Rolling rolling rolling. We are through 75, next stop…100! Choo choo! I’ll keep this intro light and just give you something to get you hype.
If you missed out, here are the links for:
76) Nerlens Noel
I initially had Noel much higher, as I was salivating at the thought of he and DSJ in the pick-and-roll. In addition, the Mavs have some really good shooters to space the floor, so I was looking forward to plenty of dunks and rebounds. Noel also possesses a decent jumper and is a beastly weakside defender. But alas, I had to put him here and should probably put him lower. Noel is still not signed and just changed agents. Someone is giving him really bad advice. Look, I’m all for wanting players to get paid, but Noel is looking for a max contract. I admire the confidence but someone needs to break it break it down to him. He is not a max player. Plus he has knee issues and had surgery on his left one in 2016. With that said, I’m going to project him as if he’s on Dallas, but rank him at 76 due to the uncertainty of the situation. Super high risk, but super high reward.
Noel signed a one-year, $4.1 million qualifying offer to return to the Mavs. Seriously, Noel and his peeps never watched an episode of Shark Tank? There was a rumor that Noel rejected a contract worth $17.5 million annually. Insert eye emoji. I’m going to leave the projection where it is, as some red flags have popped up, but there’s definitely upside here.
77) Andrew Wiggins
You all know my love for Jokic this year, but there’s a very good chance I end up like Jokic below for putting Wiggins at 78.
Damn, so nasty. I’m not denying the skills. I just hate the fit in Minnesota. Jeff Teague, Jimmy Butler, and KAT are going to suck up usage and opportunities. Wiggins had a 29% usage rate last season. No way it’s that high this year. For a player with his physical gifts, he doesn’t contribute much in the other categories. The thing I worry about most is becoming disengaged as the season wears on if he doesn’t get the ball on offense. He already has exhibited questionable effort on defense. What happens then? Now, he’s only 21 years old and Jimmy could be his mentor and break things down for him. I acknowledge that it’s well within the range of outcomes that he does become that superstar we have all been waiting for. I just have my doubts.
78) Elfrid Payton
I initially had Elf at 86, then I dug into him a little further and realized that I had a negative bias towards him because of his hair. Seriously? What the hell is that thing? I respect it though because 1) it takes confidence to walk around with that and 2) how can you concentrate playing hoops with that thing? Anyways, after the All-Star break, Elf put up 13.5 points, 7 rebounds, and 8.4 assists per game. He was sixth in the league with five triple-dubs. I should probably put him higher! Gotta be the hair. With that said, there is a consistency issue, as his range of outcomes from game to game is pretty wide, and he’s not a particularly good free throw or three-point shooter.
79) Jeremy Lin
Being from Cali, I remember watching the CIF State Championship game on FSN between Mater Dei and Palo Alto back in the day. I was interested in watching the game because of Mater Dei, as they were nationally ranked and had some guys that were going to play D1. Much to my surprise, I was watching an asian dude ball it up. If you don’t know, I’m asian so watching that game made me all tingly inside. Anyways, never once did I entertain the thought of #4 being a pro player. Then in 2010, I saw Lin ball up John Wall in the Summer League on both offense and defense.
He looked damn good to me, but still didn’t think he’d ever make it. Then…..
That was the craziest stretch of hoops I’ve ever witnessed. I think it was more insane than the 2007 Kobe streak, when he went 65, 50, 60, 50, and 43 in five consecutive games. Anyways, Lin has endured a bevy of injuries the past two seasons, so there’s definitely risk. With that said, the situation couldn’t be any more ripe for Lin to do his thing. The Nets will probably be the fastest-paced team in the league again and with the acquisitions of D’Angelo Russell and Allen Crabbe, the floor is really going to be spaced well for Lin to do his thing. It’s all about injury and how many minutes he gets.
