Ja Morant’s absence opens the door for Tyus Jones to be a fantasy basketball playoff hero

TO Alex Baruta, RotoWire

Special for Sportzshala Sports

There are many notable events happening in the NBA every week, and almost all of them involve fantasy. Whether it’s injuries, rotation changes, guys on 10-day contracts, or even off-court drama, you’ll probably have to retaliate on one of your fantasy teams.

Here are a few storylines currently affecting the fantasy landscape:

Ja Morant out indefinitely

Over the weekend, Morant went live on Instagram brandishing a gun, and the screenshot quickly went viral on social media. Shortly thereafter, Morant released a statement that he was leaving the Grizzlies indefinitely. While it’s not technically a suspension, it looks like the team strongly encouraged him to go down that path, which includes declarer “appeals for help”.

While this situation is difficult for Morant and the Grizzlies, it is relatively easy for fantasy managers. Managers with Morant just need to hold on tight and put him on the bench – leaving him would be too drastic. And we know a direct replacement for Morant as starting point guard: Tyus Jones.

It should definitely be added to standard formats, even if it all ends next week. During Sunday’s game, Jones had 25 points, 12 assists, 5 steals and 3 rebounds on zero turnovers. In 10 games as a starter, he averaged 19.4 points, 8.1 assists, 3.5 boards, 2.7 steals and 1.6 turnovers, making him a great nine-cat option.

Durant Suns

Phoenix leads 3-0 in Durant’s first three games with the team, and the team has a ridiculous +23.7 net rating with him on the floor. He looked like himself too, averaging 26.7 points on 69.0% FG, 7.3 shields, 3.7 assists and 1.3 blocks in 32.7 minutes.

Devin Booker here is the least affected teammate. He averaged 36.0 points on 56% FG and 7.7 assists in three games while starting 25.0 shot attempts per content. Of course, the performance of both players is normalizing, but the volume is reassuring.

As expected, Chris Paulfield goals were unsuccessful. He is averaging 11.1 FGA per season, but only 8.3 FGA since Durant’s debut. His assists (9.3) remain excellent.

Ayton is in the same boat. Averaged 13.4 FGA per season, the center has only averaged 6.7 FGA per game over the last three. His appearance is likely to be cleaner due to increased field goal percentage with so much defensive focus on Durant, Booker and CP3, but Ayton’s fantasy managers in the points leagues will take the hit.

Lillard rocks

It’s old news at this point, but Lillard keeps tearing it up and looks like the top scorer in the NBA. This has attracted increased attention since he scored 71 points, but Lillard has been on a different level since hitting 50 on January 12. Over the last 24 games, the veteran averaged 38.3 points on 50/40/94 shooting, 7.2 assists and 5.4 rebounds in 37.2 minutes. He was the top fantasy asset of the stretch by a mile and moved up to fifth place overall with nine cats. That helps Portland smell the blood in the water and still get a place to play (31-34) in the West’s turmoil.

Lakers without LeBron (and D-Lo)

It’s been a little over a week since James last played (February 26) and D’Angelo Russell Haven’t played since February 23rd. This led to coach Darwin Ham trying to piece together consecutive rotations on the fly. Anthony Davis He was superb during this stretch, averaging 35.0 points, 10.7 boards, 3.0 blocks and 2.7 assists. But the contributions of others have been patchy.

Since LeBron’s absence, five players other than AD have posted over 30 fantastic performances. Dennis Schroeder, Jarred Vanderbilt, Troy Brown, Austin Reeves And Rui Hachimura. But all five also have flaws – especially Hachimura.

Reeves is a top bencher in deep leagues and is my favorite group guide as I doubt Russell’s return will affect him the way Schroeder did. All the others have varying degrees of usefulness depending on what kind of stats you’re looking for, but they’re all more like streamers than long-term additions.

Nyx in a new look

The Knicks have not lost a game since the trade for Josh Hart, which gives fantasy managers about the same as during their stay in Portland. The big story during this 9-0 stretch was Immanuel Quicklygrowth and R. J. Barretta fall.

Most recently, Barrett scored 29 points and 11 boards in 50 minutes during a double OT thriller in Boston. But even if we turn that game on, he’s only averaging 16.8 points in 44/31/75 shooting, 4.4 rebounds and 2.6 assists in 31.0 minutes over the past nine. Coach Tom Thibodeau no longer trusts him.

During the same period, Quickley leveled up and ranked 31st in overall fantasy scoring with 18.8 points on 54/46/73 shooting, 4.4 rebounds, 2.8 assists and 1.1 steals. During the same game in Boston, Quickly scored a career-high 38 points, eight boards, seven assists, four steals, and two blocks in 55 minutes.

SGA will control its protocols

Next Shay Gilgeus-AlexanderCoach Marc Danio announced that after five games out due to ankle and stomach injuries and health and safety protocols, the team will monitor the defenseman’s workload for the remainder of the season. Ironically, after those comments, the SGA posted 38 points, seven boards, four assists, three steals and one block—get it—37 minutes.

What is reassuring is that coach Danyo noted that the only reason SGA is playing at all is because OKC is trying to get a spot to play and if it was earlier in the season he would rest. And it’s obviously encouraging that Gilgeous-Alexander played 37 minutes on Sunday. However, fantasy managers should be wary of face-offs and other recreational opportunities against underdog teams like Detroit and San Antonio.

Is Chris Dunn here to stay?

After trading with depth and without Colleen Sexton due to a hamstring injury, the Jazz signed Dunn to a 10-day contract. It made an immediate impact and earned another 10 days. In five games, Dunn averaged 13.0 points, 4.2 dimes, 3.4 boards and 1.8 steals in 23.2 minutes.

Sexton last played on February 15 (the last game before the All-Star break), and his return schedule continues to be pushed back. Utah seems happy about not making the playoffs, so it’s unlikely they’ll bring him back.

Dunn has been on the NBA air for a long time, but he has dwindled since 2020-21, appearing in just 23 games since the start of the season. The kind of production we see from him is legal, although the percentages are a little high: 55 FG% and 43 3P%. However, we know that he is an experienced passer and defender – this is his calling card.

I’m thinking, but I think Dunn will earn a contract for the rest of the season with Utah. Assists and interceptions are enough to keep him fantasized, even if it’s only for a short time.


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