Fantasy Basketball: Week 2 Cheat Sheet
What an opening week for the NBA. Russell Westbrook is who we thought he was going to be, Batman. He is willing Oklahoma City to wins and making stat-sheets confusing. The “Brody” is averaging 38.7 PPG 12.7 RPG and 11.7 APG. Yes, he’s a 6-foot-3 guard whose averaging 12.7 rebounds. It doesn’t much make sense. Anthony Davis proved why he’s still not to be forgotten dropping a 50 bomb with a bunch of other goodies in his stat line on opening night. Damian Lillard is showing the world that he means it when he wants to hold the MVP trophy. Kawhi Leonard is blossoming under our very eyes and becoming an elite scorer in the league as well as being the top perimeter nightmare he has always been. The villains over by Golden State haven’t looked right but it’s understandably so, given we are 3-4 games into the season. The newcomer named Kevin Durant? He’s still pretty good at basketball averaging a league-best, blistering 37.9 PPG 10.3 RPG 4.7 APG along with 2.7 steals and 1.7 blocks per game. He’s also doing it at a crazy efficient 57% shooting. Of course, most of these numbers are unlikely to be sustainable throughout the season but man, what a time to be alive.
It’s been an exciting week for me, especially considering how much I’ve missed the NBA. Starting my new gig with the New York Knicks and fantasy season fully underway. It’s also worth noting that now FanDuel is now legal again in New York, giving me a chance to make some lunch money on the side. If you’re not familiar to DFS (Daily Fantasy Sports), I encourage you to check it out. I know fellow colleague @NICKFAYYYYYYYYY plays as well! It’s fun and not as time-consuming as a regular season-long fantasy league. On top of that, it gives you a chance to really win some big bucks. Last year, I invested $20 into my account and ended up banking around $2,300 by February. True story.
We are one week into the season and we have some encouraging breakouts happening so far. Some are waiver-wire pickups and some are just performing way ahead of their ADP. Let’s take a look.
Myles Turner C IND – Did I not mention him or what? This young-stud brings a completely different dimension to the Pacers not only on the defensive end, but the offensive end as well. He’s a true break-out this season and I mentioned him to be a favorite to win the Most Improved Player award. Through 3 games, Turner is averaging 21 PPG 10.3 RPG along with 3.3 blocks. His scoring will likely dip a bit but I expect nothing less than 18 PPG. He’s currently sitting on #7 overall in 9-cat leagues via BBM rankings. Sheesh.
Avery Bradley PG/SG BOS – Bradley has improved every season in his career and this season he’s becoming a true two-way player. His offensive arsenal has vastly improved over the departure of Rondo and he’s arguably the Celtics 2nd best scoring option behind Isaiah Thomas. Currently ranked #10 overall, he’s averaging 21.3 PPG 8.7 RPG 4.7 APG with four 3PTm. Unsustainable of course, but I don’t expect a significant decline throughout the season. He’s been a steal in almost EVERY draft.
TJ Warren SF PHX – Warren has been a clear-cut waiver-wire pickup winner through week 1. Often overlooked because of his inability to fill up the stat-sheet other than points, he’s proving us wrong so far this season. He’s getting major minutes at the 3 and is the rock-solid starter for the Suns this season. He’s not going to average 23.3 PPG obviously, but he’s going to provide enough scoring with a little bit of rebounds and the occasional steals and 3’s to help your team. If he’s on your waiver-wire, invite me to your league. Scoop him up immediately.
Patty Mills PG SAS – Patty Mills is a fantastic point guard who can probably win a starting spot if he wasn’t on the Spurs. Fueled by his international and Olympic experience with the Australian team, Mills has carved out to be a fine player under the championship swagger with the Spurs. Tony Parker is going to rest A LOT this season. And even when Parker is on the floor he won’t see over 30 minutes. Patty Mills is already helping you enough to be in standard league consideration with 3-pointers and steals in back-up minutes. He’s a must-start any time Parker is resting.
Julius Randle PF LAL – I’m going to give my man Julius some love, because he’s earned it. He has worked his butt off since breaking his leg in his rookie year and he looks ready to finally take the next step. He’s been viewed in the fantasy world as a poor man’s Zach Randolph and I think it’s always been an unfair comparison because he’s still only 21-years old. Randle is doing more than just points and rebounds as he’s averaging 3.3 APG, a steal and a block. He’s been the engine to most of the Lakers offense as he snatches a rebound to lead the break, something he excels in with his 6-9 athletic frame. Currently ranked #54(good for 5th round-value), he’s been a steal in many drafts considering everyone got him past round 8. I’m on board with the Julius train this season.
