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Bulk Nutrients Fantasy Fix | Round 6

Written for nbl.com.au by Tom Hersz

 

Winning on the road ain’t easy.

That’s been especially true in NBL22 with just 8 road wins out of 26 games played so far.

Round 5 saw both games won on the road as last year’s Grand Finalists took care of business against Cairns and Tasmania. Still, neither win was easy.

Perth had to mount a massive comeback from as much as 18 points down, while the reigning champs trailed at three-quarter time before securing a narrow win in Tasmania – their fourth straight.

Road wins take grit, determination and above all, execution. If you don’t execute when things seem like they’re going against you, then it becomes especially tough.

Your NBL Fantasy Team also needs smart execution to succeed. Nailing your trades, planning ahead to make best use of the schedule and having the flexibility to adjust when things don’t go your way, are all keys to getting the results you’re after.

If you’ve struggled to get the most out of your roster this season, then you may need a little fix.

Luckily your Bulk Nutrients Fantasy Fix is here to help you execute each and every week.

 

Round 6 (Jan 9 – Jan 12)

2 Games: Adelaide

1 Game: Brisbane, Illawarra, New Zealand, Perth

0 Games: Cairns, Melbourne, S.E. Melbourne, Sydney, Tasmania

 

After just four games across two rounds, the schedule was to finally open up again in Round 6. Unfortunately, more postponements and schedule changes were announced yesterday, which has reduced the number of games slated for this round from seven down to three.

This now means we have five teams with byes (including three that were slated to have doubles), four teams with singles and now just Adelaide with a double.

While this is likely to have thrown your previous trade plans into complete disarray, it’s still a minor improvement on the past two rounds although it may take some work and luck to score well this round.

But don’t just focus on this week. As I’ve been preaching, you should have already been, and continue to be, planning ahead for the coming rounds as well. Rounds 7 and 8 currently have four teams on doubles, while Round 9 has two teams on doubles, so you want to take advantage of that schedule as much as possible as you make your trades leading into Round 6 this week.

There’s also the reality that a lot of the recently postponed games will be made up this month. We’ve already seen one additional game added to Round 7 (Illawarra versus Sydney), and there will be more.

“We don’t have any plans at this stage to extend the season or move to a hub,” Commissioner Jeremy Loeliger told RSN last week.

“I wouldn’t say cram games in, but we are going to reschedule them for the current period.

“The games that have been postponed so far will be able to be slotted into January.”

That means there could be even more doubles on the horizon for those teams that have missed games the past few weeks, including this week.

If you need to figure out what your fantasy budget looks like to help with that planning, let’s review the top 10 price risers and price fallers after Round 5;

 

Risers

  1. Caleb Agada: +$100,000 ($1.21m)
  2. Luke Travers: +$100,000 ($1.07m)
  3. Majok Deng: +$100,000 ($0.963m)
  4. Bul Kuol: +$100,000 ($0.465m)
  5. Jarrod Kenny: +$86,000 ($0.450m)
  6. Stephen Zimmerman: +$78,000 ($1.33m)
  7. Majok Majok: +$35,000 ($0.864m)
  8. Keanu Pinder: +$34,000 ($0.941m)
  9. Kevin White: +$32,000 ($0.524m)
  10. Ariel Hukporti: +$27,000 ($0.829m)

 

Fallers

  1. Matthew Dellavedova: -$100,000 ($1.04m)
  2. Matthew Hodgson: -$100,000 ($0.943m)
  3. Nathan Jawai: -$100,000 ($0.654m)
  4. Mason Peatling: -$80,000 ($0.690m)
  5. Mitch Norton: -$72,000 ($0.887m)
  6. Josh Magette: -$65,000 ($1.11m)
  7. Brad Newley: -$50,000 ($0.479m)
  8. MiKyle McIntosh: -$41,000 ($0.614m)
  9. Jack White: -$36,000 ($0.956m)
  10. Jo Lual-Acuil: -$33,000 ($1.14m)

 

After another quiet round of just two games again in Round 5, we were not blessed with huge fantasy scores. Majok Deng led the way with 60 fp in a career-high game. He headlines those players who rose by the max $100k this week.

