«

»

Sep 08

17/18 September Rankings: 76-100

76) Lonzo Ball (PG) – Ball’s rookie season is probably going to be a circus. Luke Walton wasn’t afraid to bench D’Angelo Russell and you can guess what’s going to happen if he does the same to Ball. The off-court stuff could be messy, but the on-court stuff shouldn’t be. Ball has great vision and great size and should post at least a couple of triple-doubles this season (6.0 RPG and 7.6 APG at UCLA). He also has shown some signs of being a very strong contributor on the defensive end (1.8 SPG, 0.8 BPG) and has a chance to be very good from three (2.2 3PG). Lonzo fits best in the punt points build as he wasn’t much of a scorer in college (14.6 PPG). He should shoot something respectable from the field as he was very efficient in his only year at UCLA (55.1 FG%) and is not the type to throw up bad shots. The free-throw line will be another matter. His solid shooting from deep and the field didn’t translate to the charity stripe in his freshman year (67.3 FT%).

77) 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.

78) Malcolm Brogdon (PG/SG) – Brogdon became one of the most unlikely Rookie of the Year winners in 2016-2017 and his strong play translated to quite a bit of fantasy value. He improved as the season went on and was a top-65 player after the All-Star break. Giannis Antetokounmpo runs the Bucks’ offense, but that doesn’t stop Brogdon from being a steady source of assists (4.3 APG). He doesn’t light the world on fire in any category, but he doesn’t hurt you anywhere either. Unlike most rookie point guards, he didn’t struggle the field (45.8 FG%) or with turnovers (1.5 TOPG) in his maiden season.

79) Jeremy Lin (PG/SG) – Lin was very good when he was on the court last season, but that wasn’t very often. He managed to be a top-80 per game player last season despite only playing 24.5 MPG. He’ll share the Nets’ backcourt with D’Angelo Russell this season. The arrival of Russell shouldn’t hurt Lin’s value too much. Both players are comfortable playing off the ball and both should start for the Nets. Lin should be able to better the 14.5 PPG, 1.6 3PG, 5.1 APG, and 1.1 SPG that he produced last season and is a quality mid-round option for those who want to avoid the point guard rush that usually takes place earlier in the draft.

80) 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.

81) 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.

82) 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).

83) 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).

84) Jamal Murray (PG/SG) – Murray is going to start for the Nuggets this year and have a big season. The question is how big. We know he score (16.5 PP36) and we know he can shoot the three-ball (2.3 3P36). He should also be good for five or so apples now that he’ll be a full-time starter. What will ultimately determine Murray’s value this season is his steals and his FG%. He was extremely mediocre in both in his rookie season. He only produced 1.1 SP36 and shot 40.5% from the floor. The good news is that both of those numbers went up as the year went along. He’s being overhyped on some sites and underrated on others like Yahoo. Eighth-round feels about right for Murray. I like his prospects this year, but there are plenty of quality point guards in the league these days and you shouldn’t reach too far for any of them.

85) Markelle Fultz (PG) – Fultz remains a better long-term prospect than Lonzo Ball both on the court and in the fantasy realm, but the Laker will be in a much better position in his rookie season. Joel Embiid will be the focal point of the Sixers’ offense and the offense will run through Ben Simmons at times as well. Fultz likely won’t average more than 5 APG, but he can still be a very valuable fantasy asset, especially in the second half of the season. His game projects to be very fantasy-friendly. In his only year at Washington, this year’s first-overall pick averaged 23.2 PPG, 2.1 3PG, 5.9 APG, 5.7 RPG, 1.6 SPG, and a very intriguing 1.2 BPG. Expect some very tasty popcorn stats this season that is accompanied by some poor efficiency. He shot 47.6% from the field in college and is likely to be in the low 40s in his rookie season. He’s also surprisingly bad at line (64.9 FT%) and like most rookie point guards, he’s going to struggle with turnovers (3.2 TOPG).

86) 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.

