Catfish or Swish: 7 Players Who Might Be Catfishing You to Start the Fantasy Basketball Season

I’ve been trying to tie together my love of trashy reality TV with fantasy basketball for as long as I’ve run this website, and, bare with me, but I think I’ve finally done it.

If you’re not familiar with the TV show “catfish”, it’s based on people who create a fake persona online (pretending to be somebody they’re not), in an attempt to forge a relationship with another person.

The person getting “catfished” is often somebody who’s clinging to hope, hoping that the person they’ve been speaking to is the person in the photos.

Spoiler alert: It mostly never is.

Yes, it’s trashy, and yes, it relates to fantasy basketball, because the start of the fantasy season is often the time where players start the season strong, making people question whether they’re really top 50 players.

Today, I look at 7 players, and discuss whether I think they’re catfishing us, or if I think it’s sustainable (swish).

Myles Turner, Indiana Pacers

Turner’s currently ranked 11th overall in category leagues, and that’s almost exclusively because he’s averaging 5 blocks and 1.5 steals per game, while shooting 90% from the free-throw line.

TYPE R# GP MPG FG% FT% 3PM PTS REB AST STL BLK TOV
2020/21 Season 11 4 28.6 0.444 0.900 1.00 11.30 4.80 0.50 1.50 5.00 1.50
2020/21 Projection 40 70 29.8 0.454 0.765 1.00 11.90 6.78 1.23 0.98 2.74 1.44

Verdict: To me, this screams catfish. It’s hard to see somebody sustain more than 3 blocks per game for an entire season. The 40-50 range is a realistic ceiling.

Christian Wood, Houston Rockets

Houston has started the season with Harden, Wood, and a bunch of players who resemble a processing Sixers roster. This has given Wood the opportunity to feast his way to the 16th ranked player to start the season.

TYPE R# GP MPG FG% FT% 3PM PTS REB AST STL BLK TOV
2020/21 Season 16 2 40.2 0.548 0.667 2.00 27.00 8.00 2.00 1.00 1.50 1.50
2020/21 Projection 28 67 31.4 0.529 0.752 1.52 19.99 9.94 1.55 0.68 1.31 1.91

Verdict: This is like getting catfished, but still being down to date the person catfishing you because you’ve forged such a great connection. Wood won’t finish the season as the 16th best player, but top-30 is likely.

Alec Burks, New York Knicks

Burks is currently the 23rd ranked player, averaging 20.7 points on 53% and 90% shooting splits.

TYPE R# GP MPG FG% FT% 3PM PTS REB AST STL BLK TOV
2020/21 Season 23 3 27.6 0.531 0.900 3.30 20.70 3.70 3.70 1.00 0.70 2.30
2020/21 Projection 98 60 29.7 0.425 0.880 1.97 15.86 4.16 3.07 0.98 0.29 1.58

Verdict: This has more red flags than being told they can’t video chat because the camera on their phone cracked for the 4th time in 2 weeks.

Darius Garland, Cleveland Cavaliers

Garland finds himself as the 25th ranked player after 4 solid fantasy outings where his FG% has jumped (from 40.1% last season) to 48.3%.

TYPE R# GP MPG FG% FT% 3PM PTS REB AST STL BLK TOV
2020/21 Season 25 4 35.6 0.483 1.000 2.50 18.50 4.00 7.80 1.80 0.30 1.80
2020/21 Projection 88 70 31.6 0.448 0.879 2.33 15.86 2.11 6.08 0.99 0.11 2.93

Verdict: An improvement was likely heading into season 2, but I don’t think his FG% is sustainable, and it’s hard seeing him finish the season inside the top 50. This one looks like a catfish to me, but he’s still somebody I want on my roster.

Terry Rozier, Charlotte Hornets

Rozier has started the season on fire, averaging 26.7 points on 51.9% from the field. With LaMelo getting eased into the season I think you know what my verdict on this one is going to be.

TYPE R# GP MPG FG% FT% 3PM PTS REB AST STL BLK TOV
2020/21 Season 27 3 33.1 0.519 0.722 4.30 26.70 3.30 3.00 1.30 0.70 1.70
2020/21 Projection 101 70 27.8 0.435 0.872 2.50 16.62 3.68 2.98 0.96 0.17 2.07

Verdict: Catfish.

Jerami Grant, Detroit Pistons

Grant left Denver looking for a bigger role on the offensive end, but I don’t think anybody expected him to start the season averaging 22.8 points with 2.8 three-pointers made.

TYPE R# GP MPG FG% FT% 3PM PTS REB AST STL BLK TOV
2020/21 Season 29 4 37.1 0.470 0.857 2.80 22.80 6.00 1.80 1.00 1.50 1.30
2020/21 Projection 49 70 33.8 0.478 0.784 2.07 20.09 5.20 1.84 0.81 1.10 1.11

Verdict: Grant was everybody’s go-to sleeper on draft day, but even his biggest advocates don’t think that top-30 value is sustainable. This isn’t a catfish, but it’s somewhere in between since top-50 value is achievable.

Chris Boucher, Toronto Raptors

Everybody was tripping over themselves 48 hours ago to make sure he wasn’t sitting on waiver wires, and after his 4-minute outing yesterday, he now finds himself as the 62nd ranked player.

If you’re expecting the 22 points, 10 rebounds, and 7 blocks version of Boucher, then you’re getting catfished, but if you’re expecting somebody who’s capable of putting up elite numbers one game, and playing 10 minutes or less the next, then that’s exactly what you’re getting. His minutes are going to continue to fluctuate all season.

TYPE R# GP MPG FG% FT% 3PM PTS REB AST STL BLK TOV
2020/21 Season 62 3 15.9 0.625 0.493 1.00 11.30 5.30 0.30 0.00 3.00 0.70
2020/21 Projection 87 64 22.7 0.459 0.790 1.04 11.29 6.69 0.69 0.69 1.65 0.86

Verdict: Catfish, but I can see him finishing the season with top-80 value.

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