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NBA Fantasy Mailbag

Mailbag: Stretch Run Stories

by Ethan Norof
Updated On: October 4, 2018, 4:04 pm ET

Question 1: Evan Fournier has been a pretty big disappointment for his ADP and current ranking. Is it going to get any better?


Drafted in the same range as Jae Crowder, Otto Porter, Bradley Beal, Avery Bradley and Devin Booker, Fournier’s new $85M contract hasn’t exactly promoted him to a new fantasy echelon. He’s been more or less the same player we saw last season for the majority of this one—while being less efficient in the process—and that doesn’t make for satisfaction when there are heightened expectations.


Serge Ibaka’s departure isn’t much of a factor when Terrence Ross comes in and has the neon green light to shoot, so Fournier is unlikely to suddenly evolve into a new player at this point in the campaign.  


Question 2: Will Sweet Lou Williams average 20-plus points in less than 30 minutes per game with the Houston Rockets?


It was quite the debut for Sweet Lou with his new team, but it’s hard to see how the consistency will hold up in his new surroundings. Williams played a role in LaLaland that he will not enjoy with a more talented Rockets team, and that’s why selling high on the veteran’s services prior to the trade deadline was the move to make.


Question 3: Do you think the Cavs will make a push to sign Andrew Bogut?


For a team that entered the trade deadline with limited—and that’s being kind—chips to deal, it sure feels like Cleveland is going to wind up making some meaningful roster improvements.


Aside from previously acquiring Kyle Korver and bringing aboard Derrick Williams at minimal cost, the Cavs now stand to sign the freshly bought out Deron Williams—assuming he clears waivers—and potentially snag Bogut’s services as well. The fit in Cleveland makes sense without another true center behind Tristan Thompson, but the Cavs will be forced to do some roster massaging if and when new entrants are added into the mix. 


No matter where he lands, Bogut carries very limited appeal as a fantasy asset.


Question 4: Who are some young pickups worth considering down the stretch?


Marquese Chriss: Could be a multi-cat monster so long as he stays out of foul trouble.


Denzel Valentine: More of a 14-team league add right now and 12-team watch, but it sure feels like the Bulls are committed to getting him minutes and the versatility—both in terms of position and his potential production—is intriguing.


Ivica Zubac: Might be guaranteed 25-plus minutes nightly moving forward in the Magic Johnson regime. He’s not on the waiver wire in competitive standard formats for a reason.


Richaun Holmes: On the 14-team radar after an enormous effort on Friday and capable of racking up defensive stats.


Caris LeVert: Big minutes headed his way without Bojan Bogdanovic around.


Cameron Payne: The Bulls have every reason to start developing him immediately.


Josh Richardson: He’s going to get minutes at multiple positions and has already illustrated his value as a multi-cat contributor. Don’t let his injury issues or ice-cold return dissuade you from investing.


T.J. Warren: No P.J. Tucker, no problem. It’s all about the youth in Phoenix.


Willie Cauley-Stein: Nobody is sleeping on WCS after his 29 & 10 breakout in his first game after the All-Star Break.


Question 5: With Reggie Jackson struggling, is Ish Smith worth stashing away?


There is no question that this situation has only grown more fascinating since R-Jax’s non-move on deadline day. In Detroit’s first game after the break, Stan Van Gundy’s decision to stick with Smith spoke volumes, and it doesn’t feel like SVG would hesitate to remove Jackson from the starter’s role if necessary.  


The boss was non-committal on playing Smith over Jackson before he was trying feverishly to find an appealing deal, and it doesn’t feel as if Jackson has done enough to earn the benefit of the doubt since getting onto the court this season.


If you have an open roster spot or a player facing a downward trend, grabbing Smith to see how it shakes out is the proactive move. 

Ethan Norof
Follow Ethan Norof on Twitter @Ethan_Norof for more fantasy basketball analysis, advice and all things Los Angeles Lakers.