• Brad Berreman

Fantasy Basketball: Sell High On Ricky Rubio?


Late last season with the Minnesota Timberwolves, something seemed to click for Ricky Rubio. In 24 games after the All-Star break, the Spaniard averaged 16 points, 10.5 assists, 4.6 rebounds and 1.5 steals per game. Most notably, his field goal percentage (42 percent), three-point percentage (35.3 percent) and True Shooting Percentage (55 percent) all increased from his career norms.

Rubio was traded to the Utah Jazz during the offseason, and his good run has continued over the first eight games this season (entering Friday’s action). He is averaging 17.5 points, 6.5 assists, 4.9 rebounds and 2.1 steals per game, while shooting 43.7 percent from the floor and 37.2 percent from beyond the arc.

Rubio neared his career-high with 30 points against the Portland Trail Blazers Wednesday night, along with 11 assists, five rebounds and two steals. He has scored 20 or more points in three straight games, while going 11-for-21 from three-point range over that span.

A change of scenery appears to agree with Rubio, and he is returning great value for fantasy owners. But it’s still only been a 32-game sample of improved shooting, and even then his traditional percentages have been merely adequate for a point guard.

Rubio’s 26.1 percent usage rate so far this season (via Basketball Reference) would a career-high by a good margin if it lasts over a full season. It’s easy to see some regression coming there for Rubio, as Donovan Mitchell, Rodney Hood and Alec Burks get healthy and assert themselves to varying degrees in Utah’s backcourt mix.

I don’t expect Rubio to completely fall of a cliff, since scoring is only a piece of what can be very good multi-category fantasy contribution. But now looks like the peak of his power as a scorer and shooter, so for fantasy owners that have another good point guard an opportunity to sell high is worth exploring.

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