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Week 2 Roto Fact Sheet

by | Fantasy Writer
  •  

It's still very early in a long Fantasy season, but some statistical trends are starting to take shape. For those of you in category-specific formats, here are some notable factoids that might help you gain an edge in areas of need. Obviously, the information at this point is based on small sample sizes, but we'll continue to validate and debunk trends on a weekly basis in this column going forward.

(All stats up to date through Nov. 5 games. Info provided by NBA.com and Teamrankings.com)

Points

The Clippers, Lakers, Wizards, 76ers and Mavericks are giving up the most points per game so far this year -- all allowing opponents to score at least 106 points per contest. ... Aaron Afflolo could be in line for a nice scoring game Wednesday night against the Clippers, who've given up 26 to Xavier Henry, 38 to Stephen Curry and 29 to Isaiah Thomas already. ... The third and fifth worst defensive teams play each other next week, which should give players on the Wizards and Mavericks a slight scoring boost November 12. ... Trevor Ariza is averaging 17.7 points per game but has never averaged more than 14.9 for an entire season. His unusually high scoring can be attributed to the fact that he's averaging 15 field goal attempts per game -- tied for 27th in the league with Chris Paul. ... Alec Burks' 16.8 points per game seem much more sustainable -- and available, being a free agent in 29 percent of leagues. He'll still have a role in the offense when Trey Burke returns, but you should grab him now to maximize his value.

Field goal percentage

Carlos Boozer has been on fire to start the season, averaging nine made field goals per game while shooting 65.9 percent from the field. Only LaMarcus Aldridge is making more field goals per game, but Boozer is still making 13 percent more of his attempts than Aldridge. ... The Wizards are allowing a league-leading 55.3 points in the paint per game -- good news if you're thinking of starting a post player from the 76ers, Nets or Thunder this week. ... Dion Waiters is shooting an abysmal 33 percent from the field, while only averaging 9.5 points, 1.8 rebounds and 1 assist per game. He's owned in 80 percent of leagues, but he's hard to start in Roto if he's not delivering in the one area you'd hope he would. ... Conversely, Andre Miller (34 percent owned) continues to be an intriguing Roto play. He's shooting 63.2 percent from the field while averaging 9.3 points, 4.0 rebounds and 1.3 assists per game. He's only played in three games, but his value could rise if Ty Lawson misses any time with injury or if the Nuggets decide to end the Nate Robinson experiment (shooting 32.3 percent from the field), in which case that assist number will go up. ... Lance Stephenson has been a Roto beast so far, shooting 53.1 percent from the field and averaging 16.8 points, 6.5 rebounds and 4.8 assists and 2.8 made threes per game. Not sure he can maintain this lights-out efficiency, but you have to start him while he's this hot.

Rebounds

Omri Casspi showed off immense Roto potential Monday night, grabbing nine rebounds to go along with 19 points (including a trio of three-pointers), four assists and two steals while shooting 50 percent from the floor. He's averaging close to six rebounds per game and is only owned in 11 percent of leagues. Casspi's short-term value gets a boost in weekly formats, as the Rockets play four times this week and next. ... P.J. Tucker is another three-point specialist who's been rebounding well in the early going. He's averaging 5.0 per game, making him a strong option if you have a need in both categories. ... When you're in desperate need for rebounds, take a look at fringe options whose schedules include the Heat or the Bucks, who have the worst rebounding rate so far. ... At the same time, you might want to avoid the Raptors as only Al Horford has been able to grab double-digit rebounds against them. They currently lead the league in rebounding percentage and are second in offensive rebounds per game.

