Listen, as a Hawks fan I have a special place in my sports heart for Joe Johnson. It’s special because of this strange dichotomy I call reluctant gratitude. The Hawks sucked. Hard. For years. And gave up far too much to get him, but once Joe Johnson arrived in Atlanta back in the ’05-’06 season the Hawks became a legit playoff team, with Johnson ascending to perennial All-Star level. Yet that damn contract (only to be rivaled by Allan Houston from 2001 as potentially the worst of all-time) handcuffed Atlanta into the nothingness that is the perpetual second-round, upper-middle tier of the NBA. It was awful.

However, Brooklyn came along and washed our bored tears away when they gulped down his albatross contract to usher in the new era of Atlanta basketball (still perpetual upper-middle tier, though). But when you think about it, that’s just what Joe does: usher in the next chapter for a franchise. Well, that and play incredible (dribble) ball-stopping (dribble) isolation (dribble) basketball (five more dribbles, contested shot with 3 second left). It started in Phoenix as Mike D’Antoni and Steve Nash began their revolutionary 8-second offense, then shifted to Atlanta for the next seven years where he made six All-Star teams before becoming the epitome of the catastrophe that was the Brooklyn Nets post-prime project alongside Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce. And now? Smack dab in the middle of the Rockies, Joe’s the biggest free agent signing the Utah Jazz have locked in for the past 10-15 years. At 35 years old he’s shooting 49% in 31mpg during their first five contests. Could it be that a new era is beginning in Utah with all of their young talent (and without Gordon Hayward as of yet)? They just crushed both the Spurs and then the Mavs, and I’m getting quite jazzed about the makeup of this team. Could they reach the playoffs for the first time in 5 years? Well, probably. Joe’s there now. It’s time for a new era.

And for this week…four games for the Jazz. Here’s the 7 Ahead for Week 3!

The 7 Ahead

  • 5-game week: N/A
  • 4-game weeks: CHA, CHI, DEN, DET, GSW, IND, LAC, LAL, MIN, NO, OKC, ORL, PHI, PHO, POR, UTA, WSH
  • 2-game week: DAL, MEM, MIL, 
  • Weekly League Streamers (by Y! ownership percent on Sat/games this week):  Cody Zeller (30%/4), Frank Kaminsky (14%/4), Lou Williams (39%/4), Doug McDermott (11%/4), Wilson Chandler (24%/4), Ersan Ilyasova (15%/4), Tyson Chandler (47%/4), Alex Len (43%/4), Joe Johnson (49%/4),
  • Stream days: Thursday, Sunday

Overall Thoughts: Sweet mercy that’s a lot of quatros this week. Over half the league plays four games, meaning the streamable days are less and the available players to stream, when you actually can, are more. And goodie gum drops, we get Brooklyn v. New York in a nationally televised ESPN game on Wednesday! Nope. Not a good thing. But there’s a lot of basketball to be played this week as we get to 10% through the year. The storylines may not be as eye-popping as the Thunder/Warriors last week, but some good ones are on the docket. Best matchups of the week happen after Hump Day when Dwyane Wade makes his first trip back to Miami (Thurs.), Boston visits Indiana for what could be the battle for the #2 seed in the East all year (Sat.), and Rudy Gobert v. Hassan Whiteside happens (Sat.). Oh, and then the most highlights are sure to happen Sunday night when the youthful squads of the Lakers and Timberwolves square off in Minnesota. So many youths!

Monday: Almost a day to stream with 14 teams taking the court, but a lot of primary players take the court. This will be your first time to get Kaminsky and Zeller on your squads as they face the surprisingly weak defensive Pacers. Giving up the third-most points per game there’s a big opportunity to ride Kaminsky’s shooting in his 25 mpg, and Zeller’s all-around post play. Oh, and then there’s that wily veteran Iso Joe! Versus the Sixers he might just go off for 74 points. (wink) Watching John Wall breeze past James Harden, and then Harden nonchalantly rain buckets over Wall, should be a fun matchup to kick things off, as well as Anthony Davis‘ single-handed attempts to see the Pelicans afloat vs. the Warriors on the road. Could Davis be a better fantasy option than all Warriors players this year?

