What is up everybody!? The fantasy NBA season is almost into the playoffs, and I’m already dumping talent on my dynasty NBA teams. Kawhi Leonard led my team to a championship in the abbreviated 2020 season, but with most of my team on the IL in 2021, I shipped Leonard off to begin my rebuilding process (contracts involved, escalating costs, etc). You might be in a situation where the playoffs are within reach, and you’re looking to gain that last player who’ll get you through the door. Last week, I highlighted Bogan Bogdanovic, who jumped 20% in number of fantasy rosters in one week. Now either I broke the internet and caused that good trouble, or perhaps I’m just one of the many islands making up the Bogan hype archipelago. This week, I bring you Darius Garland, who’s looking really sweet right now. Hop on board while I open the Garland Sweet Shack!
Availability: Darius Garland is rostered in 72% of Yahoo leagues, which…isn’t awesome. I know, I know, usually, I’m looking at pretty rarely rostered guys. But if 3/10 readers out there can grab Garland right now, that’s a win. If you want somebody who is less rostered, search my author archive and grab Isaac Okoro or one of the other low-rostered players.
Post-All-Star All-Star: Since the All-Star break, Darius Garland is shooting .462 with 18 points per game, adding .841 from the line, and .433 from 3-point land with 2 trés per game. How in the world is this guy available in 30% of leagues? Because he plays for the Cavaliers, which is about as boring and low-key as you can get right now. Also, RotoWire called him “inconsistent.” Yeah, if I can get those stats off the waiver wire during a playoff run, I’m taking that every time.
Usage: 25.3%! Run the offense through this guy! That’s the kind of elite usage that permits huge games, and he’s topped 20 points 4 times in the past 10 games, with a 37 point showing the other night. With 34 minutes per game, he’s getting an enormous amount of time to contribute across the court.
Assists: Darius isn’t just about scoring: he helps others score too! Nearly 6 dimes a game right now.
Steals: I could do the whole 3-and-D thing again but that’s kind of disingenuous to his primary usage. 1.2 steals per game since the break, and 2 trés per game…if he wasn’t scoring 18 points per game I’d be shouting 3-and-D.
Fantasy Takeaway: As I sorted the stats searching for over-looked players, I was stunned to find Darius Garland available in so many leagues. Yeah, the Cavaliers aren’t sexy, and Garland may not be a great dynasty basketball investment because Cleveland will probably blow up their roster in the off-season. But for redraft managers looking for an edge, Garland is available in nearly 30% of leagues and he’s got numbers that are A-Team worthy…if not nearly in the top 25. With that kind of value on the waiver wire, you gotta take a look now and see if you can be daring with Darius.