Assists

Josh McRoberts has been sneakily productive so far, starting for the Bobcats. If you don't count LeBron James, which we hardly ever do for earthly comparisons, McRoberts is third among power forwards at 3.7 assists per game. Cody Zeller will eventually take his minutes, so make use of McBob's skillset while he's still seeing the floor. ... Bucks rookie Nate Wolters is currently 16th in assists per game averaging 6.7 a night. His horrid shooting percentage is keeping him off rosters right now, but if he can somehow find his stroke, he'll be able to help out until Brandon Knight returns (which could be tonight). ... Mario Chalmers' 5.2 assists per game would be a career-best if he keeps it up. Combine that with his 3.0 steals and 2.2 made threes per game, and you might find yourself snagging Rio with the hope that he can somehow maintain these numbers. ... Greivis Vasquez has been a disappointment so far, averaging only 3.8 assists per game. This number should pick up as he becomes more comfortable with his new team, but it's safe to assume he probably won't get close to leading the NBA in total assists like he did last year.

Free throw percentage

Zaza Pachulia is not only leading the Bucks in scoring, he's also their best free throw shooter so far. Of centers averaging more than three free throw attempts per game, he's first in the NBA in percentage having gone a perfect 11 for 11 from the line. ... Carlos Boozer is also perfect from the charity stripe, despite averaging 4.3 attempts per game. ... John Wall, Michael Carter-Williams and Kyle Lowry have all been off at the line so far – shooting and 71, 70 and 60 percent respectively – among the worst at the point guard position.

Three pointers

Again, don't expect Trevor Ariza to keep this up. He's currently fifth in the league averaging 3.3 made threes per game. This number is inflated by the improbable six he made in the Wizards' opener. ... Francisco Garcia, on the other hand, is actually known for this aspect of his game. He's making the most of the spot left behind by Carlos Delfino by averaging 2.8 made threes and 11.8 points per game for the Rockets. ... The 76ers, Lakers and Bulls are each giving up at least 10 made threes per game, so keep that in mind when shopping for spot-start shooters. Meanwhile, the Celtics and Bucks are each allowing fewer than five made threes per game so far. ... Andre Iguodala is averaging 2.5 made threes per game after averaging only 1.1 last year. His percentage won't be great, but it's not a stretch to think this pace can be maintained as the Warriors lead the NBA in three point attempts per game and likely will for the rest of the year. Golden state is putting up almost ten more threes per game than Denver did last year, so Iguodala could be a nice surprise in the long range column this season.

Blocks

Nobody wants to pick up Kris Humphries, but blocks are hard to come by, and he's averaging 2.0 per game to go with 8.0 points, 9.0 rebounds and a 75% field goal percentage. You could do worse -- maybe. ... The Magic and the Bobcats are getting blocked more than eight times per game each, so look for shot blockers who play them to try and catch up in that category. ... Andrew Bynum's only averaging 12.5 minutes per game, but he's still found a way to block 1.7 shots a contest. Maybe it's time to throw him out there if you're behind in the swattage department. ... Wesley Johnson is first among shooting guards, and ahead of DeAndre Jordan, Dwight Howard and Joakim Noah overall with 1.8 blocks per game to start the season.

Steals/turnovers

Michael Carter-Williams flirted with a quadruple-double by securing nine steals in his NBA debut. The 76ers look like they're poised to play lots of zone defense this year, which Carter-Williams thrived in last year at Syracuse. When you combine his speed and wingspan with Philadelphia's need to get out and run, Carter-Williams should be a good source of steals all season long. ... It's safe to say that Derrick Rose's point guard skills are a tad rusty, as he's currently averaging more turnovers (5.7) than assists (4.3) per contest. It might be smart to pair him with J.J. Reddick (71 percent owned), who's scoring 17.3 points per game and has only turned the ball over twice in four games. ... The Celtics, Warriors, Jazz, Pacers, Rockets and 76ers are all averaging at least 19 turnovers per game, making them prime targets if you're playing catchup in steals. ... DeJuan Blair is first among centers with 2.8 steals per game to go along with his 9.5 points, 7.3 rebounds, 0.8 blocks and 1.3 turnovers per game. Not too shabby for a guy only getting 20 minutes a night.

