Category Archives: Basketball

Week 9 Fantasy Basketball Circle Of Trust

Hawks PF Ersan Ilyasova

3-games this week on the road with the Cavs, home with the Pistons, followed by a road tilt with the Grizzlies.  Ilyasova is averaging 15 PPG and 3 from downtown in the last 7 days.  Ilyasova is owned in just 13.5% of ESPN fantasy basketball leagues.  Is a short-term add while running hot.  

Clippers PG Milos Teodosic

Looks to be returning soon.  4-game slate this week at home with the Raptors, followed by 3 on the road with the Magic, Wizards, and Heat. Owned in just 9.6 % of ESPN fantasy basketball leagues.  Long term add with a significant role for the Clippers.  The buy low window in trade is close to being gone.  I drafted Milos and stashed him on my IR.


Heat PG/SG Tyler Johnson

4-games on the docket on the road with the Grizzlies, home against the Blazers, back to the road vs. the Hornets, followed by a short trip home to take on the Clippers. Johnson has scored in double figures in 5 straight games. Owned in 15.6% of ESPN fantasy basketball leagues. Johnson will help owners in 3-point shooting (35%) and Free Throw Percentage (91.5%)   

Week 8 Fantasy Basketball Circle Of Trust

Magic SG/SF Jonathon Simmons

4-game slate with on the road with the Hornets, home vs. Hawks, against the Nuggets at home, then a road tilt with the Hawks.  In the last 7 days, Simmons is averaging 15.3 PPG, 1.3 3PG, 3.3 RPG, and 36 MPG. Available in 77% of ESPN fantasy basketball leagues. Simmons is a short-term play that could pick up steam as season goes along.


Knicks SG Courtney Lee

Has scored in double figures in 7 straight games.  Really helps out fantasy teams from the FT line and with steals.  Stats could increase as usage goes up with Hardaway Jr on the shelf.  Available in 60% of ESPN fantasy basketball leagues.  4-games this week on the road with the Pacers, home with the Grizzlies, back on the road vs. Bulls, ending the week at home with the Hawks.    


Clippers PF Montrezl Harrell

This Clippers squad is sadly the most decimated team to injury so far this season.  Blake Griffin is out for possibly 2 months with an MCL Sprain.  Jamir Wilson and Harrell will try take up minutes at PF. Harrell’s skill set doesn’t mesh well with DeAndre Jordan.  The Clippers have a short 2 game week at home with the Wolves and Wizards.  Harrell is a daily play for owners looking for defense stats.  Long term possible stash if DeAndre Jordan gets moved. Jordan has now hired an agent so things could come together quickly.  Harrell is available in 98% of ESPN fantasy basketball leagues.  

Week 7 Fantasy Basketball Circle Of Trust

Spurs PF Kyle Anderson

4-game slate this week with the Mavericks at home, home and home with the Grizzles, followed by a road tilt with the Thunder.  Anderson has scored in double figures in 4 straight games.  Over the last 15 days Anderson is averaging 10.7 PPG, 5.3 RPG, 4.3 APG, 1.3 SPG, and 1.0 BPG in nearly 30 MPG.  Rudy Gay may take away some minutes down the road, but right now Anderson is a viable roster option in DFS and Daily Cats Leagues.  Available in 75% of ESPN leagues.


Wizards PG Tim Frazier

Short-term add with John Wall on the shelf due to a knee injury.  Frazier has a 3-game week on the road with the Wolves and Sixers followed by a home game with the Pistons.  Frazier will help more with the defensive stats than from the 3-point line.  Worth playing in Daily leagues for owners looking to add defensive stats. May hurt your percentages. Available in 97 % of ESPN leagues.


Nuggets PF Kenneth Faried

3-games this week on the road with the Jazz and home matchups with the Bulls and Lakers. Faried has been left in the cold the last 2 years as the organization has made philosophical changes.  Faried is coming off a 14 point 9 rebound performance against the Grizzles, but picked up a DNP the game before.  Faried should only be used in Daily Leagues as Mike Malone plans to go with a matchup based rotation to fill-in for Paul Millsap. In matchups where active, Faried will help on the glass and in FG%.  Available in 95% of ESPN leagues.

Week 6 Fantasy Basketball Circle Of Trust

Nets SG Allen Crabbe

On the road vs. the Rockets and Mavericks, followed by a home date with the Hawks. Crabbe is the beneficiary of D’Angelo Russell being on the shelf.  Crabbe is inconsistent, but has hit 4.7 from downtown per-game in the last 7 days. Short-term daily league or DFS play. Crabbe is owned in 12.6 % of ESPN leagues.


