• STASH ‘EM BEFORE THEY ARE HOT

    Stashes, for our purposes, will refer to players expected to provide greater value in the future compared to their present output.  Stashing is often a key component to a fantasy team peaking at the right time, so it is important to plan early when doing so.  Leagues with weekly lineups, IR spots or deep benches offer more opportunity for stashing but all fantasy owners should be able to help their squads with an effective stash strategy.

    This list does not contain injured stashes, or sneaky early season pickups like Trevor Booker who can immediately start producing and maintain similar value through the season.  Whether through natural development, injuries to teammates or a trade, these are players whose value in January-March should exceed their value in October-December.

    Celtic Youth – The devastating Hayward injury will open up minutes and opportunity for Jayson Tatum, Jalen Brown and Terry Rozier.  Tatum’s FG% could be an issue, but he has the ability to contribute in all the money counters, while racking up boards, points and a solid FT%.  With Marcus Morris out, Tatum has played 36 minutes in both games to start the season.  Even if his minutes dip initially after Morris’s return, he’s a strong hold.  Brown doesn’t have the defensive upside that Tatum brings, but can be an effective asset for teams looking for threes and steals.  Rozier’s projected FG% is tough to look at, but he provides the most upside in assists of the group.  I would pick them up in the order I listed them.  If Marcus Smart is available in your league, I would snatch him before any of the others.

    Kelly Olynyk – Olynyk’s per-36 numbers last season showed top-100 potential, but given his minimal role he was never really on the 12-team radar.  This season he has an opening at 30-plus minutes per night if he can lock down the starting PF job and provide backup C minutes. Hassan Whiteside has already hurt his knee, and has suffered from a wide variety of ailments over the past couple of seasons (though he does tend to play through them).  Olynyk should be reliable as a low-end producer to start the season, and his top-80 upside makes him an attractive stash.

    John Collins – On a team with little big man depth, rookie John Collins has the opportunity to make some noise with the Hawks this year.  The Hawks current starting PF, Ersan Ilyasova, has averaged 78 games the past two seasons so he may have finally learned the skill of health after averaging 57 games the preceding two seasons.  Regardless, Collins performed well in the preseason and appears to have impressed his coach.  On a team projected to finish last in the Eastern Conference by many, expect Collins to occupy more minutes as the season progresses.

    Stanley Johnson – Johnson is being given a chance to prove he belongs in the Detroit starting lineup and it has been a mixed bag so far.  After an atrocious 0-13 shooting night in the first game, Johnson bounced back with a more modest 3-3 evening.  Even with the disastrous shooting, Johnson was still given 40 minutes opening night.  His minutes came down in game two, but that may be related to an injury.  With a consistent role, Johnson should be an asset in steals, threes, rebounds and FT%.

    Donovan Mitchell – Mitchell hasn’t started the season on fire, but has still managed to display upside in all of the counting categories.  Backing up Rodney Hood, who has missed an average of 25 games the past two seasons, means Mitchell will likely have an opportunity to start at some point during the season.  Further, another big part of the Utah rotation, Derrick Favors, has had his own durability issues recently.  Losing Favors could result in more minutes for Mitchell should Utah opt for more small-ball lineups to compensate.

    Dillon Brooks – The unheralded second-round pick of the Houston Rockets produced quite an opening night for the Grizzlies.  Brooks first career box score read 19 PTS (7-13 FGS), 5 REBS, 2 ASTS, 4 STLS, 2 BLKS, and 2 TOS.  Brooks came into the season competing with the unimposing duo of James Ennis and Chandler Parsons at the SF position.  In addition to that opportunity, the injury to Green opens up additional frontcourt minutes.  Brooks has the chance to flash in the interim, and hopefully lock down a significant rotation role.  He would be a highly speculative add at this point, but possesses the multi-category upside to be a fantasy factor if given the minutes.

    Jamal Murray – Murray is the new starting PG in Denver and has an opportunity to thrive in this high octane offense.  Playing only 20 minutes on opening night, it doesn’t look like Murray is locked into a high minute role just yet.  Murray will not provide standard league value in a 20 minute role, but if he can increase his minute share and improve his efficiency he’s got top-100 upside and beyond down the road this season. He’s not going to be on waiver wires at the moment but he is someone whose value will increase as we go, so don’t be afraid to play the long game in trade talks.

