How to be an elite NBA Fantasy Draft Player
The 2019-2020 NBA Season is only three months away, and now is the time to start working on your NBA Fantasy Draft. If you are in a Keeper League or jumping into a new draft this article is for you. I’ve always lived by the philosophy that whatever you do, work at it with all your heart. Most importantly to be a fantasy champion, similarly to anything else that is worthwhile you must work for it. You must do your research, create a game plan for your team, and set yourself up to execute that plan. There is no get rich scheme, no cheat codes, and no easy way about it. Put the work in and you will see success in your fantasy team. Here’s some fantasy advice to help you prepare for the upcoming NBA season.
FANTASY DRAFT SLEEPERS
Everybody wants to know who the best SLEEPERS are…here are some of my picks!
- Jaren Jackson Jr. – Memphis Grizzlies
- Jaren averaged 13.8 pts, 4.7 reb, and 1.4 blocks in 58 games. He is only 19 years old. Jackson Jr. also shot 40% from behind the arc at Michigan State and 35% in his rookie year and averaged 26 minutes a game. Therefore he will see an upswing in all areas next year and is a must-have.
- Bam Adebayo – Miami Heat
- Bam will have his first full season as a starter under the Miami Heat. He will be a walking double-double adding in some defensive numbers in blocks/steals and was already contributing a few assists.
- Markelle Fultz – Orlando Magic
- Fultz hasn’t come close to living up to his potential. He has had his issues, but the Magic made a statement by not drafting a point guard. If Fultz finds a way to come into his own he will not only be a crucial part to the success of the Magic but also can be a successful SLEEPER for your fantasy team. Fultz will provide double-digit points and assists.
- OG Anunoby – Toronto Raptors
- OG will enter the starting SF role for the Toronto Raptors. With his unfortunate appendicitis attack before Toronto’s Championship season, which kept him from playing, OG showed off his skill-set that looked a lot like Kawhi Leonard. Expect increases in all offensive & defensive categories including minutes.
- Lonzo Ball – New Orleans Pelicans
- Zo has a popular name, but his health has been an issue. A fresh start for Lonzo will be the best situation for him. Ball has already put up solid averages and will improve. This year he will blossom and he is my early prediction for MIP. Lonzo does everything well on both ends of the court and he will continually get better in every category.
FANTASY DRAFT WEEPERS
Weepers are players that you draft that give you so much hope, but they will break your heart.
Here are some players I think you should avoid in this years upcoming NBA Fantasy Draft:
- Chris Paul – Oklahoma City Thunder
A lot of people believe now that Chris Paul is the number one option in OKC, he will have a great fantasy year. Statistically, Paul is trending downwards. Last year was a down year in Houston in points & rebounds. The last two seasons he has played only 58 games each season and is already 34 years old. CP3 will take on more of a mentorship role on the back end of his career.
- Myles Turner – Turner is ranked as a top 50 fantasy player. Turner averages 13 pts, 7 reb, and 1.6 ast. Due to the rise of Domantas Sabonis out playing him in every offensive category last season, consequently I would expect more playing time in the hands of Sabonis with Myles Turner’s averages not changing.
- Kevin Love – When healthy Love is an automatic double-double and is worthwhile in most offensive and defensive categories. The problem is his health, as he is an aging vet., and the potential of him being traded to a contender. As a result this will not bolster his status as a great fantasy contributor, because teams will load manage him until the playoffs.
- Hassan Whiteside – Whiteside has been trending downwards in almost all categories. His restart with the Blazers may seem intriguing but with the return of Nurkic mixed in with all the other Blazers ‘bigs’ I do not see any change in numbers going forward.
- Derrick White – White is rated in the top 100 fantasy players over many platforms. He had a great season last year with the Spurs in the absence of Dejounte Murray, but with Dejounte’s return White could have a downward trending year.
If You are in a new NBA Fantasy Draft:
You must go for the best talent available. This year I believe these obvious KEEPERS will have a great year and trend upwards:
- Giannis Antetokounmpo – THIS IS OBVIOUS- Giannis has continually improved each year and is going to take the next step in his career developing that jump shot from the mid-range and behind the arc. Expect another MVP caliber season.
- Stephen Curry – For the Warriors to continue their success it is all based upon the performance of Stephen Curry. There is no Klay Thompson until sometime in the new year and the Western Conference is so competitive that if you fall behind in the rankings you will most likely miss the playoffs. I believe Steph will be the MVP of the regular season and therefore will translate to fantasy bliss.
- Nikola Jokic – Jokic not only is the best scorer on the team, but also the best rebounder, and assist maker. Jokic is only 24 years old and has not even hit his prime.
- Lebron James – With the standard Lebron has for himself the last season with the Lakers was abysmal. On his “bad” season he still averaged MVP like numbers as usual (27.4 pts, 8.5 reb, and 8.3 ast) in 55 Games Played. A rested, healthy, and hungry James with an elite supporting cast will dominate. “Father Time” is catching up to Lebron but isn’t here yet.
- Ben Simmons – Ben has always looked like a shadow of Lebron James. He has the size and drive of Lebron but lacks the shooting threat from the mid-range and behind the arc. I believe this will be a huge upward trend for Simmons this year. An improved jump shot will keep defenders honest and he will pick teams apart with his scoring ability, playmaking, and rebounding.
There are definitely players that are KEEPERS that have been NBA Fantasy Draft saviors in the past, that I believe are trending downwards:
- James Harden – There is just not enough touches between Harden and Westbrook to go around, which most certainly means for the Rockets to have success both Harden and Westbrook are going to have to give and take. I do not see him averaging 35 pts this year and most likely less assists, and rebounds.
- Russel Westbrook – Mr. Tripledouble is also going to have a hard time getting to those numbers, therefore Westbrook and Harden will give and take to achieve better team success rather than personal stats.
- Paul George – PG is an MVP caliber player, but the presence of Kawhi Leonard will mean PG takes second fiddle once again. As a result the Clippers style of play is way more team-oriented then the Thunder last year, which means less touches for PG.
- Mike Conley – Mike Conley will have a lot less to do on a Jazz team that is filled with talent. The role fits better for him but will affect his stats.
- Anthony Davis – It sounds insane to think Anthony Davis will have a downward trending year. Davis will absolutely be a monster among all fantasy players. He is just so great and has always been the focal point on the Pelicans. This is the first time he will be playing second fiddle.
If You Are In a Keeper League:
You should hang onto these players that will have an upward trending year.
Randle will be the relied upon go to option for the Knicks. Although the roster is awful Randle will
definitely be consistent scoring and rebounding
Now that Jimmy Butler is in Miami, Tobias Harris is going to see an uptake in
touches, which will translate to more scoring.
He will also be asked to do more on the defensive end.
A fresh start for B.I. is the best thing for Ingram. He showed flashes of his All-Star potential
and this year with the Pelicans will be perfect for him to showcase his talent
and break out.
Buddy averaged 20 pts, 5 reb, 2.5 ast.
He is steadily getting better each season.
- Draymond Green – Draymond struggled with injuries/weight all season last year. He went into the playoffs healthy and showed out. This season with Klay Thompson out until the New Year, Draymond has to step-up and be that second/third option in all fantasy categories.
Stay tuned for the next article coming out, which will help you with drafting, team names, and a how-to-research guide. Certainly, when the NBA Fantasy Draft season begins, I will be putting out a ton of DFS content as well. Good luck with your fantasy teams.
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