Fantasy Basketball: Week 8 Cheat Sheet
Week 8 is upon us and just like that Christmas is near. The NBA season has been a blur and right now would be a good time to scout out trades if your team is struggling. You need to make a push into playoff contention if you are falling deep into the standings. Also, know when to cut bait when necessary, remember that fantasy basketball sometimes rests on some luck.
So, what’s the latest with the NBA? Chris Paul has 20/20 vision. Yes, LASIK helps. (I might consider it myself) Russell Westbrook’s historic streak of triple-doubles finally ended. But he’s still a beast as the Thunder are sitting pretty at 15-9, not bad for a team who many said would struggle without Durant. As for Durant, he’s quietly having a MVP season, just like his former teammate Westbrook. King James became the first player ever to record 27,000 points 7,000 rebounds and 7,000 assists. His accolades and accomplishments as a basketball player continues to amaze me. And how about the Memphis Grizzlies? Marc Gasol aka Big Spain has to be an All-Star this year.
Breakout Performers From Week 7:
Kyle Lowry PG TOR – Lowry has been en fuego as of late. He’s been crushing it over the last 2 weeks with averages of 25.3 PPG 4.4 RPG 7.6 APG with 4.6 3PTm on 60% FG. He’s been the #2 overall player last week according to basketballmonster.com and boosted his value up to first-round value on the year. The FG% won’t be this good, but he’s in his prime at the age of 30 and I wouldn’t expect a huge drop off. Lowry and the Raptors are in sync right now, winning 7 of their last 8 games, only dropping a close game to the Cleveland Cavaliers.
Rudy Gobert C UTA – Rudy Gobert has been a nightmare matchup inside the paint for opposing teams all year long. He has really made up for the missing presence of Derrick Favors. The French Rejection averaged 18.3 PPG 14.8 RPG to go along with 4 blocks on 79% FG this week. That’s good for #5 overall this week. He’s also hitting free throws at 67% this year, way better than his 56% from last year. That has really helped his value this year. He won’t average 18 points when the Jazz are fully healthy, but the FG%, boards and the blocks are certainly going to be there.
Lou Williams PG/SG LAL – Sweet Lou has really benefited from the banged-up Lakers, but that doesn’t mean I don’t show Lou any love. Even though the Lakers are struggling, Williams has been on fire lately. Through 4 games this week, Lou averaged 30.3 PPG 4.5 RPG 3.5 APG with 3.5 3PTm and 1.8 steals. All while shooting 50% from the field and 92% from the line. I been preaching sell high all season, and with the Lakers getting healthy (Russell and Young are both back from injuries), you can’t tell me you actually believe this is sustainable. This is the perfect moment to sell high as you can probably get someone in the top 40 range at this current price tag.
Marc Gasol C MEM – Big Spain has really shouldered the load for the Grizzlies lately. With Mike Conley out 6 weeks due to a back injury, the Grizzlies haven’t missed a beat as they won 6 straight, including a beat down at Oracle Arena against the Warriors. Gasol has been nothing short of phenomenal, averaging 27.3 PPG 10 RPG 5.5 APG to go along with 1 steal 1.5 blocks and 2 3PTm. That’s good for 1st round week for the week and he’s shown in the past he’s definitely capable of sustaining these numbers. With an added 3-point shooting, his fantasy value is clearly trending up.
Dennis Schroder PG ATL – Schroder was struggling a couple weeks back and I told you to buy-low. The keys are simply his in Atlanta and he is a fine starting point guard in this league. Schroder averaged 22.3 PPG 4.3 RPG 6.3 APG with 1.3 steals and 2 3PTm. Schroder is ranked #27 over the last 2 weeks.
Ersan Ilyasova SF/PF PHI – Ghost Face Ilya is enjoying life in Philly, where he had an incredible week. Through 4 games, Ersan put up averages of 19.5 PPG 10.3 RPG 2.5 APG with 2.5 3PTm. Those numbers are obviously inflated a bit due to Joel Embiid, Jahill Okafor missing games. However, it’s not crazy to say that Ersan can possibly flirt with mid-round value all year and his overall game is very fantasy-friendly. Ride him until he cools off.
Nikola Jokic PF/C DEN – Don’t look now, but Jokic has been a beast lately. His per-minute production has always been impressive and he’s doing his damage again in just 25 minutes. Through 3 games this week, the Joker averaged 15 PPG 9.3 RPG with 3.3 APG to go along with 1.3 blocks on 60% FG. Just imagine if he was ever to get 30+ minutes. He’s a beast locked up in a cage right now in Denver.
Paul Millsap PF/C ATL – Thrillsap’s buy-low window has officially been closed shut. It’s locked firmly as he’s put away the worries of some owners early on with his recent outburst. Millsap has been the #3 best overall player in 9-cat leagues this week with averages of 22.7 PPG 9.3 RPG 4.0 APG with an impressive 2.7 steals and 2 blocks. Oh, and he’s hitting just under 1 3-pointer on 59% FG. He does it all, and if you bought low like I told you to, you must be feeling pretty good.