    Kelly Oubre – Oubre displayed his well-rounded  fantasy game opening night with 14 PTS (5-10 FGS), 3 3PTS, 8 REBS, 2 ASTS, 2 STLS, 2 BLKS, and 0 TOS.  He wasn’t quite as sharp in game two, but still contributed 7 rebounds and 2 steals.  The leading candidate to lock down the 6th man spot entering the season, Oubre started the second game with Markieff Morris out.  If Oubre continues performing well, he should continue seeing 25+ minutes even when Morris is healthy.  With a stable role, Oubre should become a less efficient version of Otto Porter.

    Caris LeVert – The Lin injury arguably means LeVert is no longer a “stash.”  Regardless, playing on a young Nets team that is looking to develop its talent for the future, LeVert should see a sizeable role moving forward.  LeVert’s efficiency issues prevent him from having elite upside, but his contributions across the counting stats could vault him to mid-round value.

    Montrezl Harrell – Harrell finds himself in a similar situation to the one Caris LeVert was in last week, backing up a high-usage starter with an increasingly unreliable body.  Griffin’s injuries have tended to occur later in the season, so it may be a while but Harrell is somebody worth monitoring around the All Star break.  As the Clippers’ playoff chances dwindle, the odds of Harrell making a positive impact for your fantasy team increase.  Act accordingly.

    De’Aaron Fox – As with other players on this list, Fox’s upside will be determined by his efficiency.  However, the combination of playing behind George Hill (who has missed over 30 games in two of the last three seasons) and for a rebuilding Sacramento team almost guarantees Fox a larger role in the second half of the season. Fox will have the starting job when Hill is out, and can supplant him as the starter with some decent play.  Even if he doesn’t clearly outplay Hill, the Kings will likely give him more run in the second half of the season to develop him for the future.  His upside isn’t the greatest, but owners looking for a long term solution at PG could find help here.

    Skal Labissiere – Out of the gate with 33 minutes in the first game of the season, Skal may jump to standard league value faster than expected. Zach Randolph’s return will likely cool his short-term outlook, but Skal has the ability to put together very strong big man fantasy numbers.  Formerly the number one rated player in his high school class, Skal flashed some of that ability late last season for the Kings.  As mentioned with Fox above, the Kings expected focus on player development should lead to an increased role as the season progresses.

    Gorgui Dieng – After averaging 15 minutes in the first two games of the season, expect to see Dieng on your waiver wire soon.  Thibs is giving Taj Gibson the lion’s share of minutes at PF and this could continue indefinitely.  If you own Dieng, you should try to give him another two weeks or so before making a cut decision.  Even if he deserves a cut at that point based on his production, it should be understood that he can provide standard league value in a 25 minute role.  It will be tough to own him with his current 2.5 PPG average, but expect him to find a way to garner more minutes as the season wears on.

Fantasy News

  • Kyle Lowry - G - Toronto Raptors

    Coach Nick Nurse said Kyle Lowry is playing through a lot of pain in his left thumb.

    "Kyle's hand is not great," Nurse said, "it's hurt and it's sore and it causes him a lot of pain." Lowry hurt the thumb in the series against Philadelphia and has been wearing a protective mitt on it since. He's not on the injury report and is in no danger of missing games, which speaks to his toughness.

    Source: Tim Bontemps on ESPN

  • Kyrie Irving - G - Boston Celtics

    Dan Gilbert said he thinks the Cavaliers "killed it" in the Kyrie Irving trade.

    Gilbert preceded that statement with, "I don't know, but I think Kyrie will leave Boston. We could have ended up with nothing." Gilbert is thinking very results based instead of what went into the process of the trade. While Irving may leave Boston, he's a phenomenal player. The Cavs traded him while they still had LeBron James and received a good draft pick and a ball dominant, but injured Isaiah Thomas. It looks good now to have Collin Sexton instead of nothing, but when you have LeBron James on your team and are automatically in title contention, it's almost impossible to "kill it" by trading away a superstar.

    Source: Terry Pluto on Cleveland.com

  • Kiki VanDeWeghe - Team - Brooklyn Nets

    The NBA has cancelled the 2019 NBA Global Camp due to "logistical issues" but they plan to have it return in the future.

    The NBA Global Camp is essentially a draft combine for international players. There originally was the Adidias EuroCamp that ran from 2003-2017, but was stopped after the FBI's investigation into college basketball corruption. The NBA picked it up and had success in it's first year last year. Unfortunately, it appears the venue in Monaco was double-booked due to AS Monaco turning their season around and needing the facility for TV production and practice for their playoffs. Many international draft prospects entered the draft early with the hopes of getting to workout and interview with teams at the Global Camp.

