RDT NBA Schedule Analysis – Week 8

Updated: December 2, 2018

Now that we are into December, we are starting to see who the big dogs are when it comes to NBA Fantasy. It is no surprise that the names at the top of the scoring lists are the usual suspects – Joel Embiid, Anthony Davis, Giannis Antetokounmpo, Kevin Durant and LeBron James make up the top 5 RDT NBA scoring averages.

These guys are fantastic, don’t get me wrong, but do we get sucked in by the name? We are starting to see less and less unique players in matchups as the season progresses and your bank balance allows you to bring in more premium players.

If you are in the bottom part of your league, it may be time to stop being ‘vanilla’ with your selections and look outside the square a bit. So let’s look at some players that are options for you to select instead of the usual suspects.

Instead of Joel Embiid, why not…..

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Andre Drummond (Det – $14.7 Million)

Drummond is quietly putting together a very nice Fantasy season. He is actually the 6th highest averaging player through the first 6 weeks of the season. Whilst he is still scoring at a very nice 18.7ppg (up 5ppg on his career), it is his defensive game that differentiates Drummond from other players. He is averaging 16rpg, 1.7bpg, and 1.3spg. He is also owned by just 0.7% of coaches, so is definitely a unique option.

Instead of Anthony Davis, why not…..

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Nikola Vucevic (Orl – $12.9 Million)

Vucevic is nearly $5 Million cheaper than AD, and is averaging just 8fppg less (30fpgg through week 6). If you do the math, AD is costing you $458,100 per fantasy point, whereas Vucevic cost you $430,000 per fantasy point. He is also owned by just 6.3% of coaches, compared to Davis’ 30.8%. Now, the ownership percentage is partly due to the schedule (Orlando have a run of 3 game weeks coming up), however if you are looking for some value in the future, ‘Vuc’ is well worth considering.

Instead of Giannis Antetokounmpo, why not…..

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Russell Westbrook (OKC – $14.4 Million)

Russ has had his injury concerns this season, but has come back from a couple of weeks off with some strong performances in the last fortnight. He is averaging 29.3fppg through Week 7, and dropped 50 and 31 in his games in Week 7. OKC have only 2 games in Week 7, which will contribute to his low ownership percentage and he has 3 games in Week 8. Following that however he has an 8 game fortnight, so jumping on him a week early is not a silly move, especially as his price will likely rise as his score of 50 moves through the 6 game price change formula.

Instead of Kevin Durant/LeBron James, why not…..

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Kawhi Leonard (Tor – $11.1 Million)

The biggest issue for Kawhi this season has been the cautious approach the Raptors have taken in his return from injury. He hasn’t been playing back to back games, which effectively turns 4 game weeks into a 3 game week. Not this week however. Toronto have 4 games, but do not have a back to back. There has also been chatter that the ‘no back to back’ rule for Leonard is close to coming to an end. He should definitely be in your calculations to bring in this week.

Schedule Breakdown

Trade Targets (8 Game Teams)

Cleveland (@Bkn, GSW, Sac, Was) – WOD 561

It is difficult to find any Fantasy relevance for the Cavs. There are no premium options (Kevin Love would be arguably a premium if he was health) so the only players worth looking at are the value for money players. Tristan Thompson has had some good games recently, but is the definition of a mid-price option. Averaging 22.5Fppg, and priced at $7.78m, he could be an option if you are looking to free up some cash to use another trade.

Cedi Osman and Colin Sexton are still both priced under $5million, and have been contributing reasonable numbers, albeit inconsistantly. You could look at these guys as part of a downgrade on your bench, as they will still get good minutes and should have at least a $2M price rise over the next few weeks.

Toronto (Den, Phi, @Bkn, Mil) – WOD 533

The Raptors sit atop the Eastern Conference (and the whole NBA for that matter) with a 19-4 record. As mentioned above, the off-season trade to acquire Kawhi Leonard has proved to be a positive one for the franchise. Now they just need to re-sign him in the off-season!

Leonard is not carrying the team by himself however. He has had great contributions from team mates such as Kyle Lowry, Pascal Siakam and a resurgent Serge Ibaka. Each of these players can offer something for your roster, and with a lack of 8 game teams this week, must be heavily considered.

Oh Captain, My Captain!

Nikola Jokic (WOD 574) – Jokic has been in a bit of a slump recently, but he does have the best run of all the captain options according to the WOD. One thing to keep in mind however, is that all 4 games this week are on the road. They finish on a back to back against the Hawks, who are easily giving up the most Fantasy points for the season.

Andre Drummond (WOD 534) – Detroit have games against OKC, Milwaukee, Philly and New Orleans. This means a tough end to the week for Drummond, with match ups against MVP candidates Joel Embiid and Anthony Davis. Regardless of this, he should still put up some nice Fantasy numbers.

Anthony Davis (WOD 523) – Davis is once again the safe option for your Captain choice. He plays the Clippers, Dallas, Memphis and Detroit, with no back to back games. I would expect him to go 140+ easily, with the possibility of 170.

DeMar DeRozan (WOD 533) – Whilst the Spurs are struggling this season, DeRozan has been a bright spot for their team. He has been Mr. Reliable and there is no sign that it will change. The Spurs play 2 games each against Utah and the Lakers.

Kawhi Leonard (WOD 532) – Leonard is relishing his time in the great white north. He has been a model of consistency this year, and the results are showing for the team. If there is ever a week to Captain Kawhi, this is it. Toronto don’t have a back to back game, so the likelihood of him being rested is minimal. They play Denver, Philadelphia, Brooklyn and Milwaukee. The game against Milwaukee should be especially fascinating to watch, with Leonard taking on MVP favourite Giannis Antetokounmpo.

Keeler’s Captain – Anthony Davis

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Written by Archie Keeler (@OTLSArchie)

Header graphic by Corey Wade Media (@CoreySWade)

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