Nov 06

Week 4 Preview

The flow of interesting free agents has started to slow down, as it always does around this time each season, but there’s still more than a few fresh faces who are worth our consideration. The below list of players does not include many of the players that I recommended last week. That does not mean that I don’t think that those players are worth a look. I just like to highlight different players each week and I assume that many of the players recommended in previous previews have already been scooped up. Use this list in combination with last week’s list when looking for quality free-agent pickups.


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  • Week 4 is one of this season’s least busy weeks with only five teams having four games and four teams having two games. This makes the players on the teams with four games extremely valuable. Borderline plays like Alex Len and Marcus Smart become strong starts this week. Players like Tyler Johnson and Josh Richardson could be top-50 plays due to their schedule.
  • The lack of teams with four games makes the two-game players more viable than usual this week, but only a handful are must-starts. Karl-Anthony Towns should be in your lineup, but I’d sit Andrew Wiggins. Wiggins is doing his usual points and not much else routine and only Dwight Howard is having a larger negative impact on the category. Jimmy Butler would probably be a sit in a busier week, but the quiet schedule makes him a reasonable start. He’s a good buy-low target and it’s hard to see his value ever getting lower than it is now. Send out some offers. Joel Embiid is also going to sit a game this week, but he’ll still likely outperform some of your three-game players.

Week 4 Pickups:

Zach LaVine – He should already be owned in 100% of leagues with IR spots and now is the time to stash him if you aren’t fortunate enough to play in a league an IR slot. The Bulls have an excellent playoff schedule and LaVine has top-50 upside once his limitations are lifted. That may not be until the New Year, but the Bulls’ future first-option will be worth the wait. LaVine should eventually be a major boon to your points (18.9 PPG) and threes (2.6 3PG) and could help you in those categories without dragging down your FG% (46.0 FG).

Donovan Mitchell – Mitchell has badly outplayed Rodney Hood over the Jazz’s last three games and the rookie’s strong play has led to more minutes. He’s played over 30 minutes in two of the past three games and has scored at least 17 points and hit at least three threes in all three games. He won’t provide much in the non-scoring categories, but Hood’s development has stalled and Mitchell could eventually pass Hood in the Jazz’s rotation.

Kyle Kuzma – Larry Nance Jr. is expected to miss 4-to-6 weeks and that opens up a lot of minutes for both Kumza and teammate Julius Randle. Randle is only a deep-league player, but Kuzma is worth a look in standard leagues. Not only is Kuzma currently starting over Randle, his game is much more fantasy friendly. While Randle won’t give you much outside of low-end points and solid boards, Kuzma can help you in the points, threes, rebounds, and FG% categories. Over the Lakers’ last four games, the rookie is averaging a very impressive 18.0 PPG on 64.4% shooting from the field, 1.8 3PG, and 8.5 RPG. He won’t continue to shoot this well, but a strong performance over the next month could lead to Kuzma keeping his starting job and staying relevant in fantasy circles.

Seth Curry – While he doesn’t yet have a clear return date, Curry is doing some pre-game work and seems to be getting close. With the Mavericks’ season already over and the team extremely thin on the wing, Curry should see plenty of run once he does return and could produce top-80 numbers. Curry was even better than that last season after the All-Star Break. Over the last two months of the 2016-2017 season, Curry was a top-50 player and averaged 15.7 PPG, 2.4 3PG, and 1.1 SPG while shooting 50.9% from the field and 92.5% from the line. He’s a must-grab for those punting assists due to his efficiency and point guard eligibility.

Week 4 Watchlist/Streaming Options/Deep League Pickups:

Taj Gibson – Gorgui Dieng has been used almost strictly as a backup center and Gibson’s minutes look very safe right now. He’s not a high-upside player, but his role and minutes will keep him relevant in standard leagues. Gibson has been a top-60 player this season and has been even better in the punt points build (8.7 PPG). The big man should be a useful source of FG% impact (54.8 FG%), rebounds (7.1 RPG), and defensive stats (1.2 SPG, 0.6 BPG).

Austin Rivers – Rivers’ game is not fantasy friendly and he’s not a strong, long-term play, but he should see enough minutes until Milos Teodosic returns to be worthy of one of your final roster spots. Rivers is a limited player who can post big scoring lines and contribute from deep. He’s scored at least 12 points in five of the Clippers’ past seven games and is averaging 2.9 3PG over that span. Make sure your percentages are strong before grabbing Rivers. He is a major drag on both percentages categories (37.1 FG%, 59.1 FT%).

Jerami Grant – Grant is a very interesting punt points option due to his excellent per-minute defensive numbers. His upside is capped due to the big names in front of him, but he still gets enough run to be more than a streamer in the right team build. Grant is averaging 1.4 SPG and 1.4 BPG over the Thunder’s last five games and has been a top-55 player without points over that stretch.

Denzel Valentine – The Bulls are searching for answers on the wing and must know by now that the answer is definitely not Justin Holiday. Valentine has the ability to flirt with elite numbers from deep (3.2 3P36), is a strong rebounder for his position (7.2 RP36), and can create when asked. The swingman has at least three assists in four of his last five games. With David Nwaba possibly out a month, Valentine should play close to 30 MPG until Nwaba or Zach LaVine returns.

Bojan Bogdanovic – The Pacers’ swingman is a streaky player who has had extended useful streaks in the past. He looks like he’s in the midst of one of those streaks right now. Over the last week, Bogdanvoic has been a top-25 player and has been a force from beyond the arc (2.5 3PG). He’s also providing owners with a healthy dose of points (15.8 PPG) and is accumulating those points very efficiently (51.2 FG%). He’ll likely only be a late-round player on the year, but Bojan should be owned until he cools off.

Follow me on Twitter @EliteFanBBall for the latest fantasy basketball news. I will gladly answer any fantasy basketball related questions that you may have. 


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