1) Anthony Davis (PF/C) – The Brow is very likely to finish as the top overall player in nine-category leagues in 2020-2021. He was the top nine-category player in 2019-2020 before the league shut down and has finished as a top-two per-game player in six of the last seven seasons. The superstar also gets the top spot this year because he fits just about any build due to his all-around excellence. You have plenty of flexibility when you start your draft with Davis, although I do prefer to slide him into fantasy’s best nine-category punting build – punt assists. In his best build, Davis was about 40 percent more valuable than the next closest player last season. The only hole in his line when dimes are tossed is threes (1.2 3PG), and he still does better work there than many big men. It’s also possible that we haven’t seen his Lakers’ ceiling yet. LeBron will be getting plenty of nights off this year, and Davis has room to grow in the FG% category. Last season’s 50.3 percent connection rate from the field was the second-worst of The Brow’s career.
2) Giannis Antetokounmpo (SF/PF) – If you’re drafting Giannis, you are punting FT%. You have no choice. His free throw shooting has gotten to the point where it is no longer manageable (63.4 FT% on 10.0 FTA). The back-to-back MVP had a significantly larger negative impact on the category last season than Rudy Gobert and Andre Drummond did. Fortunately, Antetokounmpo is as elite as they come in that build. Only Anthony Davis was better on a per-game basis last season when free throw percentage was ignored. If you draft Giannis in the first, wait a few rounds to take your second big. If you start with something like Giannis/Rudy Gobert, you are going to find yourself in a hole in threes that is going to be very hard to dig yourself out of. The Buck is respectable from deep these days (1.5 3PG), but at best, he’s going to be league-average in the category next year, and he will finish well below what a typical first-round pick produces in the category. A high-volume three-point shooter is the ideal second-round partner for Giannis. It digs you out of the hole that Antetokounmpo puts you in, and Giannis’ elite FG% impact (54.7 FG% on 20.0 FGA) allows you to easily take on the FG% hit that will likely accompany that guard. Just keep an eye on your swats when building around the MVP. Giannis is not as helpful in the category as most think (1.0 BPG).
3) Nikola Jokic (PF/C) – Jokic is another very safe first-round pick. Big Honey rarely misses games, and the Nuggets have resisted putting him on any kind of load management program in the past. The Nugget is averaging only 4.0 missed games per year since entering the league and did not miss a game during the 2019-2020 season. His below-the-rim game will always make him a natural fit for the punt blocks build (0.6 BPG), but don’t overlook his fit in both the punt threes build (1.0 3PG) and punt points build (20.2 PPG). Jokic doesn’t lose much value in either strategy, and his touch at the line (81.3 FT%) is a big help to both builds as they both tend to struggle to find enough FT% impact. Don’t be alarmed if Jokic starts the year slowly. The man – how do I put this – does not take the offseason terribly seriously. In each of his last three seasons, he’s been terrible in the first month of the season before playing himself into shape and producing mid-first-round numbers for the rest of the year.
4) Jayson Tatum (SF/PF) – This may seem like an aggressive ranking given the names below him, but it’s really not. Tatum finished 12th in nine-category leagues last year and got better as the year went on, capping his junior year in the NBA with an absurd 25.7 PPG, 2.8 3PG, 10.0 RPG, 5.0 APG, 1.0 SPG, and 1.2 BPG playoff run. In his prime, Tatum is going to be one of those very rare nine-category players. Once he cleans up efficiency (44.8 FG%) and improves his playmaking (2.9 APG), he’ll have the potential to be a top-three player in fantasy. With even modest improvements, Tatum should finish within the top-10 this season, and unlike some of his first-round brethren, he’s not a DNP-rest risk. Build around Tatum like you would build around Kawhi. Their lines have a lot of similarities. Punting assists makes the most sense when starting with the Celtic. From January until COVID break, Tatum was a top-seven player in punt dimes.
5) Kevin Durant (SF/PF) – The track record of players coming back from Achilles tears is not good. Kobe Bryant was still an All-Star when he tore his Achilles and when he came back, he was one of the worst high-volume players in the league. An Achilles tear caused DeMarcus Cousins to go from a first-round fantasy asset to a guy the Warriors wish they could have benched in the 2019 finals. Rudy Gay is probably the closest thing we’ve seen to a success story, and he still lost multiple steps after his injury. None of those guys were as good as Durant was when he tore his Achilles, but their comebacks don’t exactly inspire confidence. I still have Durant as a borderline first-round player because he has room to fall. I don’t expect him to match his 2018-2019 numbers, but that’s OK. He can still be a first-round player if he doesn’t. In his final season with the Warriors, KD finished eighth-overall in nine-category leagues and averaged 26.0 PPG, 1.8 3PG, 6.3 RPG, 5.9 APG, 0.8 SPG, and 1.1 BPG on elite percentages (52.1 FG%, 88.5 FT%). I think he can match his offensive counting numbers, but I do worry about his defensive numbers and field goal percentage. If you draft Durant, make sure you pair him with someone sturdy. Don’t get cute and chase per-game upside and pair him with someone like Kawhi Leonard. The former MVP is likely going to get plenty of nights off in his first season in Brooklyn.
6) LeBron James (PG/SF/PF) – After an unfortunate 2018-2019 season, LeBron struck back at Father Time in 2019-2020 and pulled off a top-10 finish in nine-category leagues. He managed this despite most of his counting numbers slipping slightly. The big exception, and the reason why he was able to once again be a first-round pick, was his assists (10.6 APG). Since he’s going to be back in the point guard role this season, I don’t expect a major drop in value. Even if he slips a bit physically, his role keeps his ceiling extremely high. Only Nikola Jokic and Luka Doncic averaged more touches per game than The King did last year. Unlike Giannis, he can be used outside of the punt FT% build (70.1 FT% on 6.0 FTA), but that is his ideal home. LeBron’s still excellent points (25.9 PPG) and elite dimes are a good match for a build that needs to keep an eye on both categories. If you draft James in the first, pay extra attention to your defensive numbers. The Finals MVP has only averaged 0.6 BPG in Los Angeles and last year’s 1.2 SPG average was the worst performance of his career in the category.
7) Joel Embiid (PF/C) – The Sixers are finally surrounding Embiid and Ben Simmons with shooters, and that likely means big things for the Sixers’ top stars. While the shooters are a welcomed addition, Embiid doesn’t need them to improve on last year’s second-round per-game nine-category finish. All he needs to do is play more minutes. Last year’s drop in points (23.4 PPG), rebounds (11.8 RPG), and blocks (1.3 BPG) was almost entirely due to him playing three fewer minutes than he did in 2019-2020. If the Sixers allow him to play 33 MPG as they did in 2018-2019, a first-round per-game finish is very likely. Per-game being the key word, of course. Embiid is so dominant that he works in most builds, but he’s best paired with the punt FG% strategy due to his relatively low-FG% (47.3 FG%) and dominance in the big-man categories that the build usually has issues with.
