At my profession, I have several fellow co-workers who are big Grizzlies fans. Over the past week or so, when engaged in small talk, the Grizzlies have been a popular subject. Recently, I asked them, “Beyond Marc and Mike, which Grizzlies are most critical to this being a successful season?” Immediately, two names came from multiple directions, “Kyle Anderson and Chandler Parsons.”
I could not agree more. There is a lot of potential that significant contributions from Parsons and Anderson can offer. Furthermore, I feel they could also offer good value for fantasy rosters. Lets put the fantasy focus on the Grizzlies wings.
Very similar to Garrett Temple, Casspi is a roster addition who adds value outside the box score. He is a savvy veteran who knows how to play a reserve role effectively and has been on multiple winning teams. Casspi has had some intriguing runs in the past as an offensive contributor, being a capable passer and shooter. However, he likely will not earn enough minutes to be fantasy relevant this season. Barring injury, he very likely is one of the least picked up Grizzlies in fantasy.
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This is the immediate response from fantasy owners regarding Parsons. And who can blame them? Everyone knows that Parsons injury history has made him one of the biggest free agent busts in recent memory. And typically, that extensive of an injury to a player’s knee saps some of their ability. There are plenty of reasons why the majority of fantasy players will avoid Parsons. And that is exactly why he has fantasy value. A lot of fantasy titles are won when owners look places others would not.
Parsons Best Season (13-14): 16.6 ppg, 4.0 asst, 5.5 reb, 1.8 3pt, .472 FG%, .370 3pt %
Parsons per 36 min last year: 14.8 ppg, 3.6 asst, 4.7 reb, 2.7 3pt, .462 FG%, .421 3pt%
The numbers above show two things. Despite the injuries, Parson’s talent seems nearly identical to when he was healthy. However, his 2013-2014 season averages came from actually playing 36 minutes a night in 74 games. Parsons has only played in 70 games over the past two years, averaging 19 minutes in each. Wisely, the Grizzlies will likely again limit Parsons to begin this season.
Because of the minutes restriction, Parsons is likely not a player you draft. However, the stat ratings he produces when we plays is why you watch him. The Grizzlies roster setup is why you watch him closely. The Grizzlies are intent on being a playoff contender. A clear need to accomplish that is the emergence of a consistent 3 point shooter and play creator.
A healthy Parsons gives you that. Last year, Parsons made threes at the highest frequency (2.7 per 36 min) and percentage (42%) in his career. Even if his ceiling is 25 minutes a night, he can add value from your fantasy bench as a contributor in shooting based categories. Beyond shooting, Parsons also offers good passing potential and will grab a few rebounds.
Overall, Parsons should not be someone you target in fantasy. However, because of natural talent and efficiency, he certainly should not be someone you ignore either. Parsons could prove to be one of the most valuble Grizzlies in reality, and quite valuable for you in fantasy.
Yahoo: 90th, 28th SF ESPN: Not ranked in Top 150
Kyle Anderson is a very intriguing player because he impacts the game on both ends of the court at levels few others can. For instance, on a per 36 min scale last year, Anderson averaged 10.6 points, 2.1 steals, 7.2 rebounds, 3.7 assists, and 1.1 blocks. Over the past five years, the only other players to play 1700 minutes in a season and post that per 36 stat line are Giannis Antetokounmpo, DeMarcus Cousins, Draymond Green, Paul Millsap, and Nikola Jokic. All of those names are ones you routinely see come off the board in the first few rounds of fantasy drafts.
It is probably is unfair to expect Anderson to produce at the level of those players. However, one intriguing name in that group is Draymond Green. While Green is a better shooter and defender, Anderson has a similar skill set and approach. Like Green, Anderson is neither a dominant scorer nor athlete. However, due to length and intelligence, Green significantly impacts the game on offense and defense.
The Grizzlies could use Anderson in a similar role. He can effectively distribute the ball to scoring options on offense, and create turnovers and disruption with perimeter defense. Also, Anderson is a career 48% shooter from the field, so he will not hurt you in percentage based categories.
Overall, when on the court, Kyle Anderson’s production has been that of a top 50 fantasy player in the league. While not on the level of Green, I do feel Anderson could be the rare fantasy asset that adds significant value to every fantasy category but points. It likely will take a bit of time, but once Anderson is adjusted, I feel he can offer tremendous value as the season goes on. I comfortably would target Anderson in the top 75 in both redraft and dynasty leagues.
As mentioned before, two big boosts to the Grizzlies surprising the league this year is a healthy Parsons and a productive Anderson. Both have the talent to impact that game in multiple ways. Because of the investment the Grizzles have made in each of them, both will be given plenty of chances to succeed. As a result, each could be a wise pick or pickup for your fantasy team that could pay huge dividends as the season progresses.