2014 Fantasy Basketball Daily Fix, October 31st 2014

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Point Guard

Brandon Knight ( $7,400 ) – Much like last season, there’s going to be a common theme this year: target the Sixers.  Knight exploded in Milwaukee’s first game of the season, and it’s no surprise given Jason Kidd, a future Hall of Fame point guard, is now calling the shots.  Knight gave us several flashes of his upside last season, but this season should be a true breakout for him.  I expect him to dominate this game, with a score north of 40 fantasy points easily within reach against a team that just allowed Donald Sloan to post 39.5 DK points against them.  For me, Knight is one of those guys that will be very tough not to put in all of my lineups tonight.

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2014-15 Fantasy Basketball: Russell Westbrook Fallout

Photo credit: Keith Allison

Photo credit: Keith Allison

On a seemingly innocuous play where Oklahoma City Thunder guard Russell Westbrook ended up getting his hand caught in an opponents jersey while going up for a rebound, NBA fans and fantasy owners alike received a frightening early Halloween scare. An X-ray confirmed owners worst nightmares as Westbrook was diagnosed with a fractured second metacarpal in his right hand, and while no official timetable has been released yet, a normal recovery time for this type of injury is 4-6 weeks. The Thunder plan to issue an update on his status later today, but owners need to brace themselves for a lengthy absence.

This is devastating news for fantasy owners who spent a first-round pick or an abundance of fake money on him in an auction, as he was set to be a fantasy monster with the Thunder already without superstar Kevin Durant. If his first game was any indication (32-3-6 w/ 3 ST, 15-16 FT), he was well on his way to returning top-10 value. It’s no time for what ifs though as looking ahead is of the utmost importance in an injury situation like this. With that being said, let’s take a look at who will be the primary fantasy beneficiaries. [Read more...]

2014-15 Fantasy Basketball: The Keys to Winning Your League

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Source: Andy Lyons/Getty Images North America

The awesomeness that is draft season is in the books. The season is just beginning and you’re loving your team’s potential. You’re energized by every game that is on, checking all the box scores (but if you don’t have time to track the box scores, have no fear Sam’s weekly box score browsing column does it for you) and setting your lineup for the next day. Let’s jump right in to this and discuss what is needed to give yourself the best chance to hoist your league’s championship belt in the air at seasons end.

First, before you even continue on with your reading, stop and ask yourself: do you really want this? Of course you want to win to have all the bragging rights and/or cash prize, but do you want it bad enough to go through pain and suffering to get it? Most or all will answer “yes,” but I’m sure some of you can’t say that you’ve never given up on a fantasy team before. Make a vow to yourself right now, repeat after me, “I will do everything in my power to win my fantasy hoops league. When I’m mentally drained, I will push through. When I lose a key player due to injury, I will fight on. When my girlfriend/wife complains, I will sleep contently in that dog house. I will not be denied, I will be victorious.” Now, let’s get it. [Read more...]

2014-15 Fantasy Basketball: Trend or Mirage?

Know when to hold ‘em, know when to fold ‘em, know when to walk away, and know when to run.

Kenny Rogers waxing some whimsical genius there, but the words relate to fantasy basketball as much as they do poker.

Michael Kidd-Gilchrist - TREND

Kidd-Gilchrist is a legit lock-down NBA defender, but much like other defensive SF types like Tony Allen or Thabo Sefolosha, MKG didn’t really bring enough to feed the statistical driven fantasy masses. I’m not saying he’s going to do 17 points, 8 rebounds, 3 assists, 3 blocks and 75/83 splits every night – but his preseason gave us enough proof that Steve Clifford is going to play him enough minutes for him to rack up REB/STL/BLK. Any time you can find a potential 1+ STL and 1+ BLK guy on the waiver wire, stop what you’re reading and evaluate why you’re holding JaVale McGee or Terrence Ross.

