- This Atlanta team is pretty simple fantasy-wise, as they are not deep enough to venture into weird rotation, or move people in and out of the starting lineup. Paul Millsap and Jeff Teague have both been strong and steady. They are already established fantasy players, but Teague has taken a bit of a jump back to his play of two years ago, where he was a fantasy surprise. Last year’s injury to Al Horford forced Teague to take on a larger roll with the offense. Now that Horford is back Teague and Millsap both improve from his presence
- Horford has had a slow start this year, bu remember, he only played 29 games last year. He is playing less minutes then he usually does, and he also seems to be accepting a lesser role in the offense. I am struggling to understand why? Is he just getting into playing shape? Is he still adjusting to NBA speed? Is he fully healthy? It’s hard to predict injury, but Horford has a history. I just can’t justify avoiding someone of his talent based on the possibility of injury. I would consider him a buy low candidate. If healthy, he will continue to improve through the season, but I’m not sure we can expect him to match his top 15 finishes of the past.
- Kyle Korver has been figured out. Other teams now realize he is the most dangerous, and catalyst of the ATL offense. I thought this would just a be a temporary setback, and he would eventually bounce back. But without another wing that demands the other team’s best defender, Korver might suffer the improving defensive intelligence of the NBA. I truly hope not as he is the secret to 9-cat and especially roto. He hurts you no where, is elite in 3pM, and pretty decent everyone else, including STLs. I’m going to chalk this performance up to his illness. Might be a good time to buy low
- There is a lot of hope in the return of Bradley Beal, but as a former owner and hype man of Beal, I cannot endorse him as the savior of your team. Beal is young, and is always on the cusp of making the leap. I think he will in real life, but fantasy-wise, I’m not sure how much more he can improve, other than consistency. He is actually similar to Kyle Korver, except he hurts you in both FG% and surprisingly FT%. He will turn the ball over more and make less 3pt/game. Unless he turns into more of a PG, I don’t see how he breaks the top 40.
- Kris Humphries is getting Nene’s minutes while he is out. Humphries is definitely ownable in standard leagues when he plays 30+ mins, but don’t expect anything but a bench level standard big man. He is capable of pulling down elite rebounds, though how he plays with Marcin Gortat is left to be seen. Speaking or Mohawk Marcin, he has been really solid, and solid can sometimes mean boring. Boring players end up tricking owners into under-valuing them. I don’t think he will suddenly blow up, but there is something to be said about a big man who will always give you great FG%, very good rebounds and blocks, and not really kill you any where else.
- I feel like I never talk about either of these teams. Give it up for Steph Curry. Seriously, get out of your seats. At what point in the last 3 years have you been upset about a Steph Curry line? The other night he had 8 points. And you would say 8 points, that’s trash. Still had 2 steals, 10 assists, 5 rebounds, and 2 3pts. His bad games are great, and his great games are this.
- Klay Thompson is starting to drop back to Earth, and this was expected. There was no way he could keep up the pace he started the season at. But, he has now shown he has that type of pace. He will hit streaks of that level at points throughout the season. He should continue to be a good value for where he was drafted.
- Andrew Bogut came back, and was able to put up good Bogut numbers. I have spoken of Bogut before, and he is a great big man stat guy when he plays, though he won’t score much, and can’t shoot FTs. The problem is his injury history, and we are starting to see it pop up again. With injury guys like this, I always suggest to let them give you a few good weeks of stats and on their upside, sell high
- Mario Chalmers is putting together a solid string of games, and people are starting to talk that he just needed to get out from under the shadow of Lebron and Wade. Well I don’t believe that. I think Mario is an elite STLs guy, and will slightly improve with more usage. I don’t see him becoming an elite guard in fantasy, but he is worth a roster spot in all leagues.
- Luol Deng is very boring, as I said above, boring leads to under-valued. Every night he’ll get you good points, good TOs, ok rebounds, ok 3s, ok steals, ok blks for hsi role, ok FG%, ok FT%. Wait, that is every category. That’s right he is boringly average in every category, and that means he helps you always. If he is not owned in your league, own him and expect to bore your way up the standings.