Knicks PG Jarrett Jack

2 games remaining this week at home vs. the Heat and Magic.  Veteran PG is owned in just 0.9% of ESPN leagues. Has 5 or more assists in 7 straight contests. Daily league players looking to catch up on assists should look to add Jack this week.


Hornets SF Michael Kidd-Gilchrist

2-game slate this week on the road with Raptors and Heat. MKG has 3 blocks combined in his last 2 games.  His efficiency will kill your percentages. Players looking to pick up blocks in daily league could get help from MKG.  Owned in 7.8 % of ESPN leagues.

Week 5 Fantasy Basketball Circle Of Trust

Jazz PF Derrick Favors

4-game slate with the Wolves at home followed by road matchups with the Knicks, Nets, and Magic.  Favors numbers should go up filling in Rudy Gobert for the next 4-6 weeks. Favors should have value until Gobert returns. Good play can force the Jazz hand into giving him a larger role. Favors is available in 55% percent of fantasy basketball leagues.


Bulls PF Bobby Portis

19.3 PPG and 10 RPG in 3 games since returning from suspension.  3-games this week on the road vs. the Thunder, home for the Hornets, and back on the road with the Suns.  Ankle injuries to Lauri Marrkanen (day-to-day) while David Nwaba (2-4 weeks) should open up more playing time for Portis. Available in roughly 60% of fantasy basketball leagues.


Kings SG Buddy Hield

4-games with on the road vs. the Wizards and Hawks followed by a home and home with the Blazers.  Hield has 7 or more rebounds in 4 of his last 5 games.  Hield is averaging 15.3 PPG, 3.3 3PM, and 6.0 RPG in the last 7 days.  Available in 70% of fantasy basketball leagues Hield is a long term play.

Week 4 Fantasy Basketball Circle Of Trust

Hawks PF/C John Collins

3-game slate this week vs. the Celtics, Pistons, and Wizards. This Rookie big is averaging 10.6 PPG, 7.8 RPG, and 1.6 BPG in 20.3 MPG.  Collins has 8 blocks combined in his last 4 games.  Owned roughly 30% of fantasy basketball leagues, Collins is a streamer and player to stash.


Lakers PF Kyle Kuzma

15.7 PPG so far this season in 28.1 MPG.  With Larry Nance out a few weeks and Julius Randle still coming off the bench, Kuzma is a must own in the short term. Long term Kuzma is worth holding onto when Nance returns. Kuzma has a 3-game slate on the road with Celtics, Wizards, and Bucks. Available in around 30% of fantasy basketball leagues, but not for long.


Jazz SG Donovan Mitchell

3 home matchups with the 76ers, Heat, and Nets.  This rookie shooter is instant offense off the bench. His time as a starter could be coming.  Mitchell has scored in double figures in 4 of his last 5 contests. 89.5% from the charity stripe and scoring is where Mitchell will currently help owners. A streamer now that is worth a long-term stash. I own Mitchell as a handcuff for the underperforming Rodney Hood. Available in over 85% of fantasy basketball leagues.

Week 3 Fantasy Basketball Circle Of Trust

Kings PF Skal Labissiere

3 games this week on the road with the Pacers, Celtics, and Pistons.  Labissiere is shooting 100% from the charity stripe this season, 50% from the floor, and 40% from the 3-pt line. Labissierre comes off the bench and sees 22.8 MPG.  Daily owners may want to use Labissiere this week to get help with shooting percentages from a big. Owned in just 11% of fantasy basketball leagues.


Suns PG Tyler Ulis

A 4-game slate this week all on the road with the Nets, Wizards, Knicks, and Spurs. Ulis is still playing behind Mike James, but has been the better performer. Will help owners with 4.3 APG and 2.3SPG in last 7 days. Be aware his 14% from downtown won’t help owners.  2 gravy matchups this week makes Ulis lineup worthy. Owned in 4 percent of fantasy basketball leagues.


Sixers PG TJ McConnell

3-games on the docket, on the road with the Rockets then home matchups vs. the Hawks and Pacers.  Last 7 days stats of 7.3 APG and 2.7 SPG should only improve with Markelle Fultz out indefinitely.  McConnell shoots 48% from the floor, but only 33% at the 3-pt line.  McConnell is owned in just 6% of fantasy basketball leagues.

