Dr. A's Fantasy Basketball Mailbag: Questions in Week 14

Dr. A's Fantasy Basketball Mailbag: Questions in Week 14

This article is part of our NBA Observations series.

Chet Holmgren, Desmond Bane, Jabari Walker, Coby White, Jaren Jackson Jr. and Klay Thompson all made it into the Dr. A Mailbag column this week. Keep the questions coming at @docktora! Let's go. 

Top 5 players to target for the rest of the season in points leagues? KemitKyrie (@KemitKyrie)

I appreciate this question, but it's going to be tough to answer without knowing the size and format of your league. However, here are some guys I think could be primed for a big second half. 

Brandon Miller - Hornets are blowing it up, he's scored 20-plus in four straight games and might be the only untouchable player on the team. 

Vince Williams Jr. - He's having a January to remember, has proven he can play, and Jaren Jackson Jr. is the only Grizzly left to be shut down. I'm ALL IN on Vince-Will.

Sam Merrill - Merrill has quietly scored in double figures in nine of 10 games in January and has averaged 14.6 points, 4.1 rebounds, 3.0 assists, 0.6 steals and 4.0 triples this month. Maybe Caris LeVert comes back and ruins him, but Merrill should be rostered in a heck of a lot more leagues than he currently is (4.6% ESPN). 

Jonathan Kuminga - He hit 11-of-11 shots for the Warriors on his way to 25 points, nine rebounds, two assists, two steals and two blocks in 29 minutes on Wednesday. Yes, it was against the defenseless Hawks, but Steve Kerr has to

Chet Holmgren, Desmond Bane, Jabari Walker, Coby White, Jaren Jackson Jr. and Klay Thompson all made it into the Dr. A Mailbag column this week. Keep the questions coming at @docktora! Let's go. 

Top 5 players to target for the rest of the season in points leagues? KemitKyrie (@KemitKyrie)

I appreciate this question, but it's going to be tough to answer without knowing the size and format of your league. However, here are some guys I think could be primed for a big second half. 

Brandon Miller - Hornets are blowing it up, he's scored 20-plus in four straight games and might be the only untouchable player on the team. 

Vince Williams Jr. - He's having a January to remember, has proven he can play, and Jaren Jackson Jr. is the only Grizzly left to be shut down. I'm ALL IN on Vince-Will.

Sam Merrill - Merrill has quietly scored in double figures in nine of 10 games in January and has averaged 14.6 points, 4.1 rebounds, 3.0 assists, 0.6 steals and 4.0 triples this month. Maybe Caris LeVert comes back and ruins him, but Merrill should be rostered in a heck of a lot more leagues than he currently is (4.6% ESPN). 

Jonathan Kuminga - He hit 11-of-11 shots for the Warriors on his way to 25 points, nine rebounds, two assists, two steals and two blocks in 29 minutes on Wednesday. Yes, it was against the defenseless Hawks, but Steve Kerr has to realize that Kuminga needs minutes at some point this season. My trade deadline wish is for Kuminga and Cam Thomas to get traded to coaches who actually appreciate them, because they are both being held back by Kerr and Jacque Vaughn. 

GG Jackson - Santi Aldama (knee) was out last night, and Xavier Tillman (knee) played just 18 minutes for six points, four rebounds, a steal and three blocks. It probably won't take a whole lot for either one of those players to be shut down for the season, and Jaren Jackson Jr. is basically walking on eggshells as Memphis watches the season go down the drain. Jackson came through with 17 points, four rebounds and four triples on 5-of-9 shooting in 26 minutes on Wednesday, bouncing back from two duds. He's played well in three of his last four games and could end up back in the G League at any time, but he's a player I'm comfortable stashing wherever I can, especially if JJJ does end up getting shut down for the season. 

Honorable Mention - Bilal Coulibaly if the Wizards ever pack it in.

In 9 category H2H do you send Chet Holmgren, Tari Eason and Matisse Thybulle for Jalen Duren, Jerami Grant and Alex Caruso? Nitzan Livneh (@nitzanlivneh)

I'd like to know where Grant ends up at the trade deadline, and I love what Duren and Caruso (steals & blocks) are currently doing, but I think I'd rather just drop Eason and/or Thybulle and crash the waiver wire for replacements. Chet has just been too good, the Thunder are in first place in the West, and Holmgren looks like he's going to play all the way down to the wire. The uncertainty of Grant's and Caruso's future make this a little too risky for me, but I don't think it's a crazy trade if you really want to do it. 

Is Desmond Bane out for the year? Garet Dunivin (@garet_dunivin)

The truthful answer is that I just don't know. BUT… the Grizzlies are 17-27, no one is coming back to save their season, they know what Bane does (and can do), and there's certainly not any reason to rush him back. Additionally, once he is ready, there's not any real reason to run him out there to help win a few games and mess up the tanking plan, either. While I doubt he's done for the rest of the season, it wouldn't surprise me if they officially pull the plug at some point. I'll put his over/under for games played the rest of the way at 18. 

My bottom four players are Herb Jones, Isaiah Stewart, Andrew Wiggins and Jabari Walker - I need to drop two of them to activate Jabari Smith and Cade Cunningham tomorrow. Who do I drop? AK Brokerage Inc (@ak_huncho)

I'm dropping Jones and Wiggins, only because Beef Stew and Walker are kind of hot. It's a tough call, but I think Stew and Walker have clear paths to success the rest of the way, Jones has been kind of bland, and Wiggins looks like he's forgotten how to play basketball. 

Is Coby White a fantasy trade candidate while his value is so high or can he sustain it for the rest of the season? KG (@KG_3000)

It all depends on what moves Chicago makes at the deadline, but White has been pretty fun (and frustrating) to roster all season. And on nights when we get 'good Coby,' like when he hit 10-of-14 shots and four triples on his way to 26 points, 10 rebounds, nine assists and two steals like he did on Tuesday against the Suns, he looks like a fantasy game changer. On the other hand, if there was ever a time to strike when the iron is hot, it's right now. I'd float some lopsided offers out there and see if you can get any bites. But in a vacuum, I think White will maintain his value throughout the rest of the season. He's been an eighth-round fantasy value this season, so I'm not sure you're going to be able to break the bank by trading him, but it's probably worth a look. 

Coby White, Kyle Kuzma and Jaren Jackson Jr. for Trae Young, Tobias Harris and John Collins? I have Stephen Curry and Tyrese Haliburton so I could potentially lock up some cats every week. DC (@thedavid_the)

Jackson feels like a ticking time bomb to me, as in it simply feels like a shut down is coming at some point. If you're getting Trae, who is about to lose Dejounte Murray as a teammate, and Harris, I think this might be a solid deal for you. Especially since Kuzma is also a shutdown candidate. I'd probably try to drop Collins, as he's just not really crushing it in Utah. But in the end, I think I'd do the deal simply to get Murray-less Trae Young and let him rip. 

In a points league, who has more appeal considering all possible risks (trade/shutdown) between Spencer Dinwiddie and Klay Thompson rest of season? KemitKyrie (@KemitKyrie)

This is a tough one. I doubt the stubborn Warriors are going to throw in the towel on the season any time soon, while Dennis Smith Jr. seems to outplay Dinwiddie a couple times a week. I think I'm more comfortable with a scenario of Klay bouncing back in the second half with Dinwiddie fizzling, than vice versa. So my answer is that I trust Klay a little more than I do Dinwiddie. 

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Steve Alexander
Steve 'Doc' Alexander has been covering hoops for more than 20 years and recently joined Rotowire after spending his entire career at NBC Sports.
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