Chris Paul PG LAC – CP3 got busy when Blake Griffin was ruled out due to a sore knee on Friday. Every time Blake sits, CP3 usually goes off and he didn’t disappoint as he put up one of the best lines on the season with 20 points, 5 rebounds, 20 assists with 3 steals and 3 3-pointers. He did it with ZERO turnovers guys, ZERO. This man is the definition of a point god and it’s safe to say LASIK’s stock gone up with CP3 having yet another amazing season. CP3 became the first player in NBA history to score at least 20 points and hand out 20 assists without committing a single turnover. To get a better idea of how good the Point God is:
*Courtesy of Basketballmonster.com
CP3 has not finished outside of top 6 in fantasy leagues for the past 8 years. Crazy.
John Wall PG WAS – Wall had one of the most forgettable 52-point game on Wednesday against the Orlando simply because they lost the game. As Charles Barkley would say, the Wizards has really been a disappointment this year, sitting at just 9-13 on the year. They are an Eastern Conference team and should really be at least a .500 ball club. Perhaps they should really try and get DeMarcus Cousins eh? Not to take anything away from Wall, as he’s been really good lately. Wall’s numbers last 4 games; 29 PPG 4 RPG 9.3 APG with 2.8 steals and 1.8 3PTm. Still impressive.
Working the Waiver Wire:
Josh Richardson SG/SF MIA – Richardson is back from injury as he’s going to be a key part of what Miami is doing this season. He should be owned in all leagues.
Thabo Sefolosha SG/SF ATL – Thabo does enough to fill up the stat-sheet, mainly as a steals specialist but can hit the occasional 3-pointers and grab boards. Can be valuable as he won’t hit you in percentages or turnovers.
Robert Covington SF/PF PHI – Lord Covington should have never been dropped anyway, but pick him up in case he was.
Dwight Powell PF/C DAL – Dallas is all kinds of banged-up right now and Powell is the main beneficiary. He’s still not getting 30+ minutes but has the upside and opportunity to produce in 12+ team leagues.
Kelly Oubre Jr SG/SF WAS – Oubre is more of a deep-league add but is worth keeping an eye on. He’s maybe an injury away to the Wizards backcourt to becoming a must-own player.
Kyle O’Quinn PF/C NYK – I credit KO for working his butt off during the offseason, as he’s in great shape, and ballin’ right now. The Knicks has a messy timeshare with Noah and O’Quinn but he’s been really good even in limited minutes. I’m not ready to say he should be owned in standard leagues yet, but he’s a must own in all 14+ leagues in my opinion.
Tyson Chandler C PHO – I really despise Coach Earl Watson for not unleashing Alex Len more, especially if the Suns are tanking anyway. However, Chandler has been solid for the Suns and deserves recognition. He’s a rebound specialist with a trickle of blocks every now and then. He provides decent FG% and that makes him a nice end of the bench guy in standard leagues. Ride him until he fades, which he will.
JR Smith SG/SF CLE – Jr has really been bad, like really bad. But he’s also notoriously known for being a late season microwave. He started off atrocious in the beginning of last year before he really got it going after the New Year. I expect much of the same this year. (Hopefully)
Nick Young SG/SF LAL – Uncle P was having a great year before he got injured, now that he’s back and in the starting lineup, I see no reason why he can’t provide 3-pointers and points.
TJ Warren SG/SF PHO – If he was dropped in your league, pick him up immediately.
Andrew Bogut C DAL – He’s probably going to out a while. Time to move on.
Ish Smith PG DET – Reggie Jackson back means the rental is over, but you knew that when you drafted Ish on draft day, right?
Larry Nance JR LAL – Really needs an injury in the front-court to show his upside, otherwise just too inconsistent for standard leagues.
Jameer Nelson PG DEN – He was never going to stay relevant.
Andrew Harrison PG MEM – He’s just not very good. He’s not a good shooter nor is he a good passing point-guard. I have moved on as I can’t afford a percentage killer on my squads.
Nikola Mirotic SF/PF CHI – He has so much upside, but yet he doesn’t get enough minutes to produce. Much of the blame really is on him though, he simply hasn’t capitalized or played well when given the opportunities. I have moved on but will monitor closely if he ever heats up again.
Victor Oladipo SG OKC – Dipo went down with an injury on Sunday and he should miss some games because it looked pretty bad. Good news is he passed the concussion test and X-Rays came back negative on his wrist. He wasn’t really killing it before he went down, as you can probably find this opportunity to get him for a discount. He’s known for being a great finisher as the season goes on.
Otto Porter SF WAS – I don’t know where you drafted Porter. But if you can send out a player whose hot, like Lou Williams for Porter, I would probably accept as Porter has a way better season-outlook and as already flashed his top-20 upside.
Week 8 Schedule:
4 Games - BKN, CHA, DAL, HOU, IND, LAC, LAL, MEM, MIA, NOR, ORL, POR, SAC, TOR, WAS
3 Games - ATL, BOS, CHI, CLE, DEN, DET, GSW, MIL, NYK, OKC, PHI, PHO, SAS, UTA
2 Games - MIN