Fantasy Basketball: A Walk Around the League- Part 2

By Matt Rogers
PSDC Fantasy Sports Expert

FantasyBasketball

Each team in the NBA has something to offer fantasy owners. Granted, some offer more than others. Most teams made a move in the offseason that affected their team one way or another. Here is a team by team look at the players you need to know about in order to be successful this year.

Miami Heat 

Player Note

GP

FG%

FT%

3PTM

PTS

REB

AST

ST

BLK

TO

L. James Mia – SF,PF

76

.565

.753

1.4

26.8

8.0

7.3

1.7

0.9

3.0

D. Wade Mia – PG,SG

69

.521

.725

0.2

21.2

5.0

5.1

1.9

0.8

2.8

C. Bosh Mia – PF,C

74

.535

.798

0.3

16.6

6.8

1.7

0.9

1.4

1.7

R. Allen Mia – SG

79

.449

.886

1.8

10.9

2.7

1.7

0.8

0.2

1.3

M. Chalmers Mia – PG

77

.429

.795

1.6

8.6

2.2

3.5

1.5

0.2

1.5


Must Own Players:

LeBron James is the best player on the planet and should be the No. 1 draft pick in all leagues. Some guys may take Kevin Durant for different reasons. It’s not a bad pick, but James is the better fantasy asset. I could type for days about his greatness but will sum it up like this. LeBron does everything. Draft him.

Dwayne Wade misses some games each year due to bad knees. They have a lot of miles on them. So that trend should continue. Still, when he is on the court he contributes at an elite level. His only flaw is a lack of 3s and mediocre FT shooting. So he only helps in seven of nine categories. Is that really a complaint?

Chris Bosh has a bunch of haters, which I don’t understand. He scores, rebounds and plays defense. He has great shooting percentages and doesn’t hurt you with turn overs. His production ranks in the top 10 at both PF and Center. Let others hate on him while you draft him and make a title run.

Other Contributors:

Ray Allen is one of my absolute, all-time favorites, but at this point in his career, he really does nothing but provide some 3-point shooting. His percentages remain great but have less impact with lower volume.

Mario Chalmers is a sneaky guy. There simply aren’t enough shots for him to score in double digits, but he shoots well and chips in 1-2 treys and steals a game with a few points and steals. That’s good depth.

Udonis Haslem is a cheap source of rebounds in deep, deep leagues.

Impact Rookie:

None

Possible Sleepers:

None of the Heat’s role players excite me very much. Chris Anderson is fun to watch but has minimal fantasy impact. People got excited about Michael Beasley replacing Mike Miller and most likely Shane Battier as well, but this guy is a nut job. The Heat will give you the big three. Find sleepers elsewhere.

Milwaukee Bucks 

Player Note

GP

FG%

FT%

3PTM

PTS

REB

AST

ST

BLK

TO

O. Mayo Mil – SG

82

.449

.820

1.7

15.3

3.5

4.4

1.1

0.3

2.5

E. Ilyasova Mil – SF,PF

73

.462

.796

1.3

13.2

7.1

1.6

0.9

0.5

1.0

L. Sanders Mil – PF,C

71

.506

.618

0.0

9.8

9.5

1.2

0.7

2.8

1.2

B. Knight Mil – PG,SG

75

.407

.733

1.6

13.3

3.3

4.0

0.8

0.1

2.7

L. Ridnour Mil – PG,SG

82

.453

.848

0.8

11.5

2.5

3.8

1.0

0.2

1.6

C. Delfino Mil – SG,SF

67

.405

.857

2.4

10.6

3.3

2.0

1.0

0.1

1.1

C. Butler Mil – SF

78

.424

.833

1.6

10.4

2.9

1.0

0.7

0.1

0.9


Must Own Players:

This may be debatable, but I see none.

Other Contributors:

Larry Sanders will probably be the first Buck off the board, but I don’t see him as a must own player. He is close, but still has to develop and show last year’s debut was no joke. He should shoot above 50% from the floor, average a double-double and finish in the top five in blocked shots. That may be all he provides.

OJ Mayo is a good combo guard that can complement your stars in percentages, 3s, points, rebounds, assists and steals. He just isn’t elite in any of those categories and shouldn’t be your lead option. Draft him if fits into your lineup. Just don’t get stuck with him as your best guard.

