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Bulk Nutrients NBL Fantasy Fix | Round 18

Written for nbl.com.au by Tom Hersz

 

Big scalps are great.

I mean, you get a big scalp in this league and the narrative about your team changes.

There were three such scalps in Round 17.

First, the Tasmania JackJumpers went into Perth on Thursday night and Scott Roth’s men got their twelfth win of the season in his old home arena. With that and their other Round 17 win, the JackJumpers kept pace with the top four.

Then, the Sydney Kings went into the same building (RAC Arena) on Saturday night and took control of the game right away against the Wildcats. When all was said and done, the Kings had embarrassed the ‘Cats and leapfrogged them for second place on the NBL ladder. In the process, they extended their win streak to 9 games and continue to be the hottest team in the league.

Finally, the Illawarra Hawks entered John Cain Arena to take on Melbourne United on Sunday afternoon, looking to keep pace with the top three teams. A win would put them right in the thick of the race for home court advantage in the first round of the NBL Finals. A loss would see them fall back in the pack with the Phoenix and Tasmania. The Hawks won and won big against Melbourne, getting great contributions across the board and signalling to the league that they need to be considered a legit contender again.

What this shows is that even if you’re the underdog, if you play things right, you can find a way to win.

My fantasy team also got a pretty good scalp in one league this week. I was ranked around 180th coming into Round 17 and facing a team ranked inside the top 30. With the right mix and a bit of luck, I got a much needed win and am now only a game out of first place in that league.

Your NBL Fantasy team may have struggled at times this season, but with two rounds left before NBL Fantasy Finals, it’s not too late to make a final push to either get into your league’s finals, earn a better seeding, or maybe just to improve your rank. All you need is to make some smart trades to boost your depth or your headline talent.

Need some guidance on how to do that? No problem. As always, your Bulk Nutrients NBL Fantasy Fix is here to assist.

 

Round 18 (Mar 31 – Apr 4)

2 Games: Adelaide, Brisbane, Cairns, Illawarra, Melbourne, Tasmania 

1 Game: New Zealand, Perth, S.E. Melbourne, Sydney

 

There are eight more games on tap in Round 18 as certain teams like Cairns and Adelaide continue to make up for lost time with the schedule. 

Again, six of the ten teams have doubles this week. Adelaide starts a streak of four straight to end the season, Brisbane will be into the second of three straight doubles, Cairns we know have doubles the rest of the way, while Melbourne United start a run of three straight doubles also. The Hawks and JackJumpers are the other teams with two fixtures in Round 18. 

In Round 19, there will be a bumper schedule of nine games with six teams on doubles and one with three games. That’s right, our fourth and final triple game round belongs to the New Zealand Breakers next round, so you’ll need a strategy to bring Yanni Wetzell and/or Peyton Siva into your team.

Need to figure out how you’ll afford those players you want? Let’s look at the top 10 price risers and price fallers after Round 17;

Risers

  1. Robert Franks: +$100,000 ($1.66m)
  2. Duop Reath: +$100,000 ($1.50m)
  3. Anthony Drmic: +$100,000 ($0.714m)
  4. Tim Coenraad: +$100,000 ($0.602m)
  5. Dane Pineau: +$100,000 ($0.412m)
  6. Hyrum Harris: +$100,000 ($0.392m)
  7. Makur Maker: +$85,000 ($0.734m)
  8. Bul Kuol: +$75,000 ($0.764m)
  9. Luke Travers: +$73,000 ($0.943m)
  10. Vic Law: +$69,000 ($1.87m)

Fallers

  1. Jo Lual-Acuil: -$100,000 ($1.66m)
  2. Jack White: -$100,000 ($1.01m)
  3. Matthew Dellavedova: -$100,000 ($1.00m)
  4. Sam Froling: -$100,000 ($1.00m)
  5. Kyrin Galloway: -$100,000 ($0.443m)
  6. Chasson Randle: -$96,000 ($0.528m)
  7. Todd Withers: -$80,000 ($0.692m)
  8. Jarrod Kenny: -$80,000 ($0.439m)
  9. Bryce Cotton: -$71,000 ($1.62m)
  10. Kyle Adnam: -$68,000 ($0.648m)

 

The fantasy studs keep on producing and this week was no exception. The top score for the round and a max price rise to boot belonged to Robert Franks (139 total fp), followed by Yanni Wetzell’s 122 fp (+ $37k), with Vic Law and Mitch Creek tying for third with 107 total fantasy points. 

