Hungry Jack's NBL
NBL Store Fantasy Fix | Round 8
Written for nbl.com.au by Tom Hersz
Best laid plans, right?
Sometimes you can do everything within your power to execute the best strategy and the basketball gods have other ideas. And really, there’s nothing you can do about it.
Those who captained Isaac Humphries in Round 7 may be feeling the pain right now. Not only was the big man limited by foul trouble before fouling out on Thursday versus Melbourne, he then lasted only 4 minutes on Saturday before exiting with a foot injury in what turned out to be a disastrous game for Adelaide against the Breakers.
To make matters worse, many of you would have also owned Jack White who managed just one game for the round. At the very tail end of a really strong showing against Adelaide, he went down with a serious finger injury. Less than 12 hours later he’d had surgery to repair it and we found out he’d be out 4-6 weeks.
White and Humphries’ health is way more important than your fantasy team, and we wish them both a speedy recovery. Dean Vickerman has now had to pivot to cover for White’s absence and it seems Conner Henry will be doing likewise with the Sixers.
And you may have to also follow suit with your NBL Fantasy Team. You probably didn’t plan to trade out either of those guys coming into Round 8 and now face yourself staring down the barrel of two donuts if you don’t make those moves.
So if you’re looking for some guidance on how best to fill those voids, then look no further as your Fantasy Fix is right here.
Round 8 (Mar 3 – Mar 7)
3 Games: Brisbane, Perth
2 Games: Adelaide, Cairns, Illawarra, Melbourne, New Zealand, Sydney, S.E. Melbourne
The super round is here. A whopping 10 games are on deck for your enjoyment and we also have the delightful bonus of two teams with triple-game rounds.
Every other team has a double and there are no singles in Round 9 either, so no need to trade anyone out based on the schedule alone.
But if you want to try to maximise that schedule, then looking at some Brisbane and Perth players would behove you for Round 8. Otherwise, your trades this week should be all about upgrading your roster with some of that cash you’ve been making along the way.
To help you plan those moves and see what you’ve got to work with, let’s take a look at the top 10 price risers and price fallers after Round 7;
- John Mooney: +$100,000 ($1.59m)
- Tai Webster: +$100,000 ($1.43m)
- Mitch McCarron: +$100,000 ($1.30m)
- Yanni Wetzell: +$100,000 ($0.950m)
- Jack White: +$100,000 ($0.950m)
- Cam Gliddon: +$100,000 ($0.944m)
- Dejan Vasiljevic: +$100,000 ($0.904m)
- Kyle Adnam: +$100,000 ($0.880m)
- Anthony Drmic: +$100,000 ($0.777m)
- Kyrin Galloway: +$77,000 ($0.327m)
- Scott Machado: -$100,000 ($1.75m)
- Finn Delany: -$100,000 ($1.09m)
- Scotty Hopson: -$100,000 ($1.02m)
- A.J. Ogilvy: -$100,000 ($1.01m)
- Dillon Stith: -$100,000 ($0.741m)
- Mojave King: -$100,000 ($0.360m)
- Jeremy Kendle: -$98,000 ($0.758m)
- Isaac Humphries: -$93,000 ($1.50m)
- Keanu Pinder: -$89,000 ($0.343m)
- Corey Webster: -$75,000 ($1.10m)
While he’s been playing great for a while now, I’m not sure anyone had Mitch McCarron topping the round, but that’s exactly what he did. McCarron – who is certainly makin’ you money again – had 122 total fantasy points and headlines the maximum price risers this week. Tai Webster was next best with 119 fp, while rookie Dejan Vasiljevic continues to make a very strong case for Rookie of the Year with 89 total fantasy points and another max rise.
In total, 9 players rose by the max, including Mooney, Wetzell, White and Cam Gliddon who makes a second straight appearance on this list.
A down round from Scott Machado with just 64 total fantasy points, saw him lead the list of those with a maximum $100k price drop this week. An improving Scotty Hopson also fell, while Finn Delany, A.J. Ogilvy and Next Star Mojave King also dropped by the max. Corey Webster’s strong round with 82 total fp, wasn’t enough to hold his price; Webster falling by $75k.
Now that you’ve crunched those numbers, let’s explore the best trade targets for Round 8.
Daniel Johnson, PF/C, ADL ($1.39m): There wasn’t much to like from the Sixers in Round 7, but their best player was Johnson. And with Humphries likely out for at least a couple of weeks, Johnson is going to have to shoulder an even bigger load. Despite their two losses, he had a solid round with 77 total fantasy points. His price has also come down a little further, making him very solid value and probably the one 36er you can rely on right now.
Matt Hodgson, C, BNE ($1.09m): Very briefly, Hodgy is a cheaper option at C for those trading Humphries out and Brisbane has three games this week. He’s averaging 35.3 fp over his last 3 games and 34.2 over his last 5, so he’s a pretty good shot to hit 100 points this week, which is always a nice target – especially at that price.
Vic Law, PF, BNE ($1.51m): Unfortunately, Law has been a bit yo-yo like of late; up one game, down the next. In Round 7 he was superb against the Hawks with 29pts, 9reb, 3ast and 2blk for 58 fp, before coming back to earth a little with 33fp against Cairns. Moustache or no moustache, we know this guy can play, and while the near-miss double-doubles may seem frustrating (his fourth 9-rebound game of the season), over 3 games this round, he’s sure to go large in at least two of them making him one of the more attractive options you could add.
