Hungry Jack's NBL
NBL Store Fantasy Fix | Round 11
Written for nbl.com.au by Tom Hersz
They’re hot! Damn hot! Real hot! That’s right, there are several teams that have been on fire lately.
The South East Melbourne Phoenix have won four straight games, despite a number of personnel changes. They’ve moved into third place on the NBL21 Ladder and with the return of Keifer Sykes looking likely, as well as continuing to integrate Ryan Broekhoff, Dane Pineau and Adam Gibson, there is plenty more upside with this team.
The Brisbane Bullets have won four out of their last five games and six of eight. With Lamar Patterson hoping to return for Round 12, this team could continue this run to keep pace with the Finals race.
The Sydney Kings have also won four out of five games, including big scalps in Melbourne United, Brisbane and South East Melbourne. Jarell Martin has only played in 4 games since missing nearly a month of action, while Angus Glover is also still to return. This team has nowhere near peaked yet and will also be dangerous the rest of the way.
But there is no team hotter than the Perth Wildcats who’ve won five straight games and nine of their past ten games. And Monday night was another great example of why they’ve been so successful. They rode a red-hot Bryce Cotton in the first half before John Mooney, Todd Blanchfield and Mitch Norton helped bring them home in the second. That Finals streak looks alive and well.
In any event, those teams are right where they want to be at the moment. They’re playing with cohesion and self-belief, which goes a long way to earning wins.
Your NBL Fantasy team should also be humming right now. You’ve had a plan for your trades, you’ve managed your money well, made those upgrades at the right time and maximised the schedule where you can. Your team is on fire and dominating your league each week. Sound familiar? Yes? Maybe not so much?
Well either way, I’m here to help. Whether you need something to spark your next hot streak, or just looking to keep things rolling, the Fantasy Fix is here for you.
Round 11 (Mar 25 – Mar 29)
2 Games: Brisbane, Illawarra, Melbourne, New Zealand, Perth
1 Game: Adelaide, Cairns, S.E. Melbourne, Sydney
If you thought those bumper schedules were reserved for the NBL Cup, well think again. On Tuesday, the league announced the schedule for Rounds 12, 13 and 14. Did someone say don’t stop? Did someone say keep the music playing? They must have, because we’re about to have an insane 18 straight days of action.
But before we get to that, Round 11 brings us five teams with doubles again. Adelaide, Cairns and Sydney go back to a single, while the Phoenix will have plenty of practice time to get those guys back up to speed with their second straight single. The other 5 teams have doubles.
Melbourne continues a crazy streak of doubles with what will be their eighth straight week, and at least three more weeks to come through Round 14, making their main guys very attractive.
Perth continues their run of doubles and will actually have nine games in the next four rounds, as will the Hawks and the Breakers. While Brisbane have three straight doubles on tap.
To assist with your cap management and trade planning, here are the top 10 price risers and price fallers after Round 10;
- John Mooney: +$100,000 ($1.89m)
- Josh Giddey: +$100,000 ($1.52m)
- Ben Moore: +$100,000 ($1.14m)
- Craig Moller: +$100,000 ($0.929m)
- Matthew Hodgson: +$87,000 ($1.20m)
- Izayah Mauriohooho-Le’Afa: +$76,000 ($0.470m)
- Luke Travers: +$70,000 ($0.357m)
- Colton Iverson: +$69,000 ($1.16m)
- Finn Delany: +$68,000 ($1.17m)
- Yannick Wetzell: +$66,000 ($1.01m)
- Dane Pineau: -$100,000 ($1.46m)
- Scott Machado: -$100,000 ($1.45m)
- Cam Oliver: -$100,000 ($1.44m)
- Ryan Broekhoff: -$100,000 ($0.800m)
- Dillon Stith: -$100,000 ($0.441m)
- Tai Webster: -$92,000 ($1.29m)
- Brad Newley: -$92,000 ($0.670m)
- Daniel Johnson: -$85,000 ($1.32m)
- Justin Simon: -$71,000 ($1.08m)
- Adam Gibson: -$52,000 ($0.559m)
In a slightly down week for Fantasy Scoring, that red-hot duo that keep the Red Army smiling led the way. Bryce Cotton, who sits just outside the top 10 in price risers with the 11th highest price rise of the week, topped all scorers with 113 total fantasy points, while his running mate Mr. Mooney, came in next best with 107 fp.
In all, only four players rose by the maximum $100k this week, with Craig Moller and Ben Moore stepping up with huge games to make their owners some much needed cash ahead of singles for both.
Dane Pineau returned to action this week for the first time in NBL21 and his limited minutes caused his price to start returning to earth a little; dropping by the max. He was joined by a familiar duo who just keep getting cheaper, in Machado and Oliver from Cairns. Ryan Broekhoff also fell by the max again, making him very intriguing at a price of just $800k, with three straight doubles starting next week.
With some cash in hand or at least a better handle on your finances, it’s time to look at the best trade targets for Round 11.
Matt Hodgson, C, BNE ($1.20m): I spoke to Hodgy a couple weeks back and he explained to me how his approach has evolved and enabled him to be more present and a little calmer this season. It’s paying off. Hodgy was huge in the Bullets Round 10 win over New Zealand with 16 points, 10 boards and 2 blocks for an equal season-high 55 fantasy points. He’s now averaging 41.4 fp over his past five and 43 fp over his past 3 games. With three straight doubles on tap, it’s the perfect time to let him be present in your line-up too.
