5 NBA Stats to Know Through Week 18
With the All-Star break taking place this past weekend, we decided to take a look a few stats that will help fantasy players moving forward for the rest of the season.
Along with that, analyzing some of the hard-to-find stats and upcoming schedules can give you a leg up on your competition in both formats.
The Wizards, Cavaliers, and Bucks have 27 games remaining
One aspect of season-long fantasy that often goes overlooked is the weekly and season schedule. Particularly in leagues in which your lineup locks at the start of each week, the schedule can often provide the advantage needed to fly up your league standings.
A good example of this is to look at games remaining after the All-Star break. Only three teams have 27 games after the break: the Washington Wizards, Cleveland Cavaliers and Milwaukee Bucks. Although their one- or two-game advantage over most of the NBA is not a huge deal, they do have three more games remaining than the Houston Rockets, Los Angeles Lakers, Memphis Grizzlies, and Orlando Magic.
A good way to look at this would be to compare a similar player on both sides. Assuming they play all the games from here on out, a star like James Harden would be expected to get roughly 700 points, 200 rebounds, 270 assists and 12 blocks. Meanwhile Giannis Antetokounmpo would be likely to get 630 points, 232 rebounds, 150 assists and 54 blocks. In a rotisserie league, these small differences can be the difference between winning and losing.
Only 15 players average at least 1.5 blocks per game this season
If you are chasing blocks in a fantasy league, you may find it hard to catch up down the stretch of the season. With only 15 players averaging over 1.5 blocks per game, it's increasingly tough to find a player who can shoot you up the standings in this category with the shift to the three-point line for NBA offenses.
One player who could help fill the void down the stretch is Lucas Nogueira of the Toronto Raptors. As a player who has primarily had a role off the bench, Nogueira has posted 1.8 blocks per game in just 21 minutes per game on the season.
The acquisition of Serge Ibaka will certainly complicate things, but Nogueira has proven that -- even in limited action -- he can supply your fantasy team with blocks.
Other players to watch down the stretch include Kyle O'Quinn, Alex Len, and Bismack Biyombo. All three rank highly in our fantasy player rankings and could see increased playing time due to trades and injuries to the starters in front of them.
Prior to Jabari Parker’s injury, only two Bucks were averaging over 1.0 FanDuel point per minute
The ACL tear for Parker was a huge blow for the young Milwaukee Bucks. The team, who currently sits 11th in our team rankings, still has a 44.5% chance to reach the playoffs.
However, for fantasy players, this injury could open up a ton of new value on the team, especially in daily leagues.
Prior to Parker's injury, only two players -- Giannis Antetokounmpo and Greg Monroe -- averaged more than 1.0 FanDuel points per minute. However, in the four games in his absence, three players are over the 1.0 fantasy points per minute mark, with Michael Beasley right there at 0.99 fantasy points per minute.
It is certainly a small sample size, but losing a player like Parker, who averaged 20.1 points on 16 field goal attempts, will boost several players on the team. Although it seems likely that many of these players will see their prices rise in daily leagues, right out of the All-Star break it may be a good move to attack the ancillary players on the Bucks who are sure to get a fantasy boost.
Michael Carter-Williams averages 21.8 FanDuel points per game when Dwyane Wade does not play
Michael Carter-Williams has also shown huge fantasy upside, particularly in daily fantasy with his ability to put up solid numbers across the board. However, in his first season with the Chicago Bulls, he has failed to secure consistent playing time, averaging just 22.3 minutes per game, down over 9 minutes a game from his career average.
The one positive for Carter-Williams in daily leagues is that he sees a boost when Wade sits out: he has averaged 21.8 FanDuel points in the seven games he has played without Wade this season.
That is a stat that needs to be noted by daily players, as Carter-Williams has generally seen a depressed price this year due to his relative inactivity in many games.
What also helps is his consistency without Wade. He only has one game under 17 FanDuel points in this split. That game was against the Golden State Warriors in which both Butler and Wade sat and the blowout meant Carter-Williams only got four minutes in the fourth quarter.
With Wade still not 100% healthy, be sure to keep an eye on the injury reports out of Chicago; the loss of Wade means almost a certain boost from Carter-Williams at a reduced price.
T.J. McConnell is averaging 6.4 assists, and Dario Saric is averaging 6.9 rebounds per game over the last two weeks
Perhaps no team has ever had as much hype around it despite being 21-35 at the break as have the Philadelphia 76ers. Joel Embiid has brought a ton of attention to the team and produced in a big way. That said, it may have gone under the radar that several other players on the team have had a fantasy impact on the season.
That recent stretch, combined with a few key shots, has Embiid certainly fired up about the second-year guard.
Is Tj Mcconnell is the clutchest player in the history of the NBA? I guess so #TrustTheProcess pic.twitter.com/JD6IoQ2J5v
— Joel Embiid (@JoelEmbiid) February 10, 2017
The other breakout fantasy performer on this team has been another rookie, Dario Saric. Over the past two weeks, which have been played completely without Embiid, Saric is averaging 16.8 points, 6.9 rebounds, 1.8 three-pointers made, and 1.1 steals per game to round out an all-around fantasy game.
With Embiid and Ben Simmons possibly making a few appearances in the last quarter of the season, it seems likely that players such as Saric and McConnell have hit their peak value. That said, if the two young stars continue to miss time, there is still value to be had with players who were likely sitting on your fantasy free agency list just a few weeks ago.