August 23, 2019, 4:48 amGiannis AntetokounmpoSF/PF, Milwaukee Bucks
Total Value: 4 / 9 (8/9-cat)
Per-Game Value: 3 / 6 (8/9-cat)
Games Played: 72
2018-19 Review: Antetokounmpo took home a well-deserved MVP Award this year and put up a monstrous fantasy season that fit right in with expectations. The field goal percentage took an impressive bump in exchange for some free throw shooting. We saw career-highs in rebounds, assists and turnovers. We also saw him go .729 at the stripe on 9.5 attempts, hit 0.7 threes on .256 from behind the arc and commit 3.7 turnovers per night. Three weak spots and still top-6 value, so yeah, he’s alright.
This Year: The only real change in Milwaukee is the loss of Malcolm Brogdon, which might actually mean more playmaking opportunities for Antetokounmpo. They’ve added some more shooting threats on the wings and can really lean into the Giannis-at-center lineups if they’d like.
Injury History: Antetokounmpo hit the sidelines late in the season with some injuries that were cover for rest days, but as for the real stuff he sat a couple games with a right ankle sprain, two with right knee soreness, one with a sore right hip and left quad contusion, one with a neck injury and one because of the concussion protocol. His 72 games were a career-low, and he is starting to assemble a collection of minor right leg problems. He’s not a major risk but it is something to be aware of.
Outlook: Antetokounmpo is an absolute monster and can dominate games like few others in the league today. Still, unless he starts knocking down his free throws or becomes a league-average threat from deep, he’s going to struggle to crack fantasy’s truly-elite tier. You’re going to spend a high first-rounder on Antetokounmpo and he’s going to deliver, but the odds of him getting into the top-3 aren’t great unless he comes out of the kitchen with something new and improved.Kevin DurantSF/PF, Brooklyn Nets
Total Value: 5 / 4 (8/9-cat)
Per-Game Value: 8 / 8 (8/9-cat)
Games Played: 78
2018-19 Review: Durant was once again an elite fantasy talent, though declines in his blocks and 3-point percentage meant he was merely a top-10 option rather than a top-5 guy. He suffered a calf injury in the second round of the playoffs and then valiantly tried to return with Golden State facing elimination in the Finals, only to suffer torn right Achilles after 11 minutes of play.
This Year: Durant left Golden State in free agency and paired up with Kyrie Irving in Brooklyn. With KD set to miss the entire season, we’ll evaluate his fit next summer.
Injury History: Durant will miss all of next season rehabbing his ruptured Achilles. He also battled a right ankle injury and a calf injury that was widely speculated to have led to his ruptured Achilles. When KD sees the floor next it will be tough for owners to not view him as an injury risk moving forward.
Durant has a rib cartilage fracture in 2017-18, a Grade 2 sprain of his left knee and tibial bone bruise that took a quarter of his season away in 2016-17 and the Jones fracture from 2014-15 in his history as well.
Outlook: There’s no need to worry about Durant in fantasy next season, though dynasty managers could have some interesting opportunities to acquire KD at a discount. It remains to be seen how the Achilles injury will affect him when he does return, but it’s generally unwise to bet against a guy as good as Durant.Kristaps PorzingisPF/C, Dallas Mavericks
2018-19 Review: Porzingis sat out all of last year as he recovered from a torn left ACL, though he was reportedly able to participate in some practices without limitations towards the end of the year. KP’s biggest moves came off the court, where he requested a trade from New York as the dysfunction became far too much to handle, even as he was away from the organization to rehab. The Knicks sold his trade as opening up cap space for supermax players that never came, and the Mavs jumped at the chance to acquire a young star without trading away any core pieces.
This Year: Porzingis is expected to enter the season fully healthy and will be Luka Doncic’s running buddy as the Mavs assemble one of the most dynamic, versatile young duos in the league. He’ll see big minutes at both the four and the five and could very well serve as the team’s top scoring option when he’s on the floor. That said, Mark Cuban has already said that load management will be part of the equation, which means that Porzingis will see nights off and shouldn’t be expected to jump right into 30-plus mpg.
Injury History: A torn left ACL has sidelined Porzingis since February of 2018, but his earlier seasons feature myriad problems with his back, knees, ankles, neck, Achilles and shoulder. He has played in 72, 66, 48 and zero games in his four seasons and has to be viewed as an injury risk given the sheer amount of bumps and bruises he’s racked up in his young career.
Outlook: Porzingis has early-round upside but we’re skeptical he picks up right where he left off. He’s now on a Mavs team that is actively trying to improve, rather than a Knicks team that’s just killing time until they can whiff in free agency, and it’s unlikely that he gets total control of things like he did in New York. The return from such a long layoff will feature an adjustment period, and we don’t expect him to hit his career 31.0 mpg average as the Mavs treat him with caution. He’s going to cruise to middle-round value but we would expect some volume-related steps back as he ramps back up to NBA speed.John CollinsPF/C, Atlanta Hawks
Total Value: 84 / 85 (8/9-cat)
Per-Game Value: 53 / 49 (8/9-cat)
Games Played: 61
2018-19 Review: Collins’ season got off to a slow start as he was rehabbing from an ankle injury, but he got up to speed and predictably put up a fine season with numerous career-highs in 30.0 mpg, including points (19.5), rebounds (9.8), assists (2.0) and 3-pointers (0.9).
It must be said that Collins’ defensive numbers plummeted despite a six-minute increase in playing time, as he fell from 0.6 steals and 1.1 blocks as a rookie to 0.4 steals and 0.6 blocks last year. There was no injury or deployment issue that really explains it away, so betting on regression might be a wise call.
On the flip side, Collins did improve from the 3-point line (.340 to .348) and the free throw line (.715 to .763) on increased volume. Hopefully that continues as his playing time continues to trend up, because the counting numbers will climb alongside his minutes.
This Year: Lloyd Pierce is on record as saying that Collins will be playing mostly power forward, and that the team would like him to improve his handle. The Hawks believe that Collins should be able to grab a rebound and bring the ball up the floor himself, which would help increase their pace of play and take advantage of their young legs.
Collins jumped from 0.6 3-point attempts to 2.6 last season, though we’re not overly concerned with another big jump. There’s diminishing returns on forcing Collins to take threes, and thus his field goal percentage should be relatively safe.
Injury History: Collins missed the first 15 games of last season with a left ankle sprain, but stayed relatively healthy upon returning, missing just six games for various, non-serious reasons (three for illness, two for rest, and one for another left ankle sprain). He shouldn’t be viewed as an injury risk moving forward but keep an eye on that left ankle.
Outlook: Collins was generating top-40 hype entering last season and he nearly delivered on a per-game basis despite his steal and block rates caving. If those rebound — and there’s no reason to believe that they won’t, at least to a certain extent — then Collins should jump right up into top-30 value. His shot profile isn’t due for any crazy steps back and there should be an increase in playing time coming. Expect to spend an early-middle round pick on the third-year big man, while managers in the most competitive leagues should be prepared to reach as early as round three.Lauri MarkkanenPF, Chicago Bulls
Total Value: 120 / 112 (8/9-cat)
Per-Game Value: 54 / 42 (8/9-cat)
Games Played: 52
2018-19 Review: Markkanen rewarded fantasy managers who took the risk on drafting an injured player, missing the first 23 games of the season before crashing the party with a step forward in his second season. The Finnish product saw notable jumps with 18.7 points, 9.0 rebounds and 2.3 triples and saw a minimal decrease in shooting percentage despite an increase in volume.
This Year: A hopefully-healthy Markkanen is going to start at power forward and should be treated as one of Chicago’s primary scoring options. The Bulls have a lot to learn about their collection of talent, and getting their most important players on the court is going to be paramount. It’s also worth questioning how Chicago’s new point guards can improve everyone else’s shot quality.
Injury History: Markkanen missed some time with back problems in his rookie season but got hit badly in year two, sitting out the first 23 games last year with a lateral sprain in his right elbow and then sitting out the final seven contests after experiencing fatigue and a rapid heartbeat. That’s reportedly been cleared up and Markkanen shouldn’t be playing under any restrictions next season.
Outlook: Markkanen has quickly established his fantasy cachet and really the only complaint is that he isn’t racking up more defensive stats. There’s room for improvement there and we’re anticipating another leap in scoring as he starts to expand his offensive game. Fantasy managers should look forward to another top-60 campaign from Markkanen, who would threaten early-round numbers if he ever woke up as a shot-blocker one day.Draymond GreenPF/C, Golden State Warriors
Total Value: 59 / 74 (8/9-cat)
Per-Game Value: 48 / 58 (8/9-cat)
Games Played: 66
2018-19 Review: Green was a bit of a letdown last season as his usage fell to a career-low 13.1 and his scoring, blocks, rebounds, assists and efficiency all took hits. The playoffs were a different story, however, as Green cranked up the heat and played at an extremely high level, especially after the Warriors got obliterated by injuries. The return of DeMarcus Cousins was a new element to work around, but there was definitely an element of Green saving himself for the most important part of the year.
This Year: You can bet that Green’s usage is going to go way back up next season with Kevin Durant and DeMarcus Cousins gone and Klay Thompson set to miss half the season. Although he’s armed with a new four-year, $100 million contract, Green isn’t the type to rest on his laurels — certainly not with so many people predicting the team’s demise. A tighter version of the standings might also force Green to go harder during the regular season.
Injury History: Green dealt with bouts of shoulder soreness in 2017-18 but didn’t have any issues with it last season. His most significant injury last season was a sprained toe that forced him to miss 13 contests, though the bumps and bruises are beginning to mount for a hard-nosed guy who has been doing immense amounts of dirty work over the dynasty’s run. He’s a moderate injury risk and a safe bet to miss at least a handful of games.
Outlook: Green burned fantasy managers last season but could get back to second-round output this year. His minutes should increase, as will his usage, and we’re looking for improvements almost across the board with the possible exception of efficiency. You might need to invest a top-25 pick to make sure that Green is on your roster this season, and he could very well be worth it.Zion Williamson (R)PF, New Orleans Pelicans
2018-19 Review: Williamson generated massive buzz in his lone season at Duke, and for good reason. He’s a beast at 6’7″ and 285 lbs who can jump over or through any opponent. He put up 22.1 points, 8.9 rebounds, 2.1 assists, 2.1 steals, 1.8 blocks and 0.7 threes per game while shooting an absurd .680 from the field. Zion was the main attraction at Summer League and was impressive in his quarter of action. The Pelicans got a gift in winning the draft lottery and will embark on their next era with the face of the franchise already on board.
This Year: Expect Zion to start at power forward and log huge minutes for a Pels team that’s going to be building everything around him. His offensive game could certainly use some polish and he’ll work on his jumper over time, but the physicality and athleticism will play from day one and we don’t anticipate him having issues putting up numbers.
Injury History: A memorable shoe tear saw Zion hit with a Grade 1 knee sprain but that didn’t do a thing to his draft stock. Williamson’s Summer League was cut short after he suffered a bruised left knee. The Pelicans were exercising extreme caution and it’s not expected to affect his prep for the real season.
Outlook: Williamson is the rare rookie who looks primed to deliver on all of the incredible hype foisted upon him. He’s shaping up as an early-round pick with the free throws (.640 at college) and mediocre output in threes the only warts in his profile. Be prepared to pay through the nose if you want Zion on your fantasy squads this year, but know that there’s a good chance he ends up being worth it.Pascal SiakamPF, Toronto Raptors
Total Value: 27 / 26 (8/9-cat)
Per-Game Value: 47 / 40 (8/9-cat)
Games Played: 80
2018-19 Review: Siakam ran through the wall like the Kool-Aid Man last year, surprising pretty much everyone by taking astronomical leaps in his development. He was one of our top sleepers in last year’s draft guide but even we didn’t expect this sort of explosion. Siakam was able to blast by opponents with his quickness and has enough agility to confound defenders with an array of spins, floaters and crazy-angled bankers off the glass. His controlled exposure to each facet of the game through his first two seasons allowed him to bring everything together in an explosive blur. Siakam usurped a starting role on a 60-win team and emerged as a vital two-way piece for the Raptors, producing career-highs across the board with 17.0 points, 6.9 rebounds, 3.1 assists, 0.9 steals, 0.7 blocks and 1.0 threes on .548 from the field and .785 at the line.
This Year: With Kawhi Leonard gone, it’s clear that this is now Siakam’s team. He won’t change the game flow in the same way, but Spicy P is Toronto’s new core piece and what they do moving forward will be made with him in mind. We’ll see how defenses react to him this season — they had success turning him into a jump-shooter in the playoffs.
Injury History: Siakam played through a right calf issue in the second round of the playoffs but missed just one game due to injury — back soreness — in the regular season. He didn’t hit the injury report in his first two years in the league.
Outlook: Although Siakam could lose a few points off his field goal percentage with defenses now keying in on him, we’re expecting increases in points, threes and assists in the vacated Kawhi usage — with the scoring potentially due for a significant jump. If you can draft Siakam at last year’s finish you’ll probably come away happy.Al HorfordPF/C, Philadelphia Sixers
Total Value: 45 / 34 (8/9-cat)
Per-Game Value: 36 / 29 (8/9-cat)
Games Played: 68
2018-19 Review: Horford was one of Boston’s best in last year’s trying campaign, settling the team on both ends of the floor and churning out another well-rounded fantasy season. He offered the Celtics invaluable contributions as a rim protector, team defender and secondary scorer and playmaker. Horford’s rebounds and assists declined but the big boosts in defensive stats and efficiency more than made up for that. His 3-point shooting fell from .429 to .360 but Horford shot a blistering .604 from 2-point range to push his overall numbers up from .489 last season to .535, which was a four-year high by a comfortable margin.
This Year: In a surprising move, Horford opted out of $30 million with the Celtics to hit the open market, where he found a four-year, $97 million deal from rival Philadelphia. The fit is an interesting one and he figures to spend more time on the perimeter this season so Joel Embiid can dominate the low block. There are a couple of players who will command more touches than Horford but his high IQ really smooths over most concerns, and he’s never been the type to complain about involvement. The Sixers boast one of, if not the very best, frontcourts in the league and have the makings of an elite defensive group.
Injury History: He missed 12 games from a patellar tendinitis injury in his left knee that lingered throughout the second half of the season. Big Al has two season-ending pectoral injuries on the books and hit the sidelines with a concussion, elbow problems and a groin injury for 14 games in 2016-17. The 2017-18 season saw him miss a smattering of time thanks to a handful of injuries including another concussion, a separate “head” injury, problems in each knee and a sprained ankle. As he ages, it’s probably safe to bet on Horford missing around 10 games due to various maladies.
Outlook: Horford is probably going to see some marginal declines across the board this season but he can still function as an offensive hub and as long as he can score efficiently with a triple-one average in steals, blocks and threes he’ll be a solid middle-round player. He does so much across the board that he’ll deliver another top-50 season even with a brand new setup and less responsibility coming his way.Blake GriffinPF/C, Detroit Pistons
Total Value: 33 / 53 (8/9-cat)
Per-Game Value: 38 / 65 (8/9-cat)
Games Played: 75
2018-19 Review: Griffin was excellent last season and almost dragged Detroit to the postseason by himself. He averaged 24.5 points, 2.5 threes, 7.5 rebounds and 5.4 assists per game (the points and threes were career-highs) to go with 0.7 steals, 0.4 blocks and 3.4 turnovers per game. Most impressively, Griffin improved his field goal percentage from .438 last season to .462 despite taking seven threes per contest.
