Hungry Jack's NBL
Bulk Nutrients NBL Fantasy Fix | Round 17
Written for nbl.com.au by Tom Hersz
When you win eight games in a row, people take notice.
Melbourne United did it earlier this season and went from ‘do they have the right pieces to make the Finals?’, to favourites to defend their championship.
The Sydney Kings have now won eight straight also and ten of their last eleven since a three and six start. Instead of being talked about as underachievers, they’re now being talked about as a top three lock and a legitimate contender.
And rightly so. It is not easy to win that many games in a row. Especially when you’ve been without one of your best players the last two games in Xavier Cooks and were also missing your best reserve guard in Shaun Bruce in Round 16.
The Kings didn’t do it easily on Saturday against the Phoenix, but they found a way to win and that’s what counts. With MVP candidate Jaylen Adams leading from the front, they could extend this win streak further. But first, they’ll have to find a way to get past Perth this Saturday. A perfect test to see how good they really are.
Your NBL Fantasy team may also have hit its straps, but now is not the time to get complacent. Now is the time to keep building, keep strengthening and upgrading your roster, so that you too can contend for the title in your league.
Not sure who to upgrade to? As usual, your Bulk Nutrients NBL Fantasy Fix is here to lend a helping hand.
Round 17 (Mar 24 – Mar 27)
2 Games: Brisbane, Cairns, New Zealand, Perth, S.E. Melbourne, Tasmania
1 Game: Adelaide, Illawarra, Melbourne, Sydney
Round 17 sees an eight game fixture headlined by that huge game in Perth on Saturday night as the Wildcats host the Kings. It’ll be the second game of the round for Perth who also host Tasmania on Thursday night, before the JackJumpers travel across the country and up to Brisbane for their second game of the round.
Joining Perth and Tasmania with doubles this week are Brisbane, Cairns, New Zealand and South East Melbourne. Of those six teams, only Brisbane, Cairns and Tasmania have a double again in Round 18. In fact, Brisbane has a third straight double in Round 19, while the Snakes roll with doubles for the remainder of the season.
Round 18 will again have six teams on doubles with Adelaide, Illawarra and Melbourne entering the fold.
Need to work out your spending money for this round? Let’s check out the top 10 price risers and price fallers after Round 16;
- Vic Law: +$100,000 ($1.80m)
- Duop Reath: +$100,000 ($1.40m)
- Majok Majok: +$100,000 ($0.680m)
- Tad Dufelmeier: +$100,000 ($0.530m)
- Robert Franks: +$89,000 ($1.56m)
- Scott Machado: +$89,000 ($1.04m)
- Ariel Hukporti: +$86,000 ($0.945m)
- Peyton Siva: +$85,000 ($1.37m)
- Zhou Qi: +$81,000 ($1.20m)
- Tahjere McCall: +$80,000 ($1.45m)
- Daniel Johnson: -$100,000 ($1.32m)
- Cameron Bairstow: -$100,000 ($1.14m)
- Chasson Randle: -$100,000 ($0.624m)
- Lamar Patterson: -$86,000 ($1.17m)
- William McDowell-White: -$86,000 ($0.723m)
- Dusty Hannahs: -$76,000 ($0.619m)
- Todd Withers: -$71,000 ($0.772m)
- Jo Lual-Acuil: -$68,000 ($1.76m)
- Sam Froling: -$64,000 ($1.10m)
- Biwali Bayles: -$63,000 ($0.344m)
One player stood above all others in Round 16 and that was Duop Reath. He led the league with 130 total fantasy points and also headlined this week’s max price rise list along with Vic Law. Law led all players who only had one game with his 65 fantasy points, and is now averaging a staggering 68 fp over his last five games.
Law is also now the most expensive player ($1.80m) in the NBL Fantasy game having risen by the max for three straight weeks.
Also rising by the max this week were Majok Majok and Tad Dufelmeier Jr., with six other players all earning an extra $80k or more this week including Robert Franks, Zhou Qi and Tahjere McCall.
Mitch McCarron and Antonius Cleveland were the only other players to top 100 fp this week, but neither earned a max price rise.
Not faring as well were a pair of 36ers in Daniel Johnson and Cam Bairstow who fell by the maximum $100k this week. They were joined by Chasson Randle who played just six minutes on Sunday.
Rounding out the top 10 price fallers were Lamar Patterson, Will McDowell-White, both 36ers imports (Hannahs and Withers), Jo Lual-Acuil, Sam Froling and Biwali Bayles.
With your finances in check, let’s look at the best trade targets for Round 16.
Robert Franks, PF/C, BNE ($1.56m): If you’re only going to have one player from Brisbane this week, it has to be Franks. He’s been their best – and most consistent – player all season and has stepped up even more recently in the absence of Nathan Sobey. Scoring 20 or more points in his last five games and six of his last seven, plus having three double doubles and hitting at least 3 threes in his last five, Franks has been great. He’s averaging 52.8 fp over that span and 57.3 fp in his last three games. The Bullets have three straight doubles so it’s the perfect time to bring him in.
