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HOU (G, PG, SG)
G
79
Min
35.1
PTS
29.9
REB
5.4
AST
8.7
STL
1.7
BLK
0.7
3PT
3.6
In an effort to craft a super team to matchup with the Golden State Warriors, the Rockets made a splash and traded for Chris Paul prior to the 2017-18 campaign. There were concerns that Paul's presence could hinder Harden's overall Fantasy value by forcing him to play off the ball, but Harden still wound up putting up monster numbers and was one of the top Fantasy options all year. As expected, his assists per game fell from 11.2 in 2016-17 to just 8.8, which was a direct result of Paul playing the facilitator. His rebounding also took a hit, but was still 5.4 boards per game, which is more than solid production for a guard. On the other hand, Harden took yet another step forward as a scorer, averaging a league-high 30.4 points per game, while also increasing his efficiency across the board to 44.9 percent from the field and 36.7 percent from beyond the arc, which also may have been a result of Paul's ability to take on defenders and create more open looks for Harden. In addition to his league-leading per game scoring, Harden finished fourth in assists and second behind only Steph Curry in three-pointers made (3.7). The only real downfall was that Harden did miss a handful of weeks due to a hamstring injury, which limited him to 72 total games and was the first time in three years that he missed more than just one contest. All of that production allowed Harden to pick up league MVP honors for the first time in his career, while he nabbed his sixth straight All-Star game appearance and was named All-NBA First Team for the fourth time. The Rockets' roster did change a bit this offseason. Most notably, Corey Brewer and Luc Richard Mbah a Moute departed. On the other hand, the Rockets brought in Carmelo Anthony, who adds yet another scorer to a team that loves to play at a quick pace and fire up shots. There's a belief that Anthony ends up coming off the bench, so he shouldn't really impact Harden's usage at all. As a result, look for Harden and Paul to run the show. The 28-year-old will be in contention for a top-5 pick once again and he'll be an elite source of points, assists, steals and three-pointers. He also gets to the line at will -- Harden averaged a whopping 10.1 free-throw attempts in 2017-18 -- so that will give him a fairly high floor on a night-to-night basis for scoring. The fact that he's averaged more than 4.0 turnovers in each of the last four seasons is something to keep in mind for leagues that are negatively impacted by that category, but his elite production elsewhere across the box score more than makes up for it and should put him into consideration for MVP honors once again.
In an effort to craft a super team to matchup with the Golden State Warriors, the Rockets made a splash and traded for Chris Paul prior to the 2017-18 campaign. There were concerns that Paul's presence could hinder Harden's overall Fantasy value by forcing him to play off the ball, but Harden still wound up putting up monster numbers and was one of the top Fantasy options all year. As expected, his assists per game fell from 11.2 in 2016-17 to just 8.8, which was a direct result of Paul playing the facilitator. His rebounding also took a hit, but was still 5.4 boards per game, which is more than solid production for a guard. On the other hand, Harden took yet another step forward as a scorer, averaging a league-high 30.4 points per game, while also increasing his efficiency across the board to 44.9 percent from the field and 36.7 percent from beyond the arc, which also may have been a result of Paul's ability to take on defenders and create more open looks for Harden. In addition to his league-leading per game scoring, Harden finished fourth in assists and second behind only Steph Curry in three-pointers made (3.7). The only real downfall was that Harden did miss a handful of weeks due to a hamstring injury, which limited him to 72 total games and was the first time in three years that he missed more than just one contest. All of that production allowed Harden to pick up league MVP honors for the first time in his career, while he nabbed his sixth straight All-Star game appearance and was named All-NBA First Team for the fourth time. The Rockets' roster did change a bit this offseason. Most notably, Corey Brewer and Luc Richard Mbah a Moute departed. On the other hand, the Rockets brought in Carmelo Anthony, who adds yet another scorer to a team that loves to play at a quick pace and fire up shots. There's a belief that Anthony ends up coming off the bench, so he shouldn't really impact Harden's usage at all. As a result, look for Harden and Paul to run the show. The 28-year-old will be in contention for a top-5 pick once again and he'll be an elite source of points, assists, steals and three-pointers. He also gets to the line at will -- Harden averaged a whopping 10.1 free-throw attempts in 2017-18 -- so that will give him a fairly high floor on a night-to-night basis for scoring. The fact that he's averaged more than 4.0 turnovers in each of the last four seasons is something to keep in mind for leagues that are negatively impacted by that category, but his elite production elsewhere across the box score more than makes up for it and should put him into consideration for MVP honors once again.
