2017 Outlook: For the first time in five years, Harden's TS% dipped below 60-percent, but he was able to produce for his fantasy owners by leading the league in minutes played (38.1 per game) for the first time in his career. He has missed just one game over the last two seasons, a level of health that when combined with the fact that his FGA per game jumped by nearly nine-percent for the second consecutive season and his rebound/assist totals rose again makes him nothing short of elite in our game.
2017 Outlook: The Bucks appear willing to tie their wagon to Antetokunmpo and, while it'll cost you an early pick, you should be willing to as well. The 2015 numbers are appealing, but look at his numbers after the All Star Break (18.8 points, 7.2 assists, 8.6 rebounds, 1.9 blocks, and 1.4 steals) and you're looking at a 21-year-old that is nearly impossible to matchup with. This Milwaukee offense is going to be a work in progress as Jason Kidd tries to figure out exactly what he wants, but there is no lack of room for growth (bottom 10 in both pace and offensive efficiency) and it is clear that Antetokunmpo is clearly the building block.
2017 Outlook: He's a tough player to gauge. On one hand, you've got a player that has averaged 20 points in consecutive seasons while seeing his assist per game count increase by at least 26.9-percent in each one of his NBA seasons. On the other hand, we've got one major question: is he a good shooter? The three-point percentage has been sporadic and his inability to consistently knock down open jumpers (43.1-percent over the last three seasons) is concerning given the skill sets of the newly acquired Rajon Rondo and Dwyane Wade. Our projection reflects our optimism that a repeat performance can be had, just be aware that the roster overhaul could cause some bumps along the way.
2017 Outlook: Professional. Bucket. Getter. The Blazers may not be built to win a title, but the volume their offense lends to their starting backcourt is fantasy gold. McCollum and Damian Lillard combined to take 2,905 shots in 155 games (18.74 per player per game), not much different than the Splash Brothers rate (18.77). Speaking of those warriors, both Curry and Thompson attempted over 450 triples and converted over 40-percent on those tries. So did McCollum. And that's the entire such list in the NBA last season. The addition of Evan Turner could help his assist numbers, but make no mistake about it: McCollum was put on this planet to score. Consider him Kemba Walker with a wider range of potential outcomes (for better or for worse).
2017 Outlook: In his third professional season, Oladipo made great strides in efficiency and might well be ready for the bright lights alongside the newly coined Westwolf. Consider this: Dion Waiters and Randy Foye combined to average 15.4 points, 4.5 rebounds, and 3.8 assists per game last season. That's eerily similar to Oladipo's 2015 campaign (16 points, 4.8 rebounds, and 3.9 assists) and it doesn't take into account that the Thunder will be without that Durant guy. Oklahoma City is coming off a fifth consecutive Top 10 season in Pace, a trend that could vault Oladipo into superstardom sooner than later.
2017 Outlook: The list of players that averaged two 3PM to go along with at least five rebounds and five assists is a short one: the top three players on our player rater (Curry, Harden, and Durant) and Batum. This was the first time Batum had pull those three stats together in one season, but the signs were there that this production was coming. His defensive numbers were down a touch, leaving room for even more value. He ranked just 19th among shooting guards in USG, but the Hornets now have some 120 million reasons to up that rate sooner rather than later.
2017 Outlook: We know exactly what DeRozan is: a volume producer. His lack of a three point shot is an obstacle (65 shooting guards averaged more 3PM last season), but with most owners in standard sized leagues having a more than capable three point shooter rostered after the first two rounds, DeRozan's primary fantasy wart can be overlooked in the right situation. He averaged at least one steal and better than eight rebounds-plus-assists for a third consecutive season, allowing him to gain some value other than the 20-plus points you know you're getting from him.
2017 Outlook: Can you name all of the qualified players who made at least two three pointers per game at a 40-percent clip and did not play in the NBA Finals? C.J. McCollum , J.J. Redick, and Fournier. The points and percentages are a given, but the ceiling has yet to be explored. We are looking at a 23-year-old with four years of experience that will be tasked will filling the void left by the departure of nearly 32 points and 25 FGA this offseason (Tobias Harris and Victor Oladipo). Sure, the Magic added some front court talent to help, but Fournier is primed to lead this backcourt and have his best fantasy season to date.
2017 Outlook: In a season in which his FG%, 3P%, FTA, AST, BLK, and STL averages all fell (albeit slightly in most cases), Hayward still managed to finish the 2015 season fourth among SGs on our player rater. That speaks to both the lack of depth at the position and Hayward's ability to provide strong value across the board, the exact reason you should feel good with him in the early rounds. The Jazz upgraded to George Hill at point guard and brought in Joe Johnson, moves that should help free up Hayward on the perimeter (the percentage of his FGA that have been uncontested has steadily be declining).
2017 Outlook: The 2016-2017 Wolves might be the most fun Minnesota franchise since the Daunte Culpepper/Randy Moss days and Wiggins is the leader of the pack. Despite a slight dip in minutes played, Wiggins managed to attempt more shots and convert them at a higher percentage. You have to love the bump in free throw attempts (he made 5.3 per game after attempting 5.7 per game in his rookie season) and the scoring stability that comes with that. He is going to score and produce highlight reel plays with regularity, but his otherwise pedestrian numbers leave fantasy owners wanting more. With plenty of talent around him, statistical growth is very possible in all categories, but paying for much growth over his 2015 numbers is a risk.
2017 Outlook: Hopefully you benefited from his second half run (19.2 points, 1.5 3PM, 4.1 assists, and 3.0 rebounds), because you're not getting him at a discount this year. Just because the price has risen significantly doesn't mean you need to avoid him. He doesn't turn 20 years old until after this season begins and is a gifted athlete that stands 6'6", giving him unlimited upside. The Suns do have backcourt depth (namely Brandon Knight but they also spent a second round pick on Tyler Ulis), but they are going to give Booker every opportunity to prove he is a franchise cornerstone. Will there be inconsistencies? Likely, but that shouldn't temper your expectations for this exciting Suns backcourt.
2017 Outlook: What exactly are you paying for here? He's more valuable in real life than he is in fantasy these days, and while he could experience a fantasy revival in Chicago, it's a risky investment. He offers you nothing from the three point line (Richaunb Holmes made more triples last season) and per game point-plus-assist total was his lowest since his rookie season. Wade still offers reasonable counting numbers to go along with above average defense stats, just be careful to not overpay for the name brand.
2017 Outlook: Devin Booker's are closer than they may appear. It's no secret that the younger of the two Kentucky products showed more promise last season than Knight has in his five NBA seasons, thus making him the favorite to assume the starting backcourt role alongside Eric Bledsoe. Knight is more than capable of scoring in bunches and his usage should receive a nice bump if he's on the second unit, so don't rule out a useful fantasy season, just don't overpay for the name.
2017 Outlook: The drafting of Kris Dunn will ensure that LaVine plays almost exclusively off the ball this season, a role he thrived in last season. The raw talent is no secret, so the fact that he began to tap into that potential in the second half (16.4 points on 48-percent shooting in 35 minutes per game after the All Star break) of last season should be seen as a sign of things to come. The spike in production was a result of his deep ball accuracy (43.7-percent shooting on 5.4 attempts per game), a nice skill to pair with his elite athleticism. His assist and rebound numbers aren't going to impress, so make sure you can cover those categories with your other guard, but this is a player who is already very good that has plenty of room to grow.