Believe it or not, the fantasy season is winding down, with many leagues deep into the playoffs by now. I’ll spend this week and next week’s final entry breaking down the top eight projected players for next year.
Number Eight- Draymond Green, PF, Golden State. Green has nearly unlimited potential going forward, and he’s one of the most versatile players on this list. He’s not a high volume scorer, but he’s so well-rounded, it hardly matters. This year, he’s snagged an amazing eleven triple doubles. Expect that number, as well as his all around stats to improve next season.
Number Seven- James Harden, SG, Houston. What can you say about Harden? He’s the number one SG in all of fantasy basketball, and that alone should be enough to cement his spot in the top eight. In watching Harden this season, he’s the kind of guy that can do very little for three quarters and then explode in the 4th quarter turning a bad night into a great one. He’s going to be in the top eight for years to come barring injury.
Number Six- Demarcus Cousins, C, Sacramento. Boogie has expanded his game to include the three point shoot and tricky drives to the basket from the perimeter. Most centers can’t keep up, and it’s shown. His numbers are off the charts this year, and look to remain that way for some time to come. It’s too bad, no one has found a way to convert all the talent Cousins possessions into actual wins.
Number Five- Kevin Durant, SF, Oklahoma City. Durant is too good to be this low, but that just speaks to how incredible the top four are. He’s one of the best shooters in the NBA, and he’s 6’10. Lately, he’s picked up his rebounding and assists, making him a beast night in and night out. He still hasn’t peaked, and I think that’s pretty scary.
Week 22 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|
Thaddeus Young, PF, Brooklyn Nets
Young has been playing great basketball over the last three weeks, averaging 16 and 10 while shooting fifty percent from the field. Those numbers are good enough to put him as the seventh best small forward and the eighth best power forward during that stretch. Brooklyn has a favorable schedule next week, so expect for the good numbers to continue.
Victor Oladipo, SG, Orlando Magic
ICYMI @VicOladipo dropped career-high 45
— NBA.com (@NBAcom) March 19, 2016
Oladipo has been on fire over the last three weeks. Not only is he shooting over 54 percent from the field, he’s also been scorching from three, dropping 43 percent of his attempts. His rebounds and assists aren’t too exciting, but he always gets steals and blocks. Bottom line: you can’t not start him when he’s shooting as well as he has been.
John Wall, PG, Washington Wizards
Wall is finally playing like many prognosticators expected him to perform this year. He wasn’t bad earlier on, but he also wasn’t quite living up to his potential either. Over the last couple of weeks, that has changed. He’s making nearly 40 percent of his threes and dishing out over eleven assists per game. A quick check of the rankings, shows him just a hair behind Stephen Curry during that time period.
Will Barton, SG, Denver Nuggets
I’m not sure if the whole Will Barton experience that happened earlier this season is something we can expect to ever see again. At least not on a consistent basis. Which is a shame, of course, because Barton is a very exciting player when he’s on. When he’s not (like lately), then I think it’s better to keep him on the bench.
Jordan Clarkson, PG, Los Angeles Lakers
I thought Clarkson would be a second half breakout candidate, but it seems he’s not quite there yet. It’s possible his struggles have been exacerbated by D’angelo Russell’s strong play as of late, but I think it’s more just a case of him not quite being there yet. He’s young and talented and plays for a team where there will continue to be opportunities, so even though I’d keep him on the bench for now, I’d definitely stash him away for next year.
- 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