A heavy workload seemed to wear on him even before the knee issues that sidelined him at the end of the year, however, as after the break Griffin averaged 20.1 points and 5.1 rebounds per game. Coupled with .410 shooting, he was the 144th-best player on a per-game basis and the 126th overall player in total value in 9-cat leagues. A far cry from the 44th and 35th rankings before the break.
Though he had earned the reputation of a big-stat player who couldn’t improve others around him, Griffin hit the next level and raised the play of his teammates consistently while transforming his own game.
This Year: Look for more of the same next season, as the Pistons are desperate to improve on last year’s squeaking into the playoffs, and should feel that they’ll have a better chance to do so as the East reshuffles. Keeping Griffin refreshed throughout the full season should be Detroit’s top goal but they also aren’t good enough to just sit him a bunch throughout the regular season.
Injury History: Griffin set a five-year high in terms of games played but the wheels fell off at the end of the year, as he missed four of the final seven regular season games and the first two of Detroit’s four playoff contests with left knee soreness. He underwent arthroscopic knee surgery at the end of April but has already been cleared for light basketball activities.
Earlier in his career, Griffin had a number of high-profile injuries, including a left knee/patella injury that cost him his rookie year, a meniscus tear before the 2012 Olympics, a staph infection in 2014-15, a quad injury, a toe injury in the 2016-17 playoffs as well as the knee surgery that shelved him during that regular season and a sprained MCL, concussion and right ankle contusion in 2017-18. Also that time he punched his trainer. There’s more than moderate risk at play.
Outlook: Although Griffin became a more well-rounded and effective on-court player last season, he remained slightly overvalued for fantasy purposes — especially in 9-cat. The emphasis on keeping him healthy should mean a slight decrease in minutes as long as the Pistons can afford it, which spells trouble for a guy who piles up counting stats. It would be steadier ground if Griffin contributed more steals or blocks but that just isn’t his game at this point. Look for top-50ish returns in 8-cat and something like top-75 numbers in 9-cat. He’s unlikely to offer much profit margin at his eventual ADP.Julius RandlePF/C, New York Knicks
Total Value: 52 / 76 (8/9-cat)
Per-Game Value: 55 / 78 (8/9-cat)
Games Played: 73
2018-19 Review: Randle picked the perfect team on which to play out a “prove-it” deal. He flourished in Alvin Gentry’s run-and-gun scheme as a bruising small-ball center who excelled in transition. Averaging a career-high 30.6 mpg, Randle cruised his way to career-highs with 21.4 points, 0.9 threes and 0.6 steals per game. His 8.1 rebounds, 3.1 assists and 0.7 steals on .524 from the field were nothing to sneeze at, either.
This Year: Randle’s bet on himself paid out as he inked a three-year, $63 million deal with the Knicks in free agency. He looks like one of the few players that the Knicks will play consistently though the sheer volume of other PFs means that he might be subject to a small dip in playing time.
Injury History: Randle missed six games with a right ankle sprain but was healthy otherwise and has been fairly injury-free since fracturing his tibia in his first game back in 2014-15. He has a hip pointer on the record but has played in 310 of a possible 328 games over the last four seasons, so Randle’s good to go.
Outlook: The Knicks wouldn’t lavish all that money on Randle just to subject him to some stupid timeshares — actually the Knicks might, but let’s pretend they won’t — so he should be in line for a workload similar to the one he had as a focal point in New Orleans. A top-60/80 season should be in the cards, with a little wiggle room either way for playing time/system shenanigans.Aaron GordonSF/PF, Orlando Magic
Total Value: 61 / 73 (8/9-cat)
Per-Game Value: 80 / 95 (8/9-cat)
Games Played: 78
2018-19 Review: Gordon was once again a letdown for fantasy players that selected him on the earlier side of the middle rounds, but he did show some nice growth as an actual NBA player. The career-high 3.7 assists point to Gordon becoming more of a team player, though the rest of his counting stats all took hits despite a modest increase in minutes.
This Year: A guy with so much athleticism should be able to crack at least 1.0 steals or blocks over a season, which has only happened once in five tries (steals in 2017-18). As such, it’s probably time to stop viewing Gordon as a potential top-50 guy and accept the reality that his defensive profile will leave you wanting a bit more. We’ll see what another year under Steve Clifford does for his game and hope that further on-court development can lead to more production this year.
Injury History: Gordon missed three games with low back soreness and one with a sprained left ankle in a healthy year. In 2017-18 he missed two games with a sore left ankle, two with a concussion, five with a strained right calf, nine with a strained left hip flexor, five with a second concussion and one game with a sore right calf.
In 2016-17 Gordon missed two games with a sprained right foot. In 2015-16 he was sidelined by another concussion and in 2014-15 he sprained an ankle, broke his jaw and fractured a metatarsal in his right foot. The concussions are the only recurring thing that would be worth worrying about, though Gordon should probably be penciled in for a handful of absences at least.
Outlook: The fact that the Magic didn’t make many changes means that Gordon should return to a similar role. If he could ever get up to 2.0 defensive stats per game we’d have a major player on our hands, but as it stands he’s a capable middle-round player who may still have some upside to hit before that window shuts entirely. Consider Gordon a viable pick any time starting in the seventh round, or the sixth if you’re a big believer.Danilo GallinariSF/PF, Oklahoma City Thunder
Total Value: 46 / 33 (8/9-cat)
Per-Game Value: 35 / 27 (8/9-cat)
Games Played: 68
2018-19 Review: Gallinari authored a tremendous bounce-back season, setting career-highs in points (19.8), rebounds (6.1), threes (2.4) and field goal percentage (.463). Most importantly, Gallo appeared in 68 games, which is the third-most in his career and his most since 2012-13.
This Year: An offseason blockbuster lands Gallinari on the Thunder, where he should start and play a featured role as OKC’s best primary scorer. He’s likely to see a decrease from last year’s career-best usage, however, as the Thunder look ready to embark on a rebuild and would probably prefer to funnel touches to younger players.
Injury History: 14 absences isn’t great by most standards, but for Gallinari it counts as a big win. Those missed games were a result of a variety of small injuries to his lower back, left ankle and left knee. His injury history gets much uglier in past seasons.
In 2017-18 Gallinari missed 13 games with a strained left glute, returned for two, admitted that it hurt to walk, and then spent the next 25 on the sidelines. He’d come back for eight games before suffering a right hand injury that was first diagnosed as a bruise but later revealed to be a non-displaced fracture, costing him 18 more games. He didn’t need surgery, came back for two games and then fell on his hand, shutting him down for the final five contests of the year.
Beyond all that he’s dealt with ankle injuries in the two years before joining the Clippers, fractured his thumb punching someone at the EuroBasket tournament, tore his ACL in 2013 and has a history of knee soreness. Expecting fewer than 15 absences feels like wishful thinking.
Outlook: Gallinari landed in a spot where he should easily lead the team in scoring, but it’s also a situation where he isn’t a long-term priority and could even find himself on the trade block in a few months. We’re anticipating some small dips in the counting stats, though the big area of concern is his shooting percentage. Last season’s figure is primed for regression, which means we’re not going to be moving on Gallo until the middle rounds even after a fantastic campaign. Expect top-80 returns with some upside if he can continue to score at a rate above his career average.Jaren Jackson Jr.PF/C, Memphis Grizzlies
Total Value: 132 / 129 (8/9-cat)
Per-Game Value: 84 / 88 (8/9-cat)
Games Played: 58
2018-19 Review: Jackson came in with an otherworldly stat set and managed to post top-90 value in 26.1 mpg behind averages of 13.8 points, 0.9 threes, 4.7 boards, 1.1 assists, 0.9 steals and 1.4 blocks per contest. A monstrous finish to the season was all lined up after Memphis traded Marc Gasol away but JJJ was hit with a season-ending thigh bruise, limiting him to just four games sans-Gasol. Even so, his full menu of skills was impressive — he was second among rookies in blocks despite missing a quarter of the season and shot 35.9 percent from deep, which was better than both Luka Doncic and Trae Young.
This Year: Fully healthy, Jackson is the new centerpiece of the franchise and is a player that Memphis will be building around for years to come. He can do everything that’s asked of a modern big man and is going to push towards, if not past, 30 mpg as the Grizzlies squeeze all the information they can about his first season playing alongside Ja Morant. The presence of Jonas Valanciunas should be less harmful than Gasol, and JJJ’s versatility means he’s going to log significant time at both frontcourt spots. The big test will be to see how well he can defend without fouling, as that led to a lot of inconsistency last year.
Injury History: Jackson missed one game with a sore right quad at the beginning of February and then hit the sidelines with a “deep right thigh bruise” on February 22, which ended up being the end of his season. He’d sit out the final 23 games of the season. Despite the lengthy time on the shelf we aren’t considering Jackson an injury risk, though it’ll be concerning if the right quad keeps him popping up on the injury report.
Outlook: More usage, more minutes and better standing in the organizational hierarchy. That’s about as good as it gets for a fantasy setup, and Jackson has all the skills to make the most of it. The only thing that really held him back last season was foul trouble, so if he can handle that then the sky is the limit. Consider JJJ a safe middle-round pick with extensive upside.Jonathan IsaacSF/PF, Orlando Magic
Total Value: 104 / 90 (8/9-cat)
Per-Game Value: 127 / 108 (8/9-cat)
Games Played: 75
2018-19 Review: Isaac didn’t explode in the way we had hoped but he managed to stay healthy and became a vital member of a hard-nosed defense. He was often tasked with the toughest defensive assignment and should learn a ton from that role, and he did gain confidence as the year went on. Unfortunately he couldn’t deliver on fantasy hype as his steals fell from 1.2 to 0.8 per game despite an increase of nearly seven minutes per night. Isaac’s final line of 9.6 points, 5.5 rebounds, 1.1 assists, 0.8 steals, 1.3 blocks and 1.1 threes was good but not quite what the fantasy community was hoping for. Inconsistency continued to be an issue as well, though he did have a nice finish to the year.
This Year: The next step for Isaac will be asserting himself as an offensive option, though that might be difficult with a successful group returning to run it back. Defensively, this looks like the year where we’ll figure out if Isaac’s steals rate as a rookie was a product of good fortune or if last year was the outlier. His role figures to expand ever so slightly and Steve Clifford is going to make time for a guy with incredible defensive potential.
Injury History: Isaac missed seven games in November with a right ankle sprain but he was able to avoid the trappings that derailed his rookie campaign, staying healthy otherwise. In 2017-18 he was limited to just 27 games, sitting out for stints of 17, two and 26 games while also missing three because of a strained left foot. The ankle is still a problem but last season was a definite step in the right direction.
Outlook: Isaac is one of our favorite post-hype sleepers. If his steals get back in order then we have an easy top-70 player on our hands, and if not we saw last season that Isaac is capable of of borderline top-100 numbers. Let the ADP guide you but don’t be afraid to move on Isaac a round earlier than your leaguemates might.Serge IbakaPF/C, Toronto Raptors
Total Value: 65 / 56 (8/9-cat)
Per-Game Value: 71 / 62 (8/9-cat)
Games Played: 74
2018-19 Review: After looking out of gas in 2017-18, Ibaka found the fountain of youth as a full-time center. He wasn’t exposed on the perimeter and could focus more on protecting the rim defensively, and on the other end of the floor he was able to get to his money spots in the mid-range rather than jack up triples. Ibaka took only 2.3 triples per game this year, which is the fewest he’s taken since 2013-14 – the last year where Ibaka didn’t have threes as a regular part of the arsenal. Though he hit them at just 29 percent, his changing shot spectrum resulted in a .529 mark from the field, which not-so-coincidentally was his highest since 2013-14. His 15.0 points and 8.1 rebounds were both the second-highest marks of his career while Serge’s swats stayed solid at 1.4 per contest.
This Year: While he’ll still be a full-time center, he won’t have the benefit of starting over Marc Gasol the same way he did when platooning with Jonas Valanciunas. We’ll see if the Raptors get a little more flexible in moving him around with all the roster turnover, but either way we see him staying in last season’s 27 mpg neighborhood.
Injury History: As for those eight absences, four absences cane for right knee soreness/swelling, three for suspension and one for rest. While Ibaka’s knees haven’t looked the same since undergoing a scope in 2014-15, he’s managed to stay on the floor for the most part, missing 21 games over four years.
Outlook: The presence of Gasol over a full season does figure to ding Ibaka a little bit, as it did last season (top-60/50 in 28.9 mpg pre-Gasol, top-90/70 in 23.3 mpg after), but we anticipate the playing time evening out a bit. Consider Ibaka a viable top-100 selection whose career has been prolonged by the positional change.Marvin Bagley IIIPF, Sacramento Kings
Total Value: 157 / 162 (8/9-cat)
Per-Game Value: 145 / 148 (8/9-cat)
Games Played: 62
2018-19 Review: A lot of people criticized the Kings for their choice of Bagley and while Sacramento might’ve erred there’s a lot to like about what the big man brought to the table. Averages of 14.9 points, 7.6 rebounds, 0.5 steals, 1.0 blocks and 0.5 3-pointers on .504 from the field and .691 from the line included a more diverse output than we had originally expected and he had no troubles getting to his money spots on the floor despite a limited moveset, even at the highest level. Over the final 20 games of the season, he nearly missed out on the top-100 after averaging 17.9 points on 50 percent shooting with 0.9 threes, 8.9 rebounds and 0.2 blocks.
This Year: There’s definitely room for Bagley to keep on rounding out his game and the Kings will give him every opportunity to make it happen. That’s basically a guarantee after Bagley’s minutes reportedly became a sticking point between Dave Joerger in the organization, and Luke Walton likely accepted the coaching job knowing that Bagley is a priority. He’s above the fray despite the offseason additions to the frontcourt and we’re looking at a guy who should become a primary scoring option for a team that is itching to break their playoff drought.
Injury History: Bagley missed five games with a left knee sprain, 11 because of a left knee bone bruise, two with back tightness and one due to illness. He suffered right hip flexor/groin injury during Summer League before his rookie season and missed a few games due to a right knee sprain in college but there’s nothing too crazy there. He also sat out some summer action this year with left Achilles soreness but returned for Team USA work so he’s good to go. Just watch out for the knee stuff..
Outlook: Bagley did solid work in 25.6 mpg and with an impending boost that should push him north of 30, we’re very excited to see what he adds to the mix. The shot-blocking was a pleasant surprise and Bagley’s offensive game puts a 20 & 10 season on the table. Free throw shooting could be one of his bugaboos but given the expected workload increase we’re good with Bagley as a middle-round value, though you’ll want to watch the ADP to maximize your profit margin.Paul MillsapPF/C, Denver Nuggets
Total Value: 97 / 94 (8/9-cat)
Per-Game Value: 97 / 85 (8/9-cat)
Games Played: 70
2018-19 Review: Millsap rebounded nicely from a 38-game season and was one of Denver’s leaders on the court, but his statistics continued to shrink. His steals and rebounds increased but that was a surprise considering he lost three minutes per game. The one positive development was that Millsap’s shooting percentage ticked up, though that wasn’t as shocking considering his volume decreased.
