Fantasy Hoops: Booker, Lin, Murray

The first quarter of the 2016/17 campaign is just about in the books and Hoops Rumors is examining the fantasy basketball landscape in order to help you win your league.  Check back weekly for more fantasy basketball analysis.

Fantasy Goodness In Brooklyn

Trevor Booker signed with the Nets on a two-year, $18MM deal over the summer knowing he would not be competing for a title or even a playoff berth. He believed in what new GM Sean Marks was building and wanted to help the franchise build a winning culture. “I was comfortable with the whole situation,” Booker said “I bought into what they are doing.”

Booker took control of Brooklyn’s starting power forward position, something that wasn’t a given entering the season, and in the process, he has become a valuable fantasy asset. Booker has been solid in pretty much every category this season. He’s knocked down 54.8% of his shots this season, which is second in the league among power forwards and when he gets to the line, he’s nailing 75.0% of those attempts. The 28-year-old is averaging career highs in points, rebounds and assists per game and he has more steals per game than any big man not named Draymond Green.

The production should continue because of the Nets’ style of play. New head coach Kenny Atkinson previously worked under Mike Budenholzer, a disciple of Gregg Popovich, and has implemented many of the Spurs’ concepts into his offense. The Nets rank second in the league in pace—a metric which measures possessions per 48 minutes. That’s up drastically from last season, where the team was tied with the sluggish Pistons for 20th in the league.

Booker has been Paul Millsap-like this season, quietly notching solid games on a nightly basis. He’s owned in slightly less than two-thirds of ESPN leagues, but that figure should be much higher. As the season progresses and the Nets lose more games, Booker runs the risk of seeing his minutes reduced, as the team will likely look to give its younger guys more run. Until then, fantasy owners should enjoy his success and he should be in lineups every time the Nets play.

Here’s more fantasy analysis from around the league:

  • Keep an eye on Jeremy Lin‘s status. There’s no timetable on his return to the lineup, though Marks said (via the team’s Facebook page) that he suspects it’ll be “pretty soon.” Lin, who signed with the Nets on a three-year, $36MM deal over the summer, thrived during the first couple weeks of the season before suffering a hamstring injury. He accumulated 15.0 points, 6.2 assists and 1.4 steals per game while shooting a respectable 44.8% from the field. Now is the time to stash him, as the Nets’ style of play will make him a valuable fantasy contributor so long as he’s healthy enough to play.
  • The Grizzlies signed Toney Douglas on Monday, but he shouldn’t be on the fantasy radar just yet. Andrew Harrison currently carries the most value among the team’s guards. He’s a streaming option while Mike Conley remains sidelined.
  • Keep tabs on T.J. Warren, who’s available in 59% of ESPN leagues, as he was a top-12 small forward before a head injury sidelined him. He doesn’t have a timetable for his return, though he took part in some on-court drills today. The Suns lead the league in pace and Warren is a natural scorer who can take advantage of the extra possessions.
  • Jamal Murray had a sound game against the Sixers on Monday night and he’s a nice streaming option this week. The Nuggets will take on the Nets on Wednesday before traveling to Washington on Thursday.
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