Ersan Ilyasova will contribute good percentages, 3s, points and rebounds from the PF position. He has star potential and could rise to must own status if he can just get on the court and continue the pace he set in the second half last year. For now, his launch will be slowed by a bum ankle. Have patience.

Carlos Delfino is an excellent three point marksman. His only other contribution will be mediocre points, rebounds and a steal again. He is also a good FT shooter but doesn’t attempt enough for a major impact.

Watch to see if Brandon Knight or Luke Ridnour emerges to get the most minutes alongside Mayo in the backcourt. Both have limited potential but could help some fantasy team if given enough minutes.

Caron Butler may end up starting ahead of Delfino but won’t offer anything special.

Impact Rookie:

The Bucks drafted a couple of project players that are unlikely to contribute this year.

Possible Sleepers:

I like John Henson a lot, like most players from North Carolina. He seems primed to get minutes backing up both PF and C. If his playing time is consistent enough, he could end up proving roster worthy.

Minnesota Timberwolves 

Player Note

GP

FG%

FT%

3PTM

PTS

REB

AST

ST

BLK

TO

K. Love Min – PF,C

18

.352

.704

1.1

18.3

14.0

2.3

0.7

0.5

2.2

N. Pekovic Min – C

62

.520

.744

0.0

16.3

8.8

0.9

0.7

0.8

1.6

R. Rubio Min – PG

57

.360

.799

0.5

10.7

4.0

7.3

2.4

0.1

3.0

K. Martin Min – SG

77

.450

.890

2.1

14.0

2.3

1.4

0.9

0.1

1.3

C. Brewer Min – SG,SF

82

.425

.690

1.1

12.1

2.9

1.5

1.4

0.3

1.2


Must Own Players:

Kevin Love has a skill set more comparable to the Legendary Larry Bird than any player since. Great shooting percentages, 3s, points and rebounds uncommon for a PF all make him a special talent. He is still an overall Top 10 talent despite coming back from injury. He has never been a big defensive factor.

Other Contributors:

Ricky Rubio would be a must own if he could stay healthy and shoot better. His 36% FG shooting is abysmal and must improve to kick up his overall scoring. In the meantime, his owners will get more rebounds than expected from a PG to go with excellent assist and steals.

Nikola Pekovic became relevant last year as a good shooting center. He scores and rebounds very well but lacks any defensive presence. His peripherals must improve for him to be anything more than another Carlos Boozer, Zach Randolp type two-category producer.

Corey Brewer is another role player that chips in 3s, points and steals without any positive or negative impact elsewhere.

Kevin Martin is just another 3-point shooter that will provide shooting percentages and some points.

Impact Rookie:

None

Possible Sleepers:

Of course with Rubio’s injury history, JJ Barea will have some runs of productivity throughout the year, but the best sleeper candidate may be Chase Budinger. If Budinger can stay healthy, he can provide more points, rebounds and 3s than Brewer with better shooting and no fall off in defense.

New Orleans Pelicans 

Player Note

GP

FG%

FT%

3PTM

PTS

REB

AST

ST

BLK

TO

J. Holiday NO – PG

78

.431

.752

1.2

17.7

4.2

8.0

1.6

0.4

3.7

A. Davis NO – PF,C

64

.516

.751

0.0

13.5

8.2

1.0

1.2

1.8

1.4

R. Anderson NO – PF,C

81

.423

.844

2.6

16.2

6.4

1.2

0.5

0.4

1.2

T. Evans NO – SG,SF

65

.478

.775

0.7

15.2

4.4

3.5

1.4

0.4

2.0

E. Gordon NO – SG

42

.402

.842

1.3

17.0

1.8

3.3

1.1

0.2

2.8

A. Aminu NO – SF

76

.475

.737

0.1

7.3

7.7

1.4

1.2

0.7

1.5


Must Own Players:

Jrue Holiday is a better PG than a lot of people think. His shooting percentages are average and his turnover rate is highly unacceptable. Every other aspect of his game is exceptional. He hits 3s, scores a lot of points, rebounds very well for a PG, dishes a ton of assists and gets steals. Holiday is the type of player who will be a team’s second PG but could end up outplaying the starter most nights.

Anthony Davis failed to fulfill the lofty expectations placed on him last year. I find that ridiculous considering the production he did give. His percentages are good and he should shoot more this year to bring up his overall scoring. He isn’t a source of 3s or assists, but the points, rebounds and defensive stats should be more than enough to keep owners happy. Plus, he never turns the ball over.

