Fantasy Basketball

2015-16 Fantasy Basketball: Week 1 Preview

It’s finally here! The 2015-2016 NBA season tips off Tuesday night with three games on the schedule, including a doubleheader on TNT with Cleveland at Chicago followed by New Orleans at Golden State. All of the anticipation, draft questions and strategies are over, and now it’s time to put all of the knowledge that has been gained to the test. We get to see if the players that we drafted high and put a lot of stock in as sleepers actually pay off, and we get to see who become fantasy busts.

Week 1 Schedule:

4 Games: ATL, CHI


2 Games: MIN, PHI

Stream Options:

The first week of the season is when players get added and dropped more so than any week of the season, as players emerge into fantasy relevance and fall off to becoming fantasy irrelevant as well. Here are some players that might surprise you this week and may prove useful as streaming options when you need them this week.

Isaiah Canaan – PG – Philadelphia 76ers

Isaiah Canaan is just 8.7% owned in ESPN fantasy basketball leagues, however, I believe he is going to be one of the top five most added players in the first week of the season. Tony Wroten and Kendall Marshall, shooting guard Nik Stauskas, and now small forward Robert Covington are not going to be ready for the beginning of the season, which makes Canaan an attractive addition. While this is likely better for Nerlens Noel and Jahlil Okafor to begin the season, neither player is going to be a dominant offensive scorer. Look for Canaan to post numbers that make him fantasy relevant while the Sixers get healthy, as the starting point guard on that team has a recent history of good fantasy production.

Zaza Pachulia – C – Dallas Mavericks

I believe that Zaza Pachulia is going to be a very relevant player in fantasy leagues this season, especially in leagues where you get rewarded for double-doubles. Pachulia is the starting center in Dallas, and should be able to contribute a double-double on a fairly regular basis. There may be some better options available on the waiver wire, however, at just 16.4% owned in ESPN leagues, Pachulia is one of the least owned NBA starters in fantasy basketball. Pachulia gets my vote simply because of the minutes he will see.

Nate Robinson – PG – New Orleans Pelicans

I believe Nate Robinson will play well enough in the absence of Tyreke Evans and Norris Cole to get him regular minutes in the Pelicans lineup. Robinson was excellent for the Bulls filling in for Derrick Rose a couple years ago, and I believe he will be able to contribute something similar for the Pelicans if given the minutes. Jrue Holiday is back and healthy for the Pelicans, but being limited to around 15 minutes per game to start the season. Look for Robinson to get the majority of the backup PG minutes and contribute more than his ownership percentage may say. It helps that in his final preseason outing, Robinson had 18 points on 7-11 shooting (3-5 from three point range), in just 26 minutes played.

Shabazz Muhammad – SF – Minnesota Timberwolves

Muhammad has had a terrific preseason (which sometimes doesn’t mean anything), but he has scored 19 and 18 points in the final two preseason games, while shooting 50% from the field. The Timberwolves have a load of young talent, and it’s still yet to be seen how they are going to handle it all. Muhammad is only owned in 4.5% of ESPN leagues, but I believe he is on the rise and can really help the Timberwolves win games, especially if he keeps shooting 50% from the field. Look for some regression down the road, but he deserves to be owned in more than 4.5 percent of leagues.

Stream Option of the Week:

This is a new segment in the weekly preview, where I will find a player to stream that I like the most for that particular week that has four games on the schedule. While this week there are only two teams that have four games (Atlanta and Chicago) there are always players to find that can help out. This week, my player to stream for the week is Kent Bazemore of the Atlanta Hawks, and here is why.

Bazemore was just named the starting small forward in that deep Atlanta Hawks starting lineup, and at just 5.3 percent owned, Bazemore is worth a look for this week’s games. Bazemore is a defensive specialist that will not contribute much in the way of points or rebounds, but he has a chance to be among the league leader in steals if he holds starter minutes, and he has a chance to prove that right from the get go. Bazemore averaged 10.4 points, 3.6 rebounds, and one assist in an average of 22 minutes per game in five preseason games, and we should expect more from him as long as the minutes are there, especially on the defensive side of the ball.


Be sure to follow Max on Twitter for more fantasy analysis @Maxhaldeman

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