You ever wonder why they keep stats? They keep them for people like myself, Basketball Society’s Randy King, who is a fantasy basketball nerd. They also keep stats for the record books, but let me have my moment and feel important, okay?
Stats are the life blood of fantasy sports. Forget your team’s success and focus on the players. ‘ME’ over ‘WE’ if you will. The exact opposite way you want to think when you actually play any sport.
Each week, I break down the top fantasy players at each position to create the fantasy starting five of your dreams, plus some start/sit advice on the side. Generated through recent trends and future outlook, we’ll get your lineup looking right for the week.
Let’s not forget about those pesky young hot shots, aka rookies. I’ll be here to tell you which ones to keep an eye out for that could pay dividends to your fantasy success.
You ready? I’m ready!
PG – Russell Westbrook, Houston Rockets
Stat-line – 3 GP, 20.7 PPG, 10.7 APG, 12.3 RPG, 2.3 SPG, 85.7 FT%
Highlighted Game: In the Rockets six point victory over the Suns, Westbrook collected his eighth triple-double on the season with 24 points, 14 rebounds, and 11 assists. Defensively, Westbrook pilfered two steals and swatted away three blocks.
SG – Jimmy Butler, Miami heat
Stat-line – 4 GP, 26.8 PPG, 7.3 APG, 9.3 RPG, 1.3 SPG, 49.3 FG%, 45.8 3PT%
Highlighted Game: Off of a three-game road trip, Butler returned to south beach and recorded a triple-double (Fantasy Gold). Butler put up 28 points on 9-16 shooting while dishing out 11 assists and bringing down 11 boards.
SF – Luka Doncic – Dallas Mavericks
Stat-line – 4 GP, 27.3 PPG, 7.0 APG, 11.3 RPG, 42.9 FG%, 33.3 3PT%
Highlighted game: The Euro sophomore is on a mission this season and he continued that in Dallas’ blowout victory over the lowly Pelicans where all Doncic did was score 33 points and bring down a career-high 18 rebounds. He is pretty good everyone. Just saying.
PF – Giannis Antetokounmpo, Milwaukee Bucks
Stat-line – 3 GP, 30.3 PPG, 2.3 APG, 11.3 RPG, 60 FG%, 50.0 3PT%
Highlighted game – The reigning MVP is going to be a staple on this list I feel. The dude just goes out and leaves his impact on each statistical category. Exhibited in the absolute annihilation of the New York Knicks last week, the Greek Freak scored 29 points on a super efficient shooting night, 10-14 (3-4 from three), and hauled in an easy 15 rebounds.
He did this too.
C – Anthony Davis – Los Angeles Lakers
Stat-line – 4 GP, 29.3 PPG, 1.5 APG, 8.8 RPG, 1.0 SPG, 2.3 BPG, 56.3 FG%, 84.6 FT%
Highlighted game – The Lakers and ‘The Brow’ are playing on a whole different stratosphere right now. The combination with him and LeBron James is proving to be as lethal as we thought. Davis led the way in the Lakers’ 20th victory of the season where he left his big fingerprints everywhere on the stat sheet with 39 points, nine rebounds, two steals, and three blocks.
Combined stats through the first 24 games of their respective seasons:
Shaq/Kobe (1990-2000): 49.3 PPG, 20.4 RPG, 7.1 APG, Lakers 21-3.
LeBron/AD (2019-20): 53.6 PPG, 15.8 RPG, 14.1 APG, Lakers 21-3. pic.twitter.com/ERdiaNYb2P
— Basketball Society (@bbsociety_) December 9, 2019
PF Eric Paschall, Golden State Warriors
When you hear Rookie of the Year candidates, you typically think they are a lottery pick or close to it.
Not this year.
Yes, Memphis guard and number two overall pick Ja Morant is the front-runner right now. However, Eric Paschall has not made it easy for us to close the ballots just yet.
Paschall, last week, continued his stellar rookie campaign, scoring 17.5 PPG in four contests and shooting a reliable 54.2% from the field.
He is only rostered in 44.1% of all ESPN fantasy basketball leagues. How?!
He is by no means a superstar yet, but Paschall was on a fantasy tear in the second half of November and carried it into December. Since November 15th, Paschall has not had a game with under thirty fantasy points.
Paschall should look to keep his high motor and level of production up as he looks to attack two poor defenses with the Grizzles on Monday night and then the New York Knicks on Tuesday. In terms of defensive rating, The Grizzlies rank 22nd and the Knicks sit a few spots worse, ranked at 24th.
SG, Tyer Herro Miami Heat
Remember that freshman that was making clutch shot after clutch shot for the Kentucky Wildcats last season? Yeah, Herro hasn’t skipped a beat and is showcasing his offensive ability.
I liken him to last year’s Kevin Huerter, the sharpshooter who came in as a rookie last season and shot an impressive 38.5% from three.
Comparing the first 22 games of their rookie years, Huerter shot 40.0% from the perimeter last year, Herro is shooting 39.2%. The only difference: Herro is averaging 14.5 PPG thus far compared to Huerter’s 5.8 PPG average through 22 games.
I like Herro this week in fantasy basketball, he is coming off of back to back 20 point games and is playing the Atlanta Hawks Monday night who are allowing the second most points to opposing shooting guards.
The competition gets a little bit stiffer for Herro and the Heat when they take on the Lakers and the Mavericks later in the week. That being stated, Herro will be the hot hand that Miami will want to keep getting the ball to in order to keep pace in those games.
Start ’em / Sit ’em
Start ’em – Davis Bertans – Washington Wizards
Talk about making the most of the opportunity given. Bertans had a dominate week in fantasy last week and made 22 three pointers in four games at a 46.8% rate. The wins might not be coming, but the 14.9 PPG emergence of the fourth year Latvian big man is something Wizards fans must be proud of.
Earning over 55 points in his last five games and owned in only 27.7% of ESPN fantasy basketball leagues, Bertans is a sneaky waiver wire pick-up and can be the player that puts you over the top and makes you seem like the fantasy guru in your league.
Sit ’em – Lou Williams – Los Angeles Clippers
The defending sixth man of the year has had a rough go at it lately and it is time for him to ride the fantasy pine. While he did have a decent 39 fantasy point outing at Washington, the other performances from ‘Sweet Lou’ are ones to look at more closely.
In three of his last four games, Williams has failed to get over 25 fantasy points. Knowing what Williams is capable of, it makes you wonder what kind of slump he is going through in terms of his scoring output and how long it might last.
I believe it continues and I don’t like his match-ups against the Raptors and the Bulls this week due to each being in the top 10 of fewest points allowed by the opponents’ point guards in fantasy basketball.