OKC (G, PG)
G
81
Min
35.6
PTS
26.3
REB
9.8
AST
9.8
STL
1.7
BLK
0.2
3PT
1.4
Coming off a 2016-17 MVP season where he averaged a 30-point triple-double, Westbrook was joined by Paul George and Carmelo Anthony last year. Though he still managed to average a triple-double and lead the league in assists, Westbrook saw his scoring average drop by 6.2 points, largely a product of taking just under three fewer shots per game. He also regressed as a three-point and free-throw shooter, losing 4.5 percent on his threes and 10.8 percent on his freebies. On a couple positive notes, he committed 57 fewer turnovers and swiped 15 more steals on the season despite playing one fewer game than in 2016-17. Over the summer, general manager Sam Presti traded Anthony and his 15.0 shots per game for Dennis Schroder. Schroder averaged 17.1 shots last season, but was the No. 1 option for the tanking Hawks, and will likely transition into a sixth-man role with lower usage in OKC. This is all to ask the question: Will Westbrook trend closer to his MVP production with Melo elsewhere? It’s an answer we won't get until we're in the season. But, considering he’s missed just five games in three years and is a walking triple-double, Westbrook is a no-brainer first-round Fantasy pick. The optimists who believe Melo’s departure will open things up can justify taking Westbrook in the top five.
Coming off a 2016-17 MVP season where he averaged a 30-point triple-double, Westbrook was joined by Paul George and Carmelo Anthony last year. Though he still managed to average a triple-double and lead the league in assists, Westbrook saw his scoring average drop by 6.2 points, largely a product of taking just under three fewer shots per game. He also regressed as a three-point and free-throw shooter, losing 4.5 percent on his threes and 10.8 percent on his freebies. On a couple positive notes, he committed 57 fewer turnovers and swiped 15 more steals on the season despite playing one fewer game than in 2016-17. Over the summer, general manager Sam Presti traded Anthony and his 15.0 shots per game for Dennis Schroder. Schroder averaged 17.1 shots last season, but was the No. 1 option for the tanking Hawks, and will likely transition into a sixth-man role with lower usage in OKC. This is all to ask the question: Will Westbrook trend closer to his MVP production with Melo elsewhere? It’s an answer we won't get until we're in the season. But, considering he’s missed just five games in three years and is a walking triple-double, Westbrook is a no-brainer first-round Fantasy pick. The optimists who believe Melo’s departure will open things up can justify taking Westbrook in the top five.
GS (G, PG, SG)
G
77
Min
32.9
PTS
26.4
REB
4.8
AST
6.3
STL
1.6
BLK
0.2
3PT
4.2
Nursing an ankle injury, Curry appeared in just 51 games last season -- his fewest since 2011-12. However, when he played, he was the most efficient player in league, leading all players in true shooting percentage (67.5). He achieved the feat through shooting 49.5 percent from the field, hitting 4.2 threes per tilt at 42.3 percent, and leading the NBA in free-throw percentage (92.1). That resulted in 26.4 points per game, plus averages of 6.1 assists, 5.1 rebounds and 1.6 steals. He also continued to be a big-game threat, as he posted 17 games with at least 30 points -- three of which were 40-point efforts. This year marks Curry’s age 30 seasons, but there are no signs of him slowing down, save for his ankle injury. However, prior to that, he had appeared in at least 78 games each season since 2012-13. Overall, even with the addition of DeMarcus Cousins, Curry’s usage and efficiency should remain high enough for him to be one of the best Fantasy players in the NBA.
Nursing an ankle injury, Curry appeared in just 51 games last season -- his fewest since 2011-12. However, when he played, he was the most efficient player in league, leading all players in true shooting percentage (67.5). He achieved the feat through shooting 49.5 percent from the field, hitting 4.2 threes per tilt at 42.3 percent, and leading the NBA in free-throw percentage (92.1). That resulted in 26.4 points per game, plus averages of 6.1 assists, 5.1 rebounds and 1.6 steals. He also continued to be a big-game threat, as he posted 17 games with at least 30 points -- three of which were 40-point efforts. This year marks Curry’s age 30 seasons, but there are no signs of him slowing down, save for his ankle injury. However, prior to that, he had appeared in at least 78 games each season since 2012-13. Overall, even with the addition of DeMarcus Cousins, Curry’s usage and efficiency should remain high enough for him to be one of the best Fantasy players in the NBA.
LAL (F, PF, PG, SF)
G
77
Min
35.7
PTS
26.1
REB
8.0
AST
7.9
STL
1.4
BLK
0.7
3PT
1.7
Last year, to cap off his second stint with Cleveland, LeBron led the league in minutes (3,026) and points (2,251) while playing all 82 games at 33 years old. He also set a career high in assists per game (9.1), which ranked second in the NBA, and matched his career-high 8.6 rebounds per game. The King also remained as efficient as ever, setting the third-highest true shooting percentage (62.1) of his career. Speculation about his potential departure from the Cavaliers for a second time began as a result of the team’s poor play, largely resulting from moves made to accomodate Kyrie Irving’s trade request. The Cavs finished fourth in the Eastern Conference and, despite getting swept in the Finals by Golden State, LeBron played his most playoff games in a single season since 2012-13. Opting for a change of scenery, LeBron agreed to a four-year, $153.31 million contract with the Lakers on July 1. While it shouldn't be banked on that he'll lead the league in minutes again, it’s hard to imagine a scenario where LeBron isn't worth a top-10, if not top-5, pick in the vast majority of Fantasy leagues this season.
