1) James Harden (PG/SG) – Despite the unfortunate trade demand and ugly turnover rate (4.5 TOPG), Harden remains a strong contender for the top overall spot in nine-category leagues. The counting numbers are all ridiculous (34.4 PPG, 4.4 3PG, 6.4 RPG, 7.4 APG, 1.7 SPG, 0.9 BPG), but none of those numbers is my favorite James Harden stat. My favorite James Harden stat is 3.3 games missed per year over the last six seasons. That is not something you see very often these days. Punting FG% is the obvious way to go with Harden. Not only does he gain a significant amount of value in that build (43.5 FG% on 22.7 FGA), he also provides some exceptionally strong contributions for a guard in boards and blocks. The punt FG% tends to struggle in both categories and needs to be on the hunt for guards like Harden who provide strong out-of-position numbers in both categories. If you play in an eight-category league, no one else has an argument at one, even with the superstar wanting out of Houston. Harden lapped the field last year in leagues where turnovers don’t matter and has finished as the top per-game player in eight-category leagues in three of the last four seasons. The Westbrook for Wall swap is good news for Harden’s value. Wall doesn’t command nearly as many touches and will likely miss more games than Westbrook would have. With the former MVP now in a Wizards jersey, we could see Harden’s usage rate approach 40 percent.
2) Stephen Curry (PG/SG) – Same deal as Towns. Take last year and throw it in the garbage. Don’t worry about the rough games last October. Curry has NBA-level teammates once again and has a very good shot at finishing as a top-three player in nine-category leagues. I’m not expecting him to match his historic 2015-2016 campaign, as that was arguably the best offensive season in NBA history, but we should expect him to comfortably surpass his KD-era numbers (27.3 PPG, 5.1 3PG, 5.3 RPG, 5.2 APG, 1.3 SPG in 2018-2019). Curry is elite not only because of his numbers but also because there is no guard in the league who offers as much team-building flexibility as Steph does. Harden, Lillard, Young, and Doncic all have weaknesses that limit your team-building options. Curry does not. You can put Steph in anything besides punt threes. His outstanding percentages (47.2 FG%, 91.6 FT%) are a huge boon for any team that is punting a counting category, and he remains an excellent fit for the punt FT% build due to his dominance in the points and threes categories. Both categories tend to give the build nightmares, and Curry can make both issues disappear almost by himself.
3) Luka Doncic (PG/SG/SF) – Like most, I’m a big Luka fan. His Game 4 performance against the Clippers was one of the five best games I’ve ever seen played. That being said, I’m probably not going to own Doncic in any nine-category leagues this year. He’s going to go inside of the top-five in a lot of leagues, and that is a ridiculous price for a player who was ranked outside of the top-25 before the COVID break, and who was ranked outside of the top-75 from January to March. In eight-category leagues, I love him. Go nuts in the middle of the first. But in nine-category leagues, you have to be careful. Doncic has a lower ceiling than you’d think due to all the holes in his line. Last season, Luka was a four-category player. He dominated points (28.7 PPG), threes (2.9 3PG), rebounds (9.3 RPG), and dimes (8.7 APG) while putting up mediocre-to-ugly numbers everywhere else (46.6 FG%, 75.2 FT%, 1.1 SPG, 0.2 BPG, 4.2 TOPG). His young LeBron-like struggles at the line make him a natural fit for the punt FT% build, but it is his points, threes, and assists that make him an ideal fit for fantasy’s most famous punting strategy. Since you are going to be drafting players like Rudy Gobert, Clint Capela, and Andre Drummond in that build, you’re going to have a very hard time with points, threes, and assists. Drafting Luka as the centerpiece of the strategy doesn’t make those issues go away, but it does make them much easier to handle.
4) Kawhi Leonard (SG/SF) – The condensed season actually boosts Kawhi’s value. Leonard was always going to miss a ton of games, but the game difference between himself and the other first-round studs is going to less this year since load management is likely going to be ramped up across the league. When he’s out there, there are only a few players who can match the 2019 Finals MVP’s fantasy dominance. Last season, only Anthony Davis and James Harden were more valuable in nine-category leagues. The Clipper is an ideal fit for the punt assists build despite the improved playmaking skills that he showcased in 2019-2020 (5.0 APG). He doesn’t lose much value when dimes are thrown out, and his all-around game (26.9 PPG, 2.1 3PG, 7.1 RPG, 1.8 SPG, 0.6 BPG) works well with a build that has no natural weaknesses and has the ability to compete in all eight of the non-punted categories. I also like Leonard quite a bit in punt threes. He’s only average from deep, and his points and elite FT% impact (88.9 FT% on 6.9 FTA) shore up the build’s two iffy categories.
5) Jimmy Butler (SG/SF) – Buckets had a very strange year. He was by far the worst shooter in the league last season. That’s not an exaggeration. He made Russell Westbrook look like Steph Curry. However, despite shooting only 33 percent on jumpers in 2019-2020, Jimmy still somehow managed a first-round fantasy finish. He made up for his poor shooting by doing a little bit of everything. He was not dominant in any category besides steals (1.7 SPG), but he also wasn’t a disaster anywhere besides threes (0.5 3PG). The rest of Butler’s line was very solid (20.2 PPG, 6.6 RPG, 6.1 APG, 0.5 BPG) with his FT% impact being especially useful (83.3 FT% on 9.1 FTA). He remains a centerpiece of the punt threes build as he’s one of the only top-end sources of points and FT% impact that doesn’t lose a lot of value in that build. Before the COVID break, fewer than 10 players were more valuable than Jimmy when threes were ignored.
6) Kyrie Irving (PG/SG) – Next to Zion Williamson, Irving may be the hardest player to rank. There’s clear first-round upside here, but there is also thirty games played downside. Thirty games played may actually be too generous as that would be an improvement on what Kyrie gave his owners last season. If you want to roll the dice, and at a late-second-round/early-round-third-round price, I would be willing to in a lot of scenarios, you will likely have a better second- or third-best player than your opponents. Kyrie can do first-round things alongside what will be a somewhat limited Durant. In his final season with LeBron James, Irving averaged an outstanding 25.2 PPG on 47.3 FG% and 90.5 FT%, 2.5 3PG, 5.8 APG, and 1.2 SPG. His near-flawless line (27.4 PPG on 47.8 FG%, 92.2 FT%, 2.8 3PG, 6.4 APG, 1.4 SPG, 0.5 BPG, 2.6 TOPG in 2019-2020) allows Irving to fit into any build. Although it may sound strange because he’s a point guard and derives a fair amount of value from dimes, I like Irving the most in punt assists due to his top-end production in both percentages categories. Punt assists is one of only two builds (punt steals is the other) that allows you to have a legitimate shot at being above-average in both percentages. That is a huge advantage in fantasy because it makes you less susceptible to a bad schedule.
