Fantasy Basketball: Rudy Gobert Shining For Utah Jazz

A peek at Monday night’s NBA action with a fantasy basketball perspective.

RUDY RUDY RUDY RUDY: Utah Jazz center Rudy Gobert

  • We finally have a special person that goes by the name of Rudy and not from the worst sports movie ever made. Jazz center Rudy Gobert is becoming a legitimate NBA player in only his second season at the age of 22. Seth Partnow from nyloncalculus.com had a stat through Sunday’s game that shows Rudy Gobert is the fourth-best rim protector in the NBA. His contest percentage is 64.9 and his rim FG percentage sits at 41 percent. Gobert is saving 2.10 points per game despite averaging only 18.6 minutes. This has nothing to do with fantasy, but is important because as Utah’s season continues he should keep seeing his minutes raise. Gobert has played 21.9 minutes per game in December up from 15.8 in November. During this month he’s averaged 6.8 points, 8.2 rebounds and 2.2 blocks. He’s also shooting 61 percent from the field. Gobert is a beast and will only get better. In any keeper league he’s a smart trade target and he now has value in 12-team leagues for this season with the potential for more.

All cash no production: Brooklyn Nets guard Deron Williams and center Brook Lopez

  • Pour one out if you invested an early-round pick or big money in an auction on Deron Williams or Brook Lopez. For me these are two guys I luckily avoided in all of my drafts. The two combined make slightly more than $25 million and Nets head coach Lionel Hollins gives less than zero s***s about it. Both have been dealing with injuries and both are now relegated to bench roles with Miles Plumlee and Jarrett Jack in the starting lineup. Since returning from injury Williams hasn’t played more than 21 minutes in three games. He hasn’t hit double digits in scoring or five assists. He’s a sit until further notice. In his last four games Lopez has played 12, 15, 14 and eight minutes. He did have 11 points and six rebounds against the Kings on Monday, but was scoreless in 15 minutes versus the Pacers on Saturday. He’s also a sit until further notice.

Trending up, but not there yet: Orlando Magic guard Elfrid Payton

  • Payton is going in the right direction. He’s getting 27 minutes per game in the month of December and the shooting percentage is a manageable 40 percent. He’s had eight assists in two consecutive games and four rebounds or more in three. Payton is an excellent passer for a rookie. His shot limits him, but he doesn’t force it. Understanding your strengths and weaknesses is important and Payton does. The Rajon Rondo comparison gets thrown out there a lot and I do see it. He’s another nice target for keeper league trades and a monitor for leagues this year.

Welcome back: Miami Heat forward Chris Bosh 

  • Bosh returned after missing eight games with a calf injury. He started at power forward next to Chris Andersen after spending much of his time earlier in the season at center. It had no impact on his production with Bosh picking up right where he left off before the injury. The Heat big man posted 20 points, eight rebounds and a steal. Bosh is the most stable and consistent real-life player and fake-life fantasy option on Miami.
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