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What Does D'Angelo Russell's Emergence Mean for The Rest of The Nets?


It's really annoying when the intro to your article focuses on one player, and we don't even have a photo of him we can use, so enjoy this picture of Caris Levert. Before the season started, the Brooklyn Nets were not looking like a team that would be contending for anything other than reasonable draft position. After the first two weeks, the entire league noticed that Spencer Dinwiddie and the Nets were not going to be any type of a pushover. Kenny Atkinson has done a great job of getting the most out of his team, but lately, D'Angelo Russell has taken it upon himself to carry Brooklyn to the playoffs. Over the past two weeks there have only been nine players that offer more value, four of them being point guards. Of those four, only Steph Curry and James Harden have a higher PPG, with just Rajon Rondo and Kyrie Irving dishing out more assists. Basically, Russell has been on one of the best tears the league has seen this season (outside of Harden), so whether you want to hold steady or find the most return, Russell is offering more than enough consistent value to warrant owners wanting to sell-high and stay put.

If Russell was more of a secondary guard for your team and you have another player or two than can anchor assists and three's, Russell is the ideal trade piece that can get you just about any specific player that will help your team. You might not be getting someone like Joel Embiid, or Giannis Antetokounmpo, but you can target someone like Rudy Gobert, who fits more of a role for his team, and is entirely more expendable in fantasy terms. I don't blame anyone for continuing to hold Russell moving forward, but I see other Nets players, like Dinwiddie and Caris LeVert eventually taking usage and that much needed production away from Russell, sending down to a more reasonable, top-40 value.

Make sure to stay updated on injuries and return times, but as far as I'm concerned, these next three players will see the biggest benefit. As a reminder, for standard (10-12 team) league adds, we use a general rule of thumb of an ownership rate of under 50% on Yahoo. All position eligibility based on Yahoo leagues.

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Standard League Adds for Week 14

Jake Layman, G  – Portland Trail Blazers

Ownership: 2%

7.1 PPG / 2.7 RPG / .531 FG% / 0.9 3PG

Jake Layman is only offering short-term value for the most specific of streamers, but just going week after week without even mentioning him seems a bit harsh. He hasn't been terrific every night and his production will be sadly inconsistent, but, Layman has managed to improve his overall scoring and his impact on the Trail Blazers has been his best attribute. Layman will continue to space out defense and it seems every game he is getting more and more open looks.

He can finish at the rim and minutes will be his biggest concern moving forward, but if he can continue to even slightly mimic his performances from earlier this month, I will have complete confidence in him, especially throughout the end of the season. Portland has basically established their nightly big three, but they still need that second outside scoring threat for when C.J. McCollum isn't hitting. Layman is being groomed to fill that role and while this is entirely irrelevant to fantasy basketball, I expect his defense to see to most drastic improvements as his minutes grow more consistent.

 

Royce O'Neale, SF – Utah Jazz

Ownership 6%

4.8 PPG / 3.3 RPG / 1.3 APG / .7 SPG / .468 FG%

If you decide to stream Royce O'Neale, just know that you are getting someone who won't win you any one category, but can give your general stats a boost. He focuses on defensive stats so if you decide to take a risk on O'Neale, make sure it's mainly for the defensive stats. With Ricky Rubio back in the lineup, it's easy to see where exactly O'Neale's minutes are going. Even though that is that case, his recent bump in minutes seem like a pretty clear indication that he will be seeing more minutes with smaller lineups, running as a forward that can space the defense.

He will need to hit nearly every shot he takes to offer up value in offensive categories, but his primary value comes from steals and blocks, but look for him to have another strong string of games right before the All-Star Break. O'Neale filled in incredibly well for Rubio when he was injured and it's hard to seem the Jazz coaching staff taking away all his minutes, basically impeding the progress he made over the past month.

 

JaMychal Green, PF/C – Memphis Grizzlies

Ownership 28%

10.5 PPG / 6.6 RPG / .495 FG% / .9 SPG

This pick is becoming old news with every game, especially seeing that at some point, Jaren Jackson Jr. will get the nod in the frontcourt over JaMychal Green. Green has been able to post modest stat lines with some consistency, so while this still carries risk, I wouldn't worry about that until after the All-Star Break.

He has been able to scrape at multiple double-doubles and while we would like him to be more efficient as a forward/center option, anyone looking for rebounds and points now will have no issues with rostering Green. This is a short-term add and if someone emerges tonight, don't feel attached to Green for any reason other than that he will score and rebound every night.

More Fantasy Basketball Analysis


By popular demand, RotoBaller has aggregated all of our fantasy basketball NBA waiver wire pickups into a running list of NBA waiver options, so bookmark the page and check back often for updates.