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Player News
Magic C Channing Frye: Knee feels good after practice
by Marty Gitlin | CBSSports.com
(11:18 am ET) Magic center Channing Frye said he participated in practice Wednesday and that his knee responded well, per the Orlando Sentinel.

Frye missed the game Tuesday against the Pelicans, but could play in the Thursday night home opener with Washington in town.


Report: No extension likely for Thunder PG Reggie Jackson
by Marty Gitlin | CBSSports.com
(11:02 am ET) The Thunder are unlikely to sign point guard Reggie Jackson to a contract extension before the Friday deadline, according to The Oklahoman.

Jackson averaged 13.1 points and 4.1 assists in 28 minutes per game last season, but is destined for restricted free agency after this year if he goes unsigned. General manager Sam Presti has stated repeatedly his intention to keep Jackson in Oklahoma City. He could match any offer sheet presented to Jackson in 2015.


Brother believes Grizzles C Marc Gasol could play for Knicks
by Marty Gitlin | CBSSports.com
(10:56 am ET) Nobody knows Grizzlies center Marc Gasol better than Bulls forward and brother Pau Gasol - and the latter believes the former could be playing in the Big Apple by next season.

Marc is a free agent after this year. The Knicks, playing with more than $20 million in cap space, are expected to make a strong push to sign him. The older Gasol, who turned down an offer to play for the Knicks before helping bury them in a rout Wednesday night, feels it could definitely happen because his brother is intrigued by the possibility of playing for a team run by president Phil Jackson.

"We'll see what happens next year, what he decides," Pau told the New York Post. "Hopefully he'll have a strong year and all the options in the world because he's one of the tiop centers, interior players in the league, so any team would be fortunate to have him. It's a personal decision. I talked to my brother enough about Phil that he knows what he brings to the table."

Marc began the year with a bang, racking up 32 points and nine rebounds in a defeat of Minnesota.


Report: Cavaliers PF Thompson signing could be in works
by Marty Gitlin | CBSSports.com
(10:45 am ET) Optimism has replaced pessimism for the Cavaliers in regard to signing power forward/center Tristan Thompson to a contract extension, multiple sources have told the Akron Beacon Journal.

Thompson will become a restricted free agent if an agreement isn't reached prior to the Friday deadline. The team would be allowed to match any offer, but it might not reach that point.

"We'd like to sign Tristant long-term to the Cavaliers; I don't think that's any secret," owner Dan Gilbert said Wednesday. "I believe they'd like to do that as well. So we'll hopefully see what happens this week."

Complicating matters is the possible extension of teammate and fellow center Anderson Varejao, whose presence played a role in the return of buddy LeBron James to Cleveland. Varejao is making $9.7 million this year and the team wants him back. He is scheduled to be an unrestricted free agent in 2015.

Thompson averaged 11.7 points and 9.2 rebounds per game as a full-time starter last year, but will be coming off the bench to start this season.


Blazers PG Damian Lillard still struggling defensively
by Marty Gitlin | CBSSports.com
(10:33 am ET) Concerns about the defense of standout Trail Blazers point guard Damian Lillard returned quickly in 2014 after explosive Thunder counterpart Russell Westbrook torched him (and others guarding him) for 38 points Wednesday night.

Westbrook posted up Lillard, duped him on a backdoor for a layup and shot over him, according to The Oregonian. Lillard seemed affected offensively as he went scoreless in the first half. And though his teammates also had little success slowing down Westbrook, his problems defensively remain.

Blazers center LaMarcus Aldridge, however, believes it has nothing to do with a lack of effort or willingness to improve on that end of the court.

"He's worked on it all preseason," Aldridge said. "He has showed people that he is definitely trying to be better defensively, and he's given better effort. I think everybody is seeing that the effort is there. It's just different when you go from being a scorer to learning how to do both. It just gakes time. ... He wants to do well on both ends."