Week 2 Fantasy Basketball Circle Of Trust

Nuggets PG/SG Jamal Murray

4-game week with a home matchup against the Wizards followed by 3 on the road against the Hornets, Hawks, and Nets. Murray hasn’t set the world on fire thru just 2 games of the season. Emmanuel Mudiay is a threat to playing time, but I still believe Murray is the top choice to run the Nuggets up-tempo offense. Murray is available in nearly 55% of fantasy basketball leagues.


Heat PF/C Kelly Olynyk

3 games this week all at home with the Spurs, Hawks, and Celtics. Olynyk is a big that can help supplement your shooting percentages, but lacks the defensive stats that are needed.  I’ve used him in daily leagues where I needed to bring up my shooting.  Olynyk is available in about 85% of fantasy basketball leagues.


Bulls PF Lauri Markkanen

3 games this week one on the road with the Cavs and a pair of home games vs. the Hawks and Thunder. Markkanen should get plenty of shots this week with Portis and Mirotic out of commission. Markkanen is owned in around 20% of fantasy basketball leagues.

2017-18 Fantasy Basketball Breakouts

Atlanta Hawks Forward Taurean Prince

Former 1st rd pick that will get an opportunity to get some run on a rebuilding team.  Averaged 10.7 PPG in final 15 games. 3 and D player could be worth a late round flier.


Boston Celtics Shooting Guard Jaylen Brown

Top 3 pick last season will get to spread his wings this season. Shots could be tough to come by with Kyrie Irving and Gordon Hayward added to the roster. Brown will average significantly more than the 17.2 MPG of last season.  If Danny Ainge refused to trade him and opened up playing time, Jaylen Brown should be on your radar.


Brooklyn Nets Forward Caris LeVert

Projections are Nets will start Jeremy Lin and D’Angelo Russell in the backcourt.  Allen Crabbe was acquired this offseason in a trade. Following the money leads you to believe Crabbe will be a starter.  LeVert has significantly more talent than Crabbe and I believe will be the starter at some point.  LeVert is the highest upside stash on the rebuilding Nets.


Charlotte Bobcats Center Dwight Howard

Reunites with Steve Clifford in Charlotte.  It’s amazing D12 is only 31 years old.  Last season still averaged 13.5 PPG and 12.7 RPG.  Cody Zeller has 4 years and $54 million dollars coming to him so Howard’s minutes may be scaled back. Howard will kill your teams FT percentage, but last seasons 63.3 FG% certainly is worth rostering.  Howard may slide down draft boards a bit, but isn’t in the discard pile just yet.


Chicago Bulls Point Guard Kris Dunn

Looked lost and overmatched in 78 games with the Wolves in his rookie season. The Bulls are in a full rebuild mode led by the questionable duo of John Paxson and Gar Forman.  Dunn has little competition for minutes with Jerian Grant and Cameron Payne.  Usage rate should be fairly high despite playing next to Zach LaVine.  Dunn may hurt your percentages at the start of the season, but is worth patiently rostering.


Cleveland Cavaliers Small Forward Jae Crowder

Will help fantasy owners in categories leagues with his percentages.  Shot 40% last season from downtown and 81% from the charity stripe along with averaging a Steal-per-game.


Dallas Mavericks Point Guard Dennis Smith Jr.

Many analysts project Smith Jr. to be the Rookie-Of-The-Year.  Fantasy owners should love the opportunity to run the show in Big D.  Go up and get Smith Jr. early in drafts. It’s better to reach for a player and have him breakout on your roster instead of waiting and missing out on the breakout.


Denver Nuggets Point Guard/Shooting Guard Jamal Murray

Linked to quite a few trade rumors this offseason. Highlight of last season was winning Rookie Game MVP.  Murray at the helm of the up-tempo Nuggets offense could be fantasy gold.  Shot selection and getting teammates involved are aspects of the game this 2nd year player needs to work on.  Emmanuel Mudiay seems behind Murray in the eyes of the organization at this stage.  Worth it to spend the mid-round pick on Murray. I am strongly considering Murray as my keeper or a player I’ll have listed later on this list.


Detroit Pistons Small Forward Stanley Johnson

This 2015 first-round pick was drafted ahead of Justice Winslow, Myles Turner, and Devin Booker.  The Pistons under SVG have a habit of burying their draft choices and not developing them.  At some point that has to change, maybe it does in 2017-18.

