Five Guys You Need To Draft In Fantasy Basketball

Photo Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

Five Guys You Need To Draft In Fantasy Basketball


Can you believe it? Basketball is almost here. We are smack in the middle of October, waiting for opening night. Who can’t wait for Kyrie Irving vs. LeBron James? What about “Brodie” with “Hoodie Melo” and “PG13?” This offseason has been nothing short of mindblowing; the unexpected happened. Now, it is time for draft those sleepers in your fantasy leagues, dynasty and redraft. I’m not going to tell you the obvious names. Let’s take a look at guys who will have an opportunity to flourish and take the league by storm.

ENES KANTER – I’m sure you never saw this one coming. Enes Kanter will be the man in New York next to Kristaps Porzingis. The 6’11” center born in Switzerland was one of the better sixth men in basketball last season, offensively speaking. The Knicks saw something in him when they decided to pull the plug on the Carmelo Anthony era and trade for him back in September. While playing time may be an issue early like it has been in Oklahoma City, Jeff Hornacek will quickly realize Kanter is far more talented than Willy Hernagomez and Joakim Noah (who will continue to serve a twenty game suspension this season). Kanter has sporadically shown signs of dominance throughout the years in limited minutes. Not to mention for those dynasty league players out there, he is only 25-years-old. Target him with your ninth or tenth round selection in a ten team league and reach for him in dynasty.

DONOVAN MITCHELL – If you sit in a category league and choose not to draft scorers early, then Utah Jazz rookie Donovan Mitchell can be your guy. Gordon Hayward is out of Utah. Rudy Gobert doesn’t have the offensive talent to step up. The thirteenth overall selection out of Louisville will slowly but surely emerge as a leading scorer in Salt Lake City. He showed off his abilities in Tuesday’s exhibition against the Lakers, posting 26 points on 10-20 shooting in a game where all starters, excluding Rodney Hood, played normal minutes. Joe Johnson will be an excellent mentor and Ricky Rubio will handout those dimes to Mitchell. He will be a gem in dynasty leagues in the next couple of seasons. Make sure you grab him as Mitchell is already falling towards the last couple of rounds in most drafts.

BROOK LOPEZ – We all have that really annoying friend who senselessly loves the Lakers. That guy who believes in Lonzo Ball and thinks Kyle Kuzma is the next big thing. One of their youngbloods with eventually take the lead, but let’s not forget about Brook Lopez, the former Brooklyn Net who averaged just over twenty a game and added a pretty serious three-point stroke to his game. Here is a guy people rarely talk about and will immediately be the top scoring option in Los Angeles. I’d expect something close to twenty points and six rebounds for him. You can find him in the fifth or sixth rounds of your draft, but I can assure you, he will produce numbers like Al Horford, Jusuf Nurkic and Marc Gasol who have a higher average draft position today. His value in redraft leagues is definitely higher than in dynasty since he is twenty-nine in a contract year.

AVERY BRADLEY – Have you noticed a common theme in this article? All of these guys are playing for new teams, getting the opportunity to step up in a new regime. We are continuing the trend here with Avery Bradley, the former Boston Celtic who really never got the spotlight he deserved. He quietly averaged sixteen points and six boards last season and was traded to Detroit, a team who has failed to produce offense consistently over the past decade. He is sharing a backcourt with Reggie Jackson and Ish Smith who are both extremely unreliable and streaky. I would not be surprised if he was in the All-Star talks in January when he leads the Pistons in scoring and produces a ton of rebounds (for a 6’2” shooting guard) and steps up his defense with steals. He’s being draft around the eight and nine rounds right now. Don’t be afraid to reach for him.

JOHN COLLINS – The Atlanta Hawks are entering a huge rebuild after parting ways with Paul Millsap, Dwight Howard, Kyle Korver and others over the past year. Outside of Dennis Schröder and maybe Kent Bazemore, this squad lacks talent. Similarly to the New York Jets in the NFL, they will have to turn to someone and that person will generate fantasy value. Let’s give a round of applause for John Collins, the 6’10” rookie who dominated the ACC last season with Wake Forest. Collins has looked like one of the Hawks’ more dynamic players this preseason, showing promise and looking like a future asset. Atlanta will give this guy more and more minutes ahead of the likes of Ersan Ilyasova, Dewayne Dedmon, Mike Muscala and the bunch of nobodies on this roster. You gotta be patient with Collins as he may be more stash-worthy in a dynasty league. However, don’t be surprised if you see the kid start and put up double-doubles on a nightly basis as the season progresses with Atlanta setting it eyes on those ping pong balls.

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