Tag Archives: Fantasy Basketball

Week 1 Fantasy Basketball Circle Of Trust

Pacers SF/PF Thaddeus Young

3-game week at home with the Nets, and Blazers followed by a road tilt with the Heat. Young is a horrible free throw shooter, but helps with scoring, boards, and steals. I own Young in Weekly Points league.  Available in nearly 70% of fantasy basketball leagues his ownership is too low. The rebuilding Pacers will rely more on Young this season than fantasy players realize.

 

 

Jazz SG Rodney Hood

3-game week home against the Nuggets, Wolves on road, then back home vs. the Thunder. Hood is owned in only 7 percent of fantasy basketball leagues at the time of this post. Huge opportunity is there to become Jazz leading scorer this season. I was surprised Hood only cost me $1 at the draft.

 

 

Hawks SF Taurean Prince

3 games all on the road with the Mavericks, Hornets, and Nets. Owned in around 2% of fantasy basketball leagues. Prince is a 3 and D type player on a rebuilding Hawks squad. Daily fantasy owners may want to slide Prince into their lineups this week.

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.

Investing In Lin?

Brooklyn Nets Point Guard Jeremy Lin is one of my favorite players to own in fantasy basketball this season.  Each year a player needs to be evaluated off their situation.  Lin wasn’t a franchise savior in Houston after coming over from the Knicks for the 2012-13 campaign.  Lin put up decent numbers in Houston, but didn’t live up to the contract. Lin lost playing time in Houston in part to his defensive deficiencies.  Also Lin didn’t complement James Harden as well as Patrick Beverley.

After two seasons Lin was traded to the Los Angeles Lakers for a forgettable season.  In Los Angeles Lin’s skill set did not complement Kobe Bryant.  Head Coach Byron Scott also started using Jordan Clarkson more in the starting lineup since he was a future building block for the organization.  Coming off the bench in Charlotte last season, Lin rehabbed his career coming off the bench behind Kemba Walker.  His PER was a career low 13.8 with the Hornets last season, but I believe Lin played with more confidence in Charlotte.  Lin is better suited to be a complimentary piece not a franchise building block for a winning team.

In Brooklyn Head Coach Kenny Atkinson will attempt to use Lin to his strong suits.  Atkinson was an Assistant Coach with the Knicks during “Linsanity”.  This situation in Brooklyn is perfect for fantasy owners because Lin has very little competition for shots.  His usage rate of 28.1 during the breakout season with the Knicks is closer to what it should be this season than his career usage rate of 21.7.  This season the Nets will be one of the worst teams in the NBA.  Lin will play a lot of minutes and put together statistics that won’t equate to winning basketball.  In categories leagues Lin can be downgraded a little bit due to percentages and turnovers.  I spent $2.00 in a seasonal league with weekly scoring.  I believe Lin will be one of the best values in that league.  I received some teasing due to my purchase of Lin.

Sometimes fantasy owners overlook players on bad teams, I don’t care what their team does I’m just chasing statistics.  I am a Fantasy Owner, not a real one. The fact of the matter is in Brooklyn; Lin should be able to surpass his career averages of 11.7 PPG, 4.4 APG, 2.8 RPG, 43% FG%, 35% 3-pt%, and 80% FT%.  Lin may be better equipped to handle the pressure of being a focal point in Brooklyn after his experiences in Houston and Los Angeles.  Owners need to evaluate Lin’s situation this season, instead of his career numbers. “Linsanity” won’t happen again, but a solid mid-round production very well could be in the cards.

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Markieff Poised For A Big Year In DC?

Wizards power forward Markieff Morris is a player I will target in the later rounds of fantasy drafts this season.  The jury is still out if the Wizards got fleeced giving away a first round pick for Morris.  In 27 games 21 starts Morris averaged 12.4 points per game 5.9 rebounds per game, and 1.4 assists while his percentages improved from Phoenix to Washington across the board.  The opportunity is there in DC for Morris to take another step forward.  Morris struggles on the defensive end could lead to Johnny O’Bryant taking away some minutes.  Andrew Nicholson is a decent shooter, but is more of a reserve. Morris is the type of stretch for that should be able to complement Marcin Gortat this season.

I believe the 2014-2015 statistics with the Suns are certainly attainable for Morris in which he averaged 15.3 points per game, 6.2 rebounds per game, 2.3 assists per game, 1.2 steals per game, and shot 32% from 3-point range.  The Wizards have enough offensive weapons allowing Morris to slide in as the complimentary piece he is fit to be.  Having a whole off-season been removed from Phoenix and the turmoil that was not been able to play with his twin brother anymore, Morris should be able to bounce back for the Wizards.

Fantasy owners that are investing in Morris are doing so because of the change of scenery and the progress that they saw at the end of last season. I view Morris as a late round lottery ticket because of the situation and upside. The previous knucklehead behavior makes me not want invest too heavily in Morris.

Categories league’s owners look at Morris as a power forward that can hit a three, get a steal, and shoot 76% from the free-throw line. Sometimes fantasy owners get caught up in what player did for them last year instead of what they feel like you’re going to do for them this year.  Morris may provide some late round upside for those that evaluate on the situation this season.

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Does Lawson Rebound in Sacramento?

Point Guard Ty Lawson looks to get his career back on track in Sacramento.  Lawson flamed out in Houston and Indiana last season with an offensive win share of 0.2 and a defensive win share of 0.7 for a total win share of 0.9. While two seasons ago his offensive win share was 6.0.  Playing in Houston along with James Harden was a complete disaster.  Lawson as a backup point guard was a misfit as his numbers dropped across the board.  Lawson is the type of player that needs to have the ball in his hands to be successful. Lawson’s outside shot isn’t good enough to be successful playing off the ball.  Lawson’s game is transition and setting up his teammates off dribble penetration.

