Ryan Knaus breaks down how Memphis Grizzlies' Jonas Valančiūnas is staying healthy and producing big numbers for managers.
RYAN KNAUS: Jonas Valanciunas does not get enough credit. The man has as many double doubles this season as Giannis Antetokounmpo and James Harden. His true shooting percentage, just north of 60%, is higher than guys like Anthony Davis, Luka Doncic, and Domantas Sabonis. His rebound rate is third in the league, behind only Andre Drummond and Clint Capela.
The problem for Valanciunas' fantasy value is that he's not a shot blocker, with 0.7 blocks in about 28 minutes per game. That's Ennis Kanter territory. Less critically, Valanciunas isn't a stretch 5, with 0.3 triples per game on 29% shooting from deep.
None of that should distract from the fact that what JV does, he does extremely well. After all, he's averaging over 15 and 15 in March. And if your league counts offensive rebounds, you're in luck. He's generating a ton of second chance points, with 5.20 rebounds per game this month.
The best news, though, is that the 28-year-old behemoth is fully healthy, and has played through back-to-back sets without even a suggestion that he might sit out. The Grizzlies can't afford to be cautious, either, as they're hovering around 500 and just a few games away from dipping out of the playoff picture. Jaren Jackson Jr's return in late April also shouldn't worry JV's managers, since he'll be treated with extreme caution, and should also get about half of his minutes at power forward.
That leaves Valanciunas with a clear path to mid-round fantasy value the rest of the way, whether or not he gets the appreciation he deserves.