Hello and welcome back to the NBA Roundtable! The number of fantasy owners could be cut in half either this week or next with playoffs starting up, so I wanted to do a topic that applies to everyone and take a look ahead to 2019-20.
Question: What players are you looking forward to drafting the most in 2019-20? It could be because of their ADP, bounce-back appeal or just some players you're hyped about in general. Tommy Beer will kick things off for us this week.
Tommy Beer (@TommyBeer)
Mitch Rob, aka the Blockness Monster, has emerged as a potential fantasy stud. Over the Knicks last six games, Mitchell is averaging 12.0 points, 10.5 rebounds and 3.8 blocks in just 25 minutes, while shooting a scorching 73.7% from the floor and 76.2% from the free-throw stripe. Robinson’s combination of blocks, boards and insanely high percentages make him an ideal nine-cat target. Over the last month, he ranks 11th overall in nine-category fantasy formats, one spot behind Stephen Curry, and one spot ahead of Nikola Jokic. No matter what happens with the Knicks roster this summer, Robinson has shown he can be a tremendous fantasy asset even in limited minutes off the bench.
Another player that has dramatically increased his fantasy appeal this season has been Spurs guard Derrick White. Injuries have been an issue for him in 2018-19, but that might help to prevent too much of an ADP inflation next October. Over his last four games, White is averaging 14.5 points, 6.0 rebounds, 6.0 assists, 1.0 treys, 1.3 steals, 3.0 blocks and just 1.0 turnovers. His versatile, all-around game gives him a high floor and an intriguingly lofty ceiling heading into 2019-20.
Steve Alexander (@docktora)
Give me all the Luka Doncic. There's something about Doncic and baseball's Ronald Acuna Jr. that work for me and I haven't been as excited as I am to draft these guys since I was watching Dominique Wilkins and Deion Sanders back in the day. Doncic was pretty special this year, despite being reeled in a bit by a now-slumping Trae Young, and should be a total monster next year. If you're in a league with me and want Doncic, you better plan on reaching for him.
Zach LaVine is a scoring machine and has even managed to stay healthy this year. I went all in on him this year (he’s ranked 59th in 9-cat) and will happily do it again next season.
Myles Turner finally lived up to the hype this season and should continue to improve as he gains confidence. Next year he should have an intense battle with Mitchell Robinson for the shot-blocking title.
Giannis Antetokounmpo is my favorite superstar and I will probably be taking him in leagues where I get the No. 1 pick.
De'Aaron Fox has been fun and I envision him being my point guard of choice next season.
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Michael Gallagher (@MikeSGallagher)
Dejounte Murray - He was starting to creep into the top-50 conversation before his ACL tear, and he'll have a full calendar year to get over his surgery. He posted on his social media back in January that he was already doing on-court work, so he should be set for close a full offseason of training, too. Derrick White is the man, but he's a low-usage guy and plays off the ball a lot. Murray is going to be super cheap on draft day and I'll be all about it again.
Kristaps Porzingis - Just before KP tore his ACL last year, we were considering him as a top-10 player going forward for blocks, scoring, treys and boards. He and Luka Doncic should be a treat, and like Dejounte, KP should be in line for a full offseason to train. Assuming he does sign with the Mavs, that team should be thin up front and it could even help his boards numbers.
Wendell Carter Jr. - He was a pretty big letdown after it looked like it was going to click for him in early November. He should improve in keeping fouls down while his offensive impact should grow as well.
Caris LeVert - He was on fire before his injury, but LeVert hasn't hit his stride in his time on the court just yet. The Nets also have a bad post-break schedule this season, so hopefully it'll be better next year for LeVert and perhaps Jarrett Allen.
Mitchell Robinson - I mean, c’mon.
Raphielle Johnson (@Raphiellej)
Bradley Beal - He’s been on an absolute tear for much of this season, and with John Wall due to miss much of next season with a ruptured Achilles this feels like a situation in which Beal will continue on the path he’s currently on. He’s been a top-10 player in nine-category leagues over the last three months, and a top-5 player over the last two. He should be a top-10 pick next fall. Don’t think it happens, but what if he were given PG eligibility as well? That would add to Beal’s fantasy value.
Lauri Markkanen - The second-year forward has been one of the few bright spots for a Bulls team that’s headed back to the draft lottery, and over the last month he’s been a top-25 player in nine-category leagues. The dynamic could change some with a healthy Wendell Carter Jr. back in the fold, but I wouldn’t expect there to be much of a difference when it comes to Markkanen’s usage since the Bulls managed to deal both Bobby Portis and Jabari Parker.
Deandre Ayton - Ayton may not be much of a shot-blocker (which doesn’t necessarily mean that a player is a bad defender), but it’s safe to assume that on most nights he’s going to post a double-double. It’s quite clear that along with Devin Booker the 7-footer is a key cog in the Suns’ rebuild. Whether or not the front office figures things out, Ayton appears to be in line for a good second season in the NBA.
Jonas Nader (@JonasNader)
Some great names here. I’ll add a few thoughts on some of the players mentioned above before throwing out some of my own.
Mitchell Robinson has taken the fantasy world by storm and his talk about blocking six shots per game isn’t beyond his reach. Bradley Beal is a lock to go in the first round for me next season as the 4th(!) best player in standard leagues for the past two months and without John Wall standing in his way. Myles Turner is a fantasy superstar as the 15th ranked player for the past two months, so like Steve said, he lived up to the hype and then some. And throw my name onto the Dejounte Murray bandwagon as he was one of my favorite mid-round targets this season before his unfortunate knee injury. Murray has the potential to lead the league in steals and he was showing off his revamped jump shot during the summer.
Jaren Jackson Jr.- Mitchell Robinson is all the rage when it comes to blocks and deservedly so, but it shouldn’t be forgotten that JJJ posted a historic 14.3% block rate in his lone season at MSU. While they did trail off as a rookie, he still blocked 1.9 shots per 36 minutes as the youngest player in the NBA, and he could double that number when he gets his timing right. Fouling issues kept them in check as well. He scored more points per minute than a rookie Anthony Davis and has the look of a fantasy superstar for many years to come. If you’re in a league with me, good luck grabbing him before I do!
Jonathan Isaac- The light finally switched on for Isaac and it’s been a fun ride with top-50 numbers over the past month. His game was built for 9-category leagues and his offense is starting to catch up with his already elite defense.
Jrue Holiday- He might be in for a rough finish to the season with the Pelicans throwing in the towel, but Holiday is ranked 19th in per-game value so far and his numbers without Anthony Davis are mouth-watering — with AD off the floor, Jrue has per-36 averages of 23.5 points, 7.3 rebounds, 5.6 assists, 1.7 steals, 0.9 blocks and 2.0 triples. If the Pelicans shut him down this season, that might keep his ADP down too. I think he finishes inside the top-15 next season.