Law just made it into the top ten price rise list with a $69k rise, while Creek made his owners a more modest $27k.

Other players to earn a max price rise were Anthony Drmic, Duop Reath, Dane Pineau, Hyrum Harris and Tim Coenraad. Young guns Makur Maker, Bul Kuol and Luke Travers rounded out the top ten money makers.

Law remains the most expensive player in the NBL Fantasy game ($1.87m) followed by teammates Xavier Cooks ($1.77m) and Jaylen Adams ($1.75m), while Jo Lual-Acuil (who headlined the price fallers list) and Franks are next at $1.66m each. Yanni Wetzell and Bryce Cotton are right behind them at $1.62m each. 

Not faring as well besides Lual-Acuil (down $100k) were his teammates Matthew Dellavedova and Jack White, Sam Froling and Kyrin Galloway who all also fell by the max. Galloway’s teammate Chasson Randle was close to a max drop (- $96k), with Todd Withers, Jarrod Kenny, Bryce Cotton and Kyle Adnam the others in the top ten price fallers.

With your budget now clear, let’s look at the best trade targets for Round 18.

 

Daniel Johnson, PF/C, ADE ($1.30m): He’s been great at times this season, but he’s also had his down games. Coming of three straight games of the latter, DJ was back to his best in the 36ers’ big win over the Phoenix on Sunday. He had his fourth double double of the season with an incredibly efficient 22 points, 10 rebounds, 3 assists, 1 steal and 0 turnovers, while hitting 9-16 FGs. His 67 fp were a season high and while Adelaide cannot make the Finals, they can keep playing spoiler during their run of four straight doubles.

 

Mitch McCarron, PG, ADE ($1.41m): McCarron has been better at home this season. That’s just a fact. Another fact is that three of the next four Sixers games are in Adelaide. McCarron is just three games removed from his season-high 74 fp and should be able to string together some big lines down the stretch. 

 

Anthony Drmic, SG/SF, BNE ($0.714m): Just when we think we’re out [on Drmic] he pulls us back in. Yes, he had that spectacular game winner on Thursday against New Zealand, but he’s now averaging 39 fp over his last three games and is shooting 18-38 from the field (47.4 FG%) and 7-18 3FGs over that span. He’s topped 40 fp in two of those and seems to have finally found some offensive consistency, which has been lacking at times this season.

 

 

Robert Franks, PF/C, BNE ($1.66m): A cut above the rest in Round 17, Franks led all players in fantasy points this past week. His 79 fp in that stunning OT win over New Zealand to open the round was a season high, while he’s averaging a whopping 66 fp over his last three games and 62.2 fp over his last five. Doubles this week and next make Franks a must-own player right now.

 

Scott Machado, PG, CNS ($1.09m): With McCall and Zimmerman out on Sunday, Machado had another strong showing, but he’s done that in three straight games now. Averaging 13.7 points, 3.7 rebounds, 7.3 assists and 2 made threes over that span, he’s produced 43.7 fp in that streak, which is well above what we’d been seeing from him earlier this season. He seems to be back to his best, is reasonably priced and has a fantastic schedule. Easy choice for mine.

 

 

Antonius Cleveland, SF, ILL ($1.44m): An equal season-high 60 fp for Cleveland came on Sunday in that massive win over Melbourne. He was aggressive from the get-go and had a big impact on both ends of the floor with 20 points (including 10 made FTs), 8 boards (3 o-rebs), 2 assists, 2 blocks and 4 steals. A double this week makes him very attractive, but be mindful that the Hawks then have two straight singles in Rounds 19 and 20, before a double to end the season in Round 21.

