We’re hurtling towards Week 3 of the National Basketball Association’s regular season, and it seems like we just started. Pretty soon, the holidays will be here, and then the All-Star break. Time really flies when you’re having fun.
Speaking of having fun, Minnesota Timberwolves PF Kevin Love appears to be 100 percent healthy after dealing with a nagging hand injury last season. Kevlar is ranked second in The Association in points per game (27.2), behind only Oklahoma City Thunder SF Kevin Durant (29.6). Of course, it’s still early, but if you picked an ‘All-Kevin’ Fantasy team, you’re doing pretty well right now. Love’s teammate, and Durant’s former teammate, SG Kevin Martin (23.3 ppg) ranks 10th in the NBA in scoring, too.
Love also tops the charts in rebounds per game (14.7), with Houston Rockets C Dwight Howard (14.5) looking rejuvenated, and breathing right down Love’s neck. It might be surprising to some to see Orlando Magic C Nikola Vucevic leading the Eastern Conference with 13.2 boards per contest. He has really emerged as a Fantasy force over the past couple of seasons.
Soon it will be the season of giving, but right now only one player is averaging double-digits in assists per game (apg), and that’s L.A. Clippers PG Chris Paul (12.5). His assists-to-turnover ratio sits at 3.57, which is pretty impressive considering how much he handles the rock. Conversely, many Fantasy owners are taken with Phoenix Suns PG Eric Bledsoe, a former teammate of CP3, but his assists-to-turnover ratio sits at a marginal 1.80.
Teams with four games (15): Atlanta, Boston, Charlotte, Cleveland, Denver, Detroit, Houston, L.A. Lakers, Memphis, Milwaukee, Minnesota, Philadelphia, Portland, Toronto, Utah
Teams with three games (14): Brooklyn, Chicago, Dallas, Golden State, Indiana, L.A. Clippers, Miami, New Orleans, New York, Oklahoma City, Orlando, Sacramento, San Antonio, Washington
Team with two games (1): Phoenix
TV TIME (National broadcasts in the upcoming week) (All times eastern)
MON Denver-Utah (9 p.m. NBATV)
TUE Detroit-Golden State (10:30 p.m. NBATV)
WED New York-Atlanta (8 p.m. ESPN), Oklahoma City-L.A. Clippers (10:30 p.m. ESPN)
THU Houston-New York (8 p.m. TNT), Oklahoma City-Golden State (10:30 p.m. TNT)
FRI Minnesota-Denver (8 p.m. ESPN), Detroit-Sacramento (10:30 p.m. ESPN)
SAT Brooklyn-L.A. Clippers (10:30 p.m. WGN, NBATV)
The schedule sets up well for Fantasy owners of players on the Golden State Warriors and Sacramento Kings, at least for those in leagues which average points-per-game in a scoring period. Both Northern California teams have all three of their games at home this upcoming week. For those in cumulative formats, Kings and Warriors players are still attractive, but not as much as average points formats.
The Brooklyn Nets also have just three games, and they come on a West Coast swing. However, playing the defensively lax Sacramento Kings, Phoenix Suns and Los Angeles Clippers will net some very good results, so even owners in cumulative formats will be very happy.
Those aforementioned Suns have just two games in the upcoming period, so if you normally depend upon Phoenix players in cumulative formats, you’re probably going to want to reserve every single one of them until Week 4, when they’re back to a four-game slate.
We’ll help you with the major injuries, and you’re always more than welcome to tweet at Royce King (@RoyceKingRotoEx) or yours truly (@danieledobish), and we’ll be glad to answer you further. Also, check out the Injury Report by Brandon C. Williams (@BCWilliams71) each and every week for all of the latest information on dinged up Fantasy Hoops stars.