    Source: Jonathan Givony on ESPN

  • Myles Turner - F/C - Indiana Pacers

    Myles Turner tweeted that it is a "Blatant Disrespect" he did not make an All-Defensive team.

    While Turner had a phenomenal defensive season, there are only two spots overall for centers, so someone was going to be left off. Rudy Gobert was the center on the first team and is a finalist for DPOY, while Joel Embiid was the center on the second team and had a huge impact on the defensive side of the ball for the Sixers. Turner had a marvelous season defensively and there is an argument to be made for him over Embiid, but the nature of positions on the All-Defensive teams means someone was getting left off.

    Source: Myles Turner on Twitter

  • Richaun Holmes - F/C - Phoenix Suns

    Richaun Holmes was arrested on Wednesday night for a misdemeanor marijuana charge in Miami-Dade.

    It's the second time a Suns player has been arrested in Miami-Dade, the southeastern-most county in Florida, this month – Josh Jackson was arrested at Rolling Loud, a music festival. Holmes was ironically booked as "Richard" Holmes, which we would certainly spin as an ode to how underrated he is. James Webb, who last played for the Nets in 2017-18, was also arrested. They were charged with possession of cannabis and spent a few hours in jail before posting bond. We'll see if this has any affect on Holmes' upcoming free agency.

    Source: David Ovalle on Miami Herald

  • Fred VanVleet - G - Toronto Raptors

    Fred VanVleet credited the birth of his son, Fred Jr., on Monday night for his turnaround in Game 4.

    FVV said regarding his shooting woes, "Obviously it's been rough shooting the ball. I had a pretty bad stretch, so it was good to see one go in." It would make sense that he could relax mentally now that his son, his second child, was born. A big congrats to the VanVleet family on the birth of their second child; we'll see if FVV can keep the strong play going in a pivotal Game 5 in Milwaukee.

    Source: Blake Murphy on Twitter

  • Miles Bridges - F - Charlotte Hornets

    Miles Bridges tweeted on Tuesday that he was not snubbed from the All-Rookie teams.

    "I didn't get snubbed. I played like ass all year. I don't deserve to be on any team. Next year will be different," was Bridges' full tweet. He had an alright rookie season, especially when given the opportunity. All 25 of his games played after the All-Star break were starts and he averaged 9.6 points, 5.3 boards, 1.6 assists, 1.1 steals, 0.6 blocks and 1.1 threes on 49.0%/35.1%/83.3% shooting splits in 26.2 minutes per game. There's a lot of athleticism and untapped potential that could bear fruit in year two, especially if Kemba Walker is not with the team and there's a lot more usage to go around.

    Source: Miles Bridges on Twitter

  • Kristaps Porzingis - F/C - Dallas Mavericks

    Knicks president Steve Mills claimed that Kristaps Porzingis threatened to return to Europe had the Knicks not completed a trade elsewhere according to Kurt Heln of NBC Sports

    The tense history between Porzingis and the Knicks front office has been well documented, which makes a startling headline like this one not all that surprising. It's safe to assume that Dallas' front office will not be hearing such requests, as they represent an opportunity for optimism for both Porzingis and their franchise as a whole.

    Source: NBC Sports

  • Tacko Fall - C - College

    Tacko Fall of UCF, Marques Bolden of Duke, Nick Weiler-Babb of Iowa State, Jalen Hudson of Florida, Amir Hinton of Shaw University and Myles Powell of Seton Hall will all be participants of the Kings pre-draft workout.

    All of the players that will be working out for the Kings are not projected to be drafted next month. The Kings are looking at guys for their second round selections as they have three picks in that round. Unfortunately, those are the only picks they have this year as their first round selection is owned by the Celtics. Expect the Kings to continue to look at players with high ceilings like Tacko Fall. Fall, a 7’7″ center has a 10’2″ standing reach and an 8’2″ wingspan. These measurements are why Fall will get to the NBA at some point. The question of how big of an impact he will make remains to be seen. Perhaps the Kings will draft the large center with one of their three second round picks.

    Source: Deuce Mason on Twitter

  • Patrick McCaw - SG/SF - Toronto Raptors

    Patrick McCaw (personal reasons) will remain sidelined for Thursday's Game 5 vs. the Bucks.

    McCaw has missed the entire ECF thus far due to personal reasons. The basketball community hopes the best for the youngster. Even if he were to come back, he wouldn't be in line for many minutes as Norman Powell and Fred VanVleet have established themselves as part of the team's shortened eight man rotation.

    Source: NBA Injury Report