by Matthew Bellerose
The first week is in the books! We have learned the Stephen Curry can’t be stopped, Kobe Bryant refuses to go away, and the Pistons hate their bench. There is no reason to over-react to your struggling stars. In fact, it may be a good idea to trade for one of these slow-starters. There are also some bright bulbs that are shining brighter than expected that you might want to get off your hands while they’re still hot.
Gordon Hayward SF Utah Jazz
Hayward is off to a very slow start this season, which bodes well for all of those looking to help out an owner over-reacting to some of their slow-starters. He is the focal point of the Jazz offense, especially without Dante Exum, so ball will always run through his hands. Last year he averaged over 19 points, 4 assists and almost 5 rebounds and a steal and a half per game. This year he is only at 12 points and under 4 rebounds and 3 assists so far while averaging the same amount of minutes. There is a high expectation for him to return to form, especially after starting off the season completely on the road. Listen to some smooth Jazz and watch Hayward’s smooth stroke as he fills the box score each night.
Chandler Parsons SF Dallas Mavericks
Parsons is making his way back from surgery, but in a new look Mavs offense, there is room to improve. There is no longer Monta Ellis stealing shot attempts, and Wesley Matthews is also coming off of an injury, so Parsons will be the go to guy behind Dirk. He will not provide an immediate boost as he is still on a minute count, but once the reins come off it is all upside from there. He won’t be a great all around category producer, but 5 rebounds 4 assists and a steal are not out of the question along with the upside of 20 points per game and a few 3’s.
Jabari Parker PF Milwaukee Bucks
The Bucks have the opportunity to surprise a lot of teams in the league with their surprising young talent. This week will be the last opportunity to buy low on Parker as he will be returning to action. The Bucks have plenty of young talent but their issue is that neither Giannis Antetokounmpo nor Michael Carter-Williams are the best shooters, but both are great play-makers. Greg Monroe will draw in the big defenders leaving Parker to do a lot of the offensive damage. Last year in his short term he put up decent steal numbers which will only boost his value. Buy him if you still can and watch him rack up huge numbers, and the Bucks slowly creep up the standings.
Kevin Martin SG/SF Minnesota Timberwolves
Martin is currently averaging over 28 minutes a game and over 20 points a game. The issues here are that he is coming off the bench behind Andrew Wiggins and Tayshaun Prince, while also sharing time with LaVine and Muhammad. He is the elder in the group and in a rebuilding offense; they will slowly lower his production. His total production is basically only points as he provides no help in any of the other categories. Look for an owner buying points and try to get a multi-category producer in return. There is no room for upside in a crowded rotation that is looking to get their young stars the ball, and lower the minutes of the veterans as the season progresses.
Isaiah Thomas PG Boston Celtics
Oh the dreaded GBC (that’s guard by committee) that destroys fantasy value. The Celtics are the anti-Pistons this year as every man in their deep rotation gets a good shot of playing time. Thomas is currently the front man, and while he is indeed their best scoring option, his playing time will limit his production. He can definitely rack up 6 or more assists per game, but he will not be able to consistently put up 20 points a game coming off the bench in a GBC. He is also averaging a very solid 2 steals a game to start this season, but has only ever averaged more than one once in his career. Don’t be too willing to sell here, but if you need all-around production try to go on a journey for Goran Dragic or Kemba Walker who are both off to relatively slow starts.
Derrick Rose PG Chicago Bulls
Do you remember the year 2011 when Derrick Rose became the youngest player ever to win the MVP award? I know that I don’t. Sell the name while you still have a chance. A former MVP has now put up three straight games in single digit points. D-Rose is looking like he should be in the D-League. The past three years he has not played more than 51 games in a season, and he doesn’t really enjoy playing much defense either. Yes he still has the ability to drive and score and put up a handful of points an assists but he is shooting a solid 0% from 3 to start off the season, the touch might be lost. To put this in perspective through 5 games his total number of steals, blocks, rebounds, and 3’s made, is only 2 more than his number of turnovers. Rose has found a new love for the good ole pastry and has forgotten how to pad the stats, which is what we fantasy owners love. Especially if you are in a league that counts against turnovers, sell him now if there is still a chance and see what he can bring in return.