The NBA season starts this week! Here are 10 widely available players for you to stream for the first week or even pick up for the entire season.
Isaac Okoro, SF, CLE, 9.5% rostered (ESPN)
Okoro is the starting small forward for the Cavs. Now, they have two scoring guards in Darius Garland and Collin Sexton, and two front court players who just got paid, Jarrett Allen and Lauri Markkanen, so the shots may be scarce for Okoro. He’s meant to be the defensive stopper on the wing for the Cavs, but he’s also a sophomore who should get more leeway to shoot, also he shot so poorly last year that his numbers are almost sure to improve. This is NOT a scoring pick, but a VOLUME pick. He’s a starter who gets to play Memphis, Charlotte, and Atlanta in the first week. If his counting stats follow his presumed minutes per game, you might get some solid defensive stats with any points being gravy.
Doug McDermott, SF/PF, SAS, 8.7% rostered
McDermott is on the San Antonio Spurs to score. That is his only purpose. He’s there to space the floor for the rest of the incredibly young roster and provide points. He’s probably going to average more than the 24 MPG from last season, so his 3-pointers-made and his points per game should go up. If you’re looking for 15+ PPG and 2+ 3PM in the bargain bin, then DMcD is your man, especially since the Spurs play the Magic, Nuggets, and the Bucks—two of three of whom aren’t known for their defense this year.
Aleksej Pokusevski, PF, OKC, 7.4% rostered
POKU! is the seven-footer shooting unicorn-hopefully-in-waiting on the Oklahoma City Thunder. He has some playmaking and he has some outside shooting. He’s not listed as a starter, but the Thunder need to give all their young players ample minutes in order to see who’s worth keeping around. POKU! will get the minutes, either off the bench or as a starter. He’s a risk worth taking to start the season. The Thunder play strong starting fives this week, but their benches might be suspect. POKU! could get some run, but buyer beware of BAD ratios.
Cam Reddish, SG/SF, ATL, 5.8% rostered
The Hawks only play two games this week, but they’re against (presumed) bad defenses: the Dallas Mavericks and the Cavs. Cam’s a lottery pick who the Hawks would love to see develop, either for trade value or team success. Reddish did see some success in last year’s playoffs, but he seems to be stifled by the depth on this team’s chart. If he can score coming off the bench and provide another weapon for this potent Atlanta attack, then his value could skyrocket.
Patty Mills, PG, BK, 5.3% rostered
Listen, until the Kyrie Irving situation is resolved, Patty Mills should be rostered in WAY more leagues. He’s the presumed backup PG on a team with an offensive juggernaut. He’ll either be playing off James Harden or Kevin Durant, or he’ll be playing with a bench squad for whom he’ll be the main distributor, AND on a team that will need to score points in order to compete. Patty Mills is NOT in Brooklyn to not score. He’ll get solid counting stats, is what I’m saying. The Nets play Milwaukee, Philly, and Charlotte, but those are also three teams with benches weaker than Mills’s talent. He’s not a starting fantasy point guard, obviously, but I expect him to be a solid UTIL player this week.
Tyrese Maxey, SG, PHI, 5.1% rostered
The Sixers play the Pelicans, the Nets, and the Thunder in the first week. Three easy defenses (we think). Plus, Maxey will be the main beneficiary of minutes and shots if Ben Simmons doesn’t play. ALSO, Maxey figures to be a larger part of the Sixers offense with or without Ben Simmons. I kinda can’t believe Maxey doesn’t have a higher roster percentage.
Khem Birch, C, TOR, 4.6% rostered
He’s the starting center on a team without Pascal Siakam until further notice. If he gets 30+ MPG, he’ll give you a double-double. The Raps play Washington, Boston, and Dallas. I don’t really now how those teams’ front courts will look defensively, but Birch could be in line for a lot of minutes. In 23 MPG last season Birch gave you 7+ PPG and 6 RPG. It’s easy to see those climb into 10-10 numbers with more minutes.
Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, SG/SF, WAS, 2.9% rostered
At this point we’re just looking for volume, and the starting SF for a Wizards team that needs perimeter shooting to support Bradley Kind of a Big Beal should get volume. Washington plays Toronto and the Pacers—so two stout defenses—but a starter is a starter. If you’re looking for cheap shooting, look no further. In fact, I think KCP should be rostered in at least 15% of leagues, if not more.
Davis Bertans, PF, WAS, 2.3% rostered
I’m sorry for doing two Wizards in a row but someone who has a big contract and shoots better than 40% on catch-and-shoot threes should get more MPG and FGA than the fantasy community is presuming for the Latvian Laser. He had an underwhelming season last year, but that’s no reason to limit your floor spacing for Beal. Bertans provides a near-elite perimeter threat, and I’m nearly positive that he’ll get more fantasy value than what he’s currently valued at.
Cameron Payne, PG, PHX, 1% rostered
Listen, CamPayne is the handcuff to Chris Paul. Phoenix plays the Nuggets, the Lakers, and the Trail Blazers this week. Their guards are going to NEED to score to win those games. CP3 can’t play every minute. Payne averaged 8+ PPG, 3+ assists per game, and 2+ rebounds per game in 18 MPG last season. Those per-36 MPG numbers are 16-6-4. In case Chris Paul misses games, or even if Phoenix limits his minutes, CamPayne’s counting stats and his volume should improve this season.