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Power Forwards

1) Kevin Durant (SF/PF) – Kevin Durant is the perfect fantasy basketball player. His line is flawless. His worst category is steals (1.1 SPG) and even there he provides above-average production. His 2.2 TOPG is actually excellent when compared to the other first-round options. Of the top-18 players last season, only two averaged less turnovers than Durant. The Finals MVP missed 20 games last season, but that shouldn’t factor into your decision making. That injury was a fluke and before Zaza Pachulia fell on him, Durant had only missed one game all season. Punt assists is my favorite build and Durant is my favorite building block for that build. When you punt assists you’re aiming to win both percentages each week and no player does more to help you win percentages than Durant (53.7 FG%, 87.5 FT%). Those dreamy percentages also make him a great fit for the punt points build.

2) Giannis Antetokounmpo (SF/PF) – Giannis achieved superstardom last season, but we’re still no where close to seeing his ceiling. He still doesn’t have a three-ball (0.6 3PG) and he’s still very mediocre from the line (77.0 FT%). There’s no guarantee that he improves either weakness this season, but he doesn’t need to in order to justify being picked in the top three. Giannis’ defensive stats (1.7 SPG, 1.9 BPG) make him a great fit for any build. Punt FT% is an obvious match and owners choosing Giannis should treat him like a big who provides out-of-position assists (5.4 APG) when drafting. Don’t go light on point guards later because you picked Giannis early or you’ll fall behind in threes and assists. His assists are useful, but you’ll likely be choosing big men who only average 1-2 APG so more help is needed. Punting points is another great option for Giannis owners. Just make sure you scoop up plenty of threes and strong free-throw shooters later.

3) Anthony Davis (PF/C) – Davis was arguably last season’s fantasy MVP. Only Durant was better on a per game basis and Davis wasn’t shut down until after most leagues had completed their playoffs. He kept rolling after DeMarcus Cousins came to town. After the trade, The Brow posted averages of 28.5 PPG, 0.6 3PG, 11.7 RPG, and 1.4 SPG while shooting 50.7% from the field and 80.4% from the line. The one category that might suffer from Cousins’ presence is blocks. After the trade, Davis averaged 1.5 BPG. That is a sharp decrease from the 2.5 BPG that he averaged prior to the trade. That is likely due to Davis playing more power forward and defending the perimeter more. Unfortunately, that will be the case again in 2016-2017 so it’s difficult to project what Davis’ blocks will look like.

4) LeBron James (SF/PF) – LeBron is coming off the quietest 26.4/8.7/8.7 season ever. He is still an absolutely dominant fantasy option and provides excellent value in 7 of 9 categories. In addition to his popcorn stats, he is a FG% monster (54.8 FG%) who also makes a high amount of threes (1.7 3PG). Picking James allows you to be competitive in points when punting FT% (67.4 FT%), something that is not an easy feat. Yes, LeBron is a lock to miss 6-to-8 games for rest purposes, but most players are these days. The Cavaliers’ playoff schedule makes picking The King easier as well. The Cavaliers play 11 games during the fantasy playoffs (that is an above-average playoff schedule this year) so if LeBron is rested for a game, he’ll still have an average playoff schedule. It’s worth noting that he only sat out one game during the fantasy playoffs last season.

5) Nikola Jokic (PF/C) – Jokic was one of 2016-2017 biggest breakout players and his ascendance into fantasy superstardom should continue in 2017-2018. The Nugget is the best big man target for those looking to punt blocks (0.7 BPG) and is a reasonable option around the turn due to his absurd efficiency (57.6 FG%, 82.5 FT%) and outstanding out-of-position apples (4.9 APG). While punt blocks may seem like the obvious fit for Jokic, where I like him the most is punt points (16.7 PPG). The percentages categories are what make-or-break the punt points build. Due to the lower FGA volume, a poorly put together punt points team can experience quite a bit of volatility in those categories. Jokic helps avoid that.

