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NBL Store Fantasy Fix | Round 2

Written for nbl.com.au by Tom Hersz


There were a lot of impressive debuts in Round 1.


Kouat Noi debuted for the Cairns Taipans and got his Rookie of the Year campaign off to a solid start. Angus Glover debuted as a fully contracted player after battling back from multiple ACL injuries over the past two years. And LaMelo Ball made his NBL debut – the only NBL20 Next Stars player to take the court in Round 1 – and demonstrated some of what has NBA scouts so excited.


But the most impressive debut came from a brand new team. The South East Melbourne Phoenix made their NBL debut against their cross-town rival and left no doubt as to how competitive they’ll be immediately.


The Phoenix came out hot and closed out the game strong, despite losing Tai Wesley early, holding on for the franchise’s first win and rewarding Simon Mitchell with his first career victory as a Head Coach too.


We saw just how much Mitch Creek has improved from his time in the G-League and brief stints in the NBA as his trademark aggression and leadership helped the new kids from the Heartland to some early success.


If your fantasy could use some early success of its own and you need to make some minor tweaks to your roster, then you’ve come to the right place as your weekly Fantasy Fix is back.


Round 2 (Oct 11 – Oct 14)


2 Games: Brisbane, Cairns, Illawarra


1 Game: Adelaide, Perth, SE Melbourne, Sydney


Bye: Melbourne, New Zealand


After a light schedule to tip off the season, there’s a little more action this week as three of the nine teams play twice.


If you’re carrying any Melbourne United players as most are, you have a decision to make. Trade them out for this week’s bye or hold, take the zero in Round 2 and then enjoy three straight doubles from Round 4 through Round 6.


Of course there are plenty of other teams with doubles both this week and next, so make sure you’re setting your team up for success as in standard leagues, head-to-head matchups start in Round 3.


But for now, you want to avoid New Zealand Breakers players for one more week, while giving a good look to some Hawks with three straight doubles, or Cairns players who have doubles in two of the next three rounds.


It’s the perfect time to cash out on someone like Jo Lual-Acuil who has made a nice chunk of change for you already, or Tai Wesley who is sidelined, and maybe look to somehow bring in Mitch Creek before he gets even more expensive.


Speaking of price, the first price updates are in and here are the top 10 price risers and price fallers after Round 1;


Risers

1.   LaMelo Ball: +$100,000 ($0.950m)

2.   Kouat Noi: +$100,000 ($0.350m)

3.   Mitch Creek: +$97,000 ($1.62m)

4.   Jo Lual-Acuil: +$92,000 ($0.342m)

5.   Dane Pineau: +$87,000 ($0.406m)

6.   Craig Moller: +$61,000 ($0.604m)

7.   Nicholas Kay: +$55,000 ($2.09m)

8.   Chris Goulding: +$55,000 ($1.17m)

9.   Jae’Sean Tate: +$52,000 ($1.05m)

10. Aaron Brooks: +$49,000 ($1.05m)


Fallers

1.   Tai Wesley: -$100,000 ($1.54m)

2.   Andrew Bogut: -$87,000 ($2.28m)

3.   Josh Boone: -$79,000 ($1.65m)

4.   Mika Vukona: -$71,000 ($0.798m)

5.   Nathan Sobey: -$62,000 ($1.59m)

6.   Damian Martin: -$57,000 ($1.17m)

7.   David Andersen: -$55,000 ($0.743m)

8.   EJ Singler: -$54,000 ($0.946m)

9.   Dario Hunt: -$50,000 ($0.950m)

10. AJ Ogilvy: -$48,000 ($1.30m)


With the first adjustments to your team values in the books, it’s time to plan your trade options for Round 2. Here are some to consider bringing in.


Cameron Gliddon, SG/SF, BRI ($1.30m): They say a World Cup campaign can do wonders for a player when they return to their pro league. Well despite the lack of minutes in China, Gliddon – and his moustache – returned to the NBL ready to go. He didn’t shoot it great against Illawarra on Sunday (3-8 FGs), but he found other ways to contribute with 8 rebounds (2 o-reb), 2 assists, 2 blocks and a steal. His 49 fantasy points ranked him 7th by average for the round making him a smart option at that price with a double in Round 2.


Matthew Hodgson, C, BRI ($1.19m): Now in his second season with the Bullets, Hodgy knows how to get it done and that was obvious on Sunday. The big fella had 14 points, 5 rebounds, 3 blocks and a steal while his 43 fantasy points were the second best total by a Centre in Round 1. He is certainly a great value big man considering the price of some other five men and with a double this round, let him get it done for you too.



Scott Machado, PG, CNS ($1.04m): A popular tip to lead the NBL in assists this season; Machado is on his way with 8 in his first game, which is the league leader in average after Round 1. But he also swiped 2 steals, hit a triple and scored 13 points, giving him a solid 39 fantasy points. He’ll likely shoot better than he did, so give him a look with a double this week and in Round 4.