- CHI vs. DEN – Jimmy Butler just gets buckets. He has changed his game into a James Harden-draw fouls type game, and he is big enough to do it against anyone. With injuries plaguing the Bulls, Jimmy is the offensive focal point. Aaron Brooks is a good play in deep leagues if you watch the injury report for Bulls guards. I’ve been down on Danilo Gallinari and he has had a solid week. People are getting excited, but I would not. Don’t be afraid to take a flyer on him if you have room on your team, but don’t expect him to turn it around for the first time in years.
- DET vs. MIL – Andre Drummond is alive! I’ve talked about how Stan Van is trying to mold him into an all-around big man, not just a put-back dunker. And while he will still have trouble with this role, it is good to see him put together some games. I have been telling people to buy low on Drummond for a while. He will bounce back, he is young enough to improve. Also, if people are punting FT% in your league, he is now trade bate for them when he starts to blow up. D.J. Augustin should spot start in all leagues while Jennings is out. Don’t worry about the Greek Freak, he is 19 years old after all. Do pay attention to that start by Mayo.
- SAC vs NOP – BOOOOOGGGGIIEEEEE! So great, but look here at Omri Casspi. I told you to watch Casspi last week and own him in deeper leagues. I hope he paid off for you, as he started, and had a great game. He looks to be in great shape, and I think he is becoming more than a spot start in standard leagues. I’m not jumping the gun after a few games but you might want to if your league is trigger happy. Freak Tyreke Evans has to be pretty pumped about terrible Eric Gordon being injured. Expect his stats and usage to go up. Don’t expect his FG% to improve though. Looks like Austin Rivers* will get Gordon’s mins.
- Jonas Valanciunas put on a show, and a lot of people think this is his coming-out party. I have not been on that side of the fence for Jonas, but it is not out of the question for him to start putting his game together this year. He is 22 years old, and the potential to improve is great. The main problem is, he can’t stay on the floor. That is something you also learn with experience, but it’s not like he hasn’t had enough to figure that out. His last 5 games have been out of your mind FG%, but not night to night consistent, and that is due to his foul trouble. Jonas is also a standard stat big man, but a very solid one. He does nothing for you in steals or assists, which will always keep him from elite big man status. Considering where you drafted Jonas, you should be happy with his production. He won’t keep these levels, but looks to be a good improvement over last year. If you can get a major big man, i.e. Marc Gasol, or boost other stats by grabbing a top 30 guy, this would be a good time to sell high
- Lou Williams has also been ballin well, and I’ve been telling you to watch this guy. He has been fantasy relevant in the past, but that is almost the distant past. He was always meant to be a 6th/7th man off the bench to score during 2nd team duties, and the Raptors are starting to use him that way. Combo that with him finally getting healthy, and I think he is worth picking up in most leagues based on your need. Watch his minutes, but I would be surprised if his role decreases.
- Gerald Green is back, and this seems to be bad news for the crowded backcourt of Phoenix. The worst hit has beenGoran Dragic. His minutes and production have both suffered with the addition of Isaiah Thomas, but you would think Green would suffer too. Green has now found himself used heavily in the rotation hurting Dragic’s production even more. Green should be picked up. Dragic is probably not going to get back to his old ways, unless there is an injury that allows him to play the primary ball handler role again. He should be owned, but he is definitely falling in value
- The Suns still can’t figure out their frontcourt beyond Marqueef Morris. But someone has to play. Alex Len I feel has the most interesting potential, but that isn’t saying much. I guess we will just have to continue to watch this situation.
- Blake Griffin looks to be coming back to his old form after a rough start to the season. I’m not entirely sure he was fully health, nor is fully healthy yet. I like him to continue to improve and have a similar year to last. I don’t think you should worry about his slow start
- J.J. Redick finally put in a good game, and are we sure he is fully healthy as well? Something has been up with this Clipper team, and it is all the media can talk about. I don’t think they will fall off as hard as they have to start the season. Look for them to start bouncing back, it’s a long way till the playoffs kids.
- Lance make’um dance. Well lately that dancing has been people just breaking crap due to his lack of consistently good games. Lance just might be the guy who doesn’t help anyone else by being on the floor. He has hurt Kemba Walker’s value, and at time seems to effect Al Jefferson’s play, and touches. That doesn’t mean he is fantasy relevant, just don’t expect him to perform as much as he was hyped up preseason. At least MCW and Wroten come out every night, what’s the difference?