Other Contributors:

Tyreke Evans is one of those across the board stat fillers. He does nothing great but nothing poorly. Other SGs will give more 3s, but he’s a good supplemental source of points, rebounds, assists and steals.

Ryan Anderson plays a finesse game on offense, spreading the floor and dropping bombs, while banging the boards when the opportunity arises. He won’t contribute on defense, but is a good flex forward to have, especially if you have a guard that doesn’t shoot threes like Tony Parker or John Wall.

Eric Gordon strikes me as a whiney little bitch. That may not be accurate, but I still won’t draft him. If he plays for you, maybe he will provide excellent 3 point shooting and points, but not much else.

Impact Rookie:

None

Possible Sleepers:

Al-Farouq Aminu is initially slated to start as SF in order for Ty Evans to fill a sixth man role. Aminu is a good rebounder and defender. He is also a good shooter that collects scrap buckets. If he can maintain starter minutes, he could push for a double-double with two combined steals/blocks.

New York Knicks 

Player Note

GP

FG%

FT%

3PTM

PTS

REB

AST

ST

BLK

TO

C. Anthony NY – SF,PF

67

.449

.830

2.3

28.7

6.9

2.6

0.8

0.5

2.6

J. Smith NY – SG,SF

80

.422

.762

1.9

18.1

5.3

2.7

1.3

0.3

1.7

T. Chandler NY – C

66

.638

.694

0.0

10.4

10.7

0.9

0.6

1.1

1.3

A. Stoudemire NY – PF,C

29

.577

.808

0.0

14.2

5.0

0.4

0.3

0.7

1.7

R. Felton NY – PG,SG

68

.427

.789

1.4

13.9

2.9

5.5

1.4

0.2

2.3

M. World Peace NY – SF,PF

75

.403

.734

1.9

12.4

5.0

1.5

1.6

0.6

1.3

A. Bargnani NY – PF,C

35

.399

.844

1.1

12.7

3.7

1.1

0.6

0.7

1.5


Must Own Players:

Carmelo Anthony lacks the assists and/or defense to put him on par with James and Durant, but the dude can flat out score. He scores in bunches from all over the floor and is a good shooter. So he can help with percentages, 3s points and rebounds. His assists to turn over ratio basically nullifies both stats. Make no mistake. Melo is a first round fantasy talent you can build a championship team around.

JR Smith will make you sweat. Hell, I’m sweating just listing him as a must own. Last year was a career year for Smith. If he can duplicate it, you have a guy contributing solidly in 5-6 categories. He hits enough 3s and gets enough steals to offset other two category bangers like Boozer or Randolph. Since I’m a glutton for punishment, I will probably draft this dude in more than one league and hope he repeats.

Other Contributors: 

Raymond Felton is another of my old UNC favorites. I love to get him as my second or even third PG when I can. He does what you want a PG to do. He hits FTs and 3s, scores a little, dishes assists and gets some steals. He does none of those things at an elite level which is why he more highly regarded.

Tyson Chandler is simply a beast inside. He is a double-double machine who blocks about a shot a game. All he does is dunk and shoot inside the paint. So his FG% is freakishly high. He is also good enough at the line not to worry you. Chandler is a great source for the areas where he excels.

Andre Bargnani is another one of those guys I won’t touch due to his injury history. A lot of owners will give him a shot. I wish them luck. He can be good if he can stay healthy. The same can be said for his platoon mate, A’mare Stoudamire. A’mare is an old favorite of mine but time and injuries have worn him down into someone I can’t risk giving a roster spot.

Impact Rookies:

Drafting Tim Hardaway, Jr. was good for fan love, but won’t help fantasy owners.

Possible Sleeper:

I have mental health issues. So it shouldn’t surprise anyone that I love Metta World Peace and think he will be great for the Knicks. Honestly, the Knicks have more talent than the Lakers have had the past couple of years and Metta won’t have as much pressure to perform. I expect a big year from this guy.

Oklahoma City Thunder

Player Note

GP

FG%

FT%

3PTM

PTS

REB

AST

ST

BLK

TO

K. Durant OKC – SF

81

.510

.905

1.7

28.1

7.9

4.6

1.4

1.3

3.5

R. Westbrook OKC – PG

82

.438

.800

1.2

23.2

5.2

7.4

1.8

0.3

3.3

S. Ibaka OKC – PF,C

80

.573

.749

0.3

13.2

7.7

0.5

0.4

3.0

1.6


Must Own Players:

Kevin Durant is one of the top two players in the league. I fault nobody who chooses to take him first overall instead of LeBron. I understand the argument. The margin separating these two is negligible. I defer to LeBron simply on the assist to turnover factor alone. Still I would be thrilled to have either guy.

