NBL Fantasy - Zero Tackle

With the NRL season having come to a close, footy fans are quickly turning their attention to summer and the sports that complement the season best.

Despite the start of NBL22 being pushed back to December, it’s been just five months since Melbourne United were crowned Champions. However, plenty has changed since then.

Jock Landale and Josh Giddey are Stateside, Vic Law and Matt Hodgson listened to the Pet Shop Boys and went West, while Sydney, Brisbane, Adelaide, Perth and Cairns have new head coaches.

In addition, 'Delly' is back in Australia, so are the New Zealand Breakers unfortunately, Mitch McCarron is in Adelaide, the Hawks now have two Frolings, oh and there’s that small matter of a tenth team in the league! The JackJumpers are a thing now and they’re already a lot of fun.

So for all of the NBL Fantasy managers, there is a lot to absorb, but also a lot of opportunity.

Register for NBL Fantasy now for your chance to win $5,000: www.nbl.com.au/fantasy

With the opening night just days away, don’t waste any more time. Set up your leagues, get your friends on board, sharpen up your smack talk, and buckle up for a huge year of NBL Fantasy fun. It’s going to be next level!

This year’s NBL Fantasy game is brought to you by Bulk Nutrients and has some great prizes on offer once again. First prize is $5,000 cash, a $1,000 Bulk Nutrients Gift Voucher and a NBL Store Merch Pack valued at $500. End the round with the highest Fantasy score and you’ll win a personalised Official Champion NBL jersey, $100 Bulk Nutrients Gift Voucher and a Supplements Pack. And for our Game Day players, you’ll have heaps of chances to take home a $25 NBL Store gift voucher and Bulk Nutrients Supplements Pack, so sign up at fantasy.nbl.com.au and get started today.

The NBL Fantasy Fix will bring you tips and advice every week to help you along the way, so let’s get to it.

WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW

There is no change to the format, with both the Season and Game Day options available to you again. Here’s a quick recap.

Start Date

The season tips off on Friday 3 December 2021 with the JackJumpers making their regular season debut at the newly renovated MyState Bank Arena against the Brisbane Bullets.

NBL Fantasy will commence scoring with that game, including points towards overall rankings.

Leagues

In the ‘Season’ game, you can either create a league or join one that’s already been set-up. Head to the Leagues menu on the site and choose ‘create a league’ or ‘join a league’ to get started.

You can create up to five leagues, but you can join as many you like. Each league can be customised by the League Commissioner to vary whether it’s public or private, how many teams can enter, when head-to-head scoring starts, as well as finals and scheduling options.

The default setting is for eight teams, with head-to-head commencing in Round 3.

Team Selection

Once you’re in a league, it’s time to select your team. You need to select eleven players – six starters and five on your bench.

Your starting line-up of six players must be one Point Guard, one Shooting Guard, one Small Forward, one Power Forward, one Centre and one Sixth Man. The sixth man can be a player at any position. You then need to select a further five bench players (one player per position, excluding the sixth man).

You can edit your team as many times as you like before the season commences and then you receive two (2) trades per round to make changes to your roster.

In the Game Day format, you only need to select a starting line-up of six players (PG, SG, SF, PF, C and 6th Man).

Scoring

In the ‘Season’ format, the starters score points towards your total team score, with the bench players in the Season format contributing 50% of their score towards your team’s total.

You also need to select a Captain and Vice Captain each week. Your Captain scores double points, and your Vice Captain’s score will be doubled if your Captain does not play.

However in the ‘Game Day’ version, you receive triple points from your Captain and double points from your Vice Captain.

The scoring format is as follows:

Action Points
Points 1 Fantasy Point per point scored
Offensive Rebounds 3 Fantasy Points per offensive rebound
Defensive Rebounds 2 Fantasy Points per defensive rebound
Assists 3 Fantasy Points per assist
Steals 4 Fantasy Points per steal
Blocks 4 Fantasy Points per block
3 Point Shots Made 1 Fantasy Point per 3pt shot made
2 Field Goals Missed -1 Fantasy Point per every 2 FG misses
Free Throw Missed -1 Fantasy Point per FT miss
Turnover -2 Fantasy Points per turnover
Double Double 10 Fantasy Points per double double
Triple Double 20 Fantasy Points per triple double
Team Win 2 Fantasy Points per team win

 

Dual Position Players

Certain players can be used at more than one position in your line-up to give you more flexibility if they have dual-position eligibility.