Last year, to cap off his second stint with Cleveland, LeBron led the league in minutes (3,026) and points (2,251) while playing all 82 games at 33 years old. He also set a career high in assists per game (9.1), which ranked second in the NBA, and matched his career-high 8.6 rebounds per game. The King also remained as efficient as ever, setting the third-highest true shooting percentage (62.1) of his career. Speculation about his potential departure from the Cavaliers for a second time began as a result of the team’s poor play, largely resulting from moves made to accomodate Kyrie Irving’s trade request. The Cavs finished fourth in the Eastern Conference and, despite getting swept in the Finals by Golden State, LeBron played his most playoff games in a single season since 2012-13. Opting for a change of scenery, LeBron agreed to a four-year, $153.31 million contract with the Lakers on July 1. While it shouldn't be banked on that he'll lead the league in minutes again, it’s hard to imagine a scenario where LeBron isn't worth a top-10, if not top-5, pick in the vast majority of Fantasy leagues this season.
NOR (F, C, PF)
G
73
Min
36.9
PTS
29.3
REB
11.3
AST
2.4
STL
1.6
BLK
2.6
3PT
0.9
Davis had one of the more memorable Fantasy seasons in recent memory, finishing as the number one overall player in many formats. Coming into the season, he was certainly in the discussion as the No. 1 draft pick, but his injury history led to some justifiable trepidation. Despite heading to the locker room on a number of occasions, Davis managed to play in 75 games, which was more than enough to buoy his status as a top-five Fantasy commodity in nearly any format. His numbers were phenomenal, with averages of 28.1 points, 11.1 rebounds, 1.5 steals and 2.6 blocks per game, to go with 53.4 percent shooting from the field and 82.8 percent from the charity stripe. His efforts on the offensive end were obvious, but his defensive abilities were other-worldly. Davis demonstrated the ability to lock down an entire section of the court single-handedly, especially during the four-game sweep of the Portland Trail Blazers in the first round of the Western Conference playoffs. Davis finished the season as the runner-up for the Defensive Player of the Year award, and he placed third in MVP voting behind James Harden and LeBron James. Looking ahead to this season, owners should expect another dominant campaign, provided Davis can again stay even relatively healthy. He'll no longer have DeMarcus Cousins by his side, but the Pelicans added a promising young big man in Julius Randle in free agency. Randle could take a couple of rebounds away from Davis here and there, but, like Cousins, he offers little on the defensive end of the floor. On the whole, Davis' scoring and rebounding could take a slight hit, but there's no reason to believe he shouldn't be able to maintain his elite defensive numbers and magnificent efficiency. The injury concerns will always be there, but after two consecutive seasons of 75 games, Davis is once again firmly in the discussion as the No. 1 overall Fantasy commodity.
Davis had one of the more memorable Fantasy seasons in recent memory, finishing as the number one overall player in many formats. Coming into the season, he was certainly in the discussion as the No. 1 draft pick, but his injury history led to some justifiable trepidation. Despite heading to the locker room on a number of occasions, Davis managed to play in 75 games, which was more than enough to buoy his status as a top-five Fantasy commodity in nearly any format. His numbers were phenomenal, with averages of 28.1 points, 11.1 rebounds, 1.5 steals and 2.6 blocks per game, to go with 53.4 percent shooting from the field and 82.8 percent from the charity stripe. His efforts on the offensive end were obvious, but his defensive abilities were other-worldly. Davis demonstrated the ability to lock down an entire section of the court single-handedly, especially during the four-game sweep of the Portland Trail Blazers in the first round of the Western Conference playoffs. Davis finished the season as the runner-up for the Defensive Player of the Year award, and he placed third in MVP voting behind James Harden and LeBron James. Looking ahead to this season, owners should expect another dominant campaign, provided Davis can again stay even relatively healthy. He'll no longer have DeMarcus Cousins by his side, but the Pelicans added a promising young big man in Julius Randle in free agency. Randle could take a couple of rebounds away from Davis here and there, but, like Cousins, he offers little on the defensive end of the floor. On the whole, Davis' scoring and rebounding could take a slight hit, but there's no reason to believe he shouldn't be able to maintain his elite defensive numbers and magnificent efficiency. The injury concerns will always be there, but after two consecutive seasons of 75 games, Davis is once again firmly in the discussion as the No. 1 overall Fantasy commodity.
