Role players worth believing in
Oh thank God football is over. Yeah, I said it.
What a dumb sport, you want me to run around on grass and get tackled to the ground? Have you ever heard of grass stains? No thank you. And what’s up with that ball? It’s not even round!
Now we, as a species, can focus on everyone’s favorite fantasy sport format – dynasty basketball. What’s not to love about it? There are star rookies, aging Hall of Famers, and upstart role players. You love it, I love it, we all love it.
Now clearly I’m being factitious, because fantasy football is fantastic to play. But that’s not why we’re here. We’re here because we’re fanatics. We know the potential of the role players on every team. What’s the only problem with this hobby?
Do you have ANY idea how hard it is to find someone to talk about role players like Goga Bitadze with IRL?
“IRL” means “in real life,” it’s what the kids are saying these day. Gee wiz, they are having so much fun using acronyms. Is this what they do on Tik Tok? SOMEONE EXPLAIN YOUTH CULTURE TO ME.
For real though, did you see those NBA players try and do Tik Tok dances at All-Star weekend? Pure #content gold.
Well that came out of nowhere and had zero purpose, but the important thing is we’re moving forward together. What we’re actually here to talk about, is the stretch run and how to use it to your advantage for this season and beyond…
…In a dynasty basket league. This a dynasty sports site in case you were not aware and only ended up here because my mom made you read this story.
Well, as the saying goes, behind every great NBA player there’s a slightly less talented one who, given the opportunity and minutes, could be a very useful player on your team. I know, it’s a mouthful. That’s why you never hear anyone use it despite how often I yell it at people on the subway.
Basically, yes if a player gets traded, his value is going to change. But what about the guy behind him who is finally unearthed? Or what happens when a player is thrust into starting role because their team is tanking and want to see what they have in him? There are real buying opportunities here that aren’t as obvious as a star rookie getting playing time, or a superstar returning from injury. Not every move needs to be a grand slam home run, sometimes you just need to get on base.
That was a baseball reference. Baseball is a sport that is played outside and, as a league, is in a state of absolute chaos (yes, there is a fantasy sport for that and we cover it here too, so go read it after you finish this rambling manifesto I call an advice column).
These guys aren’t going to turn into the next LeBron, but if things break right, they could be solid contributors for you now and in the years to come. Every team needs role players, and as the season windows down, they could turn into stars for your team.
Malik Beasley – Timberwolves
You and I are both thinking it, so let’s just say it out loud at the same time – Malik Beasley was wasting away in Margaritaville.
…Did you not say Margaritaville? You said Denver. Interesting choice, thought we were on the same page but, hey I get it.
Anyway, since Beasley was freed from Denver’s ridiculously deep bench and given room to operate in Minnesota, he’s flourished. He’s up to over 33 minutes a game after barely getting 18 in Denver. His scoring is way up, to over 23 points a game, and it’s sustainable. He’s launching 10 threes a game, and over 8 free throws a game. Yes, D’Angelo Russell will cut into some of his usage, but with Karl-Anthony Towns going down with an injury, there are still plenty of shots for him.
The Timberwolves are a sinking ship (hot take) and have been written off by a lot of people so there’s a chance no one in your league is paying attention. If Beasley is still out there, grab him now. Someone has to do some scoring on this team after all.
Malik Monk – Hornets
Monk was a great scorer in college, came to the NBA and immediately became not a great basketball player. But hey, now he’s finally getting a chance and has been sneaky good. Is anyone noticing? Probably not, which is why this is your chance to grab him. He’s up to 28 minutes a game with over 16 points per and almost 4 rebounds over the last month. And the Hornets are committed to letting their young guys get some experience, which is great news for Monk. By this time next year, hopefully he is a role player no longer!
Wait, what? He’s suspended indefinitely for violating the NBA’s drug program?
Well shit, I had this whole thing written and ready to go. Now who am I supposed to write about?
(Even though he’s suspended, I think he’s still a sneaky pick up if you’re in the middle of a big rebuild in a very deep league.)
Bruce Brown Jr. – Pistons
Poor Detroit, they have been stuck in mediocrity for years and only now have they FINALLY realized they should be rebuilding. Getting the 8-seed in the East is cool the first time, but if that’s what you max out as, you should try to do something different.
And that “something different” is finally playing the young guys and giving a role player like Brown a chance.. Andre Drummond is gone. Reggie Jackson is gone. Blake Griffin is on the shelf, and the tank is on for the Pistons. His minutes are up to over 34 a game in February and has the well-rounded game that could be a huge benefit to your team. Is he putting up peak Westbrook numbers? No. But he is averaging 10.4 points, 7.4 rebounds and 4.4 assists this month, and his numbers should only go up as he gets more consistent time.
Normally I wouldn’t suggest rostering a player on Detroit, but now that they’re giving the young guys a chance, Bruce Brown Jr. is a guy you want on your roster. Will he blow the doors off and single-handedly win you a category? No, but he is a steady contributor who can be the boost you need to win a playoff matchup.
Time To Wrap It Up
I know the season is winding down, and you may be hesitant to buy into random role players putting up good numbers for a week. These guys have shown they can consistently contribute to your team down the stretch, so don’t leave them on the wire too long Hot streaks are harder to identify in fantasy basketball than other sports so, dig a little deeper! One good week could be the difference between winning and losing. BETWEEN LIVING AND DYING!