Fantasy Basketball: Week 2 Analysis
Photo Courtesy of NBA
It's currently 5:06 AM and I have a wedding to attend in a couple of hours, y'all know I had to do my due diligence and fill you guys in on how to prepare for next week first. After all, #fantasyhoopsislife
The 2017-2017 NBA season was off to a great and promising start, until it was dampened by some key injuries. This start of the season has been brutal, with key injuries and ankle sprains happening all over the place. Injuries in sports are always unfortunate, and as shitty as it sounds, it had major fantasy implications where you should’ve been running to the waiver wire to pick up Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown if they were available in your wire.
For those who didn’t know, both Gordon Hayward and Jeremy Lin will be out for the rest of the season. We wish them a speedy recovery.
So Week 1 is always vital to how your season might look in fantasy, and I advised all of you guys to scout the waiver wire like a hawk. There’s always going to be overreactions this early-on in the season. Several things that are sure to happen early on for some owners:
A) Dropping a player early due to poor performance
B) Dropping a valuable player with great ROS outlook for a hot waiver-wire pickup (Ex: Dropping a player like Rodney Hood for a hot pick up like Dillion Brooks)
C) Mixed feelings on the player they drafted and they aren’t playing to their expectations (Ex: Tim Hardaway JR, Willy Hernagomez, Marqueese Chriss)
This is where owners need to not only remain patient, but be smart on every decision they make. Capitalize on owners who make premature drops. CAPITALIZE ON YOUR OPPONENTS MISTAKES!
Always check the waiver wire every now and then to make sure there aren’t players who should be owned. At this time of the year, find players in your roster who are going to have value. Don’t fill out your roster based on needs right now (Ex: having too many players who play the same position or not having enough depth in a certain position) You can always make trades later.
If you’re not sure on a player’s outlook, don’t be afraid to reach out to me on @fungo24!
Let’s take a look at some outstanding Week 1 performers:
Week 1 Standouts
Anthony Davis NOR – AD is averaging 34 PPG 17.5 RPG 2.5 APG 2 3PM 1.5 STL 1 BLK on 54% FG. Beast. Very encouraging he’s off to a strong start.
That's a 7-footer running up full court hitting a 3 in your face
DeMarcus Cousins NOR - I had to give DMC some love because he's been balling too. The Twin Towers effect in New Orleans is clearly working and both big man aren't missing a single beat. Boogie is the 6th best player overall right now with averages of 31.5 PPG 12 RPG 3.5 APG 1.4 STLs 4 BLKS (!!) and 3 3PM (!!!!) Simply a monster. Opposing big man are surely going to be sore playing New Orleans the next night.
Otto Porter WAS – I didn’t think he can do it again, but he’s like a better version of Danny Green. Otto is putting up 1st round numbers right now.
Kevin Durant GSW – We knew he was good, but the blocks are crazy. KD is averaging 4.3 blocks right now.
Issa block party.
Giannis Antetokounmpo MIL – I’ve seen enough and I truly believe he’s going to win MVP this year. He’s playing like a man possessed and he’s only going to get better. How about 38.3 PPG 9.7 RPG 5 APG 2.7 STLS on 67% FG thus far? You gonna be thankful you landed him on your fantasy squad.(I know I did) Giannis dropped a career high 44 against the Trailblazers on Saturday and it was just a great game to watch to the final seconds. In case you were wondering, he's MUST watch TV
Nikola Vucevic ORL – He’s the #2 overall player right now and with good reason. Vooch is playing with great confidence and there’s no reason to believe he can’t keep it up all year. Through 3 games, Vooch is averaging 27.7 PPG 10.7 RPG 3 APG 2.3 3PM(!!!!) 1 STL 1.7 BLKS on 68% FG. The big man even dropped a career-high against the Nets on Friday with 41 points on 17-22 shooting to go with 12 rebounds, three assists, five turnovers and six triples. He’s not going to be THIS good all season, but man he is in that top 20 discussion due to the 3-pointers. Oh and he propelled the Orlando Magic to blow out the Cleveland Cavaliers on Saturday night.
Blake Griffin LAC – I wasn’t a big fan coming in (and I’m still not) but BG has started the year not missing Chris Paul at all. Yes, he did play against the Lakers and the Suns, but numbers are numbers. 29 PPG 10 RPG 3.5 APG 3 3PM 1.5 STLS on 52% FG. That's elite 1st round numbers right now.
Before we get to the Week 2 waiver wire pick-ups, make sure these guys aren’t available in your league.
