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Oct 23

Week 2 Preview

The best advice that I can give you after Week 1 is to not panic. A two or three game sample size does not mean much regardless of how good or bad a player has looked. That’s not to say that we should completely ignore the first week of the season. Rotations are becoming much more clear and quite a few players are looking at roles either much larger or smaller than anticipated. Below are some of the players whose starts warrant attention from fantasy owners. Many of the below players will turn out to be nothing more than a flash in the pan, but there’s also likely some gems in the group. I’ve also attached Week 2’s schedule and added a few notes on that schedule.

Week 2 Schedule and Notes:

 

ATL BKN BOS CHA CHI CLE DAL DEN DET GSW HOU IND LAC LAL MEM
Week 2 4 4 3 4 3 4 4 4 4 4 4 3 3 3 4
MIA MIL MIN NOR NYK OKC ORL PHI PHO POR SAC SAS TOR UTA WAS
Week 2 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 4 3 3 4
  • Expect most weekly schedules to look like Week 2’s. The NBA adjusted their schedule to minimize back-to-back sets and four game weeks won’t be as common as they were in the past. There will also be more two game weeks which means more difficult decisions for managers playing in weekly leagues.
  • Denver has this week’s easiest schedule with the Wizards, Hornets, Hawks, and Nets on the docket. Expect a nice bounce back week from Nikola Jokic. If you own Jokic, hold tight. The minutes have been there and he’s too good of a player to continue playing this poorly. If you don’t own Jokic, then float some buy-low offers to his likely frustrated owner.
  • The Lakers have a brutal schedule this week. Washington and Toronto will be visiting the Staples Center and the Lakers will travel to Utah to play against what could be the best defense in the league. I’d still add Larry Nance Jr. and Kentavious Caldwell-Pope if they are available, but expect most of the Lakers to have an ugly week.

 

Week 2 Pickups:

Will Barton – The Nuggets didn’t find a wing replacement for Danilo Gallinari this offseason and that has opened up more minutes for Barton. He’s averaging just a hair under 30 MPG and the additional playing time could lead to a top-100 finish. He was a top-85 player in 2015-2016 and should have a large enough role to approach that season’s numbers. In 2015-2016, the wing produced 14.4 PPG, 1.4 3PG, 5.8 RPG, and 2.5 APG. He is an excellent fit for the punt assists build and also gains value if you are punting FG% (44.2 FG% in 2016-2017).

Dejounte Murray – Murray has badly outplayed Patty Mills and looks like the point guard to own in San Antonio. His upside is capped as it looks like the timeshare with Mills will continue, but he has done enough in the minutes he’s been given (25.9 MPG) to be worth a look in standard leagues. Thus far, Murray has been a monster on the boards (7.5 RPG) and has brought the heat on the defensive end (2.0 SPG, 0.5 BPG). Murray is a very strong short-term play, but his long-term outlook isn’t as rosy. Tony Parker is already participating in contact drills and Murray could be stuck in an ugly, three-way timeshare once the veteran does return.

Al-Farouq Aminu – Aminu has teased us in the past, so I am hesitant to give him a full-throated endorsement, but he should be owned, at least for now. With Noah Vonleh still recovering from a right shoulder injury, Aminu has been spending all of his time at the four and that has led to some impressive rebounding numbers. Through three games, Aminu is averaging a whopping 11.3 RPG. Playing as a full-time power forward has also helped the Blazer’s blocks (1.0 BPG). I don’t expect Aminu to be more than a top-120 player this season, but he’ll be worth a roster spot until Vonleh returns.

DeMarre Carroll – Carroll hasn’t looked this healthy since he was a member of the Hawks. He is now part of one of the most three-point heavy offenses in the league and is playing on a team that currently ranks second in pace. If his health holds up, a top-100 finish is very possible. When healthy, Carroll produces a classic 3-and-D line. Through the Nets’ first three games, he is averaging 2.0 3PG and 1.7 SPG and is also doing work on the boards (6.7 RPG). Those steals likely aren’t sustainable, but the threes are. Like all veterans on terrible teams, he’ll be a candidate to be shutdown late in the season.

Terrence Ross – Ross has had two very good games and one massive dud that likely had something to do with being guarded by LeBron James. His role looks very secure and he played over 30 minutes in the Magic’s first two games. Last season, after the move to Orlando, Ross was a top-90 player who averaged 1.9 3PG, 1.4 SPG, and 0.5 BPG. Ross is the type of wing that you’re going to want to target if you punting dimes. He receives a huge boost if assists are ignored (1.1 APG).

Week 2 Watchlist/Streaming Options/Deep League Pickups:

Lucas Nogueira – Jonas Valanciunas could miss the entire week and that makes Nogueira this week’s top streaming option. The Brazilian is an outstanding per-minute player who posts elite defensive numbers whenever Valanciunas is out of the lineup. Last season, the Raptor produced an incredible 1.6 SP36 and 3.0 BP36. Nogueira is not a threat on offense, but is efficient enough that he can still make a major impact on the FG% category (66.0 FG%).

Terry Rozier – Rozier was expected to be an afterthought in the Celtics’ rotation coming into the season, but injuries to Gordon Hayward, Marcus Smart, and Marcus Morris have thrust him into a larger role. He should be useful until Morris returns and will provide owners with above-average 3-and-D numbers as well as a smattering of assists. Through three games, Rozier is averaging an excellent 12.7 PPG, 2.0 3PG, 5.7 RPG, 3.3 APG, and 2.0 SPG.

