Don’t look now, but perhaps the New York Knicks actually knew what they were doing when they drafted PF Kristaps Porzingis. Several talking heads criticized the selection back on Draft Day in the spring, including team fan and basketball talking head Stephen A. Smith, who blew a gasket after the pick. However, Porzingis posted 12 points with 10 rebounds and two blocked shots in 26 minutes against the Los Angeles Lakers and, more importantly, he did not turn the ball over. Through the first four games he has averaged 13.3 PPG, 10.2 RPG and 1.7 BPG to emerge as a must-have Fantasy option in most formats.
Porzingis isn’t the only rookie tearing it up. Philadelphia 76ers PF/C Jahlil Okafor leads all first-year players with 19.7 PPG, 5.5 RPG and 1.2 BPG through six games. Denver Nuggets PG Emmanuel Mudiay turned plenty of heads in the Summer League, and he has carried that momentum into the regular season with 11.8 PPG, 5.7 APG and 4.0 RPG through his first six games while posting 1.3 SPG.
And if you’re looking for a solid addition off the waiver wire, Philadelphia 76ers PG T.J. McConnell leads all rookies with 7.5 APG through six games while grabbing 4.7 RPG. He recently moved into the starting lineup and is worth a look in Fantasy leagues of 12 or more teams, as well as in Daily Fantasy leagues as a low-priced value with upside.
TEAM WITH FIVE GAMES
TEAMS WITH FOUR GAMES
Atlanta, Boston, Charlotte, Dallas, Denver, Detroit, Golden State, L.A. Clippers, L.A. Lakers, Memphis, New Orleans, New York, Orlando, Philadelphia, Portland, Sacramento, Toronto, Utah
TEAMS WITH THREE GAMES
Brooklyn, Cleveland, Houston, Indiana, Milwaukee, Oklahoma City, San Antonio
TEAM WITH TWO GAMES
Chicago, Miami, Phoenix, Washington
MINNESOTA TIMBERWOLVES: Owners in standard Fantasy leagues are going to love the T’Wolves this week, as they’re the only team with five games in seven days. In cumulative formats their players will be even better. Those in DFS will want to pay attention to Minnesota players in their game against Memphis, as the Grizzlies’ defense doesn’t have as many teeth as in recent years.
OKLAHOMA CITY THUNDER: Fantasy owners in leagues that average points per game are going to love the production from their Thunder players this week. All three opponents (PHI, BOS and WAS) allow at least 100.2 points per game, with the Wizards last in the Eastern Conference, giving up 108.0 points per game so far.
UTAH JAZZ: It seems rather unfair, but the Jazz are already taking their second road trip to the east coast. They’re likely to be underdogs in at least three of the games (at CLE, MIA and ATL) against opponents that allow 98.3 points per game or less. The Cavaliers and Heat are giving up 92.8 or less per game, so it could be a slow go for the Jazz offense, especially if fatigue sets in due to their early-season travels.
DFS BASKETBALL STACK TEAM OF THE DAY
MONDAY – San Antonio at Sacramento – The Kings haven’t paid much attention to defense during the early going.
TUESDAY – Washington vs. Oklahoma City – This should be a Fantasy fiesta for both Thunder and Wizards players.
WEDNESDAY – Detroit at Sacramento – The over/under on rebounds for Andre Drummond is set at 18 1/2.
THURSDAY – Phoenix vs. L.A. Clippers – The Suns should be able to generate plenty of offense against the Clips.
FRIDAY – Philadelphia at Oklahoma City – Hard to imagine less than 220 total points in this one, a.k.a Fantasy points.
SATURDAY – Orlando at Washington – The Magic have a handful of DFS options who will go off in the nation’s capital.
SUNDAY – New York vs. New Orleans – The Pels are like a New York City subway turnstile at the defensive end.
NOTABLE INJURED PLAYERS (START OR SIT)
Arron Afflalo, SG/SF, New York (hamstring): SIT
Bradley Beal, SG, Washington (shoulder): SIT
Patrick Beverley, PG, Houston (foot): SIT
Andrew Bogut, C, Golden State (concussion): SIT
DeMarre Carroll, SF, Toronto (foot): SIT
Michael Carter-Williams, PG, Milwaukee (ankle): SIT
Wilson Chandler, C, Denver (hip): SIT
DeMarcus Cousins, C, Sacramento (Achilles’): START
Jrue Holiday, PG, New Orleans (leg): SIT
LeBron James, SF, Cleveland (quadriceps): START
Terrence Jones, PF, Houston (eye): SIT
Joffrey Lauvergne, PF/C, Denver (back): SIT
Brook Lopez, C, Brooklyn (foot): SIT
O.J. Mayo, SG, Milwaukee (hamstring): SIT
Jusuf Nurkic, C, Denver (knee): SIT
Chris Paul, PG, L.A. Clippers (groin): START (updated – 11:56am PT – upgraded from doubtful to probable for MON)
J.R. Smith, SF/SG, Cleveland (knee): SIT
Tiago Splitter, C, Atlanta (calf): SIT
Rodney Stuckey, PG, Indiana (ankle): START
Brandan Wright, PF/C, Memphis (knee): SIT
Boston Celtics SF Jae Crowder has emerged as a solid Fantasy option, especially in Rotisserie formats, as he has 3.0 steals per game. Utah Jazz PF/C Derrick Favors and Golden State Warriors PG Stephen Curry are tops in the Western Conference with 2.3 SPG.
