After finishing 4th in the 2020-21 season, the Knicks came into this past season with legitimate expectations. Unfortunately, those expectations did not come close to being met. RJ Barrett didn’t take quite leap people expected, Julius Randle’s 3-point shooting fell back to earth, and Kemba Walker’s knees turned out to be dust in the wind.
This offseason, the Knicks continued to do Knicks things by negotiating themselves out of acquiring Donovan Mitchell and signing a solid but unspectacular Jalen Brunson to four-year, $104 million contact. Other than Brunson, this team is similar to last year and, for real life basketball, should have similar expectations. The Knicks will most likely be playing for a play-in spot at best, especially in a now stacked Eastern Conference. However, for fantasy purposes there are a few players you’ll want to have on your rosters this upcoming season.
First let’s take a look at the depth chart for this upcoming season:
|PG||Jalen Brunson||Immanuel Quickley/Derrick Rose||Ryan Arcidiacono/Miles McBride|
|SG||Evan Fournier||Quentin Grimes/Immanuel Quickley||Svi Mykhailiuk|
|SF||RJ Barrett||Cam Reddish|
|PF||Julius Randle||Obi Toppin|
|C||Mitchell Robinson||Isaiah Hartenstein||Jericho Sims|
RJ Barrett is the most important player to watch for this upcoming season for the Knicks especially in points leagues. After the All-Star break, this went from Randle’s team to Barrett’s team. Post-ASB, Barrett averaged 24.5 points, 6.2 rebounds and 3.8 assists in 22 games compared to 21.1 points, 8.9 rebounds and 4.9 assists in 15 games for Julius “Dubious Handles” Randle. I would expect this trend to continue and for Barrett to continue to be the top dog on this team. If he can get his percentages up a bit, he could be a valuable asset in all formats.
As for Julius Randle, the efficiency came back to earth after an outlier season without fans when he shot a career-high from 3 and the from the line. I think last year’s Randle is closer to what we can expect this season, if not worse. I expect his usage to go down because of the addition of Brunson. He’s not going to be asked to handle the ball as much now that the Knicks have an actual PG on the roster. Randle’s TOs should be better but I expect all other stats to go down or stay about the same. If his ADP is based on his stats last year, I’d stay away as I expect regression.
Jalen Brunson should be similar to what he did last year on the Mavs. He’s a solid middle round pick in all formats. If anything, his assists should be better on the Knicks as he’ll be asked to be on ball more on a team without Luka Doncic.
As for the rest of the Knicks, Mitchell Robinson is a good late round pick if you just need FG%, blocks, and rebounds while Evan Fournier is a good source of 3s. Other than that all of these players need an injury to be relevant outside of very deep leagues.
Bing bong and in Thibs we trust; go Knicks!