Fantasy Review For 2017/18 Season:

In a word, injuries.
There were so many of them it’s easier to mention players who were healthy – Dillon Brooks. That’s the end of the list! Marc Gasol and Jarell Martin were somewhat healthy [they both played 73 games] but everybody else missed a size-able part of the season.
What’s worse, even if we ignore problem of games played the averages were also a disappointment because almost everybody played worse than in 2016/17.

The only positive news was a strong 7-game finish from MarShon Brooks and a great comeback season from Tyreke Evans… but even that had some downside because they didn’t trade him at the deadline and then lost him for nothing in the offseason.

Changes in the offseason

Lost = Tyreke Evans, Mario Chalmers, Jarell Martin, Deyonta Davis, James Ennis
Added = Kyle Anderson, Jaren Jackson Jr, Garrett Temple, Omri Casspi, Shelvin Mack, Jevon Carter

Projected Depth Chart:

PG SG SF PF C
Mike Conley Dillon Brooks Kyle Anderson JaMychal Green Marc Gasol
Shelvin Mack MarShon Brooks Garrett Temple Jaren Jackson Jr Jaren Jackson Jr
Jevon Carter Wayne Selden Omri Casspi Chandler Parsons Ivan Rabb

Positional Battles: SG, PF

Outside of their core of Conley and Marc Gasol all other positions are kind of up for grabs. I assume they’ve signed Kyle Anderson to be their starter but they haven’t publicly announced that yet so at this point it’s an educated guess.

At PF there are two real options – the most probable one is they will stick to the previous plan of JaMychal Green [at least early in the season] but there’s also a possibility they will start Kyle Anderson at the four to make room for their wings. Speaking of which…

At SG it’s a mess with a lot of options – Dillon Brooks, MarShon Brooks, Wayne Selden or Garrett Temple.
One of the group will start but it may not last long and they probably will negatively affect each others’ stats in a way. Watch out in the preseason if someone wins the job.

Fantasy Relevant in leagues with 12- to 15-teams:

Marc Gasol

45,007 FG%, 83,295 FT%, 1,78 3PM, 18,16 PTS, 6,9 REB, 3,93 AST, 0,7 STL, 1,29 BL, 2,17 TO

I you find it weird that I expect a significant improvement from old center here’s a reason:
last year’s Grizzlies were terrible on offense which forced Gasol to more tough play-making duties that he could handle [which lead to career-high turnovers] and worse shots that he typically attempted in previous seasons [so career-low FG%]. With additional ball-handlers in current roster [I assume including way more of Conley] I think both turnovers and FG% will bounce back hence the bump in value. But it’s worth mentioning he’s going to be 34 years old so some other categories could decline…

Mike Conley

43,5 FG%, 83,932 FT%, 2,2 3PM, 18,83 PTS, 2,8 REB, 5,86 AST, 1,18 STL, 0,23 BL, 2,01 TO

He missed almost entire season and played poorly in handful of games so it’s obvious to assume the bounce back year but the question is how high will it go?
Be aware that 2016/17 was his career-best season in many offensive categories so it’s probably not something he can do again after the lost season. But we have multiple years of his solid above-average stats so I assume that’s where the true Conley’s value lies.

The most difficult part of his projection is games played. He started career as an iron-man but in recent years he wasn’t even close to 82 games played and he had a type of injuries which could re-occur so keep in mind that you probably shouldn’t buy him at the price of his averages.

Kyle Anderson

47,516 FG%, 73,799 FT%, 0,52 3PM, 9,67 PTS, 6,03 REB, 2,82 AST, 1,45 STL, 0,73 BL, 1,49 TO

Main addition of the free agency 2018 is poised to start in more games than with San Antonio which usually leads to a breakout year but there are couple of issues here tempting my expectations:
Will he have a similar quality of shots than in Spurs’ system?
I assume no [especially in terms of location] so that’s why in my projections there’s a massive drop in his FG%.
Will his sneaky good defensive numbers translate well?
I assume no because Spurs have a much better defense than Grizzlies.

There’s also a question how will they use him [as SF or PF?] but I assume either way he will have a career-high in assists and rebounds just based on increased minutes per game.

Jaren Jackson Jr.

44,708 FG%, 77,311 FT%, 0,97 3PM, 9,24 PTS, 5,38 REB, 1,08 AST, 0,52 STL, 1,47 BL, 1,31 TO

He had a great summer league debut so his hype train left the station early but Grizzlies kind of hit the breaks on it. Their executive John Hollinger said they “don’t want to put him into overtly physical matchups yet because he’s 18 and his body is still filling out” which does not sound promising in terms of projected minutes played in his rookie season.
Jaren Jackson Jr. fits the type of player who’s going to be dropped and picked up multiple times during the season between his cold and hot streaks because in some weeks he’s going to hit threes and block a lot of shots and in other ones he’s going to be benched with foul trouble or simply being physically over-matched.

JaMychal Green

46,799 FG%, 73,663 FT%, 0,85 3PM, 10,68 PTS, 7,71 REB, 1,3 AST, 0,61 STL, 0,52 BL, 1,38 TO

Similarly to Marc Gasol his stats were a victim of terrible offense so with more play-makers on the team he is poised to have a better year. While his upside is very limited because of the competition for minutes at PF he should be able to fill out the roster at the end of your draft with low-value but versatile stat-line.

Could be useful with trades/injuries [or in deeper leagues than 15 teams]:
Dillon Brooks, Garrett Temple, MarShon Brooks, Shelvin Mack

Just don’t bother with:
Chandler Parsons, Omri Casspi.
How many times can they break your heart to not be tempted at all?

Don’t forget to check the rest of the Memphis Grizzlies fantasy basketball projections.

Posted in Teams preview