Flashy player. Ridiculous opportunity. Buzzy preseason. A lot of times it ends up fizzling out, sometimes it works out OK, and one time it’s C.J. McCollum.
C.J. went absolutely bonkers in his 15-16 debut, hitting 14-22 from the field including 6-9 3PTM for 37/6/1/1/0 and no TO. Video game numbers! So he’s a shooter, and he does what NBA shooters do – keeps draining em when they hot! But I think we need to take a step back and consider a few things: Other than massive Pts and treys it was fairly empty. This was against the Pelicans, who without Brow, might look worse than the Sixers; they look horrific. And the third thing that no one seemed to mention while anointing McCollum the next big thing in combo guards this preseason – he’s got a pretty extensive injury history. He’s at the pinnacle of a sell high for me. Do I think he’ll be hot garbage all the sudden? Of course not. But do I think he scores 37 again this year? I don’t. Well, unless they faced the Pelicans every night… I’d shop around in the 40-50 range of ADP and see if you can get lucky. As with all fantasy takeaways off one game, it’s always good to keep from overreacting. Compared to fantasy football, we’re at the same point as about 9 minutes into the first quarter of week 1. Still a long way to go. Here’s what else went down during the first full slate of fantasy basketball action:
Otto Porter – In the running for the most boring per-36 minute starter out there… Got the crazy run (36:55) for 7/8/5/2/0 hitting a trey on 3-10 shooting. Very usable, but pretty vanilla minus that sprinkle of dimes. I want Ben & Jerry’s now!
Marcin Gortat – Surprised he only got 6 shots, but still put together a solid 10/8/2/0/2 line on 4-6 FG and 2-2 FT. The ten foot pole is looking to be a metrics darling yet again!
Gary Neal – 18 minutes off the bench taking 8 shots in a very un-noteworthy performance, but I mention it to highlight Kelly Oubre is unsurprisingly not in the rotation with a DNP.
John Wall – Line of the night nominee #1! 22/7/6/3/5 with two treys, but decided to MCW-it-up with 2-6 FT and 6 TO. 5 blocks?! 5!?!??!?! Apparently Orlando shocked the world with a backcourt of Muggsy Bogues and Earl Boykins.
Victor Oladipo – I had to fight off some supporters, and while he was fine, my main critique on his game is a bad deep stroke and he unfathomably shot 1-8 from out there. Ended with a very nice 17/11/2/2/0 line with only 1 TO, so somehow I am right and wrong at the same time!
Aaron Gordon – Only got 17 minutes, but left briefly after getting hit on the head by a dunk attempt. I bet it was the rim that hit him! Looked like an absolute specimen out there, going 12/7/1/0/1 and hitting 4-6 FT, a popular concern of his game that I don’t think should be (cough, Slim). It was a little disappointing seeing the Magic start the ghost of Evan Fournier, but Gordon should get more and more minutes.
Mario Hezonja – 4-9 hitting a nice 3 treys for 11/3/2/0/0 but with 4 TO. Rookie ThrAGNOF!
Jahlil Okafor – Shocking stat of the night! Okafor hit all 6 of his FT. Monster debut for 26/7/1/1/2, but I think the blocks are fluky and you better have a TO punt or be in 8-cat. 8 giveaway. One for each category! You should get bonus points if you have a guy get 8 TO in 8-cat… Boston had no Kelly Olynyk, which doesn’t matter that much, but Okafor started hot with Tyler Zeller starting, and Zeller pretty much didn’t get back into the game after getting tore up.
Nerlens Noel – Rainbow master! Sounds like some weird Final Fantasy character… I never could get into those RPGs… 14/12/2/3/2. Love the flat top, stay for the out-of-position steals!
Isaiah Canaan – The most anti-PG PG. If that makes any sense… 18/7/2/1/0 with 4 treys. The Sixers had 12 team assists on 95 points. Eesh.
Isaiah Thomas – The Celtics bench almost outscored the Grizz as a team last night! IT2/3 went for 27/2/7/3/0 and fell way too far in ADP this year.
