September 15, 2019, 5:32 pm
Last week we brought to you a look into the Yahoo! Pre-draft rankings as of September 5th. Yahoo rankings are oriented towards 9-cat formats and we didn’t want to leave our readers who play in 8-cat leagues and on ESPN hanging. So in this week’s installment, we’re going to take a look at ESPN’s pre-draft rankings (as of Sept. 14), provide some commentary and see who are currently overvalued and undervalued.
Good news is that the ESPN pre-draft rankings include rookies. The bad news is that their top-150 players include guys who’ve retired like Darren Collison and who have signed overseas like Nikola Mirotic. To offset this, we’ve dug a bit deeper and cover the top-155 players, because why not?
Kevin Love, PF/C (30)
Things just aren’t adding up for Kevin Love and the direction the Cavs are taking. Add to the that the fact that the big man can’t seem to stay healthy over the last few seasons, it’s just too much of a gamble this early in the draft to bank on him. His risk, sadly, outweighs his potential reward here.
Victor Oladipo, SG (47)
He’s a top-25 player when healthy, but he isn’t close to 100 percent to start the season. It will also take him some time to get his legs back underneath him. Go for healthy players when picking in the top-50. Take your risks later in drafts.
Willie Cauley-Stein, C (59)
The move to the Warriors will not magically salvage his pedestrian averages overnight. Kevon Looney will be pushing for those center minutes, making it tough for WCS to stay on the court for long. He’s got some upside, but this ranking more than prices it in – it overpays.
Paul Millsap, PF/C (73)
He’s more than past his prime, he’s fading. The Nuggets added Jerami Grant as insurance because they see the writing on the wall. Expect a decline in his minutes this season and subsequently his production as well.
Kyle Kuzma, PF (78)
Kuzma simply does not bring enough to the table outside of scoring to merit this valuation. Yes, he’s still young and has room to grow, but until such time that he’s shown a clear path in the right direction, it’s best to watch his development from a distance.
Ben Simmons (15), Blake Griffin (24), Hassan Whiteside (37), DeAndre Jordan (38), Serge Ibaka (69), Thad Young (83), Brandon Ingram (84), Dwight Howard (91), Taj Gibson (96)
Stephen Curry, PG/SG (12)
Curry is going to go ballistic this season and should be able to erupt with new career-high averages in points, threes and maybe also assists. The Warriors still believe they’re a playoff team and the onus will be on Curry to spearhead their offense.
Kemba Walker, PG (33)
Walker has more talent surrounding him on the Celtics, but this drop is far too much. He should still be able to get his and deliver 20-plus points per game, two 3s, six dimes and possibly improved shooting efficiency from the field.
Myles Turner, PF/C (61)
Turner has pocket areas where he needs to improve before he becomes an elite fantasy asset (3s, REB). That said, he’s proved to be a more than ample source of blocks while not hurting your team’s FT%. He’s under 25 and is still absorbing more about the game, so he’s not done growing just yet.
De’Aaron Fox, PG (70)
Fox was a sweet breakout player in 2018-19. He should still continue on that trajectory, so there’s no reason to think he’ll regress this season. Fox has not hit his ceiling and could be in for another big step in 2019-20.
Otto Porter Jr., SF (82)
Porter took his game to another level when he was traded to the Bulls. He played well even alongside both Zach LaVine and Lauri Markkanen, so his role and production should be considered reliable.
Brook Lopez, C (129)
Seriously? Lopez saw a renaissance in his fantasy value last season, fitting in quite nicely as the Bucks’ de facto stretch five. He thrived playing alongside Giannis Antetokounmpo, helping stretch out the floor for his team. Lopez is an easy bet to deliver top-50 value, so there’s no reason he should fall this far.
D’Angelo Russell (71), Buddy Hield (80), Jeremy Lamb (88), Malcolm Brogdon (89), Josh Richardson (94), Robert Covington (104), Mitchell Robinson (106), Spencer Dinwiddie (113), Thomas Bryant (131), Bam Adebayo (134), Dario Saric (140)