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Bulk Nutrients NBL Fantasy Fix | Round 15

Written for nbl.com.au by Tom Hersz

 

Indigenous Round tipped off last Friday and will run through Round 15 this week also.

Now in its third official year in the NBL, each year it grows and becomes more meaningful.

This year we’re hearing more about the stories behind the amazing jersey designs, we’re seeing many more cultural demonstrations as part of pre-game Welcome to Country ceremonies and from the players that I’ve spoken to, they’re as excited as ever to represent indigenous culture this year on the floor.

The jerseys are incredible. They get better each year and while – as many of you know – I bought a Nate Jawai Taipans Indigenous jersey and wore it to two games in Melbourne across Round 14, there are several others that I’d love to own also.

I think the Illawarra Hawks design is absolutely awesome, the Melbourne United and South East Melbourne Phoenix ones really pop with their respective blue and green as features, the 36ers and JackJumpers designs looks great and the Sydney Kings and New Zealand Breakers jerseys, while a little more understated from a colour perspective, are both just really cool and eye-catching designs.

I’m looking forward to seeing Brisbane, Cairns and Perth sport theirs this week.

But Indigenous Round is about more than just different jerseys. It’s a celebration of culture. It’s a show of respect. And most importantly, it’s a chance to inspire the next generation of indigenous basketballers.

If the next Jawai, Will McDowell-White, Keanu Pinder or Tamuri Wigness is watching and comes away thinking “that could be me someday”, and then finds their way to an NBL program via the Indigenous Player Rule – something that Biwali Bayles and William Hickey did this season – then Indigenous Round is achieving its purpose.

Your NBL Fantasy team could likely also do with some inspiration and celebration. Perhaps you feel it has under-achieved. Maybe it just needs a little boost to push you into finals contention in your league or towards a higher ranking.

Whatever you need, your weekly Bulk Nutrients NBL Fantasy Fix is here to help.

 

Round 15 (Mar 10 – Mar 14) 

3 Games: Perth

2 Games: Cairns, Melbourne, New Zealand, Tasmania,

1 Game: Adelaide, Brisbane, Illawarra, S.E. Melbourne, Sydney

We have eight games of action this week and our first triple game round for one team since Round 8.

That’s right, as a reward for finally going home in Round 16, the Perth Wildcats get three road games in five days in Round 15.

Cairns, Melbourne, New Zealand and Tasmania all have doubles this week, but only the Taipans have a double again in Round 16.

The Sixers, Bullets and Phoenix all have singles again, with the Hawks and Kings continuing on singles.

Need to figure out your fantasy finances? Let’s check out the top 10 price risers and price fallers after Round 14;

 

Risers

  1. Jo Lual-Acuil: +$100,000 ($1.84m)
  2. Xavier Cooks: +$100,000 ($1.77m)
  3. Jaylen Adams: +$100,000 ($1.74m)
  4. Vic Law: +$100,000 ($1.60m)
  5. Mitch McCarron: +$65,000 ($1.44m)
  6. Jason Cadee: +$100,000 ($1.08m)
  7. Scott Machado: +$100,000 ($0.906m)
  8. Ousmane Dieng: +$100,000 ($0.532m)
  9. Daniel Johnson: +$80,000 ($1.42m)
  10. Stephen Zimmerman: +$74,000 ($1.38m)
  11. Shea Ili: +$74,000 ($1.04m)

 

Fallers

  1. Cameron Bairstow: -$100,000 ($1.34m)
  2. Michael Frazier: -$100,000 ($0.826m)
  3. Lamar Patterson: -$90,000 ($1.28m)
  4. Josh Adams: -$87,000 ($0.967m)
  5. Tom Abercrombie: -$73,000 ($0.553m)
  6. Jordan Ngatai: -$71,000 ($0.272m)
  7. Majok Deng: -$70,000 ($0.975m)
  8. Zhou Qi: -$68,000 ($1.02m)
  9. Ian Clark: -$64,000 ($0.847m)
  10. Anthony Drmic: -$61,000 ($0.584m)

Some familiar names were back at the top of the price risers’ list this week. Jo Lual-Acuil, Xavier Cooks and Jaylen Adams – the three most expensive fantasy players with the three highest fantasy point averages, all rose by the maximum.

But it was a pair of 36ers and an unsung hero from Brisbane who led the league in fantasy scoring this past round.

Mitch McCarron topped all scorers with 116 fp, closely followed by teammate Daniel Johnson with 113 fp, while Jason Cadee caught fire on Monday night for a season high 69 fp and 109 total fp for the round.

McCarron and Cadee also rose by the max $100k, with DJ coming in ninth on the week with an $80k rise.

Joining them were Vic Law, a rejuvenated Scott Machado and Ousmane Dieng with max rises, while Stephen Zimmerman and Shea Ili rounded out the list.

On the flipside, Cam Bairstow and Michael Frazier dropped by the maximum $100k this week. Bairstow left Friday’s game early after feeling ill, while Michael Frazier was held scoreless in 13 lacklustre minutes on Sunday in Adelaide.           

Lamar Patterson and Josh Adams also dropped by more than $80k, while Tom Abercrombie, Majok Deng and Jordan Ngatai also lost a fair chunk of change.

Now that your finances are known, let’s look at the best trade targets for Round 15.

