Connect with us

This week, I offer some random observations about the state of the fantasy basketball world.

The 2015-2016 has been one of the highest scoring seasons I can remember. I’ve played in the same keeper league since 1998, and I can think of no other season to match this one.  When Lebron James isn’t even in the top five in fantasy production, you know it’s a special year. Stephen Curry is making threes at an unprecedented clip, and guys like Russell Westbrook and Draymond Green are flirting with triple doubles on a nightly basis.

This season has offered a clear preview of the guys who will dominant the fantasy landscape in the years to come. The following guys are all 22 years old or younger: Andre Drummond, Giannis Antetokounmpo, Jabari Parker, Karl-Anthony Towns, Nerlens Noel, Kristaps Porzingas, Jahlil Okafor, and Myles Turner. Most of these guys are putting up big numbers on a regular basis. Some of them like Drummond, Towns, and Antetokounmpo are legitimate stars right now, and in the future will likely occupy spots in the top ten every year. It’s a great year to glimpse the future.

Speaking of the future, have you seen the Milwaukee Bucks play lately? I have. I also watched them play earlier in the season, and the contrast is stunning. Earlier in the season, the Bucks were slow, plodding even, as guys like Antetokounmpo and Parker stood around while Michael Carter Williams tried to force feed the ball inside to Greg Monroe. It wasn’t working, and what’s worse (at least from a fantasy perspective) is that two of their best young prospects were not thriving under this system. Jason Kidd eventually figured it out, though, sending Monroe and Carter Williams to the bench and put the ball into Giannis Antetokounmpo’s giant hands. At 6’11, Antetokounmpo isn’t anybody’s idea of an ideal point guard, but the results have been nothing short of amazing. The Bucks are running, and Jabari Parker looks like James Worthy to Antetokounmpo’s Magic Johnson. They probably won’t make the playoffs this year, but they’ve definitely caught the attention of fantasy owners.

It’ll be interesting to watch how the season turns out, as I’m sure we’ll be in for many, many more surprises. Now to the important stuff, your starts and sits for week 20.

Week 20 Fantasy Basketball Preview

TeamNumber of GamesSchedule FavorabilityMust StartConsider Sitting
Atlanta3 home
1 away
FavorablePaul Millsap, Al Horford, Jeff TeagueDennis Schroder, Kent Bazemore
Boston2 home
0 away
UnfavorableIsaiah Thomas, Jae CrowderEvan Turner, Jared Sullinger, Avery Bradley
Brooklyn1 home
2 away
UnfavorableBrook Lopez, Thaddeus YoungJarrett Jack
Charlotte4 home
0 away
FavorableKemba Walker, Nicolas Batum, Marvin WilliamsAl Jefferson
Chicago2 home
1 away
NeutralPau Gasol, Jimmy ButlerDerrick Rose, Nikola Mirotic
Cleveland1 home
3 away
FavorableLebron James, Kevin Love, Tristan Thompson, Kyrie IrvingMo Williams, J.R. Smith,
Dallas3 home
0 away
NeutralChandler Parsons, Dirk Nowitzki Deron Williams
Denver3 home
0 away
FavorableDanilo Gallinari, Nikola Jokic, Emmanuel MudiayKenneth Faried, Will Barton
Detroit0 home
3 away
PoorAndre Drummond, Reggie Jackson, Tobias HarrisKentavious Caldwell-Pope, Stanley Johnson
Golden State4 home
0 away
Highly FavorableStephen Curry, Draymond Green, Klay ThompsonAndre Iguodala
Houston0 home
3 away
NeutralJames Harden, Dwight HowardTy Lawson, Trevor Ariza
Indiana1 home
2 away
UnfavorablePaul GeorgeMonta Ellis, George Hill, Ian Mahinmi, Myles Turner
Los Angeles Clippers2 home
2 away
FavorableDeandre Jordan, Chris PaulBlake Griffin
Los Angeles Lakers3 home
0 away
NeutralJulius Randle, D'Angelo RussellRoy Hibbert, Kobe Bryant
Memphis1 home
3 away
NeutralMarc Gasol, Mike ConleyZach Randolph
Miami1 home
2 away
UnfavorableHassan Whitehead, Dwyane WadeGoran Dragic, Chris Bosh
Milwaukee4 home
0 away
Highly FavorableGreg Monroe, Khris Middleton, Giannis Antekokounmpo, Jabari ParkerMichael Carter Williams
Minnesota1 home
2 away
PoorKarl-Anthony TownsAndrew Wiggins, Ricky Rubio, Gorgui Dieng
New Orleans1 home
3 away
Favorable Anthony DavisEric Gordon, Tyreke Evans, Ryan Anderson
New York0 home
4 away
NeutralCarmelo Anthony, Kristaps PorzingisRobin Lopez
Oklahoma City2 home
1 away
FavorableRussel Westbrook, Kevin DurantSerge Ibaka
Orlando0 home
4 away
FavorableVictor Oladipo, Nikola VucevicElfrid Payton
Philadelphia3 home
0 away
NeutralJahlil Okafor, Nerlens NoelRobert Covington
Phoenix1 home
2 away
UnfavorableDevin Booker, Alex LenTyson Chandler, TJ Warren, Brandon Knight
Portland2 home
1 away
NeutralDamian Lillard, CJ McCollumMason Plumlee
Sacramento3 home
1 away
FavorableDemarcus Cousins, Rajon Rondo, Rudy GayOmri Casspi
San Antonio2 home
2 away
Highly FavorableKawhi Leonard, LaMarcus AldridgeTony Parker, Tim Duncan
Toronto3 home
0 away
FavorableKyle Lowery, DeMar DeRozanJonas Valanciunas, Bismack Biyombo
Utah2 home
2 away
FavorableRudy Gobert, Derrick FavorsRodney Hood, Gordon Hayward
Washington0 home
3 away
FavorableJohn Wall, Otto PorterMarcin Gortat, Bradley Beal, Markieff Morris

