13. Anthony Davis
14. Kyrie Irving
15. Tyrese Haliburton
16. LeBron James
17. Bam Adebayo
18 Rudy Gobert
19. Fred VanVleet
20. Anthony Edwards
21. Paul George
22. Devin Booker
23. Kawhi Leonard
24 Jimmy Butler
25 Domantas Sabonis
26. Ja Morant
27. Pascal Siakam
28. Darius Garland
29. Cade Cunningham
30. Zach LaVine
31. DeMar DeRozan
32. Chris Paul
33. Donovan Mitchell
34. Shai Gilgeous-Alexander
35. Bradley Beal
36. Myles Turner
Rounds 4 & 5
Rounds 6 & 7
Rounds 8 & 9
Late Round Picks
13. Anthony Davis – LAL – PF/C
SR Value (Rank): 0.860 (13)
9 Cat Value (Rank): 0.877 (4)
9 Cat Totals (Rank): 0.614 (15)
Top 7 Cat Value (Rank): 1.269 (10)
Top 7 Cat Totals (Rank): 0.904 (27)
Darvin Ham has suggested the offense will run through Anthony Davis this year and I think that spells really positive things for Anthony Davis’s overall value. I have given a slight uptick in assists as a result but we could definitely see more there. I think we see AD at the 4 again this year as the help defender, boards will suffer playing next to a true center and so will FG% as he will be further from the rim. Several videos and reports have been released over how good AD’s shooting stroke looks as he has apparently been working on it every day. I think a return to ~30% 3pt shooting is huge for AD’s value and league average FT% gives us the complete player that used to slot in to top 5s on the draft board. Davis has struggled to play close to a full season in the last 3-4 years. But when healthy he is a beast. He gives us everything we want from a big man. Efficient scoring, boards, a triple, 3 assists, well over a steal a game and 2 blocks.
- Punt FG – AD fits almost every build and I think he makes sense right around the turn this year. A lot of the players on the back end of Round 1 tend to be punt FG options. Whilst AD doesn’t appear to be the most logical fit, Punt FG builds usually need big man stats and AD gives you them on relatively clean FT% with decent scoring – rare for a big.
- Punt FT – One area I have really boosted AD is his FT%. This has been brutal in recent seasons and so Anthony Davis can factor in to Punt FT builds if you believe this trend continues – I personally don’t but I could definitely be wrong.
- Punt Points – An excellent fit in Punt Points builds – AD’s all around game gives us all the categories that we want from a big man. Be mindful though – if his FT% does not return to normal then this will have an even greater effect in punt points builds.
- I am forecasting significant positive regression in Anthony Davis’s shooting numbers next season. With Darvin Ham in town, Lakers will actually be running an offensive scheme for the first time in a few years and I think that will put Davis in open spots on the floor off the ball and help his 3P%. This should also bring confidence back to his FT shooting where he can be a 80%+ player.
- I think AD he plays next to another center this year (not Lebron playing center) and therefore I think boards and defensive numbers may suffer slightly. This spells positive things for his ability to stay on the court though as playing the 4 as the help defender is much less demanding physically.
14. Kyrie Irving – BKN – PG/SG
SR Value (Rank): 0.840 (15)
9 Cat Value (Rank): 0.782 (9)
9 Cat Totals (Rank): 0.664 (11)
Top 7 Cat Value (Rank): 1.175 (15)
Top 7 Cat Totals (Rank): 1.010 (20)
Kyrie missed most of the season due to his unvaccinated status meaning he could not play home games. He brings incredible efficiency from the G position offering ~48% FG% and ~90% from the line while providing elite points. He is a guy who can win you the league from pick 13, there is every chance he ends up being a fringe top 5 player per game. So why is he available in round 2, well due to off the court things – he is a bit of a wildcard. Given injuries can already derail a season, Irvings off the field issues give you real hesitancy early in your draft. Still, if you’re towards the back of the first round sometimes a high-risk high reward option is what can vault you into a commanding position in your league – I wouldn’t hesitate to take him over KAT or Trae Young if you’re optimistic.
- Balanced – Kyrie fits literally every build. You could make an argument you can punt blocks with him, and he fits this build but he has had seasons where he gets above average blocks for a guard.
- The key here is Kyrie is in a contract year this year. This means he needs to play well AND not be a distraction to earn a max deal next season. Money talks. I expect him to play a lot of games this year – optimistically more than the 60 I have projected above.
- Without James Harden last year Kyrie averaged over 38 minutes a night. Harden is gone and I think Kyrie picks up a bit more playmaking and dials down the scoring just a smidge. The presence of Ben Simmons I think helps the spacing situation in Brooklyn, especially if he plays center freeing Kyrie up to play PG next to another shooter.
15. Tyrese Haliburton – IND – PG/SG
SR Value (Rank): 0.814 (18)
9 Cat Value (Rank): 0.584 (19)
9 Cat Totals (Rank): 0.613 (16)
Top 7 Cat Value (Rank): 1.072 (22)
Top 7 Cat Totals (Rank): 1.113 (15)
After being traded to the Pacers, Tyrese Haliburton exploded as the starting point guard averaging >9.5 assists a game. When Brogdon wasn’t on the floor – his line ballooned out to 18 and 10, shooting 51% from the floor, 45% from 3 (hitting 2.3 per game), 89% from the line. Efficiency is the draw card here, both Hali’s percentages and A/TO ratio are elite. But he also does everything else well – he’s elite in steals, above average for a guard at shot blocking whilst also being at least average in boards and 3s. He’s the full package and I am very excited about him in 22-23. I don’t think his without Brogdon sample can hold this year. 18 and 10 on 50/90/45%s just isn’t likely over a full season for my liking, at his career percentages he is more likely a 16 and 9 guy which makes more sense to me. I like Kyrie and AD a little more than him personally but I wouldn’t criticise anyone for not wanting the risk either of those brings.