7) Devin Booker (PG/SG) – If you are looking for a percentages boost in the second, Booker is your guy. And if you are punting threes, Booker is probably your guy in the second as well. The Sun has turned himself into an unbelievably efficient scorer. Last season, Booker’s 26.1 PPG came on 48.7 percent shooting from the field and 91.6 percent shooting from the floor. The only point guard-eligible players who did better work in the FG% category were LeBron James, Ben Simmons, and Ja Morant, and the only players that had a larger positive impact on FT% was absolutely no one. Booker led the league in FT% impact last year. I mentioned punt threes right off the bat because that build is naturally weak in both points and free throw percentage, and Booker is elite in both. As a bonus, he barely loses any value when threes are thrown out. 2.0 3PG does not go nearly as far as it used to. Booker should once again be a top-end source of dimes from the two-guard spot (6.6 APG) even with Chris Paul in town. The downside to drafting the young All-Star is that he will drag down your defensive numbers (0.7 SPG, 0.3 BPG) and turnovers (3.9 TOPG).
8) Fred VanVleet (PG/SG) – VanVleet returning to the Raptors is phenomenal news for his value. He would have been a dicey bet on a bad team where he was the main offensive option. FVV is a nice player, but he doesn’t have the size to survive not playing with other studs like Kyle Lowry and Pascal Siakam. Now that he’s officially back in Toronto, owners can look forward to early-round production in friendly builds. In his first year as a starter, the combo-guard finished as a top-25 player overall, a top-20 player in punt blocks (0.3 BPG), and a first-round player in punt FG% (40.9 FG% on 14.6 FGA). VanVleet managed those impressive final rankings by being a force in all of the guard categories (17.6 PPG, 2.7 3PG, 6.6 APG, 1.9 SPG) and by having a relatively low turnover rate for a player who spent a lot of his time at the one (2.2 TOPG).
9) Shai Gilgeous-Alexander (PG/SG/SF) – SGA finished as a top-50 player in his sophomore season while never playing like a top-50 player. He was either borderline droppable or an early-round asset. From the beginning of the season to December 17th, the Canadian was ranked outside of the top-130 in nine-category leagues behind fantasy studs such as Glenn Robinson III and Justin Holiday. Those who held through his rough start or bought low early were richly rewarded over the second half of the season. From December 18th until the COVID stoppage, fewer than 20 players were more valuable than the Thunder’s young stud. Over that stretch, SGA averaged an outstanding 20.2 PPG on 50.2 FG%, 1.2 3PG, 6.9 RPG, 3.5 APG, 1.2 SPG, and 0.9 BPG. As good as those offensive counting numbers are, they may be his floor this year. With both Chris Paul and Danilo Gallinari playing elsewhere, SGA is going to have all the usage he wants. He’s also moving to point guard, which guarantees a spike in his assist rate. The 2020-2021 season should be a fun one for the future star.
10) Bradley Beal (SG) – Beal is a risky pick, but not for the same reason many players in the early rounds are risky picks. Washington is going to be in a dogfight for the East’s eighth seed this year, and as long as Beal is healthy, he’ll be out there. What makes him risky is Russell Westbrook. The shooting guard never finished as a second-round player beside John Wall and will now be sharing the Wizards’ backcourt with a player who is significantly more ball-dominant than Wall. Despite playing beside James Harden in Houston, Westbrook had a pre-bubble usage rate of 34.3 percent. That is significantly higher than Wall’s 2018-2019 usage rate of 28.3 percent. Beal’s most recent season with Wall gives us an idea of what to expect this year. In 2018-2019, the Wizard averaged 23.1 PPG on 48.2 FG%, 2.9 3PG, 3.5 APG, and 1.1 SPG. He should be able to surpass most of those numbers this season since he’s a better player than he was two years ago, but he’s not going to sniff last year’s 30.6 PPG or 6.1 APG, and his stellar FT% impact (84.3 FT% on 8.0 FTA) is going to suffer as well. With Westbrook in town, I’m staying away in the second.
11) Jrue Holiday (PG/SG) – Holiday will need some positive regression in the percentages categories for his fantasy value to survive the move to Milwaukee. His unfortunate top-35 2019-2020 finish was due to a significant dip in both categories. After shooting at least 47.2 percent from the field in his two previous seasons, Holiday connected on only 45.5 percent of his shot attempts last year. The drop at the line was even more extreme. Despite being a career 77.7 percent shooter from the charity stripe, Jrue connected on only 70.9 percent of his freebies last year. I have more faith in his free throw shooting bouncing back than his FG%. FT%, along with steals, has the most year-to-year variance of the nine standard categories. Wild swings at the line are fairly common, and they usually correct themselves. Jrue works everywhere, but I like him the most in punt FT%. In that build, you don’t have to pray for some positive regression, and his threes (2.0 3PG), assists (6.7 APG), and steals (1.6 SPG) are a big boost to a build that can have problems with all three categories. Just make sure you pair him with multiple elite points option. If you follow up your first-round pick with a traditional punt FT% big like Rudy Gobert and then go with Jrue (19.1 PPG) in the third, points is going to be a problem as two of your first three picks are going to be mediocre in a category that dries up very quickly in drafts.
12) Donovan Mitchell (PG/SG) – Mitchell took a step forward in most categories last season. He set a career-high in points (25.1 PPG), threes (2.7 3PG), rebounds (4.5 RPG), assists (4.3 APG), FG% (45.7 FG%), and FT% (87.6 FT%). All that stopped him from finally posting top-30 numbers was a surprisingly poor steal rate (1.0 SPG). In his first two years in the association, Mitchell averaged 1.5 SPG and 1.4 SPG. Since steals has a significant amount of year-to-year variance on the individual level, I would expect a bounceback in the category. Also working in his favor is that the drop wasn’t accompanied by an increased role on offense. His usage rate held steady, which suggests that the drop in swipes wasn’t an energy issue. Regardless of what happens with his steals, Mitchell is a rock-solid pick in the early-rounds who fits in nicely with the punt assists build due to his point guard eligibility and lack of reliance on assists (4.3 APG) to boost his value. He is one of the safest picks in his range, not only due to his production but also due to his durability. The Jazz’s leading scorer has only missed a total of 11 games in his three years in the league.
