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Fantasy Basketball: First impressions & Week 2 forecaster

Lonzo, time to get outta daddy’s shadow.

Awww! Sad face! Don’t worry, Daddy will kiss it better!

Here’s the top 20 player ranking in my dynasty league (after 3 days of games):

  1. Russ Westbrook
  2. James Harden
  3. Kyrie Irving
  4. Clint Capela
  5. Boogie Cousins
  6. Terry Rozier
  7. LeBron
  8. Al Horford
  9. Giannis
  10. Myles Turner
  11. Eric Gordon
  12. Hassan Whiteside
  13. Jaylen Brown
  14. Nikola Vucevic
  15. Nerlens Noel
  16. Anthony Davis
  17. Damian Lillard
  18. Jayson Tatum
  19. Ryan Anderson
  20. Tobias Harris

ALL of these players should be owned, even Terry Rozier. We have no idea how Brad Stevens, the Celtics coach, is going to manage the loss of Gordon Hayward, and so you should try to hold onto any apparent heirs, which of course includes Jaylen Brown and Jayson Tatum, also. (Don’t hold on to them for someone who is clearly better, like if you can get Boogie Cousins, but if you’re streaming, then it’s worth keeping them at least through the weekend or middle of next week to see if there are any patterns in their usage.)

The only player on this list that is on my team is Boogie. BIG, BIG SIGH. Did you know who my point guard was last night? Ramon Sessions. My God. Yea, though I walk through the shadow of the valley of death (I assume within the valley, since, y’know, valleys don’t cast shadows outside the confines of themselves since they are, y’know, depressions in the ground), I shall fear no evil. I have this sweetass rod and this wicked-kewl staff and I was Born Ready. I wasn’t born point guard ready, though. We already mentioned Ramon (OHMYGODHE’SMYSTARTINGPOINTGUARD), who scored a big 3 points last night (...yay?), and then I have Jerryd Bayless (on the list of Jerryd Bayless Pros/Cons, first item in the Pro column is: Jerryd Bayless is not Ramon Sessions), and then I have Austin Rivers.

Now, I know what you’re thinking: I’m going to stop reading, this nitwit Natty has NO IDEA what he’s doing. Fantasy basketball is about buckets, 3s and assists, and the NBA is positively FILLED with serviceable point guards. How could he have none?!? He must be the stupidest.

I know you’re thinking that BECAUSE I’M A TELEPATH AND CAN READ YOUR THOUGHTS RIGHT NOW GUESS WHAT YOU WILL KEEP READING YOU WILL FINISH THIS POST YOU WILL FEEL SORRY FOR ME THAT MY PUNTING OF POINT GUARDS, ugh!, “PHILOSOPHY” MAYBE SORTA KINDA POSSIBLY BACKFIRED. PITY ME, MORTAL!

Siiiiiigh. I mean, I’m not a full on dumb person, I do have elite players who generally get a bunch of assists even if they’re not PGs (Durant, Giannis, Boogie, DeChozan, Kawhi).

Here’s a few impressions from the young season, and then a quick forecast for next week’s games:

  • Clint Capela is only 23 years old. He can, and he will, improve. He had an average game and a really good game. I like him a lot this year, especially because he somehow has two point guards who can lob him the ball. The flip side of Houston being so perimeter-focused and shooting so many threes is that the interior is now, perhaps, of increased value (due to the space, AKA lack of defenders in the paint). Harden and Capela may be the only two Rockets who score in the paint on a consistent basis. This is going to be interesting to watch. I’m a lil bit worried that Capela might get beat up, but again, he’s only 23.
  • Both Kristaps and Blake looked good last night. It’s still weird to watch them play, as if their bodies don’t exactly move the way you’d expect them to, but that’s just a testament to them, rather than a detraction.
  • The Thunder looked good. I know, I know, they played the Knicks, but still, it was nice to see them play well together. My God, do I have to credit this to Billy Donovan’s coaching?!?! No! I won’t do it! His hair’s stupid and his watch is too big! I WON’T COMPLIMENT HIM!
  • Brooklyn looked whatever. Dear sweet Jesus, this is going to be a long season. Did you see Lin go down? His brain literally didn’t accept the pain signals from his leg for a few moments after he was on the floor. When those signals finally broke through, Lin’s entire face changed, it crumpled up in agony and disappointment. Another year gone. Sucks for him and Hayward. Thank God the country’s doing so well, otherwise I’d get depressed.
  • Devin Booker disappointed. The Young Guns are one of my teams, I think they’re gonna be fun as hell this year. But, not yet.
  • I always like to see which player(s) are closest to 0.00 on the player rater. This doesn’t mean they’re average, it means they suck (at least, recently). If you’re providing negative value to your team, then you better make up for it by excelling in AT LEAST one statistical category. So, who’s closest right now? Yogi Ferrell (0.02) and Joe Johnson (-0.11). Both of those guys are better than that, and we’re only 3 days into the season, so chill. But, you should always keep your eye on guys that are performing under expectations. If you’re sure that they’re better than that, then pick those sumbitches up right quick before someone else does. Fantasy sports feel better when you’re correct about something before any of your league mates are.

Here are some notes for Week 2:

  • 12 teams play 4 games in Week 2. If you’re streaming, you should be aware of these teams and try to use them: Atlanta, Brooklyn, Charlotte, Cleveland, Dallas, Denver, Detroit, Golden State, Houston, Memphis, San Antonio, and Washington.
  • The Nets (and, the Pacers) have the highest pace (116) in the league right now (the Nets were high in pace last season, too), so you may want to target Brooklyn players for volume plays.
  • The Spurs and the Timberwolves have the lowest pace thus far (97).
  • All the other teams have 3 games each, but that’s because of the early season schedule. Starting next week there will be teams who only play 2 games, and we’ll highlight those, too.
  • The five WORST defenses so far are Brooklyn, Chicago, Phoenix, Dallas, and Golden State (this will change...I think…).
  • The five BEST are Portland, Oklahoma City, the Clippers, Detroit, and Toronto (this, too, will change...I think…).
  • This is totally subjective, but I’ve always believed that visiting teams don’t enjoy playing in Salt Lake City. There’s just something about the crowd and the town (it’s not exactly Sin City, yknow?) that gives the Jazz a home court advantage. Add to that the Stifle Tower, and that equals me picking on clubs that travel to Utah. Utah only has one home game next week, but they visit Phoenix, and the Young Suns did not look good in their first game. The Jazz might be able to stifle them on the road, since younger teams are generally worse at defense. You know who travels to Salt Lake on Saturday of next week, though? The young, baby Lakers. I’d bet against them doing well in Utah. That’s just, like, my opinion, man. But, it sure didn’t seem like LA fared well against a team with some nasty, Grown Man defenders.
  • Personal question: does Lonzo feel embarrassed that his Daddy is his bodyguard and speaks for him after games? Because that is not macho. I mean, first of all, Patrick Beverley is a man, and I bet you he takes it to Lonzo all year now. Second, why does Lonzo need someone else to speak for him? Is he not ready for the NBA? Third, if I were on the Lakers, I’d be killing Lonzo, just straight up teasing him alla time. Remember when Blake teased on Austin Rivers? And, how no one, NO ONE, respects Austin Rivers cuz his daddy, the coach, makes it all better? I think Rivers and Ball could actually be pretty good players, but I would NOT want my dad looking over my shoulder like that. Gotta walk your own path in this world. Otherwise, you’ll always be just a son, and never The Man. You tell ‘em, Pat Beverley.