This is my intro, walk up, get hyped, and official theme song of SON Enterprises. I’m so pumped that a million words are about to be written. Since it is Thanksgiving, I want to give thanks to Grey for giving me the opportunity to write about hoops. I especially give thanks to those who read my stuff and actually laugh at the jokes, but the real MVPs are those who ask questions AFTER reading the whole post! With that said….We back, baby!!! It’s been a crazy year for fantasy hoops, as the season ended abruptly last year and the turnaround for this upcoming season was about as quick as a sexy time session with the wife. You know what wasn’t quick? Doing all the projections for the upcoming season. It is said that pimpin’ ain’t easy. Well, compared to doing projections, pimpin’ is child’s play. Alright, before I begin, the yearly public service annoucement:

THESE RANKINGS MUST BE UTILIZED IN THE CONTEXT OF YOUR LEAGUE SETTINGS, TEAM ROSTER CONSTRUCTION, AVERAGE DRAFT POSITION, AND PERSONAL PHILOSOPHIES.

If you draft Mitchell Robinson, you could pair him with Rudy Gobert and dominate blocks, or construct a more balanced roster and complement him with players who contribute in tres, dimes, and points. Maybe you don’t care about turnovers or free throw percentage and decide to punt categories. That obviously changes the value of players. What if I have a player ranked at 10 but the ADP is at 25? If you want said player, drafting him in the first round wouldn’t be ideal, as you’d be drafting at the ceiling and nuking any potential value.

Fantasy hoops is an evolving puzzle with many paths to victory. Use rankings as a guide, not as the be all, end all.

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. 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.

The rankings below are what the projections spit out. It is not indicative of where I’d draft a player, as I will try to explain in each blurb.

So, there you have it. I hope I don’t make another Corey Brewer-type mistake this year, but at least I’m confident in knowing that you guys will keep me honest.

One last thing. I’m using Fantrax for the positional designations.

The NFBKC is now LIVE for the 2020-21 season. All contests are available on Registration with Draft Champions leagues ready to begin 30 minutes after they sell out with 2-hour and 4-hour options available. Sign up and join the action TODAY: https://nfc.shgn.com/basketball

(Projections for 9-cat leagues)

#1 – James Harden (G/F – Houston Rockets) – Will Harden stay in Houston or will he be sent to, say, Brooklyn? Going to Brooklyn might be better for him fantasy-wise. Might. Mike D’Antoni and Daryl Morey are out in Houston, while Stephen Silas is in as coach. We don’t know how Silas is going to run things. With the signing of DeMarcus Cousins, small ball could be out. If Harden ends up in Brooklyn, we know that the pace is going to be fast with Steve Nash as head coach with D’Antoni on the staff, but the minutes and usage could decrease with Kyrie Irving and Kevin Durant also on the squad. <insert shrug emoji> As it stands, I am projecting Harden in Houston with similar numbers from last year. It’s not like Sterling Brown is going to come in and take away usage. Even with Christian Wood and Cousins in the mix, Harden will maintain his elite usage rate in the 30s. Until I see what Silas has in store, that’s the only thing I can do. You’re getting elite points, three-pointers made, free throw percentage, and assists. Harden also contributes heavily in rebounds and steals. The only knocks are the low blocks, high turnovers, and suspect field goal percentage. UPDATE: I had Harden at 3, but bumped his numbers back up after the Russell Westbrook trade. I could be moving Harden around again, if he gets traded.

PTS REB AST STL BLK TOV 3PT FG FT
29.88 8.28 7.92 1.69 .68 4.5 3.6 44% 84%

#2 – Karl-Anthony Towns (C – Minnesota Timberwolves) – After playing in all 82 games the first three seasons of his career, Towns played 77 in 2018 and 35 last season. Meow. The trend is not your friend. If you’ve been with me from the beginning, y’all know I soured on KAT after Jimmy Butler exposed that he had no dog in him. With that said, he’s been remarkably consistent from a fantasy persective, as he’s been a top 5 player per game over the past three seasons. His lowest ranking was 12th, back in his rookie year. What makes KAT so enticing are the excellent percentages (both FG and FT), three-pointers, boards, and blocks. He also dishes out a decent sample of dimes and a pinch of steals, but not enough to put him in the 1/1/1 club. Meow meow meow meow. KAT is the top dog. How ironic.

