Fantasy Basketball: Week 1 Analysis
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The wait is over. This crazy off season has finally come to a close as we are about to embark onto a fun 2017-2018 season. This summer has been unlike any other, to say the least. There’s a lot of questions and story lines to follow this season, and this is ESSENTIAL for fantasy basketball implications.
From the draft lottery reform, to schedule changes for less back-to-back games this season, everything is relative to fantasy basketball.
How well with the trio of Paul George, Carmelo Anthony, and Russell Westbrook do? What about James Harden and Chris Paul? Are the Minnesota Timberwolves ready to take the next step? Kyrie Irving about to take his game to the next level? Trust(ing) the Process in Philadelphia 76ers? What’s left of the New York Knicks now? The potential lottery teams in Orlando, Chicago, Atlanta? Is Isaiah Thomas even going to suit up for the Cleveland Cavaliers as THAT Isaiah Thomas we know from Boston? How about Lonzo Ball and those Los Angeles Lakers? And well, we haven’t even talked about those defending champions Golden State Warriors, who actually improved their roster depth once again this summer.
We ask these questions, simply because they all relate to fantasy basketball. While super teams may be good for the fans, ratings, and such; they are not ultimately a good thing for fantasy basketball. Adding Paul George and Carmelo Anthony simply means Russell Westbrook doesn’t have to go apeshit crazy, which obviously will lower his usage and statistic output.
Being on bad teams could mean players like Justin Holiday, Nikola Mirotic, Kent Bazemore, and Dennis Schroder will have the opportunities to take 15+ shots per game. It’s reported that Isaiah Thomas will be out until January, at the earliest. This makes Derrick Rose relevant short term. Let’s bump up LeBron James and Kevin Love’s value as well.
You get the idea.
We already saw some of the rotations that has been going on this preseason thus far, and these next couple of weeks will be vital to your fantasy season. Because there’s almost no way to figure out a team rotation until when the real games actually matter, you need to be scouting the waiver wire like a hawk. It also helps tremendously if you are watching the actual games. Are you an above average NBA fan? If so, NBA League Pass is worth every penny, especially if you’re playing for money in fantasy sports.
Some reminders for the upcoming season:
-> Look out for position battles to be won, especially early on.
-> Look for primary bench players to be in the rotation, especially early on.
-> Look for the hot pick-ups in the short term, even if it’s not sustainable. Most of the time, it’s okay to cut bait (the end of bench guys on your team) when it’s reasonabe enough to pick up a long-term prospect who has upside. At times, you just need a W. It’s critical especially if you’re in a Win/Lose scoring format league.
-> Remember when making a drop, gauge in the opportunities and roles within the respective team. A player like Kent Bazemore can struggle at times but has every reason to still start for the Atlanta Hawks all season, while also has proven he can produce top 60 numbers (proven history)
-> It takes a gamble or two to really round up your squad.
-> Don’t be attached to a struggling player who may harm rather than produce for your team. EX: Alex Len, Ersan Ilyasova ’s of the world, rookies, etc.
-> Seek trades if you believe your team has a significant weakness.
-> Punt a category if you believe you have no chance of winning that category, while also strengthening your other categories via the waiver wire or trades.
-> Don’t be discouraged if you lose a match-up. Fantasy basketball is a marathon, not a sprint. Most leagues consist of 20 weeks for you to improve your roster. Struggles do happen, especially early in the season. It takes patience and a bit of luck to win a fantasy league.
So you been blessed with the knowledge. Let’s get ready for the NBA 2017-2018 season.
Week 1 Waiver Wire Pick-ups:
Yogi Ferrell DAL - With Seth Curry hurt on the sidelines for a few games, and Dennis Smith Jr being a rookie, he could become useful for this week.
Milos Teodosic LAC - I say if you are in need for extra assists, he's your guy. Could flirt with top 75 value all year. Nice assists/steals guy to have as your 3rd or 4th PG
Josh Richardson MIA - He shouldn't be on your wire, but if he is? Must own, run and don't walk. Potential to average 15+ PPG with 1.5+ 3-PTM, 1 STL, 1 BLK from a guard/forward position.
Justin Holiday CHI - He's going to put up very nice value on a bad bulls team who has little to no shot makers. Zach Lavine's eventual return will spoil his party, but give him a long look until then.
Jerian Grant CHI - Kris Dunn is out until early November, making Grant a nice short term pay.
Dejounte Murray SAS - Starting point guard for the Spurs until Tony Parker heals from his quad injury.
Jaylen Brown BOS - Projected to start for the Celtics all year with Avery Bradley in Detroit.
Jeremy Lamb / Mailk Monk CHA - Nic Batum is out 6-8 weeks. Lamb is probably safer and is a bet to produce some value as Coach Clifford doesn't give rookies much playing time, but give them a look
Michael Kidd-Gilchrist CHA - He's on the wavier wire in some leagues, and he shouldn't be.