- ORL vs. CLE – I guess it was a Lebron thing, or maybe it is a Cleveland thing? How long do you think Love will like being 3rd fiddle? One year, that’s how long. Anyone who was worried about Lebron doesn’t know anything, Kyriewill still be helped by not being forced to carry the offense, and Love will continue to be hurt by not be forced to carry the offense.
- POR vs. PHI – The fact that Nicolas Batum was hurt, and is coming back from an injury gives me hope that his very slow start is just a few months away from ending with him ballin it up. I think he is a buy low candidate due to his insane 9-cat stats. As I said earlier, MCW and Wroten are just Lance but constant. I’m not jumping on theMcDaniels hype train, but he should be owned in all deep leagues.
- NYK vs. HOU – Melo is definitely hurt, and that could be a good move to buy low, if you think he will bounce back from the injury. Yesterday, I told you to pick up Calderon, and you still should. He will start slow, as anyone does off of an injury
- IND vs. DAL – Can anyone stop Dallas? WHATT! The Pacers?!?!?! Donald Sloan is a force to be reckoned with. I have said he should have earned a bigger roll, even when they got healthy, but his mins will suffer. Hill isn’t back yet, but his minutes might not suffer at all. He might be their new PG, and rotate Stuckey and HIll around him. Chandler Parsons is a great fit on this team, but it is because he opens up lanes for Monta Ellis, not because he is going to dominate the ball. I’m starting to see a trend with Parsons not living up to his last year’s production. He is in the decline.
- CHI vs UTAH – Can the Jazz ever get out from under the ghost of the Bulls? Favors is a machine, but I’m going to credit the coaching here as well. The plays ran for Favors all played to his strengths instead of forcing him into a role, and that has also helped improve, not just Favors, but the whole Jazz. Trey Burke is leaving his shooting slump. How bad do you want to be a part of that, you should want to be a part of that. Pick up now or Buy low still if you can. Rose did not look healthy… still. And at what point do we start talking about J.Buckets in the MVP voting… Not a joke. He put the Bulls on his back. Mirotic is making the most out of Taj’s mins.
Long weekend, instead of going in to a 28 game box score review, I’ve decided to tell you how bad you all are at the waiver wire. The following is based off of players owned in under 75% of ESPN leagues.
Trey Burke – owned in 46.7% of leagues – I’m not sure why a starting Point Guard playing 30+ minutes is not owned in all leagues. That goes for you too Jeremy Lin (63.9%) and Jose Calderon (41.8%). Sure Trey’s shot has been more than poor to start the year, and if that is your reasoning, then move on with your day. But let me use this as another opportunity to plug my Assist/PG Importance Rant that I’ve mentioned in every post in the last week. Do the math: assists are rare and even the shallowest leagues allow 3 point guards to be reasonably rostered on your squad, not to mention you might want to prepare for PG injuries during the year. Well what a coincidence: only 30 people in the entire league average over 5 assists/game, and two of them are a forward. This fact combined with Trey’s age, playing time, green-light as a starter, and potential for improvement make him a great waiver pick up.
Giannis Antetokounmpo – owned in 60.9% of leagues – Do you understand the Greek Freak is 19 years old? Do you understand that 2 years ago he was at Greak Jr Prom? Do you understand that he is a 6’11” point guard/forward/center man-child, who once a night does something no one else can do in the league? Coach Kidd gets it. The Bucks’ giant lineup frustrates any team, and Giannis is key to those lineups. He should start the rest of the year and get better every game. He is going to be inconsistent, but I like his value to improve the rest of the season.
Gorgui Dieng – owned in 25.1% of leagues – When Nikola Pekovic went down with his predictable season nagging injury, the first thing I did was go and pick this guy up in my shallow leagues. Then I went and wrote about how you too should be picking this guy up. Here is what you missed in his last 5 games: 50%FG, 75%FT, 9.6ppg, 8.8rpg, 1.8apg, 1.8spg, 1.4bpg. No one gets stats like this, (except Anthony Davis). With starting minutes, he would be better than DeAndre Jordan. His value will drop when Pekovic gets back, but I’m stashing him in all but the shallowest leagues. Pekovic is going to sit out more games. In H2h, there is no reason this guy is not on your team right now. Now in Roto, there is a slight misconception about players like this. Who aren’t worth a roster spot all season. If you don’t have a player on your bench right now you could drop without blinking, then you are doing Roto wrong. Go make a 2 for 1 trade. Picking up streaky guys, or players getting a jump in minutes are the key to gaining a slight edge in Roto. It is ok to go up on your game limits if you are playing guys who are playing well. Guys are going to get injured on your team, you will more than likely have times your best player will be out a few games or more. Instead of replacing his starts with whoever is around at the time he gets injured, you have already replaced him with someone who got 5 STLs in one game. Pekovic might not be back for another week, reap your rewards, stash him, or drop him to the waivers in your shallow leagues.
