At this stage of the season, injured players, and their replacements, play a huge role in determining the outcome of fantasy matchups. The Sacramento Kings’ Ray McCallum fits the bill perfectly as a player you want to look at due to injuries.
In today’s edition of “All Wired Up”, I’ll delve into the fantasy strengths of potential waiver wire gold like McCallum and the New Orleans Pelicans.
» Ray McCallum, PG, Sacramento Kings (0.3 percent owned on ESPN.com)
22 points (9-19 FG, 3-5 FT), 1 three-pointer, 2 rebounds, 10 assists, 2 steals, 0 blocks vs Pelicans.
An important caveat to note regarding Kings’ point guard Ray McCallum. As soon as Isaiah Thomas returns from his quad injury, McCallum’s value returns to almost non-existent. But we are talking about the here and now, and McCallum is making a name for himself in the NBA.
McCallum has started the last four games for the cellar-dwelling Kings and is showing that he can be of real value to your fantasy team. McCallum, like Thomas, was a second-round draft pick. He was selected at pick 36 in the 2013 draft and would hardly have been on fantasy players’ or experts’ must-watch lists.
But when the Kings traded Greivis Vasquez as part of the package to acquire Rudy Gay, McCallum became the only other point guard on the roster except Thomas. He was flashing ability in a back-up role that made me sit up and take notice, but now that Thomas is injured, he’s really showing off his wares.
It’s unlikely the Kings will want to rush Thomas back — they aren’t playing for anything and probably want to see what they have for the future in McCallum. So as a fantasy owner, deep in the thick of a playoff campaign, you have to take notice.
In the four starts, McCallum has averaged 15.3 points, 1.0 three-pointers, 4.0 rebounds, 7.0 rebounds and 1.3 steals. His shooting has been a worry, hitting only 38 percent of his field goal attempts and 54 percent of his free throws, but his overall value is hard to argue.
Another thing to note about McCallum is the minute load he is playing. On Saturday, he became the first player in the NBA this season to play all 48 minutes of the game (it’s a bit of surprise that a Chicago Bull hadn’t accomplished that already). He is averaging a whopping 45.1 minutes of court time in his fur starts, so you know the Kings are going to go hard with him.
He may only get one or two more fantasy relevant games, but with what he is doing, you have to make the move and squeeze what you can out the rookie.