There are a lot of dual-position players again this year, with some updates such as Luke Travers who is now SF/PF eligible, and several new to the league players like Tasmania’s Josh Adams (PG/SG), Cairns’ Tahjere McCall (SG/SF), New Zealand’s Next Star Ousmane Dieng (SF/PF) and the Bullets’ new import Robert Franks (PF/C).

That makes trading players or substituting between positions easier as well.

Who to Choose

It’s been a long time since you last set your fantasy roster, so if you need a little refresher on the player moves, or haven’t yet caught up with the preseason action so far, here are some tips focused on the ‘Season’ format, to help you get started.

Cash Cows

You want to win your head-to-head matchup each round, but you also need to increase your team’s value throughout the season to upgrade as the season rolls on.

So who is under-priced or likely to increase in value?

Here are five Cash Cows to consider:

Chuanxing Liu, C, Brisbane Bullets (Starting Price: $250,000)
Big Liu is quickly becoming a fan favourite across the league. Playing legit back-up minutes at the five spot behind Tyrell Harrison, Liu has made an impact on the boards, in the paint and with some rim protection. The tallest player in NBL history, he’ll be brought along slowly, but will likely have some moments this season where he’ll have an impact. He’s raw, but he should make some money for his owners as his game develops.

Luke Travers, SF/PF, Perth Wildcats (Starting Price: $670,000)
Travers made his owners $420,000 profit last season and he’s not done there. We got a solid glimpse at what he’s capable of last season and he’s re-affirmed that and then some so far at the Blitz. Travers is an athletic forward who can block shots, crash the boards, handle the rock in transition and finish strong at the rim. His jump shot is improving and his understanding of the game will see him have a longer leash than he had under Trevor Gleeson last season. Travers is chasing his NBA dream and will try to use this season as his platform for that.

Corey Shervill, SF, Perth Wildcats (Starting Price: $250,000)
Of course Travers’ teammate also has something to prove this season. With limited opportunities in NBL21, Shervill knows he’s a part of the Wildcats future. He signed a two-year deal with the Cats and will be elevated to a full contract next season, but remains a DP for NBL22. Still, Shervill showed the ability to hold his own when thrust into a bigger role last season. Starting two games in the Grand Final due to injuries, he averaged 6 points in around 20 minutes per game in those games, but also showed the ability to make the right reads, move the ball, and be solid defensively. That will earn him minutes under Scott Morrison and while he’s questionable for Round 1, once he returns he’ll certainly be able to make an impact and earn fantasy managers some hard earned as a result.

Angus Glover, PG/SG, Sydney Kings (Starting Price: $584,000)
We’re all hoping for a feelgood story with Glover this season now that he’s back from another devastating knee injury, but the reality is we don’t need to hope based on what we saw at the Blitz. Glover was thrust into a major role given some injuries to the Kings’ imports and the absence of Dejan Vasiljevic, but he parlayed that into some really solid production. Glover’s bounce is definitely back, his defensive impact is there, but what may be most impressive is his shot. He was 5-10 from long range across his first two Blitz games and made 6-14 3FGs overall. He’s shooting it with confidence, finishing in traffic and getting to the free throw line. He also averaged over 5 boards a game from the guard spot, which will only help his price continue to rise.

Jack McVeigh, SF/PF, Tasmania JackJumpers (Starting Price: $544,000)
Having moved to the Apple Isle, McVeigh, now with SF/PF eligibility, is poised to see a big spike in his usage this season. He will start and play serious minutes for Scott Roth, but what has me most excited is his impact in other parts of the box score this preseason. McVeigh averaged two o-boards a game and also swiped one steal per game at the Blitz. Those harder to get stats are what should elevate his fantasy scoring to a new level and his price could easily rise a few hundred thousand dollars this season.

Others to consider: Kai Sotto, C, Adelaide 36ers ($250,000); Tanner Krebs, SG/SF, Brisbane Bullets ($288,000); Kyrin Galloway, PF, NZ Breakers ($251,000); Majok Majok, C, Perth Wildcats ($540,000); Matur Maker, PF, Sydney Kings ($300,000)

Round 1 Options at Each Position

The NBL has released the first six rounds of the NBL22 schedule and once again with no NBLxNBA games, there are no byes. We do however, have at least one triple game round, which makes it interesting.

While a rarity, it does make those players even more valuable for NBL Fantasy purposes, but generally the value comes from the doubles.

Adelaide and Perth headline the Round 1 fixture with two games each, with the Sixers backing that up in Round 2.