Tuesday: A heavier slate, this is the first time you’ll see Lou Williams take the floor in the week as the Lakers take not he winless Mavs. Williams is essentially the top veteran option on the team, meaning he’ll find crunch time minutes as the Lakers compete. And, in my opinion, they’ll surprisingly compete in more games than previously thought. He already sank his previous, and hometown, Hawks, and is averaging 15+ mpg in less than 23 mpg. Stretch that out to four times in a week and he’s a wonderful stream and cheap DFS option. But, unlike the mainstream media, I’m not going to just harp on the potential exploits of the Lakers, because Phoenix visiting Portland doesn’t just give Devin Booker an incredible shot at dropping 40, but also for Tyson Chandler to put up double-digit rebounds. Again. The Trailblazers surrender the second-most REB in the NBA, meaning Chandler can challenge the 18 rebounds he pulled down in 3 of his last 4 contests! 18!!! The Pelicans are on a back-to-back, so be aware of their streamers, and for Davis in DFS as he gets to dreaded double entendre of DeMarcus Cousins and Willie Cauley-Stein.

Wednesday: 11 games fill the slate for Wednesday, leaving just a few options available, and likely zero empty starting spots. Forget the horrible ESPN matchup I mentioned above and wait for the nightcap of Houston vs. San Antonio. Arguably the league’s best offense against the league’s best defense; the league’s best offensive player (arguable, again) against the league’s best defensive player (less arguable, and no…not Dewayne Dedmon). It’s a back-to-back for Phoenix as they come back home to face the Pistons and Andre Drummond. The rebounds may be less for Chandler, but I wonder with him locked up the other streaming Phoenix big man, Alex Len, becomes a better option. He’s been spotty with his production, but seems to have his best games when Chandler doesn’t. Could be a recipe for a big night. The Damian Lillard/Chris Paul matchup should be a doozy to end the day.

Thursday: With just four games on the docket…stream away!!! “Come stream away, come stream away, come stream away with me!” Sorry. I promise no Stix mentions. Ever again. Worth mentioning? That D-Wade trip back to Miami, where the players play. Nope, that’s Atlanta. And outside of the intros to the Heat game, and seeing how many fouls Larry Nance Jr. gets Boogie Cousins to commit after getting dunked on, I’d rather watch Atlanta than any of these four games. Meh.

Friday: Half the league goes Friday, led by what could be a first round Eastern Conference playoff preview of the Cavs vs. the Wiz. I wonder how long it takes before we see LeBron James taking a few days off at a time? Beyond that there isn’t a great run of games to kick off the weekend. You’ll likely have some openings in your starting roster Friday, but there aren’t many, if any, wonderful streaming options going. Boogie may drop 45 on the Blazers, JJJJJJJOE JOOOHNSSOOOON should also fund himself with a nice game vs. the Magic, but other than that the rematch of Thunder/Clips is all that’s left.

Another note on Johnson, Gordon Hayward has returned from injury, which seemingly must mitigate Johnson’s value. However, I’d imagine the Jazz monitor Gordon’s minutes at first. Their Friday game v. the Magic is the first of a back-to-back, so the value of Iso Joe should remain high this week. We’ll see as the year carries on.

Saturday: After a long break the Suns take the court again for the first of another back-to-back. I love the options of Chandler and Len this weekday to their saturated stats at the front and back end of the week. The matchups are pretty cake, as well. We get a Houston/San Antonio rematch, as well as the Hawks and Sixers again. The Sixers were routed by the Hawks last week, albeit without newly acquired Ersan Ilyasova. He gets four games this week, and could fit nicely in with this team as an off-ball stretch 4 to play alongside Joel Embiid and the other Philly big men. The best of them should happen when Boston travels to Indiana, which could be the top two teams not named the Cavs in the East, and it will be interesting to see if a savvy veteran like Al Horford can slow down the upstart Myles Turner. As for streaming, Lou Williams gets another incredible opponent in the Pelicans, and by this time in the week I’d imagine Dougie McBuckets will be fully recovered from the concussion he suffered early last week. In minimal time he’s putting up a 11.6/2.8/1.6 line with 1.2 3PM on 51.2% shooting. If/when his attempts bump up to the 10-12 per game range, which on this squad needs to happen given their lack of outside shooting (although Wade’s been crazy hot from deep for the first time in his career), his points could hover above 15ppg, which takes him right into the J.J. Redick value. That’s better than streamable. Keep an eye on him.

