• We are getting SO CLOSE to preseason ball and the anticipation is killing me.  My weekend is officially here as I get ready to leave tonight for a weekend in Napa, California.  Due to this, I’m looking to get this article written as up-to-date as possible, but may miss some news if any breaks late Thursday evening.

    Before we get in to fantasy basketball news, I wanted to break away from the normal material to quickly tackle a subject outside of the fantasy fishbowl.  For any readers not familiar with the world of esports, it is a growing industry expected to be worth close to $1 billion.  In this world, guys are paid to play video games at a competitive level.  Certain games draw in larger crowds and more money than others and some people associated with the NBA have decided that now is a great time to invest.

    While Gordon Hayward has long been the poster child for the NBA in association with eSports, others are now getting involved as well.  Earlier this week, the Philadelphia 76ers decided to acquire a majority stake in a esports organization called Team Dignitas and a team called Apex that plays the hit game called League of Legends.

    Other big names have gotten involved with the industry as well, so it will be exciting to see how this plays out and the impact it might have on the NBA.  Just to make sure I give credit where credit is due, I got this hot news tip from my brother-in-law (esports commentator in the making).

    Now for fantasy news…

    Cavaliers head coach Tyronn Lue made some statements this week that could make for interesting NBA dialogue as the season approaches.  For starters, he has apparently extended an open invitation to Kevin Garnet to join his coaching staff.  In addition, Lue has been looking at the schedule and already discussing ways to get LeBron James plenty of rest.  While it have never been a secret that the Cavaliers want to keep him healthy and prolong his career, it is just another reminder that fantasy players need to keep this in mind when drafting James in the first round.

    Myles Turner is currently in the concussion protocol and head coach Nate McMillan thinks it is unlikely that he is cleared by the preseason opener.  This should not affect his season long value though, so feel free to grab him where you originally had him valued.

    Late round fantasy pick Seth Curry is being talked up by coach Rick Carlisle and owner Mark Cuban, so it appears he will get a decent shot at making an impact this season.  His minutes could be in the mid-20s in a backup role for both guard spots.

    Another late round potential player is Kyle Anderson of the Spurs.  Head coach Popovich made a statement this week that he needs to get Anderson more minutes and can roll the diverse player out at point guard, small forward and power forward spots.  That position flexibility would be incredible in fantasy if he can hold standard league value.  I wouldn’t bank on it, but he is worth keeping an eye on at this point.

Fantasy News

  • Damian Lillard
    PG, Portland Trail Blazers

    Damian Lillard went ballistic in Monday's 129-124 OT win over the Warriors with a career-high 61 points to go with 10 rebounds, seven assists, a steal and 11 3-pointers.

    Lillard drilled a huge 3-pointer with 14.9 seconds left in the grill of Alec Burks to tie up the game and send it to OT and hit another dagger in OT. He put up a Herculean effort to ensure that the Blazers would not lose at home tonight in what was one of his best games ever played. The Blazers will continue to lean massively on Lillard and he's proven time and time again that he's up to the challenge.

  • Hassan Whiteside
    C, Portland Trail Blazers

    Hassan Whiteside had a monster night on Monday, dropping 17 points with 21 boards to go with two assists and six blocks.

    Whiteside briefly left the game with a quad injury, but returned to the game. It looks like we've avoided any major scare as Whiteside logged 43 minutes and closed this one out. He was crucial in securing defensive rebounds and hit two clutch free throws to help seal the victory for the Blazers.

  • Anfernee Simons
    SG, Portland Trail Blazers

    Anfernee Simons scored 15 points on 5-of-16 shooting to go with two bards, three dimes, two blocks and a triple on Monday.

    Simons drew the start in place of C.J. McCollum, but didn't do much with it. He has a decent stat set, but he just can't capitalize on the opportunity.

  • Carmelo Anthony
    PF, Portland Trail Blazers

    Carmelo Anthony scored 14 points on 7-of-14 shooting to go with nine rebounds, two assists, two steals and a block on Monday.

    Melo fluffed up the stat sheet as much as he could and provided an efficient scoring night which was the minimum we expect with C.J. McCollum out. Don't expect these shooting nights to come often, but the numbers should continue to pile up as the Blazers are in dire need of help.

  • D'Angelo Russell
    PG, Golden State Warriors

    D'Angelo Russell scored 27 points on 9-of-27 shooting to go with eight rebounds, nine assists and five triples on Monday.

    Russell continues to be the steady hand for a Warriors team that's full of injuries and new rotation players on a nightly basis. There's the threat of him resting down the stretch, but the Warriors are so bad even with him that they don't really need to. Plus, the team wants to see what he and Steph Curry look like playing alongside each other.

  • Alec Burks
    SG, Golden State Warriors

    Alec Burks scored a team-high 33 points on 11-of-23 shooting to go with seven boards, eight dimes, a steal, two blocks and two triples on Monday before fouling out.

    Burks hit his two triples in crunch time when the Warriors needed it most, but he fouled out while going for a rebound in OT. He's played heavy minutes lately and should be rostered in all leagues because of his ample opportunity.

  • Eric Paschall
    PF, Golden State Warriors

    Eric Paschall started and logged a team-high 42 minutes on Monday, notching a 22 point and 13 rebound double-double to go with two dimes and a steal.

    Paschall got eh starting nod with Draymond Green (finger) sitting out and produced another fat line for owners. We've seen this before though, so we advise caution when thinking about scooping him up.

  • Marquese Chriss
    PF, Golden State Warriors

    Marquese Chriss led the Warriors' bench on Monday with 14 points, six rebounds, one assist and one steal.

    Draymond Green sat this one out and Omari Spellman (21 minutes, three points, five rebounds, one steal and one triple) looks like he's now behind Chriss in the rotation, but the frontcourt is a revolving door. It's hard to pin down who the guy to own his here so we can't advocate for grabbing Chriss off the wire.

  • Damion Lee
    SG, Golden State Warriors

    Damion Lee scored four points on 1-of-7 shooting to go with nine boards, four assists and a steal on Monday.

    Lee fell flat in 39 minutes after posting a strong 21-point line before and even though he was bad tonight, he's worth holding onto in standard leagues. On a team full of question marks, Lee has proven himself to be one of the most consistent players on the Warriors.

  • Devin Booker
    SG, Phoenix Suns

    Devin Booker led the Suns in their 118-120 loss to the Spurs on Monday, scoring a game-high 37 points to go with seven rebounds, five assists and four triples.

    Booker went 13-for-23 from the floor, 4-for-6 from deep and 7-for-7 at the line in another hyper efficient night shooting the ball. He missed a go-ahead three-point attempt at the buzzer, but he's been a fantasy monster this season thanks to his new found efficiency.