I told you that we won’t stop. We keep going, and going, and going like the Energizer bunny. Here is the next iteration of projections/rankings. If you missed previous editions, here you go:
Before I begin…
THESE RANKINGS MUST BE UTILIZED IN THE CONTEXT OF YOUR LEAGUE SETTINGS, TEAM ROSTER CONSTRUCTION, AVERAGE DRAFT POSITION, AND PERSONAL PHILOSOPHIES.
I shouldn’t even name them rankings, as they are simply projections, but the people want rankings so here they are. As for my process, I went to each team and tried to figure out their rotations with minutes distributions as best I could. Then I went to each player and projected the per minute stats for each player. So, yes, there is subjectivity in the process. I’m also still refining my process and trying to get better with each iteration. With all the players in the overall pool, I then took the z-score for each category and added up those numbers to produce an overall value number. For free throw and field goal percentage, I weighted them for volume.
So, where a player lands in the rankings doesn’t mean that I would draft said player there. It simply gives a macro view of a player’s overall value.
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(Projections are for 9-cat leagues)
51) Buddy Hield (G – Sacramento Kings) – Luke Walton did not consider Hield his Buddy last season, as he brought him off the bench in favor of BogBog. With Bog gone, Walton may be forced to be a Buddy with Hield. For fantasy, it’s all about the tres, as he drained 3.8 per game last season and was second to only James Harden with 271 total made. He will provide some boards and steals, and the free throw percentage is good, but the rest of his game is empty.
52) Jonas Valanciunas (C – Memphis Grizzlies) – Coach! I’m ready, coach. Put me on the varsity. JV has proven to be varsity worthy, as he was tied for 10th in dub-dubs last season. He also blocks a shot per game and provides excellent percentages. It sucks that he only plays 26 minutes per game.
53) Khris Middleton (G/F – Milwaukee Bucks) – The Top 25 was littered with block specialists. The Top 50 is all about scorers with limited defensive contributions, although Middleton will pilfer just under 1 per game. The .1 blocks, though, is laughable. Middleton will be graced on the walls of every YMCA in a few decades, as he embodies the game of every member. Little flash and sizzle. Just buckets. Points, tres, boards, dimes, and excellent percentages, especially a free throw number close to 90%. It will be interesting to see how he meshes with Jrue, but there could be less playmaking and more spot up shooting. We shall see how it plays out.
54) Draymond Green (F/C – Golden State Warriors) – The person who said that Draymond shoots like he’s wearing a backpack needs to be inducted into the Hall of Fame! Since 2015, when Dray was a top 15 player on a per-game basis, he’s steadily been falling off: 21st, 32nd, 58th, and 86th last year. Injuries to not only himself, but to his teammates have definitely played a huge role, but his game has been deteriorating as well. The boards are not as robust and the shooting has been awful, like Charles Barkely swinging a golf club ugly. With that said, Steph Curry is back and there’s been an infusion of young talent on the periphery. I’m thinking a renaissance of sorts for Dray. 1/1/1 production with a healthy amount of boards and dimes. The field goal percentage will always be terrible,though, until he takes off the backpack.
55) Jamal Murray (G – Denver Nuggets) – Jamal showed us his big testicles during the Bubble with his play on the court. He also showed us his big #@$! off the court. Hey-O! Outside of his rookie season, Murray has finished as the 60th, 77th, and 57th player on a per-game basis. He’s solid, as he will provide points, tres, boards, dimes, steals, and good percentages. The blocks are light though, but the turnovers are low. There’s upside to his game, as he showed a ceiling during the Bubble, but he was insanely efficient and played a ton of minutes, which won’t happen during the regular season.
56) Donovan Mitchell (G – Utah Jazz) – I still remember the performances that Mitchell blessed us with during the 2017 Summer League. I was sliding into his DM’s all night long. Explosive crossovers, dizzying spin moves, elevating put backs, and tenacious defense. It was all on display. Just watching him, it was as if he was the only player that had access to the turbo button. So, he good and has tons of potential, but like Murray, he may get overdrafted due to his Bubble performance. Since being drafted, Mitchell has finished as the 54, 56, and 54 player on a per-game basis. That’s consistency at its finest. He does everything that Murray does, but with fewer blocks. Go figure. The main issue with Mitchell is his environment. The Jazz are so methodical on offense that it puts a ceiling on his fantasy prospects.