80) Dennis Schroder
The only things I don’t like about Schroder are the turnovers (eight-worst last year) and his hair. He puts up shots, shoots the three, dishes out assists, grabs a few boards, and has no moral compunction about stealing. For you kids out there, it’s bad to steal in life but good on the basketball court. As for the hair? It looks like a bird was on target, but I respect him having it. See, his mom ran a hair salon in Germany and she wanted to color Dennis’ hair completely blond. “The unique spot treatment was the product of intense negotiation and compromise.” Ha! I love it, but I probably would’ve gone for the full thing. Anyways, the Hawks are a young and rebuilding team, so Schroder is going to keep getting his.
81) Markieff Morris
A power forward that plays over 30 minutes per game, contributes in every category, and plays alongside Wall, Beal, and Porter? Yes! In addition, look at the depth chart behind him. Is it behind or under? Guess it could be both. Anyways, Jason Smith, Mike Scott, and Chris McCullough man those spots. Those are names that sound like they were randomly generated by the AI.
82) Jae Crowder
Crowder is the NBA Predator. He’s got the hair, the physique, the athleticism, and sharp shooting prowess. The only thing he can’t do it camouflage, although some may argue that he disappears from time to time. I kid. Crowder can do it all. I’m not worried about the acquisition of Marcus Morris cutting into his playing time. Morris is a nice scoring bench option to have at the power forward position, but Crowder is so good on the defensive side of the ball that he’s going to get his run.
UPDATE on 8/22:
Man, right when I was in the middle of writing this piece, Crowder gets traded to the Cleveland Cavaliers. I initially had him at 77, but moved him down four spots. LeBron plays the 3, Love at the 4, and Tristan at the 5? I’m sure we will see plenty of lineups with Love at the 5 with Crowder at the 4. Maybe even Crowder at the 3, with LeBron at the 4, and Love at the 5? Regardless, he’s versatile to play multiple positions so 30-32 mpg?
83) Richaun Holmes
As much as I want Embiid to play every game, I know there’s no way that’s happening. The question is just how many games is he going to play? Also, is Jahlil Okafor going to remain a 76er? There’s huge upside with Holmes, as he could find himself getting a ton of minutes. His Per 36 numbers are so juicy: 16.9 points, 0.8 threes, 9.4 rebounds, 1.8 assists, 1.3 steals, and 1.7 blocks.
84) Taurean Prince
I’m a fan of Prince and think he can join the 1/1/1 club. He’s a mini-manimal for me. He’s active on the boards, plays passing lanes, and defends the rim as if someone was trying to take food off his table. Prince is not a one-dimensional player, though. He has three-point range, but what I love most about his game, is his slashing ability. He takes it strong to the rack and can finish strong or finesse you with a nice little scoop shot he has. He’s slotted to start at small forward for the Hawks and should get plenty of run. The future with Prince and John Collins is a nice one to picture for Hawks fans.
85) Marcin Gortat
I debate with myself constantly. Is that weird? I’m either a professional mind f-er, have multiple pesonalities, or just a plain weirdo. I like to think that I have one little cartoon character on one shoulder, with another on the other shoulder. Anyways, Gortat could be higher in the ranks, but could also be much lower. 82 seems like a middle sweet spot for my many homies. The case for higher? Gortat is a double-dub machine and never misses a game. The case for lower? The Wiz went with a small ball lineup often last year and were very successful. Gortat just cannot chase stretch 5s around or switch on D. There’s also Ian Mahinmi behind him, who the team signed for four years and $64 million. I do think that Gortat loses minutes, but should average close to a double-dub this year.
86) Tim Hardaway Jr.
Jr. is a good player. Four years, $71 million good? Bah, it’s only money. Before anyone says anything, just answer this question….How many y’all bought some Powerball tickets last week? Or the week before? Or the week before that? For those that didn’t, I humbly bow my head and admire your discipline. At least Dolan is guaranteed one point for his $71 million. Anyways, contract aside, Jr. is Devin Booker without the volume or situation. It’s going to be interesting how he meshes with Melo and KP, but I have a sneaky suspicion that he’s going to get his shots.