13) Khris Middleton (SG/SF) – Middleton isn’t the sexiest pick in his range, but that doesn’t mean that he’s not a very good one. Before the COVID shutdown, Middleton was producing top-25 numbers while being one of the best sources of percentages impact in the league. The mid-range maestro shot 49.9 percent from the field before Rudy Gobert did his thing and was also connecting on 90.8 percent of his 3.6 FTA. The counting stats were also excellent. Every build can use 21.1 PPG, 2.4 3PG, 6.2 RPG, and 4.1 APG. The only holes in his line were his defensive numbers (0.9 SPG, 0.1 BPG), which makes him a very strong target for any team punting either steals or blocks. In the punt blocks build, Middleton was a first-round player in 2019-2020.
14) 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).
15) D’Angelo Russell (PG/SG) – Russell is going to be a monster punt FG% and punt FG%/turnovers asset in Minnesota. Despite playing most of his year beside G League players, the combo guard finished as a top-35 player in the single punt (42.6 FG% on 18.8 FGA) and a top-25 player in the double-punt (3.3 TOPG). Expect top-end points (23.1 PPG) and threes (3.5 3PG) from Russell with about six assists per night (6.3 APG). The former All-Star’s outstanding contributions in the guard categories will be somewhat offset by exceptionally poor numbers in the big man categories (42.6 FG%, 3.9 RPG, 0.3 BPG). Russell has a little extra value this year because of the team he plays for. The Wolves won’t be good enough to lock up a playoff spot early, and they likely won’t be bad enough to fall out of contention for the play-in tournament either. This makes it likely that Russell will be active and going all out during the fantasy playoffs.
16) Zach LaVine (PG/SG/SF) – It’s going to be difficult for LaVine to repeat his top-35 2019-2020 performance. His outstanding across-the-board contributions were inflated by the rash of the injuries that the Bulls suffered through. A healthier Lauri Markkanen and Otto Porter will take touches away from LaVine, as will a second-year Coby White. LaVine also absolutely crushed his previous career-high in swipes last season (1.5 SPG). Prior to 2019-2020, the Bull had never eclipsed 1.0 SPG. Any player whose fantasy improvement is at least partially driven by a large steals jump is going to be a little risky. That is because steals, along with FT%, has the most year-to-year variance on the individual level. Rebounding and assist rates are usually fairly stable and predictable, but steal rates can jump all over the place. The shooting guard may not match last year’s numbers, but he is still a strong pick for most builds due to his efficient high-volume scoring (25.5 PPG, 3.1 3PG, 45.0 FG%, 80.2 FT%) and lack of holes in his line. The Bull is a high-turnover player and should be bumped up a round if you play in eight-category leagues (3.4 TOPG).
17) Jamal Murray (PG/SG) – Be careful not to overreact to the monster playoff run. It was fueled by some unsustainable shooting from deep and a significant bump in playing time. In the playoffs, Murray shot 45.3 percent from three and played 39.6 MPG. Both numbers were well above his pre-bubble regular-season marks of 34.6 percent from deep and 32.8 MPG. The Canadian is still a very solid pick in the fourth round of the draft, but I would hesitate to go any higher. Before the bubble, Murray was only a top-60 player and produced very mediocre numbers in the non-scoring cats. Playing alongside Nikola Jokic limits his dimes (4.8 APG), and the point guard has never been more than an average contributor in the steals category. His middling 2019-2020 1.1 SPG average was a career-best. Look his way if you need a points (18.8 PPG) and FT% boost (89.3 FT%), but don’t expect early-round numbers. A top-40 finish would be a significant improvement on what he has done in the past.
18) DeMar DeRozan (SG/SF) – If you decide to punt threes this season, reach for DeRozan (0.1 3PG). Unless you are getting really crazy, the Spur will return value at his draft position in that build. Before the COVID stoppage, the throwback shooting guard was a second-round player when threes were thrown out. DeRozan is essential for the build not only because he gains a significant amount of value, but because the build usually struggles to find enough points and FT% impact. DeRozan addresses both issues. In his second year in San Antonio, the former All-Star averaged an outstanding 22.1 PPG on 53.1 shooting and connected on 84.5 percent of his trips to the charity stripe. The former Raptor is also one of the best sources of dimes from the two-guard spot (5.6 APG) and has an excellent turnover rate for a high-usage player (2.4 TOPG). If you want to draft DeRozan, but don’t want to punt threes, make sure you don’t draft more than one other zero-threes player. It is extremely hard to get away with having more than two non-shooters on your roster these days.
19) Gordon Hayward (SG/SF) – Hayward is back. Besides a dip in points, which was obviously due to the team Hayward was on, the swingman’s 2019-2020 per-possession numbers were pretty close to his per-possession numbers in his lone All-Star season in Utah. He’s might not ever quite match his Utah numbers again, but he’s made up for the dip in touches by improving his efficiency (50.2 FG%) and rebounding (6.5 RPG) while doing his usual good work in the assists (4.1 APG) and FT% column (84.7 FT% on 2.5 FTA). DeMar DeRozan is still the ideal mid-round punt threes guard/forward target, but if you miss out on the Spur, look Hayward’s way. The newest Hornet is only average from deep (1.6 3PG) and is a plus contributor in the points (17.3 PPG) and FT% categories, which are the two categories that tend to be a problem for the build.
20) Jaylen Brown (SG/SF) – Brown has the makings of a punt assists stud (2.2 APG) if he can get it together at the line. Despite being a fairly significant drag on the category last season (72.4 FT% on 4.3 FTA), Brown still managed to be a top-50 player in punt dimes before the league shut down. The rest of his line is looking very promising. There are not many players available in the middle rounds who can provide you with high-level points (20.4 PPG) that are accompanied by positive production in the FG% category (49.0 FG%). That combination is usually reserved for the early rounds. It becomes an even rarer combination when you factor in his solid three-ball (2.1 3PG). This isn’t a DeMar DeRozan situation where his FG% is inflated by his shot selection. The Celtic is also one of the league’s better rebounding wings (6.4 RPG) and comes with an average steal rate (1.1 SPG).
21) Marcus Smart (PG/SG) – Having a solid understanding of how useful players like Smart can be is one of the things that separates then men and women from the boys and girls in fantasy basketball. Because of his low-scoring numbers (13.5 PPG) and unfortunate FG% (38.5 FG%), Smart is often treated as a borderline top-100 asset when he’s really a no-doubter mid-round player who can provide you with early-round numbers in the right build. In 2019-2020, Smart was a top-60 option when his ugly shooting numbers counted and a top-30 option when they didn’t. He made up for his shortcomings by helping his owners win threes (2.4 3PG), dimes (4.8 APG), and steals (1.6 SPG) while rarely turning the ball over (1.7 TOPG). The lack of scoring is not a major issue in the punt FG% build since most of the early-round targets are well above average or dominant in the category. Be careful when slotting him into the punt points build. He can work there, but you need to make sure that you pair him with some big men who are elite from the field. Since players in that build are going to be lower volume scorers than in other builds, a player like Smart will do more damage to your chance in FG% than he would to teams punting assists or blocks.