87) Willy Hernangomez (C)  – If you’re punting blocks, Hernangomez needs to find his way onto your team (1.0 BP36). Boards and FG% are two categories that the punt blocks build usually struggles with as many of the shotblockers that you are passing on are some of the best options in both of those categories. Hernangomez is a solution to that problem. He is the favorite to start at center for the Knicks and has shown the ability to be a double-double machine. Over the last two months of the season, he averaged 11.4 PPG and 9.2 RPG while shooting 52.6% from the field.

88) 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.

89) 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. In the Bulls’ final 16 contest 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.

90) Seth Curry (PG/SG) – Curry was one of the more surprising 2016-2017 breakout players. He actually had a stretch in the middle of the season where he was putting up numbers that weren’t far off his brother’s. He was a top-50 player after the All-Star break and badly outplayed Wes Matthews. Curry is another strong punt assists point guard option (2.7 APG) and is one of the few players who can boost both your threes (2.0 3PG) and your FG% (48.1 FG%). Pair the younger Curry with strong rebounders and he hurts your boards more than most guards do (2.5 RPG).

91) Marcus Smart (PG) – I’ve never been a big believer in Smart. If he wasn’t a Celtic, he wouldn’t have received nearly as much hype as he has over the past couple of years. He’s a very good defender, but his offense continues to be a mess. That being said, he has a massive opportunity in front of him. With Avery Bradley in Detroit, he should set a career-high in minutes played this season. Smart is a punt FG%-only player. He posts some useful numbers, but his line isn’t good enough to justify the gigantic FG% hit. If you are punting FG%, then Smart can be a very good source of defensive stats (1.6 SPG, 0.4 BPG) and can provide you with a handful of threes (1.2 3PG) and assists (4.6 APG).

92) Andre Iguodala (SG/SF) – Players like Iguodala are why I love the punt points build so much. That build puts so many more options in play and allows you to scoop up useful players with little competition. You probably could have grabbed Iguodala off the wire last season. If you did that, and were punting points, then you got a top-60 player for free. He was even better when it counted and was posting top-40 numbers without points during the fantasy playoffs. You’ll likely be able to wait until the end of the draft to grab Iguodala, but if you’re punting points, feel free to reach for him a round or two early.

93) Michael Kidd-Gilchrist (SF) –  The Hornet finally does enough on the defensive end to warrant consideration at the back-end of the middle rounds. He’s always been a very good defender, but it never translated into flashy boxscore numbers. That changed last season. Kidd-Gilchrist averaged 1.0 SPG and 0.9 BPG and that led to a top-85 finish on the year. His lack of three-ball (0.0 3PG) keeps his FG% high (47.8 FG%). Expect his very strong rebounding rate to take a bit of hit (7.0 RPG) now that Dwight Howard is manning the paint for the Hornets.

94) Devin Booker (SG) – Booker is a trap and is going to be overdrafted in almost all drafts. There’s a lot more to fantasy than PPG and Booker hasn’t yet proven that he can be a consistent contributor outside of the scoring categories. He also hasn’t proven that he can be a valuable fantasy option when Eric Bledsoe is on the floor. Booker has finished hot in both of his seasons in the league, but those hot finishes came with Bledsoe in a suit. Despite playing 35.0 MPG and averaging 22.1 PPG and 1.9 3PG while shooting 83.2% from the line, Booker was barely a top-130 player last season. That goes to show how little he contributes everywhere else. A top-100 finish is not guaranteed. Stay far, far away at his current price.

95) Terrence Ross (SG/SF) – Ross’ role with the Magic was much larger than it was with the Raptors and the increased opportunity lead to a top-90 performance after the All-Star break. The swingman doesn’t contribute in enough categories to be more than a mid-round player, but if you’re in need of threes and defensive stats, you could do worse. After the All-Star break, Ross averaged 1.9 3PG, 1.4 SPG, and 0.5 BPG.