6) DeMarcus Cousins (PF/C) – Like Gobert, Cousins needs to be built around properly or you will run into problems. Instead of trying to make up for his poor FG% (45.2 FG%), it’s best to give up on the category and pair him with one of the punt FG% guards. He’s dominant on the boards (11.1 RPG) and is a decent source of blocks (1.3 BPG), two categories that the punt FG% build often struggles with. All his other counting stats are ridiculous as well. He’s an elite scorer (27.0 PPG), has the three-ball down pat (1.8 3PG), and is one of the best sources of out-of-position steals (1.4 SPG) and dimes (4.6 APG). The move to New Orleans didn’t have a major impact on his value. Both his counting stats and efficiency were similar. I’d be much more excited about Cousins if he wasn’t such an injury risk. He’s actually missed more games than Anthony Davis over the past four seasons. His turnovers are also a major issue (3.7 TOPG). Having a 3.7 TOPG player at your center spot is more damaging than having a point guard who averages 3.7 TOPG. Most quality point guards are going to be in the 2.5-to-3 TOPG range. Most centers are much lower than that. Having such a high-turnover player at a position that most teams depend on to lower their turnovers, all but forces you into a double-punt. Managers pairing Cousins with an early-round point guard should embrace the double-punt. It’s almost impossible to avoid with Cousins.Trying to bring turnovers back will almost always prove to be futile and will only serve to drag the team down elsewhere.

7) Draymond Green (SF/PF) – Green has quickly become one of the most unique players in league history. Last season, he scored a paltry 10.2 PPG while shooting a horrendous 41.7% from the floor, yet somehow managed to finish 21st-overall in 9-category leagues. The reigning Defensive Player of the Year is punt points monster and arguably a top-5 player in the punt points/FT% build (70.9 FT%). The massive FG% drop is largely due to a change in Green’s shot selection. In 2015-2016, Green took 31% of his shots from behind the arc. Last season that number jumped to just over 40%. Assuming the Warriors don’t make any major changes to their historic offense, Green’s three-point attempts will likely remain high and his FG% will be middling. Expect a small increase in his FG% as last season’s 3P% of 30.8% smells like a fluke. Draymond is also an excellent fit for the punt FG% build as he brings the rebounds (7.9 RPG) and blocks (1.4 BPG) that the build needs and reinforces the build’s strengths (7.0 APG, 2.0 SPG).

8) Paul George (SF/PF) – When you are joining a team that has a player who just shattered the all-time usage record, your fantasy value is going to take a hit. George posted a 28.9% usage rate last season, which is much higher than Victor Oladipo’s 21.4% usage rate. Something is going to have to give between Westbrook and George and I expect George to be the one to take the bigger hit. George was a top-15 player last season as the Pacers’ first-option and while a drop in value is coming, a top-25 finish is still very doable. Even if his PPG takes a hit (23.7 PPG), his threes (2.6 3PG) will still be excellent, and there’s nothing stopping George from continuing to be a force on the defensive end (1.6 SPG). If you draft George, you will also be getting a very good rebounder (6.6 RPG) and one of the better sources of FT% impact (89.8 FT% on 5.0 FTA).

9) Myles Turner (PF/C) – The main focus of the Pacers’ upcoming season will be ping pong balls. Turner’s development will be a close second. Expect the third-year player to have a much bigger role on offense this year. That should mean an increase in his scoring rate (14.5 PPG) but also likely a decrease in his FG% (51.0 FG%). Turner is still fairly raw on offense and will be receiving much more defensive attention than he’s used to. Don’t worry too much about his FG%. It will still likely be decent and you’ll be wanting to punt FG% with him anyways. This is your primary big man target if you are punting FG%. He’s in a great spot at the end of the second round and fits the punt FG% build perfectly. Finding enough boards and blocks is the key to punt FG% success. Turner should be very good in both categories. Expect an increase in his rebounding numbers (7.2 RPG) and he should continue to be a very good source of blocks (2.1 BPG). The only thing holding me back from ranking Turner even higher is his playoff schedule. The Pacers only play 9 games in the fantasy playoffs, the lowest of any team in the league.

10) Kristaps Porzingis (PF/C) – If Carmelo finally leaves the Knicks then watch out. If he doesn’t, well that’s OK too. Porzingis will still be a very good fantasy asset, especially in the punt FG% build. Like Turner, he brings the boards (7.2 RPG) and blocks (2.0 BPG) that the build needs to focus on. Unlike Turner, his offensive game is already excellent. Porzingis could break the 20 PPG mark this season (18.1 PPG) and is one of the best sources of out-of-position threes (1.7 3PG). Try to pair Porzingis with one of the sturdier first-round players. The Knick has yet to play more than 72 games in a season.

11) Kevin Love (PF/C) – Love has more upside than usual with Isaiah Thomas’ status up in the air. If Thomas was to miss extended time, Love would likely post second-round numbers. He’s one of the best targets for those punting blocks (0.4 BPG) due to his success on the boards (11.1 RPG). Those juicy rebound numbers also make him a very good pick for those punting FG% (42.7 FG%). Love produces a very unique line and is an excellent source of out-of-position threes (2.4 3PG) and FT% impact (87.1 FT% on 4.9 FTA).

