We’re about ten games into the season, and so far the 2017-2018 season has brought us some great surprises. Check out a few we’ve noticed, and let us know your favorite early season surprises on Twitter @fantasycouch and @FantasyHoopsMat.
DeMarcus Cousins leading the league overall in points scoring leagues (35.8 avg). We knew he was a beast, but we didn’t know how he was going to respond after a full training camp with Anthony Davis. Check out our recent updated ranks for points scoring. He did shed 20 pounds during the offseason, showing he’s fully committed to going full Boogie. A few other guys noticeably out-producing their draft spot in points leagues so far: Clint Capela, Evan Fournier, Steven Adams, Aaron Gordon, Domantas Sabonis and Reggie Jackson.
I, along with many others projected Ben Simmons as a stud in the making and the ROY front-runner. But you won’t be able to find anyone who could have seen the young Aussie shooting out the gates the way he has. With averages of 18 points, 9.8 boards and 8.2 dimes while also chipping in 1.6 steals, you won’t find many better stat lines in the NBA – let alone among rookies. His achilles heel is his free throw shooting, but common for rookies to struggle with, and if that’s his only drag – fantasy owners will surely be happy to live with it. Simmons is the real deal, and will be fun to watch (and own in fantasy) for years to come.
Andre Drummond has put in some serious work during the offseason with his free throw shooting. He’s an impressive 28 for 36 on the season, good for 778%. I don’t think he’s shot that combined over any stretch of his career, and is a warm welcome for any Drummond owner.
Victor Oladipo should continue with his career stat line all season long. We mentioned him in our sleepers, and VO is reaping the benefits of a Pacer reset in his return to Indiana. The former Hoosier is averaging 9 more points than last season, shooting a career best 500% from the field, 870% from the charity stripe (5.2 per) and an astonishing 490% from 3 point land, along with his other usual across-the-board contributions (4.2 REB + 3.9 AST + 1.4 STL + 2.7 three’s). While I don’t expect his 3-point percentage to remain that high all season, the rest of his stat line is legit. If you nabbed Oladipo, kudos to you.
So far, this year’s draft class is showing up and showing out, and is shaping up to be what looks like one of the best rookie classes of all-time. Lonzo Ball has so far lived up to the hype, despite gaining huge attention from opposing defenses, thanks to his pops. Lauri Markkanen has been a big boost for anyone who was willing to take a gamble on the former Arizona Wildcat, with early season returns of 16 points and 9 boards and an amazing 2.9 three’s. His value takes a slight dip once Bobby Portis and Nikola Mirotic return, as well as the centerpiece in the Jimmy Butler trade, Zach LaVine, with less usage to go around. But Markkanen should hold off the competition as he’s likely earned the starting PF slot in Chicago going forward as they figure out what pieces they can build around. He could slide over and play some 5 if the Bulls want to go small. Donovan Mitchell and Dennis Smith Jr. are showing off their athleticism, but also that they’re more capable than just some nasty dunks. Jason Tatum almost gets lost among the rest, as the one Boston traded their #1 overall pick to move back and get. But he could have the best career of them all, and comparisons to Paul Pierce, seem to be The Truth.
Catch me on Twitter @FantasyHoopsMat with any questions on your fantasy squads.