Kelly Olynyk – Hassan Whiteside is dealing with a bone bruise and currently has no timetable to return. Until the center returns to court, Olynyk should be very useful. The Canadian is an excellent per-minute player who has played well this season. In only 24.2 MPG, the big man is averaging 11.5 PPG on 47.1% shooting, 2.0 3PG, 7.0 APG, 3.5 APG, and 1.0 SPG. Once Whiteside returns, he’ll lose his standard-league relevance, but he should still be on the radar of deeper-league managers due to his ability to contribute in the big man categories and hit from deep.

Marco Belinelli – Belinelli is the primary beneficiary of Dennis Schroder’s injury. Malcolm Delaney will likely move into the starting lineup, but it is Belinelli who the Hawks will be depending on to replace Schroder’s scoring. Until the point guard returns, expect plenty of points (14.7 PPG) and threes (2.7 3PG) from the veteran. He should also provide owners with low-end assists (2.7 APG) and be a very good source of FT% impact (89.3 FT% on 2.3 FTA in 2016-2017).

Delon Wright – I wouldn’t read too much into the Raptors’ first two games. They played what is likely to be the worst team in the league in the Bulls and faced-off against a Joel Embiid-less Sixers squad. The lack of competition is what keeps Wright from being a must-grab because his production suggests that he should be. Against the two bottom-dwellers, Wright averaged a very healthy 13.5 PPG, 3.5 RPG, 3.0 APG, 0.5 SPG, and 1.0 BPG. Those impressive numbers came in 27.3 MPG. He won’t play that much most nights, but Cory Joseph’s 23.9 MPG 2016-2017 role suggests that he should still see enough minutes to be useful to deep-league owners.

Ian Clark – The Pelicans boast one of the worst wing rotations in the league and the former Warrior should continue to see minutes in mid-20s. When given minutes, Clark can be a very good source of threes (2.3 3PG) and steals (1.7 SPG). What makes Clark especially interesting is that his potentially very strong 3-and-D numbers could come with strong efficiency. In his final year with the Warriors, Clark shot 48.7% from the field.

Dillon Brooks – Brooks is a second-round pick who has taken advantage of the depressing situation that is the Grizzlies’ wing rotation. Chandler Parsons continues to look like a shell of his former self and Brooks has managed to play at least 29 minutes in each of the Grizzlies’ first two games. In those two games, the Canadian has averaged a very impressive 14.0 PPG, 2.5 SPG, and 1.5 BPG. All of that is unsustainable as Brooks was only a mediocre source of defensive stats while at Oregon, but he’s worth a speculative pickup in case his role remains this large.

C.J. Miles/Norman Powell – As I mentioned when discussing Wright, you don’t want to read too much into the Raptors’ first two games. However, it’s clear that Miles will have a very large role for the Raptors and be one of the team’s primary scoring options off the bench. The Raptors are desperate for three-point shooters and with Miles’ bread and butter being just that (2.2 3PG), he should see more minutes than he did in Indiana (23.4 MPG). Powell won’t excel in one category like Miles does in threes, but the Raptors’ starting small forward should provide a more well-rounded line. Last season, Powell averaged 16.7 PP36, 1.5 3P36, and 1.3 SP36. If DeMar DeRozan were to miss time, Powell would immediately become a must-grab.

Mike James/Tyler Ulis – Eric Bledsoe looks like he’s played his last game in a Suns’ uniform and one of two remaining point guards on the roster is likely to hold some value. James is the early favorite to start as he’s been ahead of Ulis in the rotation and has played fairly well in the Suns’ first three games. In only 19.0 MPG, James has produced 11.7 PPG, 1.0 3PG, 2.7 APG, and 0.7 SPG. Ulis could also be servicable if he were to leapfrog James. Over the last two months of the 2016-2017, Ulis was given the keys to the Suns’ offense and produced 12.8 PPG, 7.0 APG, and 1.1 SPG.

Caris LeVert – LeVert has already found his way into the starting lineup and the early returns are very promising. In his first start of the season, the shooting guard posted a very intriguing 16 points, six rebounds, four assists, and three steals. The counting stats should continue to be very good. In his rookie year, LeVert produced 13.6 PP36, 1.7 3P36, 5.7 RP36, 3.2 AP36, and 1.5 SP36. What could hold back the sophomore is his efficiency. His FG% wasn’t bad as a rookie (45.0 FG%), but he could see that efficiency drop now that he’ll taking on a larger role on offense. LeVert will also likely be a small drag on his owners’ FT% (72.0 FT%).

Evan Turner – Allen Crabbe’s departure has led to more playing time for Turner and so far, the veteran has been able to take advantage of the extended run. Turner is playing almost five more minutes per game this season than he did in 2016-2017 and that has allowed him to post mid-round numbers through the league’s first week. Thus far, the Blazer has averaged 13.3 PPG, 1.0 3PG, and 4.3 APG. Standard league managers should look elsewhere, but you could do worse if you are playing in a league with at least 14 teams.

Players who should already be owned in standard leagues: Joe Ingles, Marquese Chriss, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, Rondae Hollis-Jefferson, Rodney Hood, Dewayne Dedmon, Jaylen Brown, Allen Crabbe, Josh Richardson, Danny Green

Follow me on Twitter @EliteFanBBall for the latest fantasy basketball news. I will gladly answer any fantasy basketball related questions that you may have. 

2 comments

  1. stonefawkes

    Hey Adam,
    I have RHJ and MKG on a punt ast team. Should I drop MKG for Rodney Hood?

    1. Adam Stock

      That one comes down to what cats you need to me. I still prefer MKG in a bubble.

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