David Lee – 22 minutes of yawwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwn. Jared Sullinger came out and started the second half I believe next to Lee, and had the best Boston big man line for 12/7/2/1/1 on 6-8 shooting in 21 minutes. Amir Johnson was solid for 15/7 in 20 minutes. Olynyk still lurks. It’s going to be plain awful, this might be the best we see from all of these guys at the same time.
Avery Bradley – Led the C’s in minutes and scored 4 points without doing much else. It should get better. He’s fringy already in 12ers, but any deeper I’d shoot a very lowball buy low.
Jae Crowder – Surprisingly got past the 30 minute threshold for 14/6/3/2/0 and two treys. What happened to The Red October when the caterpillar was sabotaged? He’s on the radar! I thought his 50%+ ownership in Yahoo was a tad high, but it’s looking like a tasty Boston Clam Crowder now!
Utah Jazz Being Annoying – Effin Snyder. Decides to start Rodney Hood at the 2 and Raul Neto at the 1. Well, the Neto part is awesome, told ya Slim! Hood shockingly tied for the team lead in shots, despite shooting 0-7 from deep. What the F is that?! 12/4/6 in a nice line, but I dunno… Neto for a very boring 8/1/3. It was nice to see Alec Burks playing PG down the stretch and taking a key shot under a minute left. After a slow start he went 18/6/1/0/0 on 6-14 FG (6-7 FT) with no TO. I think Burks out-minutes Hood most nights, and all of this rendered Trey Burke utterly useless. He’s cuttable in almost all leagues.
Rudy Gobert – Preseason?! You talkin’ about preseason?! 6/12/1/1/3 with no FT drain. Not monstrous, but a fine start.
Derrick Favors – Looked awesome. 26/6/1/1/1 on 10-15 shooting. I’d let him give me all the favors he wants…
Kentavious Caldwell-Pope – When does an addiction just become part of a mundane routine?! 16/5/1/0/1, although the one block could’ve easily been an ill-advised foul on a game-tying shot from Hood. On the plus side, 4-4 FT. Now 7-7 after somehow shooting sub-70% last year. I’m trading up all my ludes for KCP!
Andre Drummond – Man, credit Stan Van for the FT improvements! Well, I dunno who is to thank, but 8-11 FT, making Drummo 14-21 on the season. It’s high-volume that doesn’t help, but isn’t soul-shattering either.
Marcus Morris – Not as hot as the opener, but 14/6/1/0/0 with a 3PTM and 3-3 FT is still usable.
Chris Bosh – My pick for 15-16 value, looks absolutely fine out there for 21/10/1/1/1 with 2 treys and 9-10 FT. Helped that the Hornets PF mix if horrific.
Hassan Whiteside – Panic mode! Only 20 minutes, but had some early TO and Al Jefferson only played 22 minutes. Whiteside still had an OK 4/6/0/0/2 line and didn’t shoot any FT, so at least you got something out of it… Not worried.
Heat bench – Wow, maybe Gerald Green CAN get enough minutes. 19/1/1/0/0 with 5 treys is still pretty ThrAGNOFfy though… The big surprise was 25:30 for Justise Winslow after an up-and-down preseason. Had a ridiculous +26 in only a 10-point win. 5/7/2/0/0 and a trey; it’s pretty yawnstipating, but I have a brow raised.
Marvin Williams – OK, what in the F is going on?! Led the Hornets in minutes with 38!!!!!! Yes, 38 minutes for Stravin Marvin, missed all his 3s (0-5), but a nice 10/10/3/0/0 for the deepers, yet I bet he was even benched in REL! Frank Kaminsky played only 6 minutes off the bench. Yuck. And Cody Zeller got 30 minutes (7/12). Jefferson had all of his 17 points in the first half, I haven’t seen word of an injury, but a lot of stretch-4 minutes to cover the small ballin’ Heat.
Nikola Mirotic – Aight Miro fans, starting to look like his 50ish draft selection in some leagues might work out. 30 minutes of 18/9/1/2/1 and 4 treys. Jimmy Butler was hot as well (9-11 FG 3-3 3PTM) and the Bulls waltzed to an easy win because it was the Nets. Mirotic’s FG% and 3PT% are crazy high, not a McCollum sell-high, but he is due to regress a tad. I’d ride it out though!
