It sounds like Fantasy owners dodged a huge bullet with Sacramento Kings PF/C DeMarcus Cousins. He left the game Saturday at L.A. Clippers due to an Achilles’ tendon injury. The good news is an MRI Sunday revealed just a strained right Achilles’, and he is considered day to day due to what is believed to be a minor injury.
If Cousins is to miss any time, the biggest beneficiary would be C Kosta Koufos. We’ll likely get a pretty good idea close to lineup lock time Monday once the Kings practice whether Cousins will be ready to go Tuesday against Memphis. He’ll struggle against the defensive-minded Grizzlies even if he is able to play, so it might be best to reserve him in Fantasy leagues if you have the depth. Plus, if he misses even one game it is a huge blow in the upcoming week since the Kings are scheduled for just three total games. Rookie Willie Cauley-Stein would also see additional run if his fellow Kentucky brethren is on the shelf Tuesday and beyond.
TEAMS WITH FOUR GAMES
Atlanta, Brooklyn, Cleveland, Golden State, Houston, Indiana, Memphis, Miami, Milwaukee, New York, Oklahoma City, Orlando, Philadelphia, Phoenix, Portland, Sacramento, Toronto
TEAMS WITH THREE GAMES
Charlotte, Chicago, Dallas, Denver, Detroit, L.A. Clippers, L.A. Lakers, Minnesota, New Orleans, Sacramento, Utah, Washington
TEAM WITH TWO GAMES
CLEVELAND CAVALIERS: The Cavaliers have a pair of games against the Philadelphia 76ers this week, so LeBron James, Kevin Love and the rest of the supporting cast should roll up big numbers against the defensively-challenged Sixers. A visit from the Knicks Wednesday night should also yield some huge stat lines.
PORTLAND TRAIL BLAZERS: With a trip to Utah to face the defensive-minded Jazz, and a visit from the Memphis Grizzlies mid-week, it is going to be a slow go for Fantasy options in Portland. Sadly, it won’t get much better with games against San Antonio and at Memphis next week.
DFS BASKETBALL STACK TEAM OF THE DAY
MONDAY – Cleveland at Philadelphia – Cavaliers will roll up big totals against the overmatched Sixers.
TUESDAY – Memphis at Sacramento – The Grizzlies are in line for a quick start to their work week.
WEDNESDAY – Phoenix vs. Sacramento – The Kings will be tired on the second end of a back-to-back.
THURSDAY – Utah at Denver – Look for the Jazz to fill up the stat sheet in the Mile High City.
FRIDAY – Cleveland vs. Philadelphia – It’s going to be a very fruitful week for LeBron and company.
SATURDAY – Orlando at Philadelphia – Victor Oladipo has a triple-double against the 76ers in his career.
SUNDAY – Detroit at Portland – The Pistons are off to a quick start, and it will continue in the Rose City.
NOTABLE INJURED PLAYERS (START OR SIT)
Arron Afflalo, G/F, New York (hamstring): START
Andrew Bogut, C, Golden State (concussion): SIT
DeMarcus Cousins, F/C, Sacramento (Achilles’): SIT
Robert Covington, G/F, Philadelphia (leg): SIT
John Henson, F/C, Milwaukee (Achilles’): SIT
Kirk Hinrich, G, Chicago (toe): SIT
Dwight Howard, C, Houston (back): START
Nikola Jokic, C, Denver (back): SIT
Terrence Jones, F, Houston (face): SIT
Joffrey Lauvergne, F/C, Denver (back): SIT
O.J. Mayo, G, Milwaukee (hamstring): SIT
Jabari Parker, F, Milwaukee (knee): SIT
Chandler Parsons, F, Dallas (knee): START
Martell Webster, G/F, Washington (hip): SIT
Houston Rockets SG James Harden is off to a horrible start this season, hitting just 12 of his 54 (22.2 percent) field goal attempts through the first three games. Fantasy owners in Rotisserie formats cannot believe the poor start, but obviously need to stick by him. It’s just a matter of time before he blows up for a strong of 40-plus-point games and we’ll forget all about this.
Los Angeles Lakers F Julius Randle posted 22 points with 15 rebounds in Sunday’s loss against the Dallas Mavericks. His stat lines have been a little erratic during the early going, but if he is available off the waiver wire he is worth stashing away on reserve. That’s two double-doubles in three games for the second-year player.
Many predicted a backslide for Miami Heat C Hassan Whiteside this season, but so far so good for the former standout at Marshall. He posted 25 points with 15 rebounds, three steals and two blocked shots in 34 minutes in a win against Houston Sunday. He has at least two blocked shots in each of his three games this season, averaging 3.4 BPG. He is also averaging 10.0 RPG through three outings.
Minnesota Timberwolves PG Ricky Rubio is the only NBA player, even at this early juncture of the season, to average double-digit assists. He is averaging 11.0 APG, including a 14-assist performance Oct. 28 at L.A. Lakers.
Orlando Magic C Nikola Vucevic off to a hot start, matching Whiteside with 3.4 BPG through three games, including at least two swats in each outing. He is averaging 17.0 PPG, 8.3 RPG and 3.4 BPG with at least one steal, two blocked shots and seven boards in each of the first three outings. He can contribute in so many different categories to make him a Fantasy stud.
San Antonio Spurs PF Tim Duncan is averaging 28 minutes per game through three games so far, but he hasn’t really been doing a lot with those minutes. He has double digits in points just once in a blowout win against Brooklyn Oct. 30. He is still a solid source of rebounds, grabbing at least six boards in each of his three games, but he has managed just 10.0 PPG. His offense has obviously been on the decline over the past couple of seasons after averaging 20 points per game for the first 10-12 years of his career, but he remains a decent Fantasy option.
Utah Jazz C Rudy Gobert is among the early league leaders with 13.4 RPG and 3.7 BPG through the first three games, emerging as a Top 10 center in standard Fantasy leagues. Don’t expect the Frenchman to wither up and go away anytime soon. While he isn’t a great offensive contributor, failing to reach double digits in points in each of his three games, he has emerged as a must-start Fantasy option.
Oklahoma City at Houston (8:00pm NBATV), Memphis at Golden State (10:30pm NBATV)
Atlanta at Miami (7:30pm NBATV), Denver at L.A. Lakers (10:30pm NBATV)
New York at Cleveland (8:00 pm ESPN), L.A. Clippers at Golden State (10:30pm ESPN)
Oklahoma City at Chicago (8:00pm TNT), Memphis at Portland (10:30pm TNT)
Miami at Indiana (8:00pm ESPN), Houston at Sacramento (10:30pm ESPN)
Memphis at Utah (9:00pm NBATV)