87) Danilo Gallinari
My ex-girlfriend in college was Italian. A remarkable woman, but the one thing I always admired about her was the passion. It could’ve just been her, but after visiting Italy a few times, I would say that Italians are generally passionate people. Gallinari is nicknamed the Rooster. I’m not sure if it’s because he’s been named Gallo, which means rooster in Italian or because he’s just cocky. Probably both. Anyways, the one thing I always liked about Gallinari was that he wasn’t the typical soft Euro. He was physically tough and mentally wouldn’t back down. He can bully guys down in the post and stroke it from downtown. And do this…
Unfortunately, he’s out 4-6 weeks because of this punch, but he’s expected to be back in September and ready for the 2017 season. Moving from Denver to LA is a downgrade, in terms of pace, but as long as he’s healthy, Sam Dekker and Wes Johnson are not taking minutes away from him. Therein lies the problem, though. He’s played over 70 games just twice in his nine year career.
88) Patrick Beverley
Beverley has a reputation of being a scrapper and defensive maven. But let’s not forget that he’s got some offensive skills as well. He shoots the three-ball well, can run the pick-and-roll, and has a nice floater game in the paint. I had a little difficulty projecting Beverley because he’s going from a team that played at the third-fastest pace last year to one that was 17th-fastest with CP3 at the helm. Also, there’s been talk of Point Blake, but he’s recovering from foot surgery. The backcourt in Los Angeles is also loaded with Milos Teodosic, Jawun Evans, Austin Rivers, Lou Williams, and Sindarius Thornwell. Me thinks Doc will love Beverley, especiallly since he’s such a good defender, and let him do his thing on offense.
89) T. J. Warren
Warren starts for the Suns. Whew, that was the quickest blurb. On to the next. There’s concern about playing time, as Josh Jackson plays the same position, but both Warren and Jackson are versatile enough to play multiple positions. Now Warren is a black hole and not a prolific three-point shooter, but he’s good on the glass and can put the ball in the basket with the best of them. Let’s cut to sideline reporter Susan with T.J. Warren. “So T.J., great game tonight.” “Thanks Susan. Shooters shoot and I get paid to shoot.”
KCP! KCP! KCP! What perfect fit for both KCP and the Lakers. The pace upgrade alone is huge, but I think the relative freedom that Luke Walton gives his players on offense will liberate KCP some. Due to his defense, he’s going to get minutes so he will be a healthy contributer in threes and steals. Warren and KCP could be flip-flopped, but it comes down to what you need for your squad.
91) Seth Curry
Curry was eighth in three-point shooting percentage last season. The boy can shoot. He’s also adept at playing the point and running PnR. With my boo DSJ in town, I think Curry starts at the 2. If so, he’s going to get so many open looks due to the driving ability of DSJ. Even if he doesn’t start, due to his versatility, he should get plenty of minutes. Dallas was one of the slowest-paced teams last year, but I expect that to increase this year.
92) Rodney Hood
At 6′ 8″, 206 pounds with a 36″ vertical jump, Hood is so difficult to guard, as he can rise over most defenders on his J. He’s silky smooth with the ball and never out of control. Fun player to watch. Unfortunately, he has an extensive injury history, most notably with the right knee. With that said, he had a usage rate over 28% when Hayward was off the floor. He could be the go-to scoring option for the Jazz. The injury concern is the only reason for the low ranking.
93) Thaddeus Young
I was fronting on Thad when I started this endeavor, but then I remembered Domantas Sabonis is behind him on the depth chart. Young will shoot for a high percentage, pull down some boards, and was top 20 in steals per game last season. He had four games with six steals. He shot 52% on his free throws last year. So baffling, considering he shot 38% from three-land. I gotta think that FT percentage was an outlier.
