Tuesday, June 25, 2024

Fantasy Basketball category boosters: Norman Powell among trio of priority scorers to target in 2022-23

Norman Powell Los Angeles Clippers
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Fantasy managers in Roto leagues have to be strategic about diversifying their rosters by acquiring players who can do multiple things well. Not every player can do it all, though, and that’s why category boosters can be important. Some players aren’t worth starting on a nightly basis, but giving them spot starts can help you catch up in the areas where you’re lacking quality during weekly matchups. 

Moves from last season and this offseason have made certain players ideal targets for a scoring boost. I’ve identified three worth targeting below. Keep reading to find out what players could be competent fillers on your bench. You could need one of them to come up big at some point this year.

Powell has long been a scoring specialist and was a true journeyman last season. He’s averaged 18.7 points per game over the past two seasons while splitting time between the Toronto Raptors, Portland Trail Blazers, and Los Angeles Clippers. Powell will surely come off the bench with Kawhi Leonard returning this year, but the 21.4 points he averaged in his five games with the Clippers last year are encouraging. Leonard will surely have his workload managed carefully after taking a year off from basketball. Powell’s averaged 19.2 points per game as a starter over his previous four seasons.

Clarkson led all players in bench points last season and appears set to take on a bigger role in 2022-23 with Donovan Mitchell out of the picture. I still expect him to come off the pine behind Mike Conley, as the Utah Jazz still need a traditional playmaker on the court. The sixth man averaged 18.8 points per game in the 13 games he played without Mitchell last season while eclipsing 4.0 assists and 4.0 rebounds per contest. Clarkson will have more opportunities than he’s had in a while and should be more productive than quite a few starting point guards. 

Harrell split the 2021-22 season between the Washington Wizards and Charlotte Hornets. The undersized big man had a down year but still posted 13.1 points per game. He’s been one of the NBA‘s best reserve scorers over the past few seasons, and Fantasy managers shouldn’t be intimidated by Joel Embiid starting in front of him at center. The Philadelphia 76ers have limited depth at small forward and power forward, so I wouldn’t be surprised if he played a bit as a small ball four when P.J. Tucker or Tobias Harris deal with injuries or foul trouble. His hustle and playing style should work well with James Harden, who excels as a pick and roll maestro and helped Embiid finish second in total pick-and-roll man points. I think Harrell has a chance to finish the year as a top-20 center in 2022-23 despite his reserve role. 

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