Khris Middleton - MIRAGE

Middleton was a fantasy saviour last season as he filled the stat sheet up with golden percentages  and a decent three point stroke, despite being undrafted by everyone except his mom. But that was last year – where there was no Jabari Parker, no (seemingly sane) Larry Sanders, no “Coach” Jason Kidd, Giannis couldn’t buy beer yet (wait that’s still true for like 6 more years it seems), and Ersan Ilyasova left his shooting stroke back in Turkey. Kidd’s rotation sounds like it will be a deep one and with so much talent and youth around him it could be Middleton squeezed from the 30+ minute mob, which will drop his value immensely.

Devin Harris – MIRAGE

Let me take you back to a time when Devin Harris was a legitimate first choice fantasy PG. He had (ironically) been dealt from the Mavericks to the Nets after a promising season, but it was the following All Star season which saw his production sky-rocket to elite levels. But that was years ago. Rick Carlisle’s system of crisp passing, small-ball tinkering and hitting the open man worked a treat on opening night for Harris, as he chipped in 17 points and 5 assists. It took him his first three total games to hit those stats last year, while the signing of Dallas favorite JJ Barea will only reduce his minutes further. Don’t add Harris or Barea unless you’re in 20 team leagues.

Norris Cole – TREND

For all the fanfare about how well Mario Chalmers did last year, it seemingly went un-noticed by the most important man on the Heat, Eric Spoelstra. Cole was a statistical demon in College, while his career stats as a starter are solid but not spectacular  at around 13pt/3.5reb/4.5ast/1.0stl/1.0x 3pt. He’s got the job for keeps if he can build on his opening night 23 point performance (in just 27 minutes). It triggered a bazillion adds across fantasy formats, so this is looking like a trend rather than a mirage.

Marvin Williams – MIRAGE

A good first up effort of 19 points, 4 rebounds and 3 assists, along with stellar 8-12 shooting from the floor – but this is Marvin Williams remember. He’s a solid plug if you need some threes and FT%, but he’s not going to consistently put up the scoring stats or FG% he did against the Bucks, nor is he going to try and stuff it on Giannis again! Williams’ career stats indicate he’s 90% likely to get his averages of 10.8 points and 5.1 rebounds, that’s what you can expect but add in around 1.2-1.5 threes per game.

As always we welcome your feedback, so feel free to hit me up on Twitter (@macetasticand I’ll do my best to reply to any comments.

2014 Fantasy Basketball Daily Fix, October 30th 2014

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Point Guard

 

DJ Augustin ( $3,500 ) – DJ Augustin badly outplayed Brandon Jennings last night, earning praise from coach Stan Van Gundy, who bluntly admitted that Augustin was the better player that night.  Except Augustin to continue to earn 25-30 minutes each night as this battle over the starting point guard position continues.  Tonight’s matchup with Minnesota is terrific.  The Timberwolves are a fast-paced team that that struggles defensively, consistently giving up big games to opposing point guards last season.  At this price, Augustin will be a staple of both my cash game and GPP lineups tonight.

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2014 Fantasy Basketball Daily Fix, October 29th 2014

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It’s the first full slate of games for the 2014-2015 season, and we’re already seeing just how much of an impact injuries and suspensions can have on the DFS scene.  The Pacers are only starting one projected starter, Roy Hibbert, presenting a wealth of value plays for us to target.  Suspensions, such as Greg Monroe’s,  will force Josh Smith and Andre Drummond into expanded roles.  They should see extra minutes while Monroe is out.  That said, let’s talk about today’s plays.

Point Guard

Russell Westbrook – With Kevin Durant out, the projected starting lineup for the Thunder is Westbrook, Andre Roberson, Perry Jones, Serge Ibaka, and Steven Adams.  I think we all know where this is going.  Westbrook’s usage is extremely high when he plays with Durant, which can only mean it will be through the roof without him.  Damian Lillard’s defense will not present a challenge.  Westbrook will put up a monster stat line in this fast-paced game with Portland.  I expect him to be the top fantasy performer of the evening, and it may not be close.  With all of the value that is available tonight, there is no reason not to have Westbrook locked and loaded into each and every one of your lineups.