8) Paul George (SF/PF) – George flopped last season, but a first-round finish wouldn’t take much improvement. All it would take would be a small bump in his minutes (29.1 MPG), and he should get that assuming his shoulders come into the year in decent shape. George will be a great fit for all punt FG% teams, but especially those who got creative and went big in the first. If you start with Anthony Davis, George fixes your issue with threes (3.2 3PG), and if you start with Karl-Anthony Towns, George can help offset the big man’s lack of steals. Playoff P was only good, not great, in the steals category in 2019-2020 (1.3 SPG). However, I would expect some improvement in 2020-2021. Steals has a ton of year-to-year variance, and George is only one year removed from averaging a league-leading 2.2 SPG. In addition to his stellar swipes and threes, George should be a major help in points (21.0 PPG) and FT% (88.2 FT% on 4.5 FTA) and do more than most wings on the boards (5.7 RPG) and in the assists (3.9 APG) department.
9) Nikola Vucevic (PF/C) – Vucevic was a top-15 player for the second straight year in 2019-2020. The big man produces a very balanced line (20.2 PPG, 1.7 3PG, 10.8 RPG, 3.6 APG, 1.5 TOPG, 48.0 FG%, 79.2 FT%) that has no significant holes in it. The defensive numbers could be better (0.9 SPG, 0.7 BPG), but neither category is a major issue. The lack of blocks makes him a natural fit for the punt blocks build, and so do his elite boards. When punting blocks, rebounds can be problematic as you are passing on elite shot-blockers who tend to also be top-end rebounders. However, due to how versatile his game is, the big man is a solid addition to just about every build. He is also a relatively safe player. The Magic will be in a battle for the eight-spot in the East all season long and won’t be able to give the former All-Star any days off.
10) John Collins (PF/C) – I hope you enjoyed the 41 games of top-seven production that Collins gave his owners last year because the big man is not going to come anywhere close to matching that elite ranking with Clint Capela in town. Capela’s presence is going to take a significant bite out of Collins rebounding (10.1 RPG) and blocks numbers (1.6 BPG). Spending less time around the rim should also hurt the power forward’s accuracy from the floor (58.3 FG% on 14.8 FG%). On the flip side, I would expect an increase in triples (1.4 3PG) since this isn’t 1995, and anyone not playing center is going to have to spend almost all their time on the perimeter. Collins’ value will drop on a suddenly loaded Hawks teams, but he should be able to post top-30 numbers. The big-man stats will still be very useful, and he’s going to do a much better job than most bigs in the points (21.6 PPG) and FT% (80.0 FT% on 3.7 FTA) categories. The Hawk’s percentages allow him to work in most builds, but he is an especially nice play in the punt assists (1.5 APG) and punt steals (0.8 SPG) builds.
11) Bam Adebayo (PF/C) – If Bam remembers how to shoot free throws, he has a chance to crack the top-20 in nine-category leagues this year. His struggles from the line (69.0 FT% on 5.3 FTA) were the lone ugly spot in what was a monster breakout year. Without free throws included in the valuation equation, Adebayo was a borderline top-15 player in 2019-2020. I have faith in his free throw shooting improving because we’ve seen him do much better at the charity stripe in the past. The All-Star connected on 78.3 percent of his attempts in the playoffs and shot 73 percent from the line over his first two seasons in the league. Adebayo is going to be an elite fantasy option for the next decade because he can do everything. He is one of the best passing big men in the league (5.1 APG), does great work on the boards (10.2 RPG), makes the most of his scoring opportunities (15.9 PPG on 55.7 FG%), and is already a DPOY contender (1.1 SPG, 1.3 BPG). We’re also likely going to see him unveil a three-ball this year, although hopefully, it’s not on high volume so that his FG% remains elite. If you are punting blocks, Adebayo is one of your primary targets. He’s still very valuable without swats, and he addresses the builds’ natural weakness on the boards and in the FG% column.
12) Pascal Siakam (PF) – Siakam finished as a third-round player last season, but somehow it still felt like a disappointing year for the Raptor. As good as he was during the regular season (as a Raptor fan I refuse to acknowledge that his playoff run happened), it could have been so much better if he had just made open shots. It’s easy to look at the drop in his FG% (54.9 FG% in 2018-2019, 44.5 FG% in 2019-2020) and think that it was all about the extra defensive attention, but that would not be accurate. The man just missed easy shots he made in 2018-2019, and because of that, I am still bullish on Siakam. In 2018-2019, Spicy P shot 67.9 percent on open two-point shots and 77.1 percent on wide-open two-point shots. In 2019-2020, the All-Star shot 48.8 percent on open two-point shots and only 62.2 percent on wide-open two-point shots. As a Raptor fan, I can tell you that those stats match up with the eye test. He looked like one of the best finishers in the league two years ago and was blowing bunnies left and right last season. His FG% has no chance of reaching 2018-2019 levels because his game is much more perimeter-oriented now, but with a small FG% increase, there’s a good chance that Siakam cracks the second round. Pretty much everything else was excellent last season (23.6 PPG, 2.2 3PG, 7.5 RPG, 3.5 APG, 1.0 SPG, 0.9 BPG).
13) Andre Drummond (PF/C) – This is a tricky one. There is top-10 upside here, and there is also “not playing in the fantasy playoffs downside”. The Cavaliers are not going to be good even though they now have a frontcourt of Kevin Love and Drummond. They had the 25th-best offense and the second-worst defense in the league in 2019-2020. Drummond doesn’t fix either of those issues, which will make him a very dicey play late in the year if he is not traded again. Fortunately, there’s a good chance that he is moved at some point. Drummond is expiring, and no disrespect to my Cleveland subscribers, but the big man is probably not going to want to stay with the Cavaliers long-term. That makes it likely that the team at least attempts to move the big man. Wherever he is, Drummond’s value is going to be relatively safe since he doesn’t have a lot of value tied up in usage-related categories. He’s always going to be a monster on the boards (15.2 RPG), and his defensive numbers should remain elite (1.9 SPG, 1.6 BPG) wherever he plays. I also expect him to clean up his turnovers this year. His career-worst 3.6 TOPG had a lot to do with Detroit not having any guards and Blake Griffin missing most of the year. He won’t be asked to do as much with the ball this year with Sexton and Love on his squad. Drummond finished sixth in the punt FT% build last season and was the fourth-most valuable player to the strategy in 2018-2019.