MIL (F, PF, PG, SF)
G
79
Min
36.9
PTS
28.3
REB
9.7
AST
5.2
STL
1.5
BLK
1.6
3PT
0.6
Antetokounmpo, who finished sixth in MVP voting last season, is also coming off his second consecutive All-NBA nod. The 23-year-old went top-five in most Fantasy drafts last season, rewarding owners with 26.9 points, 10.0 rebounds, 4.8 assists, 1.5 steals and 1.4 blocks per game. Another year of development, and a new coach, should only help Antetokounmpo’s Fantasy stock. Plus, he’s missed only 17 games in his NBA career -- a selling point for drafting him over other stars like Anthony Davis, who has struggled to stay healthy throughout his career. In addition to his impressive 52.9 percent shooting from the field, Antetokounmpo flashed an improved three-point shot toward the back-half of 2017-18. From January 1 on, Antetokounmpo took two threes per game, completing them at a 33.3 percent clip. If the Greek Freak can starting hitting at least one three per game on a consistent basis, that would round him out completely as a player, and as a Fantasy asset. He should not slip past the top-three in nearly any Fantasy drafts this season.
Antetokounmpo, who finished sixth in MVP voting last season, is also coming off his second consecutive All-NBA nod. The 23-year-old went top-five in most Fantasy drafts last season, rewarding owners with 26.9 points, 10.0 rebounds, 4.8 assists, 1.5 steals and 1.4 blocks per game. Another year of development, and a new coach, should only help Antetokounmpo’s Fantasy stock. Plus, he’s missed only 17 games in his NBA career -- a selling point for drafting him over other stars like Anthony Davis, who has struggled to stay healthy throughout his career. In addition to his impressive 52.9 percent shooting from the field, Antetokounmpo flashed an improved three-point shot toward the back-half of 2017-18. From January 1 on, Antetokounmpo took two threes per game, completing them at a 33.3 percent clip. If the Greek Freak can starting hitting at least one three per game on a consistent basis, that would round him out completely as a player, and as a Fantasy asset. He should not slip past the top-three in nearly any Fantasy drafts this season.
GS (F, PF, SF)
G
70
Min
34.8
PTS
27.1
REB
7.2
AST
5.2
STL
0.9
BLK
1.7
3PT
2.5
Durant, during his second year with Golden State, continued his all-around dominance and is one of the best Fantasy assets on a per-game basis. He filled nearly every category of the stat sheet, averaging 26.4 points, 6.8 rebounds, 5.4 assists and 1.8 blocks. Durant also continued to be one of the most efficient volume shooters in the NBA, hitting 51.6 percent of his looks from the field and drilling 2.5 threes per tilt at 41.9 percent. He also got to the free-throw line 5.9 times per night, drilling his freebies at 88.9 percent. However, his Fantasy value has been deflated over the past two seasons by injuries, averaging 65 games played. Still, there’s not much, if anything, to suggest Durant’s production will trend up or down significantly during the upcoming season. The addition of DeMarcus Cousins shakes things up a bit, but it’s not clear exactly when he'll be back, how much he'll play, and how effective he'll be. All things considered, it’s hard to draft Durant too early considering he’s one of the best players in the league and has only had one long-term injury in his entire career.
Durant, during his second year with Golden State, continued his all-around dominance and is one of the best Fantasy assets on a per-game basis. He filled nearly every category of the stat sheet, averaging 26.4 points, 6.8 rebounds, 5.4 assists and 1.8 blocks. Durant also continued to be one of the most efficient volume shooters in the NBA, hitting 51.6 percent of his looks from the field and drilling 2.5 threes per tilt at 41.9 percent. He also got to the free-throw line 5.9 times per night, drilling his freebies at 88.9 percent. However, his Fantasy value has been deflated over the past two seasons by injuries, averaging 65 games played. Still, there’s not much, if anything, to suggest Durant’s production will trend up or down significantly during the upcoming season. The addition of DeMarcus Cousins shakes things up a bit, but it’s not clear exactly when he'll be back, how much he'll play, and how effective he'll be. All things considered, it’s hard to draft Durant too early considering he’s one of the best players in the league and has only had one long-term injury in his entire career.
MIN (C, C, PF)
G
82
Min
36.3
PTS
22.3
REB
12.6
AST
2.5
STL
0.8
BLK
1.4
3PT
1.6
Towns was rightfully in the discussion to be the number one pick in many Fantasy leagues last season, and while he was not able to reach those lofty heights, it would be unfair to suggest he was a disappointment. While it took some time for Towns to gel with new teammate Jimmy Butler, he played in all 82 games for the third straight season and finished with averages of 21.3 points, 12.3 rebounds, 2.4 assists, 1.4 blocks and 0.8 steals per game. Towns' scoring numbers took a slight hit with the arrival of Butler, but unlike Andrew Wiggins, Towns was able to maintain his efficiency from both the field (54.5% FG) and the free-throw line (85.8% FT). Amazingly, Towns also finished the season as the Timberwolves' leading three-point shooter, hitting a very respectable 42.1 percent of his 3.5 attempts per game. As he did in his sophomore season, Towns seemed to get better as the season progressed. As he enters his fourth season, the hope is that Towns can continue to improve, particularly on the defensive end. Once again, Towns projects to be among the elites at his position when it comes to Fantasy production, though owners may be able to get him at a (very slight) bargain on the heels of an offseason laced with some uncertainty and internal dissension.
