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Bulk Nutrients NBL Fantasy Fix | Round 12

Written for nbl.com.au by Tom Hersz

 

Close Games. We all love them … well unless your team is on the wrong side of the score line.

Round 11 was full of them. In fact, six of the seven games played across the round were decided by six points or less, with only one game being decided by double-digits.

And none had a more exciting finish than Sydney’s come from behind win over Brisbane on Sunday. It wasn’t a pretty game up until that point, but that last 8.7 seconds sure made up for it.

Jaylen Adams may have given us the dunk of the season and then followed it up with the game winning assist to Jarell Martin. In an otherwise sub-par game, Adams came up big when his team needed it most. 

 

 

There were other examples of players coming through in big moments across the round. Angus Glover’s game-sealing three-pointer against South East Melbourne last Thursday, Lamar Patterson’s key buckets late against Adelaide, Xavier Rathan-Mays’ game sealing layup versus Cairns, Matthew Dellavedova’s clutch scoring in the fourth quarter against Perth and Yanni Wetzell’s defence on Scott Machado to avoid a collapse versus Cairns on Monday.

Big-time players deliver in big moments and sometimes that’s the difference between winning and losing.

Your NBL Fantasy Team also needs those big-time players to deliver for you if you’re going to win, but you need to make sure you own those players first.

Not sure which players to choose? Never fear. Your weekly Bulk Nutrients NBL Fantasy Fix is here to guide you as always.

 

Round 12 (Feb 17 – Feb 20)

 

2 Games: Cairns, Illawarra, Melbourne, S.E. Melbourne 

1 Game: Adelaide, Brisbane, New Zealand, Perth, Sydney, Tasmania

 

Another seven games on the schedule this week. Cairns and South East Melbourne have another double each while Illawarra and Melbourne get in on the fun. 

This will be the second of three-straight doubles for Cairns, while the Phoenix end their run of three-straight doubles this round. They do have another one coming up in Round 14 though. 

The Hawks have two-straight doubles on tap, making it six in seven weeks, but United’s next double after this week doesn’t come until Round 15, so any plans of maximising the hot form of Jo-Lual Acuil Jr. may be short-lived.

If you need some extra cash to bring in those big-time players this week, let’s see how you’re placed by checking out the top 10 price risers and price fallers after Round 11;

 

Risers

  1. Jo Lual-Acuil: +$100,000 ($1.64m)
  2. Cameron Bairstow: +$100,000 ($1.58m)
  3. Yanni Wetzell: +$100,000 ($1.48m)
  4. Jaylen Adams: +$100,000 ($1.44m)
  5. Duop Reath: +$100,000 ($1.23m)
  6. Lamar Patterson: +$100,000 ($1.17m)
  7. Ryan Broekhoff: +$100,000 ($1.16m)
  8. Daniel Johnson: +$100,000 ($1.14m)
  9. Jordan Ngatai: +$72,000 ($0.419m)
  10. Jack McVeigh: +$71,000 ($0.706m)

 

Fallers

  1. Zhou Qi: -$100,000 ($1.24m)
  2. Scott Machado: -$100,000 ($0.914m)
  3. Isaiah Moss: -$100,000 ($0.700m)
  4. Harry Froling: -$97,000 ($0.624m)
  5. Tyler Harvey: -$88,000 ($1.21m)
  6. Chasson Randle: -$87,000 ($0.849m)
  7. Majok Majok: -$83,000 ($0.549m)
  8. Tyrell Harrison: -$74,000 ($0.799m)
  9. Brandon Ashley: -$66,000 ($0.912m)
  10. Dejan Vasiljevic: -$65,000 ($0.806m)

 

More dominant games from two of the best Centres in the league in Yanni Wetzell and Jo-Lual Acuil headline the list of price risers this week. JLA’s 77 fp against Perth was huge, but the Pretzel went off for 101 fp against Cairns on Monday. 

They were joined by the top scorer of the round in Lamar Patterson (110 total fp), a rejuvenated Ryan Broekhoff who came close with 105 total fp, Jaylen Adams, Duop Reath, and a pair of Sixers in Daniel Johnson and Cam Bairstow. Jordan Ngatai and Jack McVeigh rounded out the top 10 money makers.