Scott Machado, PG, CNS ($1.04m): We’ve seen glimpses of All-NBL level Machado since his return, but not consistently. And while his shot was missing against Adelaide on Friday, he was great against Brisbane on Sunday. Machado had his first double double of the season with 14 points and 11 assists for a season high 61 fantasy points. With a full roster around him finally, he has a plethora of options to pass to, meaning high volume assists (6.4 apg over last seven games) are to be expected. The Snakes have doubles the rest of the way, Machado is well priced and he should only keep getting better.
Tahjere McCall, SG/SF, CNS ($1.45m): Two more very solid games for McCall in Round 16. He’s now averaging 52 fp since his hand injury. Given the Taipans schedule the rest of the way, can you afford to be without him?
Keanu Pinder, PF, CNS ($0.977m): Pinder is still wildly inconsistent with his production, but he was really solid in Round 16. He started off with a huge double double (15 points, 14 rebounds) against Adelaide for a season-high 58 fp. He then had a decent showing against Brisbane with 10 points and 9 boards for 35 fp. If he can average over 40 fp from here on out, that’s great value at under a million bucks with doubles the rest of the way.
Peyton Siva, PG, NZB ($1.37m): His form was already strong, but it got even stronger in Round 16. Siva had arguably his best all-around game of the season against Perth on Sunday with 13 points, 5 boards, an equal season-high 9 assists, 2 steals and 3 threes on his way to a season-high 54 fp. Now averaging 47.5 fp over his last four games, Siva is locked in and with a double this week and a triple header in Round 19, he’s one of the best point guards going around right now. In fact, over the last three games, he has the highest fp average of any point guard in the league and that includes Jaylen Adams.
Yanni Wetzell, C, NZB ($1.58m): He was never going to replicate that massive rebounding game from Round 15, and while Yanni’s score from Round 16 was far from exciting (29 fp), he had a solid showing in Perth. He had 15 points and 6 boards, but didn’t do much else and that’s where his score suffered. The opponents get easier this week, so his scores should get bigger.
Bryce Cotton, SG, PER ($1.69m) and Vic Law, PF, PER ($1.80m): Law is possibly the hottest player in the league right now, while Cotton continues to remind everyone why he’s the reigning MVP. They are expensive, they don’t have another double after this round until Round 20, so if you wanted to avoid them, I wouldn’t blame you. But if you have a trade to burn and have the cash, either one would help you this week.
Xavier Munford, PG, SEM ($1.11m): Munford has been a little frustrating to own in NBL Fantasy this season. He came out of the gates hot with a 66 fp masterclass in Round 1 and then has failed to live up to that hype since, until now. Against Sydney on Saturday night, Munford came as close to that opener as he has all season. His 26 point, 4 rebound, 5 assist, 2 steal night, capped off by 3 threes and 54 fp nearly single-handedly ended Sydney’s win streak. He’s forced to step up in the absence of Ryan Broekhoff and with another double this week and a very reasonable price tag, Munford time could be now.
Zhou Qi, C, SEM ($1.20m): He didn’t replicate the 71 fp explosion from Round 15, but Zhou’s form continues to be improved. He had 25 points and 8 boards (45 fp) against the Hawks and then 12 and 8 versus the Kings (33 fp). Zhou only blocked 1 shot this past round, which didn’t help his score, but with easier games against Cairns and Adelaide, he should be in line for some bigger lines again this week.
Others to consider:
Anthony Drmic, SG/SF, BNE ($0.614m): He’s had his offensive struggles all year (shooting, scoring and FTs way down from NBL21), but Drmic is at his best when he’s in an aggressive mindset. That’s what we saw against Cairns on Sunday as he had a season-high 43 fp with an equal season-high 14 points, 5 boards (3 o-reb), a season-high 4 assists and a season-high 2 steals. Has he turned the corner? It’s possible.
Clint Steindl, SF, TAS ($0.791m): Steindl has been hot of late. He’s hit 12 of his last 19 threes and averaged 18.5 points and 30.5 fp over his last two games. If he keeps shooting well or is able to facilitate for others as he does on occasion, he should continue to be productive while the JJs have two straight doubles on tap.
If last week’s Captain choice didn’t work out as well (i.e. those who captained Mitch Creek per my advice) as Round 15 with Vic Law, then let’s look to make amends.
This week, with six teams on doubles, we are starved for choice.
The usual suspects (Franks, McCall, Cotton, Law) need to be considered, as does Mitch Creek and maybe even Zhou Qi, Peyton Siva and Stephen Zimmerman.
But the form helps to whittle down the list in terms of who to target and makes the choice a little clearer.
With that in mind, here are my top three Captain choices for Round 17:
Robert Franks, PF/C, BNE
Tahjere McCall, SG/SF, CNS
Vic Law, PF, PER
It was really hard to leave Cotton out of my top three and really you could throw a blanket over those top four choices, but I had to separate them.
So, based on recent form and matchups in Round 17, I rank them Law, then Franks then McCall with Cotton in fourth.
If you’re looking to get hot and start your own win streak in the final weeks of the season, then you can do yourself a favour and upgrade your team with one of the names above.
So don’t get complacent and keep building in the right way so you can find success when it matters most.