RDT NBA Schedule Analysis – Week 9

Updated: December 9, 2017

We are now 1/4 of the way through the NBA season – wow, time flies!! It is getting the point of the season that we are looking to trade out rookies who have topped out in price, and find some value players to bring in. This week, we are going to look at part 1 of that equation – Rookie Pricing. Please note that due to having another busy weekend, this article was written on Thursday night. All stats are correct to that time – hopefully no-one gets injured between now and lockout lifting.

Ben Simmons

Starting Price – $2.7 million

Current Price – $8.36 million

The Australian sensation will (barring injury) win the Rookie of the Year award this year. He has been integral to the 76ers rise up the ladder. He is leading all rookies in Points (18), Rebounds (9.3), Assists (7.1), Steals (2.32) and Minutes (35.8) per game. If that wasn’t enough, he also has the most Double Doubles (12) and equal most Triple Doubles (2 – tied with Lonzo Ball). All this has resulted in him averaging 26.8 Fantasy Points Per Game so far this season. He has also easily had the highest price rise of all the rookies.

That’s the good news. Now for the bad news. He has a two game week in Week 9, so the dilemma for coaches is hold, bench, or trade. I don’t think it is feasible to bench him, as most players who are currently on your bench will not score the 50 points from 3 or 4 games that Simmons will score in two. If you trade him, can you bring him back in? There isn’t a simple answer. At this stage, I am looking to hold, but as always, that could change. If you hold him this week, it’s actually feasible that you could hold him for the entire season as he is the 12th ranked Fantasy player in the entire competition.

Donovan Mitchell

Starting Price – $2.54 million

Current Price – $5.39 million

After a slow start to the season, Donovan Mitchell has taken off for the Utah Jazz. Injuries to key players Dante Exum, Rudy Gobert and Rodney Hood have meant that Quin Snyder has been forced to give his young guard consistent game time. He is averaging 29 minutes per game and 14.7 Fppg. Hold for now, his price is still pointing skyward.

Kyle Kuzma

Starting Price – $2.57 million

Current Price – $5.73 million

The LA Lakers fan base has become enamored with ‘Kuzmania’. After being dwarfed by the spectacle that is the Ball family during the draft, it quickly became apparent that it may in fact be Kuzma, rather than that number 2 selection Lonzo Ball that would be the Lakers best rookie. The Lakers are in the midst of a tough run for Fantasy coaches – 3 x 2 Game weeks in 4 weeks. There is one more to go in Week 9. You can’t play him on the court during these weeks, but don’t be trading him just yet, there is a bit more money to make out of him.

Dennis Smith Jr.

Starting Price – $2.8 million

Current Price – $4.27 million

The 9th overall pick has proven to be great value for the Dallas Mavericks. He made his money early in the season, but as you can see from the graph, has now plateaued. He also has a rough game this week with 2 games against the Spurs, and one game against the Warriors. Move him to the bench if he is still on court, or better yet, trade him out.

Lauri Markannen

Starting Price – $2.9 million

Current Price – $5.51 million

Markannen was a shock selection by the Bulls after they traded fan favourite Jimmy Butler to the T-Wolves for pick 7. Markannen has proven that he is not the bust that some predicted by putting together a solid statistical season. Now, not all of this is his own doing. He is playing on shocking team, so he was always going to get reasonable playing time. Then, in the preseason Bobby Portis clocked Nikola Mirotic in training, causing significant damage. Mirotic was out injured, and Portis was suspended by the team. This propelled Markannen into the starting lineup and to his credit, he has held down his starting position even when Portis returned to action. Reports indicate Mirotic will return imminently, so expect this to impact Markannens minutes, and consequently his Fantasy output. His price actually dropped this week, so it is time to trade him out.

Jason Tatum

Starting Price – $3.42 million

Current Price – $6.28 million

The Celtics are in the middle of an epic season. With star recruit Gordon Hayward cruelly struck down in the first few minutes of their season opener, Brad Stevens has rallied his team behind his other superstars Al Horford and Kyrie Irving. Another factor that can’t be underestimated is the contribution of young stars Jason Tatum and Jaylen Brown. Second year player Brown has understandably been off his game lately after the death of his best friend. This has allowed Tatum to really show off his game, and he doesn’t look like slowing down. He is still on the up, so hold him for now.

