Chicago Bulls forward Taj Gibson has only started one of 22 games so far this season, but even after scoring just four points Saturday night against the Toronto Raptors he is averaging 11.6 points, 6.8 rebounds and 1.2 blocked shots per game this season while playing just under 27 minutes per game. Luol Deng returned to action Saturday night after missing a few games with an Achilles’ issue and Jimmy Butler recently returned from a toe injury to further clog Chicago’s frontcourt, but is Gibson still worth owning in fantasy leagues?
He has only 10 points over the last two games, but prior to that Gibson scored in double figures in seven straight games (18 points or more five times) while averaging 8.3 rebounds and 1.7 blocked shots per game in that timeframe. That scoring output is an outlier when looking at his career as a whole, but the rebounding and blocked shot production during that brief stretch does not deviate greatly from Gibson’s averages for this season or his career (6.1 rebounds and 1.3 blocked shots per game).
Butler’s return to the lineup may have led to a lot of fantasy owners dropping Gibson, if his ownership percentage in Yahoo! leagues (35 percent) is any indication. Butler played over 36 minutes in his first game back Friday night, to just 18 minutes for Gibson, but that evened out a bit on Saturday night when Butler played nearly 30 minutes and Gibson saw close to 26 minutes of action off the bench.
Gibson is essentially a two-category contributor (rebounds and blocked shots) for the Bulls and fantasy basketball owners, and he is unlikely to suddenly become a consistently prolific scorer. But he is worth hanging onto in deep leagues, or re-adding as it were, and if Deng or Carlos Boozer were to go down to injury or be traded Gibson would be in line to benefit.
Brad Berreman is a contributing writer at Rant Sports.com. Follow him on Twitter @bradberreman24.