Fantasy Basketball, Week 2
Even Ryan Anderson and JJ Redick can be superheroes.
Carmelo Anthony is the most impressive player through the first week of the season and if he continues this pace he’ll be the Most Valuable Player by the end of it. The Nuggets are off to a 3-0 start and Melo is averaging 37.7 ppg. I tip my hat to those of you who wisely drafted him with your second-round pick or were fortunate to get him in the third round.
My motto for Melo this season is: “We in here!” That’s the way I imagine him addressing all types of situations in life but especially those on the court. For instance, let’s say one night during their upcoming six-game road trip they lead 12-2 early. Melo grabs an offensive rebound and goes back up strong for the bucket, plus the foul, and yells, “We in here!” I think it sums up the attitude he’s playing with this year. He has a chip on his shoulder and he expects his team to be considered one of the elites right from the jump. So, my advice to you: If you own Melo change your team name to “We in here!”
But seriously, Melo’s stock his sky-high at the moment. You could trade him straight-up for guys who went in the top five in some drafts — Kevin Durant and Danny Granger. The way he is playing now you probably want to hang on to him, and I don’t blame you. If you decide to make a deal though, his trade value might never be higher than it is at the moment. Keep in mind, Durant (coming off of a 3-21 dud) and Granger (nursing a heel injury) have slightly lower trade value after week one.
One week into the season we have a much better picture of how things should play out. Here are some other names ringing heads:
Chris Bosh – He is giving Melo a run for his money, averaging 31 points and 14.7 rebounds through his first three games. He has also connected on all three of his shots from downtown.
Dwight Howard – Lookout! Superman went 14-16 from the free-throw line on Sunday. He’s an absolute beast who posted 20 and 10 in each game so far including 20 points and 22 rebounds against the Nets.
Kobe Bryant – After the loss to the Mavericks at home, he took out his frustrations on the Hawks; 41 points, 8 rebounds and 5 steals.
LeBron James – He hasn’t completely blown us away the way we’re accustomed to, but he does already have a triple-double and is nearly averaging one through four games.
Chris Paul – Apparently he’s taking it upon himself to get the ball in the hoop. Through three games he is averaging 26.3 points on 65.1 percent field goal shooting! That’s a higher percentage than Dwight Howard. Remember, he’s a foot shorter.
Deron Williams – Just two games for him in week one but so far, so good – 24.5 points and 11 assists per contest.
Brandon Roy – It looks like he’ll be right up there with the top scorers in the League this season. He needs to step up his field goal percentage which sits below 40 at the moment.
Gilbert Arenas – He looked great in the opening win in Dallas but not so great in the loss in Atlanta (7 turnovers). But in the home opener against the Nets he was at his best; scoring 32 points in 29 minutes (9-13 field goals, 11-12 free throws) and dropping 7 dimes.
Steve Nash – The Suns are back and Nash owners can get used to ridiculous assist totals once again. He’s tallied 8, 20 and 14 in his first three contests.
Dirk Nowitzki – I love the consistency. He’s scoring 26.3 and bringing down 9.3 boards per night.
Shawn Marion – Matrix is making a smooth transformation into a Maverick. He’s averaging 16.7 points, 8 rebounds, 2 blocks and a steal per game and only has 1 turnover.
Marc Gasol – The only Gasol that’s producing this season. With his brother sidelined, Marc is making the family proud averaging 20 points and 11 rebounds to start the season.
Brandon Jennings – Congratulations if you took him with one of your final draft picks! This is one rookie who Scott Skiles looks content to play a lot. In his debut he nearly picked up a triple-double (17 points, 9 rebounds and 9 assists) and in his home debut the next night he scored 24 to lead the Bucks to victory over the Pistons. This is just the beginning.
Aaron Brooks – Through his first three, little man is averaging 21.7 points and 8.3 assists while shooting 49 percent from the field.
Lou Williams – He’s playing efficient basketball, making 63.6 percent of his shots and only turning the ball over twice in three games. In that span he’s averaging 20.3 points and 5 assists.
Jonny Flynn – Looks like he’s going to be the man in Minnesota. Not Sessions. He has a lot of scoring ability and has the potential for big games but expect inconsistent, rookie play.
Lamar Odom – LO is filling up the stat sheet nicely averaging 12.3 points, 11 rebounds and 6.7 assists.
Trevor Ariza – It appears that he CAN carry more responsibility. He’s proving to be more than just a role player with his 23.3 ppg and he is still one of the best in the League when it comes to stealing the ball.
Grant Hill – Yessir. Phoenix’s 3-0 start is due in large part to Hill’s 20 points and 9.7 rebounds.
Andray Blatche – Flip Saunders has him playing formidably in place of the injured Antawn Jamison. He’s averaging 21 points and 6.3 rebounds off of the bench. Expect reduced production when Jamison returns.
Danilo Gallinari – After hitting 10 three-pointers in the first two games off the bench, he got the start against Philadelphia and sunk 8 more threes. Al Harrington was demoted but it didn’t stop him from scoring 42 as a reserve.
Injury prone? What? Jermaine O’Neal and Chris Kaman – These guys slipped way down draft boards and are beginning to look like steals. Long way to go, however, and it’s likely their bodies will wear down. So far they are both averaging double-doubles; JO – 17.3 points and 10.3 rebounds — and Kaman – 22 and 10.
Udonis Haslem – Lost his starting job to Michael Beasley but is averaging a double-double through three games.
Ryan Anderson – He’s filling in quite well during Rashard Lewis’ suspension. He strokes threes (11 of 20 in three games) but doesn’t do much else. When Shard returns, you should find another option.
JJ Redick – The sharp-shooting Blue Devil nailed 5 threes on Sunday on his way to a career high 27 points. He added 6 rebounds and 5 assists but Vince Carter sat out with a sprained ankle so don’t expect many more of these performances.
Marreese Speights – A very talented player, Speights is on the verge of breaking out. If he stays out of foul trouble he’ll steal more and more minutes from the overpaid Sam Dalembert. His abilities are conducive to the Princeton offense as he’s shot 18-24 from the field thus far.
Channing Frye – He nailed 6 threes in each of his last two games. He doesn’t rebound much but threes from the center position are always nice.
Fantasy Line of the Week
O.J. Mayo (@ DEN) 40 points, 17-25 field goals, 4 threes, 5 rebounds, 4 assists, 0 turnovers
Certainly many to choose from in week one but I’m giving Mayo the nod here because he didn’t turn the ball over. Former Mr. Fantasy Emry DowningHall liked to include these in his columns so I’d like to continue the tradition. In your comments please share your favorite fantasy line of the week.