Fantasy Basketball

Fantasy Basketball Week 2 Preview: No Average Joe


Finally, the NBA is back. Three days of NFL games every week just simply wasn’t quenching the thirst of many Fantasy-heads like myself. Now, we officially enter into one of the best times of the year for Fantasy players, that time of year where football and basketball overlap. Season long teams to check daily (as if we weren’t already doing that with our football teams), and Daily Fantasy to dive into every evening. Beautiful.

This will be a weekly piece, letting you know which teams have a favorable schedule in the upcoming week, which ones don’t, and the players to target on the waivers.

Teams are just getting settled in, and roles are starting to be carved out.  As this upcoming week progresses, we should start to get a good feel for the identities of most of the NBA squads. Monday marks the first week with a full compliment of games from the start of the week to the end, so we will begin there.

Fantasy Basketball Week 2 Preview

Schedules to Target

These are teams that have favorable schedules for Fantasy Basketball purposes in the given week. I will be factoring in how many games the team will be playing, the difficulty of the team’s schedule, and the pace at which the games will be played (more possessions=more scoring=more Fantasy points)

Sacramento Kings (5 games)

The Kings are the only team with a five game slate in Week 2. They start and finish with games against tough defensive teams, but have three nice matchups sandwiched in between. Even with new defensive minded coach Dave Joerger at the helm, the Kings put up the 5th most points in the preseason and dropped 113 against the Suns in their opener.

A couple of Kings to consider on this five game week are Willie Cauley-Stein and Matt Barnes. Cauley-Stein did not start against the Suns but played more minutes than starter Kosta Koufos. Cauley-Stein is a player that can help you in the blocks and rebounds department, while his lack of shots won’t kill you in field goal percentage.

Matt Barnes got 30 minutes in the Kings’ opener and is a guy that can help you across all categories. Barnes is a  jack of all trades, and should stay on the floor plenty due to his defensive skills. He is someone who you pick up to stream, but could end up holding onto for awhile.

Other Favorable Week 2 Schedules (# of Games): Atlanta Hawks (4), Chicago Bulls (4), Milwaukee Bucks (4), Phoenix Suns (4), Toronto Raptors (4), Los Angeles Clippers (4), Portland Trail Blazers (4)

Waiver Wire Players to Snag

Joe Johnson, SG/SF, Utah Jazz

While Gordon Hayward’s hand injury has kept him sidelined, wiley veteran Joe Johnson has started what could be a career renaissance in Utah. Stepping into the starting lineup, Johnson played 31 minutes and got it going with 29 points, four rebounds, three assists, three 3-pointers, and a steal.

While the opportunity is there, I expect Johnson to be a scoring threat for the Jazz, and even pitch in some rebounds and assists. Everything helps at a shooting guard position that is lacking contributors.

Jonathon Simmons, SG/SF, San Antonio Spurs

Last season, Jonathon Simmons only appeared in only 55 games for the San Antonio Spurs. This season, barring injury, I expect that number to be significantly higher. Simmons, who once had to pay 150 dollars to even try out for the D-League, provided the spark off of the bench that drove the Spurs past the Warriors on opening night.

The Spurs’ system has proven that on any given night a bench player can make a big impact. I expect Simmons to be more than that in San Antonio. He has the looks of someone that is going to surge into the starting lineup and make major contributions regularly. Simmons should see somewhere around 25 minutes every game, and has proven he knows what to do with them.

Ish Smith, PG, Detroit Pistons

A career journeyman ever since he entered the league in 2010, Ish Smith signed with the Pistons as the backup point guard to Reggie Jackson. Now, with Jackson out for six to eight weeks, Smith has found himself thrust into the starting job.

Ish Smith has proven where ever he goes that he can play. With a decent roster around him, and Andre Drummond to throw it down to in the post, Smith has potential as a player that can give your team assists. Smith has also shown that he is capable of scoring outbursts from time to time. A starting point guard that is available in about two-thirds of leagues can’t stay that way for long.

About Chris Wright

Chris is a self-diagnosed, non-recovering Fantasy addict. Balances stats on paper with actual on field evidence when making projections. Check him out on Twitter @ChrisWright_F6P

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