57) Lonzo Ball (G – New Orleans Pelicans) – The percentages are horrific, but there’s hope for change. Waves hi to 2020. I kind of hate that Ball is here. Waves hi to Lavar. I kid. Ball does provide those precious dimes and he rebounds very well for a guard. The defensive stats are good as well. And even with the horrific shooting, he provides over 2 tres per game. Like buying any BBB gear, know what you’re getting into before you purchase.
58) Gordon Hayward (G/F – Charlotte Hornets) – The before and after pictures of Gordon Hayward give all of us hope! Yeah, not really, but it’s a good marketing gimic. Hayward is a GQ assassin, svelty getting buckets while making sure the mousse/gel (what do you think he uses?) doesn’t get disturbed. His efficiency is great and he should get a usage bump, as he leaves the crowded and talented squad in Boston for…uh, Charlotte. Hayward does lack in the defensive cats, though.
59) Domantas Sabonis (F/C – Indiana Pacers) – Earlier this year, the police were called to the residence of Arvydas Sabonis, as neighbors heard screaming and shouting throughout the night. “Did you sleep with another man? I never averaged more than 3.3 assists during a season and was a defensive maven in both blocks and steals!!! Domantas averaged 5 dimes last season and has never come close to 1 steal or block!!! Where did he get that from?” Ha. I kid. Arvydas must be so proud of his son, Domantas. The old videos of Arvydas playing with Domantas melt my heart. Anyways, Domantas plays a ton of minutes and will be a dub-dub machine. He was third in the League with 50 last season, 6 behind Giannis. The dimes are lovely as well and the field goal percentage is to die for. The bugaboos are lack of tres, defensive stats, and average free throw percentage.
60) Brandon Ingram (G/F – New Orleans Pelicans) – As a Lakers fan, I’m happy to see Ingram get the bag. Sorry, BAGS. I wasn’t feeling him at first, as he was so skinny and hesitant on the court, but the development and attitude he displayed between his rookie and sophomore year was enough to be like, “ok, maybe we got something here.” He showed he had some dog inside him, his J developed, and he started taking it to the rack. For how long he is, the defensive stats should be better, but he can score from all three levels, grab boards, and dish out dimes. The most remarkable improvement has been in the free throw shooting, as he’s above 80% now after languishing in the high-60s earlier in his career. Now, the new coaching staff will likely slow down the pace and a healthy Zion will crimp his usage and production, so he may regress some.
61) Kelly Oubre Jr. (F – Golden State Warriors) – Kelly provides some O, but not of the orgasmic variety. Still, it’s satisfactory and keeps people coming back for more. In Golden State, it’s all about Curry and Wiggins, but the Warriors will play at a fast pace and move the ball, so he will still get his. Oubre provides tres, boards, and if things break right, could be a 1/1/1 member if he channels his inner Mutombo. Just don’t expect dimes. A selfish lover he is but at least he has the O.
62) Thomas Bryant (C – Washington Wizards) – How will Bryant mesh with Russ? He could be fazed out or he could have a career-year in boards collecting all those bricks!!! Bryant should be fine, especially since he has some acumen from downtown. Bryant will grab boards, get blocks, and provide good percentages. Don’t expect much in the dimes and steals cats though.
63) TJ Warren (F – Indiana Pacers) –
Mount up! But don’t go too crazy because his performance in the Bubble is unlikely to be replicated. Remember that there was no Sabonis. With that said, Warren is a G for points, tres, steals, and percentages. He will even chip in some blocks and boards, and the turnovers are super low. Just don’t expect dimes from him. Gs only carry bills.
64) Clint Capela (F/C – Atlanta Hawks) – The C&C Music Factory should be pumping out beautiful music in Atlanta, but the speakers must be blown or something. Hopefully, everything is fixed for this season, as he could feast in the up-tempo, spread out environment led by Trae Young. Capela provides boards, blocks, and insane field goal percentage. Unfortunately, no tres, but he plays with Trae, no dimes, and the free throw percentage is less than his field goal percentage. Yuck.
65) Kemba Walker (G – Boston Celtics) – The news out of Boston isn’t great regarding Kemba’s knee. As a result, I knocked down his games played and stats across the board. This is where he lands from a projections standpoint, but you shouldn’t be drafting here if you want him. Can get him 3-4 round later. If/when he does play, he’s a good source of points, tres, dimes, and free throw percentage. The field goal percentage is poor, though, and the defensive stats aren’t great. With a gimpy knee, the efficiency could take a hit down.