Brook Lopez – Looks great when he plays (26/7/2/0/1) but it just always feels like a ticking time bomb. He’s the Jaime Garcia of fantasy basketball…
Rondae Hollis-Jefferson – Jump shot still looks pretty ugly, but a nice multi-cat 8/5/0/2/1 effort. Good to see 24 minutes early for the deepers.
Andrea Bargnani – Really? REALLY? 17/7/0/1/1 on 6-13 shooting. Maybe worth a flier in a Nets-only league.
Monta Ellis – A dud in his first game as a Pacer, but had two early fouls and was much better in the second half. 9/0/6/2/0 on only 3-11 shooting, but at least you got the dimes and steals. HIS CONTRACT IS STILL A STEAL!
Ian Mahinmi – Woooo, at least one of my scrubby final draft pick calls worked out! 10/8/3/2/2 for a rainbow on 5-8 FG and thankfully didn’t shoot any FT. Only played 25 minutes, but that’s just fine.
Myles Turner – And right after feeling good on that, we have to talk Turner… I’m not moving on quite yet, as his bum ankle made him available to play but behind Jordan Hill in the rotation and got a DNP. Let’s hope that has more to do with the ankle than the rotation…
C.J. Miles – I clown him for his ThrAGNOF DNA, but he did great ThrANOF things last night for 18/1/1/3/0 and 4 treys. I’ve added him in a few leagues for the game tonight. ThrAGNOF!
Jonas Valanciunas – Whoa, look at those big, sexy Lithuanian minutes! 21/15/0/0/1 on 8-11 shooting hitting 5-6 FT, and maybe he is stretched out like JV owners hope. We’ll see, but one game does not a season make!
Luis Scola – Got the start, and managed to play 17 minutes without taking a shot and committing 4 TO.
Patrick Patterson – Came off the bench, BUT THE PACERS HAD NO ANSWER FOR HIM! 8/4/1/1/0 with a couple of treys in a team-carrying performance. I of course keed, but he’s better than Scola, camon! He’s just fine off the bench though for streamability/deep league use.
Cory Joseph – Got some combo guard minutes next to the solid, skinny looking Kyle Lowry. 28 minutes, and the Raps played the pair together down the stretch. Other than the minutes though, Cojo had no mojo. 3/2/1/0/0 on 1-4 FG and 3 TO. Cojo needs a mojito.
Emmanuel Mudiay – Shocker of the night! The Nugs not only beat the Rockets, but bludgeoned them. Led by Mudiay’s near triple-double (17/5/9/0/0 – hah tricked you! 11 TO), the Nugs were just crazy hot from deep (48.1% as a team) while the Rockets were, um, not (22.9%).
Danilo Gallinari – WOOOOOOO! And yet, after ranking him somewhere where I thought I’d have him in virtually every league, I only have him in one. 23/8/3/1/3 on 7-15 FG (3-5 3PTM 6-6 FT) with no TO. As true a 9-cat line as there is.
Kenneth Faried – 18/9/1/1/3, and if Manimal gets blocks, Manimal gets feast!
Joffrey Lauvergne – Was having a pretty hot game, but didn’t play a ton in the 2nd half. 11/7/1/0/1 on 4-5 shooting with a trey. Helps the deepers, but I think right off the cusp of 12ers still.
Wilson Chandler – Willllllllssssoonnnnn! Nooooooooo! Out 1-2 weeks with a hip strain. For RCLers, Yahoo made him IL eligible, so he’s an easy short-term stash. I’d likely hold in 12ers without IL still, but 10ers, nah you need minutes or else you’ll be talking to volleyballs instead of in the fantasy playoff hunt.
Clint Capela – Very nice fill-in start for 9/7/0/2/3 on 4-7 shooting if you used him. Wish he got more than 25 minutes, but the Nugs were playing a lot of smaller line-ups.
Ty Lawson – Very meh. 12/4/6/0/0 with 3 TO on 3-10 shooting. And unlike some James Harden non-believers, didn’t cut into Harden’s usage at all. Beard didn’t have the best game, but did rainbow it up! 22/6/6/2/2.
