With the first week of the NBA season behind us, it’s time to reflect, react sharply, and appreciate the fantasy basketball landscape. There are a few really successful players in the market, while some other players fall – or simply fail – at the beginning of the year. It’s still very, very early in the season, so the question is: Are these first couple of weeks steady or just a flare?
It’s best to keep an eye on the game, though, so let’s dive into some of the Sportzshala rankings that have risen and fallen one full week before the season kicks off.
Andrew Wiggins – SG/SF, Golden State Warriors – current game rating: 5th
I can’t make a list of risers that doesn’t include Andrew Wiggins. I had to think when I saw that he is currently fifth overall in first-week games in the NBA season 22-23. Talk about strength in numbers. The current NBA champion does just that: numbers.
How about 22.3 points, 6.3 rebounds, 2.7 assists, 2.7 triples, 2.3 steals, 1.3 blocks and 0.3 assists?
He also shoots 52% from the field and 38% from threes. His stat line seemed so unique to me that I had to check who else made up such a diverse line. According to Stathead, no NBA player in league history reflects Wiggins’ current performance.! His numbers are likely to drop to average, but he plays the best basketball of his life, and Warriors head coach Steve Kerr agrees.
Past results tell me this is a great high selling opportunity, but it’s also possible that Wiggins is in the perfect position to maximize his skill set. He’s in his prime, signed a lucrative extension to stay on a championship-challenging team, surrounded by the players who helped turn it into a real and potential All-Star Game.
Lauri Markkanen – SF/PF, Utah Jazz – Current ranking per game: 38th.
I don’t think anyone imagined the Utah Jazz would jump to a 3-1 record to start the season. More impressive than their track record is the quality of the teams they’ve beaten along the way—every playoff contender: the Nuggets, the Timberwolves, and the Pelicans.
And in the middle of it all (well, little forward) Lauri Markkanen.
He was one of my sleeper draft picks relative to his mid draft position (ADP) during the mid-90s to early 100s preseason, but he exceeded every expectation I could have imagined. He currently ranks 38th in scoring per game with 21.5 points on 8.8 rebounds, 3.0 assists, 1.8 3s, 1.0 steals, 0.5 blocks and 45/24 /83 splits.
Markkanen leads the Jazz in minutes played, scoring and shots, but only commands third in team use (which helps with its low employee turnover). It’s too early to talk about veterans. Mike Conley, Jordan Clarksonor Kelly Olynyk will be sold, but if or when they do, know that the use of Markkanen will only increase. In the meantime, sit back and enjoy Finnisher’s breakout campaign.
John Collins – PF/C, Atlanta Hawks – Current per game rating: 6th
It is still very early, but the first results Dejont Murray as well as Trae Young the experiment looks promising. They are 2-1 and the dynamic duo seem to have let the dog out at John Collins.
He averages 19.0 points, 10.3 rebounds, 0.7 assists, 1.7 triples, 1.7 steals, 1.7 blocks with 55/39/100 shots in 36.1 minutes per contest. to start the year. He ranks sixth overall in game value and does just about everything for fantasy managers. He leads the Hawks in rebounding and blocks, and is third in scoring and minutes played. He could maintain his top 25 value given the current conditions in Atlanta. Collins is main beneficiary of the Young and Murray transfersso as long as he’s in the game plan, he’ll be a fantastic beast.
Honorable Mentions: Brooke Lopez (20), Dennis Smith Jr. (21), Royce O’Neal (32), Trey Murphy III (49)
Kawhi Leonard – SG/SF, Los Angeles Clippers – current game rating: 125th.
I would like to believe that he is completely healthy, but his “load management” takes on a new definition of this phrase. For the uninitiated: Kawhi Leonard came off the bench in the Clippers’ first two games – Tai Liu didn’t say when he would return to the starting lineup. He has a minute cap and also missed the first match in a row last week, eroding the value of a player who was drafted during the first three rounds of fantasy this season.
Ultimately, fantasy managers knew the risks of drafting Leonard. If they’d known he’d come off the bench and miss games, they might have missed the often-injured superstar in the draft.
Leonard is averaging 12.5 points, 6.5 rebounds, 2.0 assists, 0.5 triples, 1.5 steals and zero blocks in 21 minutes per game in two games this year. Fantasy Managers have no choice but to be patient as he probably doesn’t provide much trading value with so few minutes playing and already missing games. He is currently 125th in value per game.
Miles Turner – PF/C, Indiana Pacers – Current rating per game: 474th
I picked Miles Turner in a very competitive league and left feeling great. I picked up a big man with the potential to lead the league in block shots and also could stretch the floor, bounce and catch an easy dime on the ring off Tyrese Halliburton.
Someone send me the number of those Pacers Ball Boys for causing other fantasy managers and me such mental anguish. Seriously though, spraining your ankle in the warm-up before a game is some kind of bad luck. In any case, he hasn’t played the game yet and there hasn’t been any updates on his return.
So, fantasy managers, I hope you can stash it in the IL location, because it could be a minute before we see Turner on the floor.
Al Horford – PF/C, Boston Celtics – Current rating per game: 171st.
Robert WilliamsA pre-season knee injury has left Al Horford viable in a 10-team league, but he’s steadily edging towards relegation. Last week, he did not play in the front row in a row, and his numbers are rather unflattering. 7.7 points, 5.0 rebounds, 1.3 assists with 0.0 steals and 0.3 blocks in 27.3 minutes per fight. However, he was a reliable source of triples, dropping 2.3 points per game.
During his career, Horford has averaged two shares per game.
The problem I see is that he plays so far from the basket and throws trips (five of his six shot attempts per game are from behind the arc), which reduces the value of his imagination. He is currently ranked 171st in scoring per game, and the Celtics’ smallball lineups could be worrisome about Horford’s future prospects.
Honorable Mentions: Alperen Sengan (138), Jordan Poole (155), Bam Adebayo (163), Tyreese Maxi (175)). However, it is too early to overreact to these names.