6. Attention Michael Carter-Williams: Welcome back to Earth
After a stunning debut on Wednesday in which the rookie point guard put up 22 points and nine steals, MCW came back to reality on Friday night with a solid line of 14 points, five assists, and one steal. This is more of what we were expecting from the Syracuse product and what owners should be looking at on most nights. Carter-Williams did help lead the Sixers to a comeback win over the Wizards so he’s clearly going to get plenty of run as one of the team’s pillars of the future. Another good sign is his ball control. With just three turnovers through two games, his assist to turnover ratio is terrific. If you snagged him late in your draft, congratulations are in order. While he won’t light up the fantasy world on most nights, that explosion is there and he should provide early to mid-round value all year.
7. Josh Smith can’t stop shooting three-pointers
J-Smoove is a terribly frustrating and at the same time awesome fantasy player to own. Friday night was a perfect example as he had 19 points, eight boards, three steals and three blocks. However, he also had five turnovers and shot 7-23 from the field in large part due to his 3-11 three-point barrage. Josh Smith is not a good shooter from long range. He’s at 28% for his career and yet he has taken close to 500 shots from downtown over the last three years. Why? Because that’s his prerogative. The swingman does so many great things from a fantasy perspective but his downfall has always been his propensity to take that shot instead of using his incredible athleticism to drive to the hoop. At this point it look like Detroit is going to let its $54 million dollar man do whatever he wants and on most night’s Josh is going to shoot some ill-advised three’s. However, with all the other things he does, Smith could retain his Top 50 value this year.
8. Jose Calderon and Monta Ellis aren’t meshing
Calderon is Dallas’ point guard but by the looks of it, Monta is going to be Monta, which means that the trigger happy two-guard is going to have the ball in his hands more often than not. Calderon has 18 assists through two games but everything else is awful. He’s hit one shot this season in 15 attempts and while that will obviously improve, Calderon has never been a great steal man or rebounder so his value is certainly limited. Ellis is averaging 26 points through two games after Friday night’s 20-point output and has always been able to get his so to speak. For the time being it’s clear that Dirk Nowitzki and Ellis will be the primary scorers but Ellis is also taking some of the ball-handling responsibilities from Calderon which could lead to a down year for the Spain native.
9. Anthony Bennett will not win Rookie of the Year
Mostly drafted late in fantasy drafts due to his real life number one pick status, Bennett was a popular gamble for most owners this year. Unfortunately, he’s already waiver wire fodder. After Friday’s 0-3, one rebound, one steal performance, he’s averaging just 13 minutes through his first two games, and hasn’t hit a field goal yet. Bennett is an afterthought in the Cavaliers offense and in fantasy. He could heat up at some point but for now it’s time to cut bait.
10. The Lakers are a fantasy mess
Besides Pau Gasol, who put up 20/11 last night and has been very good through two games, the rest of the Lake-Show is a disaster. With Steve Nash gimpy and always a risk to miss time and Kobe Bryant still not back, the Lakers are running pretty much everyone out there every night. The “depth” of the roster is not good for fantasy owners, as pretty much anyone can go off on any given night meaning inconsistency is king. Last night Jodie Meeks (14 points) and Wes Johnson (12) were productive but earlier in the week Xavier Henry was the hot pickup. Henry had just three points while shooting 0-6 on Friday. At this point, Mike D’Antoni is still trying to figure things out but in the long run, Pau and Kobe will likely be the only two reliable fantasy resources for the Lakers.