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Four Corners of Fantasy: The Grizzlies Guards

The Grizzlies backcourt does not appear to have a lot of fantasy appeal. However, multiple players could easily add value as the season progresses.

NBA: Golden State Warriors at Memphis Grizzlies Justin Ford-USA TODAY Sports

This installment of the Four Corners of Fantasy Series focuses solely on the Grizzlies backcourt options. As mentioned previously, the Grizzlies do not seem that intriguing when it comes to overall fantasy production. However, two of the Grizzlies’ best offensive players look to get significant minutes at the guard positions. Furthermore, there is youth and natural talent on the bench.

Overall, the group could provide some needed value as the season goes along.

Mike Conley

Yahoo: 47th overall, 18th PG

ESPN: 43rd, 13th PG

Conley’s fantasy stock has had quite a bit of movement over the past two years. Two years ago, he was ranked 63rd and 18th. He had the best fantasy season of his career in 2016-2017, and was ranked 29th and 10th at the start of last year. Unfortunately, his year was derailed by injury early in the season. That is the number one concern with Conley, especially now with him being older. He averaged 15 games missed in each of the four years before last year. He is still a clear fantasy starter, but is becoming harder to trust.

Despite the injury concern, there is also cause for optimism. The passing ability of Kyle Anderson, Chandler Parsons and Marc Gasol should expand Conley’s ability to score. Also, better offensive execution should mean more assists and drives to the basket. Conley remains the team’s most dynamic scorer, and the Grizzlies must utilize that to win games.

Overall, Conley has a very good chance to return top 15 value at the point guard position and top 40 value overall. Conservatively, Conley could provide 17.5 points, 2 threes, 4.5 assists, 3 rebounds, and 1.5 steals per game. He should also shoot around 45% from the field, 37.5% percent from three, and 80% from the line. These numbers would make him an every night starter and key contributor to a fantasy playoff run.

You should draft Conley with caution, having a back-up plan in mind. In redraft leagues, confidently target him in draft slots 45-60. For dynasty leagues, while he is older, he should still be a target in the top 75 players drafted. He will likely produce starter value for 3-5 more years.

Garrett Temple

Not Ranked

Garrett Temple is currently not ranked at either ESPN or Yahoo. Temple has value, but a lot of it is beyond stats. His intelligence, off the court demeanor, and veteran presence were reasons he was traded for. Yes, he can reliably shoot the 3 and play defense. He fits the “3 and D” player profile quite well. Those players need minutes to have fantasy value. There is a decent chance his minutes decrease as the season goes along, so keep him on the waiver wire.

MarShon Brooks

Yahoo: 60th SG

MarShon Brooks played seven games for the Grizzlies last year. In those seven games, MarShon Brooks scored 141 points in 193 minutes. While that should not be taken out of context, it does show he is a good source of instant offense. This is Brooks’ clear strength, and a glaring need for the Grizzlies. This means he will likely keep a significant role throughout the season if Memphis performs well.

Brooks will not sustain his efficiency from last year. However, his career measures of 45% from the field and 35% percent from three is a reasonable expectation that he could surpass. Brook’s per 36 min career averages are 16.4 points, 1 three, 4.5 rebounds, 3 assists, and 1.5 steals. His points per game average is the highest of any Grizzly per 36 minutes and per 100 possesions.

This shows Brooks arguably has the most theoretical scoring ability on the Grizzles’ roster. If Brooks can prove that, his role will increase, and he will be a steal for fantasy owners. He could be the most underrated Grizzly this year in fantasy.

Dillon Brooks

Not Ranked

Dillon Brooks was a fun surprise for the Grizzlies last year. He started in 74 games, added value on defense and executed well on offense. He was one of the few bright spots in a forgettable season. He is expected to play a significant role this year. He made nearly 35% of his threes. With better passers and ball handlers around this year, he could get more open looks.

While that is plenty of positives, the reasons above inflate Brooks’ fantasy value a bit. When you pair over 35% of his shots being threes with 53% percent of his field goals coming off an assist, you have the definition of a catch and shoot offensive player. He cannot create offense like Conley, Wayne Selden Jr., and MarShon Brooks can. He also does not produce significantly in any other stat category. With more mouths to feed on offense, his limitations make it hard to see a significant uptick in fantasy production.

He will play because he plays good defense, so minutes help his value. However, he seems to be a player that has “more value to the Grizzlies than you”. He likely will be worth adding to your roster at some point this season, but beyond dynasty leagues, should not be drafted.

Shelvin Mack

Not Ranked

Mack was one of the final pieces signed by the Grizzlies during the offseason. It seems reasonable to conclude this was because no one claimed the backup point guard position. Mack’s game matches his intended role perfectly. He should give you a quarter’s worth of managing the offense and decent defense each game. If Mike Conley were to get hurt, the Grizzlies will likely feature better offensive talents over Mack. He should perform his role as expected, and not have it expanded For that reason, he should not be a Grizzly to target this year.

Wayne Selden Jr.

Not Ranked

The Marshon Brooks write-up could easily fit Selden. Last year, when featured, Selden showed his talent belonged in the NBA. Unfortunately for him, significantly more talent is on this years roster, and Selden is buried on the bench. Injuries or a desire to play youth is likely needed for him to get minutes to gain value.

While he should not be drafted, he is a watch list type of guy. Just like MarShon, his biggest strength matches the Grizzlies weakness. He can score from all over, and can flash defensively to not be a liability. Selden is a long-shot to have fantasy value this year. However, he is one of the more fantasy friendly Grizzlies, and should be rostered if featured.

Jevon Carter

Not Ranked

Carter was drafted by the Grizzlies for a reason. He matches the Grizzlies team philosophy, plays smart and with effort. The Grizzlies want him to be a significant part of their future. For this season, Carter is near the end of the bench. He likely will get 5-10 minutes on most nights. For redraft leagues, he carries very little value. For dynasty leagues, he has elite defensive ability and already is one of the best steal producers in the Association. He is worth keeping an eye on for adding in a future season.

Beyond Conley, this is not a group most fantasy players will focus on during the draft. However, it would be beneficial to monitor for waiver adds as the season goes along. If they are successful, it likely means a few of these players are performing better than expected. If they fall out of contention early, or if injuries occur, the younger players will be featured more and have increased value. Hopefully, a few of these players will bring you success in fantasy just like the Grizzlies hope they do in reality.

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