PTS REB AST STL BLK TOV 3PT FG FT
27.47 12.34 3.16 .86 1.58 3.06 2.88 51% 84%

#3 – Anthony Davis (F/C – Los Angeles Lakers) – All day and all night I dream of Anthony Davis galloping in the plains of my head, frolicking with my desires, and delivering ‘chips and ‘ships to my mental mantel. In an 8-cat, roto league, I took AD numero uno overall. My reasoning? 24.9 points. 9.52 boards. 3.4 dimes. 1.4 steals. 2.2 blocks. 49% field goal percentage. 79% from the line. 1.12 tres. He delivers in all cats while hurting you in none. That’s marriage material right there. And he makes me laugh when I look at his eyebrows. As for turnovers, only 2.3 per game. That’s bad for the buffet but great for fantasy hoops. Now, there’s injury concern and possible load management due to the quick turnaround, but the per-game production mitigates the risk.

PTS REB AST STL BLK TOV 3PT FG FT
24.92 9.52 3.4 1.49 2.27 2.38 1.12 49% 79%

#4 – Stephen Curry (G – Golden State Warriors) – Since 2012, Curry has finished, on a per-game basis, as the number 4, 4, 2, 1, 3, 2, 4, and 31st player (only played 5 games) for fantasy. The last three seasons, he’s played 5, 69, and 51 games, after playing at least 78 games in each of the prior five seasons. It’s all about health for Curry. If he can stave off the injury bug, you can bank on a top 5 finish, as he contributes points, boards, dimes, steals, and those tres, that he rains down upon the fantasy masses like God providing manna to the Israelites. In addition, the free throw shooting is elite while the field goal percentage is excellent for the guard position. It’s remarkable considering the range at which he shoots from. If drafting Curry, buy all the Curry voodoo dolls on the market, light them on fire, then offer virgin bones and cartilage to the injury gods so that they may be preoccupied. Oh, I almost forgot. Klay Thompson is likely done for the year, so the usage rate will likely be in the low 30s all season.

PTS REB AST STL BLK TOV 3PT FG FT
27.13 4.98 6.27 1.18 .39 2.97 4.79 47% 84%

#5 – Damian Lillard (G – Portland Trail Blazers)Dame $ola! That never gets old because you know what time it is. A clock ticks and tocks, steadily rotating its hands to a number higher than before. In Dame’s case, since 2015, he’s methodically been ticking higher up the fantasy rankings: 21st in 2015, 16th in 2016, 8th in 2017, daylight savings came in 2018 as he finished 12th, but then spring forward to 3rd last year. He averaged over 37.6 minutes per game and, for the first time in his career, he averaged 30 points, made 4 tres, dished out 8 dimes, and shot over 20 shots per game. Some regression could be in the works, but tick…tock. The only thing lacking from Dame’s game is the blocks, but know this and pair him with a big man who blocks. EZ PZ.

PTS REB AST STL BLK TOV 3PT FG FT
27.43 417 7.56 1.08 .28 2.77 3.6 46% 86%

#6 – Giannis Antetokounmpo (F/C – Milwaukee Bucks) – There is no “I” in team, but G comes before “I”, literally and figuratively, and neither are in Bucks or team. As Ace of Base used to sing, “I Saw the Sign.” Bucks fans should be very worried. I’m not smart or connected enough to know where G is going to play after this season. What I do know is that he will be playing for the Bucks this year, who led the League with a 107.2 pace and have surrounded their G with a bevy of talented shooters. Unfortunately, Mike Budenholzer will still limit his minutes played per game, in order to keep him fresh for the playoffs, so that he can limit his minutes there. Brilliant! That keeps his ceiling tinted at best, but even so, G will likely be a 1/1/1 member who will provide a shit ton of points and boards with a handful of dimes. The only blemish is the free throw shooting, which at 70% on a huge volume of 10 attempts per game, is crushing in roto leagues.

