October 17, 2017, 4:30 pm
Funny what a year can do.
Last year we were opening up this amusement park, trying not to do anything too stupid while keeping our foot firmly on the gas.
We dominated the draft and the waiver runs and all throughout the buy low and sell high of the season.
We set a foundation for the future.
We’re feeling that foundation right now. All of our systems are stronger, our talent is more experienced and our knowledge-base continues to expand as we surge past 50 contributors.
Personally, this might be the most focused I have ever been in bringing these ranks together.
Every year that I have published The Bruski 150 I have approached it with one mentality.
Win money for myself and whatever the hell you’re betting for you. And we’ve done that each and every year.
Starting this venture, knowing that this flagship set of rankings is going to have a great deal of influence over how fantasy owners view this thing — there is even more pressure to get this right.
And I love it.
In this industry — playing this game — you either back the right horse or you’re yesterday’s news. Fantasy owners are more discerning than ever. They know BS when they see it and conversely they will show up in flocks and droves if you have the goods.
These are the goods.
I take this list into high stakes competitions every year and win with it. My competition prints the list out and they use it against me.
It doesn’t matter. We’re going to beat the vig, beat the odds and over time we’re going to win hand over fist.
For those of you who have followed me from Rotoworld I thank you for your readership, your loyalty and all of the kind words you have provided during this transition.
It wasn’t easy leaving a place I had called home for nearly 10 years. Having the name opens some doors for you, but eventually you have to make a move in this industry.
Hoop Ball wants you to call this your new home for fantasy basketball as you seek to get the most out of this game.
Or maybe you just want to kick a few beers back, draft blindly and talk trash throughout the year.
Either way, this list can be your one-stop shop for dominance and you don’t even have to read a single blurb.
Or you can read every blurb. You can participate in our forums, listen to our pods and weigh in with all of our interactive programming.
We’re not waiting for the TV money to dry up. We’re not sitting on our hands complaining about the status quo. We want to change the way this industry works by adding VALUE at every juncture.
This list epitomizes everything I want Hoop Ball to be. Over three months of nightly research poured into one big, massive bet.
We’re not settling for fifth place. We want it all. Now let’s go get a chip.
The ground rules….
- This is a fearless list. I’m not trying to play it safe. I’m not trying to stay in the friendly confines of industry consensus. I’ll probably have a high profile miss. But as regular readers know, we’re going to hit far more than we miss. And we’re going to hit real big on a bunch of them. This list will guide how much you should pay, who you should reach for and who you should run the other direction from.
- This is a Roto list. It’s not a head-to-head list or a points league list. It’s not a list to account for playoff formats. Frankly I’d prefer it to not even include 9-cat rankings because it’s terrible to penalize better players for handling the ball a lot. But because we all play 9-cat I include my ranks for 9-cat and the associated Average Draft Positions (ADP), as well. While I’m banging on 9-cat leagues I’ll bang on playoff leagues, too. Why go through the nightly grind of the NBA season to have the ever-growing problem of shutdowns determine your league.
- You can now sort the list. The ADP losses and gains don’t relate well for players toward the beginning and end of the draft as they do for players in the top 30-100, nor does it correlate well to actual fantasy value being returned. But it does give you a quick way to know how early or late a player is going. We’ll always be looking at new features like this as we grow but we will also want to maintain the simplicity of this list.
- Though this is a top-150 list (including 50 more honorable mentions at the end), each player in the top 350 or so has been hand-projected for each category. Those projections have been scrutinized in every context that might affect the final outcome. A proprietary blend of methodologies – both quantitative and qualitative – is used to weave the resulting numbers into these rankings.
- This is a year-long list. By ranking a player (for example) No. 33, I am predicting they will finish as the 33rd ranked player at the end of the year, cumulatively. In that respect, it is vital owners know that I am not intending for them to draft players in this order. You may also consider a player’s early or late season trajectory. A young player that profiles better at the end of the year will probably play under that rank to start and over that rank to finish.
- Again, owners need to consider their specific marketplace and determine where they would like to draft players based on ADP, strength of their league and the like. Just because I rank a guy way ahead of his ADP, or if the ADP doesn’t exist because the guy isn’t getting drafted enough – it doesn’t mean you grab him where I rank him.
- ADPs are pulled from ESPN for 8-cat and Yahoo for 9-cat and are updated along with most of the other updates.
- These are pure values that don’t account for any punting or specialized team builds you might want to look at. If you want to adjust for punting or a specific type of team build you’ll need to do that on your own. For what it’s worth I seek balance when building a team whether it’s Roto or H2H.
- The only place on this list where I might eschew prediction end-of-season is toward the bottom of the 150. I do build in some logic for flier picks and upside guys over the plodders who are going to get three yards and a cloud of dust for 76 games.
So without further ado, I give you the Bruski 150:
UPDATED THROUGH ITEMS POSTED: October 15, 3:19 a.m.
May 26, 2019, 1:17 amKawhi Leonard - F - Toronto Raptors
Kawhi Leonard posted a monster line in Saturday's 100-94 Game 6 win, scoring 27 points with 17 rebounds, seven assist, two steals, two blocks and six turnovers.