Scott Machado, PG, CNS ($0.906m): It’s taken a while for him to get his game legs back, but Round 14 gave us the best version of All-NBL level Scott Machado that we’ve seen all season. Machado had it all going against Sydney in a great head-to-head battle with Jaylen Adams. Machado had 26 points (8-18 FG, 3-8 3FG), 8 assists, 3 rebounds and 2 steals: out-performing Adams in a losing effort. His points, assists and 52 fp were all season highs and with two straight doubles lined up, plus a bargain price tag, now is the time to bring him in.

Stephen Zimmerman, C, CNS ($1.38m): In another great battle from that game against Sydney, Big Zimm also went toe-to-toe with his opponent in Jarell Martin. Zimmerman had 16 points, 14 rebounds (8 o-rebs), and a season-high 5 assists. His 74 fp were also a season-high. His inconsistency can be frustrating, but the schedule dictates that he’ll give you a strong round overall.

Shea Ili, PG, MEL ($1.04m): Never one to be a big fantasy producer, Ili has changed that narrative this season. He’s been nothing short of elite this season as a defensive stopper and also one of the best sixth men in the league. But lately, Ili has stepped it up offensively too. He’s scored in double digits in four of his past five games, dished over 5 assists per game across that span and also been his usual dog defensively with 2.2 steals per game. Ili’s averaging a very impressive 39.3 fp over his last 3 games and 36.4 over his last five. Melbourne has a double this week, making Ili a very smart choice.

Jo Lual-Acuil, C, MEL ($1.84m): The price is becoming challenging, but it’s a challenge worth overcoming if you can. JLA was back on Saturday night after missing the previous game in Cairns awaiting the arrival of his second child. He came out and had 20 points, 8 boards, 2 steals and 2 blocks for 49 fp. That’s actually down on his season average of 51.5 fp, which is second in the league, but he’s also averaged 61.6 fp over his last five. Melbourne has a double this week so he has to be in serious consideration if you have the coin. Just one CAUTION: At the time of writing this, that child had still not arrived, so it’s possible his round could be impacted.

Chasson Randle, PG/SG, NZB ($0.774m): He’s been ramping up to this point, but Randle has been playing some nice ball of late. In Round 14, he had 18 points against Tasmania and then 20 points versus Brisbane. He’s actually increased his scoring in all five games since he came back into the line-up in Round 11. Not a massive fantasy producer as yet, his 31.3 fp over his last three games is closer to his floor than ceiling so he’s a solid option as a point of difference. 

Peyton Siva, PG, NZB ($1.21m): I had Siva in here last week and while he struggled with his shooting against Tasmania, he still dropped 9 dimes and swiped 2 steals. Against Brisbane, he was in a bit more of a flow, finishing with 12 points along with 6 assists and 5 steals. His 76 combined fp led his team this past round and he has two more games on tap in Round 15.

 Yanni Wetzell, C, NZB ($1.58m): I’ll just slightly amend what I wrote last week. It’s Yanni and they have a double. If you have the cash and he’s cleared to play, you bring him in.

Bryce Cotton, SG, PER ($1.61m) and Vic Law, PF, PER ($1.64m): The fourth and fifth highest scoring players in NBL Fantasy this season, this duo has three games this round. Law has rebounded from a mini slump in Rounds 10, 11 and 12, and is averaging 61.7 fp over his last three, including a season-high 74 fp this past round. Cotton slowed down in Round 13, before going off for 27 points, 7 assists and 6 three-pointers (56 fp) in Round 14 at Adelaide. They ain’t cheap but with three games on tap, you need at least one of them.

Josh Magette, PG, TAS ($1.28m): I’ll keep this brief because Magette is well known by now and has been well covered. He had 36 fp despite shooting poorly and is averaging 39.7 fp over his last three games. Two games on tap makes him an appealing choice.

 

Others to consider:

Ousmane Dieng, SF/PF, NZB ($0.532m): After missing three games recently, the Next Star returned in Round 14 and had his best two games of the season. He went for 17 points in both games (season-high), had 9 boards and 3 dimes against Tasmania and had three steals, a block and nailed two threes against Brisbane. His 38 and 27 fp respectively were both higher scores than in any previous game this season, and with one more double, he’s a cheap bench option with more upside to consider if you need one. 

Todd Blanchfield, SF, PER ($0.975m): It had been a while for ‘Toddy’, but he came through with his first 20+ point game since Round 8 and just his second on the season. He also chipped in a season-high 9 boards and hit 5 triples. With three games this week, he’s a good way to save money on the wing to invest in JLA or perhaps one of Blanchfield’s teammates.

 

Captain’s Choice

The choice is a lot simpler this week. If you own one of Lual-Acuil, Cotton, Law or Wetzell (if healthy), then you’re captaining them.

The only other option to look at beyond those four guys is Stephen Zimmerman, but as in past weeks, do you trust him as much?

So, with that in mind, here are my top three Captain choices for Round 15: 

Jo Lual-Acuil, C, MEL 

Bryce Cotton, SG, PER

Vic Law, PF, PER

 

They’ve all been in great form, but given the schedule advantage for the Perth duo, I’d rank them Law, then Cotton, then Lual-Acuil.

Wetzell would be next best (if healthy), followed by Big Zimm.

Once again, make sure you check on Yanni’s status before you lock anything in this week.

If you need some inspiration, then check out some of the guys listed above and set your team up right to ensure you have something to celebrate.

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