This Year: The Nuggets’ big decision of the summer regarded Millsap and his $30 million option, which they decided to pick up in an effort to build on last season’s success. He’s critical to the defense, and Denver will hope that he doesn’t decline to the point where he adversely affects their chances of competing.
Injury History: In 2016-17 he had a cleanup surgery on his right knee and missed time at the end of the year with left knee soreness before undergoing another minor procedure to get him ready for the playoffs. The following season it was a torn ligament in his left wrist suffered on November 19 that kept him out until February 27.
This year saw Millsap stay mostly healthy though he did miss three games with right ankle soreness and eight with a broken right big toe. In his defense, he did return from the toe injury well ahead of schedule. At age 34 it’s safe to expect some missed games.
Outlook: The Nuggets will engage in a delicate dance this season, with Jerami Grant and Millsap battling for minutes. We could be looking at a situation where Millsap starts but ends up on the wrong end of a timeshare, though that sort of passive load management would serve the purpose of keeping him healthy. If The Sapper dips further from last season’s 27.1 mpg, he might slide down to late-round territory as his decline continues.Rudy GaySF/PF, San Antonio Spurs
Total Value: 89 / 88 (8/9-cat)
Per-Game Value: 83 / 84 (8/9-cat)
Games Played: 69
2018-19 Review: Gay put together a resurgent season after his first year in San Antonio had him handling sixth man duties. He was much more effective on defense, shot a career-high in both 2-pointers and 3-pointers and started 50 games for the first time since 2015-16. He set career-bests with 6.8 rebounds per contest and a .504 mark from the field.
This Year: The Spurs will need to do a little shuffling, and if Jakob Poeltl earns the full-time center spot then Gay is probably the guy who gets moved to the bench. He’s likely to lose a shade off his playing time anyway given that the Spurs will also have to make space for both of their young point guards, which will have effects on the forward spots. Still, Gay is good to play a central offensive role in second units and is a flexible, valuable member of the rotation.
Injury History: Gay has been pretty healthy for a guy who tore his Achilles at age 30. In 2017-18 he missed 23 straight games with right heel bursitis but this past season saw more minor issues contribute to his absences than anything. That includes right heel soreness, a left wrist sprain and a left ankle issue. Gay shouldn’t be expected to put a full season together and is a moderate injury risk.
Outlook: San Antonio’s returning and improving personnel will likely foist a playing time cut upon Gay, though we’d be surprised if he dipped far below 25 mpg. Definitely don’t chase last year’s production, but Gay’s probably safe to deliver top-120 value.Jerami GrantSF/PF, Denver Nuggets
Total Value: 69 / 48 (8/9-cat)
Per-Game Value: 99 / 74 (8/9-cat)
Games Played: 80
2018-19 Review: Grant thrived as OKC’s starting power forward, increasing his 3-point percentage .392 and giving the Thunder the sort of athletic stretch four that they’ve been looking for for years. He blew past his previous career-high in playing time and set personal bests in all the relevant fantasy stats aside from field goal percentage. He ended up being one of the best value picks in the league last season, and he was likely undrafted in shallow or casual formats.
This Year: Grant was dealt to Denver as the Thunder tried to cut their tax bill, and while he’s a fantastic fit as an athletic defender who will pair well with the young Nuggets core, he will be coming off the bench. It’s already been said that he’ll still play a lot, so it isn’t like his minutes are going to vanish, but there’s no way that Grant repeats last season’s playing time unless injuries strike.
Injury History: Grant missed 22 games across his first two seasons due to various ankle, back and calf issues but has missed five games over the last three seasons, so he’s good to go.
Outlook: Despite the roster setup, Grant is the sort of athletic and versatile defender that commands minutes in the modern NBA, with an improving 3-point shot that makes him even harder to take off the floor. While the impending decline in minutes will likely take Grant out of the potential triple-one conversation, he’s still going to hold late-round appeal as long as he’s getting something like 28 mpg. Look for him to settle as a top-125/110 player as Denver’s third frontcourt option.Jabari ParkerPF, Atlanta Hawks
Total Value: 137 / 166 (8/9-cat)
Per-Game Value: 120 / 160 (8/9-cat)
Games Played: 64
2018-19 Review: The Bulls foolishly signed Parker to play small forward, and it went as everyone else predicted. He ended up getting bounced from the rotation before being traded to Washington at the deadline, where he rode some hot shooting to a strong finish to the year.
Following the trade Parker put up top-85/135 fantasy value, though that was buoyed almost entirely by a .523 shooting percentage, including a blistering .613 mark from inside the arc (Parker’s never been over .493/.556 over a full season) and a career-best rebound rate that resulted in 7.2 boards per game with the Wiz. He exceeded expectations even accounting for his less-impressive performance with the Bulls, as he was able to get buckets and grab boards on bad teams.
This Year: It would be surprising if Parker received last season’s 26.9 mpg again this time around. The Hawks have other players to develop at the forward spots and Parker is a known commodity at this point. There is value in having someone like Parker come off the bench to crash the glass and score in a pinch, but if he’s taking minutes from young Hawks in any way it will be a gross misuse of the roster.
Between the upcoming cut in playing time and the likely regression that’s coming for his percentages, Parker should still be able to play a role that suits him.
Injury History: Parker has had a well documented injury history with two ACL tears, but managed to suit up for the second-highest total games of his career last year. He missed time due to knee soreness and a series of different illnesses, but nothing that kept him out for very long — a bump from the rotation in Chicago factored in too. He will look to expand on his relative healthy season in a limited bench role with Atlanta.
Outlook: Parker’s fantasy outlook will depend entirely on his playing time. His stat set is hollow, though he can pump out the occasional double-double on solid marks from the field, even accounting for a step back. If he can stick with minutes in the mid-twenties it should be enough for low-end appeal in 12-team leagues, but anything below that and top-150 numbers will be a tough sell.P.J. TuckerSF/PF, Houston Rockets
Total Value: 78 / 55 (8/9-cat)
Per-Game Value: 118 / 90 (8/9-cat)
Games Played: 82
2018-19 Review: Tucker was one of Houston’s most valuable players last season and was a big reason that their defense put the clamps down in the second half. He brought a wonderful, complementary stat set to the table with averages of 1.8 3s, 5.8 rebounds, 1.6 steals and 0.4 blocks. PJT received a career-high 34.2 minutes and responded with personal bests in steals, blocks and threes, which is where the fantasy money is at.
This Year: Look for Tucker to reprise a similar role next season as a defensive pillar and low-maintenance offensive threat. He might get a few more corner threes as defenses will now have to defend Russell Westbrook drives, but functionally there isn’t a ton of difference in what Tucker will be asked to do.
Injury History: Tucker has avoided injury throughout his NBA career, missing nine games in the last seven seasons and logging back-to-back 82-game campaigns.
Outlook: The one change we’re hoping to see out of Tucker is some improvement at the free throw line. He shot just .695 at the charity stripe last season, and if he can pull that back closer to his career average of .744 then he’ll gain a round of value without it feeling like there’s a night-to-night differences considering how infrequently he gets to the line. Tucker is a solid pick in the late-middle rounds whose stat set is a great complement to almost every team build.Marcus MorrisPF, New York Knicks
Total Value: 105 / 104 (8/9-cat)
Per-Game Value: 126 / 114 (8/9-cat)
Games Played: 75
2018-19 Review: Morris was one of the few positives out of Boston’s season last year, posting career-best numbers in rebounds, 3-pointers and field goal percentage while looking like one of the few players who actually gave a damn about things by the end of the campaign. He started for a good chunk of the year and gave the Celtics someone who wasn’t afraid to play physical defense while providing some secondary scoring, though his stat set capped him to late-middle round numbers at his peak.
This Year: Morris backed out of a deal with the Spurs to join the Knicks for some reason (hint: it’s money), where he’ll be one of about six players competing for power forward minutes. It’s possible that the Knicks decide to start Morris at small forward, though that would block two of their young core pieces and Morris’ declining mobility makes that a bad idea anyway. He should be near the top of the pecking order but a starting gig would be a surprise, so good luck.
Injury History: A run of good health ended in the 2017-18 season as Morris spent the first eight games of the year on the sidelines thanks to knee soreness. He’d go on to miss 11 in a 13-game stretch with more knee soreness in December and had two other single-game, knee-related absences. This past season was better, however, as Morris only missed time for minor neck and knee issues.
Outlook: If a couple guys get hurt or traded, Morris could end up with enough minutes to get near the standard-league radar. Considering he was only a late-round player in 27.9 mpg last year, we’d leave him for 14-team leagues and beyond.Kyle KuzmaPF, Los Angeles Lakers
Total Value: 116 / 127 (8/9-cat)
Per-Game Value: 113 / 135 (8/9-cat)
Games Played: 70
2018-19 Review: Kuzma got some preseason love which never really made sense with the way the Lakers added to the roster. He took on more of a scoring load towards the end of the year when LeBron James and Brandon Ingram were sidelined and ended up posting a career-high 18.5 points per game on the season. Kuzma’s stat set still relies too heavily on volume, but he did manage to increase his overall efficiency from .450 to .456 even as his 3-point shooting dipped from .366 to .303. As a volume player whose biggest secondary contribution is threes, that meant he tumbled well outside the top-100.
This Year: The Lakers added to the roster again, but maybe the fantasy community will stop pumping Kuzma’s tires with the way it’s obviously going to affect him. He won’t be able to start at power forward anymore and is going to get squeezed for usage. His defense will also become a larger issue on a team that is no longer trying to build up its young players, but rather trying to win as much as humanly possible.
Injury History: Kuz sat out the last six games of the year with left foot tendonitis and also missed two games with a right ankle sprain, two with a left hip strain and two more with a bruised back. He dealt with a couple minor ankle sprains as a rookie but isn’t a significant injury risk.
Outlook: Kuzma’s going to see fewer minutes, touches, shots and rebounding opportunities. A rebound in his 3-point percentage would be nice but people need to stop treating him as anything more than a top-125 player anyway.
Update: Kuzma has been ruled out into mid-October with a stress reaction in his left foot. Assuming the Lakers take extreme caution with Kuzma, odds are that he misses some regular season time. That’s going to make him even harder to draft in standard leagues, and his thin stat set was already enough for us to steer clear at his ADP.Thaddeus YoungSF/PF, Chicago Bulls
Total Value: 51 / 41 (8/9-cat)
Per-Game Value: 76 / 69 (8/9-cat)
Games Played: 81
2018-19 Review: Young was his old reliable self, doing exactly what fantasy owners drafted him for: grabbing lots of steals, picking up rebounds and scoring efficiently. He did so without any issues, and the fact that his field goal percentage improved from .487 in 2017-18 to .527 last season was just icing on the cake.
This Year: Young left Indiana and surprisingly signed on with the Bulls, who will use the veteran as a top-flight reserve and mentor for their younger players. Chicago has some key pieces stationed at Young’s positions, so this will likely be the first season since 2011-12 in which Young logs under 30 mpg.
Injury History: Young has missed two games combined in the last two seasons, and his last injury of note was a sprained wrist three years ago.
Outlook: Despite a cut to his playing time, Young should still hold late-round fantasy value as an efficient scorer who can grab around 1.5 steals per game playing out of the frontcourt. His scoring and rebounds are likely to decline, and his free throw percentage is also at risk after last season set a three-year high. Thad will still be fantasy-relevant but top-120 numbers are a much more realistic expectation than a repeat of his Pacers days.Dario SaricPF, Phoenix Suns
Total Value: 127 / 128 (8/9-cat)
Per-Game Value: 176 / 175 (8/9-cat)
Games Played: 81
2018-19 Review: Saric struggled to stand out in Philadelphia and ended up splitting time with the husk of Taj Gibson to cap off another disappointing season. The move out of Philly was a good development considering his questionable fit alongside two other players who need to handle the ball a ton, but Minnesota wasn’t the lifesaver we were hoping it would be. His playing time actually decreased with the Wolves, and the only numbers to improve were his efficiency and steals.
This Year: The Wolves traded Saric to Phoenix in a fairly surprising move, sacrificing power forward depth to move up in the draft. The Homie is either going to start at the four or come off the bench behind Mikal Bridges, but there might be enough interchangeability with the other Suns to have Saric with minutes in the high twenties. Keep your fingers crossed.
Injury History: Saric has missed five games in his three-year career, with three of them coming from a strange case of elbow cellulitis a couple years ago.
Outlook: Perhaps this will be the spot where Saric is allowed to stretch out and get a real hand in running the show. He should be able to get his rebounds back above 6.0 and his assists back above 2.0, and if his minutes get back closer to 30 than 25 then there’s definite late-round appeal. Saric is worth a shot at the end of 12-team drafts and has the ability to deliver top-125 numbers without being a true featured player — we just need him to avoid the back burner.Jae CrowderSF, Memphis Grizzlies
Total Value: 129 / 121 (8/9-cat)
Per-Game Value: 173 / 164 (8/9-cat)
Games Played: 80
2018-19 Review: Crowder was critical to the Jazz, giving them a more athletic guy to trot out at power forward than Derrick Favors. He finished with averages of 11.9 points, 2.2 threes, 4.8 rebounds and 0.8 steals per game on .399 shooting in 27.1 mpg. His field goal percentage has been poor since moving on from Boston but Crowder has reestablished himself as a quality 3-and-D player after a disastrous short stint in Cleveland.
This Year: If Crowder stays in Memphis all season, we’d expect to see a decline in playing time. He’s a helpful role player but loses some utility on a rebuilding team, especially one with an athletic young power forward who can stretch the floor and protect the rim. If he gets traded, there aren’t many spots where he’d be able to step into last season’s playing time.
Injury History: Crowder missed one game with a right thigh contusion and one with a sprained thumb. He dealt with groin, ankle and elbow problems in 2016-17 and sprained his MCL in 2015-16 but there isn’t a ton of risk here despite his tough playstyle.
Outlook: Fantasy managers can consider Crowder a late-round pick in 16-team formats given the way the depth chart is stacking up in Memphis. There could be some upside if he gets moved by the trade deadline but there’s no need to stash him in shallower formats to find out what happens. He’ll be a top-200 type thanks to low-end threes, rebounds and the occasional steal.Marvin WilliamsSF/PF, Charlotte Hornets
Total Value: 106 / 80 (8/9-cat)
Per-Game Value: 131 / 95 (8/9-cat)
Games Played: 75
2018-19 Review: Williams predictably saw his minutes and numbers rise with Dwight Howard removed from the equation, and he posted 10.1 points, 5.4 rebounds, 1.2 assists, 0.9 steals, 0.8 blocks and 1.9 threes per game with a paltry 0.6 turnovers vaulting him into the top-100 in 9-cat formats. Despite the gap in his 8- and 9-cat values, Williams proved to be his usual self — a consistent, understated contributor who turned a predictable profit on his ADP.
This Year: Unfortunately for Williams, he no longer fits Charlotte’s timeline and could be relegated to the bench with the Hornets talking about Miles Bridges’ future at the four spot. The lack of wing depth overall could mean that Bridges gets moved around and Williams gets thrown a lifeline, but we’d expect his playing time to be scaled back this season.