Good: BOOGIE! DeMarcus Cousins continues to dominate. Lakers and Celtic’s pace and points allowed. Nikola Mirotic should take Taj Gibson’s minutes. Told you to pick up Jarrett Jack a while back. I don’t trust Deron Williams’ health, nor Bojan Bogdanovic’s talent. Jack is a very good fantasy guard when he plays starters mins. Chris Bosh, and GOAT Mario Chalmers, sell the shorter one high quickly. Paul Pierce’s throwback game (sell high)
Bad: Lebron James and the Cavs continue to struggle. No worries there though. Joe Johnson’s old man syndrome. Alec Burks’s up and down performances. Kobe Bryant’s FG%, Detroit PG consistency. Knick’s frontcourt defense (good for you Nerlens Noel).
Ugly: Garrett Temple, Willie Green (Why can’t you play Moe Harkless), OKC and 76ers
Early game Lightning Round
- SAS vs. CLE – It is hard to watch Cleveland’s offense, and when you match it up with the stark contrast of the Spurs seamless passing. Even so, the talent on Cleveland makes up for it, and when you can get Anderson Varejao to run great pick and rolls with Lebron James all night. Varejao is an injury waiting to happen, but there is no reason he shouldn’t be owned in all leagues. Even with no Lebron, Handy Andy is a quality fantasy player, but don’t expect him to revert to an elite rebounder with Kevin Love hitting the same glass. Andy is still a top 100 player when healthy, and that is why you should sell high when he has a good stretch of games because you cannot expect him to play the whole season.
- CHA vs. IND – Someone has to play for the Pacers, but that doesn’t mean they will be playing well. I thoughtDonald Sloan had played his way into more mins when Rodney Stuckey got back, it looks like I was right. He put up a good line, but things will get more complicated when George Hill gets back. I like Hill over the others, but Stuckey has never been a good 9-cat Fantasy guy. This backcourt is too crowded, and you might want to trade away from it.
- LAC vs. ORL – Tobias Harris has been greatly improved this year, and I feel safe riding him out through the season, unless something drastic happens. It is too bad Victor Oladipo’s mins are taking most of Elfrid Payton’s playing time, as both are poor shooting guards, who do everything else. The current star is Nikola Vucevic, but he has a history of starting very strong, but you also need to remember he is 24 years old. Expect him to dominate rebounds and FG% this year, and the real bump he’s made for 9-cat is his improvement FT% over the last couple years. This helps bump him into a elite big man status for the foreseeable future, bump him up on your draft boards.
- BOS vs. PHI – I’ve talked at length about the Celtics style of play, and the benefits of Rajon Rondo, so lets talk about the abomination that is the 76ers. The 6ers are so bad that Brandon Bass had a career game. I’m almost to the point that I want to sit my star players on good teams against them because they will probably only play 20-some minutes. Michael Carter-Williams and Tony Wroten might be the same player. If you are willing to deal with their FG%, FT% and TO’s then they should be on your team. They fit this H2H strategy perfectly. But you should also look at Henry Sims and Nerlens Noel, who have both seen more playing time lately. Noel is the big name here, but Sims has been putting some solid games together, and looks to have the minutes to back it up. He should be owned in all but the shallowest of leagues, and even then if you need a a big man.