 

Duop Reath, C, ILL ($1.50m): One of the hottest fantasy players in the league right now, Reath had his third straight 60+ fp game in Round 17. What made it more impressive was that his 65 fp came against the best centre in the league in Lual-Acuil. Reath’s 15 points, 5 rebounds and 2 assists were nice, but it’s what he did defensively that really impressed. His 3 steals and 5 blocks were both NBL career-highs and he managed to limit the impact of both JLA and Jack White. Reath is averaging 65 fp over his last three games, so with a double this week, he needs to be in consideration. 

 

Caleb Agada, SG/SF, MEL ($1.28m): Back after a one-week absence, Agada was really the lone bright spot in United’s loss on Sunday. He had 12 points, 13 rebounds (7 o-rebs), 5 assists, 3 steals and hit two threes on his way to 74 fp. That’s his second highest fantasy total of the season. Yudai Baba coming in could conceivably impact Agada’s production, but his role is pretty clear on this team and his all-around game will be needed for United to hold onto top spot down the stretch. They have three straight doubles on tap.

 

Jo Lual-Acuil, C, MEL ($1.66m): His form has been a little down, and to be honest that’s not surprising with a newborn at home, but he’s still been productive. It’s the defensive end though where JLA has disappointed of late, with zero steals or blocks in two straight games. If he can find a way to have an impact on that end, that will translate to some bigger fantasy totals in the coming weeks with United’s busy schedule.

 

 

Peyton Siva, PG, NZB ($1.35m) and Yanni Wetzell, C, NZB ($1.62m): With three games next round, find a way to get one or both of these guys into your roster, even if that means bringing one in on a single this week. They’re worth it.

 

Josh Magette, PG, TAS ($1.23m): These guys just won’t let up will they? The JJs keep finding ways to win and surprise us and Magette is a big part of that. After a mini offensive slump for a few weeks, he seems to be finding some rhythm again, even if his shooting hasn’t been consistent. But he’s diming (6.3 apg over last 4 games), getting steals (2 in each of the last two games), getting on the boards (5.4 rpg over last 5 games and 3 o-rebs in each of last two games), and he’s helping them win. Now averaging 39.7 fp over his last three games, he’s productive, good value and has two more doubles (this week and Round 20).

 

Others to consider:

 

Kouat Noi, SF, CNS ($0.709m): In what’s been in many ways a lost season for Noi, he may just be finally turning the corner. It’s too late for the Snakes to make the Finals, but that doesn’t mean they cannot start building for next season and Noi, if healthy, could be a key piece for them in NBL23. His 19 point, 6 rebound, 2 assist, 1 steal showing on Sunday, was easily his best game of the season and the 40 fp were a season-high. Worth considering as a cheaper bench option given their schedule, especially if McCall misses more time.

 

Jaylen Adams, PG, SYD ($1.75m): The Kings have three straight doubles starting in Round 19. Adams is one of the best players in the league right now. Find a way to get him in next week.

 

 

Captain’s Choice

 

With another six teams on doubles this week, there are plenty of options once more.

Our league leader from Round 17 (Franks) has another double, but the next two best scoring players (Wetzell and Law) have singles. So we need to look elsewhere.

Based on both recent and season form, you need to also consider McCarron, Reath, Lual-Acuil and McCall if he plays.

Trust plays a part and some of these guys have been more reliable than others, both with consistency, form and health.

So, with that said, here are my top three Captain choices for Round 18:

 

Robert Franks, PF/C, BNE

Duop Reath, C, ILL

Jo Lual-Acuil, C, MEL

 

And based on recent form and matchups in Round 18, I rank them in that order – Franks, then Reath then Lual-Acuil.

If you need to make a final push in the standings or the rankings, make the smart choice and use your trades on two of the names above. It might just help you get that scalp you’ve been looking for.

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