The NBA’s early season is thrilling as always, with some major storylines already blowing up our Twitterfeed. The Los Angeles Lakers have a new coach with three first names, James Harden’s crazy beard is teaming up with Linsanity, and if you believe New York Knicks fans, they’re going to win this season’s title. Woo hoo! In the realm of fantasy basketball, there are always interesting things going on as well, so let’s take a look-see.
Note rankings and stats are based on Yahoo!’s system, so any opposing views should be taken up with them. Although, they’re pretty awesome with their fantasy sports platform. Or not.
Top Fantasy Basketball Players (That You Probably Didn’t Expect)
Tim Duncan, San Antonio Spurs (third overall)
7 G; 30 MPG; 18.9 PPG; 53.1 FG%; 78.9 FT%; 9.7 RPG; 2.3 APG; 1.4 SPG; 2.4 BPG
Man, I’m really digging that new System of a Down joint, “Toxicity.” And while I really dug “Amores Perros,” I gotta say, “Shrek” was pretty awesome. By the way, Barry Bonds hitting 73 home runs? I’m thinking steroids. OK, you get the point — old TD is playing like a much younger TD. How long will it last though? Enjoy it while you can and if possible, sell high.
Kevin Martin, Oklahoma City Thunder (eighth overall)
6 G; 30 MPG; 18.0 PPG; 48.3 FG%; 91.9 FT%; 2.7 3PTM; 2.7 RPG; 2.2 APG; 1.5 SPG
James Harden who? We all knew that Martin was a scorer. but also pretty down in the dumps playing in Houston. So, now he’s a scorer, but with the biggest Guy Fawkes grin on his grill. He still doesn’t play any real defense, but for fantasy purposes, it’s not about substance, it’s about style and the final numbers. I’d expect the numbers to stay relatively the same all season.
O.J. Mayo, Dallas Mavericks (10th overall)
7 G; 35 MPG; 21.9 PPG; 49.0 FG%; 86.2 FT%; 4.0 3PTM; 3.7 RPG; 3.0 APG; 0.7 SPG
Mayo is loving Dallas, what with that cool thing called “playing time.” O.J.’s always had the talent and only needed the opportunity. It’ll be interesting to see how well he plays once Dirk Nowitzki comes back from injury. However, if you can’t wait and want to sell high, now’s the time. I’d suggest waiting though because I think the numbers (other than the ridiculous amount of treys) will stay within range of what Mayo is doing now.
Jamal Crawford, Los Angeles Clippers (12th overall)
6 G; 29 MPG; 21.8 PPG; 52.5 FG%; 88.6 FT%; 2.7 3PTM; 1.8 RPG; 1.0 APG; 1.0 SPG
Crawford is playing to his strengths right now by scoring a ton and hitting triples. He’s usually a better dimes guy (career 3.9 APG), but also a worse shooter from the field (career 40.9 FG%), so be happy with what he’s doing now. And that’s the key word: “now.” As in, sell high NOW because Crawford won’t make this last, since Chauncey Billups will eventually play into the mix and take touches away. Someone can always use the points and threes-made if you don’t.
George Hill, Indiana Pacers (16th overall)
7 G; 36 MPG; 15.1 PPG; 44.3 FG%; 85.0 FT%; 1.6 3PTM; 4.0 RPG; 5.1 APG; 1.1 SPG
There was a bit of a scare with George Hill during the preseason because of the presence of D.J. Augustin, but apparently it was all for naught as Hill is getting some major minutes and producing. He seems like a solid bet to continue doing well, but maybe dipping a bit in the rankings as 16th overall for him seems too high. But, maybe this is another D.J. Augustin moment where we should just chillax and take it as it is.
How Are The Rooks Doing?
Anthony Davis, New Orleans Hornets
3 G; 27 MPG; 17.3 PPG; 52.8 FG%; 77.8 FT%; 8.0 RPG; 0.7 APG; 1.3 SPG; 2.7 BPG
Davis had a little setback earlier in the season after suffering a concussion, but he’s doing just fine now and should continue to put up very solid numbers. His limited minutes should go up as the season goes along and a nightly double-double with a trio of blocks seems like a safe forecast for the first overall pick.
Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, Charlotte Bobcats
5 G; 30 MPG; 12.2 PPG; 47.8 FG%; 76.2 FT%; 7.6 RPG; 1.2 APG; 1.6 SPG; 2.2 BPG
I’ll admit to MKG being the rookie I’ll be following most. Even though he plays for such a bad team, I love his overall game. Plus, if you’ve been playing fantasy sports long enough, you know that good players on bad teams can do very well (see: Ricky Davis while playing with the Cleveland Cavaliers before LeBron). That’s the case for Kidd-Gilchrist, although there are some nice pieces around him that will keep his fantasy value high because they keep defenses honest.