Injury History: Williams missed one game with a shoulder strain and then the final five games of the year because of a right foot strain. He’s fairly healthy considering his 14 years in the league, as he’s logged at least 75 games for five consecutive years.
Outlook: Williams’ stat set is pretty solid but quiet enough that he never sticks in the minds of most fantasy managers, meaning he’s often an easy snag in the last couple of rounds. A likely decrease in playing time will force him back towards the top-150 cut line in 12-team formats, and he’s definitely better for roto leagues. That said, Williams should remain a top-110 guy in 9-cat formats.Al-Farouq AminuSF/PF, Orlando Magic
Total Value: 92 / 78 (8/9-cat)
Per-Game Value: 137 / 110 (8/9-cat)
Games Played: 81
2018-19 Review: Aminu continued to serve as a quality secondary piece for the Blazers last season, knocking down his corner threes, working hard on the glass and playing strong defense. He posted a five-year high in field goal percentage by going .433 from the field and obliterated his previous personal best of .754 by going .833 at the charity stripe, while Aminu’s biggest counting stat contributions came in the form of 9.4 points, 7.5 rebounds, 0.8 steals, 0.4 blocks and 1.2 threes.
This Year: Aminu’s move to the Magic was fairly surprising considering Orlando’s depth at the forward spots and Aminu’s own capabilities as a starter, but he’ll resort to a bench role for his age-29 season. He’ll give the Magic some more defensive versatility and another guy who can help the rebounding efforts but he’s going to be hard-pressed to repeat the 28.9 mpg he’s averaged over the last four years in Portland.
Injury History: Aminu had been bitten by the injury bug since his playing time increased as a member of the Blazers but was healthy last season, only sitting out the season finale for rest. In 2017-18 he missed 13 games with a right ankle sprain and the year before that he missed 12 games with a sore calf, five with a sore back and two with a knee sprain. He’s not a big risk with his playing time set to come down.
Outlook: The depth chart in Orlando means that Aminu’s standard-league appeal is gone, though he should still get enough minutes to be worth a look in 16-team formats. Watch out for regression in those percentages.Bobby PortisPF/C, New York Knicks
Total Value: 186 / 184 (8/9-cat)
Per-Game Value: 114 / 113 (8/9-cat)
Games Played: 50
2018-19 Review: After opening his year as a top-145 player in 24.1 mpg with Chicago, Portis was a top-100 option with the Wizards in a modest increase to 27.4 mpg. He ended up averaging 14.3 points, 8.6 rebounds, 1.5 assists, 0.9 steals, 0.4 blocks and 1.7 threes while shooting .440 from the field in 28 games with Washington, and all but the assists, blocks and shooting percentage would’ve counted as career-bests over the course of a full year. Even so, BP delivered personal bests in scoring, rebounds, threes and free throw percentage while tying previous marks in steals and blocks.
This Year: Portis heads to New York, where he’ll slot in as the first big man off the bench behind Julius Randle and Mitchell Robinson. It’s not going to be quite as straightforward as his 22 starts in 28 games with the Wiz, but Portis is still likely to be one of the more consistent Knicks options.
Injury History: Portis missed one game with a right elbow injury but the big blows came from a right ankle sprain (seven games) and a right MCL sprain (23 games). His injury history doesn’t hold anything significant other than a weird foot injury when he burned himself on a heat pack three years back, but he’s not a serious risk even after last season’s troubles.
Outlook: There is strong headache potential here but Portis should split the gap between his Chicago and Washington numbers. We’re going to pencil him in for just north of 25 mpg, which puts him closer to those Wizards stats. Fantasy players can view Portis as a top-120 option whose primary contributions will come in points, rebounds and threes.Maxi KleberPF, Dallas Mavericks
Total Value: 167 / 148 (8/9-cat)
Per-Game Value: 180 / 153 (8/9-cat)
Games Played: 71
2018-19 Review: Kleber continued to turn heads in the fantasy community last season as he jumped from 19.8 to 25.0 mpg after the All-Star break. While his 9-cat standing stayed steady around the top-150, Kleber did gain a few rounds of value in 8-cat formats. His versatile game suits both the Mavs and fantasy players well, as he averaged 6.8 points, 1.1 threes, 4.6 boards, 1.0 assists, 0.5 steals and 1.1 blocks in 21.2 mpg overall.
This Year: Kleber returns to Dallas on a four-year, $35 million deal, where he’ll likely be the first forward off the bench for Rick Carlisle. There’s more fluidity up front than there was last year with DeAndre Jordan and Dirk Nowitzki gone, which bodes well for a malleable player like Kleber.
Injury History: There’s a foot problem from several years ago and last season Kleber missed time with a right knee contusion, right knee soreness, a left wrist sprain, a left knee effusion and a left toe sprain, though he never sat more than two consecutive games. He’s not much of a risk despite the collection of minor ailments.
Outlook: If Kleber gets 25 mpg he’s going to work his way inside the top-150 and is the type of player who can collect three combined cash counters on any given night, which gives him top-125 appeal if a few things go his way — you can add a round or two onto that in 9-cat leagues. He’s a great late-round flier and will be one of our favorite dart throws this season.Zach CollinsPF/C, Portland Trail Blazers
Total Value: 194 / 193 (8/9-cat)
Per-Game Value: 254 / 263 (8/9-cat)
Games Played: 77
2018-19 Review: Collins took some solid steps forward last season, though his growth as a player didn’t do a ton to improve his fantasy standing. He wasn’t quite ready to take on the power forward spot and Jusuf Nurkic had a fantastic season, limiting Collins to a modest 1.8-minute increase in playing time. His averages of 6.6 points, 4.2 rebounds, 0.3 steals, 0.9 blocks and 0.5 threes look workable if they increase in concert with his workload.
This Year: That’s important because Collins is expected to enter the season as Portland’s starting power forward. It’ll be a big test for a player who has questions to answer about his strength, quickness and 3-point shooting, but Collins is in line for a noteworthy increase in playing time and responsibility for a team that let both of its starting forwards skip town this summer.
Injury History: Collins didn’t have any injury history to speak of before suffering a Grade 2 sprain and a ligament tear in his right ankle. He’s resumed contact workouts as of August 19 and looks good to go for the start of the season.
Outlook: Despite the expanding role, there are some things that give us pause here. Firstly, Collins has the looks of a blocks-and-threes player but has shot just .321 from deep over his first two seasons. Secondly, he showed a willingness to go for box-outs over rebounds last season, which is admirable from a team perspective but limiting in fantasy. It’s also worth mentioning that he’s playing alongside an elite rebounder in Hassan Whiteside, which caps his potential in the category anyway.
Between that and some sub-par efficiency from the center spot, Collins should probably be viewed as a blocks specialist with upside rather than a full-fledged standard-league asset. He’s a fine flier in standard leagues but don’t let expectations run wild.Brandon Clarke (R)PF, Memphis Grizzlies
2018-19 Review: Clarke doesn’t boast impressive length but he does sport impressive quickness and hops, using his elite athleticism to wreak havoc on both ends of the floor. There’s no way he should’ve fallen to Memphis at No. 21 and he proved it immediately by winning Summer League MVP with averages of 14.7 points, 9.8 rebounds, 2.0 assists, 0.3 steals and 1.8 blocks on 55 percent from the field in 22 minutes per contest.
This Year: Although he doesn’t quite fit the modern power forward mold because he can’t shoot threes, Clarke is going to command minutes from the jump. His stat set works for fantasy purposes and he’s not going to get played off the floor on either end — his multi-positional capabilities and impeccable shot-blocking instincts might actually help excel on defense, where most rookies struggle. Clarke will be coming off the bench this season but he’s going to make a case for 20-plus mpg quickly.
Injury History: All clear.
Outlook: Clarke put himself on the map at Las Vegas and figures to be a popular late-round pick in competitive leagues. He may be slept on a bit more by casual fantasy players and we’ve got no issues taking a chance on his talent and setup in Memphis.Markieff MorrisPF/C, Detroit Pistons
Total Value: 233 / 224 (8/9-cat)
Per-Game Value: 220 / 214 (8/9-cat)
Games Played: 58
2018-19 Review: Though Morris’ season will be defined by his neck problem he was struggling even before that, posting just top-150 value up through the injury. A trade to the Pelicans, a subsequent buyout, and then a contract with the Thunder didn’t help much either as Morris played only 16.1 minutes a night with OKC.
This Year: Morris commented that he wasn’t happy with his playing time in Oklahoma City, which makes it a bit curious as to why he’d head to Detroit, where they have two franchise pillars in the frontcourt. He’ll be in the mix for backup work at both positions and will need to hold of Christian Wood and Thon Maker through camp.
Injury History: The 2017-18 year saw Morris hit with an eight-week absence starting in the preseason for a sports hernia, and he popped up on the injury report for ankle and wrist issues, too. Prior to that he dealt with a left knee sprain and a sore shoulder, though all that pales in comparison to last season’s bout of transient cervical neuropraxia. He missed over a month of action with the neck issue and looked out of rhythm upon returning.
Outlook: If Morris is healthy there’s top-175 potential, but it’s unlikely that he gets enough minutes to make much of an impact in leagues with fewer than 16 teams unless Blake Griffin gets hurt.James JohnsonSF/PF, Miami Heat
Total Value: 255 / 264 (8/9-cat)
Per-Game Value: 223 / 253 (8/9-cat)
Games Played: 55
2018-19 Review: Johnson struggled mightily last season and looked to be miles away from the top-80 threat he was upon joining the Heat a couple years ago. Although his 3-point percentage increased (still below average), he lost about five minutes per game — a fifth of his playing time — and saw corresponding drops in steals, blocks, rebounds and assists. You know, the categories where Johnson makes his fantasy money. He was left playing catch-up after dealing with a hernia in the offseason and never really found a rhythm, getting lose in the shuffle in a crowded rotation.
This Year: Johnson is going to have a chance to right the ship with the Heat losing three players and adding two this summer. He’ll have more minutes to work in the frontcourt with Hassan Whiteside out of the picture and there could be additional minutes available as an oversized small forward, too.
Injury History: Johnson’s 2017-18 problems bled into this season, as an offseason hernia procedure that wasn’t expected to force him out of camp ended up costing JJ the first 15 games of the year. Johnson also missed four games with a left shoulder strain that led right into seven DNPs. Before the hernia, he also missed nine games after dealing with an ankle sprain, ankle bursitis and knee tendinitis. There’s lots of nicks and bumps and Johnson will probably keep piling up minor injuries as a result of his playing style.
Outlook: A return to form in Johnson’s defensive stats would make him a threat for a triple-one line, and a few extra minutes per game after a fully healthy offseason should get him into the draftable range for 16-team formats. There’s plenty of upside in his stat set but Johnson’s role isn’t secure enough for us to confidently say that he’ll get right back to standard-league value.Ersan IlyasovaSF/PF, Milwaukee Bucks
Total Value: 237 / 220 (8/9-cat)
Per-Game Value: 268 / 282 (8/9-cat)
Games Played: 67
2018-19 Review: Ilyasova fit in with the Bucks’ shooting-heavy attack as a combo forward who can space the floor, defend with effort and just generally annoy opponents. His funky stat set couldn’t get much going in fantasy, however, as he played just 18.5 mpg — his lowest since 2006-07’s rookie effort.
This Year: Ilyasova was dangled in the leadup to the draft as the Bucks were trying to shed salary, but he’ll stick in Milwaukee and will provide forward depth.
Injury History: Ghostface Ilya missed eight games after sustaining a broken nose and undergoing surgery as well as two with a concussion and two with a right knee contusion. Knee and shoulder issues have been around over the last few years but there hasn’t been anything overly significant.
Outlook: Ilyasova is the sort of guy who can chip in enough rebounds and cash counters to keep deep-league players interested, but if he’s not getting close 20 mpg he’s not worth your time outside of 20-team formats.Noah VonlehPF, Minnesota Timberwolves
Total Value: 153 / 152 (8/9-cat)
Per-Game Value: 157 / 151 (8/9-cat)
Games Played: 68
2018-19 Review: Vonleh delivered career-highs across the board with 8.4 points, 7.8 rebounds, 1.9 assists, 0.7 steals, 0.8 blocks and 0.7 3-pointers in 25.3 minutes per game while posting the second-best shooting numbers of his career at .470 from the field. He was a steady standard-league play until the Knicks started messing with their rotation and was one of the sneakier fantasy options around in terms of delivering quality rebounds with efficient shooting and defense.
This Year: The Knicks let Vonleh walk to sign a bunch of other power forwards, and he landed in a nice spot with the Wolves. There are some questions to be answered at power forward and Vonleh actually has the profile of the guy that they’d likely want Gorgui Dieng to become as a player who can actually space the floor playing next to Karl-Anthony Towns.
Injury History: Vonleh missed the last 13 games of the year because of a right ankle sprain and right foot bone bruise, though some of that may have been tank-related. In 2017-18 a sore right shoulder kept him out of the first seven games while he also suffered a dislocated finger and missed the final five games of the year with a calf strain. There’s moderate risk, but he’s definitely closer to no-risk than high-risk.
Outlook: If Vonleh can get 25 mpg again, which is entirely possible given the depth chart, then he’ll be a fine late-round target in standard formats. That said, it’s still more likely that he gets less playing time, which leaves him better suited to be taken in 16-team drafts unless we hear that he’ll be starting at power forward.Rui Hachimura (R)SF/PF, Washington Wizards
2018-19 Review: The first Japanese-born player ever selected in the first round, Hachimura averaged 19.7 points and 6.5 rebounds at Gonzaga last season but will need to work on his outside shot (316 over three seasons but .417 last year). His 0.9 steals and 0.7 blocks in over 30 minutes per game speak to some stat set work that needs to happen, but he’s a solid defender with a 7’2″ wingspan and a smooth mid-range jumper.
This Year: Hachimura’s NBA career got off to a strong start at Summer League, getting named to the SL Second Team with averages of 19.3 points, 7.0 rebounds and 1.7 blocks in three games. The Wizards don’t have a lot to work with at the forward spots and Hachimura may be in the driver’s seat for a starting spot. His main competition looks to be the one-dimensional Davis Bertans, so the rookie could end up with big minutes by the end of the year.
Injury History: There’s no injuries of note on Hachimura’s record.
Outlook: We’re inclined to trust the college numbers more than the Summer League ones, which means that Hachimura will likely have to overcome some stat set deficiencies if he is to deliver standard-league value in his first season. Considering the role that’s coming his way Hachimura can be treated as a late-round flier in 12-team leagues though we’d generally prefer to roll the dice on someone else.Harry GilesPF/C, Sacramento Kings
Total Value: 288 / 302 (8/9-cat)
Per-Game Value: 307 / 348 (8/9-cat)
Games Played: 58
2018-19 Review: Giles averaged 7.0 points, 3.8 rebounds, 1.5 assists, 0.5 steals and 0.4 blocks in 14.1 mpg in his first taste of NBA action. He’s a quality passer and the per-minute numbers are interesting, but it’s fair to wonder how long it’ll take him to get to the workload that turns interesting into productive. Dave Joerger’s reliance on Nemanja Bjelica prevented Giles from getting extensive run, even as the Kings faded in the playoff picture.
