2015-16 Fantasy Basketball: Week 2 Preview
4 Games: ATL, BKN, GS, HOU, IND, MEM, MIA, MIL, OKC, ORL, PHI, PHO, POR, SAC, TOR
3 Games: CHA, CHI, CLE, DAL, DEN, DET, LAC, LAL, MIN, NO, NY, SA, UTA, WAS
2 Games: BOS
Andre Drummond – C – Detroit Pistons
After just three or four games to start the season, there are plenty of players that you could label as “on fire” so far, but the one who stood out to me most, other than the obvious choices, was Pistons center Andre Drummond. Drummond had a relatively tough year, all things considered, in 2014-2015, but he appears to be in the beginning of what could be a mega breakout for the former Uconn Huskie. Through three games this season, Drummond is averaging 18.7 points, 16.3 rebounds, 2.0 blocks, 1.0 assist and 1.3 steals per game. It’s a little concerning that he is only shooting 41% from the field through three games, but the optimist in me says, imagine what he’ll do when he shoots in the mid-50% range like we all expect. Drummond’s price in daily fantasy will likely increase more and more each game with performances like these first three, but he is a threat to go for 20 points and 20 rebounds every night, chipping in with a plethora of blocks and other defensive categories as well.
James Harden – SG – Houston Rockets
James Harden recently called himself the best player in the NBA, but he might want to think about letting his game do the talking from now on. Harden has started the 2015-2016 season by shooting just 22% from the field (15/24), and his Houston Rockets are 0-3 on this young season. The good news for Harden and his fantasy owners is that he is still getting to the free throw line (31 attempts in three games), and has contributed with a modest amount of rebounds and assists as well. Harden is averaging 18.0 points, 6.3 rebounds, 6.0 assists, 2.0 steals and 1.3 blocks, which, all things considered, is a pretty great fantasy line, but it’s the shooting percentage that lands Harden as my ice cold player of the week. Once Harden clears his mind of not winning MVP last season, he should have another MVP caliber season in 2015-2016. Harden will have four games this week against the Thunder, Magic, Kings, and Clippers, and should get back on track soon enough. While Harden is never going to shoot better than around 45%, it should get much better than the 22% he’s shooting now.
Top Stream Options for the Week
This is something new to the weekly preview for the 2015-2016 season. Each week, I will give three players that are under 50% owned in ESPN leagues that could be great options this week if you’re looking for help.
1. Langston Galloway has been very good coming off of the bench for the Knicks this season, making the most of his opportunity. While he is playing just 26 minutes per game, he is averaging 12.7 points, 5.0 rebounds, 3.3 assists and 2.7 three pointers per game so far on this young season. Galloway is owned in just 17% of ESPN leagues and the Knicks have four games this week as well, giving Galloway more chances to contribute. Galloway has shot exactly 50% in each of his three games (5/10, 2/4 and 4/8), and he’s made 8/9 from the free throw line. Galloway, if given the same number of minutes, should give you comparable stats from here on out, and can make quite the contribution in the three point shooting category.
2. Evan Fournier played just 27 minutes and shot 1/7 in the season opener against the Wizards, but he rebounded with 22 points in 45 minutes in the Magic 2OT game against the Thunder. He added 19 more on Sunday against the Bulls in 35 minutes, as it looks like Fournier is going to see starter minutes as the Magic shooting guard. Fournier hasn’t shot the bell relatively well to begin the season, but each game has been better than the previous one, and he is getting a good amount of shots on a team that has plenty of players that can score. If you’re looking for points, 3-pointers and a little contribution in rebounds and assists, Fournier is likely available. He is owned in just 5% of ESPN leagues and as long as head coach Scott Skiles continues to roll with the three-guard lineup that features Payton, Oladipo and Fournier, he will contribute.
3. Al-Farouq Aminu seems to be on a new team every year, but he seems to contribute wherever he goes. He’s averaging 32 minutes per game over the first three games of the season for the Trail Blazers and he has been delivering in just about every category but steals. Aminu is averaging 13.7 points, 8.3 rebounds, 1.7 assists and 1.3 blocks per game and should continue to get plenty of opportunities to help your fantasy team if he keeps playing 32 minutes a night. Aminu is owned in 48.3% of ESPN leagues, and with four games on the schedule this week, he should be owned. One other reason why I like AFA this week is his matchups. The two games in the middle of the week, Utah and Memphis, are very good defensive teams. That is usually a reason to avoid players, when they face good defenses, but with Aminu being a secondary option for the Blazers, he could be in line for more of a role offensively.