12) Paul Millsap (PF/C) – Millsap slipped last season, but some of that had to do with playing with Dwight Howard. Howard’s limited offensive game forced Millsap to the perimeter and caused the former Hawks’ FG% to decline (44.2 FG%). The Nuggets are a much better fit for Millsap and he should find more success playing beside Nikola Jokic. Jokic is an even better passer than Millsap’s old frontcourt partner Al Horford was, and like Horford, Jokic can play anywhere, which should open up some space for Millsap to do work. The Nuggets were also a much better offensive team than the Hawks last season and that should help boost Millsap’s efficiency back to respectable levels. The four-time All-Star can fit into most builds, but is best suited for the punt FG% and punt points builds.

13) Blake Griffin (PF/C) – Blake will be a reasonable pick at the end of the second round if he returns during training camp or preseason. Until then, we can’t target him too aggressively. Assuming he’s healthy, Griffin is a dream fit for the punt FT% build. Only Draymond Green and perhaps Nikola Jokic will be a better source of out-of-position assists this season (4.9 APG). Chris Paul leaving means almost across-the-board increases for Blake, but it’s also fair to assume a small drop in efficiency (49.3 FG%).

14) Joel Embiid (PF/C) – Embiid is a very hard player to rank. Where to take him depends on your risk appetite. There’s a very good chance the Embiid produces first-round numbers. There’s also a very good chance that he misses 30+ games. Last season was considered a success for Embiid, but at the end of the day, he did only play in 31 games. If he plays 50+ games this season, the Sixers will probably be fairly happy. However, that’s not enough games to make fantasy owners smile. Build-wise, he can fit into anything. He’s a monster. The only numbers-related issue to keep an eye is his turnover rate (3.8 TOPG). He was DeMarcus Cousins-level bad at taking care of the ball in his rookie season.

15) Robert Covington (SF/PF) – There are only a handful of players in the NBA who are better defenders than Covington. The advanced stats suggest that he is elite on that end and so does the regular box score. Over the last two months of the season, he averaged a ridiculous 2.1 SPG and 1.4 BPG. He also posted 2.6 3PG and 7.5 RPG over that stretch. What is most intriguing about Covington’s incredibly run to end the season is his improved shooting. Over the last three months of the year, he shot a serviceable 43.2% from the field. That sounds low, but for Covington, that is excellent. The Sixers’ new additions shouldn’t have a major effect on the swingman’s value. It may lower his shot attempts, but Covington has never derived much of his value from the points column.

16) Andre Drummond (PF/C) – Drummond’s development has stalled, but that hasn’t affected his fantasy value. He was still an extremely useful punt FT% player last season. He was a top-20 option in that build and as always, was a dominant rebounder (13.8 RPG) and a very good bet for out-of-position steals (1.5 SPG). What holds Drummond back from being a truly outstanding fantasy option is that his FG% is only very good (53.1 FG%) and not elite like some of the other punt FT% big man options. Expect an increase in blocks this season (1.1 BPG). His 2016-2017 block rate was easily the lowest of his career.

17) Nikola Vucevic (PF/C) – The Magic are rudderless, but that hasn’t stopped Vucevic from continuing to be a very effective fantasy asset. Despite a suffering a massive drop in his FG% (46.8 FG% in 2016-2017, 51.0 FG% in 2015-2016) and FT% (66.9 FT% in 2016-2017, 75.3 FT% in 2015-2016), Vucevic still managed to post top-50 value last season. Expect a bounce-back season from the stripe as his struggles were likely a fluke. Whether or not his FG% returns to normal is less certain. There’s been talk of Vucevic adding a three-point shot to his repertoire, a development that would obviously have a negative effect on his FG%. The Magic’s center is a very good fit for the punt blocks build because he doesn’t lose much value when blocks are ignored (1.0 BPG) and is a very strong rebounder (10.4 RPG).

18) Al Horford (PF/C) – Horford had a strong start to his first season in Boston, but his play fell off a cliff as the season went on. He was barely a top-50 player after the All-Star break and his numbers dropped almost across-the- board. Now that he’s 31, and has both Kyrie Irving and Gordon Hayward to share the rock with, it’s hard to see Horford bouncing back in 2017-2018. The addition of the three-ball to Horford’s skill set has not been kind to his fantasy value. His FG% has declined four seasons in a row and will likely stay mediocre (47.4 FG%) as long as he continues to hang out beyond the arc. His declining block rate is also worrisome. Horford averaged 1.3 BPG last season, but that number is misleading. Over the last three months of the season, he failed to average a block a game (0.8 BPG). He’s not a terrible option in the fourth round, but owners drafting the Celtic should keep their expectations in check. Horford’s best days are behind him.