- Punt Points – The most obvious strategy for Haliburton is likely going to be difficult to pull off. He is going to be in high demand meaning those picking late in R1 will likely get first dibs. Only KAT figures to be a great fit next to him in this build – a Kyrie/Hali start could also work well.
- Balanced – Hali will fit any build. He’s truly a 9-cat player. His points will be lacking for R2 but you could definitely focus that in R3/4/5 to counter the deficiency.
- Some analysts have him higher than this – a late 1 immediate R2 player – mainly due to higher scoring volume than I have projected.
- Pacers will feature him as much as possible – a 20/10 season on 50/90/40%s with 2 steals is not out of the question by any means – this would easily make him a top 5 player next year.
16. LeBron James – LAL – PG/SG/SF
SR Value (Rank): 0.762 (23)
9 Cat Value (Rank): 0.475 (27)
9 Cat Totals (Rank): 0.258 (58)
Top 7 Cat Value (Rank): 1.146 (18)
Top 7 Cat Totals (Rank): 0.758 (46)
The king was a top 5 player last year in per game value. This was on the back of his resurgent FT%, over a block a game, 22 shots per game and 37 minute a night workload. I don’t see any of these repeating in 22-23 as the Lakers have improved their roster in line with new Head Coach Darvin Ham’s scheme. As it currently stands the Lakers roster needs a bit more work but it looks better than last year already meaning Lebron will not need to play such a sustained workload. The King played predominantly center for LA last year and this looks set to change in 22-23. The Lakers have signed Thomas Bryant who is one of the best big man shooters in the NBA and figures to line up next to AD and Lebron as the starting front court. Ham is quoted as saying he wants to run things through Anthony Davis this year which will be a shift away from Lebron being the focal point. Moving away from center figures to help Lebron’s assists, so AD being the focal point may take some of that away leaving us somewhere inbetween Lebron’s typical ~8 apg and last years 6. Lebron likely will regress back down to the prior 3 seasons in the block and steal department leaving him back in the middle to late second round. Lebron’s injury history over the last 4 seasons has not been great, he has only played 1 season where he has eclipsed 60 games, going 56, 45, 67 and 55 over that span. This is a common theme between a lot of second round players this season.
- Punt FT – the best fit for Lebron is next to Doncic, Giannis or Steph Curry in a punt FT build. Take a big man in R3 and have the perfect compliment of points, 3s, assists and steals which the build desperately needs.
- Lebron’s 75.6 FT% last year was his highest since the 11-12 season. I see obvious regression here and am suggesting 70% however its entirely feasible this formed a huge part of his shooting routine last year and will continue to this year meaning the improvement could entirely be legitimate, boosting him to the top of the 2nd round in value.
- I have taken away Lebron’s defensive stats from last year as I don’t believe he will continue to play C next to AD with the new additions LA has brought in. If he does – expect last years numbers to hold.
17. Bam Adebayo – MIA – PF/C
SR Value (Rank): 0.900 (13)
9 Cat Value (Rank): 0.620 (18)
9 Cat Totals (Rank): 0.649 (12)
Top 7 Cat Value (Rank): 1.188 (14)
Top 7 Cat Totals (Rank): 1.226 (14)
3/10 Update: Miami has indicated they will feed Bam additional shots this year and have him “take 18 shots per game” – to me this spells Points, FG Impact and assists trending up. I don’t think he will take 18 shots per game but there will be a significant increase.
A sort-after big man last year had a down year. Bam has a lot about his game still – ~3.5 assists per game is a fantastic output for most bigs but felt underwhelming for Bam last season. His steals went up but at the cost of blocks. I think there is room for a bigger offensive role for Bam next year. Something to note is Bam is a much better defender in real life than his stats reflect. The NBA is trending towards mobile bigs who can switch and defend players on the perimeter – Adebayo is the best in the league at this. Meaning some calling for him to be traded for KD or Don Mitchell were ill-informed opinions. I think the version of Bam we saw last year is probably what we get again this year. I think we will start to see him experiment with 3s when wide open next season – not to a meaningful extent (unless he hits them) and we should see some growth in this over the next couple of seasons.
- Balanced – Bam doesn’t have a particular strength as a big, 20 and 10 is an elite return especially on ultra-clean percentages. He doesn’t offer anything from 3 but that likely isn’t something you’re expecting from one of your centers.
- Punt 3s – The only category Bam doesn’t contribute to. If you took KD or Harden, Bam can make sense in R2. Come back for Jimmy, Sabonis, Shai or Derozan in R3.
- Bam disappeared in the playoffs when the Heat needed him the most. You would hope that translates to an offseason working on improving his offensive repertoire but it will be interesting to see how it affects him.
- There is obviously space for Bam’s assists to re-inflate. An injury to Lowry, and we see a different stat profile. With Lowry playing Bam averaged nearly 20 pts and 3 asts. Without Lowry Bam averaged 17.5p and 4a.
- The latest update is probably leaning on optimistic – and so there is more downside risk when you forecast such significant improvements. It makes sense with Miami’s aging roster to lean on Bam more, and getting him buckets is how you will bring him into the game especially in playoffs.