14) Robert Covington (SF/PF/C) – Covington remains one of the most underappreciated assets in fantasy basketball. It looks like, once again, fantasy players will be able to acquire his services at a discount. He is currently ranked shockingly low on Yahoo. Heck, this fairly aggressively ranking is probably underselling him. After all, he did finish as a second-round player in some of fantasy’s most popular builds in 2019-2020. Covington brings elite steals (1.6 SPG), very useful boards (6.0 RPG with the Wolves), and above-average triples (2.3 3PG). He’ll also be one of the best sources of out-of-position blocks, although he likely won’t match last season’s 1.3 BPG. Last year’s exceptional performance in the category is inflated by his time as the Rockets’ primary rim defender. While in Houston, the newest Blazer averaged a ridiculous 2.2 BPG. As elite as Covington is, he’s a tough pickup for teams struggling in points. The swingman has never averaged more than 13.5 PPG, and most of the players in his range score significantly more than that. Points are very hard to find after round five, so if you have a poor start in points, and grab Covington in four or five, you probably won’t be able to end up where you want to be in the category.
15) Clint Capela (PF/C) – Capela should continue to be an elite fantasy option in Atlanta, and it’s possible that he improves on his numbers with the Rockets. The Hawks played at roughly the same pace as the Rockets did last year, and Capela could be looking at a usage (16.6 USG%) increase now that he’s on a team that doesn’t completely ignore their bigs. I would expect his PPG to look more like his 2018-2019 average (16.6 PPG) than his 2019-2020 average (13.9 PPG). The center provides his owners with some of the best big-man numbers in the league. The former Rocket averaged a ridiculous 13.8 RPG and 1.8 BPG while shooting 62.9 percent from the floor in his final year in Houston. Those big-man numbers were good enough to place him inside of the top-25 in nine-category leagues and inside of the top-10 in punt FT% (52.9 FT% on 2.7 FTA) on a per-game basis.
16) Brandon Ingram (SG/SF/PF) – Ingram is only 23 and is coming off of a top-30 finish. Normally, a player who is as young and as good as Ingram would be ranked a lot higher than this. The biggest reason why he is ranked this low is Zion. Once Williamson returned, Ingram went from being a borderline first-round option to a top-80 asset. The drop was due to a decreased usage rate caused by Zion and a change in Ingram’s shot profile also caused by the stud rookie. Without Williamson on the floor last season, Ingram had a usage rate of 28.1 percent. With Zion on that floor, his usage rate dropped to 24.6 percent. Ingram also took a lower percentage of shots at the rim and in the restricted area with Williamson on the court than he did while the rookie sat. The tougher shot profile was a big reason why Ingram only shot 43.7 percent with Zion on the floor (46.8 FG% with Zion off). Williamson isn’t the only reason why Ingram is a little riskier than his 2019-2020 ranking suggests. The former Laker is coming off of one of the largest shooting improvements that I can remember. In his final year in Los Angeles, Ingram shot only 33.0 percent on 1.8 3PA and connected on only 67.5 percent of his free throw attempts. In his first year in New Orleans, the All-Star connected on 39.1 percent of his 6.2 3PG and shot an excellent 85.1 percent from the line. The swingman also doubled his 2018-2019 0.5 SPG average in his first year in New Orleans (1.0 SPG). Ingram has obviously put in a ton of work, but anytime we see improvement like that, we should be worried about regression. If Ingram’s 2019-2020 numbers come close to holding, you can fit him into just about any build. Last year’s Ingram didn’t have any notable holes in his line (46.6 FG%, 85.8 FT%, 24.3 PPG, 2.4 3PG, 6.3 RPG, 4.3 APG, 1.0 SPG, 0.7 BPG).
17) LaMarcus Aldridge (PF/C) – Aldridge squeezed out one last second-round finish in 2019-2020 by smashing his previous career-high in blocks. His 2019-2020 swat rate of 1.6 BPG easily bested his previous career-high of 1.3 BPG. At 35-years-old, I’m not confident in an encore. Not only is some slippage extremely likely, it’s also possible that Aldridge is moved at some point this season. He’s on an expiring $24 million contract, and with Spurs going nowhere fast, they have no reason to hold onto the veteran. A trade would be bad for Aldridge’s value. It would likely be to a team trying to compete for a championship, and I don’t see any contender out there who would feature him as much as the Spurs do. In a reduced role, the veteran would still be useful, but he’d be more of a mid-round option than the early-round option that he’s been for the last decade. Wherever Aldridge lands this year, he should produce a well-rounded line that works with any build (18.9 PPG on 49.3 FG% and 82.7 FT%, 1.2 3PG, 7.4 RPG, 2.4 APG, 0.7 SPG, and 1.6 BPG). I like him the most in punt steals where he’s been a first-round player for a large chunk of his career and in punt threes due to his excellent free throw shooting.
18) Christian Wood (PF/C) – Wood is one of the big winners of free agency. He’s not going to be the 20/9 guy that he was as a starter in Detroit, but there were very few teams where he was guaranteed big minutes like he is in Houston. He’ll be the Rockets’ third-option next year, and a 16/8 season with plenty of extras feels doable. In addition to his excellent per-minute popcorn numbers (22.0 PP36, 10.6 RP36), Wood should be one of the better sources of FG% impact available in the middle rounds (56.7 FG%), a strong bet for blocks (1.5 BP36), and he will manage all that without hurting your chances in threes (1.5 3PG). His well-rounded line makes him a solid fit for just about any build. I am not too concerned about DeMarcus Cousins at the moment. Wood can play some four, and the former superstar is a long-shot to be effective or healthy enough to earn big minutes.
19) Domantas Sabonis (PF/C) – If you are punting blocks, this is your primary mid-round big-man target. The Pacer does nothing in the category (0.4 BPG) and brings the boards (12.4 RPG) and the FG% impact (54.1 FG%) that the build desperately needs. Sabonis is also a very strong source of out-of-position points (18.5 PPG) and dimes (5.0 APG), but I would expect both numbers to take a slight hit this year with Victor Oladipo (hopefully) healthier. Owners should also expect an uptick in Sabonis’ threes (0.3 3PG). The Pacers letting go of Nate McMillian suggests that they want to move to a more modern offense. Under McMillian, the team consistently ranked near the bottom of the league in three-point attempts. The change in offensive philosophy shouldn’t have a major impact on Sabonis’ value as any additional value generated by the threes should be offset by a drop in FG%.
20) Tobias Harris (SF/PF) – In a season that is likely going to be full of insane plot twists, players like Harris hold extra value. There isn’t top-30 potential here, but the swingman’s floor isn’t much lower than this ranking. Over the past six seasons, Harris has been a top-60 nine-category player five times, and the one time that he missed, he was a top-65 player. The Sixer is also one of the most durable players in the league and has only missed a total of three games over the past four seasons. There’s no reason why Harris can’t match last season’s 19.4 PPG, 1.8 3PG, 7.0 RPG, and 3.2 APG. With Morey now running the team, it’s also fair to expect the forward’s triples to rise. The only major hole in Harris’ line is his steals. He hasn’t averaged 1.0 SPG in a season since the 2014-2015 season and only managed 0.7 SPG in his first full season in Philadelphia.
