Well, ladies and gentlemen, the first full week of basketball is in the books. There have been some pleasant surprises (all aboard the Michael Carter-Williams train!), while there have been some duds already (I’m looking at you Kevin Durant and Larry Sanders). But fear not fantasy fans, there is almost all of the season left to be played. We’re still in the first handful of games and a lot can happen between now and then. So if you are having any doubts, remember: daily play is a grind, not a sprint. Don’t jump ship just yet, have faith and take it one game at a time.
We begin this Tuesday evening with nine games on the schedule. There are plenty of great individual match ups where I see some guys doing some big things, while I think others are due for an off night. Monday only had four games, so tonight has a lot more to offer in our fantasy forecast. I have chosen three players that I love and three players I would pass on for tonight’s festivities. Give me a follow on twitter (@SaidHeHadAStory) for more analysis and coverage throughout the season. Now lets get to the picks:
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Anthony Davis vs Suns – Davis may be the best fantasy big man in the whole league not named Love. The H̶o̶r̶n̶e̶t̶s̶ Pelicans offense runs through Davis and he’s averaging almost fifteen rebounds a game. Not to mention he has had at least three blocks in every game as well so far. Being a former guard in high school, Davis isn’t shy to get his teammates involved either. Phoenix is a fun team to watch, but I don’t see their bigs slowing him down. The sky is the limit for Davis and don’t be surprised if he is a top ten player by the end of the season.
Jeff Teague vs Kings – Teague finally had his chance to shine last year with the departure of Joe Johnson. He had career highs in almost every category, but he was still in a supporting role for the Josh Smith show (more on him later). Now, Teague has elevated his game to another level. He has been on fire to start the season and seems to be driving to the basket a lot more and getting to the charity stripe. Greivis Vasquez hasn’t been the same player as last year, not to mention has never been known for his defending, so expect Teague to continue his hot streak.
Carmelo Anthony vs Bobcats – This just in: the New York Knicks play defense. Holding the Bulls to 82 points is no small feat, even with Derrick Rose still finding his groove. Against the Wolves Sunday night, they played tough ball even with a bad first quarter. Good defense means more offensive opportunities and Melo will surely be the benefactor of more possessions. With that being said, the Knicks are in the bottom of the league in scoring and I can’t imagine that trend to continue at the Garden. He is due for a monster game soon, and the Knicks need him to have one. Oh, and did I mention that this will only be his second game in five days? That kind of rest will only help him find his groove, so expect big numbers from Melo.
Nicolas Batum vs Rockets – This is more of me believing in Aldridge and Lillard than doubting Batum for this game. I know he finished as a top twenty player last year, yet I can’t see him being the x-factor tonight. He had a triple-double against the Spurs this past Saturday and played a great game the night before against the Nuggets, but don’t expect the same output against the Rockets. His career numbers show he rebounds half of what he is putting up this season, so expect those numbers to fall a little against the best rebounding team in the league. The combination of Houston’s defense and too many mouths to feed makes me feel like Batum will cool down against Houston.
Kevin Garnett vs Jazz – Let me state that I am a huge KG fan. I have been following him since his days in Minnesota and love his passion for the game. Unfortunately, passion does not translate to points or rebounds. KG is still physical, but being 37 surely doesn’t help the big man’s knees. He is simply not the same presence he used to be down low. Most people are counting the Jazz out here, but don’t be so fooled by their record. They are a physical team who plays defense and pounds the boards. He may reach double-digit points, but don’t expect much more production from Garnett.
Josh Smith vs Pacers – Smith seems to be channeling his inner Matt Bonner with his three-point shooting this season. This may be due to Brandon Jennings being out, but whatever the reason, he needs to stay in the paint against the Pacers. The only problem with that is Hibbert, West, and Scola will be waiting for him down low. The Pacers may not rebound as well as the Pistons, but those big bodies play defense and will make it a long night for Smith. Maybe he will drain a couple more threes this game to help out your team, but I wouldn’t count on it.
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