Starts

Giannis Antetokounmpo, SF/ PG, Milwaukee Bucks

Antetokounmpo is finally earning his nickname, “The Freak.” Point guards just don’t come at six feet and eleven inches, especially 22 year old point guards who also finish in the open court as good as anybody in the league (check out what he did to Serge Ibaka) on Sunday.

He’s currently the second–that’s right, second–ranked fantasy player in my keeper league over the last six games. Not bad for a guy whose name I still can’t say.

Kemba Walker, PG, Charlotte Hornets

Walker’s really hit his stride in the last few weeks, going from simply an inconsistent threat to a source of nightly production. Even more important than the 38 percent from three over the last seven games are his rebounding and assists averages of four and 6.5 respectively. He’s quickly turning into one of the elite guards in the game.

D’Angelo Russell, PG, Los Angeles Lakers

Don’t look now but the number two overall pick from the 2015 draft is finally starting to live up to expectations. Over the last seven games, he’s made 50% of his three point attempts (22 of 44) and has turned that into nearly 20 points per game over the same period. Here’s hoping the kid has hit his stride.

 

Sits

Gorgui Dieng, PF, Minnesota Timberwolves

The Timberwolves have the most challenging schedule in the NBA this week with away games at Charlotte and Oklahoma City, and tough one at home against the Spurs.

Dieng has been playing well as of late, as proven by the tweet below, but ultimately I think his numbers will suffer this week. Keep him on the bench if at all possible.

Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, SG, Detroit Pistons

I love KCP. In many ways, he’s the glue that holds the Pistons together in Detroit. However, he’s struggled since coming back from injury, and the Pistons’ have a tough week ahead with only three games, all of which are on the road.

 

<

John Mantooth

John Mantooth

John Mantooth is an award-winning author whose short stories have been recognized in numerous year's best anthologies. His first book, Shoebox Train Wreck, was released in March of 2012 from Chizine Publications. His debut novel, The Year of the Storm, came out in June 2013 from Berkley. He lives in Alabama with his wife, Becky, and two children where he spends far too much time thinking about fantasy basketball.
John Mantooth

More in Fantasy Basketball