Derrick Williams – Dammit, now we have to talk about preseason mattering sometimes… First CJ, now Williams?! Was an absolute shooting machine, going Gatling Gun in 21 minutes for 24/7/1/0/1 on 8-17 FG and 7-9 FT. If this is actually something, and Kyle O’Quinn also rocks out with his KOQ out (8/11/3/1/2), all the sudden the Knicks have a ridiculously deep front court rotation with all in the 12er discussion. A little worrisome for Kristaps Porzingis, who had about the best 3-11 shooting rookie debut you can ask for (16/5/1/1/1 with a trey and 9-12 FT).
Robin Lopez – Only played 20 minutes himself, mostly because he’s utter lack of any talent. Hah, of course kidding, but the Knicks front court is suddenly looking Boston-ish. You know what they say, New York steals all of their ideas from Boston… That’s right, I’ll poke the city rivalry bear!
Langston Galloway – The Harlem Renaissance with a shocking 16/4/3 with no TO and 4 treys. This was just a really, really weird game blowing out the supposedly defensive-minded Bucks. Jose Calderon played the fewest minutes of all the Knicks guards, but that NY second unit was unbelievable. I’m giving Calderon tonight to see how it goes on the short slate before doing anything rash.
John Henson – Dude, what the hell?! You pay this guy MORE THAN MONTA ELLIS and play him 10 minutes?! At least he got a block, but ouch. I think a few weeks ago on the Pod I said I’d give him a long leash, but the leash got cut in half last night. I mean, Johnny O’Bryant played 17 minutes, what the helllllllllllllllllllllllllll!?
Greg Monroe – Just a monster. 22/14/4/2/2 on 7-17 FG (8-10 FT) with no TO. If those steals and blocks are legit, oh boy.
Michael Carter-Williams – Scored a lot of points (20/5/4/1/0) and hit his FT (8-9), but it’s time for another edition of “where did MCW hurt you!?” It’s like a post-Jared arrest questionnaire… Well, I kinda gave it away, but 6 TO. Interesting to see Greivis Vasquez play 29 minutes, for 15/7/5/0/0 with a trey and 8-8 FT. He’s got some nice appeal right outside of 12 team leagues.
Kawhi Leonard – Oohohohohoh looked soooooo good! 32/8/0/3/2 on 13-22 FG with 5-5 FT. Did have an uncharacteristic 3 TO, but took 10 more shots than any other Spur. Awesome to see. And was a career-high! I didn’t even catch that until edits, what a debut! If only the Spurs won…
Russell Westbrook – Just plain stupid out there. 33/2/10/2/0 on 12-23 FG (3-6 3PTM 6-7 FT). His usual unawesome 5 TO, but I’m greedy!
Enes Kanter – Some things never change… A dynamic scorer/boarder (15/16), and his ability to avoid other stats is near legendary: 15/16/0/0/0 with no TO.
LeBron James – While he wasn’t nearly as flashy as the debut Tuesday night, had a decent 12/7/5/3/0 line. That said, 4-8 FT and now 4-11 on the young season. I remember a quote from Whiteside saying he was thinking about his ankle injury too much while FT shooting, I wonder if there’s a thread I can pull there related to LeBron’s back. If he shoots a high-volume sub-70%, it’s gonna hurrrrrrrrrrrrt.
Mo Williams – Unsurprisingly cooled off a little (9/2/5 in 23 minutes), but hit another 3 treys and the Cavs whalloped the Grizz and they thinned the minutes like LeBron’s hairline.
Memphis Grizzlies – Not taking much away from this one. They were all bad. Although we all already knew that about Jeff Green.