Detroit Pistons C Andre Drummond posted 29 points with 27 rebounds in 36 minutes at Portland Sunday night. He now has three 20-20 games through his first six outings this season. He is just the third NBA player to post three 20-20 games in his first six, joining Hall of Famers Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Wilt Chamberlain. He leads the NBA with 20.3 rebounds per game, nearly seven more than Los Angeles Clippers C DeAndre Jordan, who is second in the league with 13.5 boards per outing.
Utah Jazz C Rudy Gobert and Miami Heat C Hassan Whiteside each share the NBA lead with 4.0 blocks per game, just ahead of Jordan of the Clippers with 3.8. Minnesota Timberwolves rookie C Karl-Anthony Towns has emerged as a must-start Fantasy option with his 3.0 BPG.
Oklahoma City Thunder PG Russell Westbrook leads the NBA with 10.9 assists per game, and he is the only player in the Association with double-digit dimes during the first two weeks. Washington Wizards PG John Wall leads the Eastern Conference with 8.8 APG.
Chicago at Philadelphia (7:00pm NBATV)
Oklahoma City at Washington (7:00 p.m. NBATV)
L.A. Clippers at Dallas (8:00 pm ESPN), San Antonio at Portland (10:30pm ESPN)
Golden State at Minnesota (8:00pm TNT), L.A. Clippers at Phoenix (10:30pm TNT)
Cleveland at New York (7:30pm NBATV), Brooklyn at Sacramento (10:00pm NBATV)
Denver at Phoenix (9:00pm NBATV)
If you need help in specific categories in Rotisserie Fantasy Hoops 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.
POINTS PER GAME
Marcus Thornton, PG, Houston (16.6 PPG past five games)
Isaac Canaan, PG, Philadelphia (13.0 PPG past six games)
Jeremy Lamb, SG, Charlotte (12.0 PPG past five games)
Courtney Lee, SG, Memphis (10.9 PPG past seven games)
Jerryd Bayless, PG, Milwaukee (10.7 PPG past seven games)
REBOUNDS PER GAME
Nemanja Bjelica, PF, Minnesota (8.0 RPG past five games)
Luis Scola, PF, Toronto (7.1 RPG past seven games)
Festus Ezeli, C, Golden State (7.0 RPG past seven games)
Clint Capela, C, Houston (6.6 RPG past seven games)
Bismack Biyombo, C, Toronto (6.4 RPG past seven games)
ASSISTS PER GAME
J.J. Barea, PG, Dallas (5.2 APG past six games)
Jerryd Bayless, PG, Milwaukee (3.9 APG past seven games)
Steve Blake, PG, Detroit (3.7 APG past six games)
Beno Udrih, PG, Memphis (3.6 APG past seven games)
Boris Diaw, C, San Antonio (3.5 APG past six games)
STEALS PER GAME
Jae Crowder, SF, Boston (3.0 SPG past five games)
Thabo Sefolosha, SG, Atlanta (2.0 SPG past five games)
Tony Allen, SG, Memphis (1.7 SPG past seven games)
Ramon Sessions, PG, Washington (1.5 SPG past six games)
Jordan Adams, SG, Memphis (1.5 SPG past two games)
BLOCKED SHOTS PER GAME
Dewayne Dedmon, C, Orlando (2.2 BPG past six games)
Clint Capela, C, Houston (1.9 BPG past seven games)
Festus Ezeli, C, Golden State (1.7 BPG past seven games)
Jerami Grant, SF, Philadelphia (1.5 BPG past six games)
Brandan Wright, C, Memphis (1.4 BPG past seven games)
3-POINTERS MADE PER GAME
Isaiah Canaan, PG, Philadelphia (15 3PT past six games)
Marcus Thornton, PG, Houston (15 3PT past five games)
Jerryd Bayless, PG, Milwaukee (13 3PT past seven games)
Nick Young, SF, L.A. Lakers (13 3PT past six games)
Richard Jefferson, SF, Cleveland (12 3 PT past seven games)
(statistics through November 7, 2015)