2017 Outlook: He may own the best nickname in the NBA (maybe in all of sports), but the production simply isn't impressive. The percentage of games in which he records a double double dropped for the third straight season, and considering that that is essentially all you count on him for, that's an issue. His FG% is nice, but his low field goal total really limits the positive impact that has.
2017 Outlook: His absence (knee surgery) for the majority of last season allowed rookie Nikola Jokic to emerge and it's possible that he is fighting an uphill battle to regain the role that he entered last season with. Nurkic is playing for his native Bosnia this summer, so the health seems to be in a good spot at this moment, but Jokic was essentially a slightly better version of him when pressed into duty last year, so this is a risky pick. If we get word that he has regained his starting role in the middle, Nurkic is a nice source of rebounds and minimal scoring, but sans that news, Jokic is the superior fantasy option.
2017 Outlook: Tyson Chadler and P.J. Tucker aren't exactly elite NBA players, yet the Suns elected to play them more than 55 minutes per game last season as opposed to extending Len and that's a concern. On a per minute basis, Len wasn't bad and even showed some positive signs (13.7 points and 11.2 rebounds in March), but by drafting Dragan Bender, Phoenix isn't exactly sending signals that they are sold long-term on Len.
2017 Outlook: Be aware that the 76ers are going to be cautious with him (they've already expressed interest in sitting him for back-to-backs), but the third overall pick of the 2014 draft is finally ready to show us what he's got. If you play in a weekly lineup lock format, Embiid probably isn't worth a pick, but in leagues where you can adjust on a nightly basis, Embiid should be a double double threat with strong defensive upside when he suits up.
2017 Outlook: With Timfey Mozgov taking his now expensive talents to Los Angeles, the door is open for Thompson to challenge career highs across the board. The Cavaliers shallow front court puts him in a great position to blow past his career average of 28.5 minutes per game, making him a double double threat on a nightly basis. His offensive rebounding is nothing short of elite and considering that he hasn't missed a game since his rookie season (2011), we are talking about a player who comes into 2016 as an underrated and reliable fantasy producer.
2017 Outlook: The Blazers brought in Festus Ezeli this summer and he will push Plumlee, but the former Dukie profiles the Portland's primary interior scorer. This is a team that will rely on perimeter scoring as much as anyone, but that'll open things up for a few easy buckets a game in close and we are expecting Plumlee to be the beneficiary. He was a Top 5 center in terms of assists per game and there is no reason he can't approach two steals-plus-blocks per game, stats that may not jump off the page at you but ones that offer a nice bump for the savvy owner.
2017 Outlook: Could a change of scenery revitalize Big Al after a down 2011 season? It's possible, but given our optimism on Myles Turner, we aren't projecting as much. He's been producing at a steady rate for the better part of a decade, something we expect to continue, but the minutes aren't going to be there. Jefferson will have his fair share of impressive performances, but in terms of annual counting numbers, it's difficult to project on much of a rebound from 2015.
2017 Outlook: The Mavericks are going to count on Bogut more than the Warriors ever could, and while health is still a long-term concern, the risk will be more worth it this season than years past. He profiles as a nice defensive asset that can score ... and won't cost nearly as much as the other centers who offer as much. Our ranking of him bakes in missed time, so if he can stay healthy, you're looking at a serious bargain.
2017 Outlook: The Bulls lack front court depth and that makes Lopez an interesting option this year. He's not an overwhelming talent, but he was able to produce a viable fantasy stat line after the All Star break (12.2 points on 55.4 shooting from the field and 78.5-percent from the free throw line, 9.2 rebounds, and 2.0 blocks) when finally seeing the type of extended minutes that he's expected to see in Chicago. It's rare to get solid percentages and blocks at this point in the draft, meaning there is nice value to be had here.
2017 Outlook: What exactly this Bucks offense is going to look like is still unknown, but much like Nikola Mirotic in Chicago, Teletovic should benefit from owning a skill (deep shooting) that otherwise lacks on this roster. He's a cheap source of 3PM, and if the second half of last season is at all representative of what he is capable of when given extended run (2.7 3PM and 16.4 points per game for the Suns), there may be more scoring upside here than meets the eye.
2017 Outlook: A minor uptick in production can be expected, but with an attacking backcourt, we worry that the Thunder may pick and choose their spots with Adams, as he doesn't have much value away from the basket. At 23 years of age, Adams could well experience a breakout, but with Enes Kanter and Ersan Ilyasova profiled as better options on this team, Adams' minutes are going to make sustaining consistent value difficult.
2017 Outlook: He left college as a raw product and that's exactly what we saw in his rookie campaign. The defensive numbers are here to stay and he was a decent rebounder in limited action, but the offensive game is very limited (over 84-percent of his shots came within eight feet) and is unlikely to expand this year. There is value here if you are just planning on the hustle stats, as Rudy Gay and Demarcus Cousins figure to dominate the ball on the offensive end.
2017 Outlook: In two weeks' time, Biyombo went from "nice reserve piece" to a highly sought after commodity, and while the upside is there, let's not overlook the fact that he was playing only 22 minutes per game for a reason last season and that he joins a loaded Orlando front court. He profiles as a strong rebounder that can block shots, but Nikola Vucevic and Serge Ibaka can both do those things in addition to score. The Magic figure to continue developing Aaron Gordon and there are only so many minutes to be distributed. Be careful not to overpay for what he did in a depleted Raptors front court last season, as that production was as much circumstance as it was ability.
2017 Outlook: It hasn't been a pretty last two seasons for Noah, but this is an interesting landing spot. He should get plenty of time in a shallow front court and the shooting ability of Carmelo Anthony and Kristaps Porzingis should open up the paint for Noah. His scoring is a weakness, but the combination of plus-assist numbers, a strong rebounding rate, and consistent contributions on the defensive end make him a fantasy starter entering the season despite the fact that he'll turn 32 this season.
2017 Outlook: We like Taj Gibson as much as anyone, but with a Rajon Rondo/Dwyane Wade backcourt, one cannot help but acknowledge that this team needs a consistent shooter that can stretch the defense. Enter Mirotic. There aren't many options at this point in the draft that are going to hoist five three pointers (at a strong percentage) and grab five rebounds a night, but Mirotic projects as such and his sneaky good defensive numbers could improve in his his third professional season.