosiveness of many big men in today’s NBA, but he makes up for those weaknesses with a high basketball IQ, great passing ability, and an underrated ability to clean the glass. Monroe may not have a huge role with the team to start the year, but he could develop into a decent fantasy play by midseason.
More Fantasy News
Plays five minutes in Game 5 loss
Monroe managed two points (1-3 FG, 0-1 3Pt) and one rebound in five minutes during Tuesday's 125-89 Game 5 loss to the Raptors.
Cleared to play
Expects to play in Game 3
No longer available to return