19) Nerlens Noel (PF/C) – Noel accepted the Mavericks’ qualifying offer and will be a unrestricted free agent following the 2017-2018 season. He’s going to have a hundred million reasons to try to put up monster lines this year. If he gets major run, he will be an early-round player, but it’s unclear if he will. Noel is, by far, the best center on the Mavericks’ roster, but Coach Carlisle was hesitant to play him big minutes last season due a lingering knee issue. If his minutes creep into the upper-20s, expect Noel to challenge Giannis Antetokounmpo as the best source of defensive numbers in the league (2.2 SP36, 1.8 BP36). The big man is also one of the better sources of FG% impact available in the middle rounds (59.4 FG%) and has greatly improved at the charity stripe (69.4 FT%).

20) Clint Capela (PF/C) – Capela has early-round upside if he’s placed in the right build. He was only a top-45 player in the punt FT% build last season, but provided borderline second-round value if you were punting points as well. Capela is only 23 and is entering his third year as a full-time player. We often see major jumps from players entering their third or fourth season. Having a guy like Chris Paul around doesn’t hurt either. Capela has all the makings of a fantasy monster and he might take the leap this year. He was the second-best source of FG% impact last season (64.4 FG%) and considering he only played 23.9 MPG, his rebounding (8.1 RPG) and block numbers (1.2 BPG) were impressive.

21) Serge Ibaka (PF/C) – Ibaka was on his way to having a rebound season before he was traded to the Raptors. With the Magic, he was flirting with early-round value, but with the Raptors, he was only a top-75 option. Expect some improvement as he gets more comfortable with his new teammates, but he will still be an afterthought on offense with Kyle Lowry and DeMar DeRozan running the show. Ibaka is another very good target for those punting FG%. He is no longer an elite shotblocker, but is more than serviceable at protecting the rim (1.6 BPG). The punt FG% build almost always struggles with turnovers and Ibaka can help you be competitive there (1.7 TOPG). He also gives you an advantage from deep (1.8 3PG), but showed no signs during his half season with the Raptors that he’ll be more than a mediocre rebounder next season (6.8 RPG).

22) LaMarcus Aldridge (PF/C) – Aldridge’s decline was very apparent last season with the biggest drop coming in the efficiency categories. Drafting Aldridge used to be a great way to win both FG% and FT%, but if last year is any indication (47.7 FG%, 81.2 FT%), that will no longer be the case. Those percentages are still decent, but not good enough to keep Aldridge in the early-round discussion. Despite his decline, Aldridge is another very good option for the punt FG% build. He can help your boards (7.3 RPG) and blocks (1.2 BPG) and he can keep your turnovers under control (1.4 TOPG).

23) Dwight Howard (PF/C) – Dwight may be a shell of what he used to be, but he is still an early-round threat in the punt FT% build. Last season, Howard was a second-round player in the build he used to anchor and provided very usable numbers on the boards (12.7 RPG) and from the field (63.2 FG%). His defensive contributions have slipped, but are still decent (0.9 SPG, 1.2 BPG). He’s been fairly healthy over the last two seasons and looks to be over the back issues that plagued him in Houston.

24) Tobias Harris (SF/PF) – Harris won’t win you your league, but you don’t need to worry about him busting either. He may come off the bench to start the year, but that doesn’t really matter. He’s going to play around 30 MPG regardless of where he starts the game. Harris has been a top-65 player three seasons in a row and provides owners with a well-rounded line. He’s an efficient scorer (16.1 PPG on 48.1 FG%) and chips in on the boards (5.1 RPG) and from deep (1.3 3PG).

25) Danilo Gallinari (SF/PF) – Gallinari has played more than 63 games twice in his entire career. After missing the entire 2013-2014 season, Gallo has played in an averaged of 58 games per season since. That is not good. So while he is a very good per game player, this is someone you need to get a sizable discount on. In his final season with the Nuggets, he was a top-40 per game player and averaged 18.2 PPG, 2.0 3PG, and 5.1 RPG. He also had the third-largest positive impact on the FT% category in 2016-2017 (90.2 FT% on 6.1 FTA). He doesn’t do anything on the defensive end (0.7 SPG, 0.2 BPG), but he should be able to maintain his per game value in Los Angeles. He’ll be the second-option on the Clippers and would be the go-to-guy if Blake Griffin’s toe was to act up.