Brandon Knight – Maybe he is going to act as a TO vortex to keep them from piling up for Eric Bledsoe… Knight for 15/6/3/0/1 with a horrible 6 TO, but E Bled wasn’t much better for 13/4/4/0/0 and 2 TO. Phoenix had a lot of sun spots last night…
Markieff Morris – Cue the buy low alert! 5 fouls and only played 11 minutes. Maybe you can trick someone that didn’t see the foul trouble…
The epic P.J. Tucker vs. T.J. Warren battle for better initialed player – As I expected, PJ started. As I expected, TJ played decent minutes. As I expected, TJ did absolutely nothing usable for fantasy (9/4/0/0/0 with a trey). As I didn’t expect, PJ only played 9 minutes and was even worse. As I didn’t expect, the Suns were blown out right at the tip, and the two SFs combined for only 29 TOTAL minutes. I still think PJ is the one to own, but yuck. Either can be dropped for streaming in standard 10/12ers.
Wesley Matthews – Wow, look at that! 26 minutes and started, and remember about a month ago when there was an erroneous report he could be out until Christmas? Huzzah for healing! 9/3/1/1/0 with a couple of treys, and I do expect it to start slow, but you’re more than happy with the price you paid on draft day for him.
Dirk Nowitzki – We all knew lower minutes were coming, and this was a blowout anyway. Should go for a lot more than 21 min most nights, but he had a surprising multi-cat effort for owners who begrudgingly drafted him (11/9/3/1/1 with a trey and no TO).
Raymond Felton – Lord help me. The Mavs started him at SG. I think he might’ve eaten John Jenkins before the game to take the spot… And lord help me even more… I actually think he’s a short-term pickup. In probably the most expected thing to come out of opening night, Deron Williams got hurt. D-Will was actually playing pretty well (12/2/7/1/0 on 5-8 FG 2-2 3PTM), but banged knees and he sat the rest of the night out. It wouldn’t shock me at all for Dallas to play it safe and sit him tonight, possibly giving Felton the keys to the offense. As much as everyone loves to slam him, I mentioned in the preseason he looked shockingly not fat, and 18/4/6/0/0 last night on 7-14 FG (2-3 3PTM 2-2 FT). I’d still rather own Dennis Schroder, but I’d drop either of the Suns dud-SF for him to play tonight!
Zaza Pachulia – Pizza face had the supreme with extra pepperoni for 10/10/3/2/1 and 6-6 FT. Might be semi-OK this year!
Anthony Davis – It didn’t take a genius to figure he’d have a nice bounce back last night. 25/10/0/2/2 on 10-17 FG (3-5 3PTM 2-4 FT). Dat 3PTM doe! So weird to see him shoot more attempts and a better % from deep than at the line…
Jrue Holiday – Glad to see him play, and the 21 minutes obliterated his original 15 MPG limit reported a few weeks ago. 12/1/3/0/0 with a trey in a pretty boring affair. It’s going to be annoying.
Ish Smith – Indeed has won most of the PG minutes as Nate Robinson diarrheaed the opportunity away. 7/4/8/2/0 for Ish, with 3 TO shooting a putrid 3-14. As I mentioned yesterday, it’s Ish’s 9th team in 5 years and he couldn’t run away with the Sixers starting PG role last year. It’s not going to always be pretty, but minutes should be there (29 last night). Rather Schroder here too.
Meyers Leonard – Whoa, multi-cat Leonard! 12/8/3/1/1 with a couple of treys. Nice start, but all Blazers get a “against the Pelicans” asterisks.
Ed Davis – Noice! 29 minutes and I thought he would struggle for 20. Hopefully it becomes a trend, his game is so fantasy-friendly. 12/11/0/1/0 on 5-6 FG 2-2 FT. Not quite there for a 12er pickup yet, but adding to the watch list. But yes, twas against the Pelicans.
Blake Griffin – 33 Pts on 14-20 shooting. Looked great. I thought George Karl wanted to start Kosta Koufos in order to try and slow Blake Griffin down… And then Willie Cauley-Stein only plays 8 minutes?! DAMMIT CARL! WCS did just have a kankle, so maybe they wanted to start him really slow. Kouf was mad solid in his 23 minutes for 10/7/1/1/2 on 5-6 FG. This veered a long way from Griffin! You always expect a nice night from BG these days…
DeAndre Jordan – The big thing I was worried about was the minutes. Only 27 last night, and 0-3 FT. Send him to Stan Van Gundy and the Pistons, they’d fix him! Still got his stats you’d expect though: 8/12/1/0/4.
