I’m taking a dive into the deep here. Admittedly, I’m not a Fantasy Basketball player at all, but just from the past couple days, I’ve interacted with quite a few of the rabid fan base who research, live and breathe fantasy stats and information.
I gather there’s a deep divide between NBA beat writers around the country and fantasy sports players — not quite to the degree of an East Coast vs. West Coast rap beef, but just short of that.
Nonetheless, the stat-driven nature of fantasy sports is intriguing, so I’ll dabble a bit in trying to provide some content for you guys. It’s not much different than what I already do — and if it helps you, I’m glad to oblige.
Here are a couple of cardinal rules, though: I’m not going to accept any of your winnings shares — unless you hit the big one, then we can talk — and you can’t demand too much of my time from my regular beat writing.
Normal disclaimer: My information is not a recommendation of how you should choose your players in your league. If you lose, I don’t want to know about it. If you win, I’m happy for you. I’m not going to DM you specific request all the time or answer all your specific questions. I’ll try to do it in addition to the regular course of my work.
You can give me all the feedback you want and I’ll interact as much as I can.
TUESDAY’S FANTASY FOCUS: Pistons at Raptors
Reggie Jackson (groin): Jackson played 26 minutes in his first game action since March 24. In Monday’s matchup against the Pacers, he had 14 points on 6-of-15 shooting (0-of-4 on 3-pointers). He seemed to have his first step and explosion to the rim back and looked comfortable on the pick-and-roll. It’ll look better when Andre Drummond is back active.
Fantasy slant: He’s on the second game of a back-to-back, so his minutes might be somewhat limited, so Ish Smith might get about equal minutes (Smith had 14 points and nine assists in 22 minutes Monday).
Andre Drummond (conjunctivitis): After missing the previous two preseason games, Drummond will get his first look with Jackson at the controls — and coach Stan Van Gundy has said he’s anxious to see what the rotation looks like with all the core players back. Drummond has looked better after sinus surgery in the summer, so whether he’s able to play more minutes at a high energy level is going to be something to watch. Drummond made 6 of 8 free throws in the first preseason game — and with his revamped free-throw mechanics, he could be much improved (50 percent?) this season.
Fantasy slant: Stan Van Gundy will want to see more of Drummond and Jackson together, so they’ll likely get plenty of minutes together and separately.
Avery Bradley (ankle): Bradley will be out for a second straight game because of an ankle issue. Van Gundy said it was minor but the Pistons have been very cautious with all their injuries in the preseason.
Fantasy slant: Rookie Luke Kennard is starting in his place, but defensively, Kennard has had his struggles, which will limit how long Van Gundy leaves him on the court.
Boban Marjanovic: He’s a fantasy go-to guy, but playing against smaller, mobile bigs, he’s had a harder time. He’s not guaranteed big minutes, so it’s a tough call.
Reggie Bullock: He had 13 points (with three 3-pointers) in 24.3 minutes in Mondays’ win but it’s unclear if he’ll get big minutes on the back-to-back.
Anthony Tolliver: Ditto from Bullock’s comments, but there are fewer minutes at power forward to spread around. Keep an eye on how Van Gundy plays him throughout the last two preseason games.