26) Carmelo Anthony (SF/PF) – Melo is going to have issue regardless of where he’s playing when the season starts. If he stays in New York, he’s not going to be motivated and will likely just be a mid-round player. If he’s traded to Houston, he’ll be motivated, but his role will shrink considerably. Either way, it’s hard to picture Anthony ever returning to early-round value. He can still help you win points (22.4 PPG) and threes (2.0 3PG), but he is no longer a top-tier rebounder for his position (5.9 RPG) and provides owners with nothing on the defensive end (0.9 SPG, 0.4 BPG).

27) Gorgui Dieng (PF/C) – Taj Gibson is not very good. He’s not terrible, but he’s not a starting-caliber player at this point in his career. Dieng was better last season and should be better again this coming season. Unfortunately, we all know that Coach Thibodeau likes to play favorites, and the Gibson signing puts Dieng’s playing time at risk. He should still see minutes at backup center, but it’s very unlikely that he approaches the 32.4 MPG that he saw last season. If he can overcome the Gibson threat, Dieng has early-round potential. Last season, he was a top-50 player overall and a top-35 player in the punt points build (10.0 PPG). He’s never going to light up the scoring column, but Gorgui is a efficient player (50.3 FG%, 81.4 FT%) who is active on the defensive end (1.1 SPG, 1.2 BPG).

28) Dirk Nowitzki (PF/C) – Dirk’s not quite done. It took a while for the legend to get over his Achilles injury, but once he did, he was back to providing owners with mid-round value. He was a top-60 player over the final three months of the 2016-2017 campaign and only missed three games over that span. He still helps boost owners’ points (14.2 PPG) and threes (1.5 3PG) and can help a little bit on the boards (6.5 RPG). One area where Dirk has really slipped is getting to the line. He’s still connects at an outstanding rate (87.5 FT%), but doesn’t get there enough (2.1 FTA) to be a difference maker in that category.

29) Thaddeus Young (SF/PF) – Young should have a pretty sizable role for the rebuilding Pacers, but that could change as the season goes on. Down the stretch of the season, the Pacers will likely want to see what they have in Domantas Sabonis and T.J. Leaf, and that, combined with the Pacers’ poor playoff schedule, makes Young someone you’ll want to try to move around the trade deadline. Thad is a great option for those who went light on steals early in the draft. Few power forwards offer as much in steals category as Young (1.5 SPG). He’s can also help keep you competitive in FG% (52.6 FG%), but will drag down your assists (1.6 APG) and blocks (0.4 BPG).

30) Jae Crowder (SF/PF) – Crowder’s role with his new team is unclear, but even if he does come off the bench behind LeBron James and Kevin Love, he should still play enough minutes to post mid-round value. If Isaiah Thomas was to miss an extended amount of time, which looks very possible right now, Crowder would be the third-best player on the Cavaliers’ roster. Tyronn Lue will find a fair amount of playing time for his third-best player. His ceiling is lower due to the move to Cleveland, but he should still be potent from deep (2.2 3PG) and help you out on the boards (5.8 RPG). There’s also a good chance that his steals rate jumps this season. Last season, he only averaged 1.0 SPG and produced 1.1 SP36. For his career, Crowder produces 1.6 SP36 and is only a year removed from averaging 1.7 SPG. Expect his steals to normalize, which should help offset any dip in his scoring average caused by his new role.

31) Markieff Morris (SF/PF) – Markieff is coming off a year that sums up his career well. He was god-awful until about halfway through January and then was a top-55 player after that. Morris gives you a little bit of everything and provides owners with some out-of-position threes (0.9 3PG) and steals (1.1 SPG). His FT% is hard to predict. Last season, Morris shot 83.7% from the line. That was over a 10% increase from his 2015-2016 connection rate (73.5%). Markieff is only a 77.4% shooter from the charity stripe for his career so it’s not a lock that he cracks the 80% mark in 2017-2018.

32) Willie Cauley-Stein (PF/C) – The DeMarcus Cousins trade is going to make Cauley-Stein a lot of money. He was barely in the rotation before the trade and wouldn’t have had a chance to show what he could do unless Cousins was moved. Cauley-Stein took full advantage of the opening and was a top-80 player over the last two months of the season. Over those two months, he put up 12.6 PPG, 7.6 RPG, 1.1 SPG, and 0.9 BPG. He should start for the Kings and will be a cheap source of big man stats on draft day. Don’t worry about his middling FT% (66.9 FT%). He improved as the 2016-2017 season went along and doesn’t get there enough (3.8 FTA36) to do much damage.