18. Rudy Gobert – MIN – C
SR Value (Rank): 0.838 (16)
9 Cat Value (Rank): 0.317 (49)
9 Cat Totals (Rank): 0.452 (33)
Top 7 Cat Value (Rank): 1.049 (23)
Top 7 Cat Totals (Rank): 1.252 (13)
Gobert moves to Minnesota where he sits alongside KAT in a jumbo frontcourt for the wolves looking to compete in the now competitive east. Gobert figures to be less effected by this move than KAT as Gobert’s value largely comes from the defensive end of the court where his role will be the same, in fact his role figures to be the same at the offensive end too where it will be KAT moving further away from the paint to accommodate his new frontcourt running mate. An incredible option in round 2 or 3 in the punt FT% build where he is perennially top 10. A better rebounder than Robert Williams who has replaced Capela as the other early Punt FT option this year. If going for a punt FT build you are probably targeting Lebron or Anthony Edwards for their guard stats in R2 and then Gobert or Williams in R3.
- Punt FT – Lock up Boards, Blocks and FG% while tanking your free throws. It would be extremely difficult to come back from Gobert’s FT hit, he very much falls into the category of players that force a punt strategy.
- Punt FT/Punt Assists – I wouldn’t suggest consciously double punting from R2 but a situation you may find yourself in is that a lot of the viable assist options are being taken by other Punt FT players. In this scenario, double down on Robert Williams around R2 and 3 and then look for points and 3s rather than assists in the middle rounds.
- It’s unclear just what statistical effect the move to Minnesota may have. He may play more minutes, he may play less, he may get less boards, he may be unaffected. Two bigs may mean he can play more help defense, which may mean more blocks. It is very unclear so projections aren’t concrete for Rudy this year.
19. Fred VanVleet – TOR – PG/SG
SR Value (Rank): 0.782 (21)
9 Cat Value (Rank): 0.497 (23)
9 Cat Totals (Rank): 0.396 (39)
Top 7 Cat Value (Rank): 1.100 (21)
Top 7 Cat Totals (Rank): 0.927 (24)
FVV didn’t quite break out as much as many of us were hoping last year – the extra minute and a half didn’t translate into more proportionate fantasy value with marginal increases across the board. Toronto is healthier this year and I expect them to slightly dial back FVV’s minutes. FVV’s injury history is concerning – he played 65 last year but only 52 the year before and 54 the year before that. He’s an elite producer in FT%, 3s, assists and steals and gives us an excellent building block in Punt FG builds.
- Punt FG – FVV is the type of player that locks you into a punt with his ~40% shooting from the field on significant volume. His points are lower than we would like from this build also but shouldn’t be an issue as long as we have a decent base in R1. A Harden FVV combo would leave us seeking above average points in R3, 4 and 5 when we could be looking at better fits such as Myles Turner.
- FVV plays a lot of minutes to produce the stat lines that he does but his body has had a hard time staying on the floor at these high minute loads. At some point Toronto will have to dial back the minutes and this presents a significant draft day risk.
20. Anthony Edwards – MIN – SG/SF
SR Value (Rank): 0.759 (24)
9 Cat Value (Rank): 0.452 (33)
9 Cat Totals (Rank): 0.630 (14)
Top 7 Cat Value (Rank): 0.908 (27)
Top 7 Cat Totals (Rank): 1.218 (14)
Ant is one of the players I am most excited for this year. I think he has a real chance to be a top tier round 2 selection this year. He projects more like a late second early third but the upside that is present here pushes him higher in my draft guide. Edwards pushed his steals to 1.5 last year, his game has the sort of grit and grind we are accustomed to seeing with Jimmy Butler and so I can see this driving higher – especially with Rudy Gobert offering him the confidence to gamble in the passing lanes this season. Ant and Minnesota both have expressed the desire and expectation to see him grow into an ALL-NBA calibre defender and my projections leave room for further growth there. There’s also speculation Ant should build on his playmaking again this year which should lead to slightly increased FT attempts and more assists.
- Punt FG – With increased FG attempts this year may come a decline in efficiency. It’s something to be mindful of, but punting FG allows us to ignore this and proceed with a high upside wing to build around.
- Punt FT – This is actually my preferred build for Ant this year. Sure he has a neutral impact on FT% hitting just around league average on ~4 attempts. But he gives us all the categories we are looking for from the Punt FT build – elite scoring, 3s, steals, some assists and also some blocks and boards.
- Balanced – Theres nothing in Ant’s game that forces a punt – his efficiency leaves a lot to be desired but I LOVE him as a pairing for a high efficiency starting player like Jokic or KD.
- I’ve predicted a sizeable jump in his assists and scoring which may not quite hold true
- There’s some risk taking him in round 2 but he is an absolute no brainer start of round 3. The other selections around this point do not have the R1 upside that Ant does – and if they do (such as Kawhi or PG) they have extreme injury risk tags.
21. Paul George – LAC – SF/PF
SR Value (Rank): 0.825 (17)
9 Cat Value (Rank): 0.662 (14)
9 Cat Totals (Rank): 0.414 (37)
Top 7 Cat Value (Rank): 1.237 (11)
Top 7 Cat Totals (Rank): 0.826 (37)
Man, it feels sad placing Paul George at the back end of R2. I was so high on him last year as a fringe first round guy. I had him in too many leagues as an early second round pick and it derailed my year given I also took MPJ in many of those leagues. Regardless PG13 is still an elite fantasy producer when he is on the court and many have the Clippers taking things deep into the offseason this year. This would usually be a positive from a fantasy perspective, a player dialed in on a contending team. Except the Clips are the deepest team in the NBA which enables them to rest their injury prone stars in PG and Kawhi. I don’t expect PG or Kawhi to play back to backs this season, this hasn’t been announced but its to be expected when you have the depth the Clippers have. This is extra bad news as the Clippers have a league most 15 back to backs this season.