22) C.J. McCollum (PG/SG) – Grabbing McCollum in the middle rounds won’t win you your league, but the move is also very unlikely to lose you your league. Like Tobias Harris, McCollum is as safe as it gets from a per-game perspective, and he rarely misses games. The Blazer has been a top-60 player five seasons in a row and has only missed 19 games over that stretch. Jusuf Nurkic’s return shouldn’t have a major impact on McCollum’s value. Aside from threes, which jumped from 2.4 3PG in 2018-2019 to 2.8 3PG in 2019-2020, McCollum’s numbers didn’t change much with Nurkic out for all the pre-bubble games. Expect excellent points (22.5 PPG) and threes that are accompanied by low-end dimes (4.3 APG) once again in 2020-2021. I would also expect McCollum’s FT% to rise this year. Before shooting 75.4 percent from the line last season, McCollum had hit at least 82.3 percent of his attempts in his three previous seasons. His disappointing steals (0.7 SPG) make him a natural fit for the punt steals build, and his point guard eligibility on Yahoo makes him a good target for the punt assists build.
23) Eric Bledsoe (PG/SG) – Whether Blesode can bounce back from his disappointing 2019-2020 top-80 finish comes down to two things: his minutes (27.2 MPG) and his steal rate (0.9 SPG). As of now, I’m confident that we’ll see some improvement in both. The low minutes were mostly due to the point guard playing for a team that had the East’s one-seed locked up in December. In New Orleans, he’s in the exact opposite situation. The Pelicans are likely headed toward the play-in tournament and won’t be able to limit or rest their top players at any point this year. The minutes increase should help his steals rate bounce back, but I would also expect improvement on a per-minute basis. In his first two seasons with the Bucks, Bledsoe produced 2.3 SP36 and 1.8 SP36. In 2019-2020, that number dropped all the way to 1.2 SP36. Some of that drop may be age-related, but I’m betting a lot of it is just the steals category doing what the steals category does. Steals has a significant amount of year-to-year variance, and any player that is dependent on steals to boost their value is at risk of having wild swings in value. I would expect some positive regression, and even 1.6 SP36 would likely get Bledsoe back into the top-65. Those drafting the Buck should also expect useful assist numbers (5.4 APG), a neutral FG% hit (46.3 FG%), and low-end production in points (14.5 PPG) and threes (1.2 3PG).
24) Buddy Hield (SG) – Do the Kings like Buddy again? Maybe. The team letting Bogan Bogdanovic walk is great news for the sharpshooter. If he was stuck in a bench role again, he would have been a player to avoid on draft day. Instead, we are now possibly looking at 30+ MPG of Buddy, and that should mean mid-round things. Hield’s top-40 2018-2019 finish came in 31.9 MPG, and he was playing like a top-60 player before his benching last season. Those investing in the gunner and hoping for the best will be rewarded with very valuable points (19.8 PPG), elite threes (3.8 3PG), and low-end assists (3.1 APG) and FT% impact (85.5 FT% on 2.0 FTA). Hield’s points and threes are a blessing to most builds, but he’s an especially strong target for punt steals teams (0.9 SPG) and punt FG% teams (42.9 FG% on 16.6 FGA).
25) Victor Oladipo (PG/SG) – Oladipo is not someone I would be targeting in early drafts. We need to see how he looks in camp and preseason first. The Pacer looked like a shell of himself when he first returned from his brutal 2019 injury, and he didn’t look any better in the bubble. Even if the early returns on Dipo are positive, I would be wary of investing anything higher than a seventh-round pick in the former All-Star. This is not a player with early-round upside, even when healthy. His first-round 2017-2018 season was a fluke driven by an unsustainable steal rate and some finishing at the rim that was well above his career norms. His 2018-2019 top-55 per-game finish should be treated as his ceiling. That year, Oladipo averaged 18.8 PPG, 2.1 3PG, 5.6 RPG, 5.2 APG, and 1.7 SPG.
26) Mikal Bridges (SG/SF) – If Bridges plays like he did over the second half of the season in 2020-2021, this ranking is going to look stupid. Bridges was promoted to the starting lineup on January 28th, and from that point until the COVID break, fewer than 30 players were more valuable than the 24-year-old. In the punt points build, that number drops under 15. Over that monster stretch, the sophomore averaged a nasty 11.7 PPG on 52.2 FG% and 96.8 FT%, 1.5 3PG, 4.3 RPG, 2.6 APG, 1.6 SPG, 0.9 BPG, and only 1.2 TOPG. What makes that performance unsustainable and what forces me to rank him this low is that those numbers were produced in 35.0 MPG. As good as Bridges is, that is going to be a hard number to duplicate with Jae Crowder on the roster and Cam Johnson likely looking at an increase in playing time. In 28-30 MPG, Bridges should still be able to produce mid-round numbers. His final top-75 ranking was achieved in only 27.3 MPG.
27) Malcolm Brogdon (PG/SG) – Brodgon’s first year in Indiana was a strange one. He was playing at a first-round clip for the first month of the season and then played like a borderline drop for the rest of the year. In the end, he ended up as a top-90 nine-category player. With Victor Oladipo hopefully healthy this year, I would expect Brogdon’s line to look different than it did in his first year with the Pacers. He should play off the ball more, and that will likely lead to a drop in dimes (7.1 APG). That drop should be offset by an increase in his FG% and his threes. After shooting an elite 42.6 percent from deep in his final year with the Bucks, Brogdon shot a shockingly poor 32.6 percent from three in 2019-2020. Some of that drop is just noise, but a lot of it was caused by playing on the ball more often than he is used to. His corner three attempts plummeted last year, and his threes were more contested. In 2018-2019, 26.4 percent of Brogdon’s three-point attempts were wide-open attempts. In 2019-2020, only 20.9 percent of his attempts were wide-open. With a healthy Oladipo around to draw the attention of defenses, Brogdon should get better looks, and it would not be surprising to see his three-point percentage jump back into the high-30s. If it does correct itself, a top-50 finish is possible thanks to his dimes, threes, and extremely helpful FT% impact. Brogdon doesn’t get to the line often (3.4 FTA), but he can still have a top-20 impact on the category because he seldom misses. Last season, Brogdon connected on 89.2 percent of his attempts from the charity stripe.
