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With a few games under our belts, fantasy owners have some actual hard data to look at in order to inform their opinions going forward. As most good owners know, what was true in week one rarely is true in week twenty-one or even in week two. Smart owners don’t just look back at the numbers, they look ahead at the match-ups and how they might work in favor (or against) players on your team.

Before I get into a team by team breakdown, I wanted to mention a few things to keep in mind based on the early returns.

First, it is early. Very early. It’s tempting to think good trends will continue. Many owners (including me) rushed out after Derrick Williams’ 24 point opening night and added him to their rosters. In the next two games combined, he’s managed only 16. Likewise, some players have been disappointing. Lebron James, Carmelo Anthony, and James Harden all under-performed, but it’s a safe bet those players will quickly get their act together and the numbers will follow.

Second, despite what I said in the previous paragraph, there are a few players who look too legit to write off. One of those shouldn’t come as a surprise. Karl Anthony Towns reminds me of the way Tim Duncan immediately became a fantasy stud as soon as he stepped onto the floor his rookie season. Townes has many of the same qualities and skills as Duncan: a nice touch around the rim, an intimidating defensive presence, and a similar cool efficiency. He’s currently the the eighth rated overall player in my keeper league. Another player who I believe will be able to continue his torrid start is Victor Oladipo. I’ve always liked Oladipo, and don’t think there are many guys in the league who play harder. Early returns are amazing. His scoring and shooting have been average at best, but everything else is eye-opening. He’s racking up rebounds, assists, and steals. Even if these numbers drop, I think he’ll still see success as his shooting improves.

Now to the team by team breakdown for the week ahead.

Fantasy Basketball Week 2 Preview

TeamNumber of GamesSchedule FavorabilityMust StartConsider sitting?
Atlanta2 home
2 away
FavorableAl Horford, Paul MilsapKyle Korver
Boston1 home
1 away
PoorNo oneIsaiah Thomas
Brooklyn2 home
2 away
NeutralNo oneJarret Jack
Charlotte1 home
2 away
PoorNo oneAl Jefferson
Chicago2 home
1 away
NeutralPau Gasol, Jimmy ButlerDerrick Rose
Cleveland2 home
1 away
FavorableLebron James, Kevin LoveTristan Thompson
Dallas3 homeFavorableDirk NowitzkiDeron Williams, Chandler Parsons
Denver1 home
2 away
UnfavorableNo oneKenneth Faried, Emmanuel Mudiay
Detroit1 home
2 away
NeutralAndre Drummond, Marcus MorrisReggie Jackson
Golden State3 home
1 away
Highly FavorableStephen Curry, Draymond Green, Klay ThompsonNone
Houston2 home
2 away
Highly FavorableJames Harden, Dwight HowardTerrence Jones
Indiana2 home
2 away
NeutralPaul GeorgeMonta Ellis
Los Angeles Clippers2 home
1 away
FavorableChris Paul, Deandre Jordan, Blake GriffinJJ Redick
Los Angeles Lakers2 away
1 home
FavorableRoy Hibbert, Kobe BryantNone
Memphis0 home
4 away
NeutralMarc Gasol, Zach RandolphMike Conley
Miami2 home
2 away
FavorableGoran Dragic, Chris BoshDwayne Wade
Milwaukee2 home
2 away
Highly FavorableGiannis Antetokounmpo, Greg MonroeNone
Minnesota2 home
1 away
PoorKarl Anthony TownesAndrew Wiggins, Ricky Rubio
New Orleans2 home
1 away
NeutralAnthony DavisEric Gordon, Jrue Holiday
New York2 home
1 away
PoorCarmelo AnthonyKristaps Porzingis, Robin Lopez
Oklahoma City2 home
2 away
Highly FavorableRussell Westbrook, Kevin Durant, Serge IbakaNone
Orlando1 home
3 away
NeutralVictor Oladipo, Tobias HarrisElfrid Payton
Philadelphia 2 home
2 away
NeutralNerlens NoelJahlil Okafor
Phoenix2 home
2 away
FavorableEric Bledsoe, Brandon KnightMarkieef Morris
Portland2 home
2 away
FavorableDamien Lillard, CJ McCollumMeyers Leonard
Sacramento3 home
1 away
FavorableDeMarcus CousinsRajon Rondo
San Antonio1 home
2 away
NeutralLaMarcus Aldridge, Kawhi LeonardTony Parker
Toronto0 home
4 away
FavorableKyle Lowry, DeMar DeRozanNone
Utah2 home
1 away
NeutralDerrick Favors, Rudy GobertGordon Hayward
Washington1 home
2 away
UnfavorableJohn WallBradley Beal, Otto Porter

Starts

Klay Thompson, SG, Golden State Warriors

Owners my be tempted to bench him because of his early struggles, but a favorable schedule this week should be enough to get him out of his funk.

Giannis Antetokounmpo, SF, Milwaukee Bucks

The eye test after two games suggests he really has improved over the summer. The Alphabet has always been one of those “imagine the potential” guys, but the days of imagining what he can do may be over. With a highly favorable schedule this week, don’t hesitate to put him in.

Sits

Andrew Wiggins, SG, Minnesota Timberwolves

Talk about early disappointments. I do think Wiggins will break out this year, but not this week.

Isaiah Thomas, PG, Boston Celtics

I’ve never been a big Thomas fan. He’s fun to watch when he has it going, but when he doesn’t, the results can be devastating for him and his team. With an unfavorable schedule, and the recent stellar play of Marcus Smart, I’d bench Thomas this week.

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