Roughly six weeks into the season, some strong starts have held up. Clint Capela and Victor Oladipo have been excellent value picks, while Enes Kanter’s arrival on the Knicks has given owners a surprising source of production in their Fantasy Basketball Lineups. On the other end of things, Serge Ibaka’s Fantasy freefall may have arrived, while Marquese Chriss, Dario Saric and (when healthy) Markelle Fultz have torpedoed many Fantasy team’s aspirations.
There’s still plenty of time for fortunes to change, so it’s way too early for anyone to either start crowning themselves or start looking ahead toward next year. One week at a time, folks.
Kenneth Faried, F, Nuggets: For now, he’s the beneficiary with Paul Millsap (wrist) sidelined for up to three months. Faried scored 14 points and grabbed nine boards in Friday’s win over the Grizzlies, part of the reason why he’s gone from 16 to 35 percent in CBSSports.com leagues. Will Barton is also going to get a Fantasy bump from this, yet Faried, who had four straight seasons of at least 11.2 points and 8.6 rebounds per game, will be a good source for both on a offense starting to hit its stride.
Tim Frazier, G, Wizards: With John Wall (shoulder) out for 2-3 weeks, Frazier gets to run Washington’s eighth-ranked offense. He scored 11 points during Saturday’s loss to the Trail Blazers while adding three rebounds, two assists and two steals. The dimes will come during Frazier’s brief time running the point, as he averages 8.6 per 36 minutes. Owned in 13 percent of CBSSports.com leagues, Frazier isn’t much of a shooter but makes a solid option for owners in search of assists and cheap scoring.
Mario Chalmers, G, Grizzlies: The savvy veteran is a decent source for assists provided you can survive his 36 percent shooting. Chalmers averaged seven assists in a four-game run before managing just three in Friday’s loss at Denver. He’s owned in 44 percent of CBSSports.com leagues and will see heavy minutes while Mike Conley stays on the shelf until early to mid December.
Jarrett Allen, C, Nets: Get in on the ground floor for the rookie, who is owned in just 13 percent of CBSSports.com leagues. Allen is beginning to see more playing time and showed flashes of his potential with nine points and eight rebounds in 24 minutes during Friday’s loss to the Blazers. He’s averaging 18 minutes in his last three and with only Timofey Mozgov and Tyler Zeller in front of him, watch Allen’s numbers to begin surging.
Streamers. Lots of Streamers
Noah Vonleh, F, Trail Blazers: His 19.3 rebound rate is better than the likes of Karl-Anthony Towns, Rudy Gobert and Anthony Davis, a rate fueled by three games of double-digit rebounds in his last four outings. Still more of a role player, Vonleh’s a good option when Portland meets a Bucks team 29th in rebounding differential on Thursday night.
Dewayne Dedmon, C, Hawks: Ninth in the league with a True Shooting Percentage of 68.3 percent, Dedmon is still flying under the radar despite 77 percent ownership in CBSSports.com leagues. Atlanta has just two games this week, yet Dedmon is a solid play on Wednesday night when they face a struggling Cleveland defense ranked 27th in adjusted opponents’ field goal percentage at 53.9 percent.
Jamal Crawford, G, Timberwolves: While he doesn’t log heavy minutes (17.3 per night), Crawford has a solid 25.2 usage rate. He scored 19 points in 18 minutes against the Hornets last Monday and is a name to consider when Minnesota faces a Clippers team allowing 106 points per game on Sunday.
Best Fantasy-Friendly Game of the Week
Nets-Rockets on Monday features the second and third-highest scoring teams in the league. The usual cast of characters are must-starts, including the stat-stuffing Rondae Hollis-Jefferson, whose 18.5 PER is enhanced by a five-game stretch that has seen him average 15.2 points, 7.0 rebounds and 2.6 assists. The Nets’ third-year swingman is a strong candidate for Most Improved Player in the early going.
Best One-on-One Matchup of the Week
Bulls-Nuggets on Wednesday has the intrigue of seeing two of the best young international players square off for the first time as Chicago rookie Lauri Markkanen meets Denver’s Nikola Jokic. We all know what Jokic brings, yet it’s about seeing how well Markkanen fares after hitting a slump that has seen him shoot just 33 percent over the last five. Still, Markkanen is averaging 9.4 rebounds in the same span and it should be fun to see how he responds to the challenge.
Best Fantasy Matchup to Exploit
The Bucks and Kings are the two worst teams in opponents’ 3-point percentage allowed, so expect both teams to exploit each other when Milwaukee visits SacTown on Tuesday night. Both Malcolm Brogdon (Bucks) and George Hill (Kings) are shooting 44 percent from beyond the arc and are must-plays.
TEAMS PLAYING FOUR GAMES THIS WEEK
Cavaliers, Pistons, Warriors, Clippers, Lakers, Heat, Timberwolves, Magic, 76ers, Kings, Spurs
TEAMS PLAYING THREE GAMES THIS WEEK
Nets, Celtics, Bulls, Mavericks, Nuggets, Rockets, Grizzlies, Bucks, Pelicans, Knicks, Thunder, Suns, Trail Blazers, Jazz, Wizards
TEAMS PLAYING TWO GAMES THIS WEEK
Hawks, Hornets, Raptors
Um, yes, you’ll want to roll out your Warriors players in a four-game week that sees them get a home matchup against the Kings (Monday) before facing the Lakers (Wednesday), Magic (Friday) and Heat (Sunday). The first three games are against teams ranked 15th or lower in points allowed per game, making these plum opportunities if both Kevin Durant and Draymond Green return to the lineup after missing much of this past week with injuries.