Fantasy Basketball 2013 Fearless Predictions
Durant averages 30-8-5
That would be 30 points per game, 8 rebounds per game, and 5 assists a game. He will also hit over two threes a game with 1.5 steals per game, and 1.5 blocks a game. I'm all-in on the Kevin Durant bandwagon. It took me a while to get to this point. For the past couple of years, I've always thought LeBron was the unquestioned #1 pick over Durantula, but those days are over. No disrespect to King James, but KDTrey5 is just unconscious and maturing before our very eyes.
This prediction is based on the fact that I've seen improvement in KD35's passing. We know he's gonna rebound, so getting 8 rebounds a game is more than attainable. He actually did that last year. We know he can score 30 points a game. He's done that before too. It will be much harder now though. If it weren't for the threat of Russell Westbrook, KD would for sure average over 30 points a game.
The stat that will be hardest to obtain for him is assists. He has averaged no more than 3.5 assists a game in a season. The good news is, he did that just last year, which was a career-high. If he had better finishing big men, it would have probably been even higher. I've noticed that KD has become a better pick-and-roll passer, and if his big men(namely Ibaka) could just finish, he could legitimately put up healthy assist numbers on a nightly basis. Scary to think that KD can still get better.
Anthony Davis will be better than Blake Griffin
I happen to believe that Blake Griffin is one of the most overrated players in fantasy basketball in standard leagues. If we are talking about leagues where FT% isn't used, then I like Blake a lot more. But in most leagues, FT% is in play, and a guy like Blake can kill you. It doesn't help that he rarely contributes in blocks and steals. Blake is still young, and could get better, but I don't see much improvement from him in the future. You can't just reinvent yourself and change your game overnight. The Steve Nash's of the world are an exception, not the norm. He'll be just like the Carlos Boozer's and Zach Randolph's of fantasy. He can improve his FTs, but I highly doubt he will turn into some steal machine or shot-blocker overnight. Some guys just aren't born to block shots.
The reason why I like Anthony Davis is the fact that he can be a monster shot-blocker at the NBA level. His numbers at the collegiate level on a stacked Kentucky team make me excited about AD's potential. He's gonna make an impact right away. He has the length to be helpful in steals as well as blocks. He won't kill your FT% either. AD could be a glorified Serge Ibaka(whom finished 11th on ESPN's player rater last season) at his peak, and almost as good as Ibaka in his rookie season. If he's dominant in blocks this year, while posting high rebound numbers, decent steals, and at least double digit points per game, he will definitely be a better fantasy player than Blake Griffin.
Stephen Curry is a top 5 player
I've pretty much made it known that I'm a Stephen Curry lover. I've hyped him up in previous hubs regarding fantasy basketball. I just really like Curry. Many owners have imagined how good Curry could be if Monta were out of the picture. No more do Curry owners have to worry about that, but there's something else to worry about: Curry's health. There's no doubt about it, when Curry is healthy, he puts up good numbers across the board even when Monta was in the line up. He's like a mini-CP3, and he's a player rater monster. Without Monta, the sky is the limit, and his assists numbers should trend upward.
John Wall puts it all together
This is JWall's year. He puts together his first elite season. All Wall really needs is a consistent jump shot to become a superstar player in this league. There is reason for optimism after I read Trevor Ariza's comments:
“I think he has unbelievable talent,” Ariza said of Wall. “I watched him play last year and then got to play with him a little in the summertime. I can’t believe that someone can move that fast with the basketball. That explosiveness, and from what I’ve seen, he’s also been knocking down his shots. He’s been working, I’ve noticed that. His jumper is looking really, really, really good, for those who haven’t seen him lately.”
JWall's jump shot could be improving during the offseason. Even if it doesn't, I still see his FG% improving with better shot selection, and having more than serviceable teammates around him. John Wall owners this season will be fortunate to have a super-motivated Wall, and this is the year he rewards his owners tenfold.
Steve Nash is three rounds worse than his average draft position
I hate Steve Nash. Not because I'm a Sun fan. Not because he bolted Phoenix for their hated rivals. Maybe because Steve Nash will be 39 next February. Maybe because he's a on a team with Dwight Howard, Pau Gasol, Kobe Bryant, Ron Artest, and Antawn Jamison. I love Steve Nash in actuality. I have gotten over the fact that he's a Faker and hope he makes his first NBA Finals appearance this year. But in fantasy, I absolutely hate him.
