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
|Team||Number of Games||Schedule Favorability||Must Start||Consider sitting?|
|Favorable||Al Horford, Paul Milsap||Kyle Korver|
|Poor||No one||Isaiah Thomas
|Neutral||No one||Jarret Jack|
|Poor||No one||Al Jefferson|
|Neutral||Pau Gasol, Jimmy Butler||Derrick Rose|
|Favorable||Lebron James, Kevin Love||Tristan Thompson|
|Dallas||3 home||Favorable||Dirk Nowitzki||Deron Williams, Chandler Parsons|
|Unfavorable||No one||Kenneth Faried, Emmanuel Mudiay|
|Neutral||Andre Drummond, Marcus Morris||Reggie Jackson|
|Golden State||3 home|
|Highly Favorable||Stephen Curry, Draymond Green, Klay Thompson||None|
|Highly Favorable||James Harden, Dwight Howard||Terrence Jones|
|Neutral||Paul George||Monta Ellis|
|Los Angeles Clippers||2 home|
|Favorable||Chris Paul, Deandre Jordan, Blake Griffin||JJ Redick|
|Los Angeles Lakers||2 away|
|Favorable||Roy Hibbert, Kobe Bryant||None|
|Neutral||Marc Gasol, Zach Randolph||Mike Conley|
|Favorable||Goran Dragic, Chris Bosh||Dwayne Wade|
|Highly Favorable||Giannis Antetokounmpo, Greg Monroe||None|
|Poor||Karl Anthony Townes||Andrew Wiggins, Ricky Rubio|
|New Orleans||2 home|
|Neutral||Anthony Davis||Eric Gordon, Jrue Holiday|
|New York||2 home|
|Poor||Carmelo Anthony||Kristaps Porzingis, Robin Lopez|
|Oklahoma City||2 home|
|Highly Favorable||Russell Westbrook, Kevin Durant, Serge Ibaka||None|
|Neutral||Victor Oladipo, Tobias Harris||Elfrid Payton|
|Neutral||Nerlens Noel||Jahlil Okafor|
|Favorable||Eric Bledsoe, Brandon Knight||Markieef Morris|
|Favorable||Damien Lillard, CJ McCollum||Meyers Leonard|
|Favorable||DeMarcus Cousins||Rajon Rondo|
|San Antonio||1 home|
|Neutral||LaMarcus Aldridge, Kawhi Leonard||Tony Parker|
|Favorable||Kyle Lowry, DeMar DeRozan||None|
|Neutral||Derrick Favors, Rudy Gobert||Gordon Hayward|
|Unfavorable||John Wall||Bradley Beal, Otto Porter|
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.
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.
- 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