Russell Westbrook could just as easily be a top 5 pick as anyone if not for his current injury. Owners will get Westbrook cheaper this year than usual but may have to wait 6-8 weeks to get any production out of him. When he is on the floor, Westbrook simply does everything other than block shots.

Serge Ibaka has emerged as a must own guy to me but he still hasn’t quite made it into first round status yet. His shooting percentages are good, especially from the floor. His points are adequate, and he is a good rebounder. Of course the true give is his shot blocking, which is about as good as it gets.

Other Contributors:

Thabo Sefalosa, Kendrick Perkins, Jeremy Lamb and Nick Collison are all role players that offer little in fantasy leagues. Perhaps in very deep, 16-18 team leagues some of these guys have value.

Impact Rookie:

Steven Adams is a project player that has a long way to go before he makes a fantasy splash.

Possible Sleepers:

Reggie Jackson will be the Thunder’s starting PG until Westbrook returns. His potential value will be greatest for the first couple months of the season. After that, who knows? Not to be Debbie Downer, but everyone should remember Nate Robinson was only supposed to be relevant for a couple months until Derrick Rose returned last year. People may want to keep that in mind when considering Jackson.

Orlando Magic 

Player Note

GP

FG%

FT%

3PTM

PTS

REB

AST

ST

BLK

TO

N. Vucevic Orl – PF,C

77

.519

.683

0.0

13.1

11.9

1.9

0.8

1.0

1.8

J. Nelson Orl – PG

56

.392

.873

2.2

14.7

3.7

7.4

1.3

0.1

2.8

G. Davis Orl – PF,C

34

.448

.718

0.0

15.1

7.2

2.1

0.9

0.6

1.9

A. Afflalo Orl – SG,SF

64

.439

.857

1.1

16.5

3.7

3.2

0.6

0.2

2.2

T. Harris Orl – SF,PF

55

.455

.752

0.6

11.0

5.2

1.3

0.6

0.8

1.2

M. Harkless Orl – SF

76

.461

.570

0.4

8.2

4.4

0.7

1.2

0.8

0.9

V. Oladipo Orl – SG


Must Own Players:

Nicola Vucevic emerged as a quality big man last year and his growth should continue. He is a good shooting center that should post a nightly double-double with a steal and a blocked shot as well. You shouldn’t need 3s and assists from your center. So, there is nothing but upside for Vucevic.

Other Contributors:

Jameer Nelson leads a cast of fantasy contributors that can fill the gaps on your team. Nelson gets bit by the injury bug every year and carries a horrible shooting percentage. The rest of his game is extremely solid. He is worth having as a fourth or fifth guard to provide 3s, assists and steals, but he will miss time.

Arron Afflalo is a decent option for 3s, points and moderate contributions across the board. His 3s and steals aren’t on par with JR Smith, but he is a better rebound and assist source than Kevin Martin.

Tobias Harris headlines a list of young guys everyone is getting super excited about in Orlando. Some expectations have him rising high enough to be a Top 10 SF. I have to see him produce before I go there.

Mo Harkness is also getting some love, but his upside may be limited by the playing time he received.

Impact Rookies:

My plan is to wait and see how minutes are distributed before I pursue Victor Oladipo. For that reason, I will probably not have him in any league. I am more cautious with rookies than most owners.

Possible Sleepers:

Big Baby is working his way back from another injury and has looked very good when he has been on the court for Orlando. He will provide points, rebounds and some defensive stats with good shooting percentages when he manages to stay healthy. You have to weigh the reward versus injury risk.

Philadelphia 76ers 

Player Note

GP

FG%

FT%

3PTM

PTS

REB

AST

ST

BLK

TO

T. Young Phi – SF,PF

76

.531

.574

0.0

14.8

7.5

1.6

1.8

0.7

1.2

E. Turner Phi – SG,SF

82

.419

.740

0.7

13.3

6.3

4.3

0.9

0.2

2.3

S. Hawes Phi – C

82

.464

.777

0.4

11.0

7.2

2.2

0.3

1.4

1.6

M. Carter-Williams Phi – PG
N. Noel Phi – PF,C


Must Own Players:

None: Philly is in full rebuild mode and there is little to get excited about with regard to fantasy players.