This season Lawson will turn 29-years-old and still should be in the physical prime of his career.  Lawson’s personal issues are well documented, but his conditioning looked to be a problem last season as well.  The opportunity is there in Sacramento for Lawson to turn his career around.  Darren Collison will miss the first few games of the season due to a suspension and there’s a decent chance that Lawson could take away the starting point guard job.  Sacramento has weapons to complement Lawson’s drive and dish skills in DeMarcus Cousins, Rudy Gay, Matt Barnes, and Aaron Afflalo.

I hold a bit more stock in his Denver seasons than I do last season in evaluating Lawson as a fantasy player.  Kings head coach Dave Joerger may be better suited to you utilize Lawson’s talents than his last two stops.  Collison and Lawson have been in the league the same amount of time and for their careers Lawson has been the more productive player.  It would not surprise me in the least if Lawson was able to take the starting point guard job away from Collison this season in Sacramento.

Fantasy owners looking for a late round lottery ticket should consider Lawson.  Training camp reports, while often of the glass half full approach, may be able to provide insight into Lawson’s role with the Kings.  Fantasy owners that are targeting Lawson are not looking for percentages they’re looking for assists and points.  The Kings were a good career rehab spot for Rajon Rondo and could also be one for Ty Lawson.

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Len Stealing My Sunshine

The Phoenix Suns are in full tank mode and finally have decided to unleash Alex Len. Attempting to build up the trade value of Markieff Morris delayed the process a bit. Len injury problems during his college and professional career may be one of the reasons Tyson Chandler was signed this off-season. I’ve been impressed with Len’s ability to score down low and facing the basket.  Defensively Len has been more willing to mix it up down low.  His defense from 10 ft and in is solid but foul trouble causes problems.  The Suns have started Len at Power Forward and played the twin towers together more in the recent stretch.  Small ball lineups can possibly negate the Twin Towers. However Chandler not Len should lose minutes at this stage of the season.

Fantasy owners tracking Len should have taken notice of his steady increase in usage rate.   January saw a usage rate of 17.1, February jumped to 25.2 and so far in March its 27.2. February was a good month for Len as he averaged 12.23 ppg and 9.2 rpg. The fantasy basketball playoffs often come down to schedules as Len in weekly leagues ends the season with 3, 4, and 4 games.  The added eligibility of PF in some leagues only sweetens the deal.

I picked up Len a few weeks ago due to Zaza Pachulia’s drop-off in production.  Len’s play has impressed me to the point where I may consider him as 1 of my 2 keepers for next season. The keeper prices jump 1.5 times and owners can only keep a player for 2 years.  My keepers entering this season were Jimmy Butler for $8 and Chandler Parsons at $ 11. Draft pricing for Kawhi Leonard $25, Carmelo Anthony $31 and Marc Gasol $26 are too rich for my blood. Karl Anthony-Towns $12 is set as one of my keepers. D’Angelo Russell $8, Thaddeus Young $2, Myles Turner $1, and Aaron Gordon $1 are also lost cost keeper options.  I like to have inexpensive young keepers so I can spend more in my draft. I’m leaning towards Butler for one more year, but Len’s play has questioned my thought process quite a bit.

Deng Trade Has Potential Ripple Down Effects For Mike Dunleavy and Kirk Hinrich

The Chicago Bulls are a team in transition with the first domino dropping as Luol Deng gets moved the Cavaliers for the right to release Andrew Bynum and draft choices. The Bulls probably aren’t done talking trades as Mike Dunleavy and Kirk Hinrich are strong possibilities to get moved before the February 20th trade deadline. Expect to see Tony Snell to take over Dunleavy’s minutes and D.J. Augustin to see plenty of playing time when Hinrich gets traded.

Dunleavy may see more of the playing time with Deng’s departure as a trade showcase. His contract is worth roughly $3.3 million dollars next season. Teams looking for a cost effective veteran perimeter scorer could be interested in Dunleavy. His True Shooting Percentage of .569 and Player Efficiency Rating 13.7 could certainly help contending teams. Dunleavy is an asset on a tanking team that could net more cap relief, a 2nd rd pick, or maybe an inexpensive young player in return.

Owners should track Snell for the near future as his role after the trade is yet o be determined. Snell struggles with shot selection and is just finding his bearings at the NBA level. Snell does bring effort on the defensive end and could help fantasy owners looking for defensive stats. The effort on the defensive end should lead to more playing time down the road this season.

The Bulls would be best suited to move Hinrich as soon as possible before his body breaks down yet again. Hinrich’s offensive win share of -0.1, True Shooting Percentage of .459, and Player Efficiency Rating of 9.3 are unacceptable for a team that is in the process of rebuilding. Hinrich is under contract this season for $4.059 million dollars. The Bulls could save more money and acquire maybe a 2nd rd pick or inexpensive young player in return. What Hinrich does bring to the table at this point is a 1.2 Defensive Win Share and veteran presence. The 33-year-old combo guard could help contending teams off the bench in a capacity of around 20 minutes-per-game.

Fantasy owners should look to add D.J. Augustin as a bench stash at this stage of the season. Augustin is averaging 12.3 points, 7.2 assists,and 1.7 steals per 36 minutes. The .541 True Shooting Percentage and 13.3 Player Efficiency Rating give Augustin a leg up on Marquis Teague for more playing time. It will be painstaking for Coach Tom Thibodeau to watch Augustin on the defensive end. Augustin is a player that could end up being more valuable in fantasy basketball instead of real basketball.