- Punt FG – The default build for George would be Punt FG most seasons. When playing next to Kawhi his FG% has trended upwards to a league average level but last year it imploded to a must punt 42% on 20 shots. Take him, get a great source of SF (or hopefully SG) rebounds and elite steals, assists, 3s and points late in round 2.
- Punt Blocks – PG represents great value in punt blocks, while he has upside from the .4 he is projected (he has seasons averaging .6) George is a fantastic source of rebounds whilst still playing to the strengths of he build, especially if he draws SG eligibility playing next to Kawhi.
- Curiously I have seen Kawhi slip deep into round 3 and occasionally round 4 in some of my leagues (I have snapped him up at R4 each time) but have not seen George slipping. There is huge injury and rest risk here so proceed with absolute caution – George represents first round per game value so late R2, early R3 is the right range but don’t reach.
22. Devin Booker – PHX – SG/SF
SR Value (Rank): 0.713 (26)
9 Cat Value (Rank): 0.463 (29)
9 Cat Totals (Rank): 0.553 (20)
Top 7 Cat Value (Rank): 0.903 (28)
Top 7 Cat Totals (Rank): 1.046 (16)
Last year I wrote about how I think Booker is overrated and shouldn’t be taken until the late third, early fourth. I talked about how he provides underwhelming defence, a lack of 3s, and his assists have dried up. Fast forward one year and Booker took his game to another level. His 3s increased, his boards moved up to above average for a guard, his assists came back and he contributed on defence. He’s still a 27ppg scorer that shoots nearly 47% from the field and is a top-tier free throw impact contributor. Booker is a very similar contributor to Bradley Beal and the two offer an almost identical stat line – Beal has a greater upside due to assists, steals and scoring but Booker has a much higher floor. Booker’s point of difference is for teams who need scoring and a strong anchor in percentages but are well stocked defensively.
- Balanced – one of the key things that ranks Booker this high is he is a super reliable contributor. He plays nearly 70 games almost every year, he’s clean from the field and elite from the line. In the categories most builds will be looking for in the first 3 rounds Points, Rebounds and Assists on good %s – Booker provides as elite a combination as you will find.
- Punt blocks – The one category Booker doesn’t contribute to. His FG% is the drawcard here. Elite scoring numbers on high FG% is what this build requires to be successful. Pair with an efficient guard early and Sabonis in R3.
- Chris Paul is slowly winding down, this will mean more ball in Booker’s hands, more assists and scoring for owners.
- His steals spiked significantly last year, watch these closely, I have baked in some regression but there might be more.
23. Kawhi Leonard – LAC – SG/SF
SR Value (Rank): 0.765 (22)
9 Cat Value (Rank): 0.755 (10)
9 Cat Totals (Rank): 0.500 (26)
Top 7 Cat Value (Rank): 1.140 (19)
Top 7 Cat Totals (Rank): 0.781 (43)
The Fun Guy hasn’t been very fun the last few seasons. He hasn’t consistently hit the court. You’d expect a decline in minutes and an intentional decision to sit him in busy periods of the seasons as well as back to backs to all but guarantee he misses 15-20 games off the bat. When he’s on the court though – we have a round 1 contributor across the board. It will be great to see Kawhi back in 22-23 and the Clippers look to be a powerhouse in the loaded west. This competition should hopefully bring the best out Kawhi. There’s not too much more to point out around Kawhi – you’re taking a gamble on a first round player who has struggled to stay healthy. He’s supremely efficient both from a %s and a A/TO ratio perspective. His 3s are a little light on but 2 per game isn’t bad considering ~50% from the field.
- Balanced – Kawhi at this range can fit any build. The key will be have you taken any risks in R2 or R3? If yes, don’t draft Kawhi. If you took Jokic (ironman) and say Devin Booker – well you can absolutely roll the dice on Kawhi in R3 and reap the rewards.
- Punt Points – the build that really unlocks Kawhi’s potential this season is going to be Punt Points. If he misses a game here or there? So what. What we need Kawhi for is a strong base in elite percentages. He will give us a bit of everything else. But the real thing you miss when you miss games played is points. Punt it and that’s no longer a factor. Punt points is typically dominant in Rebounds, Assists, Steals and Blocks so we won’t feel the loss there as much.
- I have baked in some regression across the board to account for the time he has missed. There will be some rust, and we aren’t sure how it will manifest itself as yet.
24. Jimmy Butler – MIA – SF/PF
SR Value (Rank): 0.814 (19)
9 Cat Value (Rank): 0.748 (11)
9 Cat Totals (Rank): 0.500 (25)
Top 7 Cat Value (Rank): 1.196 (13)
Top 7 Cat Totals (Rank): 0.865 (31)
Jimmy Buckets is yet another per game star that suffers from not playing enough games. An excellent fit in Punt Points and Punt 3s builds Jimmy gives us elite Rebounds, Assists and Steals with a handful of blocks on elite efficiency, both in percentages and A/TO ratio. He’s getting on now in age but was my favourite player to watch in the playoffs last year. There was something about watching an older player who has so much fight still left in him and such desire to drag his team over the line that was captivating. The Miami v Boston series was one for the ages and it was incredible watching Butler take on the entire Boston outfit and nearly win. In terms of fantasy there isn’t too much that has changed around him for next season. I expect Miami to be players at the trade deadline as I expect them to be middle of the pack in the loaded east and this might impact Jimmy somewhat. For now we can pretty much rinse and repeat what we got last year.