Damian Lillard, Portland Trail Blazers
6 G; 38 MPG; 18.8 PPG; 43.0 FG%; 83.3 FT%; 2.2 3PTM; 3.3 RPG; 7.0 APG; 1.3 SPG
Lillard has lived up to the hype. Thankfully for Nets fans, their team already has a pretty good point guard, as they traded the sixth overall pick to the Blazers for Gerald Wallace last season and would surely be kicking themselves if the had neither Deron nor Damian. In any case, Lillard should continue to do as well as he has been as he has a major role with the team and won’t be losing it any time soon.
Bradley Beal, Washington Wizards
5 G; 30 MPG; 13.0 PPG; 39.6 FG%; 93.8 FT%; 1.6 3PTM; 3.6 RPG; 2.2 APG; 1.0 SPG
Beal is having a bit of a tough time shooting from the fields, but is doing very well at the free throw line (3.2 FTA) and solid from behind the arc (38.1 3PT%). I’m really looking forward to seeing what he can do once John Wall comes back, although A.J. Price has been a great backup point guard thus far, filling in nicely for Wall. However, I expect Beal to be better when Wall returns to penetrate and kick out on the regular, especially to his new running mate. Now if he could only shoot better on twos.
Dion Waiters, Cleveland Cavaliers
7 G; 15.4 PPG; 28 MPG; 48.8 FG%; 60.0 FT%; 2.4 3PTM; 2.0 RPG; 2.1 APG; 0.9 SPG
Waiters has been doing very well thus far and forms a solid backcourt with Kyrie Irving. The minutes probably aren’t what fantasy owners would want to see, but it’s still in the early going and teams are trying to figure out their best rotations. The points and threes Waiters is dropping show that the talent is there and a boost in minutes will only mean a boost in value. It’ll come, and hopefully, so will a better percentage from the stripe.
Players To Consider Picking Up
Points: Carl Landry (16.1 PPG; 55% owned), Ramon Sessions (15.0 PPG; 44%), Ben Gordon (14.6 PPG; 21%), Vince Carter (14.3 PPG; 39%), Shannon Brown (13.7 PPG; 15%), Richard Hamilton (13.5 PPG; 18%), E’Twaun Moore (13.5 PPG; 33%)
Rebounds: Larry Sanders (9.2 RPG; 53% owned), Al-Farouq Aminu (8.6 RPG; 53%), Brendan Haywood (8.5 RPG; 7%), Byron Mullens (8.4 RPG; 49%), Carl Landry (8.1 RPG; 55%), Nikola Vucevic (8.0 RPG; 53%), Tristan Thompson (7.9 RPG; 24%)
Assists: A.J. Price (8.0 APG; 26% owned), Jamaal Tinsley (5.8 APG; 1%), Ramon Sessions (5.2 APG; 44%), Andre Miller (5.1 APG; 44%), Kirk Hinrich (5.0 APG; 35%), Jarret Jack (4.6 PG; 33%), Nate Robinson (4.2 APG; 28%)
Three-Pointers: Vince Carter (2.3 3PTM; 39% owned), Randy Foye (2.3 3PTM; 35%), Corey Brewer (2.3 3PTM; 11%), Carlos Delfino (2.2 3PTM; 14%), Daniel Gibson (2.1 3PTM; 4%), Byron Mullens (2.0 3PTM; 49%), Steve Novak (2.0 3PTM; 23%)
Steals: Trevor Ariza (2.6 SPG; 52% owned), Al-Farouq Aminu (2.0 SPG; 53%), Jason Richardson (2.0 SPG; 54%), Alonzo Gee (2.0 SPG; 16%), Metta World Peace (1.7 SPG; 29%), Tony Allen (1.7 SPG; 42%), Eric Bledsoe (1.6 SPG; 11%)
Blocks: Larry Sanders (2.6 BPG; 53% owned), Emeka Okafor (2.2 BPG; 54%), Robin Lopez (2.2 BPG; 44%), Taj Gibson (2.2 BPG; 15%), Kosta Koufos (1.9 BPG; 9%), Bismack Biyombo (1.8 BPG; 18%), Greg Stiemsma (1.7 BPG; 2%)
As the season unfolds, The Fantasy Jump Off will continue to give you waiver wire suggestions, as well as look at players doing well and not so well, and whether or not you should try to move them to the wire or in a trade. Good luck, all. It’s going to be a great season.