The 10 Best Fantasy Basketball Big Men for 2016-17
It's fantasy basketball season, and that means fantasy basketball drafts.
You can get a jumpstart on your research by checking out our fresh NBA player projections, which feature total and per-game projections as well as a one-number fantasy value, showing a player's importance based on his overall contributions to your fantasy squad.
Based on those projections and value-added calculations, who are the top big men options (those designated "PF" or "C") entering the 2016-17 season?
10. Kristaps Porzingis, New York Knicks
Kristaps Porzingis had a great rookie season a year ago. This year should be no different. If the trio of Derrick Rose, Carmelo Anthony and Joakim Noah can stay healthy, he's likely to see a drop in field goal attempts, but we should see an improvement in efficiency. Oh, and you'll get consistent production in three-pointers (1.3), boards (8.5) and blocks (2.1).
9. DeMarcus Cousins, Sacramento Kings
DeMarcus Cousins is always a fantasy monster when healthy. Sure, you'll have to deal with his turnover numbers (3.7) and shooting percentage (45.6%) -- for a big -- but you'll take it, considering Cousins' 26.4 projected points per game is fourth among all