Must Own Players – Run, Don’t walk
Terry Rozier BOS – The injury to Gordon Hayward opened up minutes for Rozier early on. Then Marcus Smart went down with an ankle injury and it seems like Rozier has carved out a nice steady 25+ minute role. Rozier has averaged 12.7 PPG 5.7 RPG 3.3 APG with 2 3PM and 2 STLS(!) through 3 games.
Danny Green SAS – Danny Green has always teased us in the past for flashing top 50 value for a period of time, only to go missing the next month. He's currently 4th round value and there’s no doubt he can produce value in 9-cat leagues due to his 3-point shooting as well as his ability to rack up steals and blocks from a guard position. Yes, Kawhi Leonard is out but Green also averages about only 1 turnover per game, which is valuable in 9-cat leagues.
Norman Powell TOR – As long as he is starting for the Toronto Raptors, he should be a nice source of 3-pointers with a trickle of steals.
Jaylen Brown BOS – See Jayson Tatum
Terrence Ross ORL – As long as Ross is starting, he is a nice source of those in need of 3-pointers and the occasional steals.
Joe Ingles UTA – The departure of Hayward has helped Ingles tremendously, where he is the starting small forward penciled in for at least 30+ minutes per game. Ingles has top 50 upside with his contributions in 3-pointers, assists, and steals. He's currently the 15th best player according to Basketballmonster.com
Rondae Hollis-Jefferson BKN – RHJ has finally taken the next leap. He is averaging 14.5 PPG 4 RPG 1.5 APG 2 STLS and 1.5 BLKS. He has flashed his upside to get those defensive stats. He should be owned. Simple as that.
Kyle Kuzma LAL – Kuzma has suddenly averaged 23.6 minutes per game so far in the season. He also played ahead of Julius Randle in terms of rotations. Randle suddenly looks like a trade candidate due to the fact he is going to demand max money next summer and the Lakers aren’t sure if he’s in their future plans. he's not exactly a "MUST-OWN" at the very moment. Although it looks like Kuzma is the real deal and he may be the starting power forward for the Lakers soon enough. I would only drop Kuzma for hot pick ups like Tatum, Brown, Ingles, and Markkanen.
Jayson Tatum BOS – You should’ve already know he’s must own. If he’s somehow available in your league, make sure he isn’t anymore.
Trevor Booker BKN – Trevor Book finished just outside of the top 100 last season.I don’t think he can do it all season this year, but add him and ride him until the wheels fall off.
Larry Nance JR LAL – Luke Walton loves Nance in the first unit probably because of his ability to rebound and cover more ground with Brook Lopez. He’s a very nice add for those seeking FG%, rebounds, and the occasional steal and block.
Lauri Markkanen CHI – With Bobby Portis basically taking out his competition (and himself) for the starting power forward spot, rookie Lauri Markkanen suddenly became the only reliable power forward the Bulls can start. He has flashed enough upside to be owned in all standard leagues.
Week 2 Waiver Wire Pick-ups:
Dejounte Murray SAS – Murray has really filled in the absence of Tony Parker nicely, as he’s putting up 3rd round value through 2 games with averages of 12 PPG 7.5 RPG 4 APG 2 STLs(!) on 61%FG and only 1 turnover. Obviously, these numbers aren’t sustainable but ride it out to see where his ceiling might be if you need a point guard who can get you some defensive stats.
Delon Wright TOR - The back up point guard from Toronto looks poised and ready to make an impact for the Raptors this year. He's in a similar role as Terry Rozier. A nice week could quickly make him a must own player going forward.
Donovan Mitchell UTA – Rodney Hood is out with a leg injury and Mitchell isn’t shy about launching shots out there at all. Look for him to be up and down all season, but he’s worth a look.
Kriss Dunn CHI – Dunn is reportedly close to a return, and he’s going to battle Jerian Grant for the starting point guard position. If he wins that battle, he’s a very nice source of steals. Just don’t expect 15+ points or 6+ assists. His shot is still very much a test in progress in the NBA.
JJ Barea / Yogi Ferrell DAL – We still don’t know much about Seth Curry’s timeable, and Dennis Smith JR is dealing with minor swelling his knee. Therefore, Dallas will likely be playing it safe so you can deploy JJ or Ferrell this week. I personally like JJ more due to his assists numbers.
DJ Augustine ORL – Elfrid Payton is dealing with a mild-moderate hamstring strain, and you can bet he’s likely out for at least a couple more games. Augustine filled in nicely on Saturday with with 12 points, 10 assists and 3 3-pointers in a win over the Cleveland Cavaliers.
