The opening weekend of the National Basketball Association is finally here, and the Cleveland Cavaliers open the season Tuesday to defend their first NBA championship.
While we’ll have to wait a couple of months to see the debut of Philadelphia 76ers PF-C Ben Simmons (foot) due to a fracture in his foot, there are plenty of young stars ready to make a splash for Fantasy owners. The 76ers will also be without PF-C Nerlens Noel (knee), as he is scheduled for minor knee surgery. There is no timetable for his return, as the young Philly team continues to be snake-bitten by injuries.
San Antonio Spurs SG Danny Green (quadriceps) is expected to miss at least three weeks, so make sure to reserve him. Joining him on the Injured Reserve list to start the season is Toronto Raptors PF-C Jared Sullinger (foot), who is expected to have a screw inserted into his fifth metatarsal bone to try and prevent future stress reactions. It’s unclear how long Sullinger will be on the shelf, but he missed 24 games due to a stress fracture during the 2014-15 season. Fantasy owners might find value in the combination of PF Patrick Patterson and C Lucas Nogueira, who should see an unexpected bump in minutes right out of the gate.
Minnesota Timberwolves swingman Andrew Wiggins (illness) is expected to be in the lineup Wednesday against the Memphis Grizzlies. He has been under the weather lately, but Fantasy owners should feel confident using him for the opening period. Chicago Bulls PF Nikola Mirotic (back) is also a bit of a question mark for the opening week, but he practiced in full on back-to-back days over the weekend to ease the minds of Fantasy owners. The good news is that Chicago does not have a back-to-back situation until Nov. 4-5, so that gives Mirotic time to rest before the first few games.
TEAM WITH FOUR GAMES
TEAMS WITH THREE GAMES
Brooklyn, Boston, Charlotte, Cleveland, Dallas, Detroit, Golden State, Houston, Indiana, L.A. Lakers, Memphis, Miami, Milwaukee, New Orleans, Oklahoma City, Orlando, Phoenix, Portland, Sacramento, Utah
TEAMS WITH TWO GAMES
Atlanta, Chicago, Denver, L.A. Clippers, Minnesota, New York, Philadelphia, Toronto, Washington
WEEK 1 SCHEDULE ANALYSIS
OKLAHOMA CITY THUNDER: In the opening week, the Thunder face three teams that ranked in the bottom third of the NBA. It will be a quick start for Russell Westbrook, Victor Oladipo and the new-look Thunder.
TORONTO RAPTORS: The Raptors have a pair of games at home in the opening period, which is the good news. The bad news is that they have home games against the defensive-minded Detroit Pistons, and the defending champion Cleveland Cavaliers, a team that allowed just 98.3 PPG.
DFS BASKETBALL STACK TEAM OF THE DAY
TUESDAY – Utah at Portland. The Jazz have a solid array of young talent, and they’re facing a Portland team they should be able to post triple digits against.
WEDNESDAY – Oklahoma City at Philadelphia. The Thunder face the defensively-challenged 76ers in their first game post-Kevin Durant.
THURSDAY – San Antonio at Sacramento. The Spurs will face a Kings team that was one of the worst defensive teams in 2015-16.
FRIDAY – Golden State at New Orleans. The Warriors will face a Pelicans team that didn’t necessarily specialize in defense last season.
SATURDAY – Minnesota at Sacramento. The game between the Timberwolves and Kings should have in excess of 210 points, and plenty of Fantasy production.
SUNDAY – Golden State at Phoenix. The only drawback to using your Warriors in the Valley of the Sun might be that their starters are rested late in the second half because of a potential blowout.
New York at Cleveland (TNT, 7:30 p.m.)
San Antonio at Golden State (TNT, 10:30 p.m.)
Oklahoma City at Philadelphia (ESPN, 8:00 p.m.)
Houston at L.A. Lakers (ESPN, 10:30 p.m.)
Boston at Chicago (TNT, 8:00 p.m.)
L.A. Clippers at Portland (TNT, 10:30 p.m.)
Cleveland at Toronto (ESPN, 7:00 p.m.)
Golden State at New Orleans (ESPN, 9:30 p.m.)
New Orleans at San Antonio (NBATV, 8:00 p.m.)
Minnesota at Sacramento (NBATV, 10:30 p.m.)
Washington at Memphis (NBATV, 8:00 p.m.)
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.
*** THIS SECTION WILL BE UPDATED NEXT WEEK