The Charlotte Bobcats have hovered around .500 so far this season (8-11), but they have a void to fill now with Michael Kidd-Gilchrist suffering a broken left ring finger against the Dallas Mavericks on Tuesday night. Just how long Kidd-Gilchrist will be sidelined is unknown right now, but it’s safe to assume he’ll be out for a least a few weeks and fellow second-year man Jeff Taylor is in line to take over as the Bobcats’ starting small forward. Should fantasy basketball owners have Taylor on their radar?
Taylor has started one of 19 game so far this season, and he has now failed to score in double figures in eight straight games since his season-high of 20 points against the Chicago Bulls on Nov. 18 to cap a streak of five straight games scoring in double figures. He also set his season-high for minutes (33) and shot attempts (18) in that game against Chicago.
Taylor started 29 of the 77 games he played as a rookie for the Bobcats last season, and his production in a starting role (8.0 points and 2.6 rebounds per game in just over 26 minutes per game) was only slightly better than his overall averages for the season (6.1 points and 1.9 rebounds per game). Looking toward advanced stats, Taylor’s usage rate (19.3 percent this season) and production per-36 minutes played are both up compared to last season, so his fantasy value will be closely tied to how much he plays. His playing time is up slightly overall so far this season, at just under 24 minutes per game after playing less than 20 minutes per game last year, so Taylor could easily play close to 30 minutes per game while Kidd-Gilchrist is out.
I don’t think Taylor is a must-add for fantasy owners right now, but he is sure to be widely available and is worth a look in deep leagues.