33) Marquese Chriss (PF) – Chriss has some tantalizing potential and is a great bet to join the one three, one steal, one block club in his sophomore year. He almost got there as a rookie (0.9 3PG, 0.8 SPG, 0.9 BPG) despite not seeing consistent run until after the All-Star break. The only thing holding Chriss back from a top-50 finish is his efficiency. He doesn’t get to the line enough to be a punt FT%-only player (3.7 FTA36), but Chriss can take a sizable chunk out of your FT% (62.4 FT%). He hasn’t yet figured out how to score efficiently either (44.9 FG%), and that poor shooting, along with his blocks, makes him a good fit for the punt FG% build. Another reason I like him in this build is that you are likely to draft players earlier in the draft that cover up Chriss’ weaknesses (1.2 AP36).

34) Marvin Williams (SF/PF) – Marvin was droppable for the first two months of the season, but turned it around in a big way after the New Year. He was a top-45 player over the last two months of the season and finished just outside of the second round over that time period if points were ignored. Dwight Howard’s arrival complicates things. Last season Frank Kaminsky saw time at both frontcourt positions. With Cody Zeller and Howard at center, he and Marvin will likely be stuck competing for the 48 minutes available at power forward. It’s possible that Williams sees a slight decrease in playing time this season which could hurt his always solid threes (1.6 3PG), boards (6.5 RPG), and blocks (0.7 BPG).

35) Pau Gasol (PF/C) – It took a bit for Pau to adjust the Spurs’ system, but once he did, he was back to being a mid-round player. He posted top-70 numbers over the Spurs’ final 25 games and should still clock in as a top-100 player this year despite his advanced age. Pau actually pulled off a pretty impressive feat this season. He expanded his game beyond the three-point line (0.9 3PG) while raising his FG% at the same time (50.2 FG%). As a 37-year-old who plays for Popovich, he’ll be a prime candidate for some rest days during the fantasy playoffs.

36) James Johnson (SF/PF) – It’s going to be difficult for Johnson to continue to be the top-60 player that he was over the second half of the season. Justise Winslow is back and the Heat signed Kelly Olynyk in the offseason. Both could possibly play minutes at the four and it’s not a lock that Johnson sees the 27.4 MPG that he did in 2016-2017. However, there is talk of Johnson starting, and he should play enough minutes to be worth a pick within the top-100. One of last season’s best sixth men is a Swiss Army knife. He averaged over a three (1.1 3PG), steal (1.0 SPG), and block (1.1 BPG) last season and is also a fairly good playmaker (3.5 APG). He also helps out on the boards (5.0 RPG) and gets his points in an efficient manner (47.9 FG%). It’s all about minutes with Johnson. You’ll want to watch the Heat’s rotation closely in preseason.

37) Nikola Mirotic (SF/PF) – Mirotic is in negotiations with the Bulls and is expected to return to Chicago. Returning to the Bulls is the best case scenario for Mirotic as the team’s roster has been gutted and will be desperate for his offense and shooting. He’ll be competing with the forgettable Bobby Portis and rookie Lauri Markkanen so there’s a good chance that he’s the Bulls starting power forward this season. Yes, he is absolutely maddening to own, but this late in the draft, your priority should be upside and Mirotic is oozing it. The stretch four showed what he could do over the last month of the season. Over the Bulls’ final 16 contests, he averaged a blistering 15.8 PPG, 3.1 3PG, 6.8 RPG, 0.8 SPG, and 0.9 BPG. Those numbers placed him in the top-30 over that period.

38) Harrison Barnes (SF/PF) – Barnes had a strong start to the 2016-2017 schedule, but faded as the season went on and Dirk Nowtizki returned to full strength. The Maverick finished as a top-75 player on the year, but was barely a top-125 player after the All-Star break. His lack of defensive stats (0.8 SPG, 0.2 BPG) keeps his ceiling his low, as does his weak playmaking ability (1.5 APG). Ignore Barnes at his current top-65 price. There are much better options available at that point in the draft.