Other Contributors:

Thaddeus Young may be the 76ers best player, which is no reason to get overly excited. His FT shooting is almost as poor as his FG shooting is good. He scores some and rebounds well. His greatest asset may be the steals he contributes. That plus what he is good at makes him worth having for depth at forward.

Spencer Hawes is an underrated center that shoots well, rebounds and blocks some shots. He will be the primary center all year long as the 76ers “best” center will be sidelined again with bad knees.

Evan Turner is decent but not exceptional. He is a fair shooter who will contribute points, rebounds and a fair about of assists for a SF. He doesn’t much help with 3s or steals. He is just an average guy.

Impact Rookies:

Michael Carter-Williams will have every chance to make an impact as the starting PG this year. Since the 76ers traded away Jrue Holiday to give Nerlens Noel a place in their infirmary, it will be a trial by fire for Carter Williams. Expect mediocre shooting, points, assists and high turn overs from this rookie.

Nerlens Noel will have no impact this year.

Possible Sleepers:

James Anderson seems to have a firm grasp on the starting SG spot right now. Only time will tell what he does with the opportunity. He is certainly worth a look considering his top rival for playing time, Jason Richardson, has shown time and again he will only disappoint as a starter. 

Phoenix Suns 

Player Note

GP

FG%

FT%

3PTM

PTS

REB

AST

ST

BLK

TO

G. Dragic Pho – PG

77

.443

.748

1.1

14.7

3.1

7.4

1.6

0.3

2.8

M. Gortat Pho – C

61

.521

.652

0.0

11.1

8.5

1.2

0.7

1.6

1.6

C. Frye Pho – PF,C

500

.445

.814

0.9

9.7

5.2

1.0

0.5

0.7

1.5

E. Bledsoe Pho – PG,SG

76

.445

.791

0.4

8.5

3.0

3.1

1.4

0.7

1.8

M. Morris Pho – PF

82

.407

.732

0.5

8.2

4.8

1.3

0.9

0.8

1.3

A. Len Pho – C


Must Own Players:

Goran Dragic is a legit point guard that will be ignored quite a bit in most drafts. His overall numbers aren’t good enough to push him into the top ranks in your league, but he will be an excellent second PG. He does everything well from shooting to playing defense. There are no glaring weaknesses in his game.

Martin Gortat was hurt a little and hated on a lot last year. He seems to be in a perpetual state of waiting to be replaced. While he waits for his replacement to prove worthy, he continues to shoot well, rebound and block shots. There are worse guys to have as your second center. Ignore the haters. Play this guy.

Other Contributors: 

Eric Bledsoe has been the “next big thing” for a couple of years now. Well he finally gets his chance to be the starter and fantasy nuts are having to clean off their keyboard in order to draft this guy. I hope he lives up to the hype, but I’m content to wait and watch. Good luck to everyone that drafts this guy.

The Morris twins are together again, but this happy family reunion probably won’t help fantasy owners.

Impact Rookies:

Alex Len is the next guy in line to try and replace Gortat. All I see is another big man project set up to disappoint all of the pipe dreamers out there.

Possible Sleepers:

Channing Frye is returning after being out last year. His return won’t garner the same hype as Rose or Bynum, but Frye can help out the fantasy team savvy enough to grab him late. Frye is a good shooter capable of contributing the odd combination of one trey and one block a game while adding 10 points and five boards with good shooting percentages. That is cheap production from the depths of a roster.

Portland Trailblazers 

Player Note

GP

FG%

FT%

3PTM

PTS

REB

AST

ST

BLK

TO

L. Aldridge Por – PF,C

74

.484

.810

0.0

21.1

9.1

2.6

0.8

1.2

1.9

D. Lillard Por – PG

82

.429

.844

2.3

19.0

3.1

6.5

0.9

0.2

3.0

N. Batum Por – SG,SF

73

.423

.848

2.3

14.3

5.6

4.9

1.2

1.1

2.6

W. Matthews Por – SG,SF

69

.436

.797

2.4

14.8

2.8

2.5

1.3

0.3

1.6

M. Williams Por – PG,SG

46

.430

.882

1.3

12.9

2.4

6.2

1.0

0.2

2.7

R. Lopez Por – C

82

.534

.778

0.0

11.3

5.6

0.8

0.4

1.6

1.3


Must Own Players:

LaMarcus Aldridge is a Top 10 fantasy talent and probably the best all-around big man in the game. He reminds me of Tim Duncan in the early years. The only difference is Timmy was a better shooter and better shot blockers. The slightest of improvements in those areas would push Aldridge into the Top 5.