96) Darren Collison (PG/SG) – Assuming Collison beats out Cory Joseph for the starting job, which he should, he’ll be a reasonable option late in drafts for those who didn’t want to overpay for assists earlier. Collison has been a top-100 player three seasons in a row and had a top-50 peak in 2014-2015. Victor Oladipo will be the Pacers primary option in the backcourt which keeps Collison’s ceiling in check, but a repeat of Collison’s solid 2016-2017 season is doable. In his final season with the Kings, the point guard posted averages of 13.2 PPG, 1.1 3PG, 4.6 APG, and 1.0 SPG. Those numbers won’t win you any leagues, but when you combine them with Collison’s stellar percentages (47.6 FG%, 86.0 FT%), you have yourself a very useful player who is good value this late in the draft.

97) Taurean Prince (SF) – Prince is going to be on most sleeper lists, including mine, but I wouldn’t reach too high for the sophomore. He’s going to have a major role for the rebuilding Hawks, but outside of threes (1.2 3P36), steals (1.6 SP36), and blocks (1.0 BP36), I’m not sure he’s going to be that useful. His scoring will be in the low double-digits (12.3 PP36) and he’s a surprisingly mediocre rebounder given his size (5.7 RP36). He’s also very likely going to struggle shooting the ball (39.9 FG%) and won’t be racking up assists (1.9 AP36). I do like Prince, but don’t go blowing a seventh-round pick on the Hawk.

98) J.J. Redick (SG) – Redick is leaving one of the best offenses in the league, but his new digs aren’t too shabby either. The Sixers are pushing for the playoffs this season and Redick should be able to at least match the 28.2 MPG that he averaged in 2016-2017. The Sixers’ offense was terrible last year, but they did play at a top-5 pace and that should continue now that Markelle Fultz is lining up at point guard. Drafting Redick is a good way to boost your points (15.0 PPG), threes (2.6 3PG), and FT% (89.1 FT%) late in drafts. You’ll have to look for boards (2.2 RPG), dimes (1.4 APG), and defensive stats (0.7 SPG, 0.2 BPG) elsewhere.

99) 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.

100) Zach LaVine (PG/SG) – LaVine likely won’t be ready at the beginning of the season and will be brought along slowly once he does return. However, he shouldn’t be ignored if you play in a league with an IR spot. He was a top-60 player last season and is going to have a massive role with the Bulls once he does return to full strength, especially with Dwyane Wade looking like he’s headed out the door. He could be a difference maker during the fantasy playoffs and is a dream point guard option for those punting assists. He should eventually be a major boon to your points (18.9 PPG) and threes (2.6 3PG) and will help you in those categories without dragging down your FG% (46.0 FG). If you don’t play with an IR spot, then I would wait a little longer to grab LaVine.

Follow me on Twitter @EliteFanBBall for the latest fantasy basketball news. I will gladly answer any fantasy basketball related questions that you may have.

3 comments

  1. kaisersoze

    Hey,
    Longtime reader! I’m confused about your ranking of Lonzo Ball. I’m not a big fan of targeting rookies in drafts, but based on your description of him here it seems like 76 is a little low for him. You write he’ll help in rebounds, assists, 3s, along with defensive stats. His FG% may not be great, his points will be low, and his FT% stinks. But based on his strong points (and an abundance of minutes as the MAN in LA), why not rank him top 50 or top 60?
    Thanks!

    1. Adam Stock

      Mostly because he’s a rookie and we’ve only seen in him in summer league. A fantasy-friendly college line doesn’t always translate right away so it’s hard to be sure with rooks this early in the calendar. For example, Brandon Ingram’s college stats suggest that his game will be fantasy-friendly eventually, but it was the complete opposite in his first season. Also, I think he’ll help on the defensive end but a lot of points guards do these days. If he’s around 1.4 SPG, 0.5 BPG, that’s solid, but its not like it gives him a big advantage on the other mid-round options. Throwing him in the top-50 or 60 means that I think he’ll be about as valuable as a guy like Dragic or Jrue was last year and I’m not yet ready to say that.

      1. kaisersoze

        Great. Thanks for the explanation, makes a lot of sense.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>