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Fantasy Basketball Dynasty Risers - Week 4

Welcome back fantasy basketballers! We’re three weeks into the season now. Hopefully, your teams are sticking in the race. Or if you’re using this year to plummet in the standings for a top pick next year, then hopefully they aren’t!

In this weekly column, I will be highlighting four players whose dynasty stock has risen over the past week. It will include both young players breaking out and veterans who are fighting off father time and keeping their fantasy relevance alive.

While dynasty formats are the primary focus of this piece, the rise of each of the four players covered each week should also be noted by fantasy gamers in season-long leagues. So whether or not your league rolls over from year to year, this piece should still have plenty to offer on a weekly basis.

Editor's Note: Our incredible team of writers received five total writing awards and 13 award nominations by the Fantasy Sports Writers Association, tops in the industry! Congrats to all the award winners and nominees including NBA Writer of the Year, Best NFL Series, MLB Series, PGA Writer and Player Notes writer of the year. Be sure to follow their analysis, rankings and advice all year long, and win big with RotoBaller! Read More!

 

Grayson Allen (SG/SF, MIL)

While Khris Middleton has been sidelined due to a positive COVID-19 test, the Milwaukee Bucks have found a surprising amount of offensive firepower in the form of fellow guard/forward Grayson Allen. The former Blue Devil was traded to the Bucks this offseason after a pair of uneven seasons in Memphis. Last year, he was a fringe fantasy player as he averaged a career-high 10.6 points per game, but shot just 41.8% from the field.

Over the past week, Allen has been the Bucks’ top offensive player not named Giannis Antetokounmpo. In fact, he’s been one of the most efficient all-around offensive players across the league this past week. Over his last three games, he’s averaging 22.0 points and 4.7 three-pointers per game while shooting 59.5% from the field and 100% from the free throw strike. He’s also only committed one turnover across his last three games.

His shooting has been his best attribute as he’s been the perfect kickout option for Giannis and point guard Jrue Holiday. However, he’s also been very aggressive with the ball and has shown an ability to create on his own and score inside.

The 26-year-old needs to be rostered in all fantasy leagues. He should provide fantasy managers with solid scoring, threes and steals throughout the year, though his field goal percentage will surely taper off a bit. His upside for dynasty purposes isn’t particularly high, but he’s proving right now that when he has a big enough role, he can be a great asset. He’s in a contract year this year, so expect to see him continue to play extra motivated.

 

Gary Payton II (G, GSW)

Golden State Warriors guard Gary Payton II has been a surprising addition to the team’s rotation lately. The 28-year-old barely saw the floor last year, but the team has gotten a lot of value out of him lately as he's emerged as one of the Warriors' top bench players.

Payton is a high-flying off-ball guard who has a ton of defensive potential and a lot of offensive question marks. However, the team has found a way to play to his strengths on offense, creating plays where he can run to the rim and do what he does best.

Payton has scored in double figures in three of his past four games. His minutes have gone up in each contest, topping off at 21 minutes in his most recent game against the Atlanta Hawks on Monday. He led all Warriors bench players in minutes in that game. Over this recent four-game stretch, he’s shot 70.3% from the field while averaging 4.5 rebounds per game and 2.8 steals per game. Fouls have certainly been a problem for him. He fouled out of Monday’s game and has averaged 3.0 fouls per game over the past four games, despite playing around 19.0 minutes per contest.

There’s a lot of competition for playing time right now and once Klay Thompson returns, it won’t get any easier for Payton to find minutes. However, he’s carved out a unique role on the team as a disruptive wing defender who can finish strong at the rim. The team currently doesn’t have anyone else quite like him and that factor should allow him to continue to see the court while shooters like Damion Lee, Juan Toscano-Anderson and Moses Moody eat at each others’ minutes.

 

Furkan Korkmaz (SG/SF, PHI)

There’s no questioning that Philadelphia 76ers shooting guard/small forward Furkan Korkmaz can shoot the lights out on an NBA court. Through his four-plus years in the league, it’s just been a question of consistency, both in terms of Kormaz’s playing time and his own hot-and-cold shooting from beyond the arc.

This past week has really been no exception. Thanks to the numerous 76ers players sidelined due to health and safety protocols, Korkmaz has had to take on a much bigger role with the team. He’s played at least 32 minutes in each of his last three games and has come up with two standout performances and one complete dud.

Over the first two games of that three-game stint, he hit 12 of his 21 three-point attempts while notching 25 points and 19 points, respectively. He followed those two games up with a 2-for-18 shooting night where he hit just one of his 12 three-point attempts and mustered only five points in the game. He did at least manage to match a season-high with five assists.

The 76ers are putting a lot of trust in Korkmaz on the offensive end and that’s always something great to see from a fantasy perspective. While his minutes will go down once the team gets back to full strength, he’ll still have a big role and should continue to pour in threes and points, albeit with some field goal percentage concerns. However, my main interest with Korkmaz is the intriguing uncertainty around Philadelphia right now (don't tell '6ers die-hards I articulated it that way). Changes are likely coming in Philadelphia and Korkmaz could greatly benefit from a change of scenery or less competition for playing time if the team were to send away Ben Simmons in a package deal of sorts.

Korkmaz is an extremely gifted offensive player and this past week has highlighted his ability to take on a big offensive workload. He has the chance to be strong fantasy asset in the realm of an Evan Fournier or even Klay Thompson light if the right situation were to present itself.

 

Drew Eubanks (PF/C, SAN)

San Antonio Spurs power forward/center Drew Eubanks has been thrust into a starting role lately with Jakob Poeltl out due to health and safety protocols. Eubanks, a fourth-year pro out of Oregon State, has been doing his best Poeltl impression with the opportunity.

Over his three starts this past week, Eubanks averaged 9.7 points, 6.7 rebounds and 2.3 blocks per game while shooting 52.2% from the field. Here’s a quick look at some of those rim protecting skills he can offer the team:

The 24-year-old has all of the components of a sturdy and trustworthy 20 minute-per-game center who can own the glass while making opposing offenses think twice about attacking the rim.

If you’ve read my column before, you may be familiar with how highly I covet blocks as they are the toughest stat to find in fantasy basketball. In fact, only six players have averaged more blocks per game over the past week than Eubanks. When I find someone who is able to regularly accumulate blocks when given the minutes, they instantly become a permanent fixture on my fantasy radar and that’s what Eubanks has done for me this past week.

There are unfortunately some clear negatives when projecting Eubanks going forward. The first is that Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich has been rigorously regulating his center minutes for several years now. Poeltl has been as good as you could hope Eubanks will amount to being, but Poeltl’s minutes have come and gone and it wasn’t until last year that he finally averaged over 20 minutes per game for the first year of his career.

Poeltl and Eubanks are both signed on for one more year. The team also signed defensive-minded center Zach Collins to a three-year, $22 million deal this offseason. He is currently injured without a clear return timetable, but his return could certainly spell doom for Eubanks. The best case scenario for Eubanks would likely be for either him or Poeltl to be traded. If they aren’t, then Eubanks could be an intriguing player to watch for fantasy purposes as a free agent during the 2023 offseason.

 



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