Damian Lilliard will rise in the PG ranks this year and probably end up producing Top 10 numbers. All that’s missing from his game is steals. His assist to turnover ratio should improve as he matures and becomes more accustomed to the pro game. Improvements in those two areas should come this year.

Nicolas Batum fits perfectly between Lillard and Aldridge and his fantasy game is just as good. Batum contributes in every category. If he were the primary scoring option for a team, he would be on par with Paul George, if not James Harden. Those are really the only SGs to take ahead of him right now.

Other Contributors:

Batum nearly made Wesley Matthews obsolete last year, but Matthews is still a fantasy asset for owners needing 3s, points and steals. He would me much more valuable if he would rebound a bit better.

Mo Williams was considered expendable by Utah and fell in Portland’s lap. Mo is an excellent fit in a back court rotation with Lilliard and Matthews. He is even more valuable with rookie CJ McCollum injured.

Impact Rookies: 

McCollum should eventually help out with some depth, but his arrival will be slowed by injury.

Possible Sleepers:

Portland let JJ Hickson go in the off season and replaced him with Robin Lopez. Lopez is actually a more natural center which will fit better with the team’s desire to play Aldridge primarily at PF. Lopez is a good shooting big man who should offer solid production in points, rebounds and blocks this year.

San Antonio Spurs 

Player Note

GP

FG%

FT%

3PTM

PTS

REB

AST

ST

BLK

TO

T. Duncan SA – PF,C

69

.502

.817

0.0

17.8

9.9

2.7

0.7

2.7

2.1

T. Parker SA – PG

66

.522

.845

0.4

20.3

3.0

7.6

0.8

0.1

2.6

K. Leonard SA – SG,SF

58

.494

.825

1.1

11.9

6.0

1.6

1.7

0.6

1.1

T. Splitter SA – C

81

.560

.730

0.0

10.3

6.4

1.6

0.8

0.8

1.2

M. Ginobili SA – SG,SF

60

.425

.796

1.4

11.8

3.4

4.6

1.3

0.2

2.2

D. Green SA – SG,SF

80

.448

.848

2.2

10.5

3.1

1.8

1.2

0.7

1.2


Must Own Players:

Tim Duncan showed last year he is still the Big Fundamental. This was his best season in recent memory and he clearly still has something left in the tank. Duncan is capable of anchoring a fantasy front line but his owners must be prepared to go without him 10-15 times a year as old guy rests.

Tony Parker is easily a Top 10 PG. The only thing keeping him from the Top 5 is his lack of 3 point shooting and low steals. I find it hard to complain about those aspects of his game considering how well he shoots overall and his superior assist to turnover ratio. Like Duncan, age may cost him a few games.

Other Contributors:

Kawhi Leonard is emerging as the next great star for the Spurs. He still has a few steps to take but will be a must own player very soon. He needs to score more, but his overall shooting, rebounding and steals are superb. Leonard has supplanted Manu as the third member of San Antonio’s Big Three.

Manu Ginobili can still take over games and light up the arena on any given night, but all the years of playing all out in international competition and the NBA continue to catch up with him. Manu will probably miss at least 20 games a season but when he plays, he pretty much fills up the box score.

Danny Green is another Spurs’ rising star. He is already an excellent shooter who understands the Spurs’ defensive philosophy and chips in on the boards. More points and boards will make him invaluable.

Impact Rookies:

None

Possible Sleepers:

Tiago Splitter has emerged as the perfect complement to Tim Duncan. No plays have to be run for him. He gets his buckets off hustle, bangs the boards and plays defense. Especially in deeper leagues, Splitter is worth owning. All of his contributions are positive and he costs next to nothing to add late.