Towns was rightfully in the discussion to be the number one pick in many Fantasy leagues last season, and while he was not able to reach those lofty heights, it would be unfair to suggest he was a disappointment. While it took some time for Towns to gel with new teammate Jimmy Butler, he played in all 82 games for the third straight season and finished with averages of 21.3 points, 12.3 rebounds, 2.4 assists, 1.4 blocks and 0.8 steals per game. Towns' scoring numbers took a slight hit with the arrival of Butler, but unlike Andrew Wiggins, Towns was able to maintain his efficiency from both the field (54.5% FG) and the free-throw line (85.8% FT). Amazingly, Towns also finished the season as the Timberwolves' leading three-point shooter, hitting a very respectable 42.1 percent of his 3.5 attempts per game. As he did in his sophomore season, Towns seemed to get better as the season progressed. As he enters his fourth season, the hope is that Towns can continue to improve, particularly on the defensive end. Once again, Towns projects to be among the elites at his position when it comes to Fantasy production, though owners may be able to get him at a (very slight) bargain on the heels of an offseason laced with some uncertainty and internal dissension.
DEN (C, C, PF)
G
76
Min
33.5
PTS
20.1
REB
11.0
AST
6.3
STL
1.2
BLK
0.8
3PT
1.6
Jokic, who broke out during the second half of the 2016-17 campaign, kept things rolling last season. The dynamic center averaged 18.5 points, 10.7 rebounds, 6.1 assists and a combined 2.0 steals/blocks. He also shot 49.9 percent from the field, converted 85.0 percent of his free-throws, and drilled 1.5 threes per game at 39.6 percent. To gain an idea of how rare Jokic’s skill set is, only three other players since the three-point era (1979-80) have averaged at least 18 points, 10 rebounds and six assists: Russell Westbrook, Kevin Garnett and Larry Bird. Jokic has also stayed relatively healthy -- often a concern for centers -- during his three-year career, missing just 18 games. Heading into 2018-18, Jokic may look to better balance his three-point shooting and work in the paint, as he lost 5.1 percent on his effective field-goal percentage from 2016-17 to last season. Regardless, even if he plateaus as a player this year, he still projects to be a top-15 Fantasy option and likely worthy of a first-round selection.
Jokic, who broke out during the second half of the 2016-17 campaign, kept things rolling last season. The dynamic center averaged 18.5 points, 10.7 rebounds, 6.1 assists and a combined 2.0 steals/blocks. He also shot 49.9 percent from the field, converted 85.0 percent of his free-throws, and drilled 1.5 threes per game at 39.6 percent. To gain an idea of how rare Jokic’s skill set is, only three other players since the three-point era (1979-80) have averaged at least 18 points, 10 rebounds and six assists: Russell Westbrook, Kevin Garnett and Larry Bird. Jokic has also stayed relatively healthy -- often a concern for centers -- during his three-year career, missing just 18 games. Heading into 2018-18, Jokic may look to better balance his three-point shooting and work in the paint, as he lost 5.1 percent on his effective field-goal percentage from 2016-17 to last season. Regardless, even if he plateaus as a player this year, he still projects to be a top-15 Fantasy option and likely worthy of a first-round selection.
WAS (G, PG)
G
74
Min
35.8
PTS
20.9
REB
3.9
AST
10.0
STL
1.4
BLK
0.8
3PT
1.6
After four straight seasons of playing 77 or more games, Wall's luck took a bit of a turn during the 2017-18 campaign, as the 27-year-old point guard missed 41 contests with a recurring knee injury. He had a cleanup procedure performed at the end of January and was given a 6-to-8-week timetable for his return, which ultimately allowed him to rejoin the team for a playoff run. Wall made it back for the final six games of the regular season, but the Wizards weren't able to make much noise once the postseason began, as they were bounced by the Raptors in the first round. It was yet another early exit for Washington, and a disappointing season for Fantasy owners that selected Wall in the top of drafts. Over his abbreviated schedule, Wall finished with averages of 19.4 points, 9.6 assists, 3.7 rebounds, 1.4 steals and 1.1 blocks across 34.4 minutes, all of which (except blocks) were down from his previous season averages. However, the injuries certainly played a factor there and the five-time NBA All-Star should be a prime bounce-back candidate heading into the upcoming campaign. Wall is already back to full strength and the Wizards return nearly the entire roster from a season ago, so there shouldn't be any drastic threats to Wall's usage offensively. Fellow backcourt star Bradley Beal did earn his first All-Star bid himself, and for the second straight season averaged over 22.0 points per game, but again, the two have proven they can play alongside each other without sacrificing a ton of value. Wall's a career 78.6 percent free-throw shooter and has knocked down only 32.7 percent of his deep balls since joining the NBA, so there are certainly a few categories where he's not perfect. That said, his scoring numbers are almost always there and Wall seems likely to jump back up into double-digit assist averages, giving him plenty of potential to be selected in the top-15 of drafts once again.
