NBA Market Share Report: Riding the Waves of Ricky Rubio and Elfrid Payton
Welcome back for another edition of the NBA Market Share Report. If you happened to miss the last installment, be sure to go back and check out the word on guys like Frank Kaminsky, Dario Saric, and others.
This week, we’ll highlight a couple of swelling point guards, as well as a little guy in the desert who has the potential to serve up a hefty serving of valuable production to close the regular season.
Let us hoop!
Red Hot Rubio
Despite the Minnesota Timberwolves being a distant long shot to make the playoffs, Ricky Rubio has turned it on like he’s gunning for the eighth spot, averaging better than 41 FanDuel points per game over the last two weeks.
Since kicking off the month with a win over Utah in which he finished just one assist shy of a double-double, Rubio has gone on to post double-doubles in four of his last six games, including a triple-double against the Spurs and a franchise record 19 dimes against the Wizards.
Rubio has also caught fire from deep, knocking down 42 percent of his threes in March, which in turn has helped increase his scoring totals and provided us with 20-plus points in each of his last three games.
And do passes like these ever get old?
Ricky Rubio is underrated. pic.twitter.com/0Tif7yoOrF
— Leading NBA ™ (@LeadingNBA_) March 14, 2017
The Rubio wave is one worth riding. Of the four point guards averaging higher fantasy totals over the last few weeks, three of them come with five-figure salaries on FanDuel, and the other is Kyrie Irving, who’s routinely priced above $9,000 and averages fewer than two points more per game.
Rubio, meanwhile, is sporting an average salary of just $7,100 over his last seven games and he’s hit at least five-times value (five fantasy points per $1,000 in salary) fives times over that same span. The heater is real, and the price is right.
Over his last eight games (dud included), Payton is averaging 36.5 FanDuel points per game, which includes a remarkable four triple-doubles in his last seven games.
To see how Payton’s sudden surge has come about, take a look at his averages so far for the month of March and how they stack up against his season-long numbers.
|Last 8 Games||12.0||53.2||8.3||8.8|
Per usual, Payton hasn’t been a massive scoring threat in terms of point totals, but he has been a more efficient scorer with his improved shooting percentage. He’s also kicked up an already impressive assist average into what would rank top-10 in the league, and his current run of 8.3 rebounds a night would give him the highest average of any point guard not named Russell Westbrook.
For a guy who’s normally pretty inconsistent, Payton has been solid for more than a handful of consecutive games, posting at least four-times value in each of his last seven games, as well as some bonus production with at least seven-times value in four of them.
Like Rubio, Payton’s services can be rostered for a much lower price than that of other guards, albeit without the upside of guys such as Isaiah Thomas, Kemba Walker, and Damian Lillard. Even so, Payton’s current production has made him one of the best values at his position over the last two weeks. Hopefully that streak continues.
While it’s unfortunate news out of Phoenix that Eric Bledsoe will be shut down for the remainder of the season due to knee soreness, the silver lining is that fantasy owners and hoops fans alike will get a nice 14-game dose of rookie Tyler Ulis.
In his first start of his career on Wednesday night against the Kings, Ulis posted a double-double with 13 points and 13 dimes, as well as 2 steals, 1 block (he’s under six-foot!), and just 1 turnover.
Perhaps I’m biased as one of the biggest Ulis fans on the planet, but it doesn’t seem crazy to think Wednesday night’s performance is closer to the norm of what to expect in the coming weeks than it is an outlier. Sure, anticipated double-doubles may be a reach, but the headiness, handles, and energy that Ulis brings on both sides of the ball provides major upside during this late-season audition to close the year.
Did we mention handles?
Tyler Ulis makes his defender dance as he hits this midrange jumper. #BBN #Suns pic.twitter.com/NV1y3i4QEs
— Scott Charlton (@Scott_Charlton) March 16, 2017
Gimme all the Ulis stock to close the quarter.
And that’ll do it for this week. Remember, this month's bracket will be mostly chalk come Final Four time, but that UCLA and the Fighting Lonzo Balls will ultimately cut down the nets.
See ya next time!