Early Daily Fantasy Thoughts For Each NBA Team and Comparing to Last Year’s Rosters
Every NBA team has its own agenda in the beginning of the season. Some teams look nearly the same as last year, some are trying to figure out what works and some are just trying to get through injuries. Let’s break it down.
Atlanta Hawks – Al Horford is back, which is huge for the Hawks. Otherwise, nothing much has changed. Paul Millsap is slightly overpriced as a result. Look for the Hawks to be better than expected early on and pay attention to matchups.
Brooklyn Nets – This won’t be too big of a deal, but with Lionel Hollins in charge, Brook Loepz having a minutes restriction when he returns later this month and Bojan Bogdanovic in the starting five, there will be some moving parts early on. Lopez will also be on a minutes restriction when he returns, which will make things a bit more interesting too.
Boston Celtics – I’m a huge Brad Stevens fan, and I’m not saying the Celtics will make the playoffs, but they will be better than some think. Many players are underpriced considering everyone is getting an increased role with the exception of Rajon Rondo.
Charlotte Hornets – This is also on a minor level and don’t think about this too much. But with Lance Stephenson and Marvin Williams in the starting five, this changes a few things fantasy wise slightly. Rookie draft pick Noah Vonleh will get some action when he returns as well. This is more of the star players taking a minor hit with their fantasy stats in general because their depth is much better.
Chicago Bulls – Everyone is overvalued here on a smaller level since Derrick Rose was out for most of last season and Pau Gasol joins the starting five. The offensive depth is much better with Aaron Brooks and Doug McDermott too. The only minute change that will happen is when Jimmy Butler returns to start at the 2.
Cleveland Cavaliers – Let’s keep this simple. This will be a constant moving target. The bad news? Everyone has a high price with the new Big 3, and the other guys will play a bigger role fantasy wise than advertised. The good news? Anderson Varejao is still cheap and you should grab him while you can. David Blatt won’t hesitate to try some different combinations too despite playing the starters heavy minutes in the first game.
Dallas Mavericks – A new PG, SF and C. No BS here, this might be the best starting five in the NBA right now. There is outstanding balance from top-to-bottom. They will gobble up a ton of minutes in general and most of the fantasy stats. Pay specific attention to the matchups.
Denver Nuggets – Definitely the deepest team in the NBA. They went 12 deep on the opening night, and they didn’t even play J.J. Hickson. No joke here, unless there’s a huge bargain, fade everyone until a more set rotation happens or there’s a perfect matchup situation. Don’t overreact to Ty Lawson’s bad game either. He’s getting over an ankle issue.
Detroit Pistons – SVG is already in full swing by playing a ton of D.J. Augustin’ over Brandon Jennings off the bench. Kentavious Caldwell-Pope is also getting an increased role at SG. We have to remember Greg Monroe has been suspended the first two games and will return this weekend. Pay very close attention to the starting five next game, and I would be very careful playing any Pistons backcourt players except Pope for now.
Golden State Warriors – A lot more ball movement under Steve Kerr. David Lee missed the opener. Although I wouldn’t look at the opening stats too much against a weak Kings defense all around. In general, the Warriors’ stats for the key players shouldn’t change much.
Houston Rockets – Even with Trevor Ariza taking over for Chandler Parsons and Patrick Beverley playing more minutes at PG, there isn’t a lot of change here. A slight bump to Beverley is the only thing here.
Indiana Pacers – There are so many injuries here, and I’m not even talking about Paul George. There will be great value here often and early. Donald Sloan is the best play for now in general. Check in with us for the first few weeks.
Los Angeles Clippers – Spencer Hawes is a fantastic addition for the Clippers, but fantasy wise for the key Clippers players, no change here. Just go by position.
Los Angeles Lakers – Here we go again. I didn’t think it was possible, but this Lakers defense might be worse than last year. With Nick Young out for a while and Ryan Kelly returning in a week or more, we will have some changes here and there. This will be a huge moving target with Byron Scott running the show and everyone struggling.
Memphis Grizzlies – Outstanding addition with Vince Carter. However, no fantasy changes here.
