Welcome back to the fantasy basketball year! Hope your drafts went well, but we all know the reason why you’re all here: the waiver wire. This year I have a league on both ESPN and Yahoo. While I'm sure things will level out with player ownership, right now there are a lot of differences.
Last year I feel like the main difference in ownership was present because Yahoo lacked an IR spot. It was nominal once the season was midway through last year so I expect things to even out soon enough. One prime example of this contrast in rankings is 2Pat, who this year ranked just under 200 in Yahoo while in the deep 400's on ESPN when I drafted a few weeks ago. Currently he is 30% owned in Yahoo and 1.9% in ESPN, purely because of his rankings on each website. He's more of a deep league player, and the picture gets clearer as you ascend the rankings, but it’s something to note. Zach LaVine is around 26% currently in Yahoo, while just over 50% in EPSN.
Point being, if you don't agree in a Yahoo or ESPN projection then check out the other, or even a third-party. Sometimes, you just have to explore a hunch, what’s fantasy basketball without following your gut at least occasionally?
So, strap on your speculation goggles and join Hashtag Basketball for this first (and oh so over-reactionary) Standard League Streaming Article for week 2.
This week we are targeting players under 30% ownership in BOTH Yahoo and ESPN (mostly).
Be sure and check out Hashtag Basketball's Advanced NBA Schedule Grid as it is an essential tool for sneaking in more games than your opponent. Note that because of the small sample size of games we are dealing with in this young year, there will be less raw stats and more speculation, with minutes played really being a key stat - it shows the coach has trust in them (for now at least).
Note that Wednesday, Friday and Saturday are the busiest days. Only the Celtics play 2 games this week on Wednesday and Friday, all other teams play 3 or 4 games.
The Grizzlies play the only B2B for Mon/Tue. Tony Allen (52% Yahoo, 9.6% ESPN) can really help you out in steals and chip in some rebounds and a few points for an early boost. They play Thursday and Saturday as well, but Mr. 1st Team All Defense is a fairly one-dimensional player in terms of fantasy value.
5 teams have B2B's for Tue/Wed - Atlanta, Indiana, Orlando, Sacramento and Toronto. The 3 B2B's for Wed/Thu are OKC, Portland and Utah. For Thu/Fri only Denver and Miami play B2B. There are 10 B2B's for Fri/Sat and no teams play B2B's on Saturday/Sunday, so weekend adds might be more difficult to plan for. If you’re streaming already, you might want to try and get more games in earlier in the week.
The Pacers 4-game set has a B2B Tue/Wed along with Friday and Sunday games. You could add early in the week for a boost, or into the weekend to try and catch up.
Ian Mahinmi (26% Yahoo, 17.4% ESPN) is still seeing minutes, at least until Myles Turner has further chance to prove himself. He has been, and most likely will be, just under a double-double in points and rebounds every night, and should be good for a block or two in over 25 minutes. Don't rely on him to hit the double-double range, but he is a fairly consistent player per minutes. Jordan Hill is also vying for minutes, but has played underwhelming for now.
CJ Miles (29% Yahoo, 20.5% ESPN) is proving he is still worthy despite the addition of Monta and the return of George. He saw roughly the same value in 21 minutes as he did in 36, scoring 18 points with 4 threes in both games. He started for 36 minutes, then came off the bench for 21, and it likely has a lot to do with whether George is playing the 3 or 4 spot that night. Watch his value as Ellis and George get comfortable as a dynamic duo, but he adds some much needed spacing and scoring for the Pacers right now.
Langston Galloway (29% Yahoo, 12% ESPN) is continuing from his surprise emergence into the league last year. He is more a pure scoring guard than Jerian Grant, who can run an offense, so they should both see minutes so long as Calderon continues sucking. Galloway is only good for points and threes, but he has the ability to light it up now and then, especially when given 25 minutes. The Knicks play 4 games without any B2B's, its a sporadic week for schedules, but they are in one of only 5 games Sunday.
Ish Smith (14% Yahoo, 14.9% ESPN) is looking to run the show for the time being. Jrue is going to play just over 20 minutes, Tyreke is still out, the Pels dropped Nate Robinson and Eric Gordon is strictly a 2-guard. Playing 38 and 29 minutes in the 2 games so far is a good sign, and he can help you out in assists, steals, some points and a three per game. The Pel's only play 3 games this week, but have the Fri/Sat B2B if you still have room in your lineups.
Marvin Williams (19% Yahoo, 8.3% ESPN) is thriving with the injury to MKG. The veteran played a surprising 36 and 38 minutes in the 2 games so far, recording a double-double in both. Good for points, rebounds and some threes. The Hornets play 3 games this week on Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday.
Clint Capela (3% Yahoo, 1.9% ESPN) might be the new John Henson, recording 5 blocks in 43 minutes over 2 games. The injury prone Howard and Jones only leaves more room for the big-man. He is more a deep-league relevant player, but has standard league value if you're hurting for blocks. Houston plays 4 games this week, including the Fri/Sat B2B, watch for other big-men to sit out.
Dellavadova (2% Yahoo, 2.4% ESPN) is running some offense in Cleveland with Irving out. Mo Williams really isn't a pass-first point guard, so Delly-D is going to have some value in assists. Cleveland plays 4 games with no B2B's, same schedule as the Knicks.
As the year continues and the league takes shape better streamers will emerge. Projections only mean so much until the players take the court. If you're streaming I would strongly recommend studying the schedule grid, but at this time of year it might be worth holding onto some guys that may produce more long-term value. Either way, I will be back next week with a larger sample size, and hopefully some more distinguished roles in the NBA.