21) Kelly Oubre Jr. (SF/PF) – The Warriors are a nice final landing spot for Oubre. With Klay Thompson out, the Dubs are going to be fighting to get into the playoffs and will need Oubre to play all the minutes he can handle. He may not quite match last season’s 34.5 MPG, but he should get close enough to that number to be a top-50 player in friendly builds. In his final year in Phoenix, Oubre was a top-50 player in nine-category leagues thanks to his strong scoring numbers (18.9 PPG, 1.9 3PG), reliable work on the boards (6.4 RPG), and very strong defensive contributions (1.3 SPG, 0.7 BPG). The main drawback to drafting the newest Warrior is that he’s going to be a larger drag than most wings on your assists (1.5 APG).
22) Zion Williamson (PF) – Usually, I play it relatively safe through the first four rounds. I focus on my build and make sure that I don’t take more than one question mark early. Around here is where I like to start taking my shots, so get ready for a run of high-risk/high-reward players. Zion is, of course, the king of high-risk/high-reward this year. It’s possible that his college defensive numbers come back this season (2.1 SPG, 1.8 BPG at Duke), but it’s also possible that he struggles to stay in shape and has to be managed by the Pelicans again. It feels a little strange to have a player who could drop 28 PPG ranked this low, but the risk is that high. I have no doubt that Zion will dominate the points (23.6 PPG) and FG% categories (58.9 FG%). Everything else is up in the air and tied to the kind of shape he is in. Williamson was worse than expected on the boards last season (6.8 RPG) and shockingly bad in the defensive categories (0.8 SPG, 0.5 BPG) that were expected to drive his value, and it was very obvious that the extra weight had a lot to do with it. The effort just wasn’t there when he didn’t have the ball, and his defense bottomed out in the bubble. Making matters worse is his free throw shooting, which is going to make the sophomore stud close to unusable outside of the punt FT% build. Before the COVID stoppage, Zion only connected on 64.5 percent of a whopping 8.0 FTA. Unless he improved from the line this offseason, it’s possible that Williamson ends up being the largest drag in the league on the category. On a per-game basis, only Giannis Antetokounmpo hurt your chances at the line more in 2019-2020. Watch him closely in preseason.
23) Kristaps Porzingis (PF/C) – This is a tricky one. There is top-15 potential here, but there is also 25-games-played downside. Despite his league-winning potential, I wouldn’t take Porzingis before the fifth, at the earliest, even in punt FG% (42.0 FG%). It sounds like Porzingis is going to be out until at least the middle of January, and it is very possible that he is somewhat limited or on a load management program after that. As much as we love upside, we need to prioritize availability in what should be a crazy year. When healthy, Zinger is a fantasy dream. He was a top-25 player last season thanks to excellent numbers in the rebounding (9.5 RPG) and blocks (2.1 BPG) categories and rare out-of-position contributions in points (19.2 PPG) and threes (2.5 3PG).
24) Myles Turner (PF/C) – Where to take Turner depends on your build and what you did earlier in the draft. If you’re struggling to find enough blocks, this is a good spot. If you are already in a solid position in the category or are confident in your chances of finding them later, then I would pass. The center is pretty close to a one-category player these days (2.2 BPG), and if you don’t need his blocks, he’s going to be a waste of a mid-round pick. The Pacers’ double-big lineup killed his boards last season (6.6 RPG), and he is an afterthought on the offensive end these days (11.8 PPG on 45.1 FG%, 1.4 3PG, 1.1 APG). Turner’s blocks, low-scoring numbers, and weak efficiency make him a natural fit for the punt FG% build. That build usually struggles to find enough swats, and its early-round picks are usually dominant in the points and assists categories.
25) Al Horford (PF/C) – OKC is a dream (final?) destination for Horford. His competition for playing time now consists of T.J. Leaf and Mike Muscala instead of Joel Embiid. Assuming he stays with the Thunder, he should be one of your top targets in the second half of the draft. Despite being a terrible fit beside Joel Embiid, the veteran still managed to finish as a top-65 player in his lone season in Philadelphia. In Oklahoma City, a top-40 finish is very possible. Expect improvements in most categories (12.0 PPG, 1.5 3PG, 6.9 RPG, 4.1 APG, 0.9 SPG, 0.9 BPG) with the biggest jump coming in FG%. Last year’s disappointing mark of 44.2 percent was mostly due to Embiid forcing Horford to the perimeter. When Horford had to share the floor with Embiid, he shot an ugly 41.4 percent from the field.
26) Draymond Green (PF/C) – Green is getting up there, but a lot of last season’s disappointing top-90 finish can be chalked up to a minutes decrease and a general lack of effort. With Steph Curry back in the lineup, we should see a much more engaged version of Draymond in 2020-2021, and I would expect his minutes to jump back into the low-30s. His per-minute numbers didn’t slip last season, and his FG% (38.9 FG%) should rise this year with defenses having to focus on Steph again. In friendly builds, a top-40 finish is possible. In 2018-2019, he averaged 7.4 PPG, 0.7 3PG, 7.3 RPG, 6.9 APG, 1.4 SPG, and 1.1 BPG and was a top-30 player in the punt points build and a top-45 player in the punt threes build. Green was a nice fit for the punt FT% build in his prime due to his mediocre free throw shooting, dimes, and defensive numbers, but he is someone I would be careful adding to that build today. That build struggles to find enough points and threes, and adding Draymond has the potential to turn your single punt into a triple punt.
27) Lauri Markkanen (PF) – Markkanen was one of fantasy’s biggest busts last year. After a top-40 finish in his sophomore season, the Bull struggled with injuries throughout 2019-2020 and finished just inside the top-100 in nine-category leagues. I think it’s too early to give up on the Bull. Even if his ceiling ends up being lower than we thought it was after 2018-2019, his game is still fantasy-friendly enough to get him back into the middle rounds if he stays healthy. There are very few big men in the league who can match the 23-year-old’s impact on the FT% category when he is playing well. In 2018-2019, the stretch big had the largest positive impact on the category of any big who played in more than 25 games (87.2 FT% on 3.8 FTA in 2018-2019). He should also be better on the boards this season (9.1 RPG in 2018-2019) and be an excellent source of out-of-position triples (2.2 in 2019-2020). I like gambling on Markkanen in most builds this season, but he is an especially attractive role of the dice in the punt FG% build (43.0 FG% in 2018-2019) and the punt blocks build (0.6 BPG in 2018-2019).
