By Elvis GutierrezThe great thing about fantasy basketball is you get to stumble upon some names you wouldn’t otherwise discover if you’re a casual fan. Fred VanVleet is one of those names.
First Bottle: Jonas Valanciunas: Just when you’re about to give up on Jonas he does this to us, and this happens every single year. He will tease us with superstar potential this week, then next week he will play like EJ Feihl. This week, he flashed his upside with averages of 19 ppg, 12.3 rpg, 2.3 apg, 2.3 bpg, and a surprising 1 3-pointer per game. If he can expand his game to the 3-point line, that will definitely help his stock in fantasy and his actual value as a player.
Second Bottle: Fred VanVleet
Who in the world is Fred VanVleet? Apparently, he is a pretty good American basketball player with cool tattoos. This week, he averaged 15.7 ppg, 3.7 rpg, 3.7 apg, 2.7 3s, 1.3 spg, 1bpg, and 0 TOs, all in 18 minutes per game. Remember the name.
Third Bottle: Ed Davis
The veteran has always been a low-end contributor as a backup big for deep leaguers, but this week he was big-time as he was given 24 minutes per game and responded in a big way with averages of 11.7 ppg, 11 rpg, 1.3 bpg, and shooting 75% from the field. It remains to be seen if his minutes will stick to the mid 20s, but if that happens, Jusuf Nurkic owners might want to handcuff him with Ed.
Fourth Bottle: Dejounte Murray
He was a hot pickup this week after Spurs coach Gregg Popovich announced that he was giving the starting point guard spot to Murray, bumping the veteran Tony Parker to the bench after starting for 38 years. Murray responded with the opportunity with averages of 13.5 ppg, 8.3 rpg, 5.3 apg, and 2 spg. Has Pop found his PG of the future? We’ll see.
Fifth Bottle: Mario Chalmers
Speaking of PG of the future, here’s a guy who’s absolutely not that. But if you’re thinking if Chalmers could be the answer at PG for the reeling Memphis Grizzlies after losing Mike Conley for the year, then you might be right, at least for this week. The veteran averaged 14 ppg, 3.7 rpg, 4.7 apg, 1 3pg, and 1.7spg. Not eye-popping numbers, but if you need an extra PG, then the former NBA champion might be your guy.