This Year: The Kings look ready to empower their young players a bit more, though their additions of Trevor Ariza, Dewayne Dedmon and Richaun Holmes are probably going to force Giles to earn it. Sacramento has been consistently high on Giles, even as he sat out his entire first season, so we’d expect him to get a fair shake even if it isn’t handed to him.
Injury History: Giles had surgery on his left knee in 2013 and on his right knee in 2015 — both for torn ligaments. He went for arthroscopic surgery on his left knee in 2016 before eventually debuting for Duke in what was mostly a lost season, averaging just 11.5 mpg. That led into a year on the shelf before Giles made his NBA debut last season. He missed the final 11 games with a left thigh contusion but the rest of his missed games were healthy DNPs.
Outlook: If you’re operating under the assumption that the Kings will carve out an opportunity for Giles to win a real rotation job, his per-minute numbers are intriguing enough that we can buy him becoming a top-250. That said, there are a lot of other players to work around and Giles, despite the potential, is just a deep-league roll of the dice.Jeff GreenSF/PF, Utah Jazz
Total Value: 103 / 106 (8/9-cat)
Per-Game Value: 135 / 126 (8/9-cat)
Games Played: 77
2018-19 Review: Green, firmly in the late-round-plodder stage of his career, was somehow able to emerge from the wreckage of Washington’s season with standard-league value and 27.3 mpg. He got a bit lucky with the timing of things as his best stretch came when Markieff Morris and Otto Porter were both hurt, though he didn’t fall totally off the map once Jabari Parker and Bobby Portis were acquired. It was rarely exciting, but at 12.3 points (.475 shooting), 4.0 rebounds, 1.8 assists, 0.6 steals, 0.5 blocks and 1.4 threes per game, it was enough to be worth your while.
This Year: The Jazz inked Green to a one-year deal in free agency, where he’ll fill a void at the power forward spot. He could even start at the position if the Jazz move Joe Ingles to the bench, and Green’s steady, low-maintenance game is the sort of stuff that coaches love even if fantasy players can take it or leave it. Even a starting role would likely come with a decline from last year’s playing time, though, as the Jazz have enough versatility that the veteran won’t need to push 30 towards 30 mpg.
Injury History: Green missed a couple games with back spasms and three towards the end of the season for rest purposes. Three of his four absences in 2017-18 were because of back soreness and he had some back issues in 2016-17, too. Green is getting further and further away from the heart condition that sticks out as the only serious ailment of his career, but he’ll probably sit a handful of games a year as he continues to age.
Outlook: We saw last year that Green has still got it, though the numbers basically came in a vacant power forward depth chart on a team with only one real scoring threat. While he’s still going to log minutes in the low-mid twenties, Green should go back to being a deep-league plodder and won’t be up for consideration until the very tail end of 16-team drafts.JaMychal GreenPF/C, Los Angeles Clippers
Total Value: 161 / 164 (8/9-cat)
Per-Game Value: 165 / 161 (8/9-cat)
Games Played: 65
2018-19 Review: Green was off to a fine start to his season in Memphis but fell off after the trade deadline. He held just top-180/190 value from February onward and was really only a low-end plus-contributor in rebounds and percentages. The fact that he went over 40 percent from deep is commendable, however, and Green has done well to adjust his game to the league’s needs.
This Year: The Clippers added a couple of guys who figure to be ahead of Green in the race for power forward minutes, though his shooting and rebounding will still help him hold a spot in the rotation. It’s hard to see him topping the 20-mpg mark, however.
Injury History: Green missed 12 games with a broken jaw and sat out three others with left knee soreness, though he dealt with that issue for a couple of weeks despite the limited absences. In 2017-18 he missed 12 games following a left ankle sprain, three with right knee soreness and five with a right ankle injury. He shouldn’t be as risky as his playing time dips and the jaw is fluky, so we aren’t too worried.
Outlook: Green’s likely going to dip out of the top-200 this season, but is a typical stretch four that will have stretches of usability in deeper formats.Davis BertansPF, Washington Wizards
Total Value: 154 / 132 (8/9-cat)
Per-Game Value: 201 / 171 (8/9-cat)
Games Played: 76
2018-19 Review: Bertans played 21.5 minutes a night for the Spurs last season and attempted 4.4 triples per game while knocking them down 42.9 percent of the time. The rest of his line was 8.0 points, 1.3 assists, 3.5 boards, 0.5 steals and 0.4 blocks. The big Latvian did set career-highs in games, starts and playing time but his production was very limited.
This Year: A trade to the rebuilding Wizards should benefit Bertans, who is expected to get more minutes than he would’ve as a role player on a team with aspirations of a deep playoff run. He will fill the same stretch four role but does have an outside chance at starting, so keep an eye on that throughout camp.
Injury History: Bertans missed two games with a concussion last season but has been healthy in the NBA otherwise. He did suffer two torn ACLs while playing in Spain but his knees haven’t given him trouble since.
Outlook: While it might look like Bertans is in line for another step forward in an expanded role, it’s worth noting that his .450 from the field and .883 from the line are likely to decline with significant increases in volume. We’d like to see him chip in more than threes before declaring him a flier, but you can treat Bertans as a top-200 option with upside.Nemanja BjelicaPF, Sacramento Kings
Total Value: 103 / 95 (8/9-cat)
Per-Game Value: 134 / 117 (8/9-cat)
Games Played: 77
2018-19 Review: Bjelica was all over the map last season, posting standard-league value early on before eventually falling out of the rotation. Bjelica put up career-highs in terms of games (77) and starts (70), as well as minutes (23.2), points (9.6), rebounds (5.8), assists (1.9), blocks (0.7), 3-pointers (1.3) and field goal percentage (.479). His 0.7 steals per game tied his previous best, too. It was a lot of streaks as opposed to consistent output, and he did eventually get benched as his defense became too poor to handle, but all in all it was a successful season. His run of top-75 play to open the year made late-draft gambles pay off across the fantasy landscape.
This Year: The Kings are trying to be good again, which means they’ve added better players at the forward spots and Bjelica is probably going to slip in the pecking order. There really isn’t a need for him to play 20-plus minutes again, though he’ll still have use in certain lineups as a floor-spacer.
Injury History: Bjelica missed one game due to illness and one more because of back tightness, with the other three absences coming from DNPs. In 2017-18 he missed 15 games with a left midfoot sprain after dealing with multiple ankle injuries and left foot surgery the year before.
Outlook: Bjelica might be lucky to crack the top-200 again. He could get near the top-175 if the Kings go all screwy with their rotation or get hit by a ton of injuries but Bjelica is safe to ignore until the 20-team range.Frank KaminskyPF/C, Phoenix Suns
Total Value: 307 / 305 (8/9-cat)
Per-Game Value: 291 / 293 (8/9-cat)
Games Played: 47
2018-19 Review: This year was somewhat of a step back for Kaminsky as he played fewer minutes and fewer points than he did the previous season. Kaminsky only attempted 6.3 shots per game which is a career-low for him and this was also the first season in which he didn’t start in a single game. He requested a trade after rotting on the bench for most of the first half but did manage to get into the mix over the last couple of weeks, including a run of top-120 numbers to close the year. Still, there weren’t many positives to take from Kaminsky’s fourth season.
This Year: Frank the Tank ended up in the desert, where he’ll try to carve out a steady role as a backup at the four and five spots. Unfortunately for him the Suns have a few promising young players at those spots and there are no guarantees that Kaminsky is a member of the rotation on opening night.
Injury History: Kaminsky’s absences last season were all of the DNP variety. The year prior he sat out as a result of a sore ankle and an illness and iIn 2016-17 he dealt with foot soreness and missed five games with a shoulder injury that was initially suspected to be season-ending. Kaminsky probably won’t get into 82 games but he’s not an injury risk.
Outlook: The out-of-position threes are a siren song but Kaminsky shouldn’t be on draft radars unless you’re dealing with a player pool of 300 and beyond.Gary ClarkPF, Houston Rockets
Total Value: 329 / 315 (8/9-cat)
Per-Game Value: 385 / 341 (8/9-cat)
Games Played: 51
2018-19 Review: Clark was part of the unknown crew that helped Houston get through early-season injuries, and his high motor stood out. He was able to end up with 2.9 points, 2.3 rebounds, 0.4 steals, 0.5 blocks and 0.8 threes in only 12.6 mpg across 56 appearances, but his .297 mark from the arc hurts his chances of success in the Rockets’ system.
This Year: Clark should see more minutes unless Houston finds a way to add to its forward depth before the season starts. Expect him to have put a ton of time into his 3-point shooting this summer.
Injury History: Clark’s got a clean injury history.
Outlook: Best case scenario, Clark plays enough to become a low-end source of cash counters in deeper leagues. If that’s his ceiling, you can probably take a good guess at his draft stock.Isaiah HartensteinPF, Houston Rockets
Total Value: 404 / 406 (8/9-cat)
Per-Game Value: 428 / 428 (8/9-cat)
Games Played: 28
2018-19 Review: Hartenstein led his squad to a G-League championship and won G-League Finals MVP, highlighting his ability to play against professional competition, though we didn’t really see him strut his stuff at the highest level.
This Year: At times Hartenstein looked too good for G-League competition last season, and it could be time for him to make the jump and be Houston’s third center.
Injury History: He popped up on the injury report with a left ankle sprain and right Achilles soreness but neither issue was serious. More pressing is the sprained right ankle that ended his Summer League early this year, though he says he’ll be ready for camp.
Outlook: There’s an interesting stat set here as Hartenstein can rebound, block shots and hit threes, but he’s only a deep dynasty option unless he can beat out Tyson Chandler in training camp.Wilson ChandlerSF/PF, Brooklyn Nets
Total Value: 272 / 268 (8/9-cat)
Per-Game Value: 252 / 248 (8/9-cat)
Games Played: 51
2018-19 Review: Chandler dealt with injuries in both legs last season and even a short stint as a starter after the Jimmy Butler trade couldn’t deliver anything worthwhile for fantasy purposes. He was traded to the Clippers and appeared in 15 games, scoring more than 10 points only twice.
This Year: Chandler is a decent fit as a guy who can take 15 mpg or so in a deep rotation but he’s clearly in decline, and asking him to play a serious role is just asking for trouble at this point.
Injury History: Chandler missed the start of the season recovering from a left hamstring injury and wound up missing over a month in total due to a strain in his right quad. The 32-year-old had actually been quite durable over the last three seasons before this past one. However, his milage and recent history can’t be ignored, giving him moderate risk heading into his first season in Brooklyn.
Outlook: Chandler’s stat set requires big minutes to produce meaningful fantasy numbers, and that’s just something that he won’t receive anymore as his NBA career reaches its twilight. Even if he ends up starting, Chandler isn’t a recommended fantasy target unless you’re in a league that runs 250 deep.
Update: Chandler has been suspended 25 games for PED usage and is even further off the fantasy radar now.Bruno CabocloPF, Memphis Grizzlies
Total Value: 295 / 289 (8/9-cat)
Per-Game Value: 172 / 167 (8/9-cat)
Games Played: 34
2018-19 Review: It took some time but Bruno arrived, clocking in in year five after being declared to be “two years away from being two years away” on draft night. Caboclo had career-highs in every relevant fantasy category for the Grizzlies as he was able to play big minutes for the first time in his career. He averaged 23.5 mpg in 34 games, even starting 19 of those contests. He had a few multi-cat nights that showcased his skills, and averages of 8.3 points, 1.4 threes, 4.6 rebounds, 0.4 steals and 1.1 blocks caught the attention of deep-league players. Bruno also put up 11.6 points, 2.1 treys, 6.3 boards, 1.9 assists, 0.5 steals and 0.9 blocks per contest over the season’s last 14 games, which was good for top-100 value to close the year.
This Year: Caboclo should open the season with the Grizzlies and be in the opening night rotation, which is no small feat given the winding career path he’s been on so far. He’s going to be in the mix for minutes at both forward spots though he will probably be forced into more of a small forward role given the players Memphis has at the four. We’re anticipating a dip from last season’s playing time with the other Grizzlies coming into the season healthy.
Injury History: Bruno’s stayed off the injury report so far.
Outlook: Caboclo clearly has a fun stat set and some dominant numbers at the G-League level, but we doubt his ability to stay on the fantasy radar if he ends up with 15 mpg. If he can stick around 20 minutes a night then there’s certainly appeal as a late-round option in 16-team formats but Bruno has the looks of a 20-team option with other Grizzlies pushing him for playing time.Mike ScottPF, Philadelphia Sixers
Total Value: 254 / 241 (8/9-cat)
Per-Game Value: 333 / 325 (8/9-cat)
Games Played: 79
2018-19 Review: Scott scuffled along as a deep bench player for the Clippers but got new life after being traded to the Sixers, where he jumped from 14.4 to 24.0 mpg and shot .412 from behind the arc. He basically checked into the games to fire up triples but it was good for top-260 value after the trade.
This Year: The Sixers re-signed Scott to fill a similar role this season. He’ll be used to help space the floor in bench groups but the offseason addition of Al Horford makes it tough to envision Scott getting a similar workload again.
Injury History: Scott was healthy through the regular season, missing only one game due to injury (back tightness). In the playoffs it was a different story as Scott sustained a right heel contusion and plantar fasciitis, though he was able to return in the second round and became Philly’s only viable option at backup center. He’s had some work done on his left knee in the past but he’s generally not an injury risk.
Outlook: Scott can offer up stretch four numbers that might be worth a look in 20-team leagues, though Philly’s improved frontcourt depth probably means he’s going to have to do more with less in terms of playing time.Moritz WagnerPF, Washington Wizards
Total Value: 363 / 382 (8/9-cat)
Per-Game Value: 403 / 431 (8/9-cat)
Games Played: 43
2018-19 Review: Wagner fell behind after a Summer League knee injury lingered into the regular season and he couldn’t really get on the floor until the Lakers completely folded up shop on the season. His rookie year delivered averages of 4.8 points, 2.0 rebounds, 0.3 steals, 0.3 blocks and 0.5 threes on .415 from the field in 10.4 minutes per night.
This Year: The Lakers moved Wagner to Washington in an effort to clear cap space, and the Wizards were happy to oblige. They’ll get their hands on a first-round pick as they look towards the future and Wagner should have every chance to carve out minutes as a backup four/five.
Injury History: Wagner suffered a bone contusion in his left knee at Summer League that prevented him from playing in the preseason and pushed his NBA debut out to mid-November. He’s been fairly healthy otherwise, with a foot/ankle injury the only thing appearing from his college days. It’s tough to assign Wagner too much risk but he’s not getting a pure green light.
Outlook: The Wizards should spend the year getting whatever they can out of their younger players, which means that Wagner could hold deep-league value if he ends up emerging as the top reserve in the frontcourt. Last year didn’t do much to help him develop, however, so this season could see a lot of Wagner learning the ropes. He’s only a dart throw in deep formats.Trey LylesPF, San Antonio Spurs
Total Value: 266 / 278 (8/9-cat)
Per-Game Value: 296 / 313 (8/9-cat)
Games Played: 63
2018-19 Review: Lyles popped up with top-200 value in 2017-18 as the fill-in for Paul Millsap but couldn’t recapture that form last year. His 3-point shooting completely collapsed as he fell from .381 to .255 and there really wasn’t a reason for the Nuggets to keep him on the floor once he started clanking everything.
