Welcome to the Top 75. We got wily veterans, All-Stars in the making, big men, thieves, unselfish disher of dimes, and gazelle-like humans. So, sit back, take a sip of that drink on your table, and have a pleasant experience perusing the merchandise, as there will be something for everyone. If you began your journey here or just want to help a brother out, please click and read the below links trillions of times. My kids will appreciate the cheese on their Whoppers. Thank you.
As always, keep in mind that these rankings are based on overall value from my projections. I detailed my process in the Top 10. Use them in context of your roster construction, ADP, and personal preference.
51) Shai Gilgeous-Alexander (PG – Oklahoma City Thunder)
Last year, my heart beat and eyelashes fluttered for Luka Doncic. This year? Shai is so Gilgeous-Alexander. Sorry, Luka. I’m a slut like that. For starters, The Goat, aka The Logo, aka Jerry West was smitten over SGA. I’m a dumb man, but have gained intelligence by following West when it comes to talent evaluation over the years. SGA is 6′ 6″ 181 pounds. He can post up and shoot over smaller defenders. Although he’s still light physically, he effectively finishes through contact. The J is efficient, but the release is slow. Regardless, he shoots a high percentage from both downtown and midtown. The handles are crisp, which allow him to get to the rim, where he is so creative finishing. What I most love about his game is that he never rushes. He patiently probes, yet changes speed and direction to keep defenders off balance. It’s not all about the finish, though. He’s a willing and adept passer, and navigates pick-and-roll action effectively. Finally, his length and athleticism allow him to be a maven on defense. OKC fans may soon be asking, “Russell who?” At only 20 years old, SGA could be a fantasy fixture for years to come.
52) Malcolm Brogdon (PG – Indiana Pacers)
I’ve never seen Brogdon smile. I’ve also never seen him on Sportscenter. Hmmm, not having cable probably has something to do with that. Regardless, Brogdon is meh in the most complimentary sense of the word. Is that what they call an oxymoron? English is my second language, so you’ll have to forgive me. Maybe Son is just a moron. Anyways, Brogdon is a solid player who will provide good percentages, tres, points, boards, and dimes. The steals are a little light and the blocks are few, but the turnovers are low. There could be some upside when Victor Oladipo is out, but Brogdon should fit most builds comfortably.
53) Luka Doncic (PG/SG – Dallas Mavericks)
Y’all know how much I loved Luka last year. He was my boo, but that’s in the past. I’m a slut, so I have a new boo this season, but I still like him a lot, though. Can we still be friends? Luka proved that he belongs in the league and will be a force for many years to come. On any given night, he can trip-dub. With that said, he’s got a few too many pimples for my liking, as the percentages are poor, the turnovers are high, and he doesn’t block. That makes the Twitter trolls happy, but not fantasy nerds.
54) DeMar DeRozan (SG/SF – San Antonio Spurs)
DeMar is the missionary of fantasy. Boring, yet effective. Over the past four seasons, he’s finished as the number 45, 47, 42, and 50 player for 9-cat overall value. You know the tres won’t be raining down from the heavens, but there’s comfort in knowing that he will play 35 minutes per game and has only missed 19 games over the same span. Now, there were some changes when he went from Toronto to San Antonio. The free throw attempts went down, but the six per game still provides an excellent foundation for the category. The boards and dimes both increased from his Toronto days, but I’m not sure how sustainable that is. As a result, I brought down both numbers close to 5.
55) Kelly Oubre Jr. (SF – Phoenix Suns)
Over the final two months of last season, Oubre was a top 35 player for fantasy. The only cat he lacks in is dimes. Stop being so selfish, Kelly! As I’ve thought and dug into Oubre, the more the excitement level rises. He will likely be a popular target, especially in this area of the draft, as he is one of the few players that will contribute points, tres, and a healthy amount of both steals and blocks.
56) Jonas Valanciunas (C – Memphis Grizzlies)
For most of his career, Valanciunas received around 26 minutes of run each game. As a result, he was a top 60-ish player for fantasy. Then, two years ago, a seismic shift happened. A currency revaluation with our neighbors to the north? A relegation to the JV squad? Naw, then coach Dwayne Casey wanted to play more small ball, which Nick Nurse continued. As a result, the minutes cratered to 22 per game. With the Raptors poised to make a playoff run last season, the team traded JV for Marc Gasol, an excellent, passing big man who stretched the floor and helped win their first NBA championship. It was a win for JV also, as he was a significant contributor for the Grizzlies and played almost 28 minutes per game. With little behind him on the depth chart, Valanciunas should play as much as he can handle. The situation should also be improved in Memphis with the addition of Ja Morant and the return from injury for Jaren Jackson Jr. Valanciunas will provide excellent field goal percentage, good free throw percentage, points, boards, and blocks. Don’t expect tres, dimes, or steals.
