The 2018-19 fantasy basketball season is finally upon us, which means the six-month drought of relevant box scores is over and we get to compete once again. Our experts have spent the past month prepping you for your drafts and will spend the next six months helping you make a run at your championships.
But before that, it’s time to have a little outlandish fun. We asked our experts for their biggest, boldest predictions for the fantasy season that lies ahead. Here’s where they’ve staked their claims:
John Cregan: Devin Booker will finish in the top three in points per game and will post a top-15 fantasy season.
I have no reasonable defense as to why Booker is languishing at No. 34 in ADP (average draft position). Yes, he’s coming off of an injury-shortened campaign (just 54 games played in 2017-18), but it was also a season during which he averaged 24.9 PPG, 4.5 RPG, 4.7 APG, 2.7 3PG and 0.9 SPG. And that was just his age 21 season. There’s a strong case to be made for Booker being ranked as high as SG2. Considering he’s still four years away from being able to rent a car, there isn’t another young guard out there with Booker’s upside.
After Harden, which 2-guard could you state — with metaphysical certitude — will have a better season than Booker? DeRozan? Oladipo? Butler? Mitchell? Beal? That’s what Fantasyland must believe, because all of those shooting guards are currently coming off the board before Booker. Managers are predisposed to prefer players who score, but somehow the second-best scoring shooting guard out there is at No. 34? The mind boggles.
Last week, on Twitter (follow me @ProfessorDrz), someone asked me whether they should keep Randle or Griffin in their keeper league. It was really interesting to look at their numbers down the stretch of last season, as after the All-Star break, Randle averaged 20 PPG, 9 RPG and 3 APG, while Griffin averaged 20 PPG, 6 RPG and 6 APG. And their peripheral and defensive numbers were similar.
Randle now joins Anthony Davis and Nikola Mirotic on a fairly crowded frontline, while Griffin prepares for his first full season next to Andre Drummond. Drummond will always suck up all of the rebounds in Detroit, while Randle should still have more opportunities. Meanwhile, new Pistons coach Dwayne Casey seems unlikely to let Griffin play full-time point forward, which could help his scoring but cost some assists. But really, it comes down to health: I don’t trust Griffin’s, which makes Randle the safer bet this season in my opinion.
Jim McCormick: Eric Bledsoe will finish as a top-five fantasy point guard, ahead o