This Year: The Spurs moved quickly to sign Lyles after Denver rescinded their qualifying offer, and he should be in the mix for stretch four minutes with Davis Bertans out of the picture. He’s an interesting upside gamble for San Antonio’s development staff to work with, and we’ve seen the Spurs get more out of less.
Injury History: Lyles missed 10 games with a left hamstring strain and two with a strained right wrist but the rest of his absences were DNPs.
Outlook: If Lyles can fix his shooting stroke, we’ve seen that he only needs 20 mpg to produce top-200 numbers. Keep an eye on the rotation in the preseason but know that his stat set has been pretty hollow to this point, whether the playing time has been there or not. A top-250 season would be a nice bounce-back so draft accordingly.Luka Samanic (R)PF, San Antonio Spurs
2018-19 Review: Samanic left the Barcelona program for Slovenia’s Petrol Olimpja last season, averaging 8.2 points and 5.0 rebounds while shooting 37 percent from deep. He has excellent athleticism and agility to go with a strong shooting stroke and an improving post game. There are concerns about his length and physicality, but the raw tools are there for Samanic to carve out a role as an offensive-minded big who can shoot, pass and get buckets on the inside.
This Year: It’s been said that Samanic wants to join the Spurs rather than stay in Europe, but if he does he’ll likely have to outplay Trey Lyles to get into the rotation. He has the looks of a developmental project for the Spurs and might not play much in his first NBA season.
Injury History: Samanic has stayed out of the infirmary to this point in his young career.
Outlook: There’s intriguing long-term potential given Samanic’s fun offensive toolbox but he’s just a deep dynasty target this season.Juancho HernangomezPF, Denver Nuggets
Total Value: 244 / 228 (8/9-cat)
Per-Game Value: 294 / 274 (8/9-cat)
Games Played: 70
2018-19 Review: Hernangomez set new career-highs with 70 games played, 25 games started and 19.4 mpg but saw a steep drop-off after the calendar flipped to January. In 2018, Hernangomez was a top-125 player averaging 10.2 points on 48.5 percent shooting with 5.8 rebounds, 1.7 triples, 0.5 steals and 0.5 blocks. In 2019, Hernangomez’s production fell off a cliff, as he barely ranked inside the top-450.
This Year: Hernangomez is going to be in the big bucket of crabs at the forward spots, though if he’s healthy he’s got enough of a versatile game to maybe put himself towards the front of the pack.
Injury History: Hernangomez suffered from a nasty bout of mono in 2017-18 and underwent core muscle surgery in May of 2019 after dealing with groin soreness as far back as January, though he’s currently expected to be ready for camp.
Outlook: Hernangomez has the tools to be a worthwhile fantasy player, but he’s going to struggle for the opportunity he needs to make good those skills. He’s only a late-round flier in deep leagues.Jonah BoldenPF, Philadelphia Sixers
Total Value: 299 / 298 (8/9-cat)
Per-Game Value: 202 / 267 (8/9-cat)
Games Played: 44
2018-19 Review: Bolden brought a fun game to the table and actually had top-60 value for a little bit after the break when Joel Embiid was sitting out, though overall he only averaged 13.3 mpg on the season. His G-League numbers of 15.3 points, 11.8 rebounds, 3.3 assists, 1.5 steals, 0.8 blocks and 2.3 triples while shooting 41.7 percent from the field and 34.6 percent from behind the arc in 31.0 minutes a night give a better sense of his stat set, but even in limited work Bolden’s emergence as a capable stretch big is a solid development for the Sixers.
This Year: The Sixers added Al Horford to the mix and re-signed Mike Scott, which will make it tough for Bolden to distinguish himself further despite an interesting toolbox of skills.
Injury History: Bolden dealt with left knee soreness over the closing stretch of the season and also missed time with a sore right Achilles and a small cortical crack in his right fibula. He’s not much of an injury risk despite the fancy medical terms on that last injury, as it only kept him out for a couple of weeks.
Outlook: There’s always room for more minutes when you’re backing up Joel Embiid, but when the Sixers are at full health Bolden might struggle to see the floor. The stat set gives him an edge over most of the detritus in the top-275 neighborhood but he’s still just a late-round dart in 20-team formats unless he emerges as a consistent role player in the preseason.Omari SpellmanPF, Golden State Warriors
Total Value: 297 / 291 (8/9-cat)
Per-Game Value: 269 / 252 (8/9-cat)
Games Played: 46
2018-19 Review: Spellman averaged 5.9 points, 4.2 rebounds, 0.6 steals, 0.5 blocks and 1.0 threes per game in 17.5 mpg in Atlanta last season after being selected with the 30th pick in the draft. His conditioning was an issue to start but he saw a healthy role out of the gate for a Hawks team that was panning for gold in all its young players.
This Year: The Warriors acquired Spellman in exchange for Damian Jones, swapping a better athlete with higher upside for a guy with better on-court tools that’s more likely to carve out a productive, albeit modest, NBA career. Spellman will likely be the fourth frontcourt player off the bench, with extra minutes heading his way when the Dubs need shooting.
Injury History: Spellman suffered a left ankle injury in early March that sidelined him for the majority of the second half of his debut season. The big man also missed eight games with right hip soreness. His conditioning will be a big factor in how healthy he stays this year.
Outlook: Spellman’s standout ability among the Warriors’ big men is his ability to shoot the three, and it could be his saving grace considering how shooting-averse the rest of his peers are. Unfortunately, that’s a skill that’s taken on less importance in the fantasy world as everyone and their mother has started uncorking longballs. Spellman can be treated as a flier in 20-team formats but anything beyond top-250 numbers would be surprising.Jake LaymanSF/PF, Minnesota Timberwolves
Total Value: 220 / 206 (8/9-cat)
Per-Game Value: 269 / 249 (8/9-cat)
Games Played: 71
2018-19 Review: Layman was one of the league’s most anonymous players heading into last season but became one of Portland’s most consistent options on the wings, even drawing 33 starts. His stats were modest but he averaged over 11 points per game in both January and February while throwing in some threes and blocks with great field goal percentage. It was definitely a career year for Layman, even if it didn’t register on most fantasy radars.
This Year: The Blazers added other options on the wings and dealt RFA Layman to Minnesota where he signed an affordable three-year, $11.5 million deal. Minnesota has a few options on the wings but Layman should be able to provide minutes in the teens with upside for more if he can outplay some people.
Injury History: Layman’s injury record holds nothing of significance.
Outlook: If everything breaks right Layman could end up with top-250 value overall and some stretches of startability in shallower formats but he’s not worth a draft pick outside of the deepest leagues.Michael Kidd-GilchristSF, Charlotte Hornets
Total Value: 244 / 230 (8/9-cat)
Per-Game Value: 271 / 253 (8/9-cat)
Games Played: 64
2018-19 Review: Last year seemed to be the one where the Hornets waved the white flag on Kidd-Gilchrist, who started a career-low three games and logged a career-low 18.4 minutes per game, which of course led to career-lows of 6.7 points and 3.8 boards per contest.
This Year: MKG has the physical profile of a guy who can be a defensive stalwart, and he’s had campaigns of intriguing steals and blocks numbers, but it just doesn’t look like it’ll come together in Charlotte. With Miles Bridges set to take over the wing position, there is less incentive to try and squeeze any more out of Kidd-Gilchrist than the team has already.
Injury History: Kidd-Gilchrist underwent surgery to repair a groin strain in June, and he missed time during the year because of a concussion (three games), left knee strain (two games) and a sprained right ankle (six games). Earlier in his career he battled serious shoulder issues, including a shoulder dislocation, labrum tear, surgery and re-tear of the same labrum.
Outlook: The best case scenario is that Kidd-Gilchrist recaptures his old form and approaches 1.0 steals and 1.0 blocks per game, though he’s highly unlikely to get the playing time to make it happen. Fantasy managers can consider MKG a top-275 option.Anthony TolliverPF, Portland Trail Blazers
Total Value: 293 / 284 (8/9-cat)
Per-Game Value: 352 / 332 (8/9-cat)
Games Played: 65
2018-19 Review: Tolliver, one of the league’s renowned Good Guys, was a steady hand amidst a tough year in Minnesota. He wasn’t able to capitalize on the Rob Covington injury given Minnesota’s other acquisitions and his place in the pecking order, averaging 16.6 minutes and 1.2 threes per night. Still, he was worth his weight in gold as a locker room guy.
This Year: Tolliver landed with the Blazers in free agency, which is a very nice spot as far as sleeper appeal is concerned. Portland lost its two starting forwards from last season and have plenty of questions at those spots. Zach Collins is expected to start at the four but other than that it’s just Tolliver and Mario Hezonja, with Tolliver the best bet for consistent floor-spacing and the guy most likely to have to check heavier opponents.
Injury History: There are a couple knee sprains on record but Tolliver was healthy last year and isn’t an injury risk heading into his 13th season.
Outlook: Tolliver’s game is pretty limited and the fact that threes are his easy path to fantasy value makes things hard, but he does have stretches of standard-league value under his belt in previous seasons. With his playing time expected to rise you can consider him a dart throw in 20-team leagues.Khem BirchPF, Orlando Magic
Total Value: 308 / 295 (8/9-cat)
Per-Game Value: 313 / 281 (8/9-cat)
Games Played: 50
2018-19 Review: Birch took full advantage of Mo Bamba’s injury and became the defensive anchor of Orlando’s second unit, fitting right in with the team identity under Steve Clifford. The early part of his season consisted entirely of garbage time but he hit the radar a bit after Bamba got hurt, averaging 6.3 points, 4.7 rebounds, 0.4 steals and 0.7 blocks in 15.2 mpg over the 29 contests in that stretch.
This Year: There was some low-key breakout potential with Birch entering the summer as an RFA on a team whose starting center could’ve left, but Nik Vucevic re-signed, Mo Bamba is expected to be healthy and Birch is now sitting third on the depth chart. He should be closer to the rotation after the way he played last season but it’s an uphill battle.
Injury History: Birch has been injury-free so far in his NBA career.
Outlook: It would take another injury or trade for Birch to get the playing time needed to produce even deep-league value, so despite the upside he’s only a consideration in the deepest of formats.Ed DavisPF/C, Utah Jazz
Total Value: 174 / 166 (8/9-cat)
Per-Game Value: 239 / 226 (8/9-cat)
Games Played: 81
2018-19 Review: Davis continued to deliver for his teams, giving the Nets a little strength and toughness up front. He increased his rebounds per-36 to 17.2, which was second to Hassan Whiteside among regular players. Despite only playing 17.9 minutes per game, Davis produced top-250 stats on a per-game basis on the back of his rebounding and shooting percentage. As luck would have it, Davis set career-highs in both at 8.6 per game and 61.6 percent despite a decline in playing time.
This Year: The fantasy community has to be a bit bummed that Davis landed in Utah, where their center doesn’t have any matchup limitations. Boss will remain an elite per-minute rebounder and a highly efficient, low-volume scorer, but his role could be even more limited behind Rudy Gobert.
Injury History: Davis’ only absence during the regular season was a rest day, though a sprained right ankle did knock him out of the playoffs. He missed four games because of a sprained right ankle in 2017-18 but the big thing in his record was surgery for a torn left labrum in 2016-17. Davis is pretty low-risk.
Outlook: Deep-league players can count on Davis for excellent rebounds and a strong field goal percentage and he’d be an excellent pickup if Rudy Gobert were to ever get hurt. A potential dip in playing time means that Davis might land closer to the top-250 than last season but he’s pretty solid.Jarrell MartinPF/C, Cleveland Cavaliers
Total Value: 397 / 391 (8/9-cat)
Per-Game Value: 454 / 445 (8/9-cat)
Games Played: 42
2018-19 Review: Martin flashed a little bit of offensive versatility and shooting touch but was buried in a deep Orlando frontcourt, only averaging 7.5 minutes a night.
This Year: The power forward spot isn’t exactly open in Cleveland, but Martin will at least have a chance to stick as a young-ish player with some untapped upside on a team that should be taking every lottery ticket they can find.
Injury History: Martin isn’t someone to worry about on the injury front.
Outlook: Even if Martin makes the opening night roster, it’d take quite a bit for him to become a viable fantasy play in leagues of any depth.Lance ThomasPF, Brooklyn Nets
Total Value: 364 / 361 (8/9-cat)
Per-Game Value: 409 / 410 (8/9-cat)
Games Played: 46
2018-19 Review: David Fizdale compared Thomas to Draymond Green in an early presser, which is unfortunate — poor Thomas will be remembered for that when he had nothing to do with the lunacy. He missed over a month after undergoing knee surgery and wasn’t always in the rotation. You know, just like Draymond.
This Year: Thomas latched on with the Nets just before camp opened, and he’ll be a depth forward if he makes the final roster.
Injury History: Thomas underwent arthroscopic knee surgery on his left knee in April after dealing with persistent soreness but was able to stay off the injury report after returning. In 2016-17 he missed time with a sore right hip, a sprained left ankle and facial fractures. In 2015-16 he suffered a concussion and a strained left MCL.
Outlook: While Thomas is a nice insurance pickup for Brooklyn, his fantasy impact is non-existent.Skal LabissierePF/C, Portland Trail Blazers
Total Value: 426 / 427 (8/9-cat)
Per-Game Value: 438 / 445 (8/9-cat)
Games Played: 22
2018-19 Review: Labissiere was an afterthought in Sacramento and remained such following a mid-season deal to the Blazers.
This Year: Labissiere could’ve factored into things with Jusuf Nurkic out but the acquisition of Hassan Whiteside pretty much ended any of those dreams. He has an outside shot at seeing spot minutes up front in the early going but we wouldn’t bet on him making the rotation grade.
Injury History: In 2017-18 he had a two-week absence due to a strained left shoulder, missed three games with a hip injury and sat out the final four games of the year with a rolled left ankle. Way back in his high school days he reportedly suffered a stress fracture of his L5 vertebrae but it hasn’t hit the radar since he turned pro. He’s not an injury risk given his standing in the rotation.
Outlook: Sadly, Skal’s skills look like they might not ever amount to anything after Sacramento abandoned him during crucial development years. He’s off the fantasy radar.Patrick PattersonPF, Los Angeles Clippers
Total Value: 340 / 334 (8/9-cat)
Per-Game Value: 429 / 421 (8/9-cat)
Games Played: 63
2018-19 Review: Patterson saw a career-low 13.7 mpg last season and fell out of the rotation entirely, with OKC going so far as to signing Markieff Morris off a neck injury to bolster their power forward depth.
This Year: The Thunder agreed to a buyout with 2Pat, who will look to win a title as one of the guys at the end of the bench on the Clippers. He’s a very nice piece to have as your 13th man and can provide stretch four minutes in a pinch, though his days of being an analytics darling with Toronto are very far in the rearview mirror at this point.