PTS REB AST STL BLK TOV 3PT FG FT
29.61 13.95 5.27 1.02 1.08 3.81 1.4 52% 70%

#7 – Luka Doncic (G/F – Dallas Mavericks) – Oh Luka, you’re so fine. You’re so fine you blow my mind. Oh Luka! HalleF’ingLuka! I heart Luka so much, as his game is magnifique. If there was no ball to play with, men would cut theirs off just so they wouldn’t be deprived of witnessing the living masterpiece of Luka bounce and get buckets with them. He led the NBA in usage rate last season at 38.3, and there’s no reason to see that decreasing. In fact, it could uptick into the 40s. Points, tres, dimes, and steals are all on the menu. No poo poo platters in this establishment. Now, the turnovers are high and the percentages aren’t great. He also contributes very little in the blocks department. I’d have no problems taking Luka number one overall, but it comes down to the league settings and path you wish to take.

PTS REB AST STL BLK TOV 3PT FG FT
28.05 9.52 9.52 1.02 .27 4.35 2.89 45% 75%

#8 – Kawhi Leonard (G/F – Los Angeles Clippers) – What it do baby! Outside of 2017, when he played only nine games, the Island of Kawhi has finished as a top 10 player on a per-game basis the past six year, with three of those top 5 finishes. Now, load management is a real thing with Kawhi, but, but, but….The impact could be mitigated this season because many other teams and players could be on a similar schedule and Tyronn Lue could alter things. Regardless, when he plays, Kawhi becomes a Fantasy Island. The plane boss! The plane! There is no weakness to his game: points, tres, boards, dimes, steals, and excellent percentages. The blocks are a little light, but he still contributes a little something something.

PTS REB AST STL BLK TOV 3PT FG FT
26.98 7.04 4.48 1.76 .6 2.24 2.02 46% 83%

#9 – Jayson Tatum (F – Boston Celtics) – Channing is rooting for Jayson as much as investors sweat the price of Bitcoin, and both have been ecstatic lately. How else is Channing going to be seen on Google searches? In his third season in the League, Jayson took huge leaps in field goal attempts, three-point attempts, boards, and dimes, as he played a career-high 34.3 minutes per game. The usage rate was a robust 28.6 as well. Tatum produces across-the-board fantasy production and could become the newest member of the 1/1/1 club if he can get his Mutombo on a little more.

PTS REB AST STL BLK TOV 3PT FG FT
22.81 6.8 2.89 1.36 .85 2.21 2.72 45% 79%

#10 – Nikola Jokic (F/C – Denver Nuggets) – Tesla still has the edge in supremacy for the Nikola name, but Jokic is right on his heels. How many trip-dubs did Tesla produce? The lack of blocks sucks from the big man position, but the 7 dimes more than makes up for it. In addition, you’re getting over a tres per game. Now, I have Jokic down for 32 mpg, but there’s a slight chance that he sees an uptick in minutes, as Mason Plumlee is no longer on the roster. Sure, Bol Bol could get more run, but he’s still a young pup. That would be lovely. Regardless, you’re getting excellent percentages and the dimes are no Jokic from the center position.

PTS REB AST STL BLK TOV 3PT FG FT
20.22 9.6 7.04 1.18 .57 2.88 1.12 50% 79%
  1. Mr. Hooper

    Mr. Hooper says:
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    What it do, Son! Geeked for hoops to come back, even though it feels like it never really went away.

    Speaking of–and I’m totally prepared to have this blow up in my face–for the first time in a long time I’m a bit worried about James from a health standpoint. I know you factored in load management, but the shortest offseason coming on the heels of the longest season and LeBron being 35 has me a bit wobbly.

    I ‘m sure the Lakers brass will try to reign him in a bit and I know that the chance of a serious injury is always no-zero, but the King is at least 3 years older than everyone else in the top 10 and year 17 (!) saw him log his lowest MPG of his career at…34.6. Combine this with the accelerated schedule and I’d be worried that any kind of pull or tear would be hugely damaging to overall games played.

    Maybe I’m just bugging because I’m holding pick #9 in the RazzJam (we got a link to that?), but I’m really hoping someone takes this decision off my hands.

    • Son

      Son says:
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      What it do, baby! I feel you. The season just ended but the new season is here already, although our fantasy appetites haven’t been filled in a while.

      I hear you on LeBron. I nuked a lot of his numbers, but he still ranks so high in the projections. With that said, I have no problems if you wanted to go a different direction.