28) Evan Fournier (SG/SF) – Fournier isn’t the most exciting pick in the world, but he is one of the safer options in this range. The Magic’s shooting guard has finished inside of the top-70 in three of the past five seasons, including in 2019-2020. With the Magic still extremely thin on the wing, the veteran has a good shot at making it four of six. Fournier functions like a poor man’s C.J. McCollum. Most of his value is derived from doing good work in scoring categories (18.1 PPG, 2.6 3PG) while having a neutral impact on your percentages (46.0 FG%, 81.0 FT%). The rest of his line is very forgettable (3.1 APG, 1.1 SPG, 1.9 TOPG), and you’ll want to make sure that you pair him with a strong rebounding squad. The swingman averaged a horrendous 2.6 RPG before the COVID break and has never produced more than 3.2 RPG in his career.
29) Derrick White (PG/SG) – If White was guaranteed 30 minutes per game, I would have him 20 spots higher than this. This ranking is more about me not trusting Pop than it is about White. The combo guard is a very good per-minute player and is coming off of an outstanding run in the bubble. In his seven bubble appearances, White averaged a stellar 18.9 PPG, 3.1 3PG, 4.3 RPG, 5.0 APG, 0.7 SPG, and 0.6 BPG in 29.8 MPG. Those numbers were good enough to make him a top-35 option in the bubble. The problem is that it took the Spurs losing their starting frontcourt to force Pop’s hand and play White beside Dejounte Murray. Popovich rarely used that combination in the regular season when both LaMarcus Aldridge and Trey Lyles were healthy. White will be a player to watch in preseason. If we are seeing plenty of Murray and White minutes, then I’ll be targeting the Spur aggressively. If not, I’ll be staying away. When given the minutes he deserves, White produces a unique line that includes very useful out-of-position blocks (1.2 BP36), underrated FT% impact (85.7 FT% on 2.9 FTA), and low-end dimes (5.2 AP36). Including bubble play, White was a top-110 nine-category league player in only 24.7 MPG in 2019-2020.
29) Will Barton (SG/SF) – MPJ is coming for Barton, but that passing of the torch may not happen this year. Barton is still a very useful player, and given the current state of MPJ’s defense, Coach Malone may not be willing to unleash the youngster in his sophomore year. If Barton once again finds himself in a 30+ MPG role, he’ll likely outplay his current ADP. He was a top-70 player in nine-category leagues last year and did not have any major holes in his line. His best attribute is his rebounding ability (6.3 RPG), and he provides about average production everywhere else (15.1 PPG, 1.9 3PG, 3.7 APG, 1.1 SPG, 0.5 BPG).
30) Andrew Wiggins (SG/SF) – Where to take Wiggins comes down to whether or not you think his defensive numbers with the Warriors are for real. If he somehow comes close to matching the 1.3 SPG and 1.4 BPG that he averaged in his 12 games with the Dubs, a top-60 finish is possible. As you can tell from this ranking, I’m not buying them. I could see him improving in both categories, but both numbers are miles above anything he’s done in his career. In his first full year with the Warriors, Wiggins should be able to produce an 18/5/4 line with close to a steal and a block. That’s a nice line, but unless he remembers how to shoot free throws, he’s going to be a punt FT%-only player. Wiggins’ awful free throw shooting (70.9 FT%) is very hard to offset due to his high number of attempts (5.0 FTA).
31) Norman Powell (SG/SF) – FVV getting a big deal from the Raptors hurts Powell’s 2019-2020 outlook, but I still like his chances of cracking the top-100 for the second year in a row for a couple of reasons. The first is that he is playing behind two somewhat injury-prone players. Lowry plays through a lot, but he’ll be 35 in March and has faded in the second half of the season in the past. VanVleet is in his prime, but he’s missed a ton of games over the past two seasons. The second reason is Powell’s efficiency. For a player who averaged 2.1 3PG in 2019-2020, the Raptor is extremely efficient from the field. Before the bubble, Powell hit 50.3 percent of his attempts from the floor (16.4 PPG on 11.7 FGA). If Powell can lock in 27+ MPG again, he’ll also be a nice source of steals (1.3 3PG) and will provide his owners with low-end FT% impact (83.8 FT% on 3.0 FTA).
32) Josh Richardson (SG/SF) – Richardson needed a change of scenery. After back-to-back top-70 finishes in Miami, the swingman failed to crack the top-150 in his only season in Philadelphia. He’s not going to blow up in Dallas playing beside Luka Doncic and his unholy usage rate, but joining a team that had the best regular-season offense of all-time last year gives the 27-year-old a good shot at finishing inside of the top-100 again. Richardson should hit more threes this season (1.5 3PG), and we should see his steals rebound. The 0.9 SPG that he averaged in his only season with the Sixers was his worst performance in the category since his rookie year. In his final two seasons in Miami, Richardson averaged 1.5 SPG and 1.1 SPG. In addition to helpful threes and steals numbers, the swingman should gift with owners with low-end points (13.7 PPG), assists (2.9 APG), and blocks (0.7 BPG).
33) Delon Wright (PG/SG) – It’s hard to look at the Pistons’ backcourt and not get excited about Wright’s 2020-2021 prospects. His only competition for playing time is Derrick Rose, who is likely getting traded at some point, and rookie Killian Hayes. He’s rejoining his old coach Dwane Casey and 30 MPG looks very doable. If Wright does end up playing that much, a mid-round finish is very possible. The Piston has always been a strong per-minute producer and was doing mid-round things when given the reigns to the Grizzlies’ offense down the stretch of the 2018-2019 season. That strong finish gives us an idea of what Wright could do in a big role this year. Over the final 11 games of the 2018-2019 campaign, Wright averaged an eye-popping 14.3 PPG, 1.1 3PG, 6.4 RPG, 7.3 APG, 2.3 SPG, and 0.6 BPG. I wouldn’t expect numbers that flashy this season, but that line shows you the type of upside that the combo guard has.
34) Duncan Robinson (SG/SF) – Robinson functions as a poor man’s Davis Bertans. He’s threes and not much else, but his elite threes do come without a FG% hit. In his breakout 2019-2020 season, Robinson averaged a stunning 3.7 3PG before the bubble games while shooting 46.7 percent from the floor. That is Klay Thompson-esque. I would not expect the rest of Robinson’s line to improve this year. He doesn’t have the ability, and with the Heat running it back with the team that made the Finals, he’s not going to be asked to do anything besides shoot. The sharpshooter should once again be a low-end source of points (13.3 PPG) and a drag on the other counting categories (3.3 RPG, 1.4 APG, 0.5 SPG). Don’t be fooled by his elite free throw shooting (90.6 FT%). He doesn’t get to the line enough for it to matter (0.8 FTA).
