The 2016/17 campaign is approaching the half-way mark and Hoops Rumors is examining the fantasy basketball landscape in order to help you dominate the competition. Check back weekly for more fantasy basketball analysis.
Joel Embiid spent the last few weeks lobbying to become an All-Star. Off the court, the Sixers heavily campaigned for his All-Star candidacy, a crusade which included a Shirley Temple promotion night, and Embiid used the spotlight of both the pre-game and the post-game to promote himself.
Embiid filled his Twitter feed with cleverly designed responses and he even got the team’s former GM Sam Hinkie to throw him support.
On the court, he made a push toward his goal of taking an extra trip to New Orleans. He scored at least 20 points in each of his last nine games, a stretch in which he averaged 23.3 points, 8.4 rebounds and 2.4 blocks per game.
It’s not likely the effort grants him an All-Star appearance due to the lack of playing time, though his play remains impressive. Embiid has produced excellent numbers on a 28-minutes-per-game count, but it was reported earlier today that the restriction isn’t likely to be lifted. His fantasy value was expected to continue to increase as the season progressed, provided he remained healthy, but it appears his value may be at its peak.
So what should you do if you own Embiid in re-draft leagues? Conventional wisdom tells you to sell high since his fantasy value is more likely to decrease than it is to increase. If he had a shot at a full allotment of minutes, he could easily become a top-20 fantasy option, which would settle him into the Draymond Green–Kristaps Porzingis range. However, his numbers aren’t likely to improve drastically and that, coupled with his injury history, should make owners consider dealing him if the price is right.
His current production and minute restriction places him in the top-40 range, behind players such as Marc Gasol, Eric Bledsoe, Rudy Gobert, Myles Turner and Brook Lopez. Any of the aforementioned players are fantasy upgrades over Embiid. If rival owners are relishing in The Process’ hype, you could take advantage of it with a trade and improve your fantasy team.
Opting to keep the Cameroon native on your team remains a respectable option. He’s producing solid numbers and the Sixers continue to funnel him the ball, as his third-ranked usage rate indicates. Also, it’s probably fun to cheer for the big man when he’s on your squad. Still, savvy fantasy owners should always be on the lookout for a situation where a player’s hype doesn’t match his production because, in those situations, it’s likely that an opportunity to improve your fantasy team exists.
Here’s more fantasy analysis and notes from around the league:
- The Nuggets have given up the most assists and second most points to opposing guards over their last 10 contests. If Gary Harris is forced to miss additional time with his latest ailment, it’ll be difficult for them to improve in that area. Rookie Jamal Murray and 34-year-old Jameer Nelson would take on additional minutes and that’s not a recipe for better defense. After facing the Lakers tonight, the team will take on the Spurs and Clippers.
- Chris Paul will undergo surgery to repair a torn ligament in his left thumb and he’s expected to miss 6-8 weeks. Raymond Felton should take over the starting point guard duties and he’s worth an add for owners in need of point guard production. The Clippers will take on the Wolves (a team which is allowing the third most assists to opposing point guards over their last 10) on Thursday and the Nuggets on Saturday.
- Over his last six games, Ricky Rubio is averaging 12.8 assists and 2.5 steals per contest. The Wolves are reportedly looking to deal him, so enjoy his production now, but beware of the potential for a drop-off caused by an adjustment period to a new team.