2017 Fantasy Basketball Profiles: 2. Russell Westbrook
The 2017-18 NBA season is fast approaching, and thus so is fantasy basketball season.
As part of our preseason fantasy coverage here at Off the Glass, I’ll be profiling my top five overall players for 2017-18 season.
Without any further ado, here is No. 2
2. Russell Westbrook
Free from having to share the ball with Kevin Durant, Westbrook went on a one-man rampage last year on his way to winning league MVP. He averaged a triple-double for the season (31.6 points, 10.7 rebounds and 10.4 assists), while not surprisingly leading the league in usage rare by nearly five percent (41.7 percent).
The acquisition of Paul George will have some effect on Westbrook, but his previous experience playing with Durant says it will not diminish his production all that much. George has generally been a little less prolific with a lower usage rate, so Westbrook can still be an elite, league-winning fantasy player.
By definition, Westbrook’s historic 2016-17 campaign is just that, historic. Which is to say, not likely to be repeated. But not averaging a triple-double per game again is a hardly a huge detriment to his fantasy value, and averages of say, 26 points, nine assists and nine rebounds per game are definitely in play for Westbrook this season. Even with some decline in usage rate and shot volume, improvement in Westbrook’s turnover rate (5.4 per game in 2016-17) will yield a net positive.
There’s a strong case for Westbrook to be No. 1 on this top-five, even with some expected decline from what he did last season. There’s one guy I like just a little better, but I won’t argue with anyone who takes Westbrook first overall in a draft.