Sunday: The second-best streaming day of the week falls on Sunday, which is typical of the NBA until Christmas time. While the NFL is in session, the league won’t saturate the Sabbath with a full spread of games. Lou Williams and the Lakers travel half-way across the country to Minnesota to end the week, which may bring some fatigue to the young squad. He’s not mentioned above, because I’m still curious to see how he fits with this team, but Jerami Grant got some nice run in his first contest with the Thunder. Against Orlando to end the week he could become a streaky addition. Lastly, make sure you watched those two Hornets big men all week. They finish with the Cavs, and should be a paramount piece to the Hornets attempts to climb in the East, with Cavs test providing a good gauge on their current chances.

DROP THOSE COMMENTS! And good luck in Week 3! So many games, so many streams. Check back next week as we’ll be in full stride of the young NBA season!

  1. Whitey says:

    With Gordon back starting I was about to drop Iso Joe to the wire, you telling me to hold for this week? 12 teamer, he Only got 24 mins …

    • @Whitey: For this week, in a 12 team, yes…I’d own him (for this week, at least). I wouldn’t hold him regardless, as he’s essentially their 6th man now, can play three spots on the floor, aint afraid to shoot, and is one of the best 150 options currently, but with 4 games he should be on the radar. Obviously that’s for the weekly side a little more than daily. And the moment he goes cold, or the minutes drop to under 22mpg, take the hot hand.

  2. Tyler says:

    Is Carroll droppable in 12ers? Other possible drop candidates I have are Jamychal and LouWill but both seem to have mins and production.

    • @Tyler: I’d rather have Lou Will at this point. Wanna see Carroll produce fantasy stats at a good clip first in TOR. He’s yet to do that really.

  3. FlightDistance says:

    Will Barton or Iso Joe ROS?

  4. Tyler says:

    Should I drop JaMychal or Carroll to play Hayward from IL?

    • @Tyler: Carroll. And then thank everything you know that Hayward’s back.

      Such. A Fantasy. Gem.

  5. marimon says:

    Terrence jones, chances to run with starting role?
    I took a flier on him after his big game…hoping it will continue

    • @marimon: He’s definitely worth the flier. If he gets the 28mpg going forward he received in his last two he can bring a ton of value. His previous line (19/7/6/1/4) is unsustainable, but we’ve seen from him in the past the ability to drop some serious production with enough volume. Running alongside Brow could give him some freedom in the offense. Take the flier…

  6. Toshiro Mifune says:

    9-cat league in which a punt-assist strategy is being employed…

    (1) Drop Barton to play it safe with Crabbe this week?

    (2) Rank the following as a bench stash for a punt-AST: Barton, Zeller, Jaylen Brown, Harkless, Danny Green, Barnes, Covington.


    • @Toshiro Mifune: For this week, you can drop Barton for Crabbe, but ROS I’d MUCH rather have Barton. I wouldn’t sacrifice the entire season for one week. In week 3.

      And man, tough group. Um…


  7. Banana Boat says:

    whats going on with B Knight?
    JB’s high rank of him is killing my teams FG% HARD. Is he a hold in standard 12er or should I drop for Wilson Chandler (WILSSOOONNN) who is looking mighty fine these days.

    • Lasandro says:

      @Banana Boat @JB Gilpin: How good has WILSOOOOOON looked?? I think Knight’s role is more set in stone, but Wilson has such sweet nightly upside in that offense. Thing will get muddled once Barton returns though. I really wish Wilson was on another squad. He’s KILL it in PHI haha

      • Slim

        Slim says:

        @Lasandro: Wilson went down with a Hammy yesterday, gotta keep an eye on that.

        • @Slim: Yep…and he’s not afraid to get hurt (insert side eye emoji here).

    • @Banana Boat: Chandler is looking great, but like Slim mentioned below, may be dealing with that hammy for a bit.