28) Jaren Jackson Jr. (PF/C) – Stay away from Jackson unless he comes at a discount. The big man is not expected to be ready for the start of the season, and the fact that we are being told that over a month before the season starts is very worrisome. Drafting an injured player is always a risky move, but it is especially so this year due to the condensed schedule. Since there will be fewer weeks in the regular season, early-season losses will hurt more than they usually do. If you draft Jackson early, you might find yourself in a hole that an active Jackson won’t be able to dig yourself out of. When healthy, the big man will produce a very unique line. He may flirt with 20 PPG this season while hitting over 2.5 3PG. The stretch big should also block over 1.5 shots a night. That’s a very useful combination, but unfortunately, his upside will continue to be limited by his disinterest on the boards (4.7 RPG) and poor percentages (46.8 FG%, 74.1 FT%). The best build to gamble on Jackson in is the punt FG% build. He gains value there, and his blocks are a huge help to a build that usually struggles to find enough swats.
29) Otto Porter (SF/PF) – This is a tough one. Porter has only played 14 games since March 2019 and didn’t look healthy in any of them. We know a healthy Porter has top-35 potential in nine-category leagues, but it’s hard to say if a healthy Porter is a realistic expectation this year. He’s battled hip issues for years and never looked right at any point last season, although a lot of his struggles were due to a foot injury that he just couldn’t beat. Preseason should tell us a lot about the odds of Porter getting back to his early-round self this season. I wouldn’t just be looking at his box score. I would also be looking at how the Bulls are handling his minutes. If they are still limiting him in preseason, I would likely wait for a discount on the former stud. At 27, that shouldn’t be happening unless there are real concerns that his body can’t handle big minutes. If everything checks out and he looks good in decent minutes, then I think he’ll be worth gambling on in the middle rounds. A healthy Porter would be more productive than most players in his range. In 2018-2019, Porter was a top-40 option in nine-category leagues thanks to his all-around game (13.9 PPG, 1.9 3PG, 5.6 RPG, 1.4 SPG, and 0.6 BPG). In the past, he’s been a consistent early-round player in punt dimes (2.1 APG). In 2018-2019, he was a top-30 player in the punt assists build, and in 2017-2018, he just missed cracking the top-15. Those in eight-category leagues should wait on Porter. In that setup, he loses a significant amount of value thanks to his nonexistent turnover rate (1.2 TOPG in 2018-2019).
30) Brandon Clarke (PF/C) – 2019-2020’s fantasy rookie of the year was not Ja Morant or Zion Williamson. It was Brandon Clarke. The per-minute monster was a top-60 player when the league started its four-month sabbatical in mid-March despite only playing 21.7 MPG. There is early-round potential here if the Grizzlies fully unleash him. Unfortunately, that’s unlikely to happen this year barring Jaren Jackson Jr.’s knee injury being worse than reported or Jonas Valanciunas go down. JJJ’s minutes are safe, and Valanciunas is still very productive and only played 26.3 MPG last season. We should see Clarke’s minutes rise, but probably only into the mid-20s. That would be enough to give Clarke a shot at breaking into the top-50. He is already elite in the field goal percentage category (62.3 FG% on 8.2 FG%), respectable at the line (78.5 FT%), and is on pace to be solid in both the rebounds (5.8 RPG) and blocks (0.8 BPG) categories. The Canadian can also occasionally hit from deep (0.4 3PG), although his form makes Shawn Marion’s look technically sound. Clarke works on most teams, but he is an especially attractive pickup for those punting steals. He was a non-factor in the category as a rookie (0.5 SPG), and his clean percentages fit in nicely with one of the only builds that has a good shot at winning both categories consistently.
31) Serge Ibaka (PF/C) – The Clippers are a good spot for The Original Man. Ma Fuzzy should start and play at least as much as he did in his final season with the Raptors (27.5 MPG). That much run should make Ibaka a mid-round player with top-50 upside. His ceiling will be even higher than that in friendly builds if his blocks bounce back. After years of deriving most of his value from the category, the big man only averaged 0.8 BPG in 2019-2020. Some of that drop is likely age-related, but I don’t think we can write off his swats just yet. In the Raptors’ championship year, Ibaka averaged a much more helpful 1.4 BPG. In addition to his blocks, Ibaka will provide his owners with positive contributions in the FG% (51.8 FG%), rebounds (8.3 RPG), and points (16.0 PPG) categories while dragging down their assists (1.5 APG) and steals (0.5 SPG).
32) T.J. Warren (SF/PF) – Try to wipe Bubble Warren from your memory. That was fun, but that performance also doesn’t mean a whole lot for the 2020-2021 season. The explosion came without Domantas Sabonis on the floor and with a version of Victor Oladipo that we likely won’t see this year. Warren did end up as a top-60 player in nine-category leagues this season, but again, a lot of that had to do with Oladipo’s issues. A healthier Oladipo is going to lead to a usage drop for Warren, which is bad news for any player, but especially one like Warren who has most of his value tied up in usage-related categories (18.7 PPG on 52.9 FG%). The swingman doesn’t do enough elsewhere to maintain top-60 numbers while losing touches. Before the bubble, the Pacer averaged only 1.1 3PG, 4.0 RPG, 1.4 APG, and 1.1 SPG. Despite the incoming drop in touches, Warren should see his threes increase. Indiana’s firing of Nate McMillan signals that they want to move away from their mid-range-heavy offense. More threes may or may not be a good thing for Warren’s value because it will be accompanied by a drop in his FG%.
33) O.G. Anunoby (SF/PF) – Anunoby was a boom-or-bust top-70 player last season. He had close to 20 first-round-level performances in 2019-2020, which means that most of the time, he was providing his owners with only late-round value. If you take a look at his game log, you’ll see plenty of 7/5/1/1/0 types of games. That level of inconsistency is not a problem in Roto, but it makes valuing Anunoby very difficult in H2H. In fact, of all the players who finished inside of the nine-category top-125 last season, the only player who was more inconsistent on a game-to-game basis was Christian Wood. Owners willing to put up with Anunoby inconsistency will have a potential defensive categories difference-maker on their hands. Before the bubble, Anunoby averaged a solid 1.4 SPG and 0.7 BPG and was heating up in both categories when the league decided to stop playing. In the month leading up to the stoppage, the Raptor produced a nasty 2.5 SPG and 0.8 BPG. His contributions in the other counting categories will be limited (10.7 PPG, 1.3 3PG, 5.4 RPG, 1.6 APG), but he is more efficient than most wings from the field (50.7 FG%).
