Fantasy Forecast: Week 1
Week one of the NBA season is about to kick off and the world is watching to see how the Lebron James and Co. experiment will actually work out. The bright side is the Heat play four games in the opening week… but with good comes the bad. The bad news is that Mike Miller will be out at least until January due to a broken thumb that required surgery. If you drafted Miller as your utility starter, you better go out and snatch up someone like Marco Belinelli or Arron Afflalo. Leave newly signed G/F Jerry Stackhouse on the waiver wire.
Stephen Curry: Curry is easily a 1st round PG and should be drafted as such. The Warriors have a talented team and Curry is a sniper with the rock. I bet you had to go top 10 to get Curry in the draft.
Darren Collison: Collison is not the starting PG for the Indiana Pacers and playing alongside of Danny Granger will only help him this season. He has three games this week and I have no issues starting him at PG.
Tyreke Evans: There aren’t many people on the Kings that I would want on my fantasy team, but Evans sure is one of them. Last season his value took a hit because he missed 10 games, shot just 75 percent from the free-throw line and hit only 36 3-pointers. When he improves on those numbers, he will easily be a starting SG in your league.
Joe Johnson: Johnson signed a big contract over the summer, so the Hawks will look for him to come up big this season. The great thing about him is that you know exactly what you will get because he is one of the most consistent players in the league.
Danny Granger: Injuries have plagued Granger throughout his career and he really needs to calm down with the 3-pointers. That being said, he is my favorite player in the league, both professionally and personally, and I see no problems at all putting him in the top five SFs in the NBA.
Gerald Wallace: Wallace is one of the most underrated players in the NBA, but that is probably due to the fact that he plays for the Grizzlies. I see no problems starting Wallace in Week one and you shouldn’t either. He will be the bright spot on a bad team.
Amare Stoudemire: As a fantasy player Amare is one of the top PFs in the league; as an NBA player he lacks defensive skills and doesn’t bang on the boards as much as he should. He is all the Knicks have, so you can count on him to get you plenty of fantasy numbers this season.
Kevin Love: Love is finally ready to step out of his bench role and I love him this season. In Week one of the season the Timberwolves play the Kings, Bucks and Grizzlies... can you say butter?
Brook Lopez: Lopez jumps into the tier one level of fantasy centers in 2010 and I have high hopes for him. An argument could be made for Lopez to be the #1 fantasy center over Dwight Howard, so play him as such.
Roy Hibbert: Hibbert has been plagued by foul trouble in the past, but he enters this season with a new focus on defense and has impressed in the pre-season. I have no problems slating Hibbert as a lower-end C1 in most formats and think you should start him if you own him.
Derrick Rose: Rose and the Bulls won’t be running too much in Week 1 as they play just two games. I expect Rose to be one of the top PGs in the league this season, but your investment will have to wait.
John Wall: Wall has been one of the most impressive rookies in the summer and pre-season, but he is another victim of the two-game week to start the season. I have a man-crush on Wall… just not this week.
Vince Carter: Air-Canada’s days of being a top tier fantasy factor are over. That being said, he is still a productive player when he is working his magic. This week he plays just two games, so it is going to be hard to start him for those in weekly line-up leagues.
J.R. Smith: Smith can be one of the best sixth men in the league and one of the most productive utility players in fantasy basketball this year. But, he has some major maturity issues and nobody knows when he will get hot and cold. Until he grows up and gets consistent, leave him on the bench if you drafted.
Josh Childress: Childress goes from Greece to Phoenix and will assume a sixth-man role with the Suns. The problem is people drafted him as a starting utility player and he is not quite good enough for that. Personally, I’d wait until he has his first good game and sell high on him.
Richard Jefferson: Jefferson is at the end of his career and the Spurs are finishing up their run at NBA titles… so why did you draft him? Seriously… why? Just sit him and wait for someone to get injured and then stick him in the line-up as a fill-in. Troy Murphy: I’ve watched Murphy for a few years now, going back to his days with the Pacers. The one thing about Murphy is he can average a double-double, but the other thing is he hurt his back and looks to miss the better part of the first week. Leave him on the bench until he shows he is healthy.
Elton Brand: Tell me you didn’t draft Brand… please tell me you didn’t. I know some of you did because I got plenty of emails during the draft asking when they should take him. Look, his fantasy value is over and I wouldn’t own him, let alone play him until you have a track-record of good play.
Yao Ming: Ming has a long history of injuries and that scares a lot of people off. He is back with the Rockets but it is going to be hard for him to get into a flow only playing 24 minutes a night. I would just keep him on the bench until he starts playing full games. Robin Lopez: With Stoudemire gone, Lopez is slated to start at center for the Suns this season. The problem is people drafted him as if he was as good as his brother and that just isn’t true. I’d expect him to average closer to 10 points and five boards a night, which puts him in the back-up center range.
James Morris hails from Rio Rancho, N.M., and has been playing fantasy sports since 1997. In addition to writing the Timberwolves Fantasy Forecast, Morris also writes fantasy articles for the Boston Celtics, and Indiana Pacers, as well as the NFL fantasy forecast for the Cincinnati Bengals, Jacksonville Jaguars, and Arizona Cardinals. You can also find him on Twitter or get him on Facebook for all your fantasy sports updates.