94) Marvin Williams
Marv was the second overall pick in the 2005 NBA Draft. Just goes to show you that the draft is more art than science. Or, some teams are just bad at it. Probably a combo of the two. Anyways, Marv is a solid player and contributes something across the board. He ain’t winning any leagues, but is the perfect role player.
95) Gorgui Dieng
Some people like the sizzle, while others want the steak. Some like playing the slots, while others prefer cards. Some like the sure thing, while others YOLO. If you invest in T-bills and spurn bitcoin, then Dieng is your player. His numbers the past two years are so freakishy similar that I’m starting to think that we are living in a matrix. A big reason is the predictability that Thibs manages his rotations and doles out minutes. Well, Thibs is still the coach so….Yes, the team acquired a bunch of other assets, including Taj Gibson, but I don’t think they affect Gieng too much. This is going to be the easiest projection ever.
96) George Hill
I kind of get the Hill signing by the Kings. Yet, I also kind of don’t get it. The Kings want to have a veteran presence to help mentor their first round pick, De’Aaron Fox. Yet, they gave Hill a three-year, $57 million contract. Let’s cue up the Benny Hill:
Now, there’s been mention that Hill will play alongside Fox at the 2, but the Kings have Hield, Bogdanovic, and Temple that can play there. Me so confused. I’m probably talking myself into lowering Hill, especially since the Kings will be bad and they will probably increase the playing time and usage for Fox later in the year. With that said, I don’t see Hill completely going away, which is kind of annoying, but there’s also an outside chance he gets traded.
97) Wilson Chandler
If you’ve already forgotten, I LOVE THE NUGGETS O THIS YEAR! Chandler will probably start at small forward and could play some 4 as well. The Nuggets are super deep this year, so that could be a concern for usage and minutes for all, but the pace will mitigate the effects of that to some degree. If you have any concerns….
98) Evan Fournier
Fournier garnered a solid 23.5% usage rate last season and put up 13.7 shots per game. I was initially hesitant to project him for the same usage due to the signing of Jonathon Simmons. After giving it some thought, I think Simmons plays multiple positions because of his versatility and shouldn’t crimp too much of Fournier’s style.
After the All-Star break, Willie received 31 minutes per game and put up 13 points, eight boards, two assist, one block, and one steal with a 50% field goal percentage and 71% free throw percentage. He should be the man at center for the Kings this year, but it’s the Kings, so you never know. He’s still only 24 years old and is uber-athletic. Hopefully, Fox can get more minutes at the point guard position, which would be oh so lovely for Willie.
100) J. J. Redick
It seems like every year, Redick ends up as the 100th player in fantasy. Therefore, I feel that it’s only right to place him there in my rankings. He goes from LA to Philly, but I don’t think too many things change. He’s going to get around 12 shots per game, shoot a bunch of threes (the shooting percentage may be better as he should get a ton of open looks), be elite from the line, and chip in some other counting stats.
I’d be careful of your Gortat ranking and your projected MP. When Mahinimi was healthy last year, Gortat’s minutes plunged to 24 mpg if I remember correctly. I don’t see how he maintains 30mpg this year if Ian plays
@Jake: Yeah, I addressed that in the blurb
Man I loved Bad Boy tracks back in the early 00s.. *sniff* Also, I KNOW you only know about that Wilson Phillips song because of Bridesmaids. Admit it!
Think you’re rich on Redick’s scoring but I just watched a great piece on him on Uninterrupted and sure hope he gets all those touches.
Dieng? Love him but 32min ain’t happening with Taj there and with KAT potentially playing the 5 in crunch time. Told the guy in person last year that he’d be on my fantasy squad. Alas, that won’t be the case this season.
Don’t remember if Favors was in your previous post (doubt it), but shouldn’t he be considered in a thin Utah squad? Ingles too. I’d rather draft Joe over, say, Crowder or Prince. The volume 3s with decent brds and assists will be there. Smart player.
