Brandon Ingram

The long-awaited Brandon Ingram breakout is here in earnest. So far this season, Ingram is averaging 25.9 points, 7.1 rebounds, and 4.3 assists, while shooting 55.2 percent from the field, 48.6 percent from three, and 74.3 percent from the free-throw line (all career highs). Ingram is not a legitimate 48 percent shooter from three, especially on five attempts a game. The dreaded regression to the mean is coming. Before this season, he had never shot 40 percent, topping out at 39 percent on 1.8 attempts a game in his sophomore season. Even with that in mind, there is reason to believe he’ll shoot better this year. Ingram’s field goal percentage has improved each season he’s been in the league and he entered the NBA with solid form and touch. The Pelicans play at a fast pace. They are currently sixth in the league in pace and increased transition opportunities should lead to more lightly-contested shots. Furthermore, when Zion returns the Pelicans will have yet another ball-handler who commands defensive attention, which could lead to more spot-up opportunities for Ingram.

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We are only seven games into the season and already two of the most promising young players in the league have been suspended. DeAndre Ayton and John Collins both received a 25 game suspension due to violations of the NBA’s Anti-Drug program and, although they will appeal the decision, chances are they will have to sit out the entirety of those 25 games.

I will not voice my personal opinion as we rarely get to know the full story but in both cases it’s a huge blow for their respective teams, but simultaneously, more opportunity for other players to contribute in fantasy and real life.

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I maintain, that when Steph Curry gets going, he’s the best show in the NBA. There are certainly other contenders for the NBA’s best show on hardwood, but Curry’s blend of fundamental and evolutionary NBA skills are what separates him from the competition. Curry walked into the league as an offensive engine in the mold of Reggie Miller, who shot 35.5 percent from three in year one and 40.2 percent from three in his second season in the NBA. Curry shot 43.7 percent from three in his first season. As a young player, Curry was not the statistical outlier he has become, as he only attempted 4.8 threes a game his rookie year. Miller took 2.2 threes as a rookie, but he was up to 4.4 attempts in his third season. Curry’s early career numbers were the result of the game’s natural evolution and increased acceptance of the three-point shot. In Curry’s early years, he did a lot of his work off-ball, running off screens and mirroring more traditional shooting guards like Miller and Ray Allen. It’s part of the reason many people insisted Curry wasn’t a true point guard. His conditioning allows him to run around for part of or even the entirety of some possessions. This non-stop movement draws a lot of attention and fatigues the defense, both mentally and physically—hence all the back-cut layups for Curry’s teammates. Check out this illuminating breakdown from the 2018-19 NBA Finals by Ben Taylor.

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I now understand why this forward position is named power, as it is a microcosm of society at large. There is the 1% vs everyone else. For fantasy basketball, there is Giannis Antetokounmpo vs womp womp womp. While all the other positions have multiple players who could legitimately vie for the top spot, everyone bends the knee to G. This is 1985-1989 Mike Tyson-esque domination. Could a Buster Douglas come out of nowhere? Sure, as black swan events can never be discounted, but outside of injury to G, that scenario is highly unlikely.

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My “What if?” game is inconsistent. Many of times, I’ll say F it and eradicate the question from my consciousness. As the Church of Nike preaches, I just do it. At other moments, I’m either too lazy or mental mind F myself to the point of paralysis. No bueno. Regardless, I am but a human, so even if I wanted to up my “What if?” game, my powers are limited. But the gods and aliens (maybe they are the same thing, but that’s a piece for another time) are not. Imagine their “What if?” game? Yo, Poseidon, what if you made the largest mammal to roam the sea without the ability to swallow a human? That would be hilarious! Oh, Jesus. You are a funny guy. What if you gave a tank the jumping ability of a flea? Think you could ask your pops to take care of that? And thus Zion Williamson was born. He’s a generational talent, already being compared to some of the greats in the game, but has the hype gone too far and is he being overdrafted in fantasy leagues?

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You wanted them. You needed them. You asked for them. You begged for them. Nothing of the aforementioned happened, but my Top 155 projections for roto leagues are here for another year! If you need another reason not to trust me with these projections, check this review of last year’s projections for a recap of their accuracy.

As per usual, the player’s value taken into account is their per game value, so the order of the projections needs to be looked at with a critical eye. That means that, although Chris Paul is above Jrue Holiday in per game value, I wouldn’t necessarily recommend drafting him there, as his potential stay in Oklahoma will reduce his total played games this season.

Finally, before we dive into the numbers, you can check the methodology behind the calculation of the player values here .

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Losing one of the best players in the NBA hurts, especially when he was considered the face of the franchise. Anthony Davis will surely be missed, as will Julius Randle and Elfrid Payton. Three of their five starters are now wearing new jerseys, Davis in LA and Randle and Payton in New York. After a massive trade with Los Angeles, the future in New Orleans is bright, but enough with the old, time for a new era of New Orleans basketball. This team is infused with youth, and it will more likely than not lead to some excellent fantasy production.

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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.

Top 10

Top 25

Top 50

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.

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You’re excited to draft Zion Williamson next fall, aren’t you? Well, here are his per-36 stats that I posted last week:

If you loved The Matrix: Reloaded and P.O.D. as unabashedly as I did 15 years ago–and you definitely didn’t–then this song immediately jumps into your head when gazing upon those numbers, as the chorus goes: “Dreaming of Zion…”

Okay, we know those numbers aren’t happening… at least not for a few seasons (winky face). But even the slight possibility of two-thirds of that production and all the hype around him is enough to get people reaching for him in… I’m guessing the second round? Is that smart? How about Luka Doncic? Seems like he’s bound for a second-round ADP, too. Will that be wise?

Today we’re looking at rookie production once again, as well as that of this season’s sophomores in hopes of remembering how risky it is to gamble on young and/or unproven players regardless of how exciting they may be. My general advice is to stay away. I know, I know. They’re so shiny and full of upside. And if you’re in a keeper/dynasty league, you can sit back and enjoy watching the young players as they improve. But in a redraft league, here’s why you’re better off letting someone else overpay/overdraft rookies.

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In honor of the NCAA tourney, I thought we should take a glimpse into the future and start overrating–I mean properly rating–next season’s incoming draft class. Now, I’ve watched my share of Zion, but it’s honestly been tough for me to get as excited about this draft class as I was for the last two. I look forward to the hype increasing on some of these guys over the next few weeks because it feels like they (and we) really need it. But even underwhelming drafts produce all-stars and fantasy goodness, so let’s see what these guys have to offer.

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