Sacramento Kings 

Player Note

GP

FG%

FT%

3PTM

PTS

REB

AST

ST

BLK

TO

D. Cousins Sac – PF,C

75

.465

.738

0.1

17.1

9.9

2.7

1.4

0.7

3.0

G. Vasquez Sac – PG,SG

78

.433

.805

1.1

13.9

4.3

9.0

0.8

0.1

3.2

I. Thomas Sac – PG

79

.440

.882

1.5

13.9

2.0

4.0

0.8

0.0

1.8

C. Landry Sac – SF,PF

81

.540

.817

0.0

10.8

6.0

0.8

0.4

0.4

1.4

J. Thompson Sac – PF,C

82

.502

.694

0.0

10.9

6.7

1.0

0.6

0.7

1.2

M. Thornton Sac – SG

72

.429

.881

2.0

12.7

2.5

1.3

0.8

0.1

0.9

P. Patterson Sac – PF,C

71

.512

.762

0.7

10.4

4.7

1.1

0.4

0.6

0.9

B. McLemore Sac – SG


Must Own Players:

DeMarcus Cousins is sure to miss 5-10 games due to suspensions and insanity, but he is still worth the risk. People need to stop deluding themselves into thinking he will become the best center in the game and just take him as the PF banger he is. He will provide good FG%, a ton of points, a ton of rebounds and some steals. The steals may be all the separates him from guys like Boozer and Randolph.

Greivis Vazquez is a quality point guard who is only a steal and a little better ball control from being elite. He shoots well, knocks down a trey each night, rebounds well for a guard and may challenge all league leaders in assists. His overall scoring needs to improve and he needs to cut down his turn overs, but consider this. He also qualifies for SG. If you draft him as such, nobody should top you in assists.

Other Contributors:

Isaiah Thomas emerged last year as the Kings’ best point guard late. He will have to come off the bench with Vazquez on the team, but I’m imagining them two playing together in the backcourt a lot.

Jason Thompson is somewhat undersized for a PF, but still manages to chip in double digit points and quality rebounding. His FG% is good because he mostly scores at the rim. He does nothing else to help.

Marcus Thornton is fading to irrelevance. He is basically good for nothing but a few 3s at this point.

Impact Rookies:

Ben McLemore was the best pure shooter in the draft. Thornton was already in decline. So it is easy to imagine McLemore stepping in from day one to be the outside bomber in this line up. If he turns out to be any help on the boards or defense, he could emerge as one of the most impactful rookies of the year.

Possible Sleepers:

The guys that know me think I’m president of the Carl Landry fan club. Unfortunately, I can’t tout Landry here because there is no telling how long his bum hip will keep him out of action. Meanwhile, Patrick Patterson will get plenty of opportunity to play and produce. He is a better shooter than Thompson but lacks his defense. Still, he should be a cheap source of points and rebounds with a few 3s.

Toronto Raptors 

Player Note

GP

FG%

FT%

3PTM

PTS

REB

AST

ST

BLK

TO

R. Gay Tor – SF,PF

75

.416

.814

1.1

18.2

6.1

2.7

1.5

0.7

2.6

D. DeRozan Tor – SG,SF

82

.445

.831

0.4

18.1

3.9

2.5

0.9

0.3

1.8

K. Lowry Tor – PG

68

.401

.795

1.5

11.6

4.7

6.4

1.4

0.4

2.3

A. Johnson Tor – PF,C

81

.554

.727

0.1

10.0

7.5

1.5

1.0

1.4

1.4

J. Valanciunas Tor – C

62

.557

.789

0.0

8.9

6.0

0.7

0.3

1.3

1.5


Must Own Players:

Rudy Gay is the Raptors best player and fantasy asset. His FG% is not great and he shoots a lot. So that is a problem. On the plus side he scores, rebounds, hits 3s and gets plenty of steals. His assists and turnovers wash each other out. Overall, he is a good “other” Forward to have, but you should be able to get a better starter at SF or PF.

Other Contributors:

DeMar DeRozen has developed into a solid scorer and fantasy owners have noticed. He is buried on my cheat sheets simply because he does little more than score on good shooting percentages. He doesn’t shoot 3s, barely rebounds and his defense is negligible. I would like him more if he offered anything else.

Kyle Lowry has the potential to be one of the best PGs in this league. His FG% and overall scoring need to improve and he has to stay healthy for that to occur. He is one of the best rebounding PGs in the league, his assist to turn over ratio is very good and he kicks in one and a half 3s and steals per game.

Amir Johnson gets overlooked but he can be a significant fantasy asset. He shoots well, scores in double figures while leading the team in rebounding and blocked shots. He also adds steals and no downside.

Impact Rookies:

None

Possible Sleepers:

Jonas Valanciunas is probably one of the most known sleepers in the league. A lot was expected of him last year but injuries kept him from achieving full potential. He is an excellent shooter and may possible rise to double-double range with close to two blocks a game.