Joining him with big scores were Bryce Cotton (58 fp) and Luke Travers (56 fp); a career-high fantasy game for Travers and a max price rise to boot. 

Caleb Agada had a quieter game with 34 fp, but it was enough for a max price rise, while youngster Bul Kuol had his best night as a pro and his 37 fp were also good for a $100k rise.

Jarrod Kenny and Stephen Zimmerman also had solid price rises, while the rest of the top 10 rose by less than $40k.

On the flipside, three players fell by the max, headlined by Matthew Dellavedova. Delly is helping his team win, but he’s not helping his fantasy owners with an average of just 17.3 fp over his last three games.

Nathan Jawai and Matt Hodgson (who just returned from injury) also fell by the max. Mason Peatling, Mitch Norton and Josh Magette lost some decent value this past week, while the rest of the top 10 price fallers fell by $50k or less.

With your spending money now clear, let’s look at the top trade targets for Round 6.

 

Cameron Bairstow, PF/C, ADE ($1.22m): It’s tough to know what to make of the 36ers as we haven’t seen them play the last two rounds, but what we do know is that Bairstow has been their most productive player so far this season. In a reserve role, backing up both Daniel Johnson and Isaac Humphries, the Bear has scored 15 points three times, has had a double-double and also nabbed 8 steals across their 5 games. He’s averaging 40.6 fp to lead the 36ers and while Isaac Humphries is likely to have more of an impact as the season progresses, Bairstow has been reliable so far. With a double now on the fixture for Round 6 and another in Round 8, Bairstow has some real appeal.

 

Isaac Humphries, C, ADE ($0.926m): For those that owned Humphries to start the season, you might be a tad wary of owning him again. I get that. I was in the same boat. However, Humphries’ last game was more like what we expect from him with a double-double, 2 blocks and a solid 43 fp. With a couple weeks off to continue to work on his game shape, he should be refreshed and ready to attack the rest of the season. He’s also the cheapest he’s likely to be all season with a now attractive schedule. Do you want to miss out?

 

Mitch McCarron, PG, ADE ($1.25m): Big things were expected from McCarron this season in Adelaide and we haven’t really seen that yet. He’s scored in double figures just once, is yet to have a double-double and has only made 4 threes on the season. Yet, I can’t in good conscience tell you to stay away from Mitch as he has the talent and the usage to explode for a big score at any moment. We know he’ll drop some dimes, get some steals and get on the boards. His offensive output has been spoken about and I’d expect a more aggressive McCarron going forward because they need him to score. All signs point to much stronger production going forward and with that schedule now more appealing and a lack of top PG options elsewhere, he makes sense.

 

 

Robert Franks, PF/C, BNE ($1.28m): You probably have Franks already as the Bullets were to have a double in Round 6 and have one scheduled for Round 8. If not, the second leading scorer in NBL Fantasy should really be on your roster before he gets even more expensive.

 

Nathan Sobey, PG/SG, BNE ($1.46m): You know their upcoming schedule, you know Sobey’s talent and you also know he’s well rested. Sobey has a good track record from last season against his Round 6 opponent. Per Basketballblokes.com, Sobey averaged 39.4 fp against New Zealand. Not too shabby and the Breakers have struggled defensively this season so far. And while he’s not cheap, if you’re trading out of Cotton or Law based on the upcoming schedule, then it’s money well spent.

 

Majok Deng, PF, CNS ($0.963m): After a massive game in Round 3, Deng proved it was no fluke with an even bigger game in Round 5. He busted out for a new career-high with 27 points, adding 7 boards, 3 steals and 3 blocks on his way to a massive 60 fp, which led the round. The Snakes were to have a double this week, which made Deng attractive at this price. As of right now, they have no more doubles on the horizon, but that will likely change as the postponed games get made up.

 

 

Sam Froling, PF/C, ILL ($1.38m): As it stands right now, the Hawks have just one double this month, but having missed two straight rounds, that is likely to change. Someone who is flying a little under the radar from a fantasy perspective is Froling. Maybe it’s because the Hawks have only had one double so far, or maybe it’s because he’s a little more expensive than other frontcourt options, but Froling has quietly been one of the more productive players in the league. Averaging 49.3 fp over his last three games and 45.5 fp overall, he’s been consistent and productive, which is exactly what you need this week with so much uncertainty.