Milwaukee Bucks PG Brandon Knight (hamstring) was back from a hamstring injury in Saturday’s game, and he came off the bench. Still, he made it through the game with no ill-effects, and he appears to be a safe play heading into the new scoring period. … Golden State Warriors PG Stephen Curry (ankle) toughed it out Saturday in Memphis despite a bone bruise in his ankle. He managed 22 points in 33 minutes, and looks to be good to go for the upcoming week. Remember, the Warriors have a favorable schedule, too. … Cleveland Cavaliers PF Anthony Bennett (shoulder) was back in Saturday’s double-overtime win against Philadelphia, but he struggled again. In just nine minutes off the pine, he was scoreless, and Bennett now has just one bucket in 21 field goal attempts. That’s 4.8 percent, if you’re doing the math. Talk about killing your field goal percentage in Rotisserie. The No. 1 overall pick has no Fantasy appeal right now. Obviously. … Toronto Raptors PG Kyle Lowry (ankle) told TSN.ca that he expects to play in Houston Monday night. He appears to be getting close, and with four games on tap for the Raptors, Fantasy owners can gamble a little bit. Even if he misses one game, he still should squeeze three in. … Be careful with Miami Heat SG Dwyane Wade (knee) this week. The Heat face just three games, and that includes a back-to-back Friday against Dallas, and Saturday at Charlotte. Chances are high he sits in Charlotte. … The Los Angeles Lakers have also been resting PG Steve Nash in back-to-back situations, and they have one coming up Tuesday against New Orleans, and Wednesday at Denver. It’s uncertain which game he’ll miss, if any, but know he’ll likely see just three games of action.
If you need help in specific categories in Rotisserie Fantasy play, you’ve come to the right place. Check out these guys, who should be available in your league, to help out in certain areas.
Markieff Morris, PF, Phoenix (16.0 ppg over the past five games)
Gary Neal, PG, Milwaukee (15.3 ppg over the past four games)
C.J. Miles, SF, Cleveland (14.3 ppg over the past six games)
Zaza Pachulia, C, Milwaukee (13.3 ppg over the past four games)
Jodie Meeks, SG, L.A. Lakers (12.3 ppg over the past seven games)
Zaza Pachulia, C, Milwaukee (8.0 rpg over the past four games)
Markieff Morris, PF, Phoenix (7.2 rpg over the past five games)
Steven Adams, C, Oklahoma City (6.8 rpg over the past five games)
Dennis Schroeder, PG, Atlanta (4.3 apg over the past four games)
Gal Mekel, PG, Dallas (3.7 apg over the past six games)
Zaza Pachulia, C, Milwaukee (3.5 apg over the past four games)
Gary Neal, SG, Milwaukee (3.5 apg over the past four games)
Markieff Morris, PF, Phoenix (1.6 apg over the past five games)
Wesley Johnson, SF, L.A. Lakers (1.6 bpg over the past seven games)
Ian Mahinmi, C, Indiana (1.5 bpg over the past six games)
Jodie Meeks, SG, L.A. Lakers (15 3-pointers over the past seven games)
C.J. Miles, SF, Cleveland (14 3-pointers over the past six games)
Francisco Garcia, SF, Houston (14 3-pointers over the past six games)
Jae Crowder, SF, Dallas (13 3-pointers over the past six games)
You’ll notice Milwaukee Bucks C Zaza Pachulia appearing fairly frequently in the category help section. He has been getting plenty of starts in Cream City. PF/C Larry Sanders (thumb) has been battling a thumb ailment, but head coach Larry Drew has seemingly preferred to start Pachulia. The expected return of PF Ersan Ilyasova (ankle) will only compound things for Fantasy owners of Sanders, who first needs to get healthy, and then needs to play well to get back to his pre-draft standing. … The Utah Jazz entered Saturday’s game in Toronto as the only winless team in the NBA. In fact, only two other teams had less than two victories. But don’t fault SG Gordon Hayward, who leads the team with 18.3 ppg, and is third on the club with 6.5 rpg while also leading with 4.8 apg. He has been a tremendous asset for Fantasy owners. … The Phoenix Suns are getting outstanding production from PF Markieff Morris, who appears to have shed the inconsistencies which have plagued him in the past. Over his past two games entering play Saturday, Morris is averaging 25.5 ppg with 11.o rpg and 2.0 spg. Get while the getting is good, because he won’t last long. Heck, even his twin brother Marcus Morris, also on the Suns, will start getting Fantasy attention. He has hit double digits in scoring in each of his past three games while pulling down six or more boards during the span.
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