57) Dwight Powell (PF/C – Dallas Mavericks)
Powell was one of the first names to jump out at me (yes, I have a 3-D monitor) after my inital run with the projections. Top 60? Really? Well, he was a top 50 player over the final two months last year. Still, I tried to nuke him as much as possible, yet here we are. Alright, first things first, the Mavs are light on big men. At power forward and center, they essentially have Kristaps Porzingis, Maxi Kleber, Powell, and Boban Marjanovic. Boban won’t play more than 15 mpg. I have him down for 14. So, that leaves 82 minutes for the rest. Porzingis is at 30 minutes, while Kleber is at 26. Luka Doncic will play some power forward, I suppose, but I also have Porzingis missing a ton of games, so that evens out. I have Powell down for 26 minutes. The percentages are good, he will chip in some tres and points, grab some boards, and provide a modicum of blocks and steals. Powell is not a week winner in any cat, but provides solid contributions across the board. He is more suited for roto leagues, but is helpful in H2H, as he fits any kind of build.
58) Jeremy Lamb (SG – Indiana Pacers)
Baaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa. Baaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa. Lamb is a little light on the blocks and steals. Needs more seasoning, perhaps? Tres, points, boards, and some dimes should be on the menu, though. Free throw percentage is good, while the shooting from the field is decent. He does get a bump up from the ridiculously low turnover rate. Now, the situation in Indiana is an interesting one, as much is predicated on the health of Victor Oladipo. When he’s healthy, Lamb should be the main guy off the bench, which wouldn’t be a bad thing because he would be one of the primary options on offense, going up against second-teamers. If he’s out, Lamb would start alongside Malcolm Brogdon, TJ Warren, Myles Turner, and Domantas Sabonis. The usage would be much lower playing on that unit. Regardless, Lamb will get his minutes and provide solid counting stats and ratios.
59) Zion Williamson (PF – New Orleans Pelicans)
Zion was the hill of Jerusalem on which the city of David was built. The NBA version is a god in the making who will put Zeus’ lightning and thunder theatrics to shame with his awe-inspiring, wood-splintering, and rim-rattling dunks. Zion is 6′ 7″ 284 pounds with the hops of a flea. The jumper is suspect, though. As a result, I had him much lower in the rankings initially, as I envisioned defenses packing it in and forcing him to shoot from the outside. I’m a stupid, stupid man. Zion is going to bully ball his way to dunk after dunk, regardless of the situation. Think Giannis, who is from Greece. The Greek Gods have time travelled and resurfaced as NBA players!!! Anyways, Zion is going to score and grab boards, but he’s also a two-way player, as he will get his block and 211 on. What I most appreciate about Zion are his basketball IQ and mental frame of mind. From all indications, he has a good head on his shoulders, works hard, and understands the nuances of the game. That should help with the dimes increasing as his career matures. The two bugaboos are the free throw percentage and lack of tres. I can also see those improving as time goes on. The stroke is decent. For now, though, they will hold him back from a fantasy perspective. In a year or two, he should be a staple in the top 25.
60) Josh Richardson (SG – Philadelphia 76ers)
My RichardSON!!! Like Oubre, one of the few players in this area who can contribute in all categories, especially the defensive ones. The blocks have decreased over the years, but he has the ability to get close to 1 per game. The shooting efficiency has been the big bugaboo for my RichardSON, as he shot 41% from the field last season. Now that he’s in Philly, the usage and shot attempts will likely go down, but a projected increase in efficiency should mitigate some of the decline in volume.
61) Robert Covington (SF/PF – Minnesota Timberwolves)
Covington is a roto player’s wet dream. The turnovers are low, he boards, and is a member of the 1/1/1 club. After leaving the early rounds of the draft, more often than not, you will be hunting for tres and defensive stats. That is when Lord Covington makes an appearance and delivers. Now, that’s not to say all is good so that we should crown him to be king. The dimes are light and the field goal percentage isn’t great. In addition, he’s coming off a season in which he only played 35 games and underwent arthroscopic knee surgery.