- DAL vs. WSH – How good does Dallas look? You know Dirk Nowitzki is going to do Dirk things, no need to jump ship on him ever, but lets not forget Monta Ellis has there ever been a better ‘fit makes all the difference’ guy then him. He is on the rise, and I am not moving him since Dallas cannot figure out their PG situation. Monta is now the default play-maker. Especially with off-and-on Chandler Parson opening up driving lanes by spreading out the floor. Chandler could be a buy low if his owner thought he was going to get more out of him. Welcome backBradley Beal, and welcome back to the waivers Garrett Temple
- MIL vs. BKN – I don’t care about Jason Kidd. I don’t care. All I care about is that GREEK FREAK!Where are the haters on Giannis Antetokounmpo? Because 40% of you have him sitting on your waivers right now. Go pick him up now. Yes, I know he played almost 50 minutes tonight. Yes, he is going to have growing pains, yes he will crap out some games. But he is a freak for a reason the potential is there. His only worry is his FT% and his lack of 3’s, which both can be improved on because he is 19 YEARS OLD! you don’t find a guy who could almost average a block and a steal a game. If you are in a Keeper League this is your guy.
Late Game Lightning Round
- PHX vs. DET – Detroit is trying to do too much with Andre Drummond, and while this is important for his development, it has been bad for your fantasy squad. Panic is your opportunity, always. If you are in H2H, someone is punting FT%, and even if you are not, you should trade for Drummond. Because I cannot see him struggling all year. He will either put it together, or move back to a lessor role of put-back dunks. You’ve now got a great FT% punt player on your punting team, OR you have an asset to trade that a FT punter will desperately want.
- MEM vs. TOR – Zach Randolph has been tearing it up to start the year (along with the rest of the Griz) but has mostly been considered a one-trick pony when it come to fantasy. His bump in play has come from his one trick: rebound, and a surprise FT% increase. Now the sample size is small, and that allows variance, I don’t see him reverting back to +80% FT shooting this late in his career. You might to sell high or package him for a more versatile big man in 9-cat. Sure you will lose a few rebounds, but rebounds are cheap. Randolph’s number should look sexy enough to temp some inexperienced owners.
- NYK vs. MIN – Listen, I told you to get on the Gorgui Dieng train. Did you listen? did you get 5 STLs from your Center? Because about 80% of you didn’t. If he is still available in your league. pick him up. He will start whileNikola Pekovic is sidelined, which should be at least a week. Pekovic has not had a good history of staying healthy.
- OKC vs. DEN – Arron Afflalo is having a good run, but I would not expect him to keep it up all year. Denver is not a great team, but they have played well the last few games. I would sell high with him, and if you can swindle someone with Danilo Gallinari as well
- LAL vs. HOU – Two interesting guys keep popping up on this team. Ed Davis and now that he’s back Nick Young.I’ve said a bunch that the hate Carlos Boozer gets is mostly accurate, but the amount is unwarranted. Boozer could start for almost half the teams in the league. And he is starting on one of the worst. Davis is not going to take his starting spot, unless we are very late in the year, but I expect them to share mins. Davis has been too inconsistent to own over Boozer right now, but his ability to fill the 9-cat stats is probably better in the long term. Go pick yourself up some Swaggy P, and keep enjoying your poor FG% Kobe Bryant farewell tour.
- BOOOOGIEEEE!! How often do you get to be pumped up for the late Fan Night game on a Tuesday night. You just had to see how Boogie was going to handle his big matchup against the consensus next best player ever. What about me? What about Boogie? Well, surprisingly Boogie came out limping; I mean physically limping. Tweaked something in his leg, and still went full BEAST MODE! 24/17 and 2blks. He didn’t even look like he was forcing his shot. Pretty good against such a quality matchup, now AD didn’t guard Boogie the whole time, but when they did, you could tell Boogie’s size and strength got the better of AD, and still managed to sulk the entire game.
- Wait a min, Anthony Davis also had something to prove in this highly super premium cable matchup, he had to prove that his team would win the game, and then they did. He went full NORMAL MODE!!!! 28/9, 2stl,3blk. I kept trying to watch AD all game, but kept getting distracted by Boogie, and I think that is just ADs game. He did some pretty freakish things, but did everything else as well. Always in the right spot, always running the lane, setting great picks. I don’t know how you can have a quiet 28/9, but this was one of them. He is your fantasy god now, all hail the Brow.
