The NBA is back! Forty-one games have already been played to date with a lot of information getting lost in the madness. But hey, that is the opening week of fantasy basketball. In this weekly column, I’ll highlight players that are trending up across all formats. I also look ahead at the schedule for week 2 to help you get off to a hot start and maximize your streaming roster spot.
Players Trending Up
1. P.J. Washington (Charlotte Hornets)
Washington started his NBA career with some extremely hot shooting. He dropped 7-of-11 from three against the Bulls for a total of 27 points on 53 percent shooting. The hot shooting is likely unsustainable in the long run. However, his role as a starter on this young rebuilding team provides enough intrigue for an add in 12-team leagues. A number of other factors may help solidify his role. Projected starting small forward Nicolas Batum fractured his finger, resulting in an extended absence. Washington also has the ability to slot in as the backup Center as we have seen in the first 2 games of the season. There are many avenues to minutes for the rookie and he looks set to be one of the better waiver wire additions this season.
2. Frank Kaminsky (Phoenix Suns)
DeAndre Ayton was recently suspended for what appears likely to be 25 games. Subsequently, a lot of managers ran to their waiver to pick up Aron Baynes. Baynes can be a solid source of boards and blocks in a 20-minute role. However, the overall fantasy game of Kaminsky seems like the better dice roll because of his higher upside. Kaminsky was fantastic in today’s win over the Clippers. He came off the bench and put up 18 points, 8 rebounds, 6 assists and 3-of-7 from three in 29 minutes. Monty Williams seems to really like Kaminsky coming off the bench. His versatility helps his case for a pick up as he can play power forward and center. Be quick though, as I feel he will be a hot commodity as he has strung together 2 big games.
3. Kendrick Nunn (Miami Heat)
Jimmy Butler missed time recently due to the birth of his child. As a result, we saw Nunn and Tyler Herro inserted into the starting lineup. Many people believed Nunn was just a placeholder for Butler, myself included. However, Eric Spoelstra cleared things up by saying that Nunn will remain in the starting five even when Butler returns. This is a really promising statement by Spo and I believe Nunn should be in consideration for a pickup.
Through the first three games of the season, Nunn is averaging 22.3 points, 3.3 rebounds, 3.3 assists, 2.0 steals, and 2.7 threes. This comes with a 26.6 percent usage rate in just 27.5 minutes, making him the 22nd ranked player in standard leagues. When Butler does return I expect his usage rate to take a hit. With that being said, he is definitely going to earn time with Dion Waiters in the doghouse.
4. Devonte’ Graham (Charlotte Hornets)
Devonte’ has been shooting the lights out from three and honestly, he’s already outplaying big-money starter, Terry Rozier. In just 27.6 minutes Devonte’ is averaging 18.7 points, 3.0 rebounds, 5.7 assists, and 4.3 threes per game at a ludicrous 75 percent from downtown. Again, this extremely hot shooting is unlikely to continue. However, it’s really promising that he has been getting the crunch time minutes over Rozier.
5. Jalen Brunson (Dallas Mavericks)
Brunson got the start against the Pelicans as Rick Carlisle decided to move Delon Wright to the bench. He put up 14 points, eight rebounds, two assists, and two three-pointers in 28 minutes in that game. Brunson remained in the starting lineup for Sunday’s game. He was certainly less impactful, however, he still played 27 minutes alongside Wright. I’m not too confident in him being installed as a permanent starter, rather than this being a situational move by Carlisle. I think this is more of a wait and watch for Brunson, but if he does start to see these high 20 minute games regularly, be ready to pounce.
Week 2 Schedule and Streaming Options
This season Fantrax is providing a schedule grid which is a really handy and powerful tool to help you plan for your week of streaming.
As you can see, 14 teams play four games. These include CHI, CHA, DEN, DET, GSW, HOU, IND, LAC, MIL, NYK, ORL, SAC, SAS, and UTA. I suggest streaming in players from Atlanta and Denver. They are the only two teams to have a back-to-back on Monday and Tuesday. They both also play three games in the first four days. Players you might want to look at include Alex Len, Malik Beasley, Torrey Craig, Mason Plumlee, DeAndre Bembry, Jerami Grant, and Kevin Huerter. Although Heurter has been on a 20-minute limit as he works his way back from injury.
The Clippers don’t have a back-to-back on days one and two, however, they do play three games in the first four days (Mon, Wed, Thurs). A few players you might want to take a look at are Mo Harkless, Landry Shamet, Ivica Zubac, and JaMychal Green.
If you want to hear more of my thoughts on players trending up and schedule analysis for week two, check out the latest podcast episode of the “Fantasy NBA Show” available on Apple Podcasts and Spotify. You can also follow me on twitter @fantasyNBAstats. Good luck in your matchups for week two and keep your eyes peeled for those hot waiver players that are trending up.
Is Elliott on the money with his player trends? Let him know in the comments below! Also check out our waiver wire and all of our other fantasy basketball content.
Fantrax was one of the fastest-growing fantasy sites of 2018 and we’re not slowing down in 2019! With multi-team trades, designated commissioner/league managers, and drag/drop easy click methods, Fantrax is sure to excite the serious fantasy sports fan – sign up now for a free year at Fantrax.com.