Knicks SG J.R. Smith: 'We stopped competing' Wednesday
by Marty Gitlin | CBSSports.com
(10:21 am ET) The NBA season opener is certainly a bit early to lose that competitive edge, but Knicks shooting guard J.R. Smith claimed that's exactly what happened to his team Wednesday night against Chicago. The result was a 104-80 trouncing.

"When we stopped competing at the end of the third, fourth quarter, we could all tell," he told the New York Post. "[The Bulls] felt as though they smelled blood in the water. We just couldn't do anything about it. ... We put our heads down and tucked our tails, and we can't do that at home."

The Knicks trailed by 10 at halftime, but their deficit swelled to 35 in the fourth quarter as the fans booed. Smith, who scored just six points on 2-of-8 shooting in 22 minutes, added that the team is struggling to grasp the new triangle offense.

"I don't think we can be just thinking, thinking, thinking," he said. "Right now it's time to react. If somebody just kicks your mom's door and takes what they want, I think you have to react, you can't sit there thinking what should I do next."

Things don't get any easier for the Knicks, who travel to Cleveland for a Thursday night game in which LeBron James makes his regular season return to the Cavaliers.


Pistons' Brandon Jennings sits in fourth quarter of opening loss
by R.J. White | CBSSports.com
(1:37 am ET) Pistons point guard Brandon Jennings did not play in the fourth quarter of Wednesday's 89-79 loss to the Nuggets in the team's regular-season opener.

"A little surprising," Jennings said after the game about sitting during the fourth quarter. "It never happened before in my career. It is what it is. I just have to push through it. I thought D.J. [Augustin] did a good job."

"You go with the guys you think give you the best chance to win," said coach Stan Van Gundy about sticking with Augustin.

Jennings ended up playing 20 minutes in the loss while scoring just four points on 2 of 4 shooting. He added four rebounds and two assists while turning the ball over three times. The Pistons will look to bounce back against the Timberwolves Thursday.


Nuggets SF Danilo Gallinari endures poor shooting night
by R.J. White | CBSSports.com
(1:33 am ET) Nuggets small forward Danilo Gallinari scored seven points on just 1 of 8 shooting while playing 18 minutes in his team's 89-79 win over the Pistons in Wednesday's regular-season opener.

"Physically, I feel good. There is no pain. I'm not scared. I'm ready to go," Gallinari said after the game, which was his first since suffering an ACL injury in April 2013. "I was a little rusty, but we all knew it. First game, you want to get the `W,' and go on to the next one."

Gallinari made just one of his five three-point attempts as well as all four free throws. He also chipped in three rebounds, two assists, one steal and one block in the win. The Nuggets move on to face the Thunder Saturday.


Nuggets F Kenneth Faried drops 22-17 line in opening win
by R.J. White | CBSSports.com
(1:29 am ET) Nuggets power forward Kenneth Faried came up big Wednesday, scoring a team-high 22 points on 8 of 12 shooting and grabbing 17 rebounds in his team's 89-79 win over the Pistons in Wednesday's regular-season opener.

"He was huge for us right from the beginning of the game," coach Brian Shaw said after the game. "Aggressive, getting good position down low. Got their bigs in foul trouble. Once again it's a carryover from the way he played at the end of last season to the summer with the U.S. team, throughout training camp."

Faried played just 27 minutes while delivering his big line, adding four assists and turning the ball over three times. His 17 rebounds is a level matched just twice last season, with both big rebounding totals coming during his last four games of the regular season. The Nuggets' next test come Saturday against the Thunder.


Wizards G Glen Rice Jr. misses season opener Wednesday
by R.J. White | CBSSports.com
(1:15 am ET) Wizards guard Glen Rice Jr. was active for Wednesday's regular-season opener but did not play in his team's 107-95 loss to the Heat.

Rice has been dealing with an ankle issue and was a gametime decision for Wednesday's game. His next chance to take the court will come Thursday against the Magic.


 
 
 
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