After four straight seasons of playing 77 or more games, Wall's luck took a bit of a turn during the 2017-18 campaign, as the 27-year-old point guard missed 41 contests with a recurring knee injury. He had a cleanup procedure performed at the end of January and was given a 6-to-8-week timetable for his return, which ultimately allowed him to rejoin the team for a playoff run. Wall made it back for the final six games of the regular season, but the Wizards weren't able to make much noise once the postseason began, as they were bounced by the Raptors in the first round. It was yet another early exit for Washington, and a disappointing season for Fantasy owners that selected Wall in the top of drafts. Over his abbreviated schedule, Wall finished with averages of 19.4 points, 9.6 assists, 3.7 rebounds, 1.4 steals and 1.1 blocks across 34.4 minutes, all of which (except blocks) were down from his previous season averages. However, the injuries certainly played a factor there and the five-time NBA All-Star should be a prime bounce-back candidate heading into the upcoming campaign. Wall is already back to full strength and the Wizards return nearly the entire roster from a season ago, so there shouldn't be any drastic threats to Wall's usage offensively. Fellow backcourt star Bradley Beal did earn his first All-Star bid himself, and for the second straight season averaged over 22.0 points per game, but again, the two have proven they can play alongside each other without sacrificing a ton of value. Wall's a career 78.6 percent free-throw shooter and has knocked down only 32.7 percent of his deep balls since joining the NBA, so there are certainly a few categories where he's not perfect. That said, his scoring numbers are almost always there and Wall seems likely to jump back up into double-digit assist averages, giving him plenty of potential to be selected in the top-15 of drafts once again.
CHR (G, PG)
G
81
Min
35.2
PTS
22.7
REB
3.2
AST
5.7
STL
1.2
BLK
0.3
3PT
3.0
Walker has made the All-Star team each of the past two seasons, averaging 22.6 points, 5.5 assists, 3.5 rebounds and 1.1 steals. His name was all over the NBA leaderboards last season, ranking top-15 in minutes played (2,736), points (1,770), made three-pointers (231), made free-throws (361) and assists (444). This season, he may have an opportunity to climb those leaderboards even higher. Dwight Howard’s presence last season knocked Walker’s usage rate from 29.2 percent to 27.4 percent. The experiment was ultimately deemed a failure, however, with the Hornets opting to send Dwight Howard to Brooklyn, where he was waived and then signed with Washington. However, a high-usage and/or dynamic player was not added in his stead, leaving Walker with essentially the same crew he had in 2016-17, when he set a career high in usage. And, considering Walker is still relatively young (28 years old) and in a contract year with the Eastern Conference now weaker, it’s not a stretch to think he could be in store for a career year.
Walker has made the All-Star team each of the past two seasons, averaging 22.6 points, 5.5 assists, 3.5 rebounds and 1.1 steals. His name was all over the NBA leaderboards last season, ranking top-15 in minutes played (2,736), points (1,770), made three-pointers (231), made free-throws (361) and assists (444). This season, he may have an opportunity to climb those leaderboards even higher. Dwight Howard’s presence last season knocked Walker’s usage rate from 29.2 percent to 27.4 percent. The experiment was ultimately deemed a failure, however, with the Hornets opting to send Dwight Howard to Brooklyn, where he was waived and then signed with Washington. However, a high-usage and/or dynamic player was not added in his stead, leaving Walker with essentially the same crew he had in 2016-17, when he set a career high in usage. And, considering Walker is still relatively young (28 years old) and in a contract year with the Eastern Conference now weaker, it’s not a stretch to think he could be in store for a career year.
