Fantasy Basketball 2013: Week 2 Strength Of Schedule

Marc Lebryk-USA TODAY Sports

 

Because NBA teams play multiple games per week, fantasy owners need to know exactly how many games their star players will see in a given week. Some leagues have their lineups set once during the entire week, which means fantasy owners must be aware of who plays the most games, as well as who will see the more favorable matchups.

Of course, we are in Week 2 of the fantasy hoops season, so I guess I’m a little late on this (sorry, football season in full swing). However, I figured it would be wise to start analyzing teams and players with the most favorable schedules in each week, making it easier to set your fantasy lineups.

Let’s check out the rest of Week 2.

Cleveland Cavaliers

Opponent

PPG Allowed

Rank

Milwaukee 95 6th-fewest
Philadelphia 106.5 4th-most
Philadelphia 106.5 4th-most

*CLE already played on Monday

I’m very interested to watch the Cavs this week, not only because they are my favorite team, but they have two interesting matchups. The game against Milwaukee could be a good one for point guard Kyrie Irving. Both Brandon Knight and Luke Ridinour are dealing with injuries, and if they can’t go, Nate Wolters would be in line to start at point guard. That would bode extremely well for the likes of Irving. Kyrie hasn’t really been the scoring threat we saw last year just yet, mainly because he is focusing on improving as a defender, and setting up the improved talent around him. I think this could be the game Kyrie goes off for his first 30-point game of the season.

I also like Tristan Thompson this week, and especially in this matchup. The Bucks are allowing 14 offensive rebounds per game, which is the second-most in basketball. Thompson is an excellent offensive rebounder, and with Larry Sanders’ status up in the air, the paint could belong to Thompson in this one. Currently averaging 8.8 boards per game, Thompson will continue to be the main source of offense in the Cavs backcourt, especially with Anthony Bennett struggling and Andrew Bynum working his way into the rotation. According to NBA.com, Thompson is currently seeing 17 rebound chances per game, so if you combined that with a friendly rebounding matchup, I love his chances at a strong double double.

The matchup I look forward to the most is against Philly. A surprising team, the Sixers have had their struggles on the defensive end, but not rookie Michael Carter-Williams. It’ll be interesting to see how the rookie squares up against one of the best point guard with the ball in his hand in Irving. I could definitely see Irving turning the ball over a bit in this one, but he’s still an elite option. The Sixers are also struggling on the glass, allowing 13 offensive rebounds per game. I love Thompson for the rest of this week.

C.J. Miles could be a sleeper this week, too. He is quietly averaging a respectable 14.8 points per game, and is doing most of his damage from beyond the arc. Miles is averaging a little more than five three-point attempts per game, and the Sixers currently allow 32.2 points from three-point range on the season, the most in the league. Miles is seeing enough minutes (20.5 per game) to matter in fantasy.

Oklahoma City Thunder

Opponent

PPG Allowed

Rank

Dallas 106.2 5th-most
Detroit 97.2 20th-most
Washington 108.3 3rd-most

 

I obviously don’t need to tell you to start guys like Kevin Durant or Russell Westbrook, but it is worth noting that they have some good matchups in their three games this week. I do want to talk about Westbrook, however, because it’s interesting to see that he returned to the court way ahead of schedule. In his season debut, Westbrook scored 21 points, and added seven assists and four rebounds. There were no setbacks after the game. I like him a lot this week. He’ll continue to shake off some rust (if any), and it was encouraging to see that he possessed the ball a total of six minutes, which is the ninth-most in the league right now on a per-game basis. He’ll have a good chance to score, as usual, but also to flirt with the 10-assist range. The Wizards are allowing opposing offenses to post 27.3 assists per game, which is the second-most among all defenses. Oh, and start Durant, because he is really, really good.

 

 


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