Memphis Grizzlies Fantasy Basketball Season Preview

After a tough end to the playoffs last year, Memphis went into the off-season questioning its identity. Despite parting ways with former head coach Dave Joerger, The Grindhouse was able to re-sign Mike Conley in a historic deal, thereby solidifying themselves yet again as an underdog contender. This year, with the addition of a well-rounded scoring threat in Chandler Parsons, the NBA is sure to hear them roar if they can stay healthy.

While many familiar faces are still in Memphis, new coach David Fizdale has discussed playing a more high-paced style of basketball, pushing the ball and running the break. He says he has a win-now mentality, and he will likely have to give his starters heavy minutes to do so. This, coming at a time when the starting unit is aged and oft-injured, may result in tragedy or resurgent triumph.

Player Movement

Notable Ins Notable Outs
Chandler Parsons Dallas Mavericks
Tony Wroten Philadelphia 76ers
Wade Baldwin NBA Draft
Chris Andersen Cleveland Cavaliers
Matt Barnes Sacramento Kings
Lance Stephenson New Orleans Pelicans
Ray McCallum Detroit Pistons

Memphis Grizzlies Depth Chart

Point Guard Shooting Guard Small Forward Power Forward Center
Mike Conley
Wade Baldwin
Tony Wroten
Tony Allen
Vince Carter
Jordan Adams
Chandler Parsons
James Ennis
Zach Randolph
JaMychal Green
Jarell Martin
Marc Gasol
Brandan Wright

Rotation Player Projections

POS PLAYER USG MPG PTS REB AST STL BLK 3PM FG% FT% TO
C Marc Gasol 23.3 33 15.9 6.7 3.6 1 1.2 0 46.4 82.9 2.2
SF Chandler Parsons 24 31 16.9 4.9 3.6 0.8 0.3 2.1 49.2 68.4 2.1
PG Mike Conley 24 31 16.2 2.9 6.5 1.2 0.3 1.5 42.2 83.4 1.6
PF Zach Randolph 24.7 28 14.5 7.4 2 0.6 0.2 0.1 47.5 79.6 1.4
SG Tony Allen 16.8 26 8.6 4.7 1.1 1.7 0.3 0.2 45.8 65.2 1.2
PF JaMychal Green 19.8 22 8.8 5.7 1.1 0.7 0.5 0.2 46.5 75.2 1.3
PG Wade Baldwin 18 20 8.6 2.9 4 1 0.2 1 42 80 1.5
C Brandan Wright 15.3 16 6.2 3.3 0.5 0.4 1.2 0 67.3 54.2 0.7
SG Vince Carter 18.5 14 5.5 2 0.8 0.5 0.2 0.8 38.8 83.3 0.5
PG Tony Wroten 20 12 3.4 1.7 1 0.3 0 0.2 33.8 54.1 1.4
SF James Ennis 21.5 7 2.8 1.2 0.4 0.7 0.4 0.4 30.8 60 0.4

Decrease in Value

Zach Randolph

While he is still serviceable the decline will come sooner than later. However, The 35-year-old hasn't had a major injury since 2011, and it's not like Z-Bo to just roll over. He averaged short of a double-double last year for the first time in three seasons, and his lack of blocks doesn't help. His age will limit him, but he will also be very consistent as long as he remains on the floor.

Injury Risks

Chandler Parsons

While he certainly has upside, injury concern is no joke either. He has never played a full season, missed 21 games last year, and had his last two seasons cut short by knee surgeries. Now he enters training camp still in a limited capacity from the last surgery. Backup James Ennis would have his hands full if given starters minutes, and only worth a wait-and-see approach should it happen.

Marc Gasol

Last year may have been the beginning of the gradual decline of Marc Gasol's career. Most of his averages stayed on par, but the 31-year-old only played only 52 games, the lowest of his career. His style of basketball does not demand young athleticism, so he has fantasy years ahead of him as long as he stays away from major injury, but the steady decline is inevitable and it may start to get very noticeable as soon as this upcoming season. We should at least see a decline in assists, a very strong out-of-position category for Gasol for many years, from playing a less half-court style of basketball. If he falls a bit in the draft and stays healthy, he would come at tremendous value, but just be aware of the risk associated before you click that draft button.

Other Player Summaries

Mike Conley

The days of Mike Conley being underrated in fantasy are well and gone, but a change in pace could benefit him better than anyone else on the team. Pushing the pace and playing as a traditional point-guard was something Conley saw less and less of as the team became more of a real contender. Now Fizdale wants the 28-year-old to push the pace with the ball in his hands more, and it is possible we see a bump in points and assists with more turnovers, while shooting closer to the .422 FG% mark he had last year, a career-low. His downside includes minor injury concern and some frustrating shooting slumps, but Conley usually manages to at least return his fantasy expectations.

Wade Baldwin Dynasty

It's probably too early to pass judgement on the rookie, but if Conley goes down he could see steady minutes. Memphis would probably do better signing another point-guard in that situation, because despite showing promise Baldwin is a long-term project. His aggressive style of play on both ends makes him an intriguing prospect, but we may see very little of it this season.

Brandan Wright Deep League

He only played 12 games in Memphis last season in a limited role, but his career numbers are pretty consistent. He will need an injury to Marc or Z-Bo to be even be considered a must-own in standards, but he might carve out a backup role as a block specialist.


 

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