Fantasy Basketball Recap: Week 1
The NBA season has officially kicked off, which means so has the fantasy season! With only a few games played for each team, we’ve already seen guys put up monster games, and we’ve seen some completely baffling performances.
Here at Off the Glass, each week we will bring you up to speed with the fantasy landscape from the previous week, and what to look for in the upcoming week.
Week 1 Fantasy Studs
Trae Young - Young has been carving up defenses like they are Thanksgiving turkeys. He’s averaging 38.5 points per game through two games, while snagging a surprising seven rebounds a game to go with his usual high rate of assists, with nine per game.
Pascal Siakam - Siakam got the big extension before the season began, and three games in, it’s clear he is what the Raptors thought he could be. He’s putting up 28.7 points per game to go along with 10.7 rebounds and 3.7 assists each night.
Kyrie Irving - Irving dropped a 50 point game in his opening night with the Nets. He’s followed up that performance with a 26 point night and a 37 point night. He’s also averaging 5.6 rebounds and 6.3 assists per game.
Karl-Anthony Towns -Towns is a fantasy darling. The Timberwolves might not win many games each season, but Towns puts up big numbers each night. Three games into the season and he has averaged 32 points, 13.3 rebounds, 5 assists, 2 blocks, and five 3’s made each night.
Andre Drummond - With Blake Griffin not yet in the fold for the Detroit Pistons, Drummond has been an absolute beast on the boards. Drummond is always going to grab big rebounding numbers, but he snagged 23 boards in his first game of the season.
Week 1 Fantasy Duds
Mike Conley - Conley has not looked good in his brief time with the Utah Jazz so far. He’s shooting an abysmal 23.7% from the field, and 17.6% from three. His scoring has dropped from 21 points per game to 10 points per game. He’ll eventually figure it out though. Conley is a consummate pro and still one of the top point guards in the league.
Rudy Gobert - Staying with the Jazz for a minute, perennial Defensive Player of the Year, Gobert has not played well either. All across the board his numbers are down significantly, but like with Conley, Gobert is one of the top centers in the game, so just be patient.
Eric Bledsoe - Bledsoe may not have entered the season in the best shape(dealing with an injury), but he only played in 16 minutes in the Milwaukee Bucks opening game. He played 33 minutes the next game, but that game also went into overtime and George Hill had fouled out. He role seems to be decreased to start to the season, so hopefully for his fantasy owners he can figure it out quickly.
Steven Adams - Adams may be built like a DC comic book hero, but he’s started the season off like a straight-to-DVD knockoff. While his rebounding may be up (thanks to Russell Westbrook no longer being around), his scoring has been awful. Opening night he scored three points on 1-8 shooting, and only 15 total points the next two games combined.
Aaron Gordon - Gordon has played in two games so far, and he’s averaging 9.5 points, 4.5 rebounds, and 3 assists per night. These numbers are significantly down from his previous season.
Week 1 Overview
The Thunder blew out the Warriors. The Suns beat the Clippers. The Timberwolves are undefeated. The Pelicans are scoring 120 points a game and they’ve haven’t found a win yet. Week one is a circus, and that’s why we love the NBA.
The first week in Fantasy Basketball is no different. You have so many offseason moves and teams trying to build chemistry and figure out their rotations that it’s hard to put much stock into anything. You aren’t winning or losing the league in the first week, so don’t sweat any slow starts.
The good news is that the NBA schedule balances out quite a bit for week two. 14 teams play four games each (Bucks, Bulls, Cavs, Clippers, Jazz, Kings, Knicks, Magic, Nuggets, Pacers, Pistons, Rockets, Spurs, Warriors), 12 teams play three games each (Hawks, Heat, Hornets, Lakers, Mavericks, Nets, Pelicans, Raptors, 76ers, Suns, Thunder, Trail Blazers), while four teams only play two games each (Celtics, Grizzlies, Timberwolves, Wizards).
Waiver Wire Potential
Here are 10 guys who could potentially help your fantasy squad, that are owned 50% or under in Yahoo Leagues.
Devonte Graham, PG (48%) - The Hornets didn’t start off the season with much promise, but they may have found something special with Graham. He’s averaging 18.6 points, 5.3 assists, and 4.3 made 3’s a game.
Marcus Morris, SF/PF (48%) - The Knicks are a mess right now (what’s new?) but for fantasy purposes, someone is going to score and get fantasy stats each night, so why not take a look at Morris? He’ll be a decent source of points, rebounds, and 3’s made.
PJ Tucker, SF/PF (47%) - Tucker is the glue guy for the Rockets, but he’s off to a quick start so far. He’s averaging over 16 points a game, six rebounds, over three 3’s made per game. The most interesting note is, that he’s playing over 38 minutes a night. He’s going to get plenty of opportunity to put up stats each night.
Josh Hart, SG/SF (47%) - Once a Los Angeles Lakers reject, he’s solidified his role for the Pelicans as one of the first guys off the bench. He’s scoring around 18 a night, while bringing in a little over seven rebounds a game. Sprinkle in a three here and there, and Hart is making a case for being a must-add.
Kendrick Nunn (46%) - When Jimmy Butler was a surprise scratch during week one, someone on the Miami Heat had to step up, and Nunn was the guy! Nunn is an undrafted rookie who is putting up 22.3 points, 3.3 assists, 3.3 rebounds, 2 steals, and 2.6 made 3’s a night. With Dragic moving into the 6th man role, Nunn has earned his starting spot for the Heat.
Darius Garland, PG (40%) - Start Cleveland rookies at your own expense, but just know, the Cavs aren’t going anywhere fast, so there is ample opportunity for Garland to put up numbers while learning life in the NBA.
DJ Augustin, PG (35%) - Augustin hasn’t put up impressive numbers just yet, and he may not wow you at any point during the season. However, he could be a steady 10-12 points a night and 5 assists while adding in a a rebound or two. He’s a starting point guard, so that alone makes him worth a look.
Luka Kennard, SG (33%) - Kennard had a big first game of the season, scoring a career-high 30 points. Someone outside of Blake Griffin is going to have to score points for the Pistons, and Kennard is in a great position to do so.
Isaiah Thomas (31%) - Thomas is back and appears to be fully healthy. In his first game with the Wizard, he scored 16 points and added 5 assists, 3 rebounds, and made 4 3’s. He’s had trouble staying healthy, but he should have free reign to get buckets off the bench for the Wizards.
Frank Kaminsky (29%) - No really, Frank Kaminsky. Through three games with the Phoenix Suns, he’s scoring 15.3 points a night with 7.6 rebounds and 3 assists each game. With DeAndre Ayton suspended for 25 games, Kaminsky could be a good sneaky pick up for those needing help with rebounds and scoring points, while getting an occasional 3-pointer and assist.
BONUS: Markelle Fultz (25%) - Ok, I know this is actually number 11, but… Is this the year Fultz finally breaks out? Who knows. What we do know is that through two games with the Orlando Magic he’s scoring 12 points a game off the bench and dishing out 4.5 assists a night with a few other countable stats scattered across each game. He might be worth snagging up, just in case.
The last thing I’ll leave you with is this, don’t forget to set your rosters! I recommend setting your lineup for the upcoming week on Sunday evenings, or at least by mid-day on Monday.
Also, if you have a guy like Conley, or similar, don’t fret a poor start and do not drop him! You’d be surprised how quickly a novice fantasy owner will throw a man overboard if he isn’t producing. Be patient, and always keep an eye on your league activity to see what roster mistake another owner makes that you can possibly capitalize on.