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NBL Store Fantasy Fix | Round 18

Written for nbl.com.au by Tom Hersz

 

The business end of the season is upon us.

There are two races going on right now. One for the minor premiership between Melbourne and Perth, while the other is for those final two spots in the top four.

At the conclusion of Round 17, there were still five teams vying for those spots, with only New Zealand and Cairns seemingly out of the running.

What that means is that every game from here on out counts. And while Brisbane has three games in hand over Adelaide and one or two over the others in that bunch, it is Adelaide who is the hottest team right now.

Winners of three straight including a huge and crucial come from behind win over Sydney on Sunday – in overtime no less – the Sixers are really finding some form at the right time. 

They have the biggest mountain to climb, still sitting in 7th place, but with Isaac Humphries back and DJ, Brandon Paul and Josh Giddey all firing, plus great support from Sunday Dech, Keanu Pinder and Tony Crocker, they are a tough beat right now.

The NBL Store NBL Fantasy season is also nearing the business end. With just two rounds to play before the Fantasy Finals, it’s do or die for a lot of squads right now.

And so, you may be looking to find a way to make your team a tough beat also. If you need some guidance to make all the pieces click, or just to plan ahead for the upcoming schedule – which has changed again – then you’re in luck.

Your weekly NBL Store Fantasy Fix is here for you once more.

 

Round 18 (May 11 – May 17)

3 Games: Perth, S.E. Melbourne

2 Games: Adelaide, Brisbane, Cairns, Illawarra, Melbourne, New Zealand, Sydney 

 

After the shortest round of the season, Round 18 is the equal largest schedule we’ve had all season, with a whopping ten games.

Every team plays at least two games, while with the recent schedule changes announced on Friday, Perth and South East Melbourne now play three times this round.

As you plan ahead, you should also be mindful of some other changes, such as in Round 19 Adelaide will now have three games instead of two, but will then have only one game in each of the final two rounds (Fantasy Finals weeks). 

The Phoenix have only one game in rounds 19 and 20, rather than the previously scheduled two games, but they then have a triple header in the final round of the season. 

While Brisbane now has a triple in Round 21 giving them a whopping ten games across the final four rounds; making for the juiciest schedule of any team remaining.

So make sure you plan ahead with your trades. If you’re locked into a Finals spot in your Fantasy league, then you’re planning ahead for Rounds 20 and 21, but if you need to win to get in, then your trades are all about this round. 

To help you plan how to maximise your funds, let’s review the top 10 price risers and price fallers after Round 17;

 

Risers

  1. John Mooney: +$100,000 ($2.19m)
  2. Bryce Cotton: +$100,000 ($1.56m)
  3. Brandon Paul: +$100,000 ($1.16m) 
  4. Jo Lual-Acuil: +$100,000 ($1.12m) 
  5. Jordan Hunter: +$100,000 ($1.08m)
  6. Majok Deng: +$100,000 ($1.01m)
  7. Keanu Pinder: +$100,000 ($0.809m)
  8. Will McDowell-White: +$100,000 ($0.750m)
  9. Tad Dufelmeier Jr: +$100,000 ($0.600m)
  10. Venky Jois: +$100,000 ($0.539m)

Fallers

  1. Jock Landale: -$100,000 ($1.60m)
  2. Isaac Humphries: -$100,000 ($1.20m)
  3. Colton Iverson: -$100,000 ($1.10m)
  4. Jarell Martin: -$100,000 ($1.03m)
  5. Keifer Sykes: -$100,000 ($0.988m)
  6. Finn Delany: -$98,000 ($1.02m)
  7. Mitch Creek: -$89,000 ($1.32m)
  8. Mitch McCarron: -$89,000 ($1.23m)
  9. BJ Johnson: -$82,000 ($0.918m)
  10. Jarrod Kenny: -$79,000 ($0.311m)

 

Once again it was John Mooney headlining the price risers with another maximum gain, but it was his teammate who stole the show. Cotton’s 86 fp was second only to Josh Giddey’s 88 fp this round and Cotton gets his first max price rise in a while. Giddey’s price rose by $74k this week and has cracked the $2million mark. Not bad for an 18-year old.

In all, there were ten players who made you $100k in Round 17. Joining those top 3 were Brandon Paul who continues to shine, Jordan Hunter and Jo Lual-Acuil – two players just playing their roles beautifully of late, and Majok Deng, who was huge for Cairns in just his second game back since Round 6.

Despite Jock Landale having the third top score of the round with 69 fp, his price fell by the maximum $100k this week. He was joined by Isaac Humphries who continues to build back up from his long absence, Colton Iverson, Jarell Martin and Keifer Sykes.

The Mitch’s (Creek and McCarron) down games saw big price drops, while new Bullets import BJ Johnson also couldn’t maintain his starting price after his first game.

Now that you’re funding is sorted, it’s time to look at the top trade targets for Round 18.

 

Josh Giddey, PG, ADL ($2.06m): This is becoming a habit now for the future lottery pick. Giddey racked up his third triple-double in his last four games on Sunday in a pretty epic come from behind OT win over the Kings. His 88 fp topped the round and he’s now averaging over 70 fp across his last 5 games. As Liam Santamaria noted on The Huddle Podcast last week, he’s a potential shut down candidate if the Sixers get eliminated from the Finals race, which is a massive shame given how well he‘s playing and the fact that the Sixers have a double this week and a triple next week. Regardless, you should be making plans to trade him out already though, ahead of the Sixers two straight singles in the Fantasy Finals rounds.

