Mmmmmmm, is there anything saucier in fantasy basketball than a rookie fresh from a great Summer League tearing up preseason?! Obviously Ricky Rubio‘s haircut is the only thing saucier to me!
After Stanley Johnson posted some crazy stats in Vegas (16.2 PTS 1.8 STL 1.0 BLK), StanVan has given his prodigal son StanJo a ton of run in preseason and the rook has taken off with multi-3PTM games in his first 3, a rainbow line last Thursday against BKN (12/7/2/2/2) and frequently getting to the stripe. Unfortunately he’s cooled off a tad the past two games with a little bit of a dud last night, and he’s in a pretty robust rotation of SG and SF, mainly with the much more boring Marcus Morris playing solid this preseason as well. But even at likely a bench role to start the year, Johnson can play anywhere from the 1-to-4, as he’s already played some out-of-position PG this preseason. In the last update to my Top 200 ranks, I moved StanJo to 94th for the rainbow line upside. I’m not going too crazy for the rookie nookie, but he’s certainly worth a look around 100 in the 9th round. If only he had a twin like Morris – but also named Stanley – then we could have dueling StanJos in the NBA! Here’s what else has gone on through the past week of preseason:
Doug McDermott – McBuckets has me saying McFucket to the Bulls’ SF/PF position! Ugh, I hate this mess… Tony Snell is still in the mix, plus there’s Taj Gibson to play some PF as well. Eventually Mike Dunleavy will be the NBA’s most boring starter as well… I think best case scenario for McBuckets is what Nikola Mirotic did last year, minus the boards and defensive stats. That’s like saying, “best case scenario for a vegan pizza is it’s a normal pizza without real cheese, crust and sausage!” McDermott is showing us all he can Dougie with a ton of points and treys this preseason, but through 5 games has 2 steals and no blocks, with both steals in the first game. 4 straight 0-fers. He’s a stretch ThrAGNOF that might have some nice games if instant O is working off the bench, but that’s about all I see this year. I moved him into my ranks, but still well out of ownership in 12ers.
Bobby Portis – Dammit, more depth for Chicago at forward! The Bulls could pretty much split into two teams ala the Cubs and White Sox at this point… Portis had 9 points in 5 minutes at half last night! I haven’t seen something this crazy from a Portis since Clinton’s pimp outfits when he was on the Redskins… What’s crazy is he’s hitting treys ON TOP of the heavy rebounding numbers so far this preseason (gobbled 49 REB his first 4 games). I’ll say he needs two injuries before he’s a must-add, one injury from being a watch list.
Isaiah Canaan – By attrition, it looks like Canaan in D Minor is going to start the year as Philly’s “PG”. Yes, that was deserving of the quotes, but he did have 18 dimes through his first 3 preseason games. Sure he had none last time out, but at least he did chip in 4 steals in that one. He still feels like a last pick kinda flier, as Tony Wroten will be taking the role when ready.
Rashad Vaughn – Putting his name out there for a strong ThrAGNOF watch list candidate! Hit 7 treys through 3 preseason games, averaging 16.7 PPG. I doubt he gets enough run initially, but keeping him on my radar. My Rashadar.
John Henson – DEAR GOD PLAY THE GUY! YOU ALREADY PAID THE GUY! Has a 3 block and 4 block game already in 3 preseason appearances, and has shockingly hit 8-8 FT. All culminated in a 16/10/2/1/4 breakout last Tuesday night, hitting 5-8 FG and 6-6 FT. Given it was against the Cavs benching everyone, but man am I glad I ranked him well, he could be fantasy’s best bench player this year (well, minus IT2/3 and well, I’m probably forgetting someone…).
Derrick Williams – Scoring a lot of points, hitting his FG and FT, but that’s about it. 9 TO in two games. Bleh.
Kristaps Porzingis – The minutes limit stuff early scared me off, but he’s just going to be too good not to play more as the season wears on. I think Philly Phil J is trying to lessen the pressure on the rook as well, especially after he was booed when selected, just because New York fans don’t want to learn how to pronounce names… Then again, neither do I, that’s why writing is so much easier! Porzy is worth drafting sometime right after 100 for the upside, especially if you’re pretty well-rounded and can afford the upside stash-iness.
Sasha Vujacic – Yikes, just what we need, more issues with how the Knicks will handle their G depth… Derek Fisher decided to ask his bridge club if anyone wanted to come play for the Knicks, and thankfully Vujacic said yes… Fish and Phil like him to help teach the triangle, and he’s getting some preseason run and taking some shots with Arron Afflalo dealing with AHamstring. I moved Afflalo and Langston Galloway a good bit down in my ranks; I really want no part of the shituation.
Karl-Anthony Towns – Just looks incredible out there, and I’m ashamed I didn’t have him as the #1 rookie off the board out of the gate. “I wanted to be different, OK?!” “I just wanted to experiment!” “Everyone experiments in college!” Hitting his FT, getting swats, getting steals, making his shots… It looks damn sexy out there. He’s even attempted two treys in 4 preseason games! Man, if he hits 0.5 3PTM a game, his metrics are going to be nuts.