35) Devonte’ Graham (PG/SG) – I hope you enjoyed last season because Graham has no chance of recreating his 2019-2020 magic. He’ll lose touches to both LaMelo Ball and Gordon Hayward, and that is a brutal development for a player who is completely dependent on touches to maintain his value. Expect Graham’s scoring (18.5 PPG), threes (3.5 3PG), and assists (7.5 APG) to all take a hit. That’s bad news as the point guard doesn’t do enough elsewhere to make up for the drop in those three categories. The Hornet will drag down your boards (3.3 RPG), not do much in the steals department (1.0 SPG), and have a forgettable impact on FT% (82.0 FT% on 3.7 FTA). I would not bother with Graham outside of the punt FG% build (38.2 FG%), and even there, I would not be rushing to draft him.
36) Collin Sexton (PG/SG) – Sexton had a surprisingly efficient 2019-2020 season. In his second year in the association, the Cavalier knocked down 47.2 percent of his attempts from the floor. That is an outstanding mark for a player who dropped 20.8 points a night. However, that percentage is inflated by an unsustainable hot streak from deep during the second half of the season. From January until the COVID stoppage, Sexton shot a Steph Curry-esque 44.9 percent from three. Sexton is not going to repeat last year’s shooting from deep, and he will probably up his volume from beyond the arc as well (1.5 3PG). All that adds up to a drop in FG%, but he still should outperform many high-volume scorers in the category. In addition to his flashy scoring numbers, Sexton is a sneaky source of FT% impact (86.8 FT% on 4.3 FTA) who chips-in low-end dimes (3.6 APG). The Cavalier is not for teams that did not find enough rebounds and blocks earlier in the draft. The combo guard is a bigger drag than most smalls on both categories (3.1 RPG, 0.2 BPG).
37) Donte DiVincenzo (PG/SG) – With Bogan Bogdanovic officially in the Bucks’ rearview, DiVincenzo becomes interesting again. Assuming the Bucks don’t make another move, the third-year man is likely looking at minutes in the upper-20s. That’s not enough playing time to catapult DiVincenzo into the top-50, but it should be enough to allow him to comfortably crack the top-100 in friendly builds. As a sophomore, in only 23.1 MPG, the swingman finished as a top-100 player when assists were thrown out. That surprise finish was driven by an elite steal rate (2.1 SP36), a decent three-ball (2.0 3P36), and an impressive rebounding rate (7.5 RP36) for a two-guard playing beside Giannis Antetokounmpo. If DiVincenzo plays close to 28 MPG, he could produce a 12/6 line that comes with close to a 1.5 SPG.
38) Malik Beasley (PG/SG) – Beasley’s stock took a hit on draft day. Anthony Edwards is going to eat into his minutes, and while Beasley should still be a clear standard league player, he’s not going to be the 20.8 PPG guy that he was after the trade from Denver. He should score in the mid-teens this year and be a plus contributor in the threes column. In each of his last two seasons, Beasley has produced at least 3.1 3P36. The rest of his line will be mediocre (4.4 RP36, 2.2 AP36, 1.2 SP36), and whether or not he can crack the top-100 will come down to his FG%. If Beasley can match the 47.3 percent he shot from the floor in 2018-2019, he will be a top-100 player in nine-category leagues. If he ends up in the low-40s like he did last season (42.5 FG%), he’s going to have a hard time being more than a top-125 player.
39) Terrence Ross (SG/SF) – You’ll find Ross in the final rounds of most of EFB’s 2020-2021 guides and for good reason. The swingman has been a top-100 player the past two seasons and has a solid shot at scoring the hat trick this in 2020-2021. Ross will once again be in his sixth-man role that led to 14.8 PPG, 2.6 3PG, and 1.1 SPG in 2019-2020. He works in most builds because most builds love a late points boost, but he will be especially valuable in punt FG% (40.7 FG% on 12.3 FGA). With his poor shooting from the floor thrown out, Ross was a sixth-round player in both 2019-2020 and 2018-2019.
40) Tyler Herro (SG/SF) – Herro is undraftable on Yahoo. He’s ranked inside of the top-70 for some reason, and he has absolutely no shot at returning value at that price. Unless Jimmy Butler goes down for most of the season, the sophomore’s ceiling isn’t even close to his current ADP. Herro doesn’t contribute in enough categories right now to be a mid-round player. His poor wingspan makes it very unlikely that he’s ever a plus contributor in the defensive categories (0.8 SP36, 0.2 BP36), and he rarely got to the line in his rookie year (2.4 FTA36). He has flashed some potential in the playmaking department (2.9 AP36), but he’s unlikely to be more than a low-end source of dimes this year with Butler, Goran Dragic, and Bam Adebayo on the roster. The leaves Herro as a decent points and threes option (17.7 PP36, 2.8 3P36) that doesn’t do anything else. And that would be fine if he came at a late-round price. Unfortunately, he won’t due to some flashy playoff performances, and that makes Herro a lock to be one of this season’s most overdrafted players.
41) Seth Curry (PG/SG) – Curry doesn’t produce the most well-rounded line in the world, but he is one of the few players available late who can help you in the scoring categories without dragging down your FG%. In the final season of his second stint in Dallas, Steph’s brother averaged a solid 12.4 PPG and 2.3 3PG in only 24.6 MPG while shooting 49.5 percent from the field. The move to Philadelphia should be a boon for his value. The Sixers are desperate for shooting, and it would be surprising if Curry didn’t see minutes in the high-20s. I’m confident in this because we’ve seen the impact that pairing an elite shooter with Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons can have. In J.J. Redick’s final season in Philadelphia, the three-man lineup of Redick, Embiid, and Simmons had a net rating of 13.5. That was, by far, the most effective big-minute three-man lineup the Sixers rolled out.
42) Terry Rozier (PG/SG) – There is a good chance that the Hornets’ backcourt ends up being a fantasy quagmire this season. Lamelo Ball has too many holes in his line to be a mid-round player this year, but he’s going to play enough to take a bite out of both Rozier and Devonte’ Graham’s value. Gordon Hayward joining the team is also less than ideal as he’ll take touches and creation responsibilities away from all of the guards. What I’m trying to say is that you should not expect a repeat of last season’s top-80 finish from Rozier. He should still be worth owning in standard leagues, but he is almost certainly going to see all of his usage-related numbers go down. Expect a small drop in points (18.0 PPG), threes (2.7 3PG), assists (4.1 APG), and FT% (87.4 FT% on 3.0 FTA) for the combo guard. A top-80 finish is still possible if you are punting FG% (42.3 FG%). In that build, Rozier has plenty of room to fall. In 2019-2020, the former Celtic was a top-55 player when FG% was ignored.