 

Duop Reath, C, ILL ($1.22m): Speaking of the Hawks, Reath has been their best player and filled the fantasy box score in a variety of ways. He’s the fourth leading scorer (by fp average) in NBL Fantasy right now and is priced slightly below other options like Robert Franks and Zhou Qi (no longer playing this round), making him one to consider.

 

Chasson Randle, PG/SG, NZB ($0.936m): His debut didn’t yield a big box score or fantasy point total, but what it did show us is how he’s likely to be used in the Breakers’ offence. And that is as a true combo guard. Someone who will be needed to score – we saw high volume shooting from him – but will also need to facilitate depending on who he’s sharing the backcourt with. He’s just had two weeks to practice with his new team and I’m guessing he’ll start to show the NBA level talent he possesses this week. The Breakers also have a double in Round 7.

 

 

Yanni Wetzell, C, NZB ($1.21m): In a similar boat to Reath, the difference is Wetzell has a double in Round 7 locked into the schedule. He’s been playing great, averaging 51 fp over his last three games and has been a focal point for Dan Shamir’s struggling offence. If the Breakers get a game added to their schedule over the coming weeks, Wetzell becomes a very attractive option, and slightly cheaper again than even Reath.

 

Others to consider:

 

Lamar Patterson, SF, BNE ($1.08m): After a couple of quiet games, you have to think that having two weeks off can only have helped Patterson. Being rested and having a lot of time to prepare for this round should have him ready for some bigger games ahead. Add to that a revenge game against the New Zealand Breakers and there is certainly intrigue in bringing in Patterson with the Bullets having a double coming up in Round 8 and now a game to reschedule.

 

Jaylen Adams, PG, SYD ($1.03m): If it seems like a long time since Jaylen Adams dominated against Melbourne United, that’s because it has been. He’s played just the one game, but he’s healthy and ready to go. I’m told he would have played in Round 6 if Sydney’s game went ahead, but instead he’ll have a double in Round 7 to reintroduce himself to Kings fans and Fantasy managers. I’m betting both are going to fall in love with his game in short order. The Kings have another double in Round 9 and more games to make up too.

 

Josh Adams, PG/SG, TAS ($0.861m): We knew the talent was there and while it took Adams a little while to figure out how to be most effective in this league and in Scott Roth’s system, he’s done so now. Adams’ last two games have been great. Averaging 22 points, 4 rebounds and 1.5 steals, he’s living up to the pre-season hype and his fantasy scores are doing similar. He had a season-high 39 fp in Round 5 against the best defence in the league and he’s only getting started. With three straight doubles on tap after this Round and a super-attractive price tag, now’s the time to think about bringing him in.

 

 

Captain’s Choice

For the first time in three weeks, we have more options available to us. Not as many as we’d hoped for, but at least there is one team with a double. 

With Zhou Qi and Tahjere McCall again not playing, and Robert Franks and the Bullets now on a single, we need to pivot and look at the Adelaide 36ers.

And while it’s tough to know who to count on from that roster, you have to give some thought to McCarron and Humphries as two guys who could produce big scores.

Of those on singles, we have to look at Robert Franks, Duop Reath, Bryce Cotton and Vic Law who are likely to have productive single game efforts. Yanni Wetzell and Nathan Sobey fit that bill too.

Taking all of that into consideration, here are my top three Captain choices for Round 6:

 

Isaac Humprhies, C, ADE

Mitch McCarron, PG, ADE

Robert Franks, PF/C, BNE

 

Based on their schedules and form, I rank them McCarron, then Humphries and then Franks.

Remember, when the schedule opens up, it’s all about execution. As frustrating as the changes are, for this week don’t overthink things. Play the percentages and make the smart choices starting with the players listed above.

Yes, there is schedule uncertainty at the moment, but focus on what you know and you’ll do well.

And let’s hope the COVID implications are minimised going forward so we can enjoy as much great NBL22 action as possible in January.

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