- Punt Points – Punt Points makes Jimmy a top 10 asset, double punting points and 3s makes Jimmy a top 5 player making these by far the best fits for Jimmy’s game.
- Punt 3s – the most logical fit, you may end up double punting points as I said above. But his elite FT% impact and Steals help this build with what can sometimes be a hurdle when drafting a punt 3s team. Jimmy makes a lot of sense for teams looking at this build that took either Jokic or Embiid in R1 and Bam or Sabonis in R2/3.
- The last time Jimmy played more than 65 games he was still in Chicago in the 16/17 season. You are almost locking yourself into big games missed – similar to PG and Kawhi so keep that in mind on draft day.
25. Domantas Sabonis – SAC – PF/C
SR Value (Rank): 0.636 (33)
9 Cat Value (Rank): 0.365 (41)
9 Cat Totals (Rank): 0.317 (47)
Top 7 Cat Value (Rank): 0.874 (33)
Top 7 Cat Totals (Rank): 0.796 (40)
Big Sab moved on last year and found his production to be very similar in the Purple of Sactown. His usage was slightly higher in Sacramento than Indiana but his efficiency suffered slightly. I expect a dominant 19/12 season from him with elite out of position assists, a steal and fantastic percentages to boot. He was experimenting more with a 3 ball in Indiana but this was put away in his time with the Kings. It will be interesting to see if he brings it out as adding around 3 3PT attempts to his game, which would constitute 1 make a game would be great addition to his overall value given we are already taking a big with limited blocks. There’s a lot of moving pieces in Sacramento next season with new rookie Keegan Murray looking like an excellent addition alongside Kevin Huerter. With Barnes at the 4 there are plenty of shooters for Sab to find on the outside so his assists should tick upwards next year. This ranking puts Sab slightly higher than the numbers rank him organically but I think a reliable big with this assist upside is incredibly hard to find and justifies taking him ahead of the upcoming names.
- Punt 3s – although this limits any upwards appreciation in the category from Sabonis next year, 1 a game is negligible and the extra assists and steal we get from Sabonis goes a long way in overcoming typical short comings in the build.
- Punt Blocks – the most obvious build for a center who doesn’t block shots Sabonis is one of the highest players on the list at the turn when considering this build. An incredible combination with Jokic and Adebayo can be had and it would certainly be fun to not need to draft another big man until the late rounds. Alternatively a high FG% guard like Booker or Beal makes a lot of sense to pair with Sabonis at the turn.
- His numbers hardly changed last year after the trade and so I don’t think I expect too much to be different for Sabonis this year. Draft with confidence.
26. Ja Morant – MEM – PG
SR Value (Rank): 0.622 (35)
9 Cat Value (Rank): 0.370 (40)
9 Cat Totals (Rank): 0.279 (53)
Top 7 Cat Value (Rank): 0.878 (31)
Top 7 Cat Totals (Rank): 0.734 (49)
Ja was going much higher in early drafts but Yahoo has since correctly placed him out of the top 15 and more around 30. This is a solid spot for Ja. His play style is going to get him injured often. Still, I think he elevates to Westbrook level usage this season at 22+ FGA per game and I think this sees him compete for the scoring title. An elite source of points and assists with above average boards for a guard is exactly what we need at this point in Punt FT builds. The raw numbers have him ranked a little further back but his upside and category combination makes him in play for Punt FT builds as high as R2.
- Punt FT – Ja’s primary fit is in punt FT builds. Doncic > Edwards > Ja is might be my favourite start in fantasy this season (maybe). Roll that into a couple of good value Punt FT bigs in the middle rounds such as Poeltl and Capela, take Ben Simmons, CJ Mccollum, Mitch Rob and other Punt FT fits.
- Something that was really apparent in the Warriors series was that Ja needed a more reliable 3. I would go all in on the fact that this is one of the primary elements of his game he is working on this season. I have actually built in regression % wise from 3 but at nearly 6 attempts this is an overall boost.
- There’s certainly still some room for Ja to improve beyond my projection. Especially defensively. He definitely has a 1.5+ steal season in him and his 3 point shot might improve to around league average even on more volume.
27. Pascal Siakam – TOR – PF/C
SR Value (Rank): 0.613 (37)
9 Cat Value (Rank): 0.431 (34)
9 Cat Totals (Rank): 0.520 (23)
Top 7 Cat Value (Rank): 0.772 (42)
Top 7 Cat Totals (Rank): 0.906 (26)
I’ve seen Pascal going a little too high in drafts. There are a few people that seem to want him at the end of R2. Even at 30 you are reaching a little per the raw numbers. Still I understand the appeal. Assists from the big man position is incredibly versatile. There is typically a trade off between Rebounds and Points/Assists early in drafts. Pascal gives an elite combination of all 3. Also giving us good steals and okay blocks. His FT% was down last year so I expect that to return somewhat. Playing the Center position is key to his rebound value, I think there’s scope for him to play less 5 next year as he East seems to be trending towards twin towers. There’s also the fact that he plays nearly 38 mins a night, I don’t think that can continue in perpetuity so it will be key to see whether Toronto starts to dial down the minutes somewhat.