40) Rudy Gay (SF/PF) – A torn Achilles has replaced the torn ACL as the most dreaded injury in basketball. We’re still waiting for a major player to have a successful return from a torn Achilles. When Kobe went down, it ended his ability to be a productive NBA player. Brandon Jennings went from being a starting point guard to a journeyman bench player. Wes Matthews looks like a shell of his former self in Dallas. If Gay comes back and an even approaches the level of play that he showed last season, he will be the exception, not the rule. Expect the Spurs to handle Gay with kid gloves and he won’t come close to repeating last season’s top-35 per game finish. He should continue to be useful on the defensive end (1.5 SPG, 0.9 BPG), but expect a major drop-off on offense.

41) Rondae Hollis-Jefferson (SF/PF) – Hollis-Jefferson has the ability to do what Michael Kidd-Gilchrist did last year. Both players couldn’t hit a three if you doubled the size of the net. They are also both very good rebounders who can post some impressive defensive numbers. RHJ got better as the season went on and averaged 7.1 RPG, 1.2 SPG, and 0.6 BPG over the last two months of the season. Despite not living up to the hype last season, there’s some serious upside here, especially in the punt points build (8.7 PPG). He’ll start at the four for the Nets which should keep his boards high and allow him to pick on the bigger, slower power forwards.

42) Greg Monroe (PF/C) – In a better situation, Monroe could be a top-60 player. His per minute numbers are very good and his efficiency (53.3 FG%, 74.1 FT%) is almost as good. Unfortunately, Coach Kidd has declined to play him at the four and that leaves him in a timeshare with Thon Maker. He should see more minutes than Maker, but the difference likely won’t be large enough for Monroe to be a mid-round player. Expect useful scoring (11.7 PPG), rebounding (6.6 RPG), and steals (1.1 SPG) from Monroe in addition to his very good FG%. He’s a great, late-round target for those punting blocks (0.5 BPG) due to his boards and FG%.

43) Richaun Holmes (PF/C) – Holmes is a must-grab late in the draft, regardless of your team building strategy. Holmes has top-30 upside and the only guy standing between him and the minutes he needs to produce at that level has played 31 games over the past three seasons. He should still be roster worthy even when Embiid is on the court. Holmes was a top-90 player in only 20.9 MPG last season and has ability to produce in every category except assists and FT%. His best contributions come on the defensive end (1.3 SP36, 1.6 BP36) and from the floor (55.8 FG%).

44) Derrick Favors (PF/C) – Favors is going to come at a late-round price and that makes him a high reward/no-risk pick. Before the disaster that was his 2016-2017 season, Favors was a consistent top-50 player. The injuries are a major concern, but the big man is still only 26 and shouldn’t be done quite yet. The Jazz are thin up front so the minutes will be there if he’s healthy. Favors is exactly the type of player you want to be looking at late in the draft. He has serious upside in all of the big men categories and has been a very good source of out-of-position swipes in the past (1.2 SPG in 2015-2016).

45) Ryan Anderson (PF/C) – Anderson would be a mid-round player if he did anything on the defense end and was close to average on the boards. It’s pretty difficult to make 2.8 3PG and not be a top-100 player. Somehow, Anderson managed that feat in 2016-2017. He makes Enes Kanter look like a defensive stat machine (0.4 SPG, 0.2 BPG) and his once sizable FT% impact has dissipated due to a drop in attempts (2.1 FTA). Chris Paul will help, and 3.0 3PG has a good chance of happening, but Anderson hurts you as much as helps you these days.

46) Chandler Parsons (SF/PF) – It’s more likely than not that Parsons struggles this season. He was terrible from start to finish in 2016-2017 and showed no signs of turning it around at any point. But at this point in the draft, there are no sure things and there’s also not many players available who have top-60 upside like Parsons does. He is apparently healthy and the Grizzlies are lacking in offensive threats so the opportunity should be there. He was a top-80 player two seasons ago and averaged 13.7 PPG, 1.7 3PG, 4.7 RPG, 2.8 APG, and 0.8 SPG.

47) Ben Simmons (SF/PF) – With all the excitement surrounding Joel Embiid and Markelle Fultz, it’s easy to forget that Simmons is an elite prospect himself. He should be very good in the long run, but how he fares in his rookie year will come down to whether or not he can score efficiently. His jumper is a major question mark and that will make it difficult for him to find the same success from the field that he did in college (56.0 FG%). He will also run the offense on some possessions and that could make turnovers an issue. Managers punting FT% should be very tempted by Simmons. He was a poor free-throw shooter in college (67.0 FT%), so you’re not losing any value there. He is also one of the best passing big men to come out of the draft in years and should be an excellent source of out-of-position dimes (4.8 APG). Those who are not punting FT% need to be wary of Simmons. He could be a sizable drag on the FT% category as his poor connection rate also came with a high draw rate (9.0 FTA) in his lone season at LSU.