I’m a huge Lin guy too, and believe in his talent. I hope he gets more than 30min per, but Coach Asshat is kinda anti-Thibbs when it comes to starters mins.
I really believe Thad should be higher. I see his brds hovering around 8 and his stls being closer to 2 per. He’s fantastic on fast teams and that Indy squad should be running this year.
Love me some Wilson, too. Man, beyond Joker, Millsap and Gary, it’s hard to pinpoint who else is gonna really contribute. Barton is def my fav nugget and one of the best offensive players to watch, but who knows how much he’ll play. I’d prob lean towards a Jamal Murray over Wilson, tbh. He’s a great shooter (even KD mentioned how sweet his stroke is in a recent Simmons pod) and he should get the run. Still think Barton will get his, as Malone usually plays him to close games, like James Johnson in MIA.
@Lasandro: Thanks Lasandro! Appreciate the comments and feedback.
I shall admit NOTHING!!!!
Redick has been pretty consistent over the years. I think he will be fine. But, it is a new team so I don’t dismiss the possibility that he disappoints.
As for Dieng, my first thought was to sing him because of Taj. After thinking about it, though, I believe Tan is there strictly for depth. Thibs also loves Dieng and is structured in his rotations. When he sits Dieng, I feel like he wanted someone he really trusted off the bench.
Favors and Ingles are coming up. I believe Favors is 101. Had to ding him because of health. Love his game when healthy. Ingles is a good player. I don’t think I could put him over Prince and Crowder though. Limited upside.
Ha! Coach Asshat. Couldn’t have said it any better.
Thad was an interesting player for me. Thanks initially had him super low. After digging in a little deeper, I kept elevating him. What you say makes sense.
I LOVE THE NUGGETS O!!!!!!
@Son: as an Indy fan I am a bit worried about Thad.. he finished with a lot of ups and down last year, his Feb and Mar numbers are very low, tho his numbers went high in Apr and postseason.
if Indy are pushing for 8th seed he will be very important but if they are going down I see Sabonis and T.J going over him
@moshe: Good points. Definitely a possibility.
Hello, Razzball Nation !
This is just my opinion, i m not criticizing, u guys are doing a great job with the rankings : Fournier, Hardaway, G Hill, S Curry out, put instead Bazemore 100, Ingles 98, D Collison 96, E Gordon 91, get Reddick on 86 (i know, minimal D stats but he ll shoot at highest % of all these wings). I would swap Prince with Stein, i think he ll be a very good center from fantasy point of view. Also not sure about W Chandler, i see Barton taking much of his minutes if he won t make his open shots.
Of course all depends on everyone s team build up to this point. I d be glad to get Stein or D Collison or E. Gordon or Reddick this late in the draft, these guys can complement any possible build IMO.
All the best !
@Dragos: Hey Dragos. Any and all comments and criticisms are welcome and encouraged. Appreciate the comment. I don’t hate on your list. Ingles seems to be a popular one this morning.
wheres the homie dario?
@michael: Way down for me. I just don’t him getting the same minutes and usage as last year
@Son: yeah im worried about that as hes a potential keeper for me….btw what are these ranks based on h2h? roto? 8 cat? 9cat? something else?? i have bad reading comprehension
@michael: H2H, 9 cat. I don’t think I wrote that down anywhere, so your reading comprehension is fine
I’m finding myself in a real predicament when mock drafting on ESPN. They’re usually so off on so many players, but for whatever reason they have my man James Johnson pretty high and when it comes to the later mid rounds of the draft, I always have to choose between he and D’Angelo. I LOVE JJ. I despise Mr Ice Veins. But the latter dude is in a crazy position to produce. So, in short, how dafuq can I draft Johnson without feeling like I screwed up.
Guards of interest later on the board: Murray, Lin, Bradley (??), DSJ (??)…
Jimmy B and JJ need to be on my squads. It’s a must.
@Lasandro: Ha! I believe you answered your own question. The only way you screw up is if you don’t live for yourself.