62) Jaren Jackson Jr. (PF – Memphis Grizzlies)
I love me some JJJ. He’s a big man who can stretch the floor, but protect the rim at the same time. There’s a good possibility that he becomes the newest member of the 1/1/1 club. The free throw shooting is a plus as well. With Ja Morant spearheading the Grizzlies offense, they should play at a faster pace and JJJ should get plenty of open looks. What keeps me from projecting him higher are: the lack of dimes, poor boards for a big man, and injury concern.
63) Gordon Hayward (SF – Boston Celtics)
Last year, everytime I watched Hayward play, I kept thinking that I was going to go all-in on him for this year. You could see the hesitancy and lack of explosion in his game. After the gruesome injury he suffered, it made sense. Well, I kept going back to Paul George, who suffered a similary vomit-inducing injury. He was able to return to top 15 form after a year, and I was expecting the same thing for Hayward. After marinating on it over the summer, I think the two situations are different. First, PG is one of the freakiest athletes of all-time. While Hayward is athletic, he is nowhere near the same tier as PG. Secondly, PG was the guy in Indiana, so the usage was there for him to soak up. In Boston, Hayward is behind Kemba Walker and Jayson Tatum on the totem pole. As a result, while I do believe Hayward will return to normalcy from a mental and physical standpoint, the usage cap keeps him here for fantasy. With all of that said, Hayward will provide good percentages, grab some boards, dish out some dimes, and get his 211 on. The only thing lacking are the blocks. At least the turnovers are low.
64) Larry Nance Jr. (PF – Cleveland Cavaliers)
Larry Nance will make you wanna dance, and make a tent out of your pants.
Unfortunatley, Nance probably won’t start, as Kevin Love will soak up most of the power forward minutes and Tristan Thompson will likely start at center for the Cavaliers. But the backup minutes at both positions should be his. So, Nance will provide plenty of boards, dish out a good amount of dimes for a big man, get his 211 on, and provide excellent field goal percentage. The free throw shooting isn’t bad, either, and he will even drain the occasional tres. The points and blocks are light, though.
65) Lauri Markkanen (PF – Chicago Bulls)
Oh, Lauri. You’re so fine. You’re so fine you blow my mind, hey Lauri! I’m a big fan of Lauri’s game. He’s big, yet agile, and can deliver freedom rockets from beyond yonder. What most impresses me, though, is his mental and emotional makeup, as he’s got that dog in him. Doesn’t back down and isn’t scared of the moment. Now, from a fantasy perspective, there are holes in his game, namely the lack of defensive stats. The dimes are sparse as well, but he did increase the boards from his rookie season. There are some injury concerns, so that dings him a bit, but if you want a big man who can provide tres, good free throw percentage, and boards, then look no further.
66) Montrezl Harrell (C- Los Angeles Clippers)
Harrell was 5th in the league for field goal percentage last year. There’s a good chance he improves upon the 61.5%, as Kawhi Leonard and Paul George should garner most the attention from defenses and leave pelnty of room to operate down low. As with most big men, the free throw shooting is poor and the tres are non-existent. While the boards are relatively light for a big man, Harrell does contribute in both steals and blocks. Keep in mind that the percentages listed below are volume-weighted.
67) Hassan Whiteside (C – Portland Trail Blazers)
Mt. Whiteside used to be one of the Wonders of the Fantasy World. Now, it’s just a place where people dump their garbage on the way to Mr. Robinson’s Neighborhood. Fine, that was a little harsh, but it was annoying how Spoelstra would utilize him in Miami. With Mt. Whiteside relocating to Portland, things are looking rosier. See what I did there? Anyways, he should get a big minutes bump up and will deliver a whole lotta boards and blocks with excellent field goal percentage. With those come poor free throw shooting, a lack of dimes, and honesty, as he won’t get his 211 on. Two important things to note are that he’s an unrestricted free agent after this season and Jusuf Nurkic could return at some point. His value has the potential to be nuked later in the season.
68) Blake Griffin (PF – Detroit Pistons)
Ah, the return of the Ricky Lake show. For the first timers, I always clown on Griffin for his lack of blocks, hence the Lake. Dude is 6′ 10″ 250 pounds and jumps out of the building. C’mon, bro. He’s never averaged more than 0.7 blocks per game in a season forever ever.
I kid, I kid. I respect the business decisions. What Lake does bring to the table is nightly trip-dub upside, as he’s a fantastic playmaker for a big man. In addition, he’s expanded his menage a trois repertoire over the years, as he attempted a career-high 7 downtowners last season. You get no D from Lake. Sorry, ladies. But you do get plenty of O. That turns that frown upside down.