Utah Jazz 

Player Note

GP

FG%

FT%

3PTM

PTS

REB

AST

ST

BLK

TO

G. Hayward Uta – SG,SF

72

.435

.827

1.4

14.1

3.1

3.0

0.8

0.5

1.7

D. Favors Uta – PF,C

77

.482

.688

0.0

9.4

7.1

1.0

0.9

1.7

1.7

E. Kanter Uta – C

70

.544

.795

0.0

7.2

4.3

0.4

0.4

0.5

1.4

T. Burke Uta – PG


Must Own Players:

Derrick Favors has caused people to lose their minds. Maybe it has to do with him being in Utah but guys I know are seriously acting like he’s the second coming of Karl Malone. I buy that the guy is good and worth a moderately high draft pick. Is he a 20/10 guy that will block 3 shots a game? Hell, I don’t know. Even if he is only the next Paul Millsap, he’s still worth owning in all formats.

Other Contributors:

Gordon Hayward may emerge at the Jazz’s best player this year, but his status hasn’t reached must own yet. He has the potential to post stats similar to Nicolas Batum without the defense. So draft him as such.

Enes Kanter has people nearly as excited as Favors. I won’t try to predict how good he will be, but I certainly don’t think he will match Al Jefferson’s production from the past few years.

Alec Burks should start and by default have to score in volumes. He may be worth a flyer late in the draft.

Impact Rookies:

Trey Burke was in line to push for rookie of the year until a broken thumb delayed his launch by a few months. If you can burn a roster spot long enough to wait on him, he should pay off in the second half.

Possible Sleepers:

Dude, Utah will really suck this year. Hell, you may as well go ahead and pencil Andrew Wiggins in as their next big thing, but he won’t help until 2014.

Washington Wizards 

Player Note

GP

FG%

FT%

3PTM

PTS

REB

AST

ST

BLK

TO

J. Wall Was – PG

49

.441

.804

0.2

18.5

4.0

7.6

1.3

0.8

3.2

N. Hilario Was – PF,C

61

.480

.729

0.0

12.6

6.7

2.9

0.9

0.6

2.3

B. Beal Was – SG

56

.410

.786

1.6

13.9

3.8

2.4

0.9

0.5

1.6

E. Okafor Was – C

79

.477

.571

0.0

9.7

8.8

1.2

0.6

1.0

1.4

M. Webster Was – SG,SF

76

.442

.848

1.8

11.4

3.9

1.9

0.7

0.2

1.2

T. Ariza Was – SG,SF

56

.417

.821

1.4

9.5

4.8

2.0

1.3

0.4

1.5

O. Porter Jr. Was – SF


Must Own Players:

John Wall is almost a Top 5 fantasy PG. Another year of maturity should help him take that extra step. Quite simply, if he could add a 3-pointer a night and trim his turnovers a bit, he will be there. For now, take him to provide points, guard rebounding, assists and steals. He got off to a slow start last year due to injury but seemed to get better and better as the season went on. He will be great this year.

Bradley Beal is right there with Wall and the two should form a deadly backcourt for years. He was also slowed by injury last year and looked good late. Now both are healthy and ready to roll into the season. Beal should score in droves and be a major source of 3s. His rebounds and other peripherals should improve as well. Beal has the potential to put up the type of season JR Smith had in New York last year.

Other Contributors:

Nene had killed so many fantasy owners with his inability to stay healthy that he is almost not draft worthy. When he is on the court he scores, rebounds and plays good defense. It just isn’t consistent.

Emeka Okafor is another quality big man that often gets overlooked. He is capable of averaging a double-double with over a block a game. He shoots well from the floor but sucks at the charity stripe.

Impact Rookies:

Otto Porter Jr. has been my pick for rookie of the year since draft night. I’m sticking with that. The Wizards should be playing full out all year and everyone will have a green light. There is no reason for them to do otherwise. Porter should fit in nicely with the rest of these guys as they run and gun through the season.

Possible Sleepers:

Trevor Ariza may finally be in a role where he can excel. He was thrust into a starring role that didn’t fit his skill set. Now he can sit back and be the six-man and veteran leader for these young kids. He is a decent shooter that plays defense. I can see him producing 1.5 3s, 10 points, 5 rebounds and 1.5 steals a game.

Well folks, I think that’s all I have for you. From Atlanta to Washington, each team has something to offer. Plan well, take risks, draft guys you like and above all else, have fun.

Good luck this year.

Go forth and prosper.

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