NBA Fantasy Draft Prep: Breakouts, busts and sleepers; plus top 150
The Heat get the attention on the heels of the first championship of their burgeoning dynasty, while the Lakers stole headlines for their move for Superman Dwight Howard. Last year, it was the L.A. Clippers everyone was talking about.
no matter the sport, fantasy always tends to forget players in Year 2 in their new home.
That's where Chris Paul comes in and can help win fantasy championships.
Year 1 tends to bring a lot of hype, amped-up expectations and fantasy frustration. Year 2 tends to pay you back.
Remember, the 2011-12 beast that was LeBron James? He was in his second year with his new team. He also was 27 years old, by the way, the same age Paul is now.
Getting the No. 3 pick in your fantasy basketball draft might be a blessing in disguise. Paul and the cast of the Clippers are primed for a big year.
To get you primed for a big year, we present you our preseason breakouts, busts, sleepers and the Top 150 players to target in your fantasy basketball drafts:
These guys are going to be underrated at their position in drafts:
If Year 2 for a new face in a new place is a popular fantasy rule of thumb, so are new starters and third-year players. Turner, a former No. 2 overall pick, takes over for departed veterans Lou Williams (ATL) and Andre Iguodala (DEN) on a 76ers team that is steadily improving. In Year 3, Turner can get his numbers up to 15 points per game, six rebounds and four assists. That makes him a great pick relative to his modest draft position.
Two teams have given up on Beasley in four seasons. One team will finally allow him to grow -- the rebuilding Suns are telling Beasley to light it up. The Suns need someone to step forward and the talented but mercurial Beasley is in the ideal situation for his talents. "[Coach Alvin Gentry] really encourages me to shoot. Everybody does, even the team," Beasley told
He already made a significant jump in Year 2, but as we said with Turner, Year 3 promises to be even better in fantasy terms. Monroe is one of the rare centers who is his team's No. 1 scoring option. If he continues to improve at the rate he improved a year ago, we can see Monroe threatening to become a 20-10 beast. You will have to pick him in Round 2, but in terms of the talent at his position, it is worth the premium selection.
These guys figure to be overrated at their position in drafts:
At 34, Bryant is getting his best supporting cast since the Shaquille O'Neal era. It stands to reason it should boost his numbers, right? Just the opposite. The addition of Howard has seemingly cut into Howard's fantasy value, but it actually will cut into Bryant's, we say. The future Hall of Famer is past his prime, dealing with myriad injuries in recent years and now able to take some nights off. The Lakers are going to coast through the regular season and they have a legit supporting cast that can allow Bryant to take nights off, either entirely or just in terms of reliance. Look away when Bryant is atop your best available during drafts.
Fantasy loves Granger, mostly because he fills the stat sheet and doesn't carry a name that fantasy neophytes jump on early. Still, Granger is turning the dreaded 30 this season and is dealing with a knee issue that might never have him at 100 percent again. "I'll always have soreness," he told the
The Lakers' key piece to the Howard deal is seemingly entering his prime at age 26 and coming off a breakout year of 18.7-11.8. Well, Bynum might be the oldest-looking 26-year-old that isn't named Greg Oden. Bynum has needed knee injections and was supposed to head into this season as the 76ers go-to monster. With expectations tend to come disappointment, so we should have no faith Bynum comes through away from the bright lights of L.A.
These guys shouldn't be forgotten about at their position in drafts:
Walker is coming off an inconsistent rookie season and might not be completely capable of putting Ramon Sessions on the bench as a point guard. But, with experience should come better shot selection for Walker, particularly beyond the 3-point arc (just 30.5 percent last year). Walker has a chance to become the Bobcats' leading scoring threat, especially if rookie Michael Kidd-Gilchrist sends Gerald Henderson to the bench more often this season. Walker has the makings of a potential 20-point scorer, even if he never becomes a big contributor in assists.
Rookies rarely make immediate impacts, especially at a ripe, young age of 20, but Barnes isn't your average rookie talent. He is a potential game-changer. Brandon Rush might look like the Warriors starter at small forward right now, but Barnes will play the majority of minutes and the important minutes. The seventh-overall pick is the Warriors' hope for a superstar as David Lee and Andrew Bogut do the dirty work down low. Barnes stands to be one of the best late-round picks in fantasy this year.
Jordan, like his running mate Griffin, is undervalued in fantasy because of his poor free throw shooting. Jordan was also supposed to significantly improve with the addition of Paul in Lob City, but any strides he made were marginal in fantasy. At 24, the bet here is the improvement is more exponential this season, along with Paul and Griffin. The Clippers can really start to gel if Jordan lives up to his potential as we think he will.
And now for a complete look at how your draft might unfold ...
RK Player POS TM
1 LeBron James F MIA
11 Dwyane Wade G MIA
21 Marc Gasol C MEM
31 Rudy Gay F MEM
41 Danny Granger F IND
60 Jeremy Lin G HOU
71 Ersan Ilyasova F MIL
81 Jason Terry G BOS
91 Gordon Hayward G UTA
101 Anderson Varejao C CLE