Fantasy Basketball: Week 14 Schedule Analysis
It was a quiet Sunday in the NBA as the NFL has just declared the Atlanta Falcons and New England Patriots to be the two teams heading to the NRG stadium in Houston.
So, what else is new in the NBA? The New York Knicks are fading, quickly. The Golden State Warriors are a force to be reckon with. In case you didn’t know, they’re #1 in defensive efficiency in the league. All that talk about them struggling with a true big man, well…nope. The Cavaliers and Spurs faced off this past week and the Spurs walked away with a W in Cleveland. It was one of the best games of the season. Kawhi Leonard is a beast by the way, incase people didn’t know. The Philadelphia 76ers have a bright future in the next decade. #TrustTheProcess. The Washington Wizards are sneaking up in Eastern Conference after a 7-13 start. John Wall is an All-Star and yes, I’m still disappointed my man Russell Westbrook wasn’t named an All-Star starter. As Charles Barkley would say, “that’s turrrrrible”.
Let’s break down fantasy hoops.
Breakout performers from Week 13:
Kevin Durant SF/PF GSW and Kawhi Leonard SG/SF SAS were both fantasy beasts this week. I don’t need to go over them in detail as they make this list pretty much every week by default. Playing against Kevin Durant is not fun. I lost my matchup in one of my leagues 2-7 because Kevin Durant is just ridiculous. I’m kind of salty. Just a bit.
Karl-Anthony Towns C MIN – KAT was a monster. Through 4 games this week, 32 PPG 13.3 RPG 4 APG 1.7 BLKs 66% FG 1 3PTm and he shoots 87% from the line. He’s scary good and he’s going to be a MVP candidate in the future. All-Star?
Eric Bledsoe PG/SG PHX – Mini LeBron capped off the week with a 40-point explosion in Toronto. It was a career high and Bledsoe is showing no signs of slowing down. Bledsoe averaged 29 PPG 6.5 RPG 9.5 APG with 2.3 3PTm this week. He has 1st round upside when he’s this good.
Nikola Jokic C DEN – Opposing teams are scratching their heads when they see this big boy dominate the paint. The Joker is a stat-sheet stuffer and he’s really rewarding those who gambled on him on draft day. Through 5 games this week, 26.2 PPG 11.2 RPG 3.4 APG 1.2 STLs and 1.2 BLKs on 62% FG. He can shoot 3-pointers as well in which he averaged 1.2 this week. Just crazy. He makes a strong case for an All-Star reserve nod along with KAT. The Nuggets have found their center for the future.
Isaiah Thomas PG BOS – It’s really not fair when you play against Isaiah Thomas and Kevin Durant on the same team. This 5’7 guard cannot be stopped as he’s been on an absolute tear, averaging 38.3 PPG (!) with 5.3 3-pointers made. He’s did this shooting above 50%, which is really impressive considering the fact the scouting report is to contain IT. IT didn’t get named a starter, but he’s a lock in New Orleans.
Iman Shumpert SG/SF CLE – Iman has really come on lately, averaging 14.3 PPG 4.7 RPG with 2 steals and 3.3 3PTm. He won’t be this good going forward obviously, but he was clearly a break out performer this week, where he was ranked #15 overall.
Caris LeVert SG/SF BKN – The Brooklyn Nets might have found a gem in the draft where they picked up Caris LeVert, a 20th pick in last year’s draft. He’s been stuffing the box scores and he’s worth a pick-up in all formats now that the Nets have finally turned into player development. (Take a note, Phoenix Suns) LeVert averaged 13.3 PPG 3 RPG 4.7 APG with 1.7 STLs and 1.7 3PTm through 3 games this week, good for 2nd round value.
Rudy Gay suffered an unfortunate Achilles tendon tear and his career might be in jeopardy. Get well soon, Rudy. It obviously ends his season which turns us to..
Garret Temple PG/SG SAC – He’s not exactly a much own player until he can put up better stat-lines, but I think he’s a must own in all 14+ leagues. Give him a look since he’s probably a lock to get 27+ minutes.
Caris LeVert SG/SF BKN – I highlighted him as he flashed his 2nd round value this week. Pick him up.
Dejounte Murray PG SAS – Murray has played really well and even had 14 points with 6 assists against the Cavs. Tony Parker is out at least for 2 more games, so he’s definitely worth a look.
Iman Shumpert SG/SF CLE – Iman won’t be this hot all year, but he’s worth owning while he’s this good.
Frank Kaminsky PF/C CHA – Frank the Tank has been inconsistent all year. However, he was 4th round value this week with averages of 11 PPG 3.5 RPG with 1.8 STLs and 2 3PTm. Pick him up if you have someone you won’t miss.
Joe Ingles SG/SF UTA – Rodney Hood is still out with a knee injury that might sideline him for 1 more week. Ingles can provide a nice source of assists and 3-pointers for the time being.
Lucas Nogueira C TOR – Bebe returned from a concussion Sunday, and he had a decent line of 13/5/1/1/2. He even hit a rare 3-pointer. Pick him up if you need some help with blocks and FG%
Brandon Ingram SG/SF LAL – Brandon Ingram is likely going to start for the Lakers the rest of the way, making him a must-own player. He’s going to have some bumps, but the rewards outweigh the risks.
Sam Dekker SF/PF HOU – With Ryan Anderson out with an illness, Dekker took full advantage as he dropped 30 points with 6 3-pointers against the Grizzlies on Saturday. He might have some sneaky value going forward. I’m not ready to say he’s a must own player yet in standard leagues, but he has very nice upside as he might be able to carve out late-round value with 20 + minutes.
TJ McConnell PG PHI – McConnell was originally ruled out indefinitely. But now he’s back as the Sixers’ starting point guard, giving him a must own status. TJ is putting up numbers similar to when Jason Kidd was on the Knicks. High assists and rebounds total from a point guard position, with some upside in steals. Pick him up if he’s available in your league.
Week 14 Schedule:
4 Games - ATL, BKN, BOS, CHA, CHI, CLE, GSW, HOU, IND, MIA, MIL, NOR, NYK, OKC, PHI, SAC, SAS, TOR, WAS, UTA
3 Games - DAL, DEN, LAC, MEM, MIN, ORL, PHO POR,
2 Games - DET, LAL