66) Ricky Rubio (G – Minnesota Timberwolves) – I have Rubio starting with DLo at the 2. There’s a chance that DLo starts at point with Rubio coming off the bench. I don’t think that happens but it’s out there, so be aware. Regardless, when he does play, it’s all about the dimes, which are a precious resource. The free throw shooting is good but the efficiency from the field is poor. He will also provide some tres and steals.
67) Danilo Gallinari (F – Atlanta Hawks) – There’s some uncertainity regarding Gallinari’s situation, as the Hawks are loaded in the front court. I think it sorts itself out and he gets 32 minutes of run per game, but there is the chance he comes off the bench and only gets minutes in the high 20s. When he does play, Gallinari is going to provide excellent free throw shooting, which is elevated due to high volume, points, tres, and some boards. Defensive stats? Fuggetabouit. Dimes? He gets paid to get buckets and the environment in Atlanta is as fantasy friendly as it gets.
68) De’Aaron Fox (G – Sacramento Kings) – Megan, Michael J, Vivica, and Rick all had their strengths, but definitely their flaws as well. Keeping with the family tradition, De’Aaron is not a perfect animal, as the free throw shooting is piss poor, elevated by the fact that he shoots a high volume. With that said, he’s only getting better and his road runner jets are unmatched. Fox will provide tons of points, tres, those plenty of precious dimes, and steals that would get him arrested. The boards and blocks aren’t bad for the guard position as well.
69) DeMar DeRozan (G/F – San Antonio Spurs) – DeRozan should be higher. I know, but the model be loving them blocks, and DeRozan doesn’t provide any. Also he’s deficient in tres. The rest, though? Of Double D proportions, as he will provide plenty of points, some steals, and more than a handful of boards and dimes. The percentages are of PornHub caliber as well.
70) Brandon Clarke (F/C – Memphis Grizzles) – I have Clarke getting more run than the 22.5 mpg he received last season. Is 28 too ambitious? Possibly, but at least early on, he should get that with Jaren Jackson Jr. not able to start the season. Clarke won’t blow you away in any cat, but he won’t hurt you either and contributes a little something something in everything. That has value.
71) PJ Washington (F – Charlotte Hornets) – Washington is going to play a ton of minutes. Who else is taking minutes from him at power forward? In addition, there was talk that he will get some run as the small-ball center.
Washington is going to get plenty of boards, but he shoots the ball from downtown and gets his 211 and Mutombo on. He’s like .1 per game light in steals to be a 1/1/1 player. You won’t get much in the dimes department and the field goal percentage is decent, not great by any means. It’s the free throw percentage which hurts at 64%.
72) Otto Porter Jr. (F – Chicago Bulls) – I guess it’s appropriate that Otto is the 69th player because there’s an equal chance of finding the pearl or getting shitted on in the face. Billy Donovan recently said they he will monitor his minutes this season. Yuck. When he does play, though, he will provide across-the-board production without hurting you anywhere, but will never win a week for you. Hopefully, the new system utilizes his talents.
73) OG Anunoby (F – Toronto Raptors) – All hail, Masai! Dude is one of the best, if not the best, general managers and surveyors of talent in the league. Like most OGs, it ain’t about the flash; only about taking care of business. Anunoby isn’t going to wow the ladies with the points, but he will hit the open tres, fight for boards, and get his 211 on. He will also chip in blocks. He’s basically Otto 2.0, and he’s still developing and maturing.
74) Malcolm Brogdon (G – Indiana Pacers) – Are all Malcolms in the middle? Brogdon seems like he’s average in everything, even games played! He’s played 54, 64, 48, and 75 the last four seasons. Fine, this Malcolm is not in the middle, as he boards well for a guard and delivers over 7 dimes a game. That’s better than average. Way better. He can also score and drain tres. The percentages are good as well, but he doesn’t provide much in the way of defensive stats. Hopefully, he can stay healthy.
75) Andrew Wiggins (G/F – Golden State Warriors) –
Getting Wiggins with it. Da da dada da da dada. Getting Wiggins with it. This is the year he puts it all together and breaks out. Right? Bueller? He did crack the top 100 for the first time in his career last season, so it could be the beginning of a trend. We shall see. The big thing is how will he work with Curry? The usage and opportunites will obviously take a hit, but he’s a good cutter and the system is based on movement and ball movement, so maybe playing alongside Curry will be a boon, as there could be more space and easy buckets on the docket. Now, the percentages will always be an issue, but he will provide tres, some boards, and did you know that he has an outside shot of being a 1/1/1 member? Dreams sometimes do come true.