A fantasy basketball roundtable discussion.
What happens when you combine sports and fantasy? Here’s a roundtable of NBA writers discussing what makes the upcoming season unique.The NBA season is over, and time for fantasy basketball! Join us as we discuss the biggest news from this past season. Topics will include: Kyle Lowry’s potential departure, the Kyrie Irving trade rumors, James Harden’s ability to lead a team without Chris Paul or Russell Westbrook , and much more.
The “fantasy basketball positions” is a roundtable discussion of the most important fantasy basketball players for the 2018/2019 season.
We’ve only been playing fantasy basketball for two weeks, but it’s already easy to see some draft-day duds.
Eric Karabell, Andre Snelllings, Eric Moody, Jim McCormick, and John Cregan, our fantasy specialists, came together to talk about some of the things that have stood out to them thus far.
Which players have surprised you the most in the first few weeks of the season?
Charlotte’s Miles, Karabell Bridges have to be at the top of the list. We knew he was more than just a spectacular dunker, but he’s showing real indications of being able to double his scoring average in the long run. Bridges is making a lot of three-pointers, but his total field goal % is the same as last year. How did we go so long without noticing this? Well, odds are the Hornets were surprised as well, so don’t feel terrible. Bridges may average about 20.0 points and 7.0 rebounds per game, but with the steals, 3-pointers, and outstanding shooting, he’s a top-20 fantasy option, something no one anticipated.
Miles Bridges and Cole Anthony, for sure. McCormick: Bridges is presently ranked second on the Player Rater and has risen to statistical stardom for Charlotte in an unexpected way. Bridges brings great defensive rates and tenacious rebounding to the court most nights, even as he’s settled in as a scorer. Meanwhile, Anthony has just established himself as the Magic’s go-to scorer and, through two weeks, is among the league’s top rebounding guards. Despite the fact that I didn’t aggressively chase either in drafts this season, there are characteristics in both production profiles that indicate their separate jumps are legitimate. If they aren’t evident enough, how about Kyle Kuzma averaging a double-double every night for the Wizards? Kuzma’s rebounding potential and the roster’s makeup imply he may be a unique rebounding supplier. Because when we hear Kuzma’s name, we immediately think of Dennis Rodman.
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Cregan: In the long run, everything hinges on Jimmy Butler’s health, but picking him in the late second round is looking well thus far. Butler was my pick despite the Heat’s history of injury red flags for two reasons: his underappreciated late-career efficiency rise (PER since 2018-19: 19.8, 23.6, 26.5, 30.3) and anecdotal evidence that this is a “all-in” season. I’m not a fan of taking chances with top-20 choices, but the Heat’s actions leading up to this season screamed of a go-for-broke mentality. And what about the athletes who tend to be harmed more than others because they play with a certain reckless abandon? In such situations, I’ve seen that they tend to pace themselves a little more. So I’m projecting Butler to play 70-72 games, which would put him in the early second round.
Snellings: That Dejounte Murray would fill the scoring gap created by LaMarcus Aldridge’s late-season departure and DeMar DeRozan’s offseason trade, catapulting him into the top-20 fantasy producers in the league. Murray’s statistics from last season, my projections for him, and his actual stats for this season are as follows:
Last season, he averaged 15.7 points per game, 7.1 rebounds per game, 5.4 assists per game, and 0.9 three-point attempts per game. 18.8 PPG, 7.6 RPG, 6.1 APG, 1.2 3PG projections 17.6 PPG, 7.6 RPG, 8.4 APG, 1.4 3PG this season
So far, I’ve somewhat over-estimated his scoring improvement at the price of his real distribution improvement, but the total package has been quite comparable to forecasts. As a result, Murray has produced at a top-two round value.
McCormick: In Toronto, it’s OG Anunoby’s ascension as a solid 3-and-D contributor. Anunoby is already averaging over 20.0 points per game on a Raptors club that is ready to use him as a wing scorer. He also has great rebounding and defensive numbers to go along with a solid fantasy profile. I had hoped that Anunoby would eventually live up to the fantasy geeks’ expectations, and this season seems to be the season when his potential and output meet.
For OG Anunoby, everything seemed to be falling into place. Frank Franklin II/AP Photo
Karabell: Despite the acquisition of true point guard Kemba Walker, Knicks star Julius Randle would continue to pile up the assists. To be fair, Walker looks to be in good shape and is making a lot of 3-pointers, as well as being aggressive on defense with steals, but this offense still revolves on Randle. Walker is the only Knick that comes close to averaging four assists per game. Randle should not have been available at a bargain on selection day.
“fantasy basketball weekly lineup” is a roundtable discussion of the best players in the NBA. The article discusses some of the top players in the league, and their matchups for this week.
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