Welcome to Outrageous Claims, where the Damn Lies writers examine players that fantasy basketball owners might want to add to their teams. If you agree or disagree, or just want to vent, leave a message in the comments.
Marreese Speights (PF, MEM)
Initially, the plan was for the Memphis Grizzlies to trade for Speights and have him back up Zach Randolph and Marc Gasol. Unfortunately, for the Grizzlies, Speights’ current role is to replace Randolph. Pretty funny how that works out, right? Well, it’s not funny to me, as someone who owns Randolph and Manu Ginobili on one team. Now I’m pretty much stuck with… Marreese Speights.
To be honest, I actually like Speights as a fantasy contributor now that he’s in Memphis. I feel like the 76ers never really utilized him properly. At least now with the Grizzlies, you know that he’s going to get minutes. He has to. They aren’t simply going to lean on Dante Cunningham to play 25-plus minutes. They have to let Speights play. And I believe that with the extra minutes and touches he can turn into a must-own player in 10-team leagues. Maybe not now, but eventually.
Just look at the numbers. Over his first three seasons in the league, Speights has only averaged about 14 minutes per game. Pretty pedestrian. But, when you consider what he’s been able to accomplish in limited action, he starts to look more appealing. If you stretch his numbers out to ‘per 36,’ you’ll see that Speights has posted 17.7 points, 9.0 rebounds, 1.2 assists, 0.8 steals and 1.3 blocks… per 36 minutes. Now, I’m not going to claim that he’ll step in and start playing 36 minutes each night for the Grizz, but his minutes should certainly approach about 25-28 per game. That doesn’t seem so outrageous to me. I can see him getting to the point where he’s comfortable enough in the system, getting touches and sets run through him, to post about 15 and 6 each night. Not great, but for someone who is now only owned in about 2% of leagues, that’s not too shabby.
Tom’s Claim: It’s going to take a game or two, but Speights will be the lead power forward for the Grizzlies until Randolph returns. I think on a good night he can come close to posting a double-double, but on an average night he might look more like Carl Landry. Again, that’s not bad for someone available in well over 90% of leagues.