Allen Crabbe BKN – Crabbe is in the starting lineup now that Jeremy Lin is ruled out of the season. He won’t be flashy, but his ability to hit 2+ 3-pointers with the steals upside makes him roster-able in 12-team leagues.
Dillion Brooks MEM – On a team lacking serious wing depth, rookie Dillion Brooks might have found himself a nice role for the Grizzlies. Give him a look if you need a low-end forward.
Marco Bellinelli ATL – I don’t trust Marco as much as his value is tied to his ability to make 3’s, but give him a look on a bad Hawks team that needs his shooting.
Jeremy Lamb CHA – Lamb will continue to see 27+ minutes until Nicolas Batum is ready, he’s a safe low-end flier to have on your bench.
Kelly Oubre Jr. WAS – Oubre has really played nicely thus far, with improvements on the defensive end and 3-point shooting. However, Markieff Morris might be coming back soon, but this doesn’t mean you don’t roll him out there until it all falls apart.
Evan Turner POR - Turner has had a very nice role to start the season for the Trailblazers thus far. The departure of Allen Crabbe has really opened up the 6th man role for Turner. This might be a nice bounce back year. Turner has averaged 13.3 PPG 2.7 RPG 4.3 APG 1 3PM 0.7 STL 0.7 BLK on 52% FG. Not bad for 6th round value thus far.
Frank Kaminsky CHA – He will have to fight minutes with Cody Zeller and Dwight Howard, but he has some upside if you’re desperate for a big who can shoot 3-pointers. More of a deeper league option.
John Collins ATL – Collins hasn’t busted out yet, but he has shown he can play in the NBA right now. It won’t be long before the Hawks are on youth development, and if you keep waiting around you will likely miss out on a big man who can rebound and give you those nice defensive stats.
Lucas Nogueira / Jakob Poeltl TOR – Jonas Valanciunas went down with an ankle injury Saturday night and had an MRI. While we wait for those results, both Nogueira and Poeltl both had great games. Nogueira has a proven history of flashing some mid-round upside due to his FG%, blocks and steals numbers. Both can be used short-term until we know of JVal’s injury.
Chris Paul HOU - His value is at an all-time low. With him possibly missing a month, send an offer out in a week or two to see what the market is like.
Nikola Jokic DEN - He hasn't had a nice game yet, failing to crack double digit in scoring. But don't worry, the big lines are coming and the owner is likely panicking he wasted a 1st round pick on the Joker if he's new to fantasy.
Tim Hardaway JR NYK - He's not going be this bad. I mean he's been terrible, but really there's only 1 way to go from here. I still expect THJ to turn it around soon.
Josh Richardson MIA - He hasn't been as advertised yet, but the minutes are there. Try and get him if you can.
Kyle Lowry TOR - The Raptors has been blowing their opponents out of the gym, not needing Lowry to put up big lines yet. Rest easy, they're coming.
Week 2 Schedule Analysis:
4 Games - ATL, BKN, CHA, CLE, DAL, DEN, DET, GSW, HOU, MEM, SAS, WAS
3 Games - BOS, CHI, IND, LAC, LAL, MIA, MIL, MIN, NOP, NYK, OKC, ORL, PHI, PHX, POR, SAC, TOR, UTA
Taking a look at Tuesday and Thursday, there are six games and five games respectively, the teams who play both days are the Celtics, Bulls, Clippers, Pelicans, and Blazers. Some streaming options like Jaylen Brown and Jayson Tatum are definitely gone by competitive leagues, so perhaps a Terry Rozie(also a must own) from the Celtics, Denzel Valentine from the Bulls, and maybe E'Twaun Moore from the Pelicans and Moe Harkless, Al-Farouq Aminu, Evan Turner from the Blazers.
There are 12 back-to-backs this week. There are no back-to-backs to start the week. On Tuesday and Wednesday's B2B, the Nets, Cavaliers, Jazz, Timberwolves, and Pacers play. The Grizzlies and Mavericks play each other on both Wednesday and Thursday. The Hawks are the only team with games on Thursday and Friday. The Rockets, Thunder, and Lakers play Friday and Saturday, while the Cavaliers and Pistons end the matchup with two games on the weekend.
Good luck to those in Week 2 and hopefully the injury bug stays away from your team. Follow and tweet us @otgbasketball and @fungo24 for everything hoops and fantasy!