- The rest of the Kings didn’t fair so well, with some strange rotations by soon to be former Coach Malone, and some great ideas like, lets leave Darren Collison out for an extended time in the forth while their lead is growing. Or why not leave Ryan Anderson open for the next 8 plays. Anderson is on the rise especially as he takes the mins from injured Asik. But even after Asik gets back, expect Anderson to play a large role in the offense. Collison’s mins aren’t anything to worry about, he has been a great addition to the Kings, and it looks like most people were wrong about him being the solution to the PG problem in Sac-town. Also, if you read my rant about the rare assist heavy PG, you will understand what you have in DC, keep riding him all year so he can #FeedBoogie.
- The one interesting line was Omri Casspi. I feel like he as been everywhere. A journeyman around the league. Well guess what, he is 26 years old! I had no clue, and I’m usually good at the NBA age game. Always a solid role-player,Casspi looked great in this game. His mins are starting to increase, and I think you can own in deep leagues, and maybe even larger standard leagues for a spot start. It’s hard to believe he won’t see the mins with the the way he plays and his history with the Kings. Just don’t expect any crazy lines from him.
- GREEK FREAK ALERT. Giannis is now starting, but don’t let his low mins fool you, he was in early foul trouble in the first half. The Bucks have started going with a super long lineup, and I love that idea. It really forces teams to adjust to a quick, big style of play, and not all teams can handle that. Like say, the Knicks. Now the Bucks also played very well, and almost gave this one up. Khris Middleton got the start, and he should be owned in all deep leagues, and larger standard leagues. I’m not ready to drop a good bench guy for him in my shallow leagues, but Middleton has had stretches in the past where he was filling it up. If he is going to get starters mins, he is going to produce.
- Ilyasova might have shot well, but I don’t see him on the verge of coming back around. Henson doesn’t play, even with Sanders out, but his per-36 stats are so nice, come on Kidd. Don’t worry about these two. Zaza is getting Sanders mins instead, and I can see him being a spot start if you really need rebounds, or bringing him on in deep leagues, just not worth a standard league spot. I don’t think he’ll put up those numbers every night.
- Ah the Knicks. Game 1 I declared that front courts would eat this team up all year. Well Zaza Pachulia just had a career game against these guys. When Amare’s knees and old man Dalembert are protecting the paint, and you have a 37 year old playing significant mins, you might give up a few games. Melo also tweaked his knee, but played through it. I’m not worried about Melo’s production because he’s never needed anyone else to produce the way he does. Which has always been his main problem, but this is fantasy so who cares. Speaking of that, in real life, going with the hot hand between Smith and Hardaway makes sense, but makes it hard on owners of either. JR has been the more consistent of the two, which is saying something. Looked like JR was about to hit his streak, but as I’ve said
- Iman Shumpert is only owned in 80% of leagues. What are you waiting for. Are you holding out on OJ Mayo? Are you waiting for MKG to get healthy? Think Wiggins is gonna break out, or Elfrid Payton is going to get mins back. KNOCK IT OFF and go pick up Shump in all leagues. Sure he has been a little hurt, and that is a concern, he is starting. I’m not worried about his mins decreasing after Calderon gets back either. Expect JR or Hardaway to take the hit instead. Speaking of Calderon Jump on him right now. Only owned in 56% of leagues, if he is available in your league, pick him up and stash him now. He should be back in the next few weeks, and it might take him a bit to get started, but he is the starter. In 9-cat he finished 66th last year, and 50th the year before. Being on my AST soapbox all week, he can provide close to elite production in that rare stat.
- Let’s all slow down before you go and pick up every player on the Jazz. They were playing OKC. But it is always good to get some great play under your belt to give a team some confidence. The Burk boys were particularly good this game. Trey still needs to work on his shot selection, but I don’t think he is worried about Exum breathing down his back anymore. Not that Exum won’t get a shot later in the season, he’s got talent. Alec Burks on the other hand went HAM on OKC. People have been high on him and I have watched from a far, not willing to move in on him. But the Jazz are much improved, and it is only because everyone on the team has improved. Favors has been great and is currently making the leap. Hayward, as I’ve stated before is severely underrated, even with his poor shooting. Both are on the rise, I would not trade them away unless you know you are getting more back. I refuse to give Enesthe Penis any credit. He is soft, but had a great game against a miserable team. He is on the rise, but only at half staff. I don’t think his production will continue like this. His 3pt shooting makes things interesting but that has been all over the place. I’m not inserting him into my shallow leagues. Feel free to let him in to your deeper teams
- If there are mins to be played, then there is fantasy relevance to be had, but man is it hard watching this OKC team. I am not going to worry about Ibaka. That guy is a 9-cat fantasy stud, and he is a buy low candidate. His game is just not built to carry a team. When defenses focus directly on him, they can hinder his game. But once Westbrook and/or KD comes back, he will move back into his insanely efficient big man stats. As for the rest of this rag-tag crew, Jackson hogs the ball but he is going to get the PG stats. In standard leagues, you could take a flyer on him, and Perry Jones when he comes back. But I think Lamb is the guy you should take your chance on. He is hit or miss, but he has had a few good games, and he will be playing a ton of mins.