Lual-Acuil is now the most expensive player in the game at $1.64m, just ahead of Jarell Martin ($1.63m), Xavier Cooks ($1.61m), Bairstow ($1.58m) and Bryce Cotton ($1.54m). Vic Law is the only other player above $1.5 million at $1.51m.

The list of players hurting your fantasy finances starts with Zhou Qi, Scott Machado and Isaiah Moss who all dropped by the maximum $100k this week. Zhou’s form has been down of late, Machado was on a minutes restriction, while Moss continues to struggle to make an impact in Brisbane.

Others not helping the cause this past week include Harry Froling, Tyler Harvey, Chasson Randle and Majok Majok. 

With your finances now in check, let’s look at the best trade targets for Round 12.

 

Daniel Johnson, PF/C, ADL ($1.14m): With news that Isaac Humphries is out for the season, DJ has shown that he can help fill the void the last two games. Johnson had back-to-back double-doubles for the first time since December of 2019. While his shooting has been a little down (9 of his last 25 from the field), his work on the glass has led to some very nice fantasy scores. He had a season-high 63 fp this past round, topping the 42 fp he had in Round 10. If he can keep the production on the boards going, then when he finds his stroke (which you know is coming), he’s in line for some monster games and the Sixers have doubles in Rounds 13 and 14.

 

Lamar Patterson, SF, BNE ($1.17m): He’s been trending up of late and had his biggest offensive output in Brisbane’s win over Adelaide on Friday with 32 points and 6 assists. He also chipped in with 5 steals, which is not something we normally see and it amounted to 71 fp – easily a season-high for Lamar. And while he only scored 14 points on Sunday, Patterson still had an impact on the boards and with 5 more dimes leading to a solid 39 fp. His 110 total fantasy points led the round and while Nathan Sobey’s return could eat into his production, the Bullets also have two straight doubles in Rounds 13 and 14 making Patterson an intriguing option right now.

 

 

Tahjere McCall, SG/SF, CNS ($1.46m): It promised to be a big round for McCall. He started off strongly with another nice all-around line against the Hawks on Saturday (17, 7, 4 and 3 steals for 51 fp). But then the Snakes, and especially McCall, struggled against New Zealand on Valetine’s Day. He had just 7 points and while he dished 6 dimes and grabbed 5 boards, he also coughed up 7 turnovers which really impacted his fantasy score (a season-low 26 fp). Still, with two more doubles on tap and three in the next four rounds, you have to move past that one game and trust that McCall will bounce back. His previous form (49.7 fp on the season before that game) has earned him that trust.

 

Majok Deng, PF, CNS ($1.19m): It was a slow start for Deng, but he’s quietly putting together a career season. His shooting splits are down a little from last year, but the volume is up and he’s scoring nearly 4 points per game more than last season. He’s also upped his boards, assists and steals, as well as his free-throw rate and percentage which have been big for him this season. This has led to some nice fantasy scores when he’s on. Overall, Deng has averaged 34.7 fp and established a floor of around 22 fp with some bigger scores such as Monday’s 45 fp coming with regularity too. Given the Snakes’ schedule, he has to be in consideration.

 

Antonius Cleveland, SF, ILL ($1.23m): Cleveland came in with a reputation as a defensive specialist, but he’s proven himself handy on the other end of the floor too. He’s averaging 13.2 points per game to go with his 1.9 steals and 1.1 blocks on the season, but he’s upped his scoring to 15.6 points over his last five games and increased his steals and blocks to 2.2 and 1.2 respectively over that span. From a fantasy perspective, he’s been pretty steady at basically 35-40 fp per game, with the occasional outburst higher than that. The Hawks’ schedule is enticing so let Cleveland prove how handy he is across the floor for your squad.