- Punt Blocks – it’s the natural fit for a big man who blocks under 1 shot per game. If you’ve taken a similar big in R1 or 2 you can double down and take advantage of the out of position assists.
- Balanced – There’s nothing in Siakam’s line that forces you to punt. His percentages aren’t the greatest for a big man, but neither force a punt. His assist to turnover ratio is around 2 on a healthy dose of assists so you can comfortably place him into any build. Just try to ensure you have taken good anchors in both percentages in R1 and R2.
- It’ll be key to see what lineup the raptors roll with. If Siakam is at the 5 again we are locked in for the projected stats. If he is going to play more 4 then we might see a decline in his FG% – the rest of his line should be reasonably safe.
28. Darius Garland – CLE – PG
SR Value (Rank): 0.651 (31)
9 Cat Value (Rank): 0.292 (53)
9 Cat Totals (Rank): 0.312 (48)
Top 7 Cat Value (Rank): 0.855 (35)
Top 7 Cat Totals (Rank): 0.895 (29)
I was so high on Garland this year when draft season first kicked off. He was poised for a 25 and 9 ish season I felt before the Donovan Mitchell trade. It’s not all lost, I think he is still decent value in the back end of the 3rd. I think a lot of his line will be safe but his scoring and assist upside just won’t quite be there now. I have baked in significant FG% decline as he begins to take more of his shots from the outside. His 2P% spiked last year and I think we will see some regression there whilst also seeing a higher proportion of shots from 3 as he shares playmaking duties with Mitchell. Now this may all be a little harsh, so there’s upside here.
- Punt FG – Whilst I wouldn’t of necessarily categorised him here normally I think his FG% regresses a little this year as he takes more outside shots. The concern here is his mediocre rebounds. This is a real issue for this build in general and his below average rebounds compound that problem.
- Balanced – his FG% certainly isn’t single man punt worthy. If you’ve taken a healthy FG% compliment in R1 and 2 with a good source of rebounds and blocks then Garland is a fantastic option – much recommended if you’ve gone back-to-back bigs.
- I’ve taken like a pessimistic outlook on Garlands line overall with the addition of Mitchell and this may not necessarily be how it plays out. But in R3 I think its better to be safe than sorry.
29. Cade Cunningham – DET – PG/SG
SR Value (Rank): 0.595 (39)
9 Cat Value (Rank): 0.224 (62)
9 Cat Totals (Rank): 0.242 (62)
Top 7 Cat Value (Rank): 0.781 (41)
Top 7 Cat Totals (Rank): 0.819 (38)
Cade is someone I don’t have enough of in my teams this year. Detroit finally has their beacon of hope. A hyper athletic guard capable of carrying the offensive load. Cade’s shot didn’t quite fall for him last year. He shot the 3 ball at around .300 but I think he can certainly get to league average. After the all star break Cade averaged 21p 5.7r 6.5a 1.1s and .7b, a fantastic output. Detroit have brought in Jaden Ivey and a host of veterans to add to a super crowded front court. It all feels like they don’t quite know exactly where they are headed and so I am not sure if we see the full breakout from Cade this year – but it’s certainly possible.
- Punt FG – He’s a fantastic fit for Punt FG builds with his above average rebounding and blocks – mitigating some of the risk factors present in this build. His turnovers are quire high so you’ll likely want to be looking at a double punt if rolling with Cade.
- I certainly haven’t gone all out on my forecast for Cade. There is a lot more scope for improvement. I have built in very incremental gains across the board as well as a minute increase but most second year players see a much more significant bump. I’m just not sure what the plan is in Detroit. There is a lot of moving pieces and this gives me hesitancy to build in a Garland style year 2 breakout.
30. Zach LaVine – CHI – SG/SF
SR Value (Rank): 0.583 (43)
9 Cat Value (Rank): 0.472 (28)
9 Cat Totals (Rank): 0.375 (41)
Top 7 Cat Value (Rank): 0.825 (38)
Top 7 Cat Totals (Rank): 0.684 (57)
In order for Zach (and in my opinion the Bulls) to take a step forward next year it will need to be Zach Lavine that is leading the team. His explosive game will prove critical to unlocking the fool potential of the Bulls offense and so I think we see a slight uptick in his shots per game. The numbers don’t have Zach this high but there’s every chance we see 20-21 Lavine again. No Lonzo for at least the start of the season. Aging stars around him and a need for the team to collectively improve to have a chance in the loaded east. This is a recipe for a star to elevate. FG% is the key here, Zach is typically incredible from the field – especially when you factor in that he’s taking 8 3s a game and hitting 3 to be in and around 50% is fantastic for our fantasy teams. Overall I like him here towards the back of R3 but he’s even better value in early R4.
- Punt Blocks/Rebounds – These builds require guards to boost FG% to maintain a competitive squad here. Zach is perfect at that whilst still giving us elite 3s, points and assists.
- Punt Steals – the most obvious fit for Lavine is punt steals. At an underwhelming sub-1 steal per game consistently through the last two years we can comfortably assume we won’t be wasting any value by drafting him in this build.
- Balanced – there are a lot of builds that can use a hyper efficient Guard. Steals are an issue so you’ll want to be on top of these early.
- He did pop up with a season of 1.5 steals which is why I am optimistic he can be league average here, especially in a defence that will need to be hyper aggressive on the perimeter this year to protect a soft interior defence (Derozan, Vuc).