  2. fantasy-sleeper says:
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    Excellent rankings, man. Agree, that top2-4 slots can shuffle. Anyway, would like to hear which player, in your opinion, has the most potential to leap a few steps up in a ranking. Thanks in advance, Son.

    • Son

      Son says:
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      In the top 10, probably Doncic. He could be the #1 guy

      • fantasy-sleeper says:
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        Lol. Actually i want to draft him so bad with 2nd. Problem is that I am three times champ in 5 years and all my teams were well balanced with excellent bigs and heavy D stats. Now Luka is quite the opposite and by drafting him automatically i will have to punt to. Never tried that:D and dont know how to pull this off.

        • Son

          Son says:
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          It’s a different build for sure. Since you’re the champ, you can afford to get cute!

  3. Tino says:
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    shocked that Leonard is so high on your list

    • Son

      Son says:
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      me too.

  4. Maarten says:
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    Great to read your previews and projections, thank you very much for sharing! I do feel you are underestimating the bad FT% impact and high Turnovers by Giannis, Luka and LeBron. Last year none of them finished in the top 15 on Basketballmonster.

    I think you can make a case for Giannis around pick 5/6 if you punt ft% but I wouldn’t burn a top 10 pick on Doncic and would leave LeBron for the end of the second round. In their place I would put Trae Young (elite FT% impact) and Jayson Tatum (final months + playoffs where elite with no holes) in the top 10.

    • Son

      Son says:
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      Much appreciated, Maarten!

      I hear ya and they are fair points. The rankings are based off projections, so the order is what the machine spits out. Where a player should be drafted depends on context.

      As for Trae, the FT impact is negated by the poor FG%, high turnovers, and lack of blocks. Luka is in a similar spot but the rebounds are robust. Tatum just missed the top 10, but he’s just outside

      • Maarten says:
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        Yeah good point on Trae, i wanted to say he is a mirror image of Dame but looking closer he is not (yet).

        I really hope Luka can fix his poor ft%, he was below 66% in the clippers series on massive volume.

        Anyway, i really appreciate the mix of in depth analysis and humor you guys are providing 🙂

        • Son

          Son says:
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          Much appreciated, Maarten!

  5. Mr. Blast says:
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    AYYYYYO!

    We back Son!

    Beyond amped for the upcoming season. Still have that unsatisfied / blue-ball type feeling after last year. You know what I mean ?! Especially on the strength of me coming off of a Three-peat, triple championship run in a competitive league I’ve been in for over a decade. My streak is still technically running. And I’m ready to start gunning. (Hoops talk)

    Anyway, we’re gonna run it back this year, and hopefully get through the season. (fingers crossed and mask on) That is a H2H league. (Been playing category format for 20 years) I’ve been invited in to a Roto style, which I’ve never played in. Any thoughts or preference on the difference ?

    Really looking forward to reading, commenting, interacting and possibly writing a little something something.

    Always a pleasure here at Razzball. It just hits different.

    Peace and happy holiday to all !

    • Son

      Son says:
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      AAYYOOO!!! Sup, Mr Blast!!! We back indeed!

      It’s more difficult to punt a cat in roto. Also, the percentages are very important , as it’s difficult to make up if you fall behind. So, G for example, takes a big hit in roto due to the FT% on high volume

    • And1 says:
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      Great article SON! Newbie here this golden nugget of info you have here should get me started to building out my team. Watch out ya’ll !

      From the surface harden screams pick me #1 but as you said going into season with so many uncertainties surrounding him gives me a quick pause. Now I know how teams like the timberwolves and pelicans of the world feel.

      • Son

        Son says:
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        Straight from Crooklyn better known as Brooklyn!!! Good luck in the RazzJam. Should be fun!

  6. Bill says:
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    Good job Son! Harden is once again the undisputed No1, however is it crazy to draft AD with the first overall pick in 9 cat roto? Am I gonna leave tons of value on the table by not taking Harden?

    • Son

      Son says:
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      I don’t think so. I took AD with the first pick in an 8-cat roto. It always depends on what direction you want to go. I decided that I wanted to build around a big who provided defensive stats and excellent percentages.

      • Bill says:
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        Fair point. Are you concered about their playing time at all?
        AD for resting purposes (especially the first month) due to short offseason and Harden because he may demand a trade and the Rockets might not be so good to be after a playoff spot?