Johnson is expected to play more Small Forward this season.  Johnson is worth a late round lottery ticket to see if he breaks thru this season.


Golden State Warriors Power Forward Jordan Bell

As a Bulls fan I wasn’t thrilled that GarPax sold Bell at the draft.  Bell has some work to do to crack into the rotation, but could be a player that contributes defensive stats to daily fantasy players.


Houston Rockets Center Clint Capela

Glue guy that will shoot a high percentage and grab rebounds.  Last years 64% from the field was stellar the 53% from the charity stripe not so much.  His 23.9 MPG last season should be able to go up a bit, but Nene Hilario will be there to steal some minutes. Capela’s overall value should increase a bit from last season.


Indiana Pacers Point Guard Darren Collison

Gets a 2nd tour of duty with the Pacers and returns as a much better 3-point shooter.  Cory Joseph could force this to more of a timeshare.  Categories league Fantasy Owners know what their getting with Collison’s percentages, but a move to Indiana could bump him up a bit.


Los Angeles Clippers Shooting Guard Austin Rivers

Did average 17.6 PPG and 4.5 APG in an extended run in January.  Rivers has more offensive upside than Patrick Beverley and Milos Teodosic.  Lou Williams will settle in as a Sixth Man.  Disregard the last name and spend a late round pick.


Los Angeles Lakers Small Forward Brandon Ingram

Looked overmatched in 79 games last season as a 19 year-old.  Effectiveness and efficiency should improve in Year 2.  Fighting Luol Deng for minutes should be a thing of the past.  Ingram has to grow into his body and is worth a later flier again this season in yearly leagues. Dynasty league owners will view Ingram differently.


Memphis Grizzles Power Forward JaMychal Green

Does a little bit of everything for the Grizzles.  Shot 50% from the field, 38% from downtown, and 80% at the charity stripe.  With Zach Randolph gone Green should get more run and provide more numbers for fantasy owners. Not a name brand player yet, but certainly helps fantasy owners.


Miami Heat Power Forward James Johnson

Significantly more valuable to categories leagues players due to his ability average a 3pt, STL, and BLK per game off the bench. Johnson averaged a career high 12.8 PPG last season.  After signing a 4-year deal, this under-rated player should be locked into a significant role in Miami.


Milwaukee Bucks Power Forward/Center Thon Maker

Showed flashes in his rookie season. Added muscle to his 7’1” frame this offseason. Maker is athletic and has a shooting touch to hit shots from outside. Maker has the makings of a late round flier with upside as a backup big man.  Dynasty league players will want to go after Maker sooner if available.


Minnesota Timberwolves Center Gorgui Dieng

10.7 PPG and 7.9 RPG last season.  Dieng playing with more playmakers in the backcourt this season could lead to more easy baskets.  Dieng shot 50% from the field and 81% at the free-throw line last season.  Dieng has more value in daily categories leagues more so than weekly points scoring.


New Orleans Pelicans Point Guard/Shooting Guard Jrue Holiday

I’m not fearful of Holiday’s assist totals going down with the addition of Rajon Rondo.  Holiday is the better player at this stage of their careers.  Holiday may also pick up added Shooting Guard eligibility.  Multiple position eligibility is something I consider a premium in fantasy basketball.


New York Knicks Center Willy Hernangomez

Solid inside scorer that should get plenty of run in the starting lineup for the rebuilding Knickerbockers.  Averaged 11.4 and 9.2 RPG after the All-Star break.  Fantasy owners should expect to see more scoring from Willy this season.


Oklahoma City Thunder Center Steven Adams

In his 4th season Adams set career highs in MPG, PPG, RPG, APG, and SPG.  Adams at age 24 could take another step forward in 2017-18.  Blocked shots are still lower than other Center’s but Adam’s is worth going up for this year.


Orlando Magic Shooting Guard Terrence Ross

Field goal attempts and scoring average went up to 12.5 PPG in Orlando.  Ross looks to flourish in his first full season out of Toronto.  With a guaranteed contract in Orlando thru 2018-19 Ross is a piece to build around.  Fantasy owners looking for scoring in the later rounds may want to take a flier on Ross.


