Fantasy Basketball: Markieff Morris’ Value Is On The Rise

Markieff Morris

The Suns’ power forward is on fire right now (Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports)

Each morning, I’ll scour the previous night’s NBA games like a crazy person with a metal detector at the beach.  I’ll be looking for players like the Suns’ Markieff Morris and the Lakers’ Ryan Kelly, who could just be sitting there on your fantasy basketball league’s waiver wire waiting to be turned into fantasy gold.

As a brief explanation, I’ll suggest two guys who can help out — one of whom is owned in up to 75 percent of ESPN leagues — and a second, deeper cut, who is owned in less than 20 percent of ESPN leagues.  Without further ado, here’s January 20th’s “All Wired Up”!

Platinum Pickup

Markieff Morris, PF/C, Phoenix Suns (27.7 percent owned)

16 points (6-12 FG, 4-5 FT), 0 three-pointers, 6 rebounds, 2 assists, 1 steal, 0 blocks, 0 turnovers

Morris started out the season on one of the hottest streaks imaginable, at one stage hitting 30 out of 38 field goals in a three-game stretch.  He cooled off considerably, causing many of the people who picked him up on the back of those poor performances to drop him straight back to whence he came.  He’s quietly rounding back into solid form of late, getting close to 30 minutes a game in his past three outings and averaging 21 points and 8.3 rebounds in the Suns’ last three games.

Morris is also able to give decent steal and block numbers, averaging 0.8 swipes and 0.8 swats in the past months, but it’s really the points, rebounds and field goal percentage that will give a boost to your team.  The fact that he has now obtained center eligibility is a huge bonus and should make him a must add guy across all formats.

Deep League Diamond

Ryan Kelly, SF, Los Angeles Lakers (0.6 percent owned):

17 points (5-7 FG, 6-6 FT), 1 three-pointer, 5 rebounds, 2 assists, 2 steals, 0 blocks, 1 turnover

The victory against Toronto on Sunday was Kelly’s first ever NBA start and he showed that he has the talent to stick at this level.  The former Duke forward — whom the Lakers took in the second round of this year’s draft — has now exceeded 30 minutes in the past three games.  He scored 20 points against the Celtics on Friday to go with the 17 points on Sunday afternoon.

Mike D’Antoni is notoriously quick on the trigger to make changes to his starting lineup, but I get the feeling that he likes this Blue Devil and may keep him in the lineup for a while.  If he sticks, he’ll become more than a deep-league pick up and I’d be calling for everyone to make the move to acquire him.  In the meantime, I’d add him in 14-team leagues and deeper, but if you’re struggling in a standard league, you could do much worse than riding a hot player who just may explode.


Topics: Fantasy Basketball, Los Angeles Lakers, Markieff Morris, Phoenix Suns

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  • Sam

    I remember the last season Hamed Haddadi used to tell Markieff to “Move your body, hustle, defend”, in Memphis they never let him play and after every great performance Hollins benched him for 3 games, in Phoenix he received 13 minutes average playtime, in his final Suns game he made 14 points/7Rebounds/2blocks in under 20 minutes and ended his 17-game season on top of the whole team in (+/-) stats at -8, while Morris twins at -122 and -128, then Suns not only didn’t sign him or raise his salary, they waved him and signed Markieff’s brother Marcus to a full contract and added the rookie Alex-Len who so far has only showed how good he can hit and fight . My point is, only a selected few get the “Rise in the value,” for others everytime they play great they get benched then waved. By the way Haddadi went on to finish last summer at 20-0 gaining 2 more gold medals and now as a main/starter center he’s regularly scoring 20-27 points and 12-22 rebounds. Other examples of unjustified over-values are Rudy Gay, Kobe Bryant, Stoudemire, both Gasols and about 6-7 more like them. That’s NBA Inc.

    • Seth Klein

      The NBA is tough business and unfortunately coaches can often play favorites with certain players. Morris is a young player and needs to earn his money, but his “Rise in Value” is reflected more on the fantasy basketball side of things, where we’re always looking for a hot player whose play on the court is improving.

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