Earlier this week, the NBA G League announced that they’d be launching their very own fantasy hoops service for the upcoming 2017-18 season. Later that day, we broke down how the league will be run, its rules and ways that you can participate in the fun alongside us. In addition to just participating in the action, this site is going to provide G League fantasy coverage throughout the entire season. So let this piece be the beginning of what should be great fantasy fun throughout this G League season
Due to the G League season starting on a Friday night, week one of the season will just last three days. Because of that limited schedule, it’s going to a bit of a challenge for folks to fill out their lineup. The difficulty comes from how 17 of the 26 G League teams will only play one game. In comparison, there’s going to be eight squads that will play two games, which greatly increases the value for those players due to them having multiple chances to give you fantasy points. On the opposite end, you have the Wisconsin Herd who won’t start their G League season until the start of week 2 on Monday.
To help make things easier for you, we’ve split the G League prospects down to individual tiers based on the amount of games that they’ll play on week 1.
Teams with 2 games: Santa Cruz (SCW), Erie (ERI), Oklahoma City (OKC), Memphis (MEM), Austin (AUS), AC Clippers (ACC), Salt Lake City (SLC)
Teams with 1 game: Everyone else aside from the Wisconsin Herd
Tier 1: Must Plays. Multi-faceted studs that play two nights
Eric Griffin SF SLC (Nov 3rd vs. AUS & Nov 5th vs. MEM)
Quinn Cook PG SCW (Nov 3rd vs. ACC & Nov 4th vs. SBL)
Josh Magette PG ERI (Nov 3rd vs. GRD & Nov 5th vs. MNE)
Daniel Hamilton SF OKC (Nov 3rd vs. RGV & Nov 5th vs. RNO)
Dwight Buycks PG GRD (Nov 3rd vs. ERI & Nov 5th vs. 905)
Vince Hunter PF MEM (Nov 4th vs. SXF & Nov 5th vs. SLC)
Darrun Hilliard SF AUS (Nov 3rd vs. SLC & Nov 4th vs. TEX)
Tier 2: One night players that should ball out and contribute excellently in a variety of ways
Jacob Pullen PG DEL (Nov 3rd vs. MNE)
Briante Weber PG RGV (Nov 3rd vs. OKC)
Alec Peters PF NAS (Nov 4th vs. ACC)
Vander Blue SG SBL (Nov 4th vs SCW)
Anthony Brown SF IWA (Nov 4th vs. LAK)
ALex Caruso PG SBL (Nov 4th vs SCW)
Alex Poythress PF FWN (Nov 4th vs. LIN)
Jameel Warney PF TEX (Nov 4th vs. AUS)
Tier 3: Two day players that will put up consistent production on each night
Matt Costello C AUS (Nov 3rd vs. SLC & Nov 4th vs. TEX)
CJ Williams SG ACC (Nov 3rd vs. SCW & Nov 4th vs. NAS)
Michael Gbinije SF SCW (Nov 3rd vs. ACC & Nov 4th vs. SBL)
Isaiah Cousins SG SLC - (Nov 3rd vs AUS & Nov 5th vs MEM)
PJ Dozier SG OKC (Nov 3rd vs. RGV & Nov 5th vs. RNO)
Nate Wolters PG SLC - (Nov 3rd vs AUS & Nov 5th vs MEM)
Jabari Bird SG MNE (Nov 3rd vs. DEL & Nov 5th vs. ERI)
Andrew White SF MNE (Nov 3rd vs. DEL & Nov 5th vs. ERI)
James Southerland PF SCW (Nov 3rd vs. ACC & Nov 4th vs. SBL)
Trahson Burrell SF MEM (Nov 4th vs. SXF & Nov 5th vs. SLC)
Tier 4: Solid one day players that should put up decent production in a variety of ways.