34) Kevin Love (PF/C) – Love should outplay this ranking on a per-game basis, even with Andre Drummond in Cleveland. The reason why I don’t have him higher than this is the Cleveland part of that sentence. I have a hard time picturing any team being willing to trade for an aging Love making $30 million per year for the next three seasons, especially with COVID slowing down future cap increases. The power forward is very likely going to be playing the entire year with the Cavaliers, and unless the team surprises, that will make Love, once again, a rest risk during the most important stretch of the fantasy calendar. When active, I would expect about 16 and 8.5 from Love with minimal defensive numbers (0.6 SPG, 0.3 BPG) and plenty of threes (2.6 3PG). He did better in both the points and rebounds categories last year (17.6 PPG, 9.8 RPG), but it’s fair to expect a decline in both areas with Drummond in town and the Cavaliers’ young guards likely taking over a larger share of the offense. The likely drop in usage should also take a small bite out of his stellar FT% impact (85.4 FT% on 3.9 FTA). Love gains a lot of per-game value in both the punt FG% and punt blocks builds, but he is only a good, not great fit for both since he struggles to produce in one of each build’s problematic categories. The punt FG% build usually ends up short in blocks, and the punt blocks build usually has problems finding enough FG% impact.
35) Aaron Gordon (SF/PF) – Gordon has been up and down since becoming a featured player on the Magic, but the absence of Jonathan Isaac this season makes Gordon a relatively safe investment. The forward has always excelled when he’s been allowed to spend more time at the four. His FG% is going to be less than ideal (43.3 FG% on 12.5 FGA), but he should be a steady provider of rebounds (7.6 RPG), and produce low-level, but helpful, numbers in the guard categories (14.4 PPG, 1.2 3PG, 3.7 APG). I would expect some positive regression at the line this season. Last season’s pre-bubble mark of 67.5 percent was the worst Gordon has done in the category since his sophomore year. In 2018-2019, he shot a much more palatable 73.1 percent from the charity stripe.
36) Danilo Gallinari (SF/PF) – Atlanta is a brutal landing spot for Gallo. He is joining a team that has five players who could easily average 15+ points on a less loaded offensive squad. That would be bad news for most players, but it is especially bad news for a player like Gallinari who derives almost all of his value from usage-related categories. The Rooster finished as a top-50 nine-category player in 2019-2020 thanks to his contributions in points (19.2 PPG), threes (3.0 3PG), and FT% (88.6 FT% on 3.8 FTA). All of those numbers should drop now that he’s a Hawk, and he’s not going to be able to make up for it in other areas since he produces so little outside of the scoring categories (2.1 APG, 0.7 SPG, 0.1 BPG, 43.9 FG%). I’m out on Gallo this year unless he comes at a discount.
37) Jarrett Allen (PF/C) – I’d be more excited about Allen if his main competition for playing time wasn’t BFFs with Kyrie Irving and Kevin Durant. It’s clear who is running the Nets, and that makes me nervous to draft Allen before the later rounds. On a normal team, he’d be getting the clear majority of the center minutes, and DeAndre Jordan would just be a bit player, but this is not a normal team. It is very possible that the Nets’ center minutes are split down the middle, and I could see Jordan being the team’s primary center at points this year. In a 25 MPG role, Allen can be a top-100 player. That’s what he was last season in 25.7 MPG. Even if his playing time is limited, he should be a very strong contributor in all of the big-man categories (64.6 FG%, 9.5 RPG, 1.3 BPG). He’ll be a drag everywhere else (10.6 PPG, 0.0 3PG, 1.3 APG, 0.6 SPG), and his FT% is going to be especially problematic. Allen looked promising at the line as a rookie (77.6 FT%), but has been trending down ever since and only connected on a hard-to-stomach 63.3 percent of his attempts from the charity stripe in 2019-2020.
38) Davis Bertans (PF/C) – Bertans going to back to Washington makes him a no-brainer late-round target in every build except punt threes. Yes, last year’s value was mostly driven by one category, but the sharpshooter did manage to finish as a top-60 player in 2019-2020. Targeting Bertans allows you to aggressively strengthen your big-man categories early in the draft. He can pull you out of a hole in threes created by loading up on boards, blocks, and FG% by himself. In addition to his Splash Bros-like three-point contributions (3.7 3PG), the forward will also score more than most players available in his range (15.4 PPG), and grabbing him in the second half of the draft is a great way of keeping your turnovers in check (1.1 TOPG). Don’t expect much in the way of rebounds (4.5 RPG), assists (1.7 APG), and steals (0.7 SPG) from the elite shooter.
39) Blake Griffin (PF/C) – It’s impossible to get excited about Griffin this year. Even if he’s healthy again (a big if) and 90 percent of what he was in his impressive 2018-2019 campaign, he’s still going to be an incredibly risky pick on draft day. The Pistons’ backcourt and wing rotation is very weak, and it’s hard to see the team being competitive enough to stay in the playoff race and give Griffin a reason to suit up during the fantasy playoffs. If you draft him, and he starts strong, try to trade him. When Griffin is active, he’ll be a strong contributor in four categories while hurting you in the other five. In his big 2018-2019 season, Griffin was a force in points (24.5 PPG), threes (2.5 3PG), rebounds (7.5 RPG), and assists (5.4 APG) and a drag on your defensive numbers (0.7 SPG, 0.4 BPG), percentages (46.2 FG%, 75.3 FT%) and turnovers (3.4 TOPG).
40) Larry Nance Jr. (PF/C) – Nance is one of the most difficult players to rank. He’s very likely to finish the year as a top-100 player and will probably have some top-40 stretches this year. The problem is we don’t know when those top-40 stretches will come, and they likely won’t come early in the season. Nance is stuck behind both Kevin Love and Andre Drummond, and unless one of two goes down, he’s not going to play more than 25 MPG. That’s enough playing time for Nance to crack the top-100, but it’s going to make him feel like a borderline hold when he’s stuck in that role. In 25 MPG, he should be able to come close to matching last season’s 10.1 PPG, 1.0 3PG, 7.3 RPG, and 1.0 SPG. I would expect his boards to drop due to having to spend time playing beside Drummond but also for steals to rise. In 2019-2020, Nance produced only 1.4 SP36. That is an excellent number for a big, but for Nance, it is a disappointment. In his three previous seasons, Nance produced at least 2.0 SP36.
41) Richaun Holmes (PF/C) – As a big Holmes guy, this offseason was heartbreaking. It was looking like we were going to get another mid-round season out of Richaun, and then the Kangz had to Kangz and ruin the fun. Hassan Whiteside joining the team is devastating news for Holmes’ value. The big man will now have to compete with both Whiteside and Bagley for center minutes. This setup makes a repeat of last season’s 28.9 MPG impossible and makes it likely that Holmes will be stuck in a low-20 MPG role. He’ll still be worth owning in a limited role, but he’s not going to come close to matching last season numbers, and a top-100 finish is not guaranteed. I would wait until the later rounds to draft Holmes and his likely still useful big-man numbers (65.4 FG%, 8.3 RPG, 1.4 BPG).
