- Dicky Fung
Fantasy Basketball: Potential Breakout Players of 2016-2017 Season
Basketball season is looming close. I’m getting more and more excited everyday knowing that I get to watch games every night on my NBA League Pass, while also monitoring my fantasy leagues. It’s the best time of the year, with the heat going away and holidays just around the corner. Oh and how can I not mention NBA 2k17? It has been fun as I’ve stayed up every night playing it. If you think you can challenge me on PS4, tweet me @fungo24 for my PSN!
I will be covering Sleepers, Busts, and finally a Top 125 ranking before the season starts, so make sure you guys stay tune for my upcoming pieces in the next couple of weeks. I promise you they will be resourceful come your draft day.
Potential Breakout Players of 2016-2017 Season
Victor Oladipo PG/SG OKC – Dipo is going to get some serious burn in OKC. His new team features no one else besides Russell Westbrook to take shots away from him. He is also no longer under a leash like he was in Orlando. Orlando had some very questionable coaching decisions that really hurt Dipo’s development. Over the last three months of the 2015-2016 season, Oladipo was phenomenal, averaging an incredible 18.7 PPG, 1.4 3PG, 3.9 APG, and 1.9 SPG. Those numbers were good enough to put Oladipo in the top-15 during that stretch. Yes, Orlando were fools to trade him. I’d actively targeting him in all my drafts.
Nikola Jokic C DEN – The hype surrounding the Serbian has been out of control this summer, and with good reason. Go YouTube his highlights in the Olympics and watch how he toyed with Team USA’s bigs. The big man’s talents and stat-stuffing potential fills out almost every statistical category, even 3PTm (!!) You will almost never find stellar percentages in a big man, but Jokic is that exception shooting 81% FT and even some sneaky out of position assist numbers (2.4 APG). OH? And he only did his damage in 21 minutes per game last season and still finished the season with a rank of 66. His minutes should be on the rise and that can only help his fantasy outlook. There are some risks in drafting him because Denver is still filled with bigs like Faried, Nurkic, and Arthur, but his upside is way too great to let him slip late into the draft. Jokic is a high-upside gamble worth taking.
Ryan Anderson PF/C HOU – Ryan Anderson and Mike D’Antoni are a match made in heaven. Ryno fits exactly in what D’Antoni wants (all offense, no defense) and he definitely won’t be shy on launching those 3 balls. The Rockets will be a high-octane offense that almost guarantees James Harden and Ryan Anderson to average between 2.5 – 3 3PTm. He won’t block shots or shoot over 50%, but he will give you a huge advantage if you are looking for points and 3PTm. There are some injury and FG% concerns, but barring any injuries I fully expect a top 50 finish at the end of the season.
Aaron Gordon SF/PF ORL – Is Gordon a 3? Or a 4? Magic landing Bismack Biyombo and Serge Ibaka indicates they think Gordon can run small forward this season. If that is indeed the case, he has massive opportunities and upside on an Orlando team that desperately needs scoring. The high-flier will be on the radar for the rare one steal/one block/one three club. Target him in the middle rounds if you want him.
Myles Turner PF/C IND – The potential is immense. Turner’s shot-blocking prowess and advanced offensive mechanics makes him a true breakout player. His game is ideal for today’s NBA pace and I see no reason why he will play under 30 minutes per game. A top-50 finish is very possible. Al Jefferson is a shell of his former self and will be not a threat to Turner’s minutes. I believe he can win Most Improved Player this year. He’s that good.
D’angelo Russell PG LAL – Ah, my boy. All biased aside, Lakers will be one of the most interesting teams to watch in regards to the rebuild and fantasy. It’s weird and sad to not have Kobe Bryant in the NBA anymore, which is exactly why I believe Russell will break out this season. He never had the right guidance in his rookie campaign but this year is certainly different. He will play freely and be used as the primary scoring threat and playmaker under new head coach Luke Walton. Dloading won’t be Steph Curry good, but he will be utilized in similar ways like Curry is being utilized in GSW. Kobe is no longer in town, which means Dloading is ready to lead the Lakers back into relevance.
Stay tuned for my next upcoming pieces! Tweet me @fungo24 for anything basketball or fantasy related!