69) Steven Adams (C – Oklahoma City)
Adams returning to the Thunder practice facility…..
Adams seems like a guy that DGAF. That’s what happens when you box kangaroos for fun. Anyways, with Russell Westbrook and Paul George gone, the situation is actually ripe for Adams to produce. Shai Gilgeous-Alexander is an excellent point guard and navigates pick-and-roll action well, which should lead to plenty of dunks for Adams. More importantly, though, are the number of boards that will be available to pluck out of the air. Yeah, I’m talking about you, Russ. The field goal percentage is excellent, the boards are plentiful, and Adams chips in well for both steals and blocks. No tres and a poor free throw percentage keep him down…..under. Ha! I crack myself up sometimes.
70) Serge Ibaka (PF/C – Toronto Raptors)
Iblocka!!! Ok, that was 7-8 years in the past, when he was swatting close to 4 shots per game!!! The 1.4 blocks per game is a far cry from the glory days, but at least he’s still rejecting some. Now, the biggest change that Nick Nurse did for Ibaka’s game was to have him in closer to the paint more. As a result, the tres went down, the rebounds went up, and the field goal percentage increased. With Kawhi Leonard in LA, Ibaka is now the third option on offense.
71) Miles Bridges (SF/PF – Charlotte Hornets)
In his rookie season, Bridges played 21 mpg. Over the final two months, he received 25 minutes of run. With Kemba Walker and Jeremy Lamb out of town, I have Bridges projected for the second-most minutes projection on the team with 30, two behind Terry Rozier. An athletic marvel, Bridges flourishes in transition. Unfortunately, in the half court, the usage rate is likely to remain low, as Rozier and Malik Monk will be hogging the ball. As a result, the points will be low, but he should contribute some tres, grab some boards, and get some steals and blocks. There’s an outside chance he joins the 1/1/1 club.
72) Jarrett Allen (C – Brooklyn Nets)
This was supposed to be the year, damn it!!! The third year breakout! Does that only apply to fantasy wide receivers? Anyways, Allen went from 20 to 26 minutes per game between his rookie and sophomore seasons. As a result, the blocks, dimes, and points increased, but the most dramatic rise came in the boards department (5.4 to 8.4). The Nets acquired Kyrie Irving and Kevin Durant over the summer, and we all began to drool at the amount of dunks Allen would get. But then they went out and signed DeAndre Jordan. I just blew up my whoopie cushion and sat on it. I have Allen and Jordan splitting the center minutes right down the middle, so any upside for either is capped. If you’re hunting for a boards and blocks guy who won’t tank your free throw percentage, Allen is a decent option here.
73) Zach LaVine (SG – Chicago Bulls)
I was blown away by LaVine last year. Granted, I’ve been a hater so I was coming from a deep, dark place. With that said, even though he wasn’t 100%, the explosion and bounce were there. What really got me, though, were the improvements in rebounding and playmaking, as the assist number jumped from 3 to 4.5. He even doubled the block rate from 0.2 to 0.4. I like to see that from a young player. Hello, Andrew Wiggins….Earth to Wiggins. Now, if he can get those D stats flowing, then next stop top 50. A commenter pointed out that LaVine has better counting stats than C. J. McCollum, yet is ranked much later. That’s due to high turnover rate and injury concerns.
74) Jeff Teague (PG – Minnesota Timberwolves)
Teague’s season was torpedoed by injury last year. Prior to that, he had been a safe, solid fantasy asset, finishing as the number 56, 45, 75, 29, 82, 44, and 53 player. I did knock him down a bit in terms of games played, but wouldn’t be surprised if he finished much higher at season’s end. The dimes are his greatest asset, which many will be hunting for at this stage, but he also provides some steals, tres, and has a manageable turnover rate.
75) Danilo Gallinari (SF – Oklahoma City Thunder)
Tick…….Tock…….Tick……Tock…..When would Gallo’s clock stop? I kept expecting him to get injured last season. Instead, Gallinari just kept producing at a top 25 level. Finally, he did break, but not before playing 68 games last season, the highest total since 2012. He’s now in Oklahoma City and will be one of the primary scorers….until he gets hurt. C’mon, you know it’s happening. If you draft Gallinari, he needs to fit a particular build, as his greatest assets are points, tres, and free throw percentage. No D, so _anilo. And make sure you can stomach the risk, because he can croak at any moment.