Pre-Season Review and Opening Week Preview

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We are almost there. Just a couple of more days.

As another reminder of the approaching opening to the NBA Season, today we are kicking off the Sheridan Hoops Fantasy Weekly Planner.

Our daily Fantasy Spin takes a micro-look at every game in the NBA. The Weekly Planner hopes to compliment that by taking a step-up back and focusing on the forest now that the trees are planted. The purpose is to note the lessons learned from the past week’s games and then to apply those lessons to the week ahead in the form of sits and starts. Our goal is to provide a useful and entertaining resource for active fantasy managers, those with weekly transactions and for our friends in daily and weekly leagues on our partner site FanDuel.com.

The column will follow a simple and standard structure: The Week that Was; Depth Chart Updates; Upcoming Schedule; and Sits and Starts.

With that out of the way, let’s get into it.

The Week That Was

Since there weren’t any regular season games last week, let’s use this space to review the pre-season.

Lesson #1: the Center position is much deeper than previously thought

Nikola Pekovic, DeAndre Jordan, Jonas Valanciunas and Omer Asik have all emerged as excellent fantasy options and could break-out in to the leagues upper-crust this year. Together they form a sweet spot for drafters as they should all be available after the 80th pick and provide tremendous draft day value. Despite my previous reservations, J.J. Hickson and Robin Lopez have stepped up as solid end game options as well.

For deep leaguers, Enes Kanter, Kosta Koufos and Andray Blatche went from afterthoughts to providing quality fantasy stats despite limited minutes. Koufos has already pushed his way into the starters role at Denver and Kanter and his repeated double-doubles are making Utah’s GM Kevin O’Connor’s job much tougher (here’s a solution: Al Jefferson, DeMar DeRozan to Houston, Kevin Martin to Toronto, Jose Calderon and Terence Jones to Utah).

Even the first round draftees have surprised to the upside. Anthony Davis has confirmed that he is a stud, Andre Drummond is far less raw than advertised, Meyers Leonard and Tyler Zeller have earned back-up roles with some quality moments (Zeller looked especially good in his last start, getting the better of Roy Hibbert) and even Festus Ezeli made some noise though he is getting exposed defensively.

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Comments

  1. Gary Mugford says:

    Jeff,

    The point is moot since Kevin Martin is now hearing Thunder, but I admit to being confused with your multi-team trade proposal that had Toronto basically swapping Calderon and DeRozan for Martin. I might have missed something, but I think that was the trade from the Raptor POV.

    Admittedly, in past years, I wasn’t sure DeRozan was much more of a defender than the notoriously atrocious Martin. This pre-season seems to have changed that dynamic, as a stronger, more-focused Derozan is not letting other wings lose him with the barest of feints. A full training-camp under Dwane Casey seems to have gotten DeRozan to buy into the defensive scheme. That happened last year with Bargnani and it’s hope-inducing that DeRozan has joined the believers. So, suddenly, Martin’s (possible?) handful of more points production doesn’t seem like it might be worth the cost of Calderon, a very good backup point guard who wears down under starter minutes. And Martin remains a very high-volume shooter. On a team with Lowry and Bargnani, that’s not good for the chemistry. At least I don’t think it is.

    Frankly, this trade is about one or two years late in being practical for the Raptors. Toronto’s in-season talent acquisition focus will be on a small forward. The Raptors hope that a combination of good health and good results for the team will make Calderon, Ed Davis and possibly even Landry Fields a package to take on a SF stud from an underperforming squad worried about a big ticket or a team desperately needing a steady PG in exchange for an emerging talent at the small forward spot. Of course, the expiring contract Calderon owns has its own trade value come February.

    Even without Oklahoma City’s involvement, I just cannot envision the Raptors have ever seriously considered a proposal like yours THIS fall.

    Just one man’s opinion, GM

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