POR (G, PG)
G
74
Min
36.1
PTS
26.6
REB
4.4
AST
6.3
STL
1.0
BLK
0.4
3PT
3.1
Spectacular as his first four pro campaigns were, Lillard found a way to take it to another level last season, generating career-best numbers in multiple categories. The All-Star point guard posted new high-water marks in points (27.0), rebounds (4.9), shooting percentage (44.4) and free-throw percentage (89.4), while also putting up solid assist numbers (5.9). Despite the Trail Blazers’ season ending in a disappointing and unexpected four-game sweep at the hands of the Pelicans in the conference quarterfinals, expectations will be high in Portland once again for the 2018-19 season, with Lillard naturally remaining the franchise’s centerpiece. Seth Curry was added during the offseason and has a chance to serve as his primary backup at the point, but given Lillard’s iron-man reputation, he’s still likely to average minutes in the mid-30s as he has throughout his career thus far. With the same starting five expected to return, Lillard’s level of offensive responsibility – which led to 19.4 shot attempts per game last season – should also sustain.
Spectacular as his first four pro campaigns were, Lillard found a way to take it to another level last season, generating career-best numbers in multiple categories. The All-Star point guard posted new high-water marks in points (27.0), rebounds (4.9), shooting percentage (44.4) and free-throw percentage (89.4), while also putting up solid assist numbers (5.9). Despite the Trail Blazers’ season ending in a disappointing and unexpected four-game sweep at the hands of the Pelicans in the conference quarterfinals, expectations will be high in Portland once again for the 2018-19 season, with Lillard naturally remaining the franchise’s centerpiece. Seth Curry was added during the offseason and has a chance to serve as his primary backup at the point, but given Lillard’s iron-man reputation, he’s still likely to average minutes in the mid-30s as he has throughout his career thus far. With the same starting five expected to return, Lillard’s level of offensive responsibility – which led to 19.4 shot attempts per game last season – should also sustain.
OKC (F, PF, SF, SG)
G
78
Min
36.2
PTS
23.3
REB
5.9
AST
3.3
STL
1.8
BLK
0.4
3PT
3.2
A change of scenery didn't phase George, who remained an All-Star during his first year in OKC following a trade from Indiana. While his scoring decreased by almost two points per game, he managed to set a career high in made threes (244) -- good for second in the league behind James Harden (265). George also managed to swipe the second-most steals (161) in the league, ironically behind Victor Oladipo (177), the main piece sent to Indiana in the trade. There’s not much reason to expect much more from George, who signed a long-term deal with the Thunder over the summer, but it’s possible we'll get it this season. Reports surfaced after the season that George was dealing with knee and elbow issues for most of the campaign, resulting in surgery on both after the playoffs. Combined with Carmelo Anthony being traded, George appears to be in a good position to see more usage and/or play at a higher level in 2018-19.
A change of scenery didn't phase George, who remained an All-Star during his first year in OKC following a trade from Indiana. While his scoring decreased by almost two points per game, he managed to set a career high in made threes (244) -- good for second in the league behind James Harden (265). George also managed to swipe the second-most steals (161) in the league, ironically behind Victor Oladipo (177), the main piece sent to Indiana in the trade. There’s not much reason to expect much more from George, who signed a long-term deal with the Thunder over the summer, but it’s possible we'll get it this season. Reports surfaced after the season that George was dealing with knee and elbow issues for most of the campaign, resulting in surgery on both after the playoffs. Combined with Carmelo Anthony being traded, George appears to be in a good position to see more usage and/or play at a higher level in 2018-19.
IND (G, PG, SG)
G
74
Min
34.5
PTS
23.4
REB
5.1
AST
4.4
STL
2.2
BLK
0.8
3PT
2.2
Playing for his third team in as many seasons, the 2017-18 campaign marked a make-or-break year for Oladipo, who had struggled to live up to his No. 2 overall selection in the 2013 NBA Draft. However, the move to Indiana clearly paid dividends, as Oladipo finally put everything together and secured the breakout performance that many expected to see earlier in his career. The 26-year-old was the go-to option for the Pacers offensively, upping his scoring to 23.1 points per game compared to 15.9 a year prior. Oladipo also tallied career-highs elsewhere across the board and provided the highly valued multi-category production Fantasy owners covet with 5.2 rebounds, 4.3 assists, 2.4 steals and 2.1 three-pointers across 34.0 minutes. Despite putting up 17.9 field goal attempts per game -- he averaged just 13.9 attempts in 2016-17 -- Oladipo still increased his efficiency overall, shooting 47.7 percent from the field and 37.1 percent from the three-point line, both of which were also tops in his five years in the NBA. As a result of the production, Oladipo was showered with awards, picking up the NBA's Most Improved Player award, as well as earning his first All-Star invite and becoming an All-Defensive First Team selection following his top overall finish in the league for steals per game. Now considered one of the more impressive two-way players in the league following last year's explosion, expectations for Oladipo for the upcoming campaign should be high. The Pacers only added a few significant pieces in free agency, most notably being the signing of Tyreke Evans. However, Evans shouldn't pose much of a threat to Oladipo's usage, so look for him to run the show once again. Considering his contributions to a plethora of categories, specifically his top-tier scoring and steal totals, Oladipo has now put himself into consideration as a top-15 or top-20 pick overall in the majority of Fantasy formats. Those looking to pick up the superstar guard will have to invest an early-round selection.
