The NBA season is a week old and already many players are showing their true colors. Eric Gordon and Andrew Bynum have missed time and are expected to miss even more, with Gordon out until late December at the earliest and Bynum out indefinitely.
Some rookies have showed up to play and some vets have shown us their age.
Here is a look at my fantasy basketball outlook for the coming week with players you should target in free agency and some players that you may have to give up on. (The players listed are those who are still readily available in the free agent pools of ESPN and Yahoo! leagues)
Nikola Vucevic (C/F- Magic): Hardly given a chance to play last year in Philly, he is taking advantage of the lack of size on Orlando’s roster. One of the pieces of the trade that sent Dwight Howard to LA, he has averaged 13.3 points, 9.0 rebounds, 1.3 blocks and a steal through three games.
While getting only 16 minutes in the first game he has come back with games of 37 and 42 minutes. With Orlando clearly rebuilding and not having many options, he is someone that will garner a lot of minutes, even in blowout losses. The only knock here is that he has only attempted seven free throws in those three games. He’s going quickly on the waiver wire. Don’t’ wait any longer to get him. (40% owned in ESPN, 52% owned Yahoo!)
Ramon Sessions (G- Bobcats): Sessions has ALWAYS had the talent of a true point guard, but until his trade to the LA last season, has never really been given the opportunity to play the position full time. Stuck in timeshares with guys like Luke Ridnour and Kyrie Irving, he truly excelled when given the reigns to the Lakers offense. He is showing improvement in his 3-point game and is a player who likes to take it to the hole which subsequently led to his 4.4 FT attempts per game last year. With Gerald Henderson out for at least 2-4 weeks, Sessions will get more minutes and could slide into the shooting guard position while Kemba Walker is on the floor. Not bad if you can get SG eligibility out of him, too. (42% ESPN, 32% Yahoo!)
Kevin Seraphin (C/F- Wizards): Only 22-years old, Seraphin has room for improvement, but this 22-year old from French Guiana is already rising up the free agency hit list. Many aspects of his game are still very raw, but finding center help in fantasy basketball leagues is always vital to any teams’ success. With Nene seemingly always nursing an injury (this time it’s plantar fasciitis) and Emeka Okafor looking every bit his age, Seraphin will log heavy minutes on a team not shy to play it’s youth.
Last year, from March 15th on, he averaged 14 ppg which also included a stretch of 16 consecutive games in double-digits. This is a guy that when given the minutes he produces. Because he started the year injured and D.C. has only played one game he has been overlooked by fantasy owners. Get this guy now before it’s too late. (13% ESPN, 24% Yahoo!)
Other guys to get bullish on:
Jarrett Jack (G- Warriors): Brandon Rush ACL injury makes him a full rotation player. Will be a good source of assists, 3’s, steals and FT’s. (26% ESPN, 41% Yahoo!)
Gerald Green (G/F- Pacers): This guy’s got hops. With Danny Granger officially sidelined up to 3 months, he will be called upon to fill a big hole in that lineup. (1.9% ESPN, 12% Yahoo!)
Marcus Morris (F- Rockets): The twin brother of the Suns’ Markieff, this rookie is averaging 12 points and 5 boards a game in 20 minutes. A thin bench will get him playing time (0.1% ESPN, 2% Yahoo!)
Al-Farouq Aminu (F- Hornets): With No. 1 pick Anthony Davis sidelined, he has stepped up his game, dropping 13.3 points a game to go along with 7 rebounds. He has gotten 2 steals in each game as well. He should stay in the starting lineup when Davis comes back with Ryan Anderson moving back to a sixth man role. (68% ESPN, 48% Yahoo!)
Trending Up: Nate Robinson, Dorell Wright, J.J. Reddick, E’Twaun Moore, J.J. Hickson, J.J. Barea, Larry Sanders, Danny Green
Rookies on the Rise: Marcus Morris (see above), Kyle Singler, Jonas Valanciunas, Harrison Barnes, Jae Crowder
Stock Is Falling: MarShon Brooks, Lamar Odom, Nene, Andrew Bogut, Wilson Chandler, Samuel Dalembert, Ben Gordon, Elton Brand, Derrick Favors, Bradley Beal