DeMarcus Cousins – 8 TO. Bonus points if you own him in 8-cat! Was awesome otherwise. How bout dat range?! Hit 4-5 from deep. Better 3-pt shooter than Dipo, Gus Ayonin’!
Rajon Rondo – Made the Kings look scattered, pretty bad 4/7/4/1/0 line, but at least he stayed off the FT line and only had 2 TO. We’ve been saying it all preseason – Darren Collison is SOOOOO much better and is a great value. 30 minutes of 13/1/6/1/0 with a trey, but let too much Rondo rub off on him for 2-5 FT. That’s fluky though. Even Marco Belinelli had a ton more AST than Rondo! 9/2/7 for Belli in a line good enough to be owned in all leagues deeper than 12 (played 32 minutes to Ben McLemore‘s 20). I’d rather own Ryan Lewis than McLemore… Belli/Colly backcourt played a ton more minutes at an aggregate 0 in +/-; in fewer minutes, Rondo+McLemore added up to -22. Given they played against the Clippers starters out of the gate, but still…
Ricky Rubio – I was touching myself this whole game. Scored 10 of the first 14 Pts for the Wolves, and exuded confidence on his jumper for a career high 28 Pts. On the opening slate of games, I got two career-highs on my REL squad with Kawhi and Rubio… Someone is feeling fortunate! Wanna know what’s sexy? Mmmmmmm. Wanna know what’s sexier? Ahhhhhhhh. And the sexiest? A 28/2/14/1/0 line, on 10-17 FG (2-4 3PTM 6-7 FT) and only one TO. That TO was at the very end too! Almost clean-sheeted it, as my sheets are obviously no longer clean… But let’s get serious now, just like the Pelicans*, this was against the Lakers. Had a few way-too-easy looks and layups. That said, ugh we gotta talk about Wiggins…
Andrew Wiggins – The Wolves giveth, and the Wolves taketh away… Looked awful, unassertive, and like he had some major jet lag or something… 9/1/0/0/0 with 2 TO on 2-10 shooting in one of the worst games of his career, even compared to his rocky start last year. You wanna know what you should do, is trade McCollum for Wiggins. I honestly could see that working in a lot of situations.
Karl-Anthony Towns – Didn’t register a block, but looked refined in the post for 14/12/1/0/0 in his debut, shooting 6-10. Nice start.
Zach LaVine – As expected, shifted to backup PG after that brief period where they wanted to try him as starting SG this preseason, but did play some combo guard with Rubio during portions of the 4th last night. 20 minutes of 8/3/3/1/0 on 4-10 shooting and didn’t commit a TO. Looked under control, and once Kevin Martin is dealt, is going to be a lot of fun to own with 30 MPG next to Rubio.
Julius Randle – Big difference between NBA fan and fantasy fan. He was jawing with Kevin Garnett all game, and played grandpa mad physical. Absolutely awesome. But he showed some of the holes in his fantasy game, going 15/11/2/0/0 on 5-13 shooting. Not a great FG% guy, not big on STL/BLK, but was nice to see 30 minutes.
Roy Hibbert – Was solid in his debut in gold. Well, gold with dat purp instead of black… 12/10/4/0/2, but shot 1-4 FG (never seems to have a good FG%!). Made up for it with a nuts 10-10 FT. He was getting absolutely battered up in the post, hitting the floor several times and getting up slow. A little worrisome. I wonder if his bad 2nd halves have to do with nagging minor injuries…
Kobe Bryant – Unlike what Kobe should’ve done by now, we’ve retired the Guess the Kobe stat line… Pretty mundane night for Kobe, who hit some shots (24 Pts), but didn’t do much else and shot a horrific 8-24. Didn’t commit a TO though! Drop the confetti!
Woooo, hoops is back baby! Huge opening night with crazy ups (Rubio, McCollum) and crazy downs (Wiggins, Kieff, Myles Turner DNP), but as mentioned in the open, it’s 1 game for almost every team, and there’s still 81 to go. We got a while. So settle in, don’t trade half your team away, and let’s have a good Winter, Razzball Nation!