IT’S finally here! The NBA season commenced a few days ago and we have had a chance to at least see everyone once on the court. As is the way in the fantasy world some of us are already scrambling to fix our ‘well made’ draft plans with the injury bug biting hard. These damages to NBA players have robbed us of some stars in the NFL too, and the ongoing rollercoaster of Ezekiel Elliott’s suspension is still as head-scratching as ever. Enough said, let’s solve some of the biggest issues facing us this Friday.
IF you like what you read be sure to check out more SportsbyFry articles by hitting this link. Make sure you keep up to date with the latest Fantasy articles and follow my fan pages on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram to never miss a minute of the action!
*All fantasy stats and numbers are based on ESPN format fantasy leagues.
- EVERY NBA team has an appearance under their belt now so we have had a chance to look at every player first hand. As expected the fantasy stars put up big numbers with Russell Westbrook (21 PTS, 10 REB, 16 AST), Giannis Antetokounmpo (37 PTS, 13 REB, 3 STLS), LeBron James (29 PTS, 16 REB, 9 AST), Hassan Whiteside (26 PTS, 22 REB) and Pelicans twin towers Anthony Davis (33 PTS, 18 REB) and DeMarcus Cousins (28 PTS, 10 REB, 7 BLK) all putting on a serious show in Game 1.
- IF you are the owner of either Nikola Mirotic or Bobby Portis then you may want to look at another option for the foreseeable future. After the Chicago Bulls forwards got into a scuffle in practice before their season opener both players won’t be on the court for at least another few weeks. Mirotic is going to be out for at least four to six weeks after Portis broke bones in his face and gave him a concussion. As a result, the Bulls have suspended Portis for eight games.
MUST ADD – Jaylen Brown, Boston Celtics, PF
WITH the horrific injury to Gordon Hayward, an opportunity has opened up in Boston. Both Brown and rookie Jayson Tatum will see a minutes spike as a result and be relied upon to contribute more so than first expected. If you have to choose between the two I would back Brown in for consistency with the second-year pro scoring 25 in his season debut and backing it up with 18 points in game two.
Other candidates: Jayson Tatum (Celtics, SF, 77.6%) & Lauri Markkanen (Bulls, PF, 15.0%)
MUST DROP – Marquese Chriss, Phoenix Suns, PF
AFTER being hyped up all preseason coaches were expecting big things in Chriss sophomore campaign. One game is a very small sample size but after an underwhelming Summer League, the 74.4% of investors in Marquese Chriss should have known better. With a 12 minute, 1/5 field goal performance it’s tough to see Chriss becoming a big factor anytime soon. It’s worth noting that the Suns were spanked in their first match, but he seems destined to come off the bench, putting a ceiling on his fantasy game.
Other candidates: Marvin Williams (Hornets, SF/PF, 37.3%) & Tristan Thompson (Cavaliers, PF/C, 62.5%)
Image from ftw.usatoday.com
INJURY NEWS – EASILY the biggest injury story in sports was the gruesomely graphic ankle injury to Gordon Hayward. The Celtics forward is now likely to miss the entire season and should be dropped in all fantasy formats. He wasn’t the only one to go down though with Jeremy Lin (Nets, PG) rupturing his patella tendon in his first match of the season. He’s done for 2017-18 as well. There are no other new injury woes in the league with the same niggles sidelining players for a few games and the likes of Rondo, Batum, LaVine and Parker out for at least a month or so as well.
- I give up on trying to keep up with Ezekiel Elliott’s suspension. The Cowboys running back is now likely to line up against the San Fransisco 49ers after being granted a second temporary restraining order for his impending six-game suspension.
- IN one of the best games of the year the Chiefs and Raiders put up plenty of big-time numbers on the Thursday Night Football stage. Amari Cooper (33) helped Oakland record a 31-30 win chalking up more 210 receiving yards, more than any other player has in 2017 to date! He made two touchdown catches as well benefiting from Derek Carr’s (30.2) 417 yard, three touchdown game. Opposing quarterback Alex Smith (25.7) tired his best to drag Kansas City to a win and he was well supported by Tyreek Hill (19.2) and Kareem Hunt (11.7) raking up over 100 yards each.
- THE Thursday night game wasn’t absent from drama though with Marshawn Lynch (Raiders, RB) ejected after pushing a referee in the second quarter. Lynch managed just nine yards on two carries before he was sent packing with his place on the depth chart still in question entering Week 8.
MUST ADD – Nelson Agholor, Philadelphia Eagles, WR
IN his first two seasons Nelson Agholor struggled to emerge as a fantasy threat with just 648 receiving yards and three touchdowns in 28 games. So far in 2017 things have been quite different with the Eagles wideout totalling 321 yards and four scores in six games so far. With a real chance to post 1,000 yards as Carson Wentz’s main threat, if he is still on your waiver wire, you know what to do.
Other candidates: Orleans Darkwa (Giants, RB, 46.8%) & Brett Hundley (Packers, QB, 16.2%)
Image from theeagleswire.usatoday.com
MUST DROP – Martellus Bennett, Green Bay Packers, TE
AFTER winning a ring in New England Bennett signed with the Packers in the offseason to replace Jared Cook at tight end. Six games into the season he isn’t really producing incredible fantasy numbers. He is averaging just 36 yards a game in Green Bay with zero touchdowns to date after 700 yards and seven scores last year as a Patriot.
Other candidates: Andre Ellington (Cardinals, RB, 41.1%) & Coby Fleener (Saints, TE, 33.8%)
INJURY NEWS – AARON Rodgers (Packers, QB) was the biggest injury woe in the NFL world last week. Much like Hayward in the NBA a collarbone injury means he is potentially done for the year. Dustin Hopkins (Redskins, K) is on the IR with a hip issue and currently doesn’t have a timetable to return. Melvin Gordon (Chargers, RB) was limited at practice on Wednesday with a shoulder issue but should still lineup on Sunday, while DeMarco Murray (Titans, RB) is battling a hamstring issue and didn’t take to the practice field on Thursday.
BYE TEAMS: Detroit Lions, Houston Texans