21 Jul The Biggest Move is Staying Put: Fantasy Basketball Preview 2016-17
The departure of Kevin Durant to Golden State did not only effect the landscape of the NBA for the 2016-17 season, but also had a huge ripple effect on my NBA fantasy rankings heading into the season.
Per the Today’s Fastbreak at the beginning of the off-season Steph Curry and Kevin Durant held the top two spots in fantasy. Now that KD had made his own version of “The Decision” to join Golden State in an attempt to create arguably the most potent SuperTeam of all-time, it actually has a negative impact on he and Steph’s fantasy value heading into the 2016-17 season.
On the other hand, it shot Westbrook to the top of the rankings leaping over Curry, Durant and James Harden. The 27-year-old point guard is now the lone superstar in Oklahoma City and he will look to take over the NBA. Anybody who has played DFS basketball over the past few years knows that when Kevin Durant was hurt with different injuries, Russell Westbrook was the closest thing to an automatic triple-double and you would pay any price to roster him. Fantasy owners this season will expect those type of numbers on a nightly basis, sometimes scoring 40.
Right now the top ten players to own for the 2016-17 fantasy basketball season are Russ Westbrook, James Harden, Steph Curry, Kevin Durant, Karl-Anthony Towns, Kawhi Leonard, Anthony Davis, LeBron James, DeMarcus Cousins and Giannis Antetokounmpo.
We already discussed RWB and the monster season that is in store for the 2016-17 season. With the move of Dwight Howard signing with Atlanta, this will just puts more offensive weight on James Harden’s shoulders as he chases Westbrook’s heels as the second-best fantasy asset, all-the-while giving you little-to-no defensive stats. Whereas, Westbrook makes his case for being the best rebounding point-guard in recent memory, Harden gets most of his rebounds by default. It’ll be interesting to see how Curry and Durant’s numbers shake out as they most-likely will have a dual-sacrifice in essence to help win a championship come the end of the season.
Towns, the 2016 NBA Rookie of the Year, will likely produce at a higher level now that he has a year of experience under his belt. Leonard and Cousins are all going to produce consistently while Davis is a risk because of his injury history.
As for the reigning Finals MVP, he is not expected to explode off the bat and reserve his greatness for the playoffs. The Greek Freak is making a big leap as he officially takes over the point forward position for the Milwaukee Bucks while giving fantasy owners stats across the board. Jason Kidd loves to toy around with his lineups, in effect leading to guys like Giannis and Khris Middleton sometimes playing 30 minutes a game. If Kidd’s minute distribution mirrors what he was doing over the last ten games or so of the season, Giannis will easily finish in the top-10 playing closer to 40 minutes, with the possibility of a top-5 finish.
Other players that will make a jump in the rankings after all the transactions this offseason are Victor Oladipo, Serge Ibaka, Goran Dragic, Dennis Schroder and Darren Collison. The draft day trade that saw Oladipo and Ibaka switch teams will impact both of their values positively heading into next season. Oladipo will instantly become the number two scoring threat on the Thunder, while Ibaka’s best attribute will be his point total rising being one of the Magic’s only offensive threats, and all of his peripherals increasing as he will see more minutes than he did in Oklahoma.
The departure of Dwyane Wade makes Dragic the first option on offense for the Miami Heat and Schroder will be the starting point guard for the Atlanta Hawks because Jeff Teague was traded to the Indiana Pacers. As we get closer to the season check back to get my final rankings heading into this ever-so-exciting 2016-17 season.
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