43) Derrick Rose (PG/SG) – The Pistons are not exactly deep on the wing and in the backcourt. They’ve got Rose, rookie Killian Hayes, Delon Wright, and not much else. That’s bad news for the Pistons’ playoffs hopes this year, but it should be very good news for Rose’s fantasy prospects, at least until he’s moved to a contender. In only 26.0 MPG last season, Rose averaged an excellent 18.1 PPG and 5.6 APG while hitting 87.1 percent of his free throw attempts. If you draft Rose and he starts the season well, I strongly recommend trying to sell him high. The Lakers and other contenders are going to come calling at the deadline, and Rose will not be more than a deep-league option on a good team.
44) Lou Williams (PG/SG) – Williams is getting up there, but he still has value in the right build. In 2019-2020, he was a top-100 player in the punt FG% build (41.6 FG% on 14.7 FGA) and a top-120 player in the punt steals build (0.7 SPG). He still brings the heat in points (18.7 PPG), threes (1.8 3PG), assists (5.7 APG), and FT% impact (86.3 FT% on 5.4 FTA) and should have a beefy role with the Clippers if he sticks around. That is looking like a big if at the moment. His name is popping up in a lot of trade rumors, and it is possible that he’s moved for a player who doesn’t need to be hidden on defense in the playoffs. Whether or not a trade would be good for Williams’ value is hard to say, so anyone investing in the sixth-man on draft day should be prepared for a significant swing in value at some point this season.
45) Markelle Fultz (PG/SG) – Fultz made a lot of progress last season. He improved in almost every category on a per-minute basis and remembered how to shoot free throws (73.0 FT% on 2.2 FTA). That was good to see. But he’s still got aways to go before he’s a mid-round player. In 2019-2020, the Magic’s point guard finished as a top-160 player in pre-bubble play. The assists (5.2 APG), steals (1.3 SPG), and FG% (47.3 FG%) are all there, but everything else still needs work. Fultz is very likely going to be a drag on your points (12.1 PPG) and threes (0.5 3PG) while producing numbers that are very detrimental to your chances in rebounds and blocks. Despite possessing great size for a point guard, Fultz only managed 3.3 RPG and 0.2 BPG in 2019-2020.
46) Troy Brown Jr. (SG/SF) – I was ready to hype Brown as one of my favorite late-round sleepers until the Wizards drafted Deni Avdija. I still like Brown, but his upside did take a hit on draft night as he’ll now be forced to split minutes with a player the Wizards had high on their draft boards. Fortunately, Avdija is very raw, and 25+ MPG is still in play for the third-year man. In a 25 MPG role, Brown will be an above-average bet for swipes (1.7 SP36) and a sneaky source of boards (7.7 RP36). He would also be a decent contributor in the points (14.5 PP36) and assists (3.6 AP36) categories if he was ever to find himself in a 30 MPG role.
47) Caris LeVert (SG/SF) – LeVert is one of the easiest bust calls in a long, long time. He is a final-round type of player that will cost fantasy players a mid-round pick. Despite having the Nets almost to himself for half of the 45 games that he played in 2019-2020, the 26-year-old failed to crack the top-150 in nine-category leagues. If that’s the type of numbers that he produces as the Nets’ go-to guy, think about how ugly it is going to get with Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving healthy. I’m not confident in LeVert’s chances of fantasy survival this season because almost all of his value is derived from touches-related categories. His points (18.7 PPG), threes (1.8 3PG), and assists (4.4 APG) are all likely going to take a hit this year with the Nets’ top-two dominating the rock, and he doesn’t do enough on the boards (4.2 RPG) or on the defensive end (1.2 SPG) to offset the drops. Making matters worse is his percentages. LeVert has always been a disaster in both and is coming off of a season where he shot 42.5 percent from the field and 71.1 percent from the line.
48) LaMelo Ball (PG/SG) – Ball will be a great fantasy asset if he ever learns to shoot. Unfortunately, that is a huge if, and it is definitely not something that is going to happen in his rookie year. His NBL numbers contain a lot of red flags. If you shoot 37.5 percent from the field in Australia, you are likely going to be a disaster in the FG% category in the NBA. Only connecting on 25.0 percent of your threes (1.7 3PG) isn’t great news either, and neither is only hitting 72.3 percent of your free throw attempts. Expect Ball to be a mess in the percentages, threes, and turnovers while providing low-end points and respectable steals and assists. In Australia, he flashed plenty of potential in both swipes and dimes. In 31.1 MPG, the then 18-year-old averaged 1.6 SPG and 6.8 APG. He was a strong rebounder down under (7.6 RPG), but his slim frame makes me less confident that his boards will transfer. If you do want to take a shot on the rookie, make sure you pair him with the punt FG% build. He is going to have a very hard time cracking the top-150 outside of it.
49) Bogdan Bogdanovic (SG/SF) – Bogdanovic would be a potential mid-round player on a team where he would have a large role on offense. He had an early-round streak last year when De’Aaron Fox went down, and he was allowed to run the point. Unfortunately, he signed with a Hawks team that all of a sudden looks like one of the deepest squads in the association. It’s going to be extremely difficult to match last year’s 22.1 percent usage rate playing beside Young, Gallinari, Collins, and Capela, and last season’s top-100 finish looks like his ceiling. He’ll probably be rosterable, but potential owners shouldn’t be looking to spend more than a late-round pick for Bogdanovic’s strong threes (2.7 3PG), average points (15.1 PPG) and steals (1.1 SPG), and low-end assists (3.4 APG).
50) Patrick Beverley (PG/SG) – Beverley isn’t the most exciting late-round pick, but he can be a smart one when paired with the right build. In 2019-2020, including bubble games, the Clipper cracked the top-80 in punt points (7.9 PPG) and finished inside of the top-100 in punt FG% (42.8 FG%). If you ignore points, Beverley’s counting numbers are very respectable. He produces about average threes (1.6 3PG), is a strong rebounder for a point guard (5.4 RPG), and provides his owners with low-end dimes (3.7 APG) and defensive numbers (1.1 SPG, 0.5 BPG).
51) R.J. Barrett (SG/SF) – Barrett is a punt FT%-only player. He’ll likely improve from the line this season (61.4 FT% on 4.5 FTA) but not by enough to make him viable outside of that build. In his rookie year, the Knick had a larger negative impact on the category than all but six players. The swingman was about as detrimental to your chances of winning the category as Ben Simmons was. Those taking the dive should expect fairly strong counting numbers. With Coach Thibodeau in town, Barrett is going to be a candidate to lead the league in minutes, and all that extra run should lead to useful numbers in the points (14.3 PPG), rebounds (5.0 RPG), assists (2.6 APG), and steals (1.0 SPG) categories. Stay far, far away if you are not punting FT% or if you play in a Roto league. Thanks to his horrendous percentages (40.2 FG%, 61.4 FT%), the Canadian finished outside of the top-400 in his maiden NBA campaign.
