For the last week of the Fantasy Basketball Preview, I’ll be taking a look at the top four guys for next year’s draft. Last week, I previewed 5-8.
Number Four- Giannis Antetokounmpo, PG/ SF, Milwaukee. Surprised? You shouldn’t be. Over the last fifteen games, the Greek Freak has been one of the top players in the NBA. His ability to score (while shooting a high percentage), rebound, pass, and rack up steals and blocked shots sets him apart from almost every other player in the league. Consider that he’s only 21 and he becomes a very scary player indeed. Next year should be his coming out party, where he makes the leap from potential to consistent fantasy production machine.
Number Three- Anthony Davis, PF, New Orleans. Two years ago, Davis was the top player in my keeper league. This year, he slipped a little, but I’m not concerned. The talent is still there. And more importantly, he is THE MAN in New Orleans, which means he’ll be one of the top producers (if not the top) for years to come.
Number Two- Russell Westbrook, PG, Oklahoma City. Westbrook may well be number one next year, but I’m going to put him at two for now. It’s really insane to think about what he’s able to do at just 6’3. He’s able to compete and frankly dominate players much larger than him simply because of his unprecedented athleticism. Barring injury (he does put a lot of stress on his body), he should be fighting for the top position for years to come.
Number One- Stephen Curry, PG, Golden State. He’s the champ, and the champ stays the champ until somebody dethrones him. Good luck with that. Even if Curry doesn’t live up to the standards of this year, he could still be the number one guy next year. In my keeper league, he’s a full three fantasy points ahead of Westbrook, a very large gap in the world of Fantasy Basketball. He’s the best player in the league, fantasy or otherwise this season, and I see no reason that should change next year.
Week 23 Fantasy Basketball Preview
|Team||Number of Games||Schedule Favorability||Must Start||Consider Sitting|
|Unfavorable||Paul Millsap, Al Horford, Jeff Teague||Dennis Schroder, Kent Bazemore|
|Neutral||Isaiah Thomas, Jae Crowder, Jared Sullinger||Evan Turner, Avery Bradley|
|Highly Favorable||Brook Lopez, Thaddeus Young||Jarrett Jack|
|Neutral||Kemba Walker, Nicolas Batum, Marvin Williams||Al Jefferson|
|Highly Favorable||Pau Gasol, Jimmy Butler||Derrick Rose, Nikola Mirotic|
|Favorable||Lebron James, Kevin Love, Kyrie Irving,||Mo Williams, J.R. Smith, Tristan Thompson|
|Neutral||Chandler Parsons, Dirk Nowitzki||Deron Williams|
|Favorable||Danilo Gallinari, Nikola Jokic, Emmanuel Mudiay||Kenneth Faried, Will Barton|
|Unfavorable||Andre Drummond, Tobias Harris||Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, Stanley Johnson, Reggie Jackson|
|Golden State||3 home|
|Highly Favorable||Stephen Curry, Draymond Green, Klay Thompson||Andre Iguodala|
|Neutral||James Harden, Dwight Howard||Ty Lawson, Trevor Ariza|
|Favorable||Paul George||Monta Ellis, George Hill, Ian Mahinmi, Myles Turner|
|Los Angeles Clippers||2 home|
|Favorable||Deandre Jordan, Chris Paul||Blake Griffin|
|Los Angeles Lakers||2 home|
|Unfavorable||Julius Randle, D'Angelo Russell||Roy Hibbert, Kobe Bryant, Jordan Clarkson|
|Favorable||Marc Gasol, Mike Conley||Zach Randolph|
|Neutral||Hassan Whitehead, Dwyane Wade, Luol Deng||Goran Dragic, Chris Bosh|
|Unfavorable||Khris Middleton, Giannis Antekokounmpo, Jabari Parker||Michael Carter Williams, Greg Monroe|
|Favorable||Karl-Anthony Towns, Andrew Wiggins, Gorgui Dieng||Ricky Rubio|
|New Orleans||2 home|
|Neutral||Anthony Davis||Eric Gordon, Tyreke Evans, Ryan Anderson|
|New York||2 home|
|Favorable||Carmelo Anthony, Kristaps Porzingis||Robin Lopez|
|Oklahoma City||1 home|
|Favorable||Russel Westbrook, Kevin Durant||Serge Ibaka|
|Favorable||Victor Oladipo, Nikola Vucevic||Elfrid Payton|
|Unfavorable||Jahlil Okafor, Nerlens Noel||Robert Covington|
|Unfavorable||Devin Booker, Alex Len||Tyson Chandler, TJ Warren, Brandon Knight|
|Favorable||Damian Lillard, CJ McCollum||Mason Plumlee|
|Neutral||Demarcus Cousins, Rajon Rondo, Rudy Gay||Omri Casspi|
|San Antonio||2 home|
|Neutral||Kawhi Leonard, LaMarcus Aldridge||Tony Parker, Tim Duncan|
|Favorable||Kyle Lowery, DeMar DeRozan||Jonas Valanciunas, Bismack Biyombo|
|Favorable||Rudy Gobert, Derrick Favors||Rodney Hood, Gordon Hayward|
|Neutral||John Wall, Marcin Gortat||Otto Porter, Bradley Beal, Markieff Morris|
Gorgui Dieng, PF, Minnesota Timberwolves
— Louisville Fan Base (@UofLFanBASE) March 26, 2016
Dieng has been in and out of my sit/ starts over the last few weeks, but the joke is on me. He should have been a starter the entire time. And he should remain one going forward barring an injury or reduction in playing time. He’s proven himself consistent, and I’m a believer.
Andrew Wiggins, SG, Minnesota Timberwolves
Wiggins is another guy I’ve been hard on this season. Early on, I just didn’t think he was consistent enough to merit starting. Lately, this trend has been changing. Wiggins has seen four productive weeks in a row, and with the Timberwolves favorable schedule this week, I’d consider getting him back in the starting line-up.
Reggie Jackson, PG, Detroit Pistons
Over the last eight games, Jackson has shot just over 36 percent from the field and averaged over three turnovers a game. His scoring and assists (12 and 6, respectively) are also down. This week is a tough one for the Pistons, so I’d put him on the bench and give him a little more time to work out of this slump.
Khris Middleton, SG, Milwaukee Bucks
Speaking of slumps, enter Khris Middleton. Middleton is shooting a miserable 30 percent from three over the last seven games. He’s still scoring, but unfortunately, he’s not doing anything else. Over the same time period, he’s pulled down an abysmal 1.7 rebounds a game and only managed 3.8 assists. Like Jackson, I’d wait for him to show some signs before starting him again.
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