- KOBE! He can’t stop, because he won’t stop. I am loving the Kobe farewell tour. It is great NBA entertainment. He will just do this until his body breaks down. I will once again state: Start your players against the LAKERS! Lake-show still dead last in Opponent Points per game. I guess the X-factor for them is Swaggy-P. I’d start watching him to see how he’ll fit in the rotation, but he should be owned in all big or deep leagues. The rest of the team played well with a classic throwback game from Boozer. A lot of people want to jump on the Ed Davis train, who is good, and will share mins with Boozer, but the Booze-Cruise starts for this reason: he can still put together very good offensive production. I don’t see Davis starting over Boozer until very late this year, if at all. Lin got going but lets be frank, the ball is going to be in Kobe’s hands the entire year. Lin is still falling in my opinion, but it is still early in the season
- Millsap proving why he should have been targeted early in your draft. He has all the tools, and for a big man to get STLs and 3pts., plus solid blocks. That is hard to come by. Horford on the other hand is having a slower start than where people might have drafted him. I am a big Horford guy, so I would consider him a buy low. Like any player, it is taking him a while to get back into NBA speed after being out so long. Korver has had a few crap games after his amazingly hot start. Korver is my 9-cat secret sleeper, he is always ranked higher than he is drafted. Now we knew he couldn’t keep up this pace, but it turns out, other teams have realized he is the secret to the ATL Hawks. Defense are now putting quality defenders on Korver which has severely decreased his production. If you need the 3’s and aren’t punting percentage or TO cats, you should try to buy low if this trend continues. I believe he will bounce back.
Assist/PG Importance Rant: The Celtics are becoming a very interesting team to watch, and to follow fantasy-wise. Not because they are particularly great, but they are coached well, and have an entertaining style which leads to more possessions. In fact, did you know Boston is 4th in Pace, 5th in possessions per game, and have a higher Hollinger Offensive Efficiency than Golden State? Did you know that took about 10 seconds to google that? What does this all mean, well not whole lot after 10 games, but it can start to be considered a trend that the Celtics are going to putting up slightly inflated stats based on their style of play. Considering no one on this team went in the first 6 rounds in most draft, you are going to find some value here. Everyone’s favorite Rondo has been showing up more and more this year. And while he is a love/hate type fantasy player, there is one thing you cannot argue with. His AST/STL combo is the best in the league. With Roto, and non-punting H2h, people stay away from him, like Howard, but he is not the same at all. You have to build around his FT%, but it is manageable. Elite assists from one guy is rare these days. A lot of people will talk about blocks and steals being the rare category, but the true rare cat is AST. Look:
Year >= 8.0 >= 9.8apg
’10-11 = 9 4
’11-12 = 7 2
’12-13 = 4 1
’13-14 = 6 1
’14-15 = 4 2
The assist is an lost art. I like Rondo this season, not just because elite AST are so rare, but because he should get traded to a team that will make him even better.
- Lets give some love to the big Queef Markieff Morris. What a great game. Career high 30pt. but way more important 7r, 5a, 4stls, and a 3!! Plus 1 TO. He has steady improved each year, with more mins, he is now a quality starter, and he’s playing better than one. He is making the leap this year, and he gets .8 3/g with a stl and blk, and doesn’t kill you in FT%. He is playing almost as good as Favors, with a 3 and better FT%. They are very comparable players. Morris just has more tools. Also, don’t sleep on Marcus Morris or Alex Len who have found a nice bump in mins and production as well.