Zach LaVine – Named the opening night SG, and just for S’s and G’s (see what I did there!?) they brought him off the bench last night in the exhibition against the Raps. He’s shooting pretty bad thus far, but up until last night was keeping the TO in check and still getting to the line. Nice to see a couple blocks in there as well. I have him right at 100, certainly worth a pick in that range for the upside.
Nicolas Batum – Vintage Batum, oui! 14/10/5/2/0 in Shanghai, hitting a trey and hitting 7-7 FT. Crazy world, a Frenchman playing basketball for an American franchise in China… I think he has a solid bounceback.
R.J. Hunter – Whoa, how about that preseason debut last night?! 11/4/4/4/1 with only 1 TO, hitting 3-8 FG (3-7 3PTM 2-2 FT). He’s not even a lock to make the opening night roster, but if you look at Boston’s depth chart, they really lack length at SG. Of course, I have some REL bias since I was really happy to nab him for a $1 in our auction. Let him play, B-Rad!
John Jenkins – Certainly seems preseason-y, but is scoring at a Wilt Chamberlain rate (take that either way you want) with 16, 19, and 26 PTS totals through 3 preseason games, off an 11-18 FG outing. He doesn’t really do anything else, but might be an early, deep-league ThrAGNOF streamer.
Clint Capela – A guy Slim and I have talked about a lot this off-season as a great source of blocks with your final pick, CC [not Sabathia] had a nice 12/10 dubdub with a swat in 25 minutes, getting a start with Dwight Howard resting [not in rehab]. Just at the eye level, Capela looks goooooood.
Joffrey Lauvergne – The “don’t jokingly say anything about his name being kinda close to lasagna because he’s French” Lauvergne has remained hot through all 4 preseason games now, hitting at least 57% from the field and scoring in double figures every night. While the boards are nice as well, very low in AST/STL/BLK, with nary a swat thus far. Makes me worry this is a preseason mirage. Did I say mirage? I meant preseason fromage! There, is that food joke acceptable for Joffrey?!
Jeff Green – Grizz seem to always need O, and looks like they’re leaning towards starting Green. He’s really boring, but if you really want to take him with your last pick I won’t fight you. Any earlier and he’s going to be a pretty early cut. Geez, what happened to this guy,?! Look at this line he put up when he wasn’t even universally owned yet in 12-13!
C.J. McCollum – One of the bigger “buzzy” names – really since free agency ended and Portland got no one – I still feel like he’s going to be over-drafted. I got him up to 101 in my ranks, which likely prices me out. I see his FG% being a really tough drain, with not as high AST/STL as people would hope for.
Meyers Leonard – I think fantasy owners overvalue the unknown for young guys about to get their first crack at big minutes, as Meyers Leonard also feels very over-drafted to me. His last line was great – 19/8/2/1/2 on 5-10 FG (4-7 3PTM 5-6 FT) – but the blocks have never surfaced in the regular season and he’s still turning it over a little too much.
Otto Porter – Started preseason with a bang for 22/5/2 on 8-10 shooting, but then 33 minutes of blahhhhhhhhh against the Knicks. 9/4/2/1/0 shooting 4-11. I think we get more blah than bang, but closer to the 33 minutes than the 24 in the opener, which by attrition will make him usable.
Kris Humphries – The Wiz want a stretch 4 out there, AND YOU’RE STARTING DAMMIT! Humphries is out there complaining at the extra running playing on the wing, but after getting facials like this, it might be worth the extra conditioning… My question to you is, is he really that different than Meyers Leonard? Wait they’re totally different, Humphries can block shots!
Paul George – The Pacers want a stretch 4 out there, AND YOU’RE PLAYING PF DAMMIT! Except Vogel did say they’re likely playing big against the Grizz in the opener, with George likely heading to the 3… PG13 started red hot including a 32 point game last Tuesday night, but then showed his streakiness shooting 1 for his last 9 from deep and back-to-back pedestrian stat lines (given he only played 12 minutes Tuesday night). Seems like he’s solidly placed right at my 20ish rank…
I’m in love with Aaron Gordon – I hope you’ve drafted a fair number of your teams by now, because Aaron Gordon is about to get all aboard the hype-train. Played only 17 minutes in his preseason debut, and just did his thang for 10/3/1/2/1 on 5-10 shooting, missing a trey. No TO. No mistakes. He is infallible.
Of course there’s a ton going on, so if you have any thoughts on preseason performances so far, shoot them below! Also don’t forget to sign up for 1, maybe 2, OK definitely 3, should be 4, and almost certainly 5 RCL leagues! Still have several leagues open, and we could always use more commishes to open a few more leagues. And if you love the REL 20-team dynasty talk, commenter CTMN has opened a 20-team dynasty league for Razzball Nation with 4 spots still open – sign up today!