The Philadelphia 76ers are 0-8 on the season, and coming off what was arguably the most unwatchable NBA game in this short season. There's this fantasy basketball statistical theory, however, that even with bad teams "someone has to score." Well, from what we saw on Thursday night, that's not necessarily true. And especially so when you have a very young team struggling with inconsistency and the fact that they're aiming to lose all 82 games this season.
Michael Carter-Williams (shoulder), who is without a doubt the best fantasy basketball-er on the team, returned to action playing in his first game of the season against the Mavericks. He actually played well, scoring 19 points with eight rebounds and five assists in 30 minutes. He also turned the ball over six times. For the price of $8,700, Carter-Williams gave you 30.1 FanDuel points. Not bad, I suppose. The question is, now, with the 76ers trying to lose, and Carter-Williams likely to lead the league in turnovers per game, is he worth owning in this format? I argue that no, he is not.
From one night to the next, will the 76ers opt to set him free or will they fall back on limiting him and giving him rest when they can. Remember, this isn't about this year with the 76ers. To me, the not knowing whether or not Carter-Williams is going to play 30-plus minutes, or whether he's going to negate a solid night with six turnovers, coupled with the fact that Philadelphia played 11 guys against the Mavericks, and it's not all that appealing to pick MCW or any of the 76ers.
Tony Wroten, who was fantastic early, played just 25 minutes and score 13.8 FanDuel points against the Mavericks. He is no longer worth $7,600, when Carter-Williams plays. Nerlens Noel I like in theory, but in reality he's given you one good game this season. He's also not worth his $6,000 price tag. Henry Sims had a nice little run, but Noel's return hurts him. K.J. McDaniels is an exciting player but not worth the money in daily leagues. Luc Richard Mbah a Moute? Yikes.
Yes, while there is a "someone needs to score" strategy in play here, when you have 11 guys sharing minutes and shooting at a 40-percent clip and losing to the Mavericks before halftime, it really doesn't apply in this case. Someone does need to score...in order for a team to win, but when a team is content with losing...man, this 76ers team is so bad.
Evan Fournier, SG, $5,600 -- He's been the hot play of late, with scoring games of 39.4, 34.4, 24.7 and 27.3 over his last four. He's averaging 36 minutes per game for the Magic and leading the team in scoring. At this price, he's a fantastic play, especially with Victor Oladipo hurt.
Solomon Hill, SF, $5,100 -- Hill scored a career-high 28 points against Wizards this past week, and while he didn't necessarily follow up that performance with two big-time games, he has scored over 20 FD points per game over his last two and is averaging over 40 minutes per game in his last three. He has some nice upside here given the number of injuries the Pacers are dealing with.
Kyle Korver, SG, $5,800 -- Korver has had games of 36, 29.6 and 40 FD points over his last three. With DeMarre Carroll injured the Hawks are looking to Korver to be more active offensively and off the glass. Carroll will miss at least one more game (Friday), so Korver should make for a nice play.
Enes Kanter, C, $5,200 -- He hasn't had an explosive game yet this season, but he's getting close. He's averaging 16 points, 6.5 rebounds and a block per game over his last three. This is the kind of play where you look to him if you're trying to fit in Anthony Davis into your lineup.
Zach LaVine, SG, $4,900 -- With Ricky Rubio out for several weeks, LaVine is slotting into the starting lineup for the Timberwolves and actually making the most of his time there, so far. He scored 22.1 FD points against the Rockets this week, mostly thanks to his nine assists. If he can improve his FG%, which will come over time, he'll make for a nice bargain pick given the opportunity he has. Beware, of course, of the rookie struggles, which are inevitable.
Al Jefferson, C, $9,000 -- It's not that I don't love Jefferson as a fantasy player and I certainly think he brings a ton of value, but he's averaging just 6.8 rebounds per game on the season, which is not helpful in this format. Lance Stephenson is actually averaging more boards than he is. Right now, unless I'm getting closer to 10 boards per game, I just don't see him being a value at that price.
Paul Millsap, PF, $8,400 -- Yes, Millsap is coming off a game in which he scored 60.5 FD points, but he hasn't been all that great this season. Only twice has he scored more than 30.5 FD points in a game this year. Be careful with that 60-point game.