The Beast Report: Kyle Lowry, James Harden, Kevin Martin and more

by Justin "Fensty" Fensterman on November 6, 2012 @ 18:44:00 PDT


The fantasy basketball season has begun, meaning it is time for battle. For the next five months you will have to stay on your toes and make sure you have the best combination of players to secure your fantasy basketball championship. I am here to help you through this journey. Every week, I will reveal my "Beast Report."

The Beast Report will feature players who are dominant from a fantasy perspective. I am not helping by telling you how good LeBron James and Kevin Durant are week after week. The players who will be featured are players that help out in multiple categories (points, rebounds, assists, field goal percentage, three pointers made, blocks, steals, free throw percentage and turnovers). The lesser known players will be acknowledged. Below are a few players who have started the season off strong who can help you win a fantasy basketball championship.

Kyle Lowry, guard, Toronto Raptors: It is very difficult to trust a player who joined a new team, which already has a solid option at that position. Jose Calderon is no slouch of a point guard. He provides points, a decent field goal percentage and, most importantly, assists. Point guard is among the scarcest positions in fantasy basketball this year.

Lowry has been one of the most dominant fantasy options in week one. In his first three games, he scored nearly 24 points per game shooting over 57 percent from the field. The six-foot nothing guard has grabbed over seven rebounds per game and dished seven assists per game as well. Lowry also has averaged nearly four steals per game. Lowry is the established starter for the Raptors, and unless he gets hurt I do not see Calderon stealing minutes from him. Yes, Calderon can start for teams, but Toronto has had all summer to trade him and they have not.

James Harden, G/F, Houston Rockets

James Harden, guard-forward, Houston Rockets: Take Harden off the bench and what does he give you? Games of 45, 37 and 24 points, while shooting over 50 percent from the floor. What else? More than six rebounds and six assists per game. Last season Harden was a top 20-fantasy player because of his ability to fill up a stat sheet in many different categories. He has also stolen the ball at least once per game.

Harden has star potential and is being paid like a star. I do not expect him to score over 30 points per game by the end of the season. If Harden continues to grab a bunch of rebounds and pass the ball a ton, he will remain in the top 10-15 ranked players in fantasy basketball this season. The Rockets' offense runs through him now.

Kevin Martin, guard, Oklahoma City Thunder: The Thunder is benefitting from the Harden trade as well. In his first three games, Martin averaged over 20 points per game shooting over 53 percent from the field, off the bench. He played at least 30 minutes per game coming off the bench. See where I am going with this?

While some may worry about Martin's long-term role on the Thunder, I am here to tell you to stop worrying because he will be apart of the offense. Year after year, Martin has shown how much of a consistent scorer he is. Even with Russell Westbrook and Kevin Durant starting in front of him, Martin will still be featured. I see him scoring at least 16-18 points per game for the Thunder down the stretch. Being the first scoring option off the bench will benefit Martin. When Durant and Westbrook start to wear out, they will both serve as decoys drawing double teams, leaving an open Martin.

If someone in your league is desperate for scoring, use Martin as a good bargaining chip as his consistency increases his value, even on a new team.

Anderson Varejao, center, Cleveland Cavaliers: You can never forget players who were out for the bulk of the season last year. When not out with a badly broken wrist, Varejao is a beast on the boards. He is one of the most aggressive players in the league and you want this guy on your team. In his first four games, he has scored 14 points per game and grabbed 15 rebounds per game on average.

I do see Varejao as a top 10 rebounder all season long. He will also provide blocks. In terms of points, I see him scoring 10 a game, with his field goal percentage remaining high. He has shot over 50 percent from the field for his career.

Andrei Kirilenko, forward, Minnesota Timberwolves: While you cannot forget about the injured players from last year, you must not forget about the players who decided to play abroad last season due to the NBA lockout, either. Before he left, Kirilenko was a player who gave you a little bit of everything on the fantasy front. He might be on a new team, but so far he has proven to be the same player he was before he left.

In his first three games, Kirilenko has played over 30 minutes per game, scoring over 14 points per game. Do not expect him to continue to shoot nearly 70 percent from the floor, but being a career 47 percent shooter, I would not say that 50 is out of the question. All season long the 6-foot-9 small forward will cause matchup problems. He has grabbed nearly eight rebounds, dished essentially five assists and blocked almost three shots per game to start the season. Like I said, he will help your team in just about every category.

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About Justin "Fensty" Fensterman

Fensterman covers fantasy basketball for KFFL and joined the team in 2012. He is a Sports Radio Producer on SiriusXM's Fantasy Sports Radio channel, the first channel dedicated solely to fantasy sports. An avid fantasy basketball player, Fensty's biggest accomplishment in the fantasy sports world was in 2004 when he had an undefeated season in a Yahoo! Sports Fantasy NBA league and was ranked in the top 30 among all players in the world.

A native from Oyster Bay, NY, Fensty left New York to study Broadcast Journalism at American University in Washington D.C. in 2005. Fensty has previously worked for MLB Network Radio on SiriusXM, NBC Sports, Fox Sports, MTV and News 12: Long Island.

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