Kyle Kuzma LAL - More like a handcuff/deep league option at this point, and if the Julius Randle or Larry Nance ever gets injured or traded, watch out. Expect him to have a big role down the stretch of the season.
Kelly Oubre WAS - Look out for him this week, looks much improved this preseason after working out with some of the best this summer. He has the chance to get 25-30+ minutes a night with Markieff Morris out.
Moe Harkless POR - projected to start for Portland all year. Nice guy to have to boost 3-pointers and defensive stats.
Jonathan Issac/Jonathan Simmons ORL - I like Simmons more than Issac at this point, but they deserve a look especially if Terrence Ross isn't ready to go to start the season.
Norman Powell TOR - Possible starter for the Raptors this year.
Andre Iguodala GSW - He's on the wire in a lot of leagues, but when he's healthy he's a nice top 100 play. Nice trickle of assists, steals, and 3-pointers without hurting you anywhere.
Lance Stephenson IND - Could have a nice bounce back year with a nice Sixth Man role.
DeMarre Carroll BKN - The Nets will likely start him this year, could have top 100 value if everything clicks.
Alex Len PHX - Had a very nice preseason, a couple of strong games could make him a popular add.
Kelly Olynyk MIA - Will be interesting to see if Miami decides to start him next to Whiteside.
JaMychal Green MEM - I think he's borderline must-own, as he will take over the starting power forward job.
Boban Marjanović DET - Even he gets only 20 minutes per game, it's enough for 12/6 with nice percentages and block upside. Temper your expectations and don't wait if there's a better or more popular add.
Jason Collins ATL - Will likely be more valuable later on into the season when Hawks go youth movement.
Skal Labissiere SAC - See John Collins
Rob Covington PHI - Underrated, but he's an elite source of steals and 3-pointers. Was ranked top 5 player at one point for a month last season. See if you can sell high on a player for Lord Covington
Chris Paul HOU - A very average preseason by CP3 could have owners rethinking their choice of picking CP3. Gauge that interest.
Lonzo Ball LAL - Lonzo had a pretty bad preseason, where owners who over-drafted him are likely regretting it right now.
Key Injuries and suspensions:
POR – CJ McCollum will miss 1 game due to violating league rules leaving the bench in a preseason game. Evan Turner, Moe Harkless will see additional time.
LAL – Kentavious Caldwell-Pope will serve a 2-game suspension from last season. Jordan Clarkson will soak up his minutes.
NYK – Joakim Noah will start a 12-game suspension. Willy Hernagomez and Enes Kanter will benefit.
SAC – George Hill was limited at practice due to a groin injury, opener is questionable. De’Aaron Fox time? Temper your expectations though.
SAS – Tony Parker is out until December and Kawhi Leonard will miss the season opener due to a quad injury. Danny Green could be relevant while Dejounte Murray will start at point guard.
BOS – Marcus Morris will miss at least 3 games due to knee soreness, with Jayson Tatum possibly penciled in as a starter to open the season.
CHA – Nic Batum will miss 6-8 weeks due to an elbow injury, Michael Kidd-Gilchrist is away from the team on a personal matter, and his status for opening night is questionable. Jeremy Lamb, Malik Monk will see more minutes.
CLE – Isaiah Thomas is out until January. Lebron James was limited at practice, making his availability for Tuesday’s opener against the Celtics in question. Kevin Love, Derrick Rose and Dwyane Wade sees a bump if LBJ misses time.
LAC – Patrick Beverly was limited at practice with a sore knee. Milos Teodosic?
DAL – Seth Curry has been ruled out for the first 3 games due to a stress fracture in his leg. Yogi Ferrell and JJ Barea will split some minutes. Dennis Smith JR should be busy.
NOR – Rajon Rondo will miss 4-5 weeks due to a sports hernia. Ian Clark and E’Tawn Moore will see some time.
MIL – Jabari Parker is still out until the All-Star break due to an ACL injury. Tony Snell, Khris Middleton gets a bump.
WAS – Markieff Morris will miss at least 2 weeks due to sports hernia. Kelly Oubre deserves a look.
CHI – Kris Dunn will be out until early November for a finger injury, making Jerian Grant a nice short time add.
3 Games - ATL, BOS, BKN, CLE, DAL, DET, GSW, HOU, IND, LAL, MIL, MIN, NOP, OKC, ORL, PHI, PHX, POR, SAC, UTA
2 Games - CHA, CHI, DEN, LAC, MEM, MIA, NYK, SAS, TOR, WAS
Look out for more amazing content this year from our OTG staff! And as usual, don't be shy to reach out if you need some fantasy hoops advice or just want to talk hoops! Follow us @otgbasketball and @fungo24!