Instant Impact: How High Should Our Expectations Be For Jabari Parker?

by Ray Kuhn

I don’t think it is a stretch to say that Jabari Parker is the best player on the Milwaukee Bucks.

When doing overall rankings for this season, Larry Sanders comes out ahead, but that is based on the fact that he is a center who blocks shots at a high level while rebounding well and adding some scoring. Aside from Sanders, the Bucks do have OJ Mayo and Brandon Knight in their backcourt, but to say that Parker becomes the focal point of the offense and Milwaukee’s best player would not be an understatement.

Of course these are high expectations for the second overall pick of this past June’s draft that only played one year of college basketball for Duke. Yes, Parker did enter college with an NBA ready body and it is clear that he is a talented player, but there were some growing pains. Read more

Familiar Faces In New Places: Breaking Down Three Shooting Guards Who Have Relocated

by Will Overton

This was an incredibly busy offseason in the NBA, and maybe it was just the magnitude of the names that made it seem that way, but there were lots of under the radar moves too. The impact of the offseason is far reaching, and too far reaching to break down each of these moves one by one. So that’s why I am grouping some of them together to try and hit on as many familiar faces in new places as I can get to.

A change of scenery can really change the landscape of a player’s fantasy value in a big way and it’s important to not gloss over this piece and assume they’ll put up the same numbers in their new home as their old one.

Today we’re going to hit on three shooting guards who landed on different teams this offseason and dissect what that means for their fantasy value: Read more

Is Ricky Rubio Ready To Step Up To The Plate Post-Kevin Love?

by Will Overton

The big news of the offseason was the Cavaliers signing of LeBron James and then subsequent trade for Kevin Love. It created one of the most buzzworthy offseasons the NBA has seen ever. Now we get to talk about the fantasy implications of all of it.

Here at Rotoprofessor we have already dissected the domino effect on the major players in Cleveland with “The King” arriving to town. Now I want to step back and look at the effect of Kevin Love’s departure from Minnesota. Specifically we are going to focus in one guy in particular and that is Ricky Rubio, the team’s point guard.

This is really a make or break year for Ricky Rubio on the Timberwolves. This is year four in the league now and the T’Wolves are looking to see some solid improvement from Rubio as they try and decide if he can be the point guard for their rebuilding effort post-Kevin Love. The big question is whether Love leaving town hurts or helps Rubio’s cause this season. Read more

Breaking Down Bradley Beal: How High Should You Be Drafting Him This Year?

by Ray Kuhn

I like Bradley Beal for this season. There I said it. But just because I like Beal, this does not mean I will own him in every league. When talking about players you like in general, it is important to remember how they fit on your overall draft board.

Saying that I like Beal does not mean the same thing as saying that I like Anthony Davis. Davis is a player I like and I would take in the first round, but that is because he is worth a first round pick.

So will I take Beal in the third round? No, not at all.

When I say I like Beal, it means that I generally like him better than other players who are ranked and projected to finish in a similar range; say between 45 and 65. Read more

Sophomore Surge: Four Second Year Players Who Should See A Fantasy Boost

by Will Overton

One of the questions you always hear in fantasy circles is whether this guy or that guy is going to take the next step in his second season or if he’ll regress. You don’t usually hear much middle ground discussed, it’s either one or the other.

Often times we do get just a glimpse of a guys potential in their rookie season and for one reason or another they don’t get a chance to show all they can do. In this article I am looking at four guys who I think have the potential to show up as sophomores in the NBA and far exceed what they did as rookies.

Here are four of the sophomores I see surging to the next level this season:

Steven Adams – C, Oklahoma City Thunder: Not much fantasy attention gets paid to anyone in Oklahoma City outside of their big three. Which Kevin Durant, Russell Westbrook and Serge Ibaka do make up the large majority of production on this team, but there is still room for a little bit more. I think Steven Adams is a guy on the verge of making some noise in fantasy circles. Read more

Brooklyn’s Finest: Is Brook Lopez As Valuable To Fantasy Owners As He Is To The Nets?

by Ray Kuhn

The Brooklyn Nets need Brook Lopez this season. Last season his presence in the middle was sorely missed as the center only played in 17 games due to a foot injury. But from a fantasy perspective, how much should this matter?

