Len Stealing My Sunshine

The Phoenix Suns are in full tank mode and finally have decided to unleash Alex Len. Attempting to build up the trade value of Markieff Morris delayed the process a bit. Len injury problems during his college and professional career may be one of the reasons Tyson Chandler was signed this off-season. I’ve been impressed with Len’s ability to score down low and facing the basket.  Defensively Len has been more willing to mix it up down low.  His defense from 10 ft and in is solid but foul trouble causes problems.  The Suns have started Len at Power Forward and played the twin towers together more in the recent stretch.  Small ball lineups can possibly negate the Twin Towers. However Chandler not Len should lose minutes at this stage of the season.

Fantasy owners tracking Len should have taken notice of his steady increase in usage rate.   January saw a usage rate of 17.1, February jumped to 25.2 and so far in March its 27.2. February was a good month for Len as he averaged 12.23 ppg and 9.2 rpg. The fantasy basketball playoffs often come down to schedules as Len in weekly leagues ends the season with 3, 4, and 4 games.  The added eligibility of PF in some leagues only sweetens the deal.

I picked up Len a few weeks ago due to Zaza Pachulia’s drop-off in production.  Len’s play has impressed me to the point where I may consider him as 1 of my 2 keepers for next season. The keeper prices jump 1.5 times and owners can only keep a player for 2 years.  My keepers entering this season were Jimmy Butler for $8 and Chandler Parsons at $ 11. Draft pricing for Kawhi Leonard $25, Carmelo Anthony $31 and Marc Gasol $26 are too rich for my blood. Karl Anthony-Towns $12 is set as one of my keepers. D’Angelo Russell $8, Thaddeus Young $2, Myles Turner $1, and Aaron Gordon $1 are also lost cost keeper options.  I like to have inexpensive young keepers so I can spend more in my draft. I’m leaning towards Butler for one more year, but Len’s play has questioned my thought process quite a bit.

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