 

Duop Reath, C, ILL ($1.23m): Is he back? Some may say the jury’s still out on that one a little, but I think he’s turned things around since that rough stretch of games a few weeks ago. Reath has now averaged 49.3 fp over his last four games and is coming off his second highest fantasy scoring game of the season (65 fp) versus Cairns. He had his second double-double of the season, knocked down a three, but more importantly, he got active defensively with two steals and two blocks. Two straight doubles coming up and that kind of form, plus a reasonable price tag. What more could you want?

 

 

Jo Lual-Acuil, C, MEL ($1.64m): He’s the leading fantasy scorer in the league. He’s the most expensive player in the league. But he’s also on an absolute tear of late and has a double this week. JLA is averaging 77.3 fp over his last three and 66 fp over his last five games. If you can make the price work, even though they have a single the following two weeks, you almost have to bring him in.

 

Jack White, PF, MEL ($1.19m): Throw away the Round 11 score as White was coming off a week on the sidelines under COVID protocols. With a full week back at practice now, he’ll get back to the form he was displaying before then. If you’ve forgotten already, White was on fire, averaging 45.8 fp over the four games prior to his week off. And he was still ramping up if we’re being honest, but he scored in double figures in each of those four games, had two double-doubles and also chipped in with some trademark defensive plays. A lot of upside still there for White.

 

Ryan Broekhoff, SG/SF, SEM ($1.16m): Rinse. Repeat. That’s what we’re hoping for out of Broekhoff this week. The Phoenix again have the double and Rowdy has been in the best form we’ve seen since he joined the Heartland last year. Across their two games in Round 11 he poured in a total of 43 points, grabbed 14 rebounds and swiped 6 steals. The three-ball is still not there (2-8 for the round and just 22% on the season), but he’s playing with a lot more confidence offensively and has been great on the boards all year. Rowdy’s 105 total fp were third highest on the round across the league. Another double this week and again in Round 14 too.

 

 

Mitch Creek, SF/PF, SEM ($1.47m): Creek’s production has dipped a little of late. However, if we’re being honest, averaging 43.4 fp over your last five games is still pretty good. The issue comes in with his price and the $ per point reading over that span is higher than normal for him. It’s still within a great range on the season though and with Xavier Munford due back for Round 12, as well as the rest of the roster all recovered, Creek will have some help which means he’ll draw less defensive attention. He thrived earlier in the season when surrounded by a full complement of teammates and I see no reason why that won’t be the case this round. 

 

Others to consider:

 

Sunday Dech, SG/SF, ADL ($0.745m): It’s been tough for Dech to get into much of a rhythm since he returned from injury in Round 7, but he’s shown flashes. He’s scored in double digits in four of his six games as well as contributing with his trademark hard-nosed defence. Dech had 4 steals against Brisbane in Round 11 along with 10 points, a block and two threes for an equal-season high 39 fantasy points. He’s capable of more lines like that which would be a great return for a modest investment on your bench – especially with two doubles coming up starting next week.

 

Scott Machado, PG, CNS ($0.914m): How often will you get a player of Machado’s calibre this cheap? Yes, he’s restricted and it may take another week to be back to his best, but the Snakes’ schedule is attractive and sometimes you have to roll the dice.

 

 

Captain’s Choice

Some different options are on offer this week to join McCall and Creek who remain in consideration.

With the Hawks and Melbourne having doubles, that brings two of the best centres in the league into the conversation in Reath and Lual-Acuil. You could also mount a case for Ryan Broekhoff or Stephen Zimmerman, although less confidently. 

Those would be the clearest options, so there’s no need to try and get cute beyond those names. 

With that in mind, here are my top three Captain choices for Round 12:

 

Tahjere McCall, SG/SF, CNS

Duop Reath, C, ILL

Jo Lual-Acuil, C, MEL

 

If you own JLA, you’re slapping him with the Captain tag. He’s my clear-cut top choice. Based on recent form and recognising that Scott Machado’s usage may start to go up this week which could impact McCall, I give Reath a slight edge over McCall for second, but there’s really not much in it.

Creek would be next best on the list, followed by Zimmerman and then Broekhoff if you need to go that deep.

Remember, having the players who can produce when it matters is the smart move. You know who those guys are by now and many are listed above, so make sure you have them and you’ll come up big when it matters most too.

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