42) Bojan Bogdanovic (SF/PF) – Bogdanovic is coming off of two consecutive top-100 finishes and has top-75 potential in friendly builds. He finished inside of the top-75 in punt steals (0.5 SPG) and punt blocks (0.1 BPG) last season. He will be one of the best sources of points available in the second half of the draft this season (20.2 PPG) and should finish among the league leaders in threes made (3.0 3PG). The rest of his counting numbers are mediocre (4.1 RPG, 2.1 APG), but he does have the potential to be a difference-maker in the FT% category. In 2019-2020, Bogdanovic connected on 90.3 percent of his 4.4 FTA. Those numbers were good enough to allow Bogdanovic to have a top-seven impact on the category.
43) Montrezl Harrell (PF/C) – The Lakers are not a great match for Harrell. The Sixth Man of the Year is going to be spending a lot of time beside Anthony Davis, and that is likely going to lead to a drop in both his points (18.6 PPG) and boards (7.1 RPG). Harrell is an excellent P&R big, but LeBron isn’t going to be looking his way when he’s got one of the best P&R bigs of all-time as an alternate option. A fair expectation is for Harrell is for him to come close to matching his 2018-2019 averages of 16.6 PPG and 6.5 RPG while producing about a block per game (1.1 BPG) and providing elite FG% impact (58.0 FG%). Do not bother with Harrell outside of the punt FT% build. His FT% hit is extremely difficult to offset (65.8 FT% on 5.6 FTA), and he’s not valuable enough to be worth tanking your FT% for.
44) DeMarcus Cousins (PF/C) – I’m gambling on Cousins everywhere this year. There is no downside to spending a late pick on the former superstar, and the upside is obviously significant. Even if he looks like a shell of himself – and he probably will – the big man should play enough to be a plus contributor in points, rebounds, and steals. In his lone year with the Warriors, in only 25.7 MPG, Boogie averaged 16.3 PPG, 8.2 RPG, and 1.3 SPG. He’ll be best paired with teams already in good shape in both percentages. Cousins has been below average from the field for a big ever since he expanded his game to the perimeter and is only a 73.7 percent shooter from the line for his career.
45) Julius Randle (PF/C) – Randle is a difficult player to project. At no point last season did he play like the top-150 player that he finished as. He was either much better than that or much worse. From the start of the season until the third week of December, Randle was a top-250 player, and from then on, the Knicks’ first-option was a top-75 asset in nine-category leagues. He also now has rookie Obi Toppin to deal with. That may or may not be a major issue. On a normal team, it would be, but on a team coached by a man notorious for favoring veterans, it’s possible that Randle matches last season’s 32.5 MPG. With so much up in the air for Randle, I’m staying away unless he comes at a discount. Those more willing to roll the dice on the big man will be gaining a player who can be a major help in the popcorn categories while hurting you everywhere else. In his first year in New York, Randle finished the season with averages of 19.5 PPG, 1.0 3PG, 9.7 RPG, and 3.1 APG. Those are eye-catching contributions, but they are offset by some unfortunate results in steals (0.8 SPG), blocks (0.3 BPG), turnovers (3.0 TOPG), and in the percentages (46.0 FG%, 73.3 FT%). Due to his many weaknesses, Randle is a much better H2H option than Roto option as H2H allows you to punt one of his weak categories.
46) Jerami Grant (SF/PF) – The Pistons didn’t pay Grant $60M to sit on the bench. Expect the forward to see time at both the three and four and play north of 30 MPG. Grant isn’t productive enough on a per-game basis to flirt with the top-50 in 30 MPG, but a top-100 finish is very doable. His final season in OKC gives us an idea of what he can do in a featured role. In 2018-2019, the forward produced top-75 numbers in 32.7 MPG and averaged a healthy 13.6 PPG, 1.4 3PG, 5.2 RPG, and 1.3 BPG while shooting 49.7 percent from the floor.
47) Nerlens Noel (PF/C) – The Knicks are a solid landing spot for Noel. Mitchell Robinson is too foul-prone to play over 30 MPG, so Noel should be at least able to match last season’s 18.4 MPG. That’s not a big number, but it is enough to make Noel a no-brainer late-round pick in builds that nullify one of his weaknesses. Despite only playing backup minutes last season, Noel finished as a top-50 player in nine-category punt assists and nine-category punt threes, and he was even better in nine-category punt points. If you’ve played fantasy before, you know what the former lottery pick can do. Noel is as elite as they come in the defensive categories on a per-minute basis (1.8 SP36, 1.9 BP36, 1.0 SPG, 1.5 BPG) and is always a sneaky source of FG% impact. Despite only taking 4.6 shots a night, Noel had a top-20 impact on the category in 2019-2020 (68.5 FG%). The newest Knick should also chip-in low-end, but useful, rebounds (4.9 RPG) while dragging down your points (7.7 PPG) and triples (0.0 3PG).
48) P.J. Washington (SF/PF) – Washington will be a mid-round player for most of the next decade if he starts hitting his free throws. Outside of his disappointing performance at the line (64.7 FT%), the Hornet had a very promising rookie year. The forward did not produce standout numbers in any category, but he did a little bit of everything and has a shot at being a 2.0 3PG, 1.0 SPG, 1.0 BPG player in his second year in the league. As a rookie, Washington averaged a very intriguing 1.5 3PG, 0.9 SPG, and 0.8 BPG. In addition to his 3-and-D stats, Washington should post respectable numbers in the points (12.2 PPG) and rebounding (5.4 RPG) categories.
49) Marvin Bagley (PF/C) – Now that Hassan Whiteside is in town, the Kings’ frontcourt is looking very messy. Bagley, Whiteside, Richaun Holmes, and Nemanja Bjelica will split the Kings’ 96 frontcourt minutes, and that’s not even taking into account the nights that the team goes small with Harrison Barnes at the four. Due to the Whiteside signing, Bagley is now just a later-round gamble. Unless he plays more than 30 MPG, the third-year big is going to struggle to produce more than top-100 numbers. He doesn’t contribute in enough categories to be useful in a smaller role like his teammates Holmes and Whiteside do. Look Bagley’s way in the later rounds if you need points, rebounds, a block per night, and not much else. In the 13 games that the King played in his sophomore season, Bagley averaged 14.2 PPG, 0.3 3PG, 7.5 RPG, 0.8 APG, 0.5 SPG, and 0.9 BPG in 25.7 MPG.