Injury History: Patterson had been mostly healthy until left knee problems dogged him in 2016-17. He’d end up missing 16 games with soreness, strains and contusions and underwent arthroscopic surgery in August of 2017. He managed to play in all 82 games in 2017-18, however, and didn’t pop up on the injury report aside from taking a shot to the nose last season.
Outlook: There’s no need to consider Patterson in fantasy.JaKarr SampsonPF, Indiana Pacers
Total Value: 424 / 414 (8/9-cat)
Per-Game Value: 31 / 19 (8/9-cat)
Games Played: 4
2018-19 Review: Sampson logged four appearances with the woeful Bulls last year and had some big games, averaging 20.0 points, 8.0 rebounds, 1.0 steals, 0.8 blocks and 1.3 three triples on .537 from the floor in 31.8 mpg. It all happened in silly season but this is the second straight year where Sampson has impressed in limited opportunity. In terms of players who made fewer than 10 appearances, Sampson ranked third in total value. That’s something, right?
This Year: After it looked like he was heading back to Shangdong, Sampson signed a one-year deal with the Pacers. It’s a nice get for a team that’s made some changes at the forward spots, and Sampson will have a chance to carve out end-of-bench minutes.
Injury History: Sampson has avoided significant injury to this point in his journeyman career.
Outlook: The track record of stats in brief stints on the floor makes Sampson a 30-team flier, though he’s probably going to struggle to play consistently. If things break right he’ll turn a huge profit, though.Semi OjeleyePF, Boston Celtics
Total Value: 391 / 389 (8/9-cat)
Per-Game Value: 465 / 459 (8/9-cat)
Games Played: 56
2018-19 Review: Ojeleye had no shot at making big strides given the Celtics’ depth last season. He ended up with 10.6 mpg in 56 games, a notable decline from his 15.8 mpg in 73 games as a rookie.
This Year: Ojeleye could be closer to minutes with some power forward types but still looks like a defensive specialist that only appears against certain opponents.
Injury History: Ojeleye has no real injury history worth discussing.
Outlook: We could see Brad Stevens call on Ojeleye a bit more for specific defensive matchups given the way the Celtics have thinned the herd, but there’s no reason to consider him outside of 30-team formats. Even then it might be a stretch.Ryan AndersonPF, Houston Rockets
Total Value: 443 / 448 (8/9-cat)
Per-Game Value: 473 / 480 (8/9-cat)
Games Played: 25
2018-19 Review: Remember when the Suns said they’d start Anderson at power forward? Fun times. They eventually traded him to Miami in a deal that got the Heat out of Tyler Johnson’s contract and he got a front row seat for the Dwyane Wade goodbye tour.
This Year: Anderson signed a partially-guaranteed deal with the Rockets in late September, though reports make it sound like it’s almost a lock that he’ll make the roster. Expect Anderson to play situational minutes as a floor-spacer.
Injury History: Anderson hit the injury report with a right hip flexor issue in October but he didn’t play enough to really get hurt. The year prior he missed time with hip and ankle issues and further back he’s had a sprained MCL and surgery for a herniated disc in his neck, as well as more minor dalliances with groin, back and ankle issues. Despite that, at this stage of his career it’s fair to call Anderson a pretty low-risk player in his limited minutes.
Outlook: If you need threes in a 30-teamer then you can toss out a dart, but it would take an injury or two to put Ryno in the sort of minutes that would deliver fantasy value.Georges NiangSF, Utah Jazz
Total Value: 338 / 335 (8/9-cat)
Per-Game Value: 419 / 409 (8/9-cat)
Games Played: 59
2018-19 Review: Niang appeared in a career-high 59 games last season, also setting a new personal best with 8.7 mpg. That pretty much tells the story though he is slowly working his way up the ladder.
This Year: The Jazz don’t have much in the way of proven power forward depth but Niang still figures to be on the outside looking in with the way Utah can now trot out smaller, stretchier lineups.
Injury History: Niang suffered a foot fracture in 2014 but doesn’t carry much injury risk in his limited role.
Outlook: There’s not much reason to consider Niang in any fantasy leagues.Mfiondu Kabengele (R)PF, Los Angeles Clippers
2018-19 Review: Kabengele averaged 13.5 points, 1.5 blocks and 0.6 threes per game in his sophomore season at Florida State and won ACC Sixth Man of the Year. He was selected 27th overall in the 2019 draft and offers impressive upside because of his length, size and motor.
This Year: Kabengele was able to post some gaudy lines at Summer League but also showed his weaknesses as a team defender. He’s going to need to master some finer points to see regular minutes for a Clippers squad that has lofty goals this season.
Injury History: Nothing to see here.
Outlook: Kabengele offers the threes-and-blocks profile that fantasy players love, but he’s unlikely to make a significant dent in the rotation for another year or so. Dynasty managers can speculate away but Kabengele is a very weak redraft target in any league.Abdel NaderPF, Oklahoma City Thunder
Total Value: 334 / 331 (8/9-cat)
Per-Game Value: 421 / 414 (8/9-cat)
Games Played: 61
2018-19 Review: Nader, a former G-League Rookie of the Year, existed mostly anonymously last season. He did average 14.1 mpg from January through March but didn’t do much in his minutes, though there were a handful of double-digit scoring nights in there.
This Year: The Thunder have completely remade their roster and Nader could be ready to assume a larger role off the bench, though it’s unlikely that he makes a serious impact.
Injury History: Nader dealt with some left knee soreness leading up to the season but his absences were almost all DNPs.
Outlook: If you want to take a shot at the end of 30-team drafts, be our guest.T.J. LeafPF, Indiana Pacers
Total Value: 341 / 325 (8/9-cat)
Per-Game Value: 420 / 401 (8/9-cat)
Games Played: 58
2018-19 Review: Leaf, a theoretical stretch four, shot just .258 from deep last season and has only averaged 8.8 minutes per game through his first 111 games. He had trouble cracking a deep frontcourt last season, clearly.
This Year: The departure of Thaddeus Young opens the door a crack and the Pacers really don’t have any 3-point shooters out of the four spot (assuming T.J. Warren plays primarily small forward), so it might be now or never for Leaf.
Injury History: Leaf dealt with a left ankle sprain at the beginning of the season and has had a series of minor ankle problems dating back to college but isn’t a serious injury risk.
Outlook: Leaf can be treated as a flier in 30-team leagues if you’re an optimist.Eric Paschall (R)PF, Golden State Warriors
2018-19 Review: Paschall was selected 41st overall after completing a four-year college career at Villanova, where he posted 16.5 points, 6.1 rebounds, 2.1 assists, 0.7 steals, 0.5 blocks and 1.9 threes in his final season. He impressed given his toughness and defensive abilities, and is the sort of player that often outworks his opponents to get the job done.
This Year: Paschall is an explosive athlete that can guard smaller opponents. He brings a certain intensity to the game that caught a lot of scouts’ eyes, and he makes for a nice developmental project with an organization that has a nice history of turning hard-working, versatile big men into NBA assets.
Injury History: Paschall missed a Summer League tilt with a tailbone injury but there’s nothing of concern here.
Outlook: The Warriors aren’t overflowing with depth but it would still be surprising if Paschall saw much action in year one. He’s not a recommended fantasy target.Nicolo Melli (R)PF, New Orleans Pelicans
2018-19 Review: Melli posted modest averages of 7.3 points, 4.3 rebounds, 1.6 assists, 0.9 steals and 0.6 blocks per game in EuroLeague competition but did lead powerhouse Fenerbahce in scoring in the Finals and shot north of 40 percent from deep for the fourth straight season. He’s a heady player who makes good decisions on both ends of the floor and has more to offer than a straight stretch four game, though that’s probably what the Pelicans will be looking for above all else this year.
This Year: Melli is going to be in the bucket of crabs vying for minutes at the bottom of the Pelicans’ rotation. There are a lot of ways for it to go but his shooting and decision-making could set him apart depending on how cramped the floor ends up being with the rotation locks. It’s not a sure thing that Melli will get consistent minutes, but he plays a style that makes him likely to get some love from coaching staffs.
Injury History: Melli underwent knee surgery in July but it’s expected to be minor and all indications are that he’ll be ready for camp.
Outlook: Deep-league players can consider Melli a late-round option for some typical stretch four numbers, but his profile isn’t one that necessarily screams out “fantasy contributor,” especially in the minutes that he’s likely to receive.D.J. WilsonPF, Milwaukee Bucks
Total Value: 316 / 309 (8/9-cat)
Per-Game Value: 316 / 304 (8/9-cat)
Games Played: 48
2018-19 Review: Wilson was like the rest of the Young Bucks in that he was able to form a startup wrestling promotion with his friends…. er, I mean step up with some notable lines when the starters were resting, but didn’t bring much to the table beyond 4.6 rebounds and 1.0 threes per game.
This Year: Nikola Mirotic’s departure will open up some power forward minutes for Wilson, but power forward wasn’t exactly a position of weakness for Milwaukee considering they have the reigning MVP on the roster. Wilson’s easiest pathway to minutes would be outplaying Ersan Ilyasova in camp, so keep an eye out on that one.
Injury History: Wilson missed a few games with a left hip pointer and dealt with a left ankle sprain in the postseason but shouldn’t be viewed as an injury risk.
Outlook: Wilson could take on added importance as the Bucks get increasingly top-heavy but he would only be a late-round player in the deepest of leagues if he made any impact at all.P.J. Washington (R)PF, Charlotte Hornets
2018-19 Review: Washington led Kentucky in scoring as a sophomore and showed a vastly improved jumper, also displaying improved instincts as a playmaker and defender. He ended up averaging 15.2 points, 7.5 rebounds, 1.8 assists, 0.8 steals, 1.2 blocks and 0.9 threes while shooting .522 from the field in his last season as a Wildcat, earning First-Team All-SEC honors.
This Year: Washington’s exceptional length and well-rounded game paints him as a long-term contributor at the forward spots for Charlotte, though he’ll likely be boxed into the power forward spot until he improves his 3-point shooting. Unfortunately, Mitch Kupchak has already said that all of the team’s rookies would spend time in the G-League this season, which makes us believe that Washington won’t be a significant member of the rotation to start and will need to play his way into the conversation.
Injury History: Washington suffered a left foot injury in college that kept him out of Summer League, but there is nothing else of note on his record. He’s expected to be ready for training camp.
Outlook: There’s an opportunity for Washington to get into the rotation at power forward, but between Miles Bridges owning those minutes and the way the Hornets have developed their rookies slowly of late, we wouldn’t bet on seeing a lot of him until later in the season. He’s a weak redraft selection despite the potential.Amile JeffersonPF, Orlando Magic
Total Value: 449 / 437 (8/9-cat)
Per-Game Value: 429 / 405 (8/9-cat)
Games Played: 12
2018-19 Review: Jefferson didn’t make much impact at the NBA level but continued to play well against lesser competition. He dominated in the G-League, finishing with 18.0 points, 11.3 rebounds, 3.8 assists, 0.8 steals and 0.7 blocks per game on .583 from the field a year after leading the circuit in boards.
This Year: Jefferson had some big games in Summer League but was forced to settle for a two-way contract on a team that’s pretty set up front.
Injury History: All clear.
Outlook: Jefferson isn’t on the fantasy radar this year but could be a 30-team target if he landed with another organization.Alize JohnsonPF, Indiana Pacers
Total Value: 496 / 486 (8/9-cat)
Per-Game Value: 509 / 503 (8/9-cat)
Games Played: 14
2018-19 Review: Johnson only saw 36 minutes at the NBA level but fared well in the G-League, averaging 19.2 points, 13.5 rebounds, 3.5 assists, 0.9 steals, 0.5 blocks and 1.2 threes in 36.7 minutes a night.
This Year: Johnson had a fantastic Summer League, showcasing the high-energy game that attracted the Pacers to him in the first place. He’ll have an opportunity to play his way into the rotation, though he’ll be at the end of it barring injury.
Injury History: Johnson hit the injury report with a sore left hip but isn’t a risk for substantial absences.
Outlook: If Johnson can carve out work as a third power forward, he’ll have some appeal as a rebounding specialist in extremely deep leagues. The vast majority of fantasy players won’t need to give him any thought, though.Isaiah Roby (R)PF, Dallas Mavericks
2018-19 Review: The Mavs selected Roby with the 45th pick in the draft, nabbing a 3-and-D prospect who put up interesting defensive stats in college. Roby averaged 2.4 blocks and 1.6 steals per 40 minutes in his last college season and checked opponents and multiple positions.
This Year: The Mavs signed him to a four-year, $6.7 million deal and Roby will carry a $1.5 million cap hit in the first year of the deal, which is the largest salary in NBA history for a college player selected in round two. He has the looks of a developmental project for Dallas, and the organization figures to spend a lot of time improving his offensive game. The defensive abilities are already there and give him a role-player floor in the future. Don’t expect to see him play a ton with the big club.
Injury History: Roby suffered a groin injury in 2018 and picked up a minor finger issue at Summer League but isn’t an injury risk.
Outlook: The steals and blocks are highly interesting out of a wing spot, so hopefully Roby gets his 3-point shot to the point where he can stay on the floor in the NBA. He’s only an option in the deepest of dynasty leagues.Chuma Okeke (R)PF, Orlando Magic
2018-19 Review: Okeke put up 12.0 points, 6.8 boards, 1.9 dimes, 1.8 steals, 1.2 blocks and 1.4 triples per game for Auburn last season before suffering a torn left ACL in the NCAA tournament. He earned strong reviews for his athleticism and versatile game out of the forward spots, with burgeoning potential as a 3-point shooter.
This Year: The Magic raised some eyebrows by selecting Okeke 16th overall in the draft and figure to take their time with his recovery. He’ll give the team another athletic, intriguing forward to work with once he gets healthy and though it was expected that he’d be able to take the floor this season the Magic ultimately decided to redshirt him this season.
Injury History: Okeke tore his left ACL in the Sweet Sixteen and will not be taking the court when the season opens.
Outlook: The college numbers point to a well-rounded game that still has room to improve, but Okeke is off the radar in redraft formats this season.Grant Williams (R)PF, Boston Celtics
2018-19 Review: Williams posted 18.8 points, 7.5 rebounds, 3.2 assists, 1.1 steals, 1.5 blocks and 0.4 triples per game as a junior at Tennessee, shooting a sterling .564 from the field. He was a consensus All-American and won his second straight SEC Player of the Year award while also finishing as a finalist for the Wooden Award. Williams fell to the Celtics at No. 22 and has been regarded as one of the more NBA-ready prospects in this year’s class given his basketball IQ,
This Year: The only thing that could hold Williams back in year one is his 3-point shooting. It was something he worked on in Summer League, but his .291 mark from three years of college ball simply has to improve if Williams is to deliver on his potential as the answer at power forward. Other than that it certainly looks like he has the suite of skills to make an impact in year one, and the uncertainty about the frontcourt rotation beyond Enes Kanter means that there’s a chance for Williams to assert himself as a key player early in his career.
Injury History: Williams played last season injury-free, and is not a risk heading into his first season.
