“Jaws of Doom” Unibrows, Brandon Knight, and the first week of basketball
Anthony Davis – 44.2fg%, 76.0ft%, 0 3ptm, 28.5pts, 1.5ast, 16.0rbd, 2.5stl, 6.0blk, 0.5to
There’s basically no doubt who the best player in fantasy basketball is anymore, as Anthony “Brow” Davis leads the NBA in both rebounding (16.0) and blocking (6.0), posting insane averages in both categories respectively. Furthermore, he’s also scoring over 28 points per game and contributing an ironically ho-hum seeming 2.5 steals, which is still top-15 in basketball by the way. Brow is a truly dominant player, on a Pelicans team that actually looks pretty good and has real potential. Tyreke Evans has looked excellent so far, posting 17pts/7.5ast/9.5rb, he has especially excelled in bringing the ball up and making plays. Jrue Holiday is also rounding into form and should be poised for a nice bounce-back season. Unfortunately however, Eric Gordon seemingly will never live up to the potential we once saw in L.A.
Brandon Knight – 40.0fg%, 87.5ft%, 2.0 3ptm, 19.7pts, 9.0ast, 6.7rbd, 1.0stl, 0.3blk, 3.3to
Brandon Knight is off to a good start in scoring and volume stats, and looks like he’ll remain valuable even if he does so inefficiently. The fact of the matter is, however, that he’s the best player in Milwaukee right now and will continue to post big numbers in a contract year. If Knight can keep his assist rate (9.0) and ast/to ratio (2.7) anywhere near current levels he’ll easily provide a solid return on the mid/late round investment that was required to get him. And given his situation in Milwaukee, there’s no reason to think he can’t keep it up. Jabbari Parker is probably the only threat to Knight’s relevance, as he’s already started his career off with 2 double doubles in his first 3 games; but Parker will also be inefficient on the offensive end. Likewise, O.J. Mayo is the definition of inefficiency and inconsistency, and ultimately that’s probably just how this Bucks team is going to play — bad teams take bad shots.
Tony Wroten — 44.2fg%, 56.7ft%, 0.7 3ptm, 19.0pts, 7.7ast,4.7rbd, 2.3stl, 0.3blk, 4.3to
Wroten has been the best player in Philadelphia, playing over 34 min/game and posting19pts/7.7ast/4.7rbd with elite level defensive steals as well. He’s probably the best standard league (10-12 teams) waiver wire option this week, but it’ll be interesting to see how much his usage declines once Michael Carter-Williams returns from his shoulder injury. Due to MCW’s injury history and the lack of production around him, it’s possible Wroten could earn himself a permanent spot in the Sixer’s rotation throughout season. Notice however, that his ft% is a wreck and that he turns it over way too much — his ast/to ratio is a woeful 1.77, so any upside he has is probably capped by that inefficiency.
Darren Collison— 38.5fg%, 75.0ft%, 0.5 3ptm, 15.0pts, 8.0ast, 6.0rbd, 4.0stl, 0.5blk, 2.0to
Before the season started I had seen discussions about whether Collison or Ramon Sessions was the guy to own in Sacramento, but it seems that Collison has already put this question to bed. So far he’s playing 37 minutes per game and has produced very well, he even ranks second in the NBA in steals with 4.0/game. Aside from having plenty of opportunities in Northern California, Collison will also benefit from having Demarcus Cousins’s solid post play all season, so there’s no reason to think he can’t maintain around his current level of playmaking. Even if his scoring and defense ultimately regress back to the mean, fantasy owners will likely get more than they paid for Collison on draft day. Primarily this is because he’s always somehow been buried behind players like Chris Paul for most of his career; this may be the season he fulfills his starter potential.
Tony Allen — 42.1fg%, 60.0ft%, 0.0 3ptm, 6.3pts, 2,7ast, 3.7rbd, 4.0stl, 0.0blk, 1.3to
Despite being ranked 2nd in the NBA in steals (4.0), Tony Allen’s offense is so bad (0.19 points per minute) that he’s not even worth owning in deeper 14 team leagues. He’s much more helpful to real NBA GM’s than he is to their fantasy counterparts. Meanwhile, Zach Randolph and Marc Gasol remain a monster front court combo for Memphis, and neither have seemed to begun to slow down yet. Randolph is still a double-double machine and Gasol has a nice all around game. But the waiver wire is still pretty sparse, and Allen can help you win steals if you’re desperate for some defensive production.
Chris Copeland – 39.0fg%, 66.7ft%, 3.3 3ptm, 16.0pts, 2.7ast, 4.7rbd, 0.0stl, 0.7blk, 2.3to
Copeland is the most added player in Yahoo! leagues this week because he’s been red-hot from deep so far, sinking over 3 per game and grabbing some decent rebounding numbers to boot. There’s still a production hole in the middle of The Pacers’ roster, and Copeland may have taken the early lead in the competition for who will win the lion’s share of the offensive production. Expectations should be tempered, though, by the fact that he only played 6 and a half minutes per game last year. Furthermore, C.J. Miles has been getting minutes and shots before Rodney Stuckey has, and I think the well-rounded nature of his game probably provides the most upside for fantasy owners. Both Miles and Copeland will shoot inefficiently; it’ll be interesting to see if Copeland can maintain his secondary production, which is where his ultimate value will probably lie.
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