Jack Cooley PF, RNO (Nov 5th vs. OKC)
Jarrod Uthoff PF FWN (Nov 4th vs. LIN)
John Holland SF CTN (Nov 4th vs. GBO)
Edy Tavares C 905 (Nov 5th vs. GRD)
Jalen Jones SF GBO (Nov 5th vs. CTN)
Gian Clavell SG TEX (Nov 4th vs. AUS)
Justin Dentmon PG TEX (Nov 4th vs. AUS)
Lorenzo Brown SG 905 (Nov 5th vs. GRD)
David Stockton PG RNO (Nov 5th vs. OKC)
RJ Hunter SG RGV (Nov 3rd vs. OKC)
JaKarr Sampson SF RNO (Nov 5th vs. OKC)
Tier 5: Young talent that could come out of the game on fire or struggle
Jamel Artis SF LAK (Nov 4th vs. IWA)
Luis Montero SF GRD (Nov 3rd vs. ERI & Nov 5th vs. 905)
Luke Kornet PF WES (Nov 4th vs. WCB)
Stephen Zimmerman PF SBL (Nov 4th vs SCW)
Derrick Walton PG SXF (Nov 4th vs. MEM)
Daniel Ochefu C MNE (Nov 3rd vs. DEL & Nov 5th vs. ERI)
Antonio Blakeney SG WCB (Nov 4th vs. WES)
Tier 6: Sleeper candidates to keep your eyes on during the first week
LaDontae Henton SF ACC (Nov 3rd vs. SCW & Nov 4th vs. NAS)
Damion Lee SG SCW (Nov 3rd vs. ACC & Nov 4th vs. SBL)
James Blackmon SG DEL (Nov 3rd vs. MNE)
Alex Hamilton SG SCW (Nov 3rd vs. ACC & Nov 4th vs. SBL)
Milton Doyle PG LIN (Nov 4th vs. FWN
Tyler Cavanaugh PF ERI (Nov 3rd vs. GRD & Nov 5th vs. MNE)
Askia Booker PG NAS (Nov 4th vs. ACC)
Players To Watch
Eric Griffin, Small Forward, Salt Lake City Stars
At the top of the list, we have Jazz two-way prospect Eric Griffin, who will be starting the season with the Salt Lake City Stars. While there are definitely some G Leaguers that are more well-known to fans, he stands as the top dog due to his unique ability to just put up numbers in every single asset of the game from blocks and steals to points and rebounds.
That versatile nature was evident during his last stint in the G League in 2014-15 with the Texas Legends. In 35 minutes per game, Griffin put up 19 points, 6.6 rebounds, 1.9 assists, 1.3 steals and 2.4 blocks per game on 45% from the field and 36% from beyond the arc. Efficiency definitely isn’t a necessary factor for G League fantasy, but that kind of versatile production should make fantasy players drool.
Although this will be the first time in three years that he’s played G League ball, I’m definitely confident about his ability to pick up where he left off. That belief comes from how his stellar play has remained whether he’s playing in Israel or Vegas Summer League. His readiness will be put to the test this weekend as he’ll work against two solid forwards in Austin’s Darrun Hilliard and Memphis’ Trahson Burrell.
Briante Weber, Point Guard, Rio Grande Valley Vipers
Similar to Griffin, Weber has a history of putting up the kind of numbers in the G League that would make him an incredible fantasy player. Last year with the Sioux Falls Skyforce, Weber just stunned the G League world by putting up 16.5 points, 7.3 assists, 7.5 rebounds and 3.3 steals per game on 45% from the field and 36% from beyond the arc.
By just examining his work as a ball hawk, Weber’s steal average was something that we haven’t seen in American pro basketball since Alvin Robertson swiped 3.7 steals per game during the 1985-86 season. That was thirty two years ago. Fantasy wise, that production will net you 9 points each game, but its pretty incredible to see a player do something that we haven’t seen in 30+ years.
Looking away from his work as the finest thief since Robin Hood, Weber is also pretty stellar on the offensive end. As those above averages can tell you, he stands as a constant threat whether its as an offensive rebounder, facilitator, perimeter and mid-range threat and especially as an on-ball cutter.
While Weber has had a coffee with the Warriors, Hornets and Lakers since his time with the Skyforce, he’ll be back in the G League as he signed a two-way deal with the Houston Rockets, which means that he’ll spend most time with the RGV Vipers. While he’ll be a stellar fantasy pick throughout the season, you might want to be conservative with Weber due to him only playing one game this weekend against the OKC Blue.
Gian Clavell, Shooting Guard, Dallas Mavericks
Ever since he went undrafted in June, Gian Clavell has been on an absolute tear when it comes to on-court performance. A few weeks after he didn’t get selected, Clavell played with the Miami Heat during Vegas Summer League. While he entered as a relative unknown that shined with a solid mid-major, he impressed in the limited time that he was on the court. In 25 minutes per game, Clavell put up 12.4 points on 45% from the field and 41% from beyond the arc. That great play pushed the Mavericks to sign him to a training camp deal.
Clavell was able to carry his Summer League momentum into his fall stint on the Mavs’ training camp roster. While the chances of him making the regular season squad was limited, he still worked his tail of in preseason to the point where he actually stood as one of their better weapons. That was evident by him averaging 8.2 points and 1.2 steals per game on 38% from the field and 39% from beyond the arc. Although he didn’t end up making the squad, that solid play pushed the Mavericks to give Clavell a two-way deal.
There’s a strong possibility that Clavell could eventually become an elite G League fantasy option due to his aggression as a perimeter defender and ability to score in bunches. However, I’m tentative on him so far due to how we’ve never seen him play a minute of G League ball.