        • Son

          Son says:
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          I’m not too concerned with AD. I’m more concerned with LeBron. As for Harden, there is some uncertainty regarding his situation, so I have no issue if you bypass him

  7. Seco (formerly known as Poliecto) says:
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    Hola Son!!

    Nice to read you back! (for my… fourth year, I think).

    Unfortunately, my draft is taking place this sunday and i won´t be able to take advantage of your wisdom. 🙁

    I think my league mates know I use your rankings to (always) built competitive teams (even though I am probably the one with less idea about NBA) and that’s why the set the date so early. 😛

    I managed to somehow win last year (I was in the first place when the league stopped. :-)) so i guess I am now the defending champion.

    Looking forward to reading more from you this year.

    • Son

      Son says:
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      Hola! Welcome back mi amigo!

      Ha! Good luck. You can email or message me anytime if you need some advice. [email protected] or @Stan_Son on Twitter

      • Seco says:
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        Muchas gracias!!

        But it seems everything will be ok as Yahoo does not allow people to start leagues before the 8th of december, and we will do the draft even later (13th or 20th).

        So now I will be able to both enjoy and use your ranking!!!

        • Son

          Son says:
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          Nice!

  8. JakeTPE says:
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    Hey Son!

    Hope you are having a good offseason and you and yours are staying safe.

    Excellent Top 10! Lots of food for thought as always as we start our draft prep.

    So, I got first overall pick in the draft this year and while I should be psyched, I usually prefer the end of the round where I can get two studs (last year I used your ranks and got Embiid and Dame at like 1.8 and 2.3 = COVID Champs!).

    We play with team wins and double doubles in our 10-team H2H league. I know you don’t project these, but Giannis had 56 DD last year, Davis had 29, and Harden had 22. I don’t draft for TW but it would be nice to get an edge there too, all other things being equal.

    I guess my question is, don’t overthink it and go Harden for all his goodness, or stick to my usual philosophy of grabbing a big who can get DD and build around him?

    Thanks for all the insight and posts!

    Jake

    • Son

      Son says:
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      Thanks, Jake! Hope you are staying safe as well.

      I’m all about AD this year. Damn, should I be scurred now? He provides such a solid foundation and the Lakers should win plenty of games.

      • JakeTPE says:
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        Thanks, Son!

        I mean, there’s always durability concerns with the Brow (is he hurt?) more so than with guys around him… That’s a consideration, too. Gonna have to think on this one!

        • Son

          Son says:
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          For sure. There’s definitely risk. KAT could be the safer pick

  9. Gerald says:
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    Hi son, great picks right there. Glad to see how high dame up high there. Always love picking him past years when the likes of harden/curry got chosen on earlier picks.

    Just want to know as well when’s the rest of projection (up to top 200) will be out.

    • Son

      Son says:
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      I sent the sheet to Rudy. As soon as he’s done, I’ll post it

  10. Tom Vrijders says:
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    Hi Son

    Best time of the year again… Drafttime!!!!

    I got the number one pick but i’m a little afraid of Harden with the trade rumors? You think he could end up in a bad situation (fantasywise?)
    I really like watching Luka so he would be my other choise but if you compare the numbers Harden is just better. What are your thoughts?

    • Tom Vrijders says:
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      league is H2H 8cat…

    • Son

      Son says:
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      Indeed!!!

      I bypassed Harden as well at 1. That is scary too! Regardless of what happens with Harden, his floor is so damn high. I am going the AD route simply due to roster construction.

      Harden is better than Luka. It’s the elite FT% and steals that provide the gap

  11. Eric says:
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    What up Son!? Glad to see you guys posting again. I know I’m probably jumping the gun here, but I was wondering if you’ll be doing the ‘rankings comparison’ post that shows ESPN, Yahoo, Fantrax, and Razzball rankings side-by-side? Also, any chance we can get that amazing excel workbook that allows us to plug in the projected values and figure how we compare with the benchmarks from last season?

    Would be awesome if you pumped those out again. Both were big in helping me claim the covid *title* last season.

    • Son

      Son says:
      (link)

      Sup, Eric! I’m going to try and post things all year round.

      I will be doing the rankings comp and benchmark will up as well. As soon as we get the projections up. Encountering a small technical issue.

Comments are closed.