Welcome to the Week 4 Fantasy Basketball Preview.
After three weeks of games, some trends have emerged:
- Great shooting guards are tough to find. Other than James Harden and maybe Jimmy Butler, there’s a steep drop off in terms of consistent production. It’s the one position in my keeper league where nearly everyone is suffering. Except the dude that had James Harden, of course. The rest of us are making do with the next tier of shooting guards: guys like Butler, Oladipo, Bradley Beal, and Nicolas Batum. Bottom line: if you aren’t getting a lot of production from your SG slot, don’t panic. Chances are, a lot of people are having the same problem. You can still win, as long as your other guys are producing.
- The rookies aren’t helping much. Other than Karl-Anthony Towns and Jahlil Okafor, no one else is worth starting on a regular basis. I think both Emmanuel Mudiay and Kristaps Porzingis will be stars sooner than later, but for the time being, they aren’t worth the risk. I also really like Stanley Johnson’s game, though his Fantasy value may still be a year or two away.
- Several players have taken the leap. Foremost among these are Andre Drummond, Eric Bledsoe and Hassan Whiteside. Drummond is the kind of guy that will rarely give you a terrible game, simply because he’s going to get 15-20 boards a game. When he scores and blocks a few shots to go along with that, he’s one of the best producers in the NBA. Eric Bledsoe is looking like the next Russell Westbrook. I’m not saying he’s there yet, but like Westbrook, he can be a triple double threat every night, and when his shot is on like it’s been the last few games, he can put up huge Fantasy numbers. Whiteside may be the one most likely to take a step back out of this group, but so far, he’s been one of the top centers in the league. He blocks shots at an astounding rate, rebounds well, and shoots a very high percentage. And he’s young.
- A few players seem to have taken a step back. Klay Thompson has been extremely disappointing thus far. He went from being the third ranked shooting guard in our league last year to the fifteenth so far this year. He may still get it together, but early results haven’t been promising. Gordon Hayward looked primed to make the leap last year, but instead seems to have regressed. His 16 points a game has been offset by poor shooting (39% from the field and 30% from the three point line) and nearly as many turnovers per game (2.2) as assists (3). Now for this week’s Fantasy basketball start/sit chart:
|Team||Number of Games||Schedule Favorability||Must Start||Consider Sitting?|
|Neutral||Paul Millsap, Al Horford||Jeff Teague|
|Favorable||Jared Sullinger,||Isaiah Thomas|
|Neutral||Brook Lopez||Thaddeus Young|
|Unfavorable||Nicolas Batum||Al Jefferson, Kemba Walker|
|Unfavorable||Pau Gasol, Jimmy Butler||Nikola Mirotic|
|Neutral||Lebron James, Kevin Love||Mo Williams|
|Favorable||Dirk Nowitzki||Deron Williams|
|Neutral||Kenneth Faried||Emmanuel Mudiay|
|Unfavorable||Andre Drummond, Reggie Jackson||Marcus Morris|
|Golden State||2 home|
|Highly Favorable||Stephen Curry, Draymond Green||Klay Thompson|
|Highly Favorable||James Harden, Dwight Howard||Ty Lawson|
|Unfavorable||Paul George||George Hill|
|Los Angeles Clippers||2 home|
|Neutral||Blake Griffin, Deandre Jordan||Chris Paul|
|Los Angeles Lakers||2 home|
|Poor||None||Julius Randle, Kobe Bryant|
|Unfavorable||None||Zach Randolph, Marc Gasol, Mike Conley|
|Neutral||Hassan Whiteside, Chris Bosh||Dwayne Wade, Goran Dragic|
|Unfavorable||Greg Monroe, Giannis Antetokounmpo||Michael Carter Williams, Jabari Parker|
|Poor||Karl-Anthony Towns||Ricky Rubio, Andrew Wiggins|
|New Orleans||3 home|