      I’d hold Knight. His upside seems to still be quite higher. Don’t know the issue, but he’s been brutal so far. I didn’t have him as high as JB, but he was up there for me. Think about it that way just two weeks in…two weeks ago the question of Chandler vs. Knight wasn’t even close. Don’t make a trigger finger move you’ll regret later (and yes, the obvious counter is that you can get in on the better value way early. Potentially.)

  8. Tyler says:

    So I wanna try and trade for Whiteside or Turner and owner seems interested.
    What do you think of these trades for my team? Is this enough or too much?
    Can you rank them from best to worst as well. Appeciate it!

    Option 1: Lowry + Hood for Whiteside
    Option 2: Lowry + Carroll for Whiteside
    Option 3: Lowry + G.Harris for Whiteside
    Option 4: Hayward + Carroll for Myles Turner
    Option 5: Hayward + Hood for Myles Turner
    Option 6: Hayward + G.Harris for Myles Turner

    Basically want to mix and match one of Lowry/Hayward then one from Carroll,Hood,Harris to get Whiteside or Turner.

    Gobert, Nurkic, Capela

    • Tyler says:

      @Tyler: also, Hayward + Carroll for Deandre?

      • @Tyler: I love Turner, but Whiteside’s the better target. I also love Rodney Hood, so I’d be hesitant to move him in a deal if I could put Carroll or Harris in there first.

        Whiteside’s the best player of them all, but man…with the way your squad is constructed I don’t know that I’d move Lowry or Hayward for him. I may try, instead, to go Nurkic or Cappella with Gay or Dragic first. That way you’re upgrading without losing your top PG or SG.

  9. marimon says:

    Just offered my capela for his covington and he accepted. Will I regret this decision??
    My only other SFs are TJ Warren and T. Jones, bigs i still have Brolo, Milsap, Vuc, Pau

    • @marimon: Potentially, especially if Capela continues to develop the PnR with Harden and Simmons comes back as strong as advertised, but I’m fine with it for now. Capela kills your FT% and has quite a low ceiling with points. Covington, though, has shown what he can do with PTS and 3PM, his FG% is going to crush you tho. Given the team construction you’re probably gonna be just fine.

  10. Threekola says:

    What do you guys think of this trade? 10-team 9-cat with TO.

    Giving away my Brook Lopez + Dennis Schroder to get Hassan Whiteside.

    I have 5 PGs at the moment, and Draymond Green AND Winslow, so my assists are plentiful. I’m also struggling a lot in rebounds with Brook Pau and Ibaka and my only must-own C’s, and Noel on my IL.
    So, this makes sense for me, as I mainly only lose assists and some threes, but gain a ton of boards and blocks.

    However, Schroder is starting to pick it up and I know he’s eventually gonna gain some confidence and go off. We all know he can pump out 20 and 10 games. Also, Asshat actually said that, Brook Lopez will be at his NORMAL WORKLOAD sooner or later. That means 33 minutes a game, which is what he played last year.

    I think once that happens, and Schroder continues to build some momentum, I think they both will probably be worth more than Whiteside.

    1) Would you take this trade in a vacuum?
    2) Would you take it if you had my team?

    Just trynna get al your opinions, cause I like it at first, but now I’m having my doubts…especially since Brolo had that 34-11-1-1-1 games with 4 treys and Schroder went 17 and 12…


    • @Threekola: I’m totally good with it. Love Lopez for what he SHOULD do and Schroeder for what he CAN do, but neither is playing to that potential right now, and the highest upside is Whiteside. If Schroeder emerges as a top flight PG this could hurt ya, but his AST total doesn’t seem to be high enough to get into that realm.

      If REB is what you need then Whiteside’s a clear better option than rolling with Lopez, who is one of the worst rebounding 7 footers that actually plays Center I’ve seen in a while.

      Gimme Whiteside and the hot hand you’ll fill the roster with.

  11. phil says:

    How does E’Twaun Moore look this week ?

    • @phil: Good catch! He’s a good stream option with 4 games, and he’s started all six games this year thus far. I wouldn’t look for a big ceiling with him, but enough volume to provide some decent counting stats.

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