Philadelphia 76ers Power Forward Ben Simmons

His playing restrictions may be different than Joel Embiid went thru last season.  Simmons can contribute in all categories


Phoenix Suns Power Forward Marquese Chriss

I love the upside of Chriss and am strongly considering keeping him over Jamal Murray.  His percentages may hurt, but Chriss is certainly a player to target for his upside.  On a bad Suns team Chriss should be able to provide stats across the board.


Portland Trail Blazers Center Jusuf Nurkic

Flourished with 15.2 PPG and 10.4 RPG since moving to Rip City.  Nurkic is a stud on the upswing. Denver got fleeced in that deal. I view Nurkic as a top 7 Center in fantasy basketball, not sure casual fantasy basketball players do.


San Antonio Spurs PG Dejounte Murray

Should be able to get serious run with Tony Parker out to start the season. Murray struggled in Summer League and following training camp reports will be key to selecting Murray this season.


Sacramento Kings Center Willie Cauley-Stein

Started to turn the corner after DeMarcus Cousins trade. WCS plays a similar style to Clint Capela of the Rockets.  Playing on a rebuilding team the Kings have every reason to see if WCS is a franchise building block.


Toronto Raptors Power Forward/ Center Pascal Siakam and Jakob Poetl

Both young bigs have flashed potential in Summer League action. Siakam and Poetl are blocked for minutes by Jonas Valanciunas and Serge Ibaka as training camp approaches. Both are stashes until Valanciunas is moved.


Utah Jazz Shooting Guard Rodney Hood

A lot of shots are open with Gordon Hayward in Boston. Ricky Rubio is a pass first point guard which will create a lot of shot opportunities.  Hood looks to be past his knee injury of last season. 2015-16 saw Hood average 14.5 PPG. I would anticipate 17 PPG in this lineup.


Washington Wizards Small Forward Kelly Oubre

3rd year pro looks to take another step forward this season. His minutes doubled from Year 1 to Year 2.  Oubre could see even more minutes this season if the Wizards try to play more small ball.

Finally Portis Gets Unleashed?!?

The two worst 3-pt shooting teams in the NBA made a deal at the deadline involving multiple players that specialize in perimeter shooting. The Bulls trade of Taj Gibson, Doug McDermott, and a 2018 2nd round pick to the Thunder for Cameron Payne, Joffrey Lauvergne, and Anthony Morrow doesn’t make a whole lot of sense on the surface. The Bulls shoot a league worst 31.6% from downtown while the Thunder shoot next to last in the league in 3-pt shooting at 32.1%.  The players involved in the trade should fit better in their new respective teams to improve those 3 pt percentages.  Gibson should help provide the Thunder some toughness up front with Steven Adams and Enes Kanter.  McDermott should be able to break thru as the starting small forward in OKC. His 37.6% from downtown should improve playing alongside Russell Westbrook.

The 2014 NBA Draft saw the Bulls give away the 16th and 19th overall pick along with a 2015 2nd rd pick to the Nuggets for the rights to Doug McDermott. The Nuggets ended up getting the better end of that deal drafting Jusuf Nurkic, Gary Harris, and moving the 2nd rd pick to the Cavs. (Nurkic has since been moved to Portland in another weird trade.) McDermott’s Bulls career was marred by injuries and a lack of athleticism to play on the defensive end.  With the additions of D-Wade and Rajon Rondo, McDermott was blocked from starting this year in Chicago. I wasn’t a fan of the trade of McDermott at the 2014 NBA Draft and hope the Bulls can muster something out of Cameron Payne. I’d take Nurkic over anything that was drafted or acquired at this point. However I’m not relevant.

Jerian Grant and Cameron Payne have the opportunity to battle to be the “Point Guard of the Future”. The exodus of Gibson allows the Bulls hopefully unleash Bobby Portis. Nikola Mirotic and Lauvergne will be fighting for backup minutes off the bench to fling 3’s. Lauvergne is shooting 35% from the 3-pt line this season. Morrow will help in the short term as an effective perimeter shooter to help in floor spacing off the bench. Having started just 142 of 555 career games played, Morrow should be comfortable in his role. Morrow is only shooting 29.4% from downtown this year, but is a career 41.7% shooter.   The trade should help the Thunder immediately while defining roles on the current Bulls roster and providing hope for the future.

Fantasy implications of this trade are that daily fantasy players or categories leagues players may view McDermott in a better light. Portis’ value goes way up with the opportunity to start. Payne was road blocked behind Westbrook, but keeper league owners out of the playoffs should instantly cut bait on a filler to speculatively add Payne.