31. DeMar DeRozan – CHI – SG/SF/PF
SR Value (Rank): 0.671 (28)
9 Cat Value (Rank): 0.456 (32)
9 Cat Totals (Rank): 0.599 (18)
Top 7 Cat Value (Rank): 0.828 (37)
Top 7 Cat Totals (Rank): 1.027 (19)
As I said above I think the offense needs to transition back to Zach Lavine for the Bulls to truly thrive. This means a slightly toned down Demar Derozan in 22/23. Not to completely take it away from him but I don’t see him playing 36 minutes a night again, his 36 mins and 76 games were huge for the bulls and fantasy teams alike last year and I think we still see 70 games as Derozan has been something of an ironman across his career – playing most of the season. He obviously doesn’t shoot the 3 ball and doesn’t contribute defensively which I think is the primary reason we have seen him slip on draft boards but his efficiency in both %s and A/TO ratio is what we are signing up for and what makes him a strong round 3 option.
- Punt 3s – I think the best build to role Derozan into is obviously punt 3s. His elite FT impact is important for a build that will draft a healthy compliment of big men and Derozan makes a ton of sense with Jimmy Butler in this build. While Butler misses a lot of games, Derozan doesn’t – meaning between them you get back to league average level of games played and two players who gain a lot of value from this build.
- Punt Blocks – the high FG% from a wing player makes this a hand in glove fit. Especially since Derozan can be slotted into the PF slot of our lineups. They other key factor here is that Punt Blocks builds will typically have elite 3 point production (since we will be focusing on smaller players) mitigating Derozan’s lack of input here.
- I could be wrong in my estimation of the Bulls offense. And if so last years production isn’t out of the question, meaning you are picking up a bargain late in R3 or in some cases early R4.
32. Chris Paul – PHX – PG
SR Value (Rank): 0.658 (29)
9 Cat Value (Rank): 0.488 (26)
9 Cat Totals (Rank): 0.519 (24)
Top 7 Cat Value (Rank): 0.861 (34)
Top 7 Cat Totals (Rank): 0.909 (25)
In years gone by Chris Paul has been the sort of player who has slipped in drafts. Not so much this year, consistently going at the beginning of R3 people are aware of his improved health and top 10 overall finish last year. At this stage, I’m no longer buying. Unless he slips to the back end of R3 I think there are better options. We have seen his real life defence deteriorate over the last couple of years and whilst his steals were elite last year I am not convinced he repeats the near 2 a game. His %s also started to go on him last year which I believe will come back – I think he very much is what he is from a fantasy perspective ~15ppg, 9-10 assists, 1.5 steals on league best efficiency % and A/TO wise.
- Punt Points – A must have in the punt points build, CP3 is usually easy enough to grab. If you have an early pick, rolling Rob Williams into CP3 at the turn is the dream in this build – two top 10 players to compliment your first round pick.
- Balanced – It’s really hard to overcome the loss of points you face from Chris Paul in R3. If you draft elite scorers in R1 and R2 and then manage to somehow take above average scorers for each of the next 3-4 rounds you might break even but then you may have missed out on taking better players.
- Injuries have been a concern in the past so be mindful of that when drafting him, he is 37 years old so if you went for other injury prone options you may just want to look for a more durable 3rd rounder
33. Donovan Mitchell – CLE – PG/SG
SR Value (Rank): 0.620 (36)
9 Cat Value (Rank): 0.318 (48)
9 Cat Totals (Rank): 0.331 (44)
Top 7 Cat Value (Rank): 0.816 (39)
Top 7 Cat Totals (Rank): 0.847 (35)
Now in Cleveland D-Mitch gets to stay in the competitive window of his career with a young up and coming Cavs team. He will share the backcourt with a legitimate star for the first time in his career which could have a number of potential affects on his stat line. I have opted to be slightly pessimistic with the affects, with declined assists, FG% and FGA. But there’s an alternative view that defences won’t be able to dial in on him as much, Garland will create open looks for him and having the confidence of twin towers in the front court may mean we see him gamble more in the passing lanes – its all possible. Still the risk factors are real with way more mouths to feed – I took D-Mitch as a late second in one of my early draft leagues and I now regret that decision.
- Punt FG% – His FG% isn’t entirely that bad but I expect more long range 2s and 3 pointers from him in Cleveland which will likely drag him down sub 44%. His elite 3s, scoring and steals are staples of this build and offer us a great building block at the end of R3.
- Punt Blocks – By way of underwhelming returns in the block department DMitch like many small guards ends up on this list.
- We don’t know the outcome of the trade to Cleveland yet. I assume we see less usage, fewer assists and shot attempts resulting in fewer points. Difficult to say at this point though.
34. Shai Gilgeous-Alexander – OKC – PG/SG/SF
SR Value (Rank): 0.849 (20)
9 Cat Value (Rank): 0.688 (17)
9 Cat Totals (Rank): 0.579 (22)
Top 7 Cat Value (Rank): 1.184 (20)
Top 7 Cat Totals (Rank): 1.030 (21)
21/09 Update: Classed with an MCL sprain coming into training camp I have to move SGA down to the end of R3. I still believe in what was written below but the re-injury risk and Thunder shutdown risks go up a notch when we have an injury coming into training camp.