Kouat Noi, SF/PF, CNS ($0.350m): One week, one-hundred thousand reasons to smile if you already owned Noi. Yes, his price rose by the maximum, but he is still insanely cheap as a new Aussie to the league. Noi wasted no time becoming a fan favourite with a double-double on debut including 6 offensive boards which is fantasy gold. His 50 fantasy points may not come every week, but that energy will and that can only mean good things. With the Snakes’ nice schedule, it’s a great time to grab someone Noi-ce for your team.


LaMelo Ball, PG, ILL ($0.950m): The hype is real my friends. This kid can do a lot of different things on a basketball court and racking up fantasy points is just one of them. With 12 points, 8 rebounds, 4 assists, 4 steals and a block on debut, good for 55 fantasy points and the third highest Round 1 score, his price is only going to keep on rising so don’t wait. The Hawks have three straight doubles starting this round, meaning Ball is a must-have right now.



Aaron Brooks, PG/SG, ILL ($1.05m): If you weren’t sure what to expect from Brooks once the regular season started, well now you have a good idea. Only, what we saw in Round 1 was far from his best. The 10-year NBA veteran played 32 minutes off the bench and poured in 23 points to lead his new team in scoring. However, he connected on just 1-8 3FGs and 7-21 overall. If you think he’s going to shoot that poorly again, you’re sorely mistaken and if you think his price isn’t going to keep rising, then that’s your second mistake. One, two, three straight doubles – count ‘em. Get Brooks in your line-up now.


Nick Kay, PF, PER ($2.09m): It’s an investment, I know. Over $2 million on any player is tough, but has Nick Kay given you any reason to doubt him? Following his All-NBL 1st team season, he proceeded to excel with the Boomers in China and then returned to drop 18 points (7-8 FGs, 3-3 FTs), 7 rebounds (3 o-reb), 7 assists, 3 steals, 1 block and 1 three-pointer for good measure on Melbourne. His 73 fantasy points was the largest single-game score for Round 1, so your money is definitely in good hands. If you’re still in doubt, did I mention the Wildcats have three straight doubles starting in Round 3?


Terrico White, SG/SF, PER ($1.23m): Your Grand Final MVP became the Red Army’s Round 1 MVP too after knocking down the game winner with 11 seconds remaining to knock off their good friends from Melbourne. White had 20 points on 7-14 shooting, including 5-9 from downtown, while doing it on defence too with a pair of steals. No reason to see him slowing down now.


Mitch Creek, SG/SF, SEM ($1.62m): With the game on the line and teammate Tai Wesley watching from the sidelines, Creeky put his brand new team on his back and carried them to the franchise’s first ever win. Their marquee player showed his class with an all-around game that we’ve never quite seen from him before – not to that extent anyway. 28 points, 11 rebounds, 4 assists and 4 triples on his way to 72 fantasy points. Any doubts over whether Creek was worth that money were put to bed and with Wesley out a couple more weeks, owning the Creek Freak is just being smart.



Jae’Sean Tate, SF/PF, SYD ($1.05m): The Kings have struggled to get the right fit at the four spot in the past, but it looks like that may have changed this year with the arrival of Tate. He is fast, strong, athletic and plays both ends of the floor. He can also spread the floor although he missed both his 3-point attempts on Friday. But Tate debuted with 14 points, 9 rebounds, 2 assists, 1 steal and 1 block and the Kings have a nice schedule coming up with doubles in three of four rounds starting in Round 3. A double-double threat with range? Yes please.


Others to consider:


Eric Griffin, PF, ADE ($1.00m): An impressive showing on the biggest stage against the Utah Jazz, Griffin, a former Jazz player himself felt right at home with 12 points, 6 rebounds, 2 threes and a whopping 4 blocks. Imagine what he’ll do against NBL competition. The Sixers debut on Saturday and then have doubles in Rounds 3 and 4. Makes sense to bring him in at his cheapest.



Todd Blanchfield, SF, ILL ($1.24m): In his second year in the ‘Gong, Blanchfield has been named a co-captain and will once again be a focal point for this team. He only had 8 FG attempts in Round 1, but still had a solid game with 10 points, 8 rebounds and a block. We can expect more from him going forward as he continues to learns to play with Ball and Brooks, plus the Hawks’ schedule is tasty.



Captain’s Choice


For Round 2, my top three choices for Captain are:


Lamar Patterson, SG/SF, BRI


LaMelo Ball, PG, ILL


Aaron Brooks, PG/SG, ILL


The debuts have come and gone, but there’s plenty to look forward to in Round 2 as the schedule heats up.


So get your roster set for this week while planning ahead for Round 3 when your league head-to-head action starts and make sure you get your Fix when you need it.

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