2017 Outlook: Durant was able to flourish in a Thunder offense eighth in pace and 17th in assist ratio. There is minor risk in moving to Golden State, but that risk is mitigated by an increase in pace and a significant bump in assist ratio. For the second time in three seasons, KD averaged at least 13 rebounds-plus-assists and for the fifth time in seven seasons he averaged at least a steal and a block. Look for increased efficiency to offset his potential minutes dip, making Durant a safe option to build a fantasy champion around.
2017 Outlook: His point and assist production has steadily increased every year of his professional career, a rare combination that has the 25-year-old Leonard ranked among the very best in the game. He’s an elite two-way player that flirted with the coveted 50-40-90 shooting line last year. He is the focal point of the one of the best franchises in professional sports...yea, we will take our chances.
2017 Outlook: He's the same player he always has been, just with a slightly downward trending minutes count. For the third consecutive season, his MPG dipped, but that didn't stop him from posting elite numbers. He settled less for long-jumpers last season, as his average distance of attempt (9.7 feet) was more than a foot lower than any other season of his career. For the first time, he took more than half (55.2-percent) of his shots from inside of eight feet. If you subscribe to the theory that you "can't win a draft in the first round, you can only lose it," then The King is your guy as he is as safe an option as there is.
2017 Outlook: Don't worry Boogie, we don't know what the Kings are doing either. Fortunately, we do know what you are doing and that is producing massive numbers across the board. Among players that will play in 2016, no player averaged more FGA per 48 minutes than the Kings center, a volume of shots that is becoming increasingly valuable as he made 86.4-percent of his career triples last season. Add that to consecutive seasons with at least three assists and three blocks-plus-steals per game, and we are talking about a rare talent.
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: Remember the last time he played 70 regular season games? Me neither ... it hasn't happened yet. He is essentially a slightly better version of Towns when it comes to scoring and defensive numbers that comes with health concerns. We've seen him produce at a level that would justify him being the second player off the board (February 2015), and given the lack of help he has in New Orleans, his well-rounded numbers are a safe bet as long as he is on the court.
2017 Outlook: With the Heat coughing up just shy of $100 million for his services and letting Dwyane Wade walk, it is clear that the plan is to create a winning team from the inside out. The rebound and block (more blocks per game than Rudy Gobert and DeMarcus Cousins combined for) totals are going to be nothing short of elite, which combines nicely with his scoring ceiling. He shot 75-percent from the charity stripe in the second half of last season to go along with attempting nearly 60-percent more free throw per game. If that growth is real, Whiteside is a prime candidate to become the first player to block three shots AND score 20 points a night since Alonzo Mourning/Shaquille O'Neal did it in the 1999-2000 season.
2017 Outlook: The gruesome injury he suffered ahead of the 2014-2015 season may stick out in your mind, but in the three seasons surrounding that campaign PG has missed a total of six games, making durability a strength. In his last three full seasons, George has recorded at least 140 steals and 170 3PM, a nice combination of skills for a player who continues to see his scoring stats rise. The additions of Jeff Teague and Ty Lawson to this backcourt make Indiana a great bet to considerably improve on the league's 23rd most efficient offense.
2017 Outlook: The word "underrated" is one that often comes to mind with Millsap, but that shouldn't be the case this season. Millsap is averaging 1.7 steals, 1.0 3PM, and 3.2 assists over the last three seasons ... not a single big man reached all of those thresholds last season. Look for acquisition of Dwight Howard to have a positive impact on Millsap, as he will now be the lone versatile big as opposed to sharing the play-making duties with Al Horford.
2017 Outlook: You know how hard it is to finish as the sixth player while finishing 131st in USG? That's what Green accomplished this past season due to his increased efficiency and his ability to impact games in a variety of ways. Will the addition of Durant cut into Green's growth? It's possible, but you're talking about a matchup nightmare that led one of the most potent offenses in recent memory in minutes per game.
2017 Outlook: The injuries of 2016 weren't exactly ideal, but we are still talking about a special athlete essentially in his physical prime. His free throw shooting was once a concern, but he has shot nearly 73-percent from the stripe over the last two seasons. He's a double double threat on a nightly basis that offers elite assist production for his position to go along with reasonable defensive numbers.
2017 Outlook: Hopefully you enjoyed getting him at a discount last season because his price tag is going to be significantly steeper this season. And why wouldn't it? The slashing backcourt (Brandon Jennings and Derrick Rose) combined with unspectacular big men, Porzingis should enjoy a USG spike and plenty of room to operate. One would assume that the NBA will adjust to his skill set, but when you consider that KP got better as the season progressed last season, it is possible that there is no real answer to a versatile player who stands 7'3". Players that average a double double, block two shots, and make one three pointer on a nightly basis are difficult to find: players with that upside that turned just 21 years old this summer are darn near impossible to come across.
2017 Outlook: As expected, Aldridge's numbers decreased from his high usage days in Portland, but a career-high FG% allowed him to finish third among power forwards in scoring. His front court mate will be Pau Gasol instead of Tim Duncan this season, a trade off that should benefit Aldridge in both the scoring (Gasol topped all centers in assists per game last season) and rebounding departments. Aldridge comes with little to no risk and is in for another rock solid fantasy season.
2017 Outlook: You come go to ‘Melo for the scoring, so the fact that his points per game have declined in three straight seasons, there is concern to be had. He did average a career-high in assists last season and with more offensive weapons around him, it would be logical to think that he can at least sustain that growth. Still, we need proof that he is going to be more efficient before we assume such, making him a tough sell unless on a very specific type of fantasy roster.
2017 Outlook: The general public doesn't hesitate to criticize Love, but the fantasy community has been fine with embracing his role as a third option in Cleveland. He's essentially averaging a double double with two triples per game over the last two seasons, something no other player can claim. His increased reliance on the long ball has hurt his FG% and that doesn't seem likely to change, but at this price, that's a minor drawback. His unique skill set allows him to fit into most fantasy rosters, especially those who spent an early pick on players like Hassan Whiteside or John Wall, making him a nice piece addition given his ADP.