When I looked at the Lakers' roster make-up and thought about Steve Nash's fantasy upside, I asked myself a question. I said self. How will Steve Nash be a top 50 fantasy player in an offense that is not suited to his talents? A coach that is not suited to his talents? Think back to the Terry Porter experiment in Phoenix. Brown is really no different than Porter in the sense that he's a defensive guru, not really an offensive guy. How is Nash gonna keep Kobe, Pau, and Dwight happy? How much will Nash score? Nash's assists could be inconsistent considering Pau, Kobe, and Dwight like to operate on their own without really being assisted. Pau will be the easiest player for Nash to get assists from, but it won't be as easy with Dwight and Kobe.
There's also the fact that he has Steve Blake behind him. Say what you want about Blake, but he's a good back up PG in this league, and Brown will likely want to keep Nash just under 30 mins a game by giving Blake a decent amount of minutes. Of all the Lakers, Nash is the one I think that takes the biggest hit in fantasy this season.
DO NOT DRAFT Tim Duncan
Read closely. DO NOT DRAFT Tim Duncan. Not because he's 36. Not because he'll be playing his 16th year in the league. Not because his legs have 46,784 worth of minutes played. But because Pop is unpredictable with his line-ups. You never know when he'll just give Timmy a day off. The Spurs have a high-octane and a deep team that wins a lot of games in blowouts. He'll probably sit on either the first or second of a back-to-backs quite often. I'd give him more of a chance in roto leagues, but in weekly leagues, not a chance in heaven. Better yet, just stay away from him in every league unless you get him in a spot that you just can't pass him up. I know I just pretty much contradicted myself and this technically isn't a bold prediction. Bare with me.
James Harden has a down season
Chalk this up as a gut feeling. I sense a carry-over effect from the NBA Finals where he was butt-ugly. Harden is a good player, but would anybody be really surprised if he started off the season sucking only to get better as the year goes along, but by the time he's back to his old self his numbers won't fully normalize because of the poor start? Maybe it's just me.
Paul George is the next AK47, but only better
I get chills just thinking about how good Paul George could be. He has such great athleticism, length, and speed. He has massive upside, and he's still young. I suspect that he might just play over 30 minutes a game this year. If it's true that he really grew 2 inches last season and is now 6'10, that is ridiculous. His blocks were nothing special last year, but he proved that he can contribute somewhat in blocks. I think George blocks more shots this year, and I say he averages over one a game. Somewhere in the 1.1-1.5 range. If you get that along with a slight uptick in points, assists, threes, and FG% while his steals stay the same, you have a better version of AK47. And probably a more durable one at that.
Paul George and AK47's second season comparison per game
Prime Dirk shows up for one last ride
Dirk Nowitzki is set to turn back time and put forth one of his best fantasy seasons. I feel it. Dirk couldn't have liked how last season turned out. Getting off to a poor start due to conditioning. I say he has something to prove and bounces back in a big way with one of his best fantasy seasons in years. It also helps that the Mavs' roster got significantly worse and they will rely heavily on Dirk to carry the scoring load. 26 pts, 7.5 rebs, 3.0 asts, and 1.2 3PM is more than attainable with his usual efficient shooting.
Moar fearless predictions
Late round sleepers
Who do you think will be the better late round bargain?
- Michael Kidd-Gilchrist gets off to a slow start, has a strong 2nd half.
- Kobe Bryant's scoring takes a significant dip, but his FG% rises to career-highs.
- Josh Smith has a better year than Kevin Love.
- Ben Gordon has the best fantasy season of his career.
- Tony Parker is a bust.
- Jeremy Lin will be a steal and finish as a top 10 PG.
- Derrick Rose surprises and comes back earlier than expected.
- Carlos Boozer averages 20 and 10.
- Arron Afflalo has a better fantasy season than Kobe Bryant.
- Andrea Bargnani stays healthy all season and averages almost 25 a game.
- Jose Calderon will be to Kyle Lowry owners what Andre Miller has been to Ty Lawson owners. Always in the way and stealing stats away.
- Kevin Martin is the old KMart and puts up a top 50 season.
- George Hill will be a bust.
- Al Harrington will be Al Harrington, but even better playing on a crappy Orlando team.
- Chauncey Billups will be one of the best bargains late.
- Kemba Walker averages 7 assists and shoots above 40%.