Playing for his third team in as many seasons, the 2017-18 campaign marked a make-or-break year for Oladipo, who had struggled to live up to his No. 2 overall selection in the 2013 NBA Draft. However, the move to Indiana clearly paid dividends, as Oladipo finally put everything together and secured the breakout performance that many expected to see earlier in his career. The 26-year-old was the go-to option for the Pacers offensively, upping his scoring to 23.1 points per game compared to 15.9 a year prior. Oladipo also tallied career-highs elsewhere across the board and provided the highly valued multi-category production Fantasy owners covet with 5.2 rebounds, 4.3 assists, 2.4 steals and 2.1 three-pointers across 34.0 minutes. Despite putting up 17.9 field goal attempts per game -- he averaged just 13.9 attempts in 2016-17 -- Oladipo still increased his efficiency overall, shooting 47.7 percent from the field and 37.1 percent from the three-point line, both of which were also tops in his five years in the NBA. As a result of the production, Oladipo was showered with awards, picking up the NBA's Most Improved Player award, as well as earning his first All-Star invite and becoming an All-Defensive First Team selection following his top overall finish in the league for steals per game. Now considered one of the more impressive two-way players in the league following last year's explosion, expectations for Oladipo for the upcoming campaign should be high. The Pacers only added a few significant pieces in free agency, most notably being the signing of Tyreke Evans. However, Evans shouldn't pose much of a threat to Oladipo's usage, so look for him to run the show once again. Considering his contributions to a plethora of categories, specifically his top-tier scoring and steal totals, Oladipo has now put himself into consideration as a top-15 or top-20 pick overall in the majority of Fantasy formats. Those looking to pick up the superstar guard will have to invest an early-round selection.
PHI (G, PF, PG)
G
80
Min
34.2
PTS
17.5
REB
8.3
AST
8.6
STL
1.8
BLK
0.9
3PT
0.0
After missing the entire 2016-17 campaign after being selected with the No. 1 overall pick in the 2016 NBA Draft, Simmons took the court for his highly-anticipated debut season. The 22-year-old missed just one game the entire year and helped take a very young roster to the Eastern Conference semifinals. Simmons' stuffing of the stat sheet made him an immediate hit in Fantasy leagues and he wound up averaging 15.8 points, 8.1 rebounds, 8.2 assists and 1.7 steals across 33.7 minutes. That placed him 6th in the league in assists and 10th in steals, while he also notched 12 triple-doubles. Simmons does have some work to do with his shot, as defenses were able to pack the lane at times knowing the young star doesn't have a developed three-point shot. He took just 11 total three-pointers for the entire year and failed to get a single one to fall, so that is certainly a spot where his game can grow. Simmons also finished with a brutal 56 percent clip from the free-throw line, another thing to consider for those negatively impacted in rotisserie Fantasy leagues. Despite the few drawbacks, Simmons' solid first season immediately puts him into consideration for a top-20 pick in most leagues ahead of Year 2. As previously mentioned, there's a few places where Simmons needs to improve, but his overall ability to fill up the box score and potential to put up a triple-double on any given night, should bring him off the board early in drafts. The Rookie of the Year award winner could also take another step forward offensively with an offseason to work on his game and it's also worth it to note that the Sixers didn't bring in anyone this summer that threatens any of Simmons' workload or usage.
After missing the entire 2016-17 campaign after being selected with the No. 1 overall pick in the 2016 NBA Draft, Simmons took the court for his highly-anticipated debut season. The 22-year-old missed just one game the entire year and helped take a very young roster to the Eastern Conference semifinals. Simmons' stuffing of the stat sheet made him an immediate hit in Fantasy leagues and he wound up averaging 15.8 points, 8.1 rebounds, 8.2 assists and 1.7 steals across 33.7 minutes. That placed him 6th in the league in assists and 10th in steals, while he also notched 12 triple-doubles. Simmons does have some work to do with his shot, as defenses were able to pack the lane at times knowing the young star doesn't have a developed three-point shot. He took just 11 total three-pointers for the entire year and failed to get a single one to fall, so that is certainly a spot where his game can grow. Simmons also finished with a brutal 56 percent clip from the free-throw line, another thing to consider for those negatively impacted in rotisserie Fantasy leagues. Despite the few drawbacks, Simmons' solid first season immediately puts him into consideration for a top-20 pick in most leagues ahead of Year 2. As previously mentioned, there's a few places where Simmons needs to improve, but his overall ability to fill up the box score and potential to put up a triple-double on any given night, should bring him off the board early in drafts. The Rookie of the Year award winner could also take another step forward offensively with an offseason to work on his game and it's also worth it to note that the Sixers didn't bring in anyone this summer that threatens any of Simmons' workload or usage.
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