Week one in the NBA is almost over and it did not come without surprises.
Analysis: Obviously Michael Carter-Williams, Trevor Ariza, DeAndre Jordan and Miles Plumlee are the hottest players on the wire. They are on fire right now and are unavailable in most leagues. Then you have the somewhat proven guys that received very little love in the draft that are playing well- JJ Hickson, JJ Redick, Iman Shumpert and Mario Chalmers. But the big surprise here is Vitor Faverani.
Faverani has 9 blocks and 21 rebounds through two games, averaging 32 minutes per contest. Faverani shot 59% from the field last year for Valencia and was a 79% free throw shooter. He wasn’t much of a shot blocker but a 6’11” big with thirty plus minutes per game is bound is fill up the stat sheet. He is available in 93-99% of fantasy leagues.
Michael Kidd-Gilchrist is another player to watch. He’s not going to be that twenty point per game stud you want him to be but he will do the little things which include high percentage field goals and free throws. Thus far this season MKG is averaging 28 minutes per game. What that means is the rebounds, steals and blocks should be very respectable for a fantasy small forward. He is available in 75-85% of leagues.
Trevor Ariza’s minutes are on the rise in Washington and so are his numbers.
Analysis: Ariza has averaged over 30 minutes per game over the past five games and in that span Ariza is averaging 2.2 3PM, 1.8 SPG, 15.8 PPG and 4.4 RPG. He has always been a great asset in the three point and steal departments when he’s getting minutes but he does have his flaws. Ariza is shooting 41% from the field this year and is only shooting 42% from the field for his career. He does get banged up more than most but he is a disposable piece on any fantasy team.
Ariza does have shooting guard/small forward eligibility so you can fill him in where the need is greatest on your squad. As long as he’s getting around 30 minutes per game like he was with the Hornets the last two years then his steals and threes will be there for you. His 4.4 rebounds per game this season is a fine number for a fantasy shooting guard as well. He’s available in 60-80% of fantasy leagues and he is worth a look while his minutes remain on the high end.
Trevor Ariza is two games in to his return from a groin injury and he is producing once again. If he can keep from aggravating his injury again, he will be a viable fantasy option in all leagues.
Analysis: Groin injuries can be very tricky and he may not be one-hundred percent but you have to like what you see from him so far. Ariza has topped forty minutes of play in both games since his return and he’s getting to the free throw line(ten times) more often. Ariza will always be a multi category shooting guard/small forward and this year is no different. Ariza has tallied five steals, ten assists and ten rebounds in his last two games and with Eric Gordon out, Ariza should be getting plenty of minutes if healthy.
Obviously, the groin injury coming back to bite Ariza is a major concern but he is available in over half of fantasy leagues. Eric Gordon still has no timetable for his return and that should mean Ariza will be shooting tons of threes like we saw him do from 2009-2011. If healthy he will steal tons of balls, hit threes and supply enough rebounds to negate his poor field goal percentages.