Nathan Sobey, PG/SG, BNE ($1.39m): Of course the hottest player in Blue and Gold right now is this guy. Sobey played facilitator against the Hawks on Friday night, dropping an equal season-high 7 dimes to go along with 18 points on his way to 52 fp, before going off for another equal season-high – this time in points – with 30 points, 4 triples and 4 more assists for 49 fp. He’s been pretty consistent this season, averaging 42.6 fp to date and 45.7 fp over his last 3 games. With dual-position eligibility and 5 games over the next two rounds, this just makes sense.
Cam Oliver, PF/C, CNS ($1.74m): I don’t often do this, but I’m recommending you do not trade in Oliver this week. He put up a very strong round with 110 total fp, but he’s also had less than 50 fp in 4 of his past 5 games. Cairns is struggling as a group right now and for that level of production, there are cheaper options at both the PF and C spots.
Justinian Jessup, SG/SF, ILL ($1.14m): Similarly, the Hawks disappointed in Round 7 and from a fantasy perspective, the only semi-reliable player of late has been Jessup. His ‘down’ game on Sunday still netted 32 fp and he’s averaging 38.2 fp over his last 6 games. Jessup can create for others when he’s not hitting as evidenced by his 5 dimes against the Phoenix, and he gets on the boards too. He’s not the sexiest option, but he is someone you can count on to produce and continue to slightly outperform his price.
Mitch McCarron, PG/SG, MEL ($1.30m): I’m going to repeat myself from last week as I still don’t understand why more NBL Fantasy managers do not own McCarron. His ownership is barely up from last week and Mitch just led the whole round with 122 total fantasy points. He’s now averaging 63.3 fp over his last 3 games, he has dual-position eligibility, is reasonably priced and is making you money. I guess some folks just overlook a good thing. For those of you who want to make the smart moves … well this one seems pretty straightforward.
Tai Webster, PG, NZB ($1.33m) and Corey Webster, SG, NZB ($1.10m): Man, these guys are fun to watch play together. They’re so in sync, their games complement each other, and when it’s all clicking as it was on Saturday, it’s a beautiful thing. For fantasy purposes, it’s a similar story. It’s not always going to work, but when it does, you reap the rewards. Tai has been awesome and was the second top player in NBL Fantasy this past round with 119 total fp. He’s now averaging 57 fp over his past 3 games. Corey was electric on Saturday with a season-high 60 fp and seems to be well and truly over that hand injury. Both brothers’ arrows are pointing straight up, so give them a look. It’s fun, I promise.
Bryce Cotton, SG, PER ($1.79m): Cotton has the third highest FP average in the league. Yes, he’s expensive, but if you can make it work, you get thrice the Bryce this week. Perth is rolling right now, but that should be a compelling enough case for you.
John Mooney, PF/C, PER ($1.59m): He still leads the league in fantasy points per game by nearly 11 fp. He has three games this round. If you don’t own him, your opponent will. Do the right thing.
Mitch Creek, SF/PF, SEM ($1.72m): Another short one. Again he’s expensive, but worth every cent. Creek is averaging 55 fp over his last 5 games and 59.3 fp over his last 3. They have a packed schedule and he’s about as consistent and dominant as they come right now.
Cam Gliddon, SG, SEM ($0.944m): If you were to look up hot in the dictionary right now, you might find a picture of Cam Gliddon. He’s now made 13 threes in his last 3 games, has scored 18.7 points with 4 rebounds, 3 assists and 1.3 steals over that span, and has hit 45 fp or more in each of those games too. They have 5 games over the next two rounds making Gliddon a great SG or 6th man choice right now if you can’t afford the other guy.
Dejan Vasiljevic, SG, SYD ($0.904m): Of course you can’t discuss hot shooting guards without mentioning this guy. The rookie out of Miami is relentless when he’s on the court. He’s averaging 19.3 points over his last 4 games and while it doesn’t always translate to big fantasy scores, his 66 fp outburst (20 points, 10 rebounds, 2 steals, 4 threes) against New Zealand shows what kind of ceiling he has. And at under a million dollars with two more doubles, the current rookie of the year frontrunner is certainly a nice option.
Others to consider:
Justin Simon, SG/SF, ILL ($1.20m): Simon was the Hawks top fantasy scorer in Round 7 with 87 fp, but I’m not sure I trust him to repeat that. After a hot start to the season, he’s been a bit all over the place. The upside is there, so if you like to take some risks, then trading in Simon could pay off.
Kyle Adnam, PG, SEM ($0.880m): With Keifer Sykes missing on Sunday, Adnam got his first start of the season and did not disappoint. He dropped 13 dimes, narrowly missing out on a double-double with 9 points and he swiped 4 steals for good measure. His 71 fantasy points were easily a season-high and if Sykes misses again, Wild Kyle could become a fan-tasy favourite this week.
A different list this week by virtue of the Brisbane and Perth triples. When looking at which guys have the highest ceilings from those teams, the choices get narrowed down pretty quickly.
So with that in mind, here are my top three choices for Captain in Round 8:
Vic Law, PF, BNE
Bryce Cotton, SG, PER
John Mooney, PF/C, PER
You could probably add Nathan Sobey to this list, but he doesn’t usually have the same ceiling as his mo-partner in Vic Law. Sobey’s season-high is just 57 fp, while Law has topped 60 fp three different times.
Of course the other two guys on this list have even higher upside. There’s a reason why they both rank in the top three in fantasy point average to this point of the season. They get it done game in and game out.
And really, one guy stands atop this list and that’s John Mooney. He’s my top choice for Captain this week and should be yours too. Don’t try and get cute or fancy this week. Just play the percentages.
Remember, you can only control what you can control. Making smart choices gives you the best chance to succeed. The rest is in the hands of the basketball gods. But trading in for the guys covered above should help to appease the gods.
Let’s hope for an injury-free round and lots more great action in what promises to be a bumper round at the NBL Cup.