When Kyrie Irving is playing basketball, it is a much more fun sport to watch. I’ve always felt this way. The problem is, he is well known for his susceptibility to injuries, which in all fantasy formats is not a valuable asset. Even with that being said, Kyrie has been a monster since stepping foot onto an NBA court.
In his short career, Kyrie has been a 3x All-Star, won NBA Rookie of the Year, won the NBA All-Star MVP, Rising Star Challenge MVP, Three-Point Shootout Champion and was FIBA World Cup MVP. That is enough to make for a solid career, but Kyrie has accomplished that in just 5 years on the court. He is also one of the best ball handlers in the league. At the point guard position, there is only one guy I would want on my team more, and that is Stephen Curry. I would put Kyrie slightly ahead of Russell Westrbook, only because Westbrook can be a little reckless with how he attacks the rim [admittedly, that might be a positive to some].
Looking forward to the second half of the NBA season, which saddens me to say because it’s already half over, I think Kyrie is going to be one of the most productive players in any format. For season long leagues, you have probably missed your chance at buying low. As the season moves on, I’m expecting the Cavs to take some opportunities to rest LeBron, especially against teams that are struggling, and I would expect Kyrie to become to largest component of the Cavalier offense, with Kevin Love as the close, and obvious, number two.
In terms of daily fantasy, I am playing Kyrie no questions asked under 8.5k, and still with little hesitation at 9k. He absolutely has the potential to hit a sustained stretch of 50+ points, and in situations where either Love or LeBron is out, his ceiling could eclipse 60. Couple that with their new up tempo offense, and you get more opportunities for points, boards, dimes and steals. That puts Kyrie in a very good position to be a positive contributor to your fantasy lineups, especially with pricing taking a while to catch up with current production.
If you managed to grab Kyrie before the middle of January, congratulations to you. Unless you really traded the farm away, you probably ended up the winner in that deal. Even though I always have to remind myself of his propensity for injury, his upside is just too good to pass up. Next up after the All-Star break will be Chicago. I’ll have him in my lineups, and you should too!