Although his fantasy numbers weren't great Derrick Rose's game-winning shot get him MVP of last night's NBA tip-off Marathon.(AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)

Fantasy Basketball-Starting 5-December 26

Welcome to the newest feature at FantasyCPR. We’re shifting things around as we come in into the new year and a new sport with basketball on the brain. Daily Rounds which had been our morning recap, look ahead, and streak for the cash picks article will be moving to around noon each day. In the morning (around 7), stop by to catch “The Starting 5.”

Each day you’ll be able to find injury info, players heating up, players losing steam, and any other note-worthy action from the previous night’s game. All this will come your way in a convenient list of 5. Sometimes they’ll be additional notes and most days we’ll wrap things up with the Injury Ward where you can find the latest on Fantasy basketball related injuries. This edition of the Starting 5 is a little different in that there’s some season preview information in here as well like the first list as we get started on this Monday Morning.

5 Best teams this year in the NBA

1. Oklahoma City Thunder-They’re my picks to win it all. I think the compressed schedule helps them. I think James Harden emerges even more than he did in last year’s playoffs and at the end of the year, I think they’re the team holding the Larry O’Brien trophy.

2. Chicago Bulls-The team that the Thunder will beat from the East is the Bulls. The Richard Hamilton signing is huge for them and I think the Rose-Noah-Hamilton-Deng-Boozer/Gibson starting 5 will beat team #3 in my rankings before losing to the Thunder in the finals.

3. Miami Heat-This Heat team is better, in my opinion, then last year’s Heat team. They’ll win huge and put up stats that are absolutely unworldly in the regular season, but when the defense stiffens in the playoffs I think the Bulls will edge them out.

4. LA Clippers-The Clippers will be the most fun team in the league to watch and will make it to the Western Conference finals before Serge Ibaka, Kendrick Perkins, and the Thunder stop the lob-city high-flyers.

5. Memphis-The Grizz will surprise people once again this year by following up last year’s playoff run with a solid season. Remember, last year they played without Rudy Gay who can be their best player at times.

5 stars shining bright on Christmas Day

1. Lebron James-MIA: It’s still the Lebron and DWade show which is why I don’t think this team wins it al but 37 points, 10 rebounds, six assists, two steals and two blocks are beastly fantasy numbers.

2. Rajon Rondo-BOS: An impressive had 31 points, 13 assists, five rebounds and five steals.

3. Carmelo Anthony-DEN: Carried his Knicks to victory with 17 of his 37 points in the fourth quarter and finished with eight boards, three assists, two steals, a block and four 3-pointers.

4. Kobe Bryant-LAL: Kobe finished with 28 points, seven rebounds, six assists, and two steals.

5. Kevin Durant-OKC: KD started his scoring title defense in style with 30 points, 5 rebounds, 6 assists, and 2 steals.

5 Biggest surprises in Sunday’s Boxes

1. Brandon Bass-BOS: If you read my post yesterday, you know I added him in our Bloggers’ League but even I never saw the 20 points and 11 boards coming. With a possible Garnett  suspension he’s a great addition since he’ll keep seeing floor time

2. James Hardin-OKC: He’s a great breakout candidate and looked the part with his 19 points, 6 boards, and 3 assists.

3. Luol Deng-CHI: Put up star numbers with his 21 points, 7 boards, 3 assists, 4 steals, and a block. He’ll be a solid contributor to the Bulls and your fantasy team, but his numbers yesterday were huge.

4. Ryan Anderson-ORL: Started at the PF where the Magic have little depth so even when things got ugly he stayed on the floor but accumulated 25 points and 10 rebounds with an assist and 2 steals.

5. Chauncey Billups-LAC: Noone is quite sure what to expect of Billups in his new roll but to start with 21 points, 5 rebounds, 4 assists, and 3 3PM is a very auspicious beginning.

5 Players to check for on the Waiver Wire

1. Paul George-IND: Available in 65% of ESPN standard leagues, George played well for the Pacers at the end of last season and all reports from camp is that he’s ready for a breakout. If you can, make sure he’s on your team when he does.

2.Mehmet Okur-NJ: Okur never returned to fantasy usefulness following his injury, but the move to NJ and the minutes he’ll get while waiting for Brook Lopez to return make him worth a flier. He’s available in 91% of ESPN leagues.

3.Toney Douglas-NYK: Available in 20% of ESPN leagues, Douglas is the unquestioned starter at PG for the Knicks until when/if Baron Davis returns. Douglas has had fantasy flashes in the past, so he’s worth a look for the end of your bench.

4. Jeff Teague-ATL: Has a wide open opportunity to step in and be the starting point for the Hawks. When he started last year (6 G) he averaged 14.8 points and 4.2 assists.

5. Arron Afflalo-DEN: Afflalo is available in a shocking 50% of leagues after his solid campaign last year. His percentages are great and his 3-point shooting a great addition to your team and he’s going to get minutes due to his great defense.

5 rookies to remember

1.     Kyrie Irving-Cleveland

2.     Derrick Williams-Minnesota

3.     Kemba Walker-Charlotte

4.    K lay Thompson-Golden State

5.     Brandon Knight-Detroit

5 other, lesser-known rookies who may produce

1.     Norris Cole-Miami

2.     Kawhi Leonard-San Antonio

3.     Alec Burks-Utah

4.     Shelvin Mack-Washington

5.     E’Twaun Moore-Boston

Injury Ward

Shawn Marion-DAL: Broke his pinky but doesn’t expect to miss any time…

Iman Shumpert-NYK: Shumpert looked good until spraining his knee. It’s estimated he’ll miss 2-4 weeks.

Tags: Celtics Fantasy Basketball Heat Injury Updates Kevin Durant Lebron James Rajon Rondo Starting 5 Thunder Waiver Wire

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