NBA fantasy column


Spencer Jones, Sports Editor

The 2016-2017 NBA season is just over two weeks in and we’re already starting to see some great fantasy pickups. If you had one of the top three picks in your fantasy draft and didn’t pick Russell Westbrook, James Harden, Anthony Davis or LeBron James, you might need to reevaluate your future fantasy choices. Though these four players will be off the market for the rest of the season, there’s a few reserves that could add a boost to your roster.

Possible Additions:

Doug McDermott – Though McDermott has been out with a concussion, if you have the chance to pick him up in your league, do it. If no one else has benefitted from the arrivals of Rajon Rondo and hometown hero Dwayne Wade, McDermott has. The Bulls cleared up some of their log jam at the wing by trading away Tony Snell at the start of the season, so there’s a few extra minutes to pass around. McDermott scored in double figures in two out of the three regular season game he’s played this far, and continues to put up solid numbers in rebounds and assists as well.

Joel Embiid – Surprisingly, Embiid is available in leagues via ESPN, CBS Sports and Yahoo. The Philadelphia 76ers starting center has had a steady pace to his game, and shows no signs of previous season ending injuries. With Nerlens Noel out with a knee injury, Embiid and Jahlil Okafor are ready to control the paint for the next few months.

Tim Frazier – The unsung hero for the New Orleans Pelicans so far has been Frazier. Everyone knows what Chicago native Anthony Davis can do when healthy, but Frazier has been the only player consistently battling with Davis on the team. If you’re playing in a category league, he’s going to help your team with assists, points and steals.  

Drop em’

Derrick Rose – This might be a head scratcher for some, or a high risk/high reward for others. Rose has been playing well, but the New York Knicks haven’t. At this moment head coach Jeff Hornacek isn’t running the ball through Rose, which is affecting his assist totals. It’s obvious the triangle isn’t working, and when your starting center is averaging more assists per game than your starting point guard, that’s an issue. Rose did have a great outing against his former team the Chicago Bulls, scoring 15 points while dishing out 11 assist and collecting seven rebounds.  If you could bench Rose and still find a way to win your matchup then try that, but if there’s free agent guards in your league averaging more than five assists, pull the trigger.

Otto Porter Jr. – Though he had a good outing last week against the Toronto Raptors with 23 points and 13 rebounds, Porter Jr. has been inconsistent thus far. The Wizards are struggling early and team chemistry still seems to be a key issue. He’s a player you should keep an eye on, but he’s not worth a fantasy roster spot right now. If you’re looking for a wing player to take Porter’s spot take a look at Terrence Ross or Tony Snell who are widely available.

Keep an eye on them

Clint Capela – Dwight Howard is back home in Atlanta and Capela has looked solid thus far. He’s one of the main beneficiaries of James Harden moving down to the starting point guard position. Capela is a work in progress offensively, but his rebounding and shot blocking abilities should help your team. If you’re lacking a big man pick him up, but be aware he’s a raw talent at this moment.

Tony Snell – Bucks head coach Jason Kidd told C.F. Gardner of the Milwaukee Journal that he’s expecting to increase the minutes of former Chicago Bull, Tony Snell. After being traded to the Bucks in the last week of the preseason for combo guard Michael Carter-Williams, Snell was competing for the starting small forward spot with Michael Beasley. The role usually goes to Khris Middleton, but since he’s recovering from a ruptured hamstring, Snell looks to have solidified the spot for now. If you’re looking for a rental player he’s the perfect pick.