Lonzo Ball

Starting Price – $3.53 million

Current Price – $5.79 million

Not too many coaches still have Lonzo in their team given the Lakers have had a few 2 game weeks recently. He is the epitome of a rookie NBA player – good one night, great the next, then extremely poor. He has had a bad couple of weeks, but can still fill out the box score on occasion. If you still have him, it should be for bench cover only. Hopefully you have the cash available to upgrade him to a player who has perhaps bottomed out in price.

Schedule Breakdown

Trade Targets – 8 Game Teams

I have added a little bit more info to the trade targets this week. You can now see the opponents for the week, as well as back to back games highlighted in red.

Boston (@Chi, Den, Uta, @Mem) – Boston is in the middle of a 4 consecutive 4 game weeks. This is a double edged sword for fantasy coaches. On one hand, 4 game weeks are gold, as your players have maximum scoring opportunity. The flip side is that this is a tough schedule. There will be player fatigue, resting’s and probably a couple of blow outs where star players sit the entire 4th quarter. Look at Kyrie Irving and Al Horford, and hold Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown (unless you can upgrade them to a premium).

Charlotte (@OKC, @Hou, Mia, Por) – Charlotte is a team that hasn’t been written about too much when it comes to Real Dream Team NBA. And for good reason. Their highest scoring player for the season so far is the inconsistent Dwight Howard. Both Howard and Kemba Walker are currently priced at under $10 million, so if you need value, and want a point of difference, they are your two options.

LA Clippers (Tor, @Orl, @Was, @Mia) – A team decimated by injury, the LA Clippers are a long way from the team we know from the last 5 years. With Chris Paul leaving for the Rockets, Blake Griffin doing what Blake Griffin does (getting injured) and the resulting pressure on coach Doc Rivers, the Clippers have reverted to pre 2014 train wreck levels. Process of elimination has left DeAndre Jordan as the leading Fantasy scorer, but I wouldn’t go there. You could look for some value in Lou Williams, but be aware Danillo Gallinari is on the comeback trail, and will likely affect Williams’ scoring ability.

Miami (@Mem, Por, @Cha, LAC) – After Dos gave him the kiss of death by making him his #1 captain option, Hassan Whiteside has turned his season around averaging 26.1 Fppg. He is the only relevant player for the Heat.

Oklahoma City (Cha, @Ind, @Phi, @NYK) – It’s hard to know whether Russell Westbrook is enjoying having two other All-stars on the same team, or hates it with a passion. The 2016/17 league MVP put the team on his shoulders last year, averaging a triple double for the season. Westbrook, Paul George, Carmello Anthony and break out player Steve Adams are still figuring out how to work as a cohesive team. Consequently, the Fantasy performances have been inconsistent also. Anthony is the player who is struggling the most, averaging less than 18Fppg. Russ is still the 9th ranked Fantasy player for the year, so will still give you some good scores, and with less than 4% ownership would actually be a unique selection.

Portland (@GSW, @Mia, @Orl, @Cha) – The last 8 game team to look at this week is the under-the-radar Trailblazers. They have 4 away games this week, so be cautious if you pick up Damian Lillard who is the only Fantasy relevant player for the Blazers. They come up against a Warriors team sans Steph, then swing east for games against Miami, Orlando and Charlotte. It’s not the hardest schedule, so it’s worth having a look.

Cut them to the G-League – 2 Game Teams

Golden State – You should have no Golden State players this week. Not only do they seem to be getting rested/injured a lot lately, a 2 game week is a killer.

LA Lakers – Realistically, the only Lakers you will have are the two rookies – Ball and Kuzma. It would be reasonable to bench them this week, as they have 4 games in week 10, but make sure you have a reasonable player to come on to replace them.

Philadelphia – See notes on Ben Simmons above. As the Break Even is based on Fantasy Points per game, not Fantasy Points per week, Ben should still increase in price after Week 9. He will still outscore 95% of players that you currently have on the bench, so putting him on the pine is not an option. Looking further into the future, after this week, he has two 4 game weeks, then another 2 game week, followed by a 1 game week. If you suck it up and hold him this week, you definitely need to trade him before his 3 games in 2 weeks!

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Written by Archie Keeler (@OTLSArchie)

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