2021-22 Fantasy Basketball: Kelly Olynyk

by Michael Gorman

Kelly Olynyk only played ten games this season before spraining his left MCL in his knee. Despite the fact that he didn’t look great before his injury, his sizable role on a terrible Detroit Pistons squad makes him one of the hottest pickups in the league.

A sought-after sleeper pick in drafts this season, Olynyk was pegged to continue his strong run of play during the last month of the 2020-21 season. During that month, he averaged about 20 points, 8.9 rebounds, 5.3 assists, and 1.8 steals on 50.3% from the field and 84.3% from the line.

This season, he’s averaged 12.5 points, 1.4 three-pointers, 5.3 rebounds, 2.3 assists, 1.4 steals, and 0.7 blocks per game on 45.9% from the field and 60.0% from the line.

2021-22 Fantasy Basketball: Kelly Olynyk

Kelly Olynyk’s rest of season outlook

Fantasy managers that are expecting similar numbers to last year might have to pump their brakes a bit. Olynyk will have every chance to shine. But he won’t be the best player on his team down the stretch, barring an injury to Cade Cunningham.

You can read more about Cade Cunningham in Yeon's post from earlier this month.

During his month-long run of Fantasy godliness last season, Olynyk was one of five players for the Rockets that played at least 13 games. Every other player missed at least eight games.

Because the days of huge batches of players going into health and safety protocols are largely behind us, it’s highly unlikely that the Pistons face similar woes.

All that said, it’s not unreasonable to hope for top-60 or higher from Olynyk down the stretch this season. He showed that rust isn't a huge issue for him during his first game back. He scored 22 points and garnered nine rebounds, five assists, and a steal and block.

What can we expect from Olynyk?

It’s encouraging to know that he was still able to sport a 24.0 usage rate coming off the bench in his first 10 games of the season with a healthy Jerami Grant in the mix. During his legendary run with the Rockets last season, his usage rate was 23.8.

During the offseason, head coach Dwayne Casey sounded excited about using Olynyk as a spark plug off the bench. This would also be a good time to remind folks that Olynyk earned a three-year, $37 million contract this past offseason.

The only scenario to be concerned about would be a trade that sends Olynyk to a better-equipped team than the Pistons (and most are).

Regardless of whether or not Jerami Grant gets traded in the next few weeks, it’s time to scoop Kelly Olynyk off your local waiver wire in 10-team leagues and larger. If Olynyk isn't traded, he'll be a strong contributor.

Check out more Fantasy Basketball content and know that we’re providing strong advice.

My articles on Gary Trent Jr., Jaren Jackson Jr., and Terry Rozier are looking particularly clairvoyant these days.

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