Since we’ve got a few more days before the All-Star break ends, I thought I’d look to the second half of the season and make some fantasy predictions.
Karl-Anthony Towns will solidify his place as a top tier fantasy center. Okay, so this one is pretty easy. Towns hasn’t even thought about hitting a rookie wall. Instead, he’s crashed right through it. I think this trend will continue, not only winning him ROY honors, but also putting him in rarefied air, right up there with Cousins and Drummond.
Both Emmanuel Mudiay and Myles Turner will become must start options at their respective positions. If this Towns’s prediction was easy, this one is anything but. These two guys have shown flashes sure, but most people wouldn’t feel comfortable with making such a prediction. I do. And the reason is very simple: I’ve watched them play. The eye test is the best test, and both of these guys pass. Look for continued strong play from them in the second half.
Andre Drummond will get his game back. If you haven’t been following him closely, you might not have realized he’d ever lost it, but he has. Oh man, has he ever. Consider his November and December compared with his last half of January and February: 18 point/ 16 rebounds vs. 15 points/ 13 rebounds. I predict that he comes back rejuvenated after the all star break and returns to early season form.
There will be a major injury to a fantasy stud. Okay, another fairly easy one. Then again, this year has been a pretty weird one for injuries, simply because there have been very few to major stars. The law of averages says that will change. Who will it be? No telling. But somebody’s going down.
Week Seventeen Fantasy Basketball Preview
|Team||Number of Games||Schedule Favorability||Must Start||Consider Sitting|
|Favorable||Paul Millsap, Al Horford, Jeff Teague||Dennis Schroder, Kent Bazemore|
|Neutral||Isaiah Thomas||Evan Turner, Jared Sullinger, Avery Bradley|
|Favorable||Brook Lopez, Thaddeus Young||Jarrett Jack|
|Neutral||Kemba Walker, Nicolas Batum||Al Jefferson|
|Highly Favorable||Pau Gasol, Jimmy Butler||Derrick Rose, Nikola Mirotic|
|Favorable||Lebron James, Kevin Love||Mo Williams, Tristan Thompson, J.R. Smith, Kyrie Irving|
|Neutral||Chandler Parsons||Deron Williams, Dirk Nowitzki|
|Neutral||Danilo Gallinari, Nikola Jokic, Emmanuel Mudiay||Kenneth Faried, Will Barton|
|Favorable||Andre Drummond, Reggie Jackson, Stanley Johnson||Marcus Morris, Ersan Ilyasova, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope|
|Golden State||0 home|
|Favorable||Stephen Curry, Draymond Green, Klay Thompson||Andre Iguodala|
|Unfavorable||James Harden, Dwight Howard||Ty Lawson, Trevor Ariza|
|Favorable||Paul George, Myles Turner||Monta Ellis, George Hill, Ian Mahinmi|
|Los Angeles Clippers||2 home|
|Favorable||Deandre Jordan, Chris Paul||Blake Griffin|
|Los Angeles Lakers||1 home|
|Poor||Julius Randle, Kobe Bryant||Roy Hibbert|
|Neutral||Marc Gasol, Mike Conley||Zach Randolph|
|Neutral||Hassan Whitehead, Chris Bosh, Dwyane Wade||Goran Dragic|
|Neutral||Greg Monroe, Khris Middleton, Giannis Antekokounmpo||Michael Carter Williams, Jabri Parker|
|Neutral||Karl-Anthony Towns, Gorgui Dieng||Andrew Wiggins, Ricky Rubio|
|New Orleans||1 home|
|Neutral||Anthony Davis||Eric Gordon, Tyreke Evans, Ryan Anderson|
|New York||0 home|
|Unfavorable||Carmelo Anthony, Kristaps Porzingis||Robin Lopez|
|Oklahoma City||2 home|
|Favorable||Russel Westbrook, Kevin Durant||Serge Ibaka|
|Favorable||Victor Oladipo, Nikola Vucevic||Elfrid Payton, Tobias Harris|
|Unfavorable||Jahlil Okafor, Nerlens Noel||Robert Covington|
|Unfavorable||Devin Booker, Archie Goodwin||Tyson Chandler, TJ Warren, Brandon Knight|
|Favorable||Damian Lillard, CJ McCollum||Mason Plumlee|
|Poor||Demarcus Cousins, Rajon Rondo, Rudy Gay||Omri Casspi|
|San Antonio||0 home|
|Highly Favorable||Kawhi Leonard, LaMarcus Aldridge||Tony Parker, Tim Duncan|
|Favorable||Kyle Lowery, DeMar DeRozan||Jonas Valanciunas, Bismack Biyombo|
|Highly Favorable||Rudy Gobert, Gordon Hayward, Derrick Favors, Rodney Hood||None|
|Favorable||John Wall, Otto Porter||Marcin Gortat, Bradley Beal|
Kobe Bryant, SF, Los Angeles Lakers
Time to eat a little crow. I’d been adamant all season that Kobe would not be a fantasy factor this season. That he was washed up, past his prime, done. Then the last two weeks happened. Kobe looked like Kobe again. It won’t last, so take advantage while you can.
Emmanuel Mudiay, PG, Denver Nuggets
Call this one a hunch. I’ve been high on Mudiay all season, even when he was playing like trash. Lately, he’s been playing more like the kid scouts believed he could be. With that comes greater confidence. I think he’ll have a strong second half of the season.
Gorgui Dieng, PF, Minnesota Timberwolves
— Brad Berreman (@bradberreman24) February 12, 2016
Dieng came on strong at the end of last season, and he’s looking to do the same in 2016. After a rocky start, he’s really playing well as of late, posting some high quality numbers in the past few weeks. Over his last six games, he’s averaged over 16 points, 10 rebounds, and a surprising, 4 assists. As long as he keeps this up, he’s a must start.
Ryan Anderson, PF, New Orleans Pelicans
Watch this one closely. Anderson is highly coveted by several teams, and with the trade deadline approaching, he might benefit from a change of scenery. But until then, or until he gets hot again, he’s a risky play.
Will Barton, SG, Denver Nuggets
Will the Thrill is a lot of fun to watch, but as sixth man, he tends to be either feast or famine. Guys like this really scare me. Lately, he’s been leaning more toward famine, so I’d lean toward keeping him on the bench.
- Week 23 Fantasy Basketball Preview: Westbrook Remains a Top Pick - March 28, 2016
- Week 22 Fantasy Basketball Preview: Draymond Green, Man of Many Talents - March 20, 2016
- Week 21 Fantasy Basketball Preview: Building a Champion - March 13, 2016