Weekly Thoughts I Fantasy Basketball I Razzball
Welcome to the 14th installment of Weekly Yinteresting Thoughts (WYT). In these posts, I’ll be sharing some of my random thoughts, opinions, and questions about the NBA landscape as it pertains to fantasy basketball. Feel free to drop your comments and questions below! Let’s get started.
This week hopefully marks the return of two high-impact wings in Cameron Johnson and Khris Middleton. The former flashed signs of breaking out before going down the very next game with a torn meniscus. The latter has frustrated owners all season on account of a relatively high (but still considered cheap on draft day) 4th round draft pick. And both have managed to return before Brandon Ingram has. Let’s take a look.
Johnson was on the cusp of a breakout in a 116-107 Suns’ win against the Timberwolves back in early November. He produced 29 points on seven triples with four stocks with season-high 24% usage. Devin Booker, Chris Paul, and Mikal Bridges were all active. As the third or fourth option on this team, Johnson is a young player who shoots a ton of threes while being active on the defensive end. His upside is mid-round value and may have even been dropped in your leagues. If he’s sitting on your waiver wire, you should grab him immediately. He will have minutes restrictions for a while, but once he’s back to his usual role, there’s immense upside to be found here. The Suns are, however, currently crumbling. They’re 1-9 in their last ten games, all without Booker, and are sitting at 12th in the West. If there’s any chance of turning the ship around, Johnson will be an integral part of that along with Booker’s return.
Middleton, on the other hand, is a bit of a known substance. But familiarity does not insinuate mediocrity. Middleton is a consistent early-mid round finisher in fantasy basketball due to strong points, threes, assists, and both percentages with unproblematic turnovers. Has Father Time come for Middleton? I don’t think so. Injuries have capped his upside by preventing him from consistently staying on the court. He’s in the middle of his second stint this season with the Wisconsin Herd, the G-League team in Milwaukee. He should be returning soon and can hopefully catalyze Giannis Antetokounmpo’s return to form. Fortunately, the Bucks are not suffering from Middleton’s unavailability and Antetokounmpo’s relatively lackluster play this season as they currently are second seed in a very loaded Eastern Conference. I think he’s also a buy-low. I’d be willing to ship out a top-80 player for him.