Miami Heat – Chris Bosh’s first game was not a fluke. His numbers took a hit because he was in Miami, not because he was overrated or he wasn’t good. He is an $8,000 player at worst and probably $9,000. He will spend a lot more time around the basket for rebounds, get easier baskets and even get a couple more assists. Also, Norris Cole’s game was not a fluke. He will be more aggressive and have the green light as a starter without LeBron there. I would jump on this a ton until he gets over $6k. Everyone else is priced appropriately. Josh McRoberts is still out and he will be the starting PF when he returns. That won’t effect Bosh much though.
Minnesota Timberwolves – This is a tough situation to diagnose even with two games. Kevin Martin hasn’t started yet, Andrew Wigging and Thad Young are new to the team. Plus, no Kevin Love changes things altogether. I want to wait on this for a few more games, but it looks like the players are actually priced correctly, which I wasn’t expecting in the first place. Thad Young might actually be better than just a person benefiting being on the 76ers, which would make Nikola Pekovic still priced fairly accurately.
Milwaukee Bucks – Jason Kidd is now the head coach, new starters, new bench and now healthy. Check in with us as this goes game by game for now.
New Orleans Pelicans – With a weak bench, all five starters should do very well. Jrue Holiday is still not quite 100 percent, but he will be a $7,000 player. Anthony Davis will lose some rebounds to Omer Asik, but is still obviously one of the best players. Also, Asik’s first game isn’t a fluke. When he gets minutes, he’s easily a double-double threat each night.
New York Knicks – The triangle offense under Derek Fisher will make it tough to use anyone on the Knicks for daily fantasy for a while. Although they are up against several injuries and are already shaking up their starting five. Simply keep an eye on this team for now.
Oklahoma City Thunder – Now Westbrook goes down??? We don’t know how long, but it’s a fracture, which isn’t good news and could be 1-to-2 months according to a report. The Thunder are now down to eight players, which means they are going to have to pull up from the D-League. Look for Serge Ibaka to be the best fantasy player obviously, but they could get Reggie Jackson and Jeremy Lamb back somewhat soon. This is day-to-day and an absolute mess. In the short term, this is about as bad as the Lakers and Nuggets situations last year.
Orlando Magic – No Victor Oladipo for a couple more weeks, and that changes things all around. Although with a group of stretch 4s, Nikola Vucevic is just crushing, and he should continue to just crush now that he’s 100 percent. Elfred Payton has so much potential and he’s a lot like Rajon Rondo (as a rookie) in the early going, but he’s making some understandable mistakes. This guy is someone you want to keep an eye on with Oladipo out.
Philadelphia 76ers – With so much change here, I can’t make too many assumptions after one game against a depleted Pacers team. This is position and matchup related for now.
Phoenix Suns – Markieff Morris is at the 4, Marcus Morris is at the 3 and Eric Bledsoe shares time with Goran Dragic between the 1 and the 2. They have had one game against a banged up Lakers team where the bench got a ton of minutes. There are no injuries to consider, but the rotation is still a mystery.
Portland Trail Blazers – Solid addition of Chris Kaman, but no real differences here.
San Antonio Spurs – Kawhi Leonard missed the opener, so don’t expect those Marco Belinelli stats again. No real changes here except the usual Pop benching all key players when they are on the road and in a back-to-back situation.
Sacramento Kings – Amazingly, there isn’t much change here. Darren Collison get’s a slight bump with starters minutes and having more of an offensive role, but nothing else changes despite some new additions.
Toronto Raptors – Nothing to factor in here. Jonas Valanciunas should improve a little bit.
Utah Jazz – Quin Snyder is now the coach, Alec Burks is now in the starting five and there are some rookies coming off the bench. Burks does get a slight bump in the early going in the starting role, but all Jazz starters can score, so it can’t be factored in too much. I do love what Derrick Favors has brought, and he’s a young talent who is really blossoming. He’s done well in a competitive game and in a blowout. This rotation should change some in the beginning while the new head coach figures out what works and what doesn’t.
Washington Wizards – Paul Pierce is now at SF, Nene missed the opener at PF with a suspension and Bradley Beal is out for a while at SG. So there is a lot to consider, but not really. Pierce is a different type of SF, but he contributes the same kind of stats. John Wall is still a stud, and Garrett Temple is getting great minutes off the bench, but not doing much fantasy wise. It’s a slight bump for Wall and a decent bump for Pierce considering his role in Brooklyn, but outside of that, play by position.
View all posts by Nick Juskewycz