48) Julius Randle (PF) – Randle just doesn’t contribute in enough categories right now to be more than a late-round flier. He did manage to crack the top-100 over the last two months of the 2016-2017 campaign, but was only a top-130 player on the year. Unless he improves his defense (0.7 SPG, 0.5 BPG) this season, his ceiling remains low. His efficiency is also an issue (48.6 FG%, 72.3 FT%), but Lonzo Ball should help there. Randle is double-double threat (13.2 PPG, 8.6 RPG) and is decent source of out-of-position dimes (3.6 APG).

49) Wilson Chandler (SF/PF) – Chandler posted top-95 numbers last season, but the arrival of Paul Millsap complicates things. Chandler saw a lot of his minutes come at the four last season and those minutes likely won’t be there now that the Nuggets have an All-Star at the position. A small drop in playing time makes another top-100 finish unlikely. Chandler’s upside isn’t as high as usual this year, but he should still help owners’ points (15.7 PPG), threes (1.5 3PG), boards (6.5 RPG), and blocks (0.5 BPG).

50) Larry Nance Jr. (PF) – Nance just needs to find a way to play more minutes. The Laker was a top-90 player last season despite only playing 22.9 MPG. He returns as Brook Lopez’s and Julius Randle’s backup and will need an injury to one of those players to have a true breakout season. Even if those players stay healthy, Nance will be one of the better sources of steals from the power foward spot (1.3 SPG). He can also provide a smattering of boards (5.9 RPG) and will have a small, positive impact on FG% (52.5 FG%).

51) Tristan Thompson (PF/C) – Thompson is very good in two categories (9.2 RPG, 60.0 FG%) and forgettable just about everywhere else. He set a career-high in blocks (1.1 BPG), but his rim protection faltered as the season went on. Thompson only averaged 0.8 BPG over the last two months of the season. Thompson is just an option for those who are punting FT% and didn’t get enough big man stats early. If you’re not punting FT%, stay far, far away. Only five players had a larger negative impact on the category last season (49.8 FT% on 2.7 FTA).

52) JaMychal Green (PF) – This ranking assumes that Green will re-sign with the Grizzles. If Green returns, the Grizzlies’ power forward rotation is going to consist of Green and Jarell Martin. So it’s safe to say that Green is going to see plenty of minutes if he does come back. The big man provides a little bit of everything with his best contributions coming on the boards (7.0 RPG). He can also hit from deep (0.7 3PG) and has had stretches where he has been an underrated source of FG% impact (50.2 FG%). His efficiency, boards, and lack of blocks (0.4 BPG) makes him a quality late-round target for those punting blocks.

53) Cody Zeller (PF/C) – If the Hornets didn’t trade for Dwight Howard, Zeller would be a top-100 pick. He was a top-80 option in 2016-2017 and produces a very clean line. He is extremely efficient from the field (57.1 FG%) and active on defense (0.9 SPG, 1.0 BPG). He’s still a good option in the punt points build (10.3 PPG), but he’ll be on the edge of being roster worthy as long as Dwight is healthy.

54) Ersan Ilyasova (SF/PF) – Ersan will likely begin the year as the Hawks’ starting power forward. As we saw last year when he was with the Sixers, he can still put up some interesting lines. Ilyasova is more of a short-term pick that you’ll be hoping helps get your team off to a strong start. With the Hawks look like bottom dwellers, they’ll likely move on from players like Ilyasova as the year goes on in favor of their younger players. Before the inevitable drop in playing time, the veteran should produce solid numbers in the points (13.1 PPG), threes (1.7 3PG), and rebounding (5.9 RPG) categories.

55) John Collins (PF) – Collins will likely start the season behind Ilyasova and could easily take the veteran’s starting spot later in the year. The rookie should see a fair amount of minutes immediately with Hawks extremely thin at the four. His college stats and extremely strong summer league suggest that he could take advantage of that playing time. Collins projects as an efficient scorer (62.2 FG%) and a very good rebounder (9.8 RPG). He should be serviceable in the blocks column (1.6 BPG) and respectable from the line (74.5 FT%). As is the case with the majority of rookies, Collins will experience plenty of bumps in the road. Expect him to struggle with passing the ball (0.5 APG) and it will take some time for him to expand his game beyond the three-point line (0.0 3PG).