Outlook: Should Williams emerge with minutes in the high teens or low twenties, he has enough of a well-rounded game to put him on the map in deep leagues. That case gets even easier to make if his defensive stats carry over from college, though opponents may force him to prove his quickness and agility in space to draw him out of the comfort zone. Williams is an intriguing dynasty option with an outside shot at fantasy relevance in year one.Michael BeasleyPF, Detroit Pistons
Total Value: 389 / 394 (8/9-cat)
Per-Game Value: 364 / 389 (8/9-cat)
Games Played: 26
2018-19 Review: Beasley joined the Meme Team out in Los Angeles to predictable result, eventually getting traded to the Clippers and bought out before spending the rest of his season in China.
This Year: That looked to be the end of Beasley’s NBA career but he passed up more lucrative offers to take a one-year deal with the Pistons. Markieff Morris, Christian Wood and Thon Maker are all looking for minutes in the frontcourt and we can’t imagine that Beasley sees the floor outside of situations where Detroit is dying for scoring. They could have him in the mix at small forward even if it’s not his best fit given his below-average 3-point game. He’s also facing a five-game suspension for violating the league’s anti-drug policy.
Injury History: In 2016-17 he missed a big chunk of time after hyperextending his left knee (which he also did in 2015) and suffered a foot injury. There are similar, smaller injuries in his past but we’re not too concerned about his health. Last season he missed a big chunk of time when his mother fell ill and passed away but that was the only thing that kept him away from the court.
Outlook: Beasley might attract some gamblers at the end of 30-team drafts but we’re not expecting him to hold a significant role for the Pistons unless Blake Griffin gets hurt.
Update: Beasley has been waived by the Pistons, so his NBA career is back on the ropes.Malcolm MillerPF, Toronto Raptors
Total Value: 460 / 451 (8/9-cat)
Per-Game Value: 459 / 441 (8/9-cat)
Games Played: 10
2018-19 Review: Miller was on track to make the roster this year before suffering a torn right labrum in Summer League. The organization likes his game (he made starts for the big club in 2017-18) and kept him around, eventually signing him to a two-year deal when their trade deadline moves required some signings to hit the roster minimum.
This Year: While Miller will still need to survive the guarantee date on his contract, he seems likely to make it given the way the team has groomed his 3-and-D game and the resources they’ve invested in his development already. He’ll be competing for minutes with guys like Stanley Johnson and Patrick McCaw, and his shooting is probably the only path to the top.
Injury History: Miller tore the right labrum in his shoulder in a nasty fall at Summer League in 2018. He also underwent right ankle surgery in July of 2017.
Outlook: Should he end up in the rotation, Miller might be able to crack the top-300 if his shots drop. He’s a weak fantasy target.Jarrell Brantley (R)PF, Utah Jazz
2018-19 Review: Brantley, a 6’7” forward with a 7’1” wingspan, put up impressive averages of 19.4 points, 8.4 rebounds, 2.4 assists, 1.4 steals, 0.9 blocks and 1.2 threes per game in his final season at the College of Charleston. His jump shot was a work in progress but the Jazz took the plunge at pick No. 50 on the back of his strength and agility.
This Year: Brantley only appeared in two Summer League games but has inked a two-way contract. Don’t expect to see much of him with the Jazz this season.
Injury History: Brantley was knocked out of Summer League after two appearances because of right hamstring tightness but shouldn’t miss any time.
Outlook: Dynasty managers can keep an eye on Brantley’s G-League progress this season but he’s hands-off in redraft formats.Chimezie MetuPF, San Antonio Spurs
Total Value: 449 / 461 (8/9-cat)
Per-Game Value: 494 / 501 (8/9-cat)
Games Played: 29
2018-19 Review: The 49th pick in the 2018 draft, Metu averaged 5.0 minutes per game in 20 inconsequential appearances as a rookie.
This Year: There might be space for Metu on the roster as an undersized third center or third power forward, but he figures to be tucked away at the very end of the bench.
Injury History: Metu broke his left wrist before training camp last season and was kept out of this past Summer League after undergoing a procedure to drain an abscess in his right foot.
Outlook: Metu might be able to hack it as San Antonio’s third center but there/s nothing that fantasy owners will have to monitor.Zylan Cheatham (R)PF, New Orleans Pelicans
2018-19 Review: Cheatham spent his last college season at Arizona State after transferring from San Diego State. He averaged 12.1 points, 10.3 rebounds, 3.2 assists, 0.8 steals, 0.8 blocks and 0.3 triples in 32.4 mpg, shooting .534 from the field in the process. He’s drawn praise for his motor and is always using that in tandem with his athleticism and physical profile (6’8” with a 7’1” wingspan) to stay involved on both ends of the court. He can guard multiple positions and even got some run as a small-ball center.
This Year: The Pelicans signed Cheatham to a two-way contract this summer and he’ll look to develop further in the G-League and become a factor in the power forward rotation. His strengths of rebounding and defensive versatility are things that the Pelicans need, but the current PF depth chart is a bit crowded and he wouldn’t be looking at major minutes anyway, even if his contract gets converted to a standard deal at some point.
Injury History: Cheatham had to redshirt his first college season after he broke the fifth metatarsal in his foot as a high school senior but hasn’t dealt with any injuries of note since.
Outlook: If Cheatham cracks the roster he could be a deep-league rebounding specialist but we’re not expecting much more than that in year one. He’s not really on the fantasy radar.Tyler LydonPF, Sacramento Kings
Total Value: 461 / 463 (8/9-cat)
Per-Game Value: 504 / 495 (8/9-cat)
Games Played: 25
2018-19 Review: Lydon didn’t show much progress last season, averaging 3.8 minutes in his 25 games. That means he played just 94 minutes in his sophomore season, bumping his career total up to 96. The 6’10” forward has yet to block a shot in the NBA and has four career 3-pointers.
This Year: Lydon’s buried behind a deeper frontcourt mix than he encountered in Denver, somehow.
Injury History: The former first-rounder was placed in the concussion protocol last season but there are no other relevant injuries.
Outlook: Don’t bother.Jalen McDaniels (R)PF, Charlotte Hornets
2018-19 Review: McDaniels saw his usage jump from 18.3 to 28.7 in his second and final season at San Diego State, yielding a stat line of 15.9 points, 8.3 rebounds, 2.1 assists, 1.1 steals, 0.5 blocks and 0.7 3-pointers per game. He’s a rangy athlete with defensive upside given his length, and the Hornets took a shot on him with the 52nd pick in the draft.
This Year: Expect McDaniels to do a lot of his work with Greensboro in the G-League, though his abilities as a rim-runner and athletic finisher give the Hornets some dynamics that they don’t currently have on the roster.
Injury History: There are no injuries of note on McDaniels’ record.
Outlook: There’s no reason to draft McDaniels in any fantasy leagues next season.Duncan RobinsonPF, Miami Heat
Total Value: 450 / 443 (8/9-cat)
Per-Game Value: 451 / 443 (8/9-cat)
Games Played: 15
2018-19 Review: Robinson inked a two-way deal after going undrafted out of Michigan but didn’t play much, only seeing 125 minutes total prior to logging 36 on the final night of the season. He averaged 21.4 points per game on 48.3% shooting from beyond the arc for the Heat’s G-League team, which is solid, but there might not be much room left to grow as he’s already 25.
This Year: The Heat are hard-capped because of their sign-and-trade for Jimmy Butler, which means Robinson will be kept around as cheap roster filler on a team that needs to pinch every penny it can. He has an outside chance at minutes but is probably the guy right at the end of the bench.
Injury History: Nada.
Outlook: Robinson can be ignored in all fantasy formats.Dean Wade (R)PF, Cleveland Cavaliers
2018-19 Review: Wade wrapped up a four-year run at Kansas State, delivering 12.9 points, 6.2 rebounds, 2.8 assists, 0.8 steals, 0.5 blocks and 0.9 threes per game while going .492 from the field. He has a good collection of post moves in addition to a strong shooting stroke — he’s been above 40 percent from deep in each of the last three seasons, though not on significant volume — and is a smart offensive player.
This Year: The true D-Wade signed a two-way deal with the Cavs. He 8.8 points, 5.0 rebounds, 3.5 assists, and 2.0 steals in 27.9 minutes per game with Cleveland at Summer League and took full advantage of the Cavs missing their higher-profile rookies.
Injury History: The big man suffered a couple right foot injuries in his senior season but his Summer League play is reassuring from a health perspective.
Outlook: Wade, like most two-way players, isn’t on draft radars. The Cavs offer up unique circumstances, however, and if they deal with as many injuries as last year or trade Kevin Love then Wade might ping on the radar in deeper formats.Kostas AntetokounmpoPF, Los Angeles Lakers
Total Value: 519 / 524 (8/9-cat)
Per-Game Value: 519 / 527 (8/9-cat)
Games Played: 2
2018-19 Review: The Mavs made Antetokounmpo Mr. Irrelevant in the 2018 draft and he only saw action in two games, both coming in late March. While it’s unfortunate that his career moves will always be seen, to some extent, as teams trying to curry favor with big bro Giannis, Antetokounmpo clearly needed more seasoning. He did manage 10.6 points, 6.2 rebounds, 1.0 steals and 1.3 blocks in 40 G-League games.
This Year: The Lakers claimed Antetokounmpo off waivers from Dallas and signed him to a two-way contract. He might get into more than two games but we’d be surprised if he made a big leap from last season’s 5.5 mpg.
Injury History: Antetokounmpo missed a couple games with left knee soreness but there’s no risk at play here.
Outlook: We can probably write Antetokounmpo off draft boards for the next couple of seasons, but we’ll be keeping an eye on his development.Alen Smailagić (R)PF, Golden State Warriors
2018-19 Review: Smailagic actually spent last season with the Santa Cruz Warriors in the G-League and was the youngest player in the league, so the Warriors were certainly familiar with him when they traded for the 39th pick. He averaged 9.1 points, 4.0 rebounds, 0.9 steals, 0.9 blocks and 0.4 threes in 17.4 mpg with the G-League Dubs.
This Year: Smailagic is still a bit raw and shouldn’t be expected to see extensive time at the NBA level despite a good shooting, footwork and an overall solid skill level.
Injury History: Nothing to see here.
Outlook: Smailagic is a long-term play in deep dynasty leagues but can be ignored in all redraft formats unless he blows the doors off in camp.Henry EllensonPF, Brooklyn Nets
Total Value: 404 / 399 (8/9-cat)
Per-Game Value: 355 / 337 (8/9-cat)
Games Played: 19
2018-19 Review: Formerly a 12th-overall selection, Ellenson was let go by the Pistons to make space for Wayne Ellington. He would sign on with the Knicks and make 17 appearances but they were largely inconsequential, though there were a few big-minute games down the stretch when the Knicks were sitting anyone who could help them win basketball games.
This Year: Ellenson was with New York in Summer League but ended up signing a two-way deal with Brooklyn. He’ll serve as power forward depth during his NBA days.
Injury History: Ellenson suffered a fractured nose and missed over a month with a left ankle injury.
Outlook: If Ellenson can keep up his .447 3-point shooting from last season, or at least get around his .353 career average, he might provide enough as a stretch four to earn a role that delivers 30-team value. We wouldn’t bet on it though.Johnathan MotleyPF, Los Angeles Clippers
Total Value: 434 / 445 (8/9-cat)
Per-Game Value: 460 / 470 (8/9-cat)
Games Played: 22
2018-19 Review: Motley appeared in a career-high 22 games with the Clippers, though he couldn’t replicate his random success at the end of Dallas 2017-18 season with the Clippers actually fighting for a playoff berth.
This Year: The Clippers, who initially traded for Motley, re-signed him to another two-way contract. He’s going to fill the same emergency depth role for a team that has rounded out its power forward group nicely.
Injury History: We didn’t find any significant injuries in Motley’s history.
Outlook: Motley shouldn’t be drafted in any fantasy leagues.Udonis HaslemPF, Miami Heat
Total Value: 493 / 496 (8/9-cat)
Per-Game Value: 505 / 505 (8/9-cat)
Games Played: 10
2018-19 Review: Haslem appeared in 10 games and played 74 minutes all of last season, with 30 of them coming in the finale when Miami had been eliminated from the playoffs.
This Year: It looked like UD was headed for retirement but he’s back for what could possibly be his final season. He’s insisted that he wants to actually play but that’s not going to happen in Miami.
Injury History: There’s probably something way back but Haslem hasn’t been a rotation guy in four seasons so there’s no risk.
Outlook: C’mon now.Anthony BennettPF, Houston Rockets
2018-19 Review: Bennett spent last season with the Agua Caliente Clippers of the G-League, posting 12.24 points, 4.4 rebounds, 1.2 assists, 0.9 steals, 0.4 blocks and 2.1 3-pointers in 20.9 mpg across 25 contests.
This Year: Out of the NBA since 2016-17, the former top pick inked a non-guaranteed deal with the Rockets. It’s a fine upside gamble for Houston as they’re running a thin roster and can afford to take a shot like this.
Injury History: Bennett dealt with a shoulder injury in his last year at college but that didn’t prevent him from being taken first overall in 2013.
Outlook: It’d be a cool story if Bennett completed the comeback, but there’s no fantasy impact.Tyler LydonPF, Sacramento Kings
Total Value: 461 / 463 (8/9-cat)
Per-Game Value: 504 / 495 (8/9-cat)
Games Played: 25
2018-19 Review: Lydon didn’t show much progress last season, averaging 3.8 minutes in his 25 games. That means he played just 94 minutes in his sophomore season, bumping his career total up to 96. The 6’10” forward has yet to block a shot in the NBA and has four career 3-pointers.
This Year: Lydon’s buried behind a deeper frontcourt mix than he encountered in Denver, somehow.
Injury History: The former first-rounder was placed in the concussion protocol last season but there are no other relevant injuries.
Outlook: Don’t bother.Tyler Cook (R)PF, Denver Nuggets
2018-19 Review: Cook showcased his quickness and great leaping ability in his third season at Iowa. He can overpower opposing small forwards while capably defending larger players down low. Cook debated leaving for the NBA after his sophomore season but returned to post 14.5 points, 7.6 rebounds, 2.4 assists, 0.7 steals and 0.5 blocks on .510 from the field. Cook has hit just 3-of-21 threes in his college career, so his offensive game is limited.
This Year: The Nuggets signed Cook to a two-way contract. With Paul Millsap and Jerami Grant owning those minutes, plus capable reserves behind them, there isn’t going to be a lot of playing time available for Cook.
Injury History: Cook missed about three weeks after fracturing his right index finger with Iowa and then suffered a high ankle sprain during a draft workout in early June that kept him out of Summer League.
Outlook: There’s no need to monitor Cook in any fantasy leagues this year.Wenyen GabrielPF, Sacramento Kings
2018-19 Review: Gabriel signed a two-way contract with the Kings last summer after going undrafted following two seasons at Kentucky. In 20.7 minutes per game in the G-League he averaged 10.1 points, 6.6 rebounds, 0.5 steals and 1.1 blocks per game.
This Year: Gabriel, much like last year, will be looking to crack a deep frontcourt rotation that is unlikely to have room for him. He had a solid showing at Las Vegas Summer League with averages of 13.5 points, 6.8 rebounds and 2.0 blocks per contest.
Injury History: We didn’t find any significant injuries in Gabriel’s history.
Outlook: There’s no reason to draft Gabriel in any leagues.