Sam Froling, PF/C, ILL ($1.02m): With Cam Bairstow out, Sam Froling really stepped up in Round 10. Despite some early foul trouble, he was active all game, especially on the o-boards where he grabbed four to keep possessions alive for his team’s struggling offence. Froling finished the afternoon on Sunday with 11 points, 11 boards, a block and a three for 51 fp. He’s been a little inconsistent, but with a hearty schedule ahead and Bairstow a possibility to miss at least one more game, it may be Sam’s time to shine.
Justinian Jessup, SG/SF, ILL ($1.01m): Without being spectacular, the Next Star has been quietly productive. Jessup’s shot wasn’t falling on Sunday (1-6 3FGs), so he contributed with 4 boards and 4 steals to make an impact for his 37 fp. It’s the third straight game he’s scored 30 or more fantasy points, so while the ceiling has been capped lately, he’s still been reliable. The Hawks could be re-energised when they head home for their second game of this round, somewhere they’ve played just once all season, but play five of their next six.
Jock Landale, PF/C, MEL ($1.51m) and Mitch McCarron, PG/SG, MEL ($1.36m): Jock and Mitch. Mitch and Jock. Whichever way you want to write it, they have been the two most consistent and productive players for Dean Vickerman week after week. The only starters to play in every game, they’re also Melbourne’s top fantasy scorers and led them again in Round 10. Landale is now averaging 47.8 fp over his past five games, while McCarron has slowed the slightest bit with 36.6 over that same span, which is just shy of his 40.1 fp average on the season. With 4 straight doubles on tap, you can book these two a spot into your roster with confidence.
Finn Delany, PF, NZB ($1.17m): A game to forget for the Breakers, but Delany was again strong with a double double (12 & 10) on his way to 42 fp; his third straight game scoring in the 40s. The schedule doesn’t get any easier for the Breakers, but they do have 9 games in the next four rounds, which is appealing. Delany has been really strong of late and if last season is anything to go by, he’ll only get better.
Tai Webster, PG, NZB ($1.29m): The efficiency wasn’t there, but Webster was still productive in the Breakers loss with 19 points, 5 assists and 2 triples. The fact is, with his brother out, Lamar Patterson headed to Brisbane and reinforcements in Levi Randolph and William McDowell-White still in quarantine, Webster will be needed to shoulder an immense load in Round 11. If you think he can handle that, then he’s a great option, and at a cheaper price than he was last week.
Bryce Cotton, SG, PER ($1.79m) and John Mooney, PF/C, PER ($1.89m): Seriously, are we still doing this? They’re the two highest scoring fantasy players in the league and have 9 games in the next four rounds. If you don’t have them both by now, it’s time to pack up and go.
Ben Moore, PF/C, SEM ($1.14m): In his first game as a starter, Moore rewarded the faith shown in him by Simon Mitchell. He had a season high 23 points, a season high 5 assists, 10 boards and 2 blocks on his way to 79 fantasy points (one fp shy of his season high). Moore is going to be needed to play major minutes at the four spot with Creek out indefinitely and while the Phoenix have a single this week, his price has been rising so it may be the right time to bring him in ahead of three straight doubles starting in Round 12.
Craig Moller, SF/PF, SYD ($0.929m): There’s a quote from the James Bond movie, Goldfinger, that says: “Once is happenstance. Twice is coincidence. The third time it's enemy action.” What does this have to do with Craig Moller? Well in Round 9, he had a combined 79 fp including a 50 fp game against Brisbane – happenstance. In Round 10, he had 91 total fp to lead Sydney, busting out for a season high 56 fp against Melbourne – coincidence? Well if he does it again, it will not be enemy action, but action against his enemies – his opponents; and perhaps the opponents of his fantasy owners. The Kings only play once this week, but then have three straight doubles. Do you want to be Moller’s enemy?
Others to consider:
Jack McVeigh, SF, ADL ($0.836m): With only one game this week, it’s a risk, but McVeigh has been hot lately. He’s scored in double digits in 7 straight games and averaged 32.6 fp over that span. Certainly an option at a thin position.
Harry Froling, PF/C, BNE ($0.641m): It’s been a tough season in some ways for Froling as his form has been up and down. However, after failing to score in double digits in his past 5 games, including a DNP, he busted out with 20 points on 9-14 shooting on his way to 34fp. If you need a cheaper bench option, he’s worth a look, but I’d like to see him do it again first before trusting him.
Again, with just 5 teams on doubles and Perth being one of them, not too much will change.
Giddey comes out while Vic Law, Tai Webster and Nathan Sobey come back into the mix.
One of those guys has produced bigger lines than the rest and that is Vic Law, who is averaging 59 fp against the Hawks this season – one of his Round 11 opponents.
So with that said, here are my top four choices for Captain in Round 11:
Vic Law, PF, BNE
Jock Landale, PF/C, MEL
Bryce Cotton, SG, PER
John Mooney, PF/C, PER
Law and Landale have good matchups this week but haven’t had the ceiling of the Perth duo. They could easily top the round but it’s just so hard to go past what Cotton and Mooney are doing at the moment.
And while Cotton outscored his teammate in Round 10, I can’t go past Mooney for the top choice again. The formula works, so why mess with it?
Mooney first, Cotton second, Landale third and Law fourth for me this week.
All of these guys are capable of getting hot, but it’s about getting the combination right in the same week. If you focus on those who’ve proven their worth already – those listed above, you too, should be able to start your own streak easily enough.