Donald Sloan – Sloan is certainly not a household name, but you don’t need to be in the world of NBA DFS.  Sloan will start at point guard for the Pacers tonight, and he should be locked into heavy minutes for an Indiana team that is absolutely decimated by injuries.  This couldn’t be a more perfect setup, as the Pacers will square off with the Sixers, who play at a fast pace, and are terrible defensively.  At minimum price on DraftKings, Sloan is about as must play as it gets.

Other Strong Options: Tony Wroten, Stephen Curry

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2014-15 Fantasy Basketball, Box Score Browsing: Preseason Week 3

The silly/awesome season is nearly at hand, we’re mere hours away from the start of the 69th NBA season.

Here’s the final preseason wrap-up of box scores, with a few tidbits and stats to note as the season kicks off tonight.

Changing of the Guard?

Kobe Bryant. Dwyane Wade. Derrick Rose. Deron Williams.

Though varying in age and current ability, all four of these vets have at one point or another been able to call themselves an elite fantasy option at point or shooting guard (or both).

Along with LeBron James, Kobe Bryant is perhaps the most polarizing figure across the NBA – and that same sentiment is echoed in fantasy circles. Depending on the league settings and scoring type, he is either welcomed with open arms , or he is seen as a barely inside the top 40 rankings – despite the lack of depth at the SG spot. The Fix’s own NBA editor Zack Rewis has massive expectations for Kobe, and while I’ve tempered my own projections slightly – Kobe has shown in the preseason that he is still the top dog in LA.
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2014-15 Fantasy Basketball: NBA DFS Primer

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After an extremely painful MLB summer grind, waking up each and every day hoping that somehow the NBA season was here,  it finally is!  We are now five days away from the start of my favorite, and best, DFS sport (though I’m really loving NHL this year), so there’s no better time than now to review what it takes to be a winning player.

I started NBA two seasons ago.  Of the four major sports, I knew by far the least about basketball.  I got into DFS toward the end of baseball season, fell in love with it, then realized that I had to either learn basketball, or wait a very long time to be able to play again.  The latter simply wasn’t an option.  In two NBA seasons, I went from knowing nothing, and spending the first half of my first season making every mistake you could possibly think of, to ending last NBA season as the 14th ranked player according to RotoGrinders rankings. [Read more...]

2014-15 Fantasy Basketball: Top 150 9-Cat Rankings

Photo credit: Keith Allison

Photo credit: Keith Allison

With only a couple days left until the 2014-15 NBA season kicks off, it’s always nice to gander at the latest up-to-date rankings before you head into your fantasy basketball drafts. Hence, the reason TheFantasyFix is dropping Top-150 9-cat rankings for our readers at this time as factors like depth chart changes, injuries, minute allotments, preseason play, etc. have all been accounted for. Before we get into the festivities, first let me explain how you should go about using these rankings.

These rankings reflect where I believe said players will finish at the end of the year, so make sure you’re not using this column as a “draft guide” so to speak. While some of the players very well may be selected in spots very close in proximity to where they are listed in the column, each draft is unique in and of itself so it’s important to be flexible in the midst of drafting. Secondly, these rankings don’t account for potential punting strategies, so don’t freak out when you see Dwight Howard ranked past 100. He’s a great example of a player who gains considerable value when punting FT%, but after coming in as the 156th-best 9-cat player in 2013, you won’t be as confused when you see his rank. Lastly, the rankings are geared towards ROTO formats and all ADP/position eligibility data listed is from Yahoo.

Without further ado, here are the Top-150 9-cat rankings. Drop a line in the comments box to let me know your thoughts concerning these rankings if you’d like! [Read more...]

2014-15 Fantasy Basketball: Top 15 Undervalued Players

Photo credit: Mark Runyon | BasketballSchedule.net

Photo credit: Mark Runyon | BasketballSchedule.net

If you happened to miss my Top 15 Overvalued column that went live yesterday, you can check it out right here. For those unfamiliar, for the purposes of this column, the ADP data will be focused on Yahoo. For context, ADP data from FantasyPros will also be included. You’ll see each players respective ADP to the right of their name. Without further ado, here are the 15 most undervalued players as of right now. [Read more...]