|Favorable||Anthony Davis||Eric Gordon, Ryan Anderson|
|New York||2 home|
|Poor||Carmelo Anthony||Robin Lopez|
|Oklahoma City||2 home|
|Highly Favorable||Russell Westbrook, Serge Ibaka||Kevin Durant|
|Poor||Victor Oladipo||Nikola Vucevic|
|Neutral||Jahlil Okafor||Nerlens Noel|
|Highly Favorable||Eric Bledsoe, Brandon Knight||Tyson Chandler|
|Highly Favorable||Damian Lillard, CJ McCollum||Mason Plumlee|
|Neutral||Demarcus Cousins, Rajon Rondo||Rudy Gay|
|San Antonio||3 home|
|Highly Favorable||Kawhi Leonard, LaMarcus Aldridge||Tim Duncan, Tony Parker|
|Favorable||Kyle Lowery, Jonas Valanciunas||DeMar DeRozan|
|Poor||Derrick Favors, Rudy Gobert||Gordon Hayward|
|Poor||John Wall||Bradley Beal, Otto Porter|
Week 4 Fantasy Basketball Preview
Eric Bledsoe, PG, Phoenix Suns
Bledsoe is officially “the man” in Phoenix now. Brandon Knight, while good, is clearly playing second fiddle for the Suns. Over the last six games, Bledsoe has produced MVP-like numbers: 23 ppg, 51% FG, 48% 3FG, 5 rebounds, 7 assists, and 2 steals. Look for those trends to continue with games against the Lakers, Nuggets and Pelicans, all of which lack strong defensive guards.
Jared Sullinger, PF, Boston Celtics
Sullinger is one of those guys who always seems to find a way to get it done. This year, he’s only played 23 minutes a game, but has somehow managed to still put up quality numbers across the board (11 ppg, 9 rebounds, and a block). He’s playing well enough to have his minutes increase. When that happens, he could become one of the better power forwards in Fantasy Basketball.
Dwight Howard, C, Houston Rockets
I’ve never been a huge Howard guy, but there is no denying his Fantasy value when healthy. He’s still a risk because of the Rockets’ strategy to sit him for back to backs, but when he’s been on the floor, he’s looked dominant at times. While he’s still a far cry from what he was three or four years ago, he can’t be ignored any longer. If you’ve got him, stick him in this week, as the Rockets have a very favorable schedule this week.
Mike Conley, PG, Memphis Grizzlies
The Memphis Grizzlies may be the worst team in the NBA in terms of Fantasy value this season. In the past, an owner could count on Conley, Gasol and Randolph to be be regular starters, but so far this year, all three have experienced significant drop off in terms of production. With OKC, Houston, and San Antonio this week, I’d keep Conley on the bench.
Klay Thompson, SG, Golden State Warriors
I’ve long coveted Klay Thompson. Last year he was one of the top shooting guards in our keeper league. He’s young and seemed to have unlimited potential. This year, he’s been in a rut, shooting 44% from the field (last year he was 46%) and only 38% from the three point line (last year he shot an amazing 44%). These numbers don’t sound too terrible, but consider also that Thompson is getting to the line at only a third of the rate he did last year, and you’ve got a real cause for concern.
Marc Gasol, C, Memphis Grizzlies
Another Grizzly, another disappointment. Gasol is only shooting 44% from the field this year and is rebounding more like a small forward than a guard. Sure, he passes the ball well, but he doesn’t block shots and his minutes are down. I’d keep him on the bench until you see some of these trends change.
Best of luck this week in your Fantasy Football match up. Hopefully this Fantasy Basketball Preview Helps you this week.
- Week 23 Fantasy Basketball Preview: Westbrook Remains a Top Pick - March 28, 2016
- Week 22 Fantasy Basketball Preview: Draymond Green, Man of Many Talents - March 20, 2016
- Week 21 Fantasy Basketball Preview: Building a Champion - March 13, 2016