52) Tim Hardaway Jr. (SG/SF) – Kristaps Porzingis is likely out until at least mid-January, and that should make Hardaway a strong early-season play. When KP sits, Hardaway’s usage rate jumps from 19.2 percent to 22.1 percent. Those investing in the Mavericks’ swingman should be rewarded with plenty of points (15.8 PPG) and high-end threes (2.9 3PG), and those flashy scoring numbers will not come with a turnovers hit (1.0 TOPG). He’s best paired with the punt FG% build. Due to the perimeter-oriented nature of Hardaway’s game, the Maverick is a notable drag on the FG% category (43.7 FG% on 12.6 FGA). In addition to hurting your chances in FG%, Hardaway will drag down your big-man numbers (3.1 RPG, 0.1 BPG) and steals (0.7 SPG).
53) De’Anthony Melton (PG/SG) – Melton is a high-ceiling/low-floor late-round target. The Grizzlies gave him a hefty deal this offseason, but despite the monetary commitment, he’s still going to be hard-pressed to earn big minutes when Ja Morant, Tyus Jones, and Dillon Brooks are healthy. Draft Melton with the expectation of a 20 MPG role and hope for the best. In even 24 MPG, he would be a clear standard league player. He finished inside of the top-200 in only 19.4 MPG last season thanks to an elite steal rate (2.4 SPG), an above-average rebounding rate for a guard (6.8 RP36), and a quality assist rate (5.4 APG). At worst, he’ll be an excellent steals streamer this season, and he will be a must-own if Ja Morant or Dillon Brooks were to miss time.
54) Cameron Johnson (SG/SF) – Kelly Oubre’s departure opens up some minutes for Johnson and gives the sophomore a pathway to top-120 numbers this season. If he can lock down minutes in the mid-20s, the sophomore should average over 2.5 3PG. With that much run, the sharpshooter would also be able to produce low-end points (14.5 PP36) and boards (5.4 RP36). The key to Johnson’s value this season will be his FG%. If he doesn’t improve on last season’s 43.5 percent shooting from the floor (including bubble games), he’ll only be a streamer. If he can get into the 46%+ percent range, then he’ll belong on a roster in standard leagues.
55) Cam Reddish (SG/SF) – I had Reddish about 30 spots higher before Atlanta decided they wanted to load up for a run at the East’s eighth-seed and a quick first-round exit at the hands of the Bucks. I still think he’s draftable, but I’m waiting until about the final round to take a shot on the sophomore who is now competing with, I believe, 18 other players for minutes at the two and the three. If Reddish sees 25 MPG this year, he should help his owners from deep and in the steals column. He showed nice upside in both areas as a first-year player. As a rookie, Reddish produced 1.9 3P36 and 1.4 SP36 and was much more productive than that down the stretch. After a horrendous start to his rookie year where he looked like college Cam Reddish, the swingman blew up in February and March and averaged a very encouraging 15.9 PPG on 48.9 FG%, 2.1 3PG, 3.6 RPG, and 1.3 SPG.
56) Killian Hayes (PG/SG) – Like LaMelo Ball, Hayes is only a final-round flier despite stepping into what should be a beefy rookie-year role. I expect the Pistons’ new starting point guard to be a solid source of dimes and an average bet for steals, but everything else is likely to be forgettable or straight up ugly. In the 20 games that he played in the Bundesliga, Hayes averaged 11.6 PPG, 3.1 RPG, 5.3 APG, and 1.4 SPG on 49.7 percent shooting from the floor and 21.8 percent shooting from deep in 24.5 MPG. Those are solid numbers, but there’s nothing there that suggests he will be more than a two-category player this year who drags down your FG%, threes, and turnovers. I like Hayes a fair amount as a long-term prospect, but he’s someone to stay away from until the final rounds in re-draft leagues.
57) Kevin Porter Jr. (SG) – Porter had a rocky offseason, but there’s been no news that suggests that his availability for the start of the season is in question. Assuming camp goes smoothly, Porter should have a larger role on offense this year. Despite the likely expanded role, I’m not as high on the Cavalier as other analysts are. As a rookie, Porter produced OK, but fairly forgettable per-minute numbers. In fact, the swingman finished outside of the top-350 on a per-minute basis. Only his contributions in the points (15.4 PP36) and steals (1.4 SP36) categories were interesting. In a larger role this year, Porter could be an average source of points and steals who drags down your percentages (44.2 FG%, 72.3 FT%) and turnovers (2.9 TOPG).
59) Jordan Clarkson (PG/SG) – Clarkson thrived in his sixth-man role with the Jazz and should be one of the few reliable sources of points available at the end of the draft. There’s not a ton of upside here, but he does hold some value as he scores more than the waiver-wire options in 12-team leagues will. From the trade until the COVID stoppage, Clarkson averaged a helpful 15.6 PPG and 2.1 3PG on 48.1 percent shooting for the floor. He’s a decent final-round option for those punting assists and needing to fill their point guard spot. The gunner loses no value when dimes are thrown out (1.6 APG post-trade).
60) Dillon Brooks (SG/SF) – If you are punting FG% and are in need of a points and threes boost, look Brooks’ way late. Including the bubble games, Brooks averaged 16.2 PPG and 2.0 3PG in 2019-2020. Those numbers were good enough to land him inside of the top-115 in his best build. If you are not punting FG%, then I would pass on the Canadian. The damage that he can do to your FG% is significant. Only five players who played more than 30 games last season had a larger negative impact on the category than Brooks (40.7 FG% on 14.7 FGA). Brooks’ contributions outside of the scoring categories are likely going to be limited this year (3.3 RPG, 2.0 APG, 0.9 SPG).
61) Josh Hart (SG/SF) – With Jrue Holiday now in Milwaukee, there should be a few more minutes open on the wing for Hart. The playing time wasn’t always there in 2019-2020 for the Pelican, but when Hart was given solid run, he usually produced. Despite only playing 27.4 MPG, Hart managed to sneak inside of the top-100 in friendly builds. We like Hart late because of the good work he does on the boards and from deep. It’s not easy to find 6.5 RPG attached to decent threes (1.9 3PG). Most of the better sources of rebounds available in the final round of the draft are not three-point shooters. In addition to the threes and rebounds, Hart should also provide his owners with average steals (1.0 SPG).