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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

TeamNumber of GamesSchedule FavorabilityMust StartConsider Sitting
Atlanta1 home
2 away
UnfavorablePaul Millsap, Al Horford, Jeff TeagueDennis Schroder, Kent Bazemore
Boston0 home
4 away
NeutralIsaiah Thomas, Jae Crowder, Jared SullingerEvan Turner, Avery Bradley
Brooklyn1 home
4 away
Highly FavorableBrook Lopez, Thaddeus YoungJarrett Jack
Charlotte1 home
2 away
NeutralKemba Walker, Nicolas Batum, Marvin WilliamsAl Jefferson
Chicago2 home
3 away
Highly FavorablePau Gasol, Jimmy ButlerDerrick Rose, Nikola Mirotic
Cleveland3 home
1 away
FavorableLebron James, Kevin Love, Kyrie Irving, Mo Williams, J.R. Smith, Tristan Thompson
Dallas1 home
3 away
NeutralChandler Parsons, Dirk Nowitzki Deron Williams
Denver2 home
2 away
FavorableDanilo Gallinari, Nikola Jokic, Emmanuel MudiayKenneth Faried, Will Barton
Detroit2 home
1 away
UnfavorableAndre Drummond, Tobias HarrisKentavious Caldwell-Pope, Stanley Johnson, Reggie Jackson
Golden State3 home
1 away
Highly FavorableStephen Curry, Draymond Green, Klay ThompsonAndre Iguodala
Houston2 home
1 away
NeutralJames Harden, Dwight HowardTy Lawson, Trevor Ariza
Indiana2 home
2 away
FavorablePaul GeorgeMonta Ellis, George Hill, Ian Mahinmi, Myles Turner
Los Angeles Clippers2 home
2 away
FavorableDeandre Jordan, Chris PaulBlake Griffin
Los Angeles Lakers2 home
1 away
UnfavorableJulius Randle, D'Angelo RussellRoy Hibbert, Kobe Bryant, Jordan Clarkson
Memphis3 home
1 away
FavorableMarc Gasol, Mike ConleyZach Randolph
Miami1 home
3 away
NeutralHassan Whitehead, Dwyane Wade, Luol DengGoran Dragic, Chris Bosh
Milwaukee3 home
0 away
UnfavorableKhris Middleton, Giannis Antekokounmpo, Jabari ParkerMichael Carter Williams, Greg Monroe
Minnesota3 home
1 away
FavorableKarl-Anthony Towns, Andrew Wiggins, Gorgui DiengRicky Rubio
New Orleans2 home
2 away
NeutralAnthony DavisEric Gordon, Tyreke Evans, Ryan Anderson
New York2 home
2 away
FavorableCarmelo Anthony, Kristaps PorzingisRobin Lopez
Oklahoma City1 home
3 away
FavorableRussel Westbrook, Kevin DurantSerge Ibaka
Orlando2 home
2 away
FavorableVictor Oladipo, Nikola VucevicElfrid Payton
Philadelphia2 home
1 away
UnfavorableJahlil Okafor, Nerlens NoelRobert Covington
Phoenix2 home
2 away
UnfavorableDevin Booker, Alex LenTyson Chandler, TJ Warren, Brandon Knight
Portland3 home
1 away
FavorableDamian Lillard, CJ McCollumMason Plumlee
Sacramento2 home
2 away
NeutralDemarcus Cousins, Rajon Rondo, Rudy GayOmri Casspi
San Antonio2 home
1 away
NeutralKawhi Leonard, LaMarcus AldridgeTony Parker, Tim Duncan
Toronto2 home
2 away
FavorableKyle Lowery, DeMar DeRozanJonas Valanciunas, Bismack Biyombo
Utah3 home
1 away
FavorableRudy Gobert, Derrick FavorsRodney Hood, Gordon Hayward
Washington0 home
4 away
NeutralJohn Wall, Marcin GortatOtto Porter, Bradley Beal, Markieff Morris

 

Starts

Gorgui Dieng, PF, Minnesota Timberwolves

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.

 

Sits

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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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

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