Steve Alexander

Offseason Beat

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NBA Opening Night Preview

Monday, October 28, 2013

Here are some random thoughts on the eve of opening night, but first, why don’t you come play with me at


Editor's Note: Rotoworld's partner FanDuel is hosting a one-day $15,000 Fantasy Basketball league on October, 30th. It's $10 to join and first prize is $2,000. Starts October 30th at 7pm ET. Here's the link.


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Favorite Draft Targets


I was recently accused of having the same team in all my leagues, which I think is a good thing.  Guys I have been targeting consistently in my drafts Paul George, Anthony Davis, John Wall, DeMarcus Cousins, Paul Millsap, Derrick Favors, Monta Ellis, O.J. Mayo, Bradley Beal, Eric Bledsoe, Victor Oladipo, Enes Kanter, Caron Butler and Omri Casspi.


Not only did I cut my number of leagues down below 10 this year, but by taking a lot of the same players over and over, I may actually be able to keep track of who I should be rooting for each night.  And yes, my teams are either all going to be really good, or it’s going to be a disastrous year by having all my eggs in one basket. 


Opening Week


If you play in a weekly league I’m guessing you already know that the Lakers, Heat and Magic all play four times in Week 1, while the Nuggets play just two games.


It’s early, but injuries are already a huge factor around the league. When looking at just those four teams, owners of Kobe Bryant, Steve Nash, Tobias Harris, Ty Lawson, Kenneth Faried and Wilson Chandler already have things to be concerned about.


Kobe could be out until Thanksgiving, but that’s just a guess on our part. The truth is, no one knows when he’s going to play again.  But since I was in the camp that believed he would be back for opening night, I’m going to guess he doesn’t miss more than a few weeks of the regular season, and maybe less.


Nash is a mess, currently hampered by a neck injury and hasn’t made it through a single full practice yet, so there is no way I would draft him in any league right now. In fact, I like targeting Jordan Farmar at the end of my drafts, because my guess is Nash might not make it through the season. And even if he does, he’s going to be getting a lot of down time.


Harris’ ankle sprain doesn’t seem to be going away and he’ll miss Tuesday’s opener, and possibly Wednesday’s game as well. If I own him, I’m benching him for Week 1.  Glen Davis isn’t ready yet, meaning Nikola Vucevic and Moe Harkless should be leaned on heavily this week.


Lawson’s groin injury will leave him more doubtful than iffy for Wednesday’s opener, while it sounds like Kenneth Faried is good to go. Wilson Chandler is working on getting his hamstring ready for opening night, but it doesn’t sound like he’s playing.  The Nuggets only play twice in Week 1, so I would recommend benching all of them in weekly leagues.


Team-by-Team Injury Concerns For Week 1


It sounds like Paul Millsap (Achilles) and Al Horford (hamstring) are set to play for the Hawks in the opener.


Center Vitor Faverani returned to Celtics practice on Sunday and Monday after his back MRI was negative. He blew up late in the preseason, looks like their starting center and is a fun way to blow a last-round pick in most leagues, but his back is a bit of a concern.  Gerald Wallace was in a walking boot on Thursday but practiced with the starters on Monday, along with Jeff Green (forearm).  All three should be good to go this week.  The starting five is looking like Avery Bradley, Green, Wallace, Brandon Bass and Faverani. 


For Brooklyn, Paul Pierce was limited with a toe injury on Monday but is expected to play, while Andrei Kirilenko is still iffy for the opener with a back injury.  Deron Williams dunked over the weekend and got Monday off, but as far as I can tell, he’ll play in the opener despite his sprained ankle.


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Steve "Dr. A" Alexander is the senior editor for the NBA for and a contributor to The 2014-15 NBA season marks his 13th year of covering fantasy hoops for Rotoworld. Follow him on Twitter - @Docktora.
Email :Steve Alexander

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