I’m very excited to kick off the year. So, I’ve been trying to think of some content for what could be considered a good preview for each week. I’ve come up with some different sections; some that help H2H leagues, some for deep league, and others that should help any league format unless you got some sort of crazy triple double nonsense, then just stop.
Welcome Back NBA!
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Week 1 Matchup Rankings
I decided to do a quick and dirty ranking for week 1 since we don’t have actual play to go on. I took defensive efficiency (points allowed per 100 possessions) and compared that with a weighted average between preseason and last year’s pace for each team (40/60). Except for teams with new coaches, Indiana, and Washington (since they will allegedly run at a different pace), I switched that weighted average to 60/40.
More possessions per game and bad defensive efficiency are a recipe for more offensive action, which positively correlates with most categories (minus FG%, FT%, TOs). It is a crude measurement, but at least it is a start.
3. LA Lakers
4. LA Clippers
5. Oklahoma City
11. Golden State
12. San Antonio
19. New Orleans
24. New York
What to Watch Each Day
The most interesting game to watch for fantasy is the one you might not be able to watch: Detroit vs Atlanta. Detroit’s rotation between Stanley Johnson. Marcus Morris, and Kentavious Caldwell-Pope will help determine their value moving forward and could be a decision you want to use a waiver. How long will Morris will stay at three, or will he play four when Illyasova is out? Can Illyasova finally break out in a Stan Van system?
Other things to take note:
- Chicago big man minute distribution: Hoiberg has already mentioned he would keep workloads light this year
- Pelican’s backcourt rotation: Who is actually going to be playing big minutes for them? How well will Eric Gordon handle more point guard responsibilities?
- Cavs without Kyrie: Mo Williams productivity and assist chances. Are we going to see murderer’s row Lebron? Will Love get more post-ups and iso’s?
Who isn’t playing this day? Watch your favorite team!
Other things to take note:
- Boston’s frontcourt rotation: Lee heavy? Or Amir-centric?
- Minute distribution in Orlando: Don’t be surprised if your late round super Mario pick becomes your first drop of the season
- Who is actually on the roster for the 76ers?
- Dragic playing with Bosh and Wade
- Paul George taking full contact in NBA level action
- Collison’s usage for the Kings
- Who the Mav’s prefer for their starting wing: John Jenkins?
- Porzingis playing against the long, aggressively defensive Bucks
Maverick vs Clippers: A nice test to see how good the Mavericks will be this year. What will Dirk look like or how long will he even play in a back-to-back situation? Will they stick with their starting wing from their first game? Who is getting big bench minutes for the Clippers?
Both national games are great, but for fantasy I’m going with Timberwolves vs Nuggets. After their opening games, we will get to see what these teams are made of. Who they decide to start, who they want to run with in crunch time? A better picture of Karl Anthony-Towns’ minutes will be established. What value Dieng might have if he is playing with KAT or around 30 minutes?
Who on Denver is actually going to take over games? There are a lot of fringe standard league waiver wire guys playing in this game. It will be a nice showcase to see if you want to make a move on any of them.
Suns vs Blazers: Knight and Bledsoe’s ability to play together, plus their frontcourt rotation will start to set in some sort of pattern. Can anyone from the Blazers become a fantasy asset other than Lillard?
Bulls vs Magic: Chicago should be working out their frontcourt rotation and Rose will be playing more minutes. McDermott will either have won the hearts of the United Center or people will be jumping onto the Snell bandwagon.
The Magic always play the Bulls well, and Scott Skiles will want to make a statement. How he wants to use Frye or Gordon along with his back court rotation could start to take shape. All these games are very early to guarantee any permanent minutes. These two teams will be figuring themselves out more every single quarter.
Deep League Adds (<10% owned)
Nate Robinson: One of the few healthy guards on the Pelican’s right now and should get large minutes.
John Jenkins: Will probably get solid minutes for Dallas while their normal starters recover from injury.
Raul Neto: With Utah’s little faith in Trey Burk, Neto could start running the offense with the first team.
Hollis Thompson: Robert Covington is out for at least the first two weeks of the season, Thompson is the primary candidate to replace him, but remember: anything goes in Philly.