Round 2 sees four teams with doubles. The Breakers, SEM Phoenix and the JackJumpers join Adelaide with two games on tap, while Perth will have a second double in Round 3.

With that in mind, it’s important to focus on maximising those games early when constructing your initial roster.

This is the rundown for Round 1 (Dec 3 to Dec 5):

2 Games: Adelaide, Perth

1 Game: Brisbane, Cairns, Illawarra, Melbourne, New Zealand, SE Melbourne, Sydney, Tasmania

Here are two great options at each position for the opening round.

Point Guards

Mitch McCarron, PG, Adelaide 36ers (Starting Price: $1.233m): New team, new system, same fantasy friendly game. If there was a knock on Mitch McCarron last season – which would be hard in an All-NBL 2nd Team Season – it was that he was at times too unselfish. He filled up the box score with career highs in assists (5.1 apg) and steals (1.36 spg), while grabbing an impressive 5.2 boards and scoring 9.5 points per contest, but many a fantasy manager would have liked some higher scoring and more made threes. The reality though, is that his 8.2 FGAs and 2.86 3FGAs were on par with, or ahead of, previous seasons. The impact of moving to a full-time PG role was less profound than people think. He actually just had a down year shooting the rock. Hitting just .436 FG% and .308 3FG% – both marks well below his first two seasons in Melbourne – did not help his scoring. Now that he’s in Adelaide, he’ll again be running the point full-time and has a plethora of offensive weapons at his disposal, so he’ll need to hit at a better clip to keep the faith with fantasy managers. At the Blitz, he struggled fro deep a little as he continues find his spots in this offence, but th rest of his game was exceptional. McCarron averaged 5.6 points, 5.6 rebounds, 7.4 assists and 2.8 steals to take home the Ray Borner medal. He had games of 30, 41, 50, 59 and 68 FP, which is certainly very appetising with two straight doubles to start the season.

Josh Magette, PG, Tasmania JackJumpers (Starting Price: $1.00m): His game, which is predicted to see high assist and steal totals, is incredibly well suited to this fantasy format and that was incredibly evident. Averaging six assists and three steals, to go along with 14 points and just one turnover per game at the Blitz, Magette had fantasy totals of 42, 53, 54, 49 and 35, giving you a sense of his likely floor. His ceiling still has room to grow in my opinion as his minutes will likely increase slightly in the regular season. The JackJumpers only go once in Round 1, but then have two straight doubles in Rounds 2 and 3, making Magette a very appealing early season investment before his price starts to rise.

Others to consider: Tyler Harvey (ILL), Xavier Munford (SEM)

Shooting Guards

Bryce Cotton, SG, Perth Wildcats (Starting Price: $1.536m): The reigning MVP enters this season as the most expensive player in the game, but he’s actually more than $200k cheaper than his starting price from NBL21. You know the saying, ‘you get what you pay for’ … well that’s pretty true when it comes to Cotton. He’s a pretty good bet to lead the league in scoring again – especially with Todd Blanchfield out to start the season. But, I’d also imagine his assist totals could increase from last season given he has a talented scorer alongside him in Vic Law, some lob targets in Matt Hodgson and Luke Travers, plus Mitch Norton also out for up to five weeks. The Wildcats are one of two teams with a double in the opening round and they back that up with another double in Round 3, so if you can make the money work, you’ll reap some early benefits.

Jeremiah Martin, PG/SG, New Zealand Breakers (Starting Price: $1.00m): It’s been another tough start to the season for the Breakers, but there are some bright spots. Their two young French prospects both had some nice moments during the Blitz, Yanni Wetzell looks great, and they seem to have found a dynamic scorer who can either come off the bench or start. That guy is Jeremiah Martin. A surprise signing for their third import spot when everyone assumed they’d go with a big, Martin, who has 18 games of NBA experience under his belt, has been exactly what Dan Shamir has needed so far. Playing predominantly as their sixth man or microwave off the bench, Martin could carve up second unit defences this season if he stays in that role. He poured in 23 points (8-14 FGs, 6-8 FTs) to go along with seven assists, four rebounds and five steals against Sydney in their second Blitz game after debuting with 19 points, two assists and three steals against Melbourne. Martin can fill it up from long range, by getting to the rim or his mid-range, and is lightning quick in transition. He’s going to fun to watch and fun to own, so with two doubles coming up in rounds 2 and 3, he’s worth some serious consideration.