 

 

Isaac Humphries, C, ADL ($1.20m): Remember when Humphries was routinely putting up double-doubles with huge blocks totals before his injury? Well he’s not far off getting back to that mark. In fact, he was just two boards shy on Sunday. Humphries had 11 points, 8 rebounds and 6 blocks against Sydney, including hitting 3 triples. His 54 fp were his largest total since Round 6 and with his price dropping by the max again, I can confidently say this is the cheapest you’ll get him this season. Worth a look for these next two weeks.

 

Nathan Sobey, PG/SG, BNE ($1.52m) and Matthew Hodgson, C, BNE ($1.12m): These two are the most reliable players on the Bullets right now as they continue to make a Finals push. Sobes had his third straight game of 57 fp or more and is now averaging 58.7 fp over his past three games. Hodgy meanwhile, had his fourth 50+ fp game of the season and he’s now averaging 45 fp over his past three, which at his price, is great production. The Bullets have a dream schedule with ten more games over the final four rounds, so both of these guys should be in your team down the stretch.

 

Majok Deng, PF, CNS ($1.01m): Since returning from a nine-week absence, Deng has proven himself a valuable ingredient for the Snakes – one that they were sorely missing. He’s averaging 17 points, 7.5 rebounds, 2.5 assists, 1 steal, 1 block and 2 threes since his return, which is good for 48.5 fp. His 66 fp this past round was his best score of the season by a long way and it looks like he’s poised for a big finish to NBL21. The Snakes have 7 games over the next three weeks making Deng a very plausible option.

 

Tyler Harvey, PG/SG, ILL ($1.13m): If you believe the saying “you’re only as good as your last game”, then Harvey is certainly one to think about bringing in this week. Before their bye in Round 17, Harvey torched the Breakers for 29 points, with 4 steals on his way to a tasty 56 fp. The Hawks have a double this week and a triple in Round 19, making Harvey tough to look past right now.

 

Jock Landale, PF/C, MEL ($1.60m): Injury? What injury? You wouldn’t know that Landale had to miss two games and was coming off a down game to end Round 16 based on his performance on Saturday at the latest Throwdown. Jock had a season-high 27 points to go with 11 boards, 3 blocks and 2 triples. His 69 fp was just more of what he was doing pre-injury and if you eliminate Round 16 altogether, Landale is averaging 69 fp over his last seven games. Melbourne has two games in every round remaining, so he’s certainly a viable option.

 

 

Will McDowell-White, PG/SG, NZB ($0.750m): His box score numbers may fluctuate from game to game, but McDowell-White finds a way to contribute and that has been translating to strong fantasy numbers of late. He’s now averaging 41 fp over his past five games and with a still very cheap price tag, makes for a great bench option with a hearty schedule ahead.

 

Bryce Cotton, SG, PER ($1.56m): When you headline the Studs section in Liam Santamaria’s Studs and Duds column, you know you’ve had a nice round. Bryce Cotton was not just nice; he had his best game of the season so far. 32 points, 5 rebounds, 10 assists, 1 steal and 3 triples on his way to a season-high and round-high 86 fp. The MVP is heating up at the right time of the season and has two straight triples on tap. What more could you ask for?

 

John Mooney, PF/C, PER ($2.19m): If 59 fp is a down game, then we’ve all been spoiled by what Mooney has done this season. His price is at a season-high and he’s still averaging 74 fp over his last three games and 73 fp over his last five, despite the ‘down’ game. That price may make it nigh impossible to bring him in at this point, but if you don’t own him, you’ll have to find a way with two straight triples, because your opponent surely has him.

 

Jordan Hunter, C, SYD ($1.08m): After failing to top 50 fp all season, Hunter has now done so in three of his last four games. His 52 fp this past round led Sydney and he’s been a huge presence for them the past month. The Kings have doubles each week from here on out, so if you need a cheaper option who will produce, you could do a lot worse right now.

 

 

Others to consider:

 

Finn Delany, PF, NZB ($1.02m): Let’s not sugar coat it. Delany was awful in Round 16. Many started him and some even Captained him, and Finn Diesel uncharacteristically bombed, averaging just 16 fp across the round. He bounced back on Sunday with 38 fp, which while not spectacular by any stretch, is above his season average and also solid production at his new lower price. The Breakers schedule makes Delany very appealing.

 

Mitch Creek, SF/PF, SEM ($1.32m): It’s really tough to trust any Phoenix player right now given the slump they’re in, but if there’s one guy who’s most likely to bounce back and produce, it’s Creeky. He averaged 47 fp across his four games prior to Round 17 and with a triple on tap this week, it may be dice-roll time if you’re desperate for a win.

 

Captain’s Choice

With such a packed schedule and triples back on the agenda, we go straight to Perth and South East Melbourne for our initial Captain choices.

Perth gives us Mooney and Cotton to consider, but any Phoenix players may be a stretch right now. Creeky has big game ability, but has sputtered of late. 

Then there’s Josh Giddey, who would naturally be a fine selection, but with a shutdown looming, it’d be a brave fantasy manager who would Captain the teenage phenom right now.

So that brings us back to Jock Landale and Nathan Sobey on doubles as the only other viable options this week.

With that in mind, here are my top four Captain choices for Round 18:

 

Nathan Sobey, PG/SG, BNE

Jock Landale, PF/C, MEL

Bryce Cotton, SG, PER

John Mooney, PF/C, PER

 

The order is clear based on everything we’ve seen this season and the schedule.

Mooney first, Cotton second, Landale third and Sobey fourth.

With the business end of the season upon us, it’s incumbent on you to manage your ladder position and the schedule to set yourself up for your league’s Fantasy Finals. Starting with the names above should give you the upper hand.

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