SGA is set for another breakout in 22-23. Sure he’s also a sit risk, and has played just 56 and 35 games the last two seasons (he played 70 the year before). But he is 24 years old, entering his 5th year in the NBA and we caught a glimpse of what could be last season after the all-star break. In 13 games before he was shut down, SGA averaged 30p 7a and 6r with 1.7s on .540/.393/.806 % splits. That’s top 5 upside. No player I am going to list from here on out has that upside. I haven’t projected that upside all the way into his game. I am taking a happy medium between last year’s averages and that post-ASB breakout but we have seen time and time again with players in star roles, the Post ASB is an audition for what role they see the player in next season. Miles Bridges was that guy last year, I believe it’s SGA this year.
- Balanced – SGA fits an build you plan to run. I am forecasting him to be a little light on 3s and his FT impact isn’t elite which means he makes sense in punt 3s builds but you’re capping his upside.
When SGA broke out post-all-star it was clear there was a shift in approach. He did away with his 3 ball which wasn’t falling for him and he dialed in on drives. SGA can hit 3s, he’s had seasons where he has shot north of 40%. I think there may be a balance this year, I think he takes slightly less 3s but they’re better looks so he can return to hitting them at a great clip.
35. Bradley Beal – WAS – SG/SF
SR Value (Rank): 0.653 (30)
9 Cat Value (Rank): 0.495 (25)
9 Cat Totals (Rank): 0.279 (52)
Top 7 Cat Value (Rank): 0.981 (25)
Top 7 Cat Totals (Rank): 0.647 (59)
A fringe first-round pick the last couple of years Brad Beal has dropped down the rankings this year. An injury-affected season last year saw him struggle from the field and the line. He shot just 30% from 3 and took 4 less shots per game than the year before resulting in a mediocre 23 ppg in just 40 games. He has re-signed with Washington and looks set to share the backcourt with a low usage game manager type of point guard. I believe this will mean a strong uptick in what we see from Brad Beal next season. I think there is every chance we see the best Beal we have seen. He finally has a competent supporting cast, Porzingis can pop out to the perimeter and Kuzma is an excellent stretch 4. The caveat will be health. Beal has struggled to stay on the court in recent seasons – putting in seasons of 40, 60 and 57 over the last 3 seasons. The redeeming factor is Beal is just 28 whereas most of those other players are well north of 30.
- Balanced – Consider Beal an efficient scoring specialist with great complimentary assists. This makes him a fantastic option to pair with a big in R3 (or R2 if you are picking up a slipping Beal in R3).
- Punt Blocks – The only counting category Beal doesn’t really contribute to is blocks. His steals dipped a bit last year but I am putting that down to the injury affected season. Beal gives us elite scoring, assists, solid boards and great percentages to complement our Punt blocks. FG% in particular is something we need to be mindful of in this build (due to taking less bigs than other builds)
- Punt TOs – outputting a terrible A/TO ratio drops Brad on this last. At sub 2:1 he is going to make it difficult for you to compete in assists without tanking turnovers.
- Health and assists will be the keys to Beal’s value in 22-23. I feel he will be well placed to drive and kick to elite shooters it’s now just a case of whether his health holds up.
- I have forecast a bounce back across the board – 20-21 was an outlier season in terms of FTA and I have not built that into the 22-23 projections.
36. Myles Turner – IND – PF/C
SR Value (Rank): 0.641 (32)
9 Cat Value (Rank): 0.612 (19)
9 Cat Totals (Rank): 0.268 (57)
Top 7 Cat Value (Rank): 0.977 (26)
Top 7 Cat Totals (Rank): 0.611 (62)
The block king looks set to roam the paint solo next season without Sabonis in Indiana. We actually only got to see this in action for 1 game last year and only 11 times since the 19-20 season. That small sample size does net interesting results. Raise your hand if you think Turner averages more blocks as the solo big man for the Pacers than next to Sabonis? Yep got me too. He averages less – a lot less. Nearly a whole block less. This could be a scheme thing, and Indiana not wanting to shift their entire defence to cover the odd game when Sabonis was out but Turner was healthy but its concerning, especially when blocks is such an integral part of Turners game. Unfortunately 3s also suffer, he takes 1.2 less 3s without Sabonis, but his 3P% soars without Sabonis on the floor which could be due to complete luck or there could be an element of spacing that is unlocked without a second big man. If we knew Turner was locked in as the starting C for the Pacers for the entire 22-23 season he would be a lot higher, probably around the 30 mark. But he’s on an expiring deal and is a valued asset for the Lakers in particular who will likely make a play for the big man at some point before the deadline. Health is a big concern here also – he hasn’t reached the 50-game mark the past 2 seasons; playing as a C won’t help his durability.
- Balanced – In years gone by, Turner has been primarily a Punt FG option due to his underwhelming FG%, as a solo big man for Indiana with the ultra-efficient Haliburton feeding him I am expecting this to rise (in 11 games without Sabonis he actually averages 55%).
- Punt Assists – This becomes the most logical build for Turner now. This build typically has solid boards by nature of taking more big men and wings than smaller guards making up for Turners lack. The blocks will win you the category and his Blk/FT% combination is the real key here that unlocks both categories for us in this punt.
- There’s scope for even better returns here – maybe Indiana rolls out a different scheme that can maximise Turner’s blocks. Maybe Turner plays more than 30 minutes a night, maybe that’s 31 or 32 minutes a night which shoots him up at least 5 places on the board.
- If Turner signs a new deal in Indiana this changes everything. All of a sudden he’s probably an early R3 player. Isaiah Jackson would become an almost irrelevant last-round pick in this scenario.