- I have posted about how Jeff Green has not been the guy he could have been, and it might be too little, too late. But with Rondo playing along side of him, and the tempo they play it, maybe it is not too late. Green has been very impressive, and I pinged him as a sell high candidate, I will still keep him there based on his track record and the fact that Rondo will probably get traded, but sell him higher than before. Also, watch the Ty Zeller/Kelly Olynyksituation.
- I’m really flattered that the Denver Nuggets read my analysis as my last post really ripped into them lighting a fire under their squad to take on the former Eastern Conference Favorites. There were a lot of vintage performances that really made my last post look foolish. In fact, my praise for Faried got to his head and he really had a poor performance. I’m glad that nothing could be done about smell-o Danilo though. Owners of everyone exceptLawson (see rare AST rant above) should hope the string together a few great performances and SELL HIGH
- The Lebrons are hovering above .500 and they really haven’t been tested by long West Coast trips yet. If you are thinking about jumping ship, you should probably reevaluate your life choices. But the Cavs should also reevaluate giving Joe Harris 24 mins, who won’t even get the bold player font treatment from me. There are only 3 people on this team to care about with 3 interesting watches. Tristan and Varejao played poorly, but they still run the big man rotation of this team. But we are starting to see how the big 3 will work. Is Love a big man any more? Well, no, he stands by the 3pt line, and still manages double-digit rebounds, but he will not have a top 10 season this year. We saw what happen with Bosh in Miami, and we are seeing what Bosh can still do. I don’t think Love will fall off as hard as Bosh, because Love has been playing away from the basket for years, but expect that dip in production from Love; Lebron is going to be required to shoot more, and will more than likely see his world class FG% drop. I’m a tad concerned about his slight drop in STL’s and last year he only avg’d 0.3 blocks/game. Lebron has a lot of miles on him, but seriously he is top 5 fantasy. Kyrie if healthy, will see the best outcome from this arrangement, fantasy wise. He is going to have the ball less, but open for more 3’s; also less TOs. It will help him develop a different type of game. I think his AST will stay roughly the same, maybe increase?? as he figures out how to play with Love/Lebron. It is still too early, and I have all the faith in those players to figure it out come mid-season.
- CHI v LAC – I can’t stop talking or watching Jimmy Buckets Most Improved player goes 1. Buckets 2. Maqueef 3. Tobias Harris; Hold on to all 3; Crawford is ranked better than all the 76ers. Just putting it out there. Play Kirkwhen Rose is out.
- DAL v CHA – Parsons finally had the game we expected. This was a weird blowout game, and Dallas has been running shop. People should be worried about them. And worried about the Hornets. Very inconsistent from their top 3.
- MIA v BKN – No Wade, no Deng, No problem? Don’t bank on Mario playing like this but once a month; And the Nets are not good. Keeping with tradition, Bojan pissed about me asking why he is starting just shoved it in my mouth. Let’s watch and see if he can ever do it again, you know, since he was guarded by Mario/Cole. Jack still had 24 good mins.
- ORL v DET – The whole starting 5 for ORL is solid enough to be owned in all leagues. Oladipo has moved seamlessly back into the starting role, and he has picked up where he left off last year. He is good enough to continue to improve, but not sure if he will take the full jump. Monroe has been starting and should keep hitting those mins, but he will also be in trade talks all year, and I’m not sure he will get more mins wherever he goes. You could sell high if you are worried.
- HOU v MEM – Other weird blowout game, the Rockets are not showing up to games lately, and you got to show up to play Memphis. Courtney Lee almost owned in all leagues, come on we can do it. Quincy Pondexter had a good line, but I don’t expect the mins to be there. He would be someone to watch if there is an injury.
- PHI v SAS – Philly should be embarrassed to trot this team out every night. I would honestly start suggesting to sit your big starters against the 76ers in Roto Leagues, because they will probably only play 20 mins. Noel andMcDaniels mins have been steady climbing, they will both probably start and hopefully put it together by mid-season.
- NOP v POR – Dame Lillard is probably the best fantasy PG right now, and I think you could sell super high on him, but as I said, elite PGs are very hard hard to come by, so do at your own risk. He is still in the improving stage of his game, and this could be how good he is. Ride Wes Matthews while Batum is out, must be more serious then they are letting on. But Wes will continue to produce when he gets back. Anthony Davis is some sort of god.