The Memphis Grizzlies were kind of a hot take for all those middle-round fantasy basketball sleepers. After Ja Morant, there was Jonas Valanciunas, and then a bunch of players that were drafted in the end game. Ranked near 200 in the preseason, Dillon Brooks was a fourth-year scoring threat who was weaker in peripheral categories. Nonetheless, he was on the floor nearly 30 minutes per game, and there’s low-key value to that. With Ja Morant out until late January or early February, Dillon Brooks has been feasting as the Grizzlies’ go-to guy. His usage rate is currently 27th best in the league, and he’s put up over 20 points in each of the last two games to go with some solid peripherals. Should you be looking at Brooks to feed your fantasy basketball team?

Availability: Brooks was drafted 143rd on average in the NFC, and Yahoo had him ranked near the 200s in the pre-season. As such, he’s available in about 30% of Yahoo leagues right now, and his trade value is pretty affordable. You can acquire Brooks without too much effort.

Usage:Β Brooks has the 27th best usage rate in the NBA right now, which of course is affected by the absence of Ja Morant. The Grizzlies are using Brooks — especially in the past few games — as their primary scorer. His ability to create seems to indicate that he’ll be relied on through the end of the month, and will likely slide into a secondary scorer position when Morant is fully healed and back on the court.

Efficiency:Β Imagine Ricky Rubio being your primary scorer. Did you need a towel to clean up that lunch you just chundered? Sure, Brooks is serving in a creator role, but sometimes creators are messy. With a .398 FG%, Brooks will harm your FG% category, which is one of the most difficult categories to win. If you’re in a center-heavy build with a high FG%, you can easily take on Brooks without worrying about the mess he’ll make from his shots crashing to the ground.

Future Fantasy Impact:Β Brooks has shown that he’s an impact maker for the Grizzlies, and Memphis has a +1.3 offensive rating when Brooks is on the court compared to off-the-court. Of course, that’s probably biased because…who else is there to create when Morant is injured? Justise Winslow will be back at some point and compete for time with Brooks, too. So, Brooks has his window of opportunity to shine — and that window is right now — otherwise, a healthy Grizzlies team will start to dramatically reduce his playing time.

Takeaway: If you’re strong in FG% and are in one of the 30% of leagues where Brooks is on the waiver wire, go grab him right now. If you’re rostering Brooks, you might want to give him another week to grind some points before entertaining trade offers. You know that Morant and Winslow are going to cut into Brooks’ ridiculous usage rate, so you’re looking at his ceiling peaking sooner than later. For dynasty leagues, Brooks is a bit of a boring acquisition due to his poor shooting efficiency, and you might want to trade him now as opposed to waiting for intangibles [future injuries, open roster spots] to materialize.

If you have any questions, drop them below! Thanks for reading and I’ll see you next week.

  1. Juan Canasta says:
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    Ross was performing above his career averages anyway but he’s really fallen apart since Fultz went down. Bazley’s got potential and was much hyped but seems like every good stretch is followed by several putrid games. And I don’t think I should continue to roster LaMelo, Smart, and Bazley as it’s basically punting FG almost every week.

    Wondering whether to drop Ross and/or Bazley (I’d rather trade than drop Smart) for any of the players below? The only hitch for Bazley is he’d be a super cheap keeper (we keep up to 3), but so would some of the names below…

    Available: Tyus, Beasley, L.Walker, Maxey, Diallo, Clarke, Precious, Olynyk, Plumlee, or Kanter?

    Team in a 12-team, h2h, 9-cat keeper:
    Lowry, Smart, LaMelo, Beal, Ross, Harris, Bazley, Barnes, Wood, Jokic, Vala

    • everywhereblair

      everywhereblair says:
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      Hey Juan —

      Unless you want to really overhaul your roster — which is fine if you do — I think you give the roster a bit of time to breathe. It’s the start of a long season and Covid and ravaging some teams.

      Ross is a player that I’d hold on to and suffer through, because his track record is too good to give up on now. I have no problem dropping Bazley for Beasley (hehe!) because the Wolves are also in transition and Beasley will get some good minutes for a bit. I envision that “last” roster spot will cycle through a number of players depending on what you need. Punt FG% is a fine strategy if that’s what you have…imagine like a game of cards…you need to work with the hand you’re dealt, right? LaMelo is less than a dozen games into his career, and you’ve got some upside FG% players to work with — things might turn around in February and then you’re ready to go! Otherwise, that Bazley/Beasley spot should just churn to aim for any category you might need, or grab the hot hand.

      Good luck and thanks for checking in!

  2. fantasy-sleeper says:
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    Hey good piece, but I’ll say he just a short time streamer. Guy is a walking black hole with poor shot selection and high TO. He is like top 160 right now and if u ignore FG, u will get around top 75. And the biggest problem – nobody wants to trade for him for the same reasons.

    • everywhereblair

      everywhereblair says:
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      Great minds think alike! Thanks for checking it out fantasy-sleeper!

      • fantasy-sleeper says:
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        Plot twist – scooped Brooks of the ww today πŸ˜€ Nurkic got injured and now my build is more like punt FG… Fantasy bball world is twisted and wicked, man πŸ™

        • everywhereblair

          everywhereblair says:
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          That’s the best build of all — flexible managers!

          The contrarian attack on FG% being scarce, is that other managers will/can overload on it, and you can take advantages of inefficiencies in their rostering to better your team.

          So hopefully Brooks stays creative and keeps grinding that usage. Nothing wrong with short bursts to support your team. Good luck!

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