When Robin Lopez first came into the NBA all most folks seemed to talk about was his hair. He's definitely proven he's more then just a head of hair but what about his Fantasy Basketball value for 2015-2016?
The initial outlook for Robin Lopez was interesting;
He has more hair than his brother Brook, but that's likely to be the only category in which he outperforms his sibling. Unless an injury opens up a starting spot for him, Lopez will be just a big body off the bench for the Suns this season.
And that's about right on the money. Lopez hasn't outpreformed his brother but has he carved out his own place in the NBA as well as on Fantasy Basketball rosters ?
Let's flash forward to the Fantasy Basketball projection for 2012-2013.
Lopez comes to New Orleans following a mediocre start to his career. He played in all but two games last season, averaging 5.4 ppg, 3.3 rpg and .9 bpg, but Lopez was stuck as a defensive-minded player in a heavily offensive team. Lopez could reach his potential under Williams. He might not put up the numbers to be a force in fantasy, but his contributions to the team as a defensive stalwart will be a big help to the team. Unless in a deep league and looking for defensive stats, Lopez should not be a fantasy option.
Should not be a Fantasy Basketball option was dead on the money at the time but Lopez had a valuable season for the Pelicans or Hornets or whatever they were calling themselves then. His per 36 minutes output of 15.7 points, 7.8 rebounds, 1.1 assists, 2.2 blocks and FG percentage of 53 percent from the floor and 77 percent from the line made Lopez a much sought after center. His 26.7 minutes per game was the most of his career to date and while Lopez may not outperform his brother he certainly carved out a place of his own.
Here's the Fantasy Basketball proection for 2013-2014.
While Lopez didn't fully emerge out of his brother's shadow last season, he at least poked his head around Brook's shoulder. The forgotten Lopez twin easily put together the best season of his career for the Hornets, finishing with career-high marks in scoring (11.3), rebounding (5.6) blocked shots (1.6) and minutes played (26 mpg). While his counting stats might not jump out of the box score, Lopez was able to add to his overall fantasy value by being an extremely efficient big man, shooting 53 from the floor, 78 percent from the charity stripe and limiting his turnovers to 1.3 per game. Lopez was a strong veteran presence in the paint for a rebuilding squad in New Orleans, but he will join an already established Portland frontcourt after being packaged as part of the Tyreke Evans sign-and-trade deal. The Blazers' frontcourt will continue to revolve around LaMarcus Aldridge and the team will likely want to get Myers Leonard more involved in the rotation during his second season, which makes it unlikely Lopez will see as large of a role as he did in New Orleans. But if Lopez is able to carve out 22-26 mpg with his new team, he's capable of providing consistent enough production to be worth a look in some formats.
Lopez definitely got the playing time; Lopez played in all 82 games and averaged (31.7 MPG) and while his scoring was a bit down (12.6 per 36 minutes) his rebounding total of 9.7 boards per 36 minutes was much improved over his 2013 season total of 7.8 per 36 minutes. He also swatted nearly 2 shots per 36 and his FG percentage of 55.1 percent and 81.8 FT percentage made him more than worth a look in every Fantasy Basketball format.
And finally the 2014-2015 Fantasy Basketball projection for Robin Lopez.
After arriving in Portland last offseason via a three-team deal, Robin Lopez turned in the most prolific season of his six-year career, averaging 11.1 points (on 55-percent shooting), 8.5 rebounds, 1.7 blocks, and 0.9 assists in 32 minutes. The exchange appears to have worked in the Blazers' favor, at least initially, as Lopez's placement in the starting lineup allowed frontcourt mate LaMarcus Aldridge to focus more of his energy on the offensive end of the floor. Meanwhile, Lopez responded with a career-high in swats and defensive rebounds, but the center also emerged as a force on the offensive glass, corralling a franchise record 326 offensive rebounds on the year. Largely avoiding any serious injuries for the third consecutive year, Lopez is building up a track record as a reliable option inside, unlike his twin brother, Brook. As Robin enters the final year of his contract, he can be relied upon for boards, blocks, and a more-than-palatable field-goal percentage.
More reliable than his brother Brook! Man, isn't that the truth! His 2014-2015 season wasn't spectacular by any stretch of the imagination and by seasons end it was good enough to see him owned in roughly 90 percent of all Major Fantasy Basketball leagues. For the first time in his career Lopez did miss some games due to injury but his 2015 numbers were nearly identical to his 2014 production. He also finished 11th among Fantasy Basketball eligible centers.
2015-2016 Fantasy Basketball Projection for Robin Lopez
So where does that leave us for 2015-2016?
Robin Lopez is a free agent and I would assume a much sought after one at that. For me minuttes played matters and I think its safe to assume that no matter where he winds up next season if healthy he should see between 25-30 minutes a game so that is a plus right there.
The other thing I look for should be obvious; I want every player on my Fantasy Basketball roster to be able to contribute in as many scoring categories as possible; outside of assists and three pointers Robin Lopez manages to put up cosistant numbers in points (9.6), rebounds (6.7) as well as being a 53 percent shooter from the field and an above average FT percentage (77 percent). Again, nothing spectacular but no matter who Lopez plays for as long as he gets the minutes these numbers are what we can reasonably expect.
One of the most overlooked scoring categories in Fantasy Basketball second only to steals is blocked shots. This is the area that Lopez contributes to greatly with his 1.4 blocked shots per game. In a four game week those six or so blocks could win that scoring category right there. That's a huge plus in my book.
I personally don't see Lopez getting drafted in a ten team league. If he does at all it will or at least should be in the last round. There are centers and forward/center eligible players with better scoring and rebounding numbers than Lopez such as his brother Brook who should get drafted well before Robin's name comes up. Just be sure to put him on your watch list because depending on what team he actually plays for Lopez might put up some darn good numbers and if he does snatch him up before someone else does.
Where Robin Lopez will have the most benefit to the Fantasy Basketball owner is in Fantasy leagues with more than 12 teams. He gets the minutes and produces just enough of the other counting stats to make his blocked shots really stand out. He'll probably be a around in the 8th or 9th round and if he is grab him. You'll be happy if you do.
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