The quick answer is not as much as it does to the Nets, as Lopez will be more valuable to Brooklyn than his fantasy team. This is only partly attributable to his health concerns that should be on your mind if you draft Lopez this season.

No article about Lopez is complete if we didn’t address his troubles staying healthy, so let’s get that out of the way. Entering this season all signs do point to Lopez being healthy, but two of his last three seasons have been complete wastes for him. After beginning his career playing in all 82 games for the first three seasons, Lopez appeared in just five games in 2011. He did bounce back to play in 74 games the following season before making it through only 17 last season. Read more

What Does Paul George’s Injury Mean To The Rest Of The Indiana Pacers?

by Will Overton

The last couple of days Paul George has been in the news for all of the wrong reasons. A perfect example of why you have to think things through before posting your thoughts and opinions for millions and millions of people to read and scrutinize.

I’m not here to talk about that stuff though, it’s not my job. My job is to talk about fantasy players and their value. For Paul George after an absolutely horrendous injury this summer playing for Team USA he won’t have any fantasy value this year. No matter what you think about what he just said it’s truly a shame as George has been getting better and better every year and was right there on the brink of the fantasy elite.

Just because George doesn’t have fantasy value doesn’t mean he won’t be impacting this season. With Paul George shelfed that’s 21.5 PPG, 3.5 APG and 6.8 RPG and some of that production is going to end up somewhere else. Read more

Fantasy Throwdown: Joakim Noah vs. Serge Ibaka

by Will Overton

We talk a lot about how you can’t go wrong in the first couple of rounds and that’s not where you win your leagues. There’s truth to that, but that doesn’t mean you can go blindly into your draft and take just anyone. Everyone should go in with a preference in mind.

I am going to try and help fantasy owners navigate things a bit. Owners are going to face some tough calls in the draft room this year and while both choices might be good ones, one will end up being better than the other and you want more than good, you want the best.

We will be doing a few of these fantasy throwdowns comparing two guys with similar draft stock and discussing which one is the better pick. I will make a case for each guy and then offer my personal choice. For our first throwdown we have two big men coming off career years, Joakim Noah and Serge Ibaka. Both guys are likely second round picks who would be steals in the third round. Which one should come off the board first? Let’s take a look: Read more

What Should We Expect From Michael Carter-Williams In His Sophomore Campaign?

by Ray Kuhn

What supporting cast? To say that Michael Carter-Williams is going at it alone in Philadelphia would be an understatement.

Yes, the 76ers do have some potential, but they are very young and raw. From a fantasy perspective, other than Carter-Williams, there is not much to see here. If you are a fan of Philadelphia, you know, or more likely are forced to hope and have some blind faith, that better days are ahead. But that won’t help you win your 2014-2015 fantasy league. And it certainly will not have impact on the standings either.

Last season Carter-Williams at least had Thaddeus Young as a legitimate threat, but the forward now calls Minnesota home and in his place are two non factors, Alexey Shved and Luc Mbah a Moute, from a fantasy perspective. Read more

Don’t Sleep On Sully: The Potential Breakout Status Of Jared Sullinger

by Will Overton

Drafts are not as much won and lost in the early rounds as they are the middle rounds. In the first two rounds you should be getting a sure thing and the only way you get crushed is by an injury. In the middle rounds is where your guessing at who will breakout and which veterans have another year in them before they fall off the cliff.

Identifying breakout players can be a challenge, but there are a few indicators to watch for. A guy playing on a team that allows his stats to rise above his talent is always a plus. Every year a couple of good players are thrust into bigger roles than there talent may call for and they exceed expectations just based on opportunity.

Another key factor is looking for indicators in the previous season that make you believe he has taken a step forward and is on the verge of breaking out even further. There are a few guys I like who fit that bill and one of my favorites is Jared Sullinger of the Boston Celtics. Read more