50) Derrick Favors (PF/C) – Favors going back to Utah is not necessarily a bad thing for his value. He won’t be a starter like he was in New Orleans, but he should play a similar amount, and he will be back in a role that allowed him to post top-75 numbers in 2018-2019. The last time we saw Favors in a Jazz jersey, he played 23.2 MPG and averaged 11.8 PPG, 0.2 3PG, 7.4 RPG, 0.7 SPG, and 1.4 BPG while shooting 58.7 percent from the floor. Those numbers were good enough to make the big man a top-50 punt assists asset and a top-55 punt FT% weapon. If you are planning on punting either points or threes in addition to FT% (56.3 FT%), Favors becomes a must-grab late in the draft. In 2018-2019, Favors was a third-round player in punt threes/FT% and a fourth-round player in punt points/FT%.
51) Chris Boucher (PF/C) – If you are looking for a potential final-round homerun pick, this is the guy. There were fewer than 25 players who were more productive on a per-minute basis than Boucher in 2019-2020. He was so good that he finished as a top-185 player despite only playing 13.2 MPG. Boucher looks like he’s going to take over as the Raptors’ backup center this year and 18+ MPG seems likely. If he sneaks into the low-20s, then he’ll likely be a top-100 player. If he can pass Aron Baynes, or Baynes goes down, then congratulations, you just drafted a top-50 player with your final pick. The Canadian produces incredible per-minute numbers in the rebounding (12.2 RP36) and blocks (2.7 BP36) categories. If you go into the late rounds down in either category, take a chance on Boucher, because if he hits, he’ll fix your’s squad’s issues almost by himself. In addition to his excellent big-man numbers, Boucher is a very strong per-minute producer in points (18.1 PP36) and threes (1.7 3P36).
52) Mason Plumlee (PF/C) – If you are planning on punting FT%, add Plumlee to the top of your sleeper list. The big man’s game has always been fantasy-friendly, and it looks like he’s finally going to get the chance to be a big minute player. Plumlee should be the Pistons’ starting center this year, and with only Jahlil Okafor behind him, a 28+ MPG role is very possible. The former Nugget should produce a fairly unique line this year. He’s always been an excellent passer for a center (5.2 AP36), and he hasn’t produced fewer than 1.1 SP36 since entering the league. In addition to his quality out-of-position contributions in assists and steals, Plumlee should be a force in all of the big-man categories (61.5 FG%, 10.8 RP36, 1.3 BP36). Don’t even think of trying to fit Plumlee into a build not named punt FT%. With Plumlee’s minutes about to spike, he’s going to have an Andre Drummond-like impact on the FT% category (53.5 FT% on 5.3 FTA36).
53) Maxi Kleber (PF/C) – I love Kleber as a final-round grab this season. When Kristaps Porzingis is healthy, Kleber is a rosterable, but borderline, 12-team asset. When KP is out of the lineup, the German eats. In the 21 games that he started in 2019-2020, Kleber averaged an extremely useful 9.9 PPG, 2.1 3PG, 6.4 RPG, and 1.6 BPG. In other words, when Porzingis is out, Kleber is a mid-round player. Kleber may not hold value all year, but he will likely be a very strong Week 1 and Week 2 play. Focusing on the long-term is important, but with the season being shorter than usual, you need to make sure that you start the season well, and drafting Kleber late is a good way of ensuring that.
54) Rui Hachimura (SF/PF) – Rui’s got some holes in his line that are going to prevent him from ever being an early-round player, but he still offers decent value at the end of the draft in friendly builds like punt blocks (0.2 BPG) and punt assists (1.7 APG). As a rookie, Hachimura was a top-115 player when assists or blocks were shown the door. The Wizard’s best assets are his boards (6.0 RPG) and percentages (47.8 FG% on 11.1 FGA, 82.9 FT% on 2.7 FTA). Most late-round picks are a drag on at least one of the percentages categories and many struggle in both. That’s not the case with the sophomore, although I would expect his FG% to drop a little bit this year as more of his game moves to the perimeter (0.5 3PG). Taking a shot on Hachimura at the end of the draft makes a lot of sense, but that move will make it more difficult to consistently win threes, assists, and steals (0.8 SPG).
55) Daniel Theis (PF/C) – Theis’ top-80 2019-2020 finish came in only 23.8 MPG, so while the Tristan Thompson signing definitely hurts him, it is not a death blow. Assuming Theis’ knee looks like it will be in good shape on opening day, he’ll be worth spending a late-round pick on once again. If the German can stay over 20 MPG, he should help in three of the big man categories while not hurting his owners at the line or in the turnovers column. In his 2019-2020 breakout year, the Celtic averaged 9.3 PPG on 56.5 FG%, 6.6 RPG, and 1.3 BPG while shooting 76.4 percent from the line and only turning it over 0.8 times a night. Punt points, punt threes (0.4 3PG), punt assists (1.6 APG), and punt steals (0.6 SPG) squads are best equipped to take a flier on Theis late.
56) Robert Williams (PF/C) – If the Celtics hadn’t signed Tristan Thompson, Time Lord would have been a mid-round player this year. Instead, we’re looking at an unfortunate three-way timeshare where none of the three Celtics’ center is likely going to be all that valuable. Williams still makes the list because Daniel Theis had knee surgery in October and may be limited to start the year. Grab him late and see what happens. Odds are you’ll get some useful games from Williams early in the season. If Time Lord was ever fully unleashed, he could be an early-round asset. In 2019-2020, only eight players were more productive on a per-minute basis thanks to the center’s absurd per-minute production in the blocks (3.2 BP36), steals (2.0 SP36), rebounds (11.9 RP36), and FG% (72.7 FG%) categories.
57) Danuel House (SF/PF) – With Robert Covington now in Portland, House has a decent shot at matching last season’s top-110 finish. The Rockets at thin at the three, and the bubble villain should see close to 30 MPG. With that much playing time, House should be able to help his owners in threes (1.9 3PG) and steals (1.1 SPG) while providing low-end boards (4.2 RPG). The rest of his line is forgettable (10.2 PPG, 0.6 BPG, 41.6 FG%), but the only major issue with it is his assists (1.3 APG). If you slide House into the punt assists build, he’ll likely end up as a top-100 player. Without dimes included in the valuation calculation, House was a top-85 asset in 2019-2020.
58) Tristan Thompson (PF/C) – Of the Celtics’ three centers, Thompson is the most likely to lead the group in minutes. Unfortunately, he’s also the least interesting of the trio from a fantasy perspective. Unless Brad Stevens surprises and gives Thompson close to 30 MPG, the former Cavalier is only going to be a late-round target for the punt FT% build. In 2019-2020, he did manage to creak the top-95 in punt FT%, but that finish came in 30.2 MPG. In a 25 MPG role, Thompson would be good for about 8 and 8 with low-end FG% impact (51.2 FG% on 9.9 FGA). His block rate is a bit of a mystery. Over the past four years, it has ranged from 0.3 BPG to 1.1 BPG. If he doesn’t land close to the high-end of that range this year, he’ll end up as only a deep-league player.