Others to consider: Dusty Hannahs (ADE), Ryan Broekhoff (SEM)

Small Forwards

Mitch Creek, SF/PF, South East Melbourne Phoenix (Starting Price: $1.217m): If you’ve watched any of the NBL Blitz, then you know Creek is in phenomenal shape coming into NBL22. He took some time off after Boomers Camp to recharge and has returned on a mission to get his team to the promised land this season. Creek’s shot looks smoother, he looks fast and strong, but mostly he looks hungry. Their team is also stacked, which should actually help him in some respects as opposing defences cannot just key in on him or they’ll get beat elsewhere. The one concern with Creek may be on the boards, given the presence of Zhou Qi, the return of Dane Pineau and the health and renewed bounce of Ryan Broekhoff. But Creek makes an impact all over the box score and if he’s going to hit at an improved clip, he’s sure to put up some big fantasy scores and likely increase in price. The Phoenix have a double in Round 2.

Luke Travers, SF/PF, Perth Wildcats (Starting Price: $670k): There’s not much more to say about Travers than what I wrote above, aside from the strength of the Wildcats early schedule. With two doubles in the first three rounds and the form he’s shown at the Blitz, he’s proving a popular choice (owned by a whopping 40% of fantasy teams as of Sunday). Travers had several great moments at the Blitz on both ends of the floor and is a nice way to save some money at one spot on your roster to spend on some premiums elsewhere.

Others to consider: Todd Withers (ADE), Lamar Patterson (BRI)

Power Forwards

Daniel Johnson, PF/C, Adelaide 36ers (Starting Price: $1.107m): You know exactly what you’re getting with DJ by this stage of his career. Strong scoring, decent boards, the occasional defensive stats and the ability to hit threes. His ceiling is never that high, but his floor always keeps him productive and he’s one of the more consistent fantasy scorers week to week. His Blitz form has been as expected. The possible boost for Round 1 though, besides the Sixers double, is that Isaac Humphries is still ramping up from a minor injury cloud. If he’s less than 100% or on any kind of minutes restriction, DJ would be the beneficiary with slightly higher usage and a few more boards.

Vic Law, PF, Perth Wildcats (Starting Price: $1.513m): As we get used to seeing Law in red, we should also get used to seeing him thrive alongside his new teammate. While he was in a similar position last season with Sobey, Cotton draws a lot more attention on a nightly basis and that means more opportunity for Law. He’s already shown during the Blitz that he can carry the scoring load when needed (28 points vs Cairns; 24 points vs Adelaide) and he’s made an impact on the boards with 41 boards in Perth’s five games at the Blitz. Law is the second most expensive player in the game behind his new teammate, so you may need to choose only one of those two for Round 1, but he’s not going to disappoint.

Others to consider: Xavier Cooks (SYD), Finn Delany (NZB)

Centres

Isaac Humphries, C, Adelaide 36ers (Starting Price: $1.124m): He’s currently owned in 29% of teams and that number will only increase later this week. Mail says he’s healthy and will be ready to go for Adelaide’s double in Round 1, and while his Blitz form was not what we’d hoped to see, we all know the talent is there. Humphries was an MVP candidate last season before getting injured and will be looking to get back to that level as soon as possible. With matchups against Matt Hodgson and Duop Reath, he’ll have an extra point to prove and is currently undervalued at that price.

Yanni Wetzell, C, New Zealand Breakers (Starting Price: $1.02m): If you watched any of the Breakers games during the Blitz, you probably noticed that Wetzell looks to be in great shape. But the thing that struck me the most was his athleticism. He looked a lot more athletic than he did for the Phoenix last season, which helped him finish around the rim and also show signs of becoming a solid rim protector. Having blocked just 0.67 shots per game as a rookie in NBL21, he managed to swipe away five shots in the two games he played at the Blitz, including four against his old team. Wetzell also chipped in 16.5 points and 8.5 rebounds in those two games and looks every bit the part of a dominant starting five man this season.

Others to consider: Will Magnay (TAS), Jarrell Martin (SYD)

The Other Players

With only half the league having a double in the first two rounds, there are players who may not be selected early on, but still deserve a look. Worst case you file them away as a trade-in target for later based on how they’re expected to perform this season. Here are some to consider:

Brisbane
Robert Franks, PF/C (Starting Price: $1.00m): He was profiled at nbl.com.au on Monday, but Franks had my attention well before that. He’s a versatile, determined and skilled big man who can stretch the floor, score in the block and rebound. His dual position eligibility is a bonus and he will be a popular choice for Brisbane’s double in Round 3.