Leonard put the Raptors on his back and carried them into their first NBA Finals appearance. After losing the first two games of the Eastern Conference Finals the Raptors stormed back to take the next four to seal the series. Kawhi has been simply marvelous for this team and found a way to crank it up another notch, averaging almost 30 points per game this series. He was all over the court this game and dominated the Bucks from inside the paint. A 4th quarter dunk over Giannis Antetokounmpo punctuated this dominance and sent the hometown crowd in a frenzy. The Raptors will try to keep their hot streak going as they face the Warriors in the NBA Finals.
May 26, 2019, 1:14 amGiannis Antetokounmpo - F - Milwaukee Bucks
While Giannis Antetokounmpo will be eligible for a five-year supermax contract worth over $247 million, ESPN's Malika Andrews is reporting that the 2020 playoff run could swing whether or not Antetokounmpo stays with the Bucks long-term.
The Bucks have three of their starters and two key bench pieces heading into free agency this summer, so they might have to make some bold choices to keep the necessary parts around while also improving the team on a budget. It's possible that this is the Antetokounmpo camp's way of encouraging Milwaukee to empty the wallet and keep the current group together, but it goes against what Giannis has said publicly about the team and city from day one. The Bucks were eliminated mere hours ago but we're already having this conversation. The NBA news cycle is perpetual.
May 26, 2019, 12:59 amKyle Lowry - G - Toronto Raptors
Kyle Lowry posted a solid line in Saturday's Game 6 win scoring 17 points while adding five rebounds, eight assists, three 3-pointers, one steal and only one turnover.
After a pedestrian series against the 76ers, Lowry stepped it up against the Bucks, averaging almost 20 points per game in the Eastern Conference Finals. He did a great job making smart plays for the Raptors and they will need him to continue to operate at this high level as they head off into the NBA Finals next week.
May 26, 2019, 12:48 amMarc Gasol - C - Toronto Raptors
Marc Gasol scored six points, all from behind the arc, in Saturday's Game 6 win, adding three rebounds, two assists and a block/steal in 26 minutes.
Gasol continues to do what the Raptors ask of him though the years of grinding in the paint for Memphis are long gone. He has adjusted his game play and now acts as a facilitator for the rest of the team. Gasol continues to split time in the post with Serge Ibaka (25 minutes, nine points) and will see his minutes fluctuate based on the Raptor's offensive scheme heading into the NBA Finals.
May 26, 2019, 12:24 amFred VanVleet - G - Toronto Raptors
Fred VanVleet was a difference maker for the Raptors' series clinching Game 6, scoring 14 points off the bench on 5-for-6 shooting while adding two assists.
VanVleet played 34 minutes off the bench and continues to be a menace from behind the 3-point line (4-for-5 today). In the past three games he has gone an unbelievable 14-for-17 from behind the arc. The Raptors will continue to rely on his ability to stretch the floor as they head into their first NBA Finals and will square off against the Warriors and their own formidable shooters.
May 26, 2019, 12:08 amGiannis Antetokounmpo - F - Milwaukee Bucks
Giannis Antetokounmpo scored 21 points in Saturday's Game 6 loss while contributing 11 rebounds, four assists, two steals, three blocks and two turnovers.
Antetokounmpo did all that was asked of him on both sides of the ball but could not get past the Raptors this series. Giannis continues to operate at an MVP-level but his freethrow woes continue to plague him. He was "Shaq-esque" this series (55%) and shot 5-for-10 in tonight's loss. This is a tough break for Antetokounmpo and the Bucks as they head into the offseason with four of their five starters entering free agency.
May 25, 2019, 11:46 pmKhris Middleton - F - Milwaukee Bucks
Khris Middleton scored 14 points in Saturday's Eastern Conference Finals loss adding just four 3-pointers, four rebounds and two turnovers.
All-Star Middleton struggled this entire series as he was tasked with the unenviable task of guarding Kawhi Leonard. He was poised to continue his fabulous playoff success following strong performances against the Pistons and Celtics but failed to deliver this series, with the exception of a 30-point Game 4 loss. Middleton will be a free agent this summer and will be one of the Bucks' top priorities heading into the offseason.
May 25, 2019, 11:29 pmEric Bledsoe - G - Milwaukee Bucks
Eric Bledsoe scored an inefficient eight points (3-for-9 FGs, 1-for-3 3-pointers, 1-for-2 FTs) in Saturday's loss while adding five rebounds, seven assists, one steal and two turnovers.
Bledsoe seemed to ebb and flow all series and just could not find the consistency that the Bucks needed during the Eastern Conference Finals. He has always been able to produce outside of scoring but his team really needed him to put the ball in the hoop this game.
May 25, 2019, 11:19 pmBrook Lopez - C - Milwaukee Bucks
Brook Lopez scored 18 points on Saturday's Game 6 loss, adding nine rebounds, one assist, four blocks and zero 3-pointers.
Lopez had a productive 4th quarter for the Bucks scoring six points in the paint against the Raptors frontcourt. Unfortunately, he could not get it going throughout the rest of the game and caused most of his damage at the freethrow line, going 8-for-9. Lopez provided a great boost for the Bucks this season and will be a free agent this offseason.
May 25, 2019, 7:58 pmPatrick McCaw - G - Toronto Raptors
Patrick McCaw, who has been dealing with a personal issue for the last few games, is active for Game 6 on Saturday vs. the Bucks.
It looks like McCaw got things sorted out. With him active now, the Raptros will get a bit more depth at the guard spot. That said, Fred VanVleet has been playing well, so McCaw will not likely see a lot of burn tonight outside of potential garbage minutes (if any).
Source: Blake Murphy on Twitter