Tim Frazier PG NOR – Little Tim Frazier learned well from his former teammate Damian Lillard. He’s proven to be fully capable of becoming a starter in this league. The Pelicans aren’t winning ball games, but that’s not because of Frazier. He’s averaging 13.7 PPG, 5.0 RPG, 9.3 APG on 50% FG and only 2.0 turnovers. That’s solid. Jrue Holiday is still a better point guard, but Frazier is holding it down right now.
TJ Warren SF PHX, Bojan Bogdanovic SG/SF BKN, Michael Kidd-Gilchrist SF CHA, Andre Roberson SG/SF OKC, Patty Mills PG SAS, Allen Crabbe PG/SG POR, Cody Zeller PF/C CHA, Mike Muscala PF/C ATL, Sergio Rodríguez PG PHI,
Kris Dunn PG MIN* - Special case, needs to be scooped in ALL leagues until Ricky Rubio is cleared healthy. Knowing Tom Thibodeau, I wouldn’t be surprised if Dunn is given 30+ minutes while Rubio is on the sidelines.
Players to be closely monitored or to be considered by deeper leagues (14-team + leagues):
Terry Rozier PG BOS, Jon Leuer PF/C DET, JJ Barea PG DAL, Justin Hamilton PF/C BKN, Dewayne Dedmon C SAS, Sean Kilpatrick SG BKN
George Hill PG UTA – Not a chance he averages 20 points, especially with Gordon Hayward closer to return.
Dwyane Wade SG CHI – Starts hot every season, minutes will likely to be monitored sooner or later.
Rudy Gay SF/PF SAC – He’s a likely trade candidate by the February deadline. A trade elsewhere will probably do more harm than good for his fantasy outlook.
Marc Gasol C MEM – This really depends how high you drafted him at. If you spent a 4th round pick I encourage you sell high now, he’s still a risk to sit random back-to-backs and his leg might not hold up all season.
Deron Williams PG DAL – Much like Marc, very risky as the season prolongs.
Pau Gasol PF/C SAS – I’m concerned at Pau’s outlook for the Spurs. It hasn’t clicked yet and I’m not sure if it will this season. Wait for Pau to string a couple nice games then sell high.
Stephen Curry PG/SG GSW – Chef Curry hasn’t exactly gotten it cooking yet through the first week. Make no mistake, you’ll start smelling Curry soon enough. If I’m a Lillard owner, I’m firing up an offer to a Curry owner.
Karl-Anthony Towns PF/C – Much like Curry, KAT hasn’t had a monster game yet so his owner might be impatient with all the big lines coming from Anthony Davis, Russell Westbrook, etc. Not a bad idea to see if there are any inpatient fellows in your league.
D’Angelo Russell PG LAL – Small sample size but Dloading hasn’t exactly gotten the start he probably hoped for (34% FG atm) But things aren’t going to get much worse and he’s surely going to get better as the year goes on. His weakness was FG% and turnovers to begin with so he’s still giving you the points, 3-pointers, and steals you expected.
Jabari Parker SF/PF MIL – Not a great start to the season obviously but he’s a key part to what the Bucks are doing this season, despite of all the weird rotations from Jason Kidd. He’s definitely going to eclipse his current 13.3 PPG and 41% FG. You can probably get him at a quarter for a dollar right now from a frustrated owner.
Games played in Week 2 by teams:
5 Games - SAC
4 Games - ATL, CHI, DEN, LAC, LAL, MEM, MIL, NYK, PHO, POR, TOR, UTA
3 Games - BKN, BOS, CLE, DAL, DET, GSW, HOU, IND, MIN, NOR, OKC, ORL, PHI, SAS, WAS
2 Games - CHA, MIA
Lastly, I want to point out that a fantasy season isn’t won in the first week, it is simply a marathon. A fantasy season is long and requires some patience. Don’t go dropping players with positive season outlooks for a hot FA who might not have value in a few weeks. Fantasy leagues are won in the waiver-wires for sure, but that doesn’t mean you should drop Enes Kanter for Mike Muscala because Muscala had a few nice games. Be patient and stay disciple fellow owners! Scout your waiver-wire like a hawk, use your weekly or daily acquisitions in a timely manner and always remember to set your lineups ahead of time. Prepare for the next upcoming week on the weekends with games played and follow up-to-date news on all injuries.
Hit me up on Twitter @fungo24 with anything related to basketball and of course fantasy!