Cairns
Tahjere McCall, SG/SF (Starting Price: $1.00m): Already showcasing his all-around game in the Blitz, McCall has the ability to fill up a box score and that will translate well in NBL Fantasy. An example of that was the 14-point, 12-rebound, six-assist and two-steal game he had against Perth, which translated to a very healthy 67 fantasy points. He’s primed for a big season.

Stephen Zimmerman, C, (Starting Price: $1.00m): With double-doubles in two of Cairns’ games at the Blitz and no less than seven boards in their other games, you get a sense of what the Snakes’ new big man is about. He is a traditional big who was brought in to be a target in the paint and control the boards – exactly what he’s done so far. There are a lot of strong options at Centre this season, but Zimmerman is one to keep an eye on as the Snakes schedule opens up in later rounds.

Illawarra
Antonius Cleveland, SF, (Starting Price: $1.00m): It’s going to be really interesting to see how the usage rates play out for the backcourt and wings on this roster. We know Tyler Harvey will have a lot of the ball and Justinian Jessup will get his shots, but how the new imports in Cleveland and Xavier Rathan-Mays integrate will be something to watch. Rathan-Mays has a fantasy friendly game with his propensity for playmaking and solid defence, but Cleveland is the more talented player and that’s why I have him pegged as someone to flag as a potential trade-in option come Round 3. Cleveland can score, defend, rebound and create for others and showcased a little of all of that in the Hawks two Blitz games. Unfortunately, they had two games cancelled, but expect “AC” to heat up quickly, despite his initials.

Duop Reath, C, (Starting Price: $1.00m): Another five man who feels under-priced, Reath is a unique talent who should find his feet in this league very quickly. His ability to stretch the floor, protect the rim and get on the o-boards make him very fantasy friendly, and whether he has a ‘Jock Landale type impact’ or not, he’s going to have plenty of strong games for the Hawks.

Melbourne
Matthew Dellavedova, PG, (Starting Price: $1.00m): It’s an absolute treat to have Delly in the NBL. His teammates and the United fans already appreciate it and fantasy managers will too soon enough. You know what his game is about. Hard-nosed defence, solid boards for a guard, setting up his teammates, and scoring from floaters, tough drives or open threes. The shot hasn’t been falling consistently yet, but he’ll have nights when he’ll be on and when you couple that with the high totals in other categories, he’ll certainly prove good value once United’s schedule picks up. Unfortunately, that won’t be until the second half of the season so you may need to be patient.

Jo Lual-Acuil, C (Starting Price: $1.072m): He announced his intentions in the opening period of United’s first game at the Blitz when he went off for 19 points. JLA feels like it’s his time to dominate after playing that sixth man role so well last season. Like Delly, the schedule is working against him for fantasy purposes, but his game is very fantasy friendly and he’s one to keep an eye on for your stretch run.

Sydney
Jaylen Adams, PG, (Starting Price: $1.00m): There’s a reason why several teams were after Adams for this season. He’s exceptionally talented, dynamic and he’s stronger than a lot of point guards in this league. Adams can score, assist, defend and hit from long range, which makes for a great combination in NBL Fantasy. We didn’t see much from him in the Blitz, but saw enough to know that he’ll fit right into Chase Buford’s system and right into your fantasy squad when the Kings have a triple game round in Round 3.

Xavier Cooks, PF (Starting Price: $1.191m): If the Kings had a double in the first two rounds, I’d find a way to get him into my squad. Cooks is primed for a huge year as one of the focal points of Buford’s offence. He is a unique talent who has the size of a big to get busy on the boards, but can handle the ball and create like a guard. He’ll play a fair bit of point forward, he’ll block shots, he’ll score in a variety of ways and he’s been a beast on the boards in preseason. A great combination who will put up some monster fantasy totals this year.

NBL22 is just around the corner and despite some uncertainty with ongoing border restrictions, this season, like the NBL motto says, is going to be next level. The talent that has come to the league is possibly some of the best we’ve ever seen, the local talent is only getting better with some great players returning from offshore, and there’s never been so many eyeballs on the NBL.

If you want to be a part of the fun, then NBL Fantasy is your best bet to join in.

Make sure to get your Fantasy team off to a good start by maximising that schedule and striking the right balance between cash cows and those that will produce week in and week out.

And don’t forget to head to to nbl.com.au to get your Fantasy Fix each week, with advice on how best to manage your roster and dominate your league.

Sign up today at fantasy.nbl.com.au