The grounding of Brook Lopez and the Brooklyn Titanic has sent shock waves across the league. Owners have turned to supplementary bigs like Andray Blatche, Tyson Chandler, and Jonas Valanciunas in an effort to salvage their year.
The casualties of war that are the Bulls have created a perfect storm of opportunity for one named D.J. Augustin, a player with a ceiling as high as an air duct and someone who had two feet outside of the league before this happening. In Indy, Granger is finally healthy, and salivating fantasy owners can’t seem to flock to him fast enough.
But not all trends are worth pursuing.
Nick Young, for his part, has always been an unreliable player but is making an early case for 6th Man of the Year. He’s scored in double-digits for more than 12 consecutive games now, many of them in the 20-point range. With Kobe facing the demons of age once more, it makes sense that his ownership has skyrocketed to 89 percent in ESPN leagues and by 2400 adds in Yahoo.
What doesn’t pass the logic test as readily is the rampant rise of ownership when it comes to Augustin, Granger, and Chandler. Here’s why.
D.J. Augustin (ESPN Ownership: 15.0 Percent; Yahoo Ownership: 19.0 Percent)
The man’s 39.9 percent career shooting average is damnation enough. But there’s also the glaring truth that as a 26-year-old he hasn’t been able to carve himself a role on any NBA team, even if in just a backup capacity on a sub-500 squad. Sure, he’s averaging 12.0 and 7.6 in the last five games but it’s been with Hinrich out, opposing teams not scouting him aggressively, and a 41.4 percentage from deep (which is also allowing him to feed open teammates) that is as sustainable as fossil fuels.
Danny Granger (ESPN Ownership: 78.6 Percent; Yahoo Ownership: 58.0 Percent)
For a player relegated to a bench role and who hasn’t yet proven that he can remain healthy as of late, Granger should not be owned at an above-50.0 percent clip and outside of 14-plus-man leagues. At 30, there’s also the danger that his mobility just won’t ever be what it was before, which isn’t the guillotine drop for a shooter like him, but will be important as the primary scorer of a second unit that will depend on his play making.
There’s also the issue of rust. As of the writing of this post, Granger is shooting a SMH-worthy 26.3 percent from the floor. And it’s not likely to improve much anytime soon.
Tyson Chandler (ESPN Ownership: 93.6 Percent; Yahoo Ownership: 82.0 Percent)
Even post-injury Chandler remains a niche weapon in deep leagues but it’s doubtful he’ll demand the high ownership rate people are bestowing on him. For starters, he’s on the other side of 30 and has seen his numbers start to dip over the last three years. The sample size is small (only six games) but he’s averaging single-digit points and rebounds, hasn’t cleared 70 percent from the freebie line, and isn’t posting his bloated mid-60s shooting percentages.
He does offer plenty of upside with his collection of rebounds, steals, blocks, and field goal percentages but not near the 93.6 ubiquity he’s getting from ESPN owners. Since much of Chandler’s game depends on a quality pick-and-roll point, he might not see the jump in stats fans have come to expect from him until the Knicks sort out their point guard mess.