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Fantasy Basketball Forecaster: January 27th - February 2nd

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RIP Kobe & Gigi

Getty Images/Pete Rogers Illustrations

Normally in these posts I just list what you can expect here and jump right into the action, but I wanted to open this saying goodbye to Kobe Bryant and his daughter Gianna.

It should surprise no one who follows me on twitter or listens to The Long 2 podcast or really interacts with me at any level to hear I am a Celtics fan and as such have hated Kobe Bryant throughout his entire career. That goddamn turnaround jumper of his still haunts my nightmares and I will never forget the image of him and Pau Gasol celebrating their 2010 championship against us. He is the “LA” I wanted to beat. Not the Lakers, just Kobe. Beat Kobe.

I hated how good he was; That every time he drove to the basket, somehow that ball found its way magically into the hoop. And I’d hate the smug look on his face afterwards. “I dunno how that happened, maybe I’m just that good.”

But recently, I’ve found that that hate has subsided and in its place is respect. Respect for working harder than anyone else in the sport he loved. Respect for taking a vested interest and advocating for the WNBA and women’s sports. Respect for him as a father who gushed over his daughters whenever they were the topic of conversation.

I still don’t know what to do with the shock of his sudden death and I probably never will. But that’s not what’s important right now. Love to the Bryant family, to the families of those who were also in the accident and to everyone else affected by this terrible tragedy is what’s important.

It’s now only Love.

Welcome to this week’s Fantasy Basketball Forecaster! In here you’ll find:

  • Top 3 waiver wire adds (among all players under 50% owned ESPN)
  • Leaders in each stat category over the last week
  • Each team’s schedule ranking, based on opponent’s stats allowed, where the #1 ranked team faces the easiest fantasy schedule this week

3 players to add off waivers

  1. Jerami Grant (46% rostered) — Grant is a Natty fan favorite and has taken a big step forward since joining the Nuggets’ starting lineup. In those 10 games, Grant is averaging 15 PPG/5.1 RPG/1.9 APG/2.2 StPG. I just added him so you should too.
  2. Larry Nance Jr (60% rostered) — I’ve dropped and picked up Larry Nance Jr more times than Snoop Dogg has dropped and picked up “hot”. Since returning from injury, Nance has averaged 11.5 PPG/7.8 RPG/2.7 APG across six games. He’s averaging a double-double in his last three (16.3 PPG/11 RPG)
  3. Shabazz Napier (20% rostered) — Don’t sleep on Shabazz who’s been killing it recently for the Timberwolves. Last week he averaged 10.3 PPG/6.3 RPG/7.8 APG/1.5 SPG. That’s what I call flirting with a triple-double.

Stat leaders (last 7 days)

Player % Rostered PPG RPG APG SPG BPG
Player % Rostered PPG RPG APG SPG BPG
Anthony Davis 100% 32.3 - - - -
Norman Powell 82% 31.3 - - - -
Collin Sexton 92% 31 - - - -
Bradley Beal 100% 30.5 - - - -
Aron Baynes 25% 30.5 - - - -
Andre Drummond 99% - 17 - - 3
Hassan Whiteside 99% - 15 - - 3.3
Jonas Valanciunas 98% - 14.8 - - -
Deandre Ayton 98% - 14 - - 3
Nikola Vucevic 99% - 12.7 - - -
Ricky Rubio 95% - - 11 - -
LeBron James 100% - - 10.3 - -
Devin Booker 99% - - 10 - -
Matthew Dellavedova 0% - - 9.5 - -
Luka Doncic 100% - - 8.3 - -
Garrison Mathews 0% - - - 5 -
Gary Harris 22% - - - 3.3 -
Shaquille Harrison 4% - - - 2.8 -
James Harden 100% - - - 2.5 -
Dewayne Dedmon 28% - - - 2.5 -
Kristaps Porzingis 99% - - - - 3.7
Myles Turner 84% - - - 3.3

Strength of Schedule

This has a chance to be a great week for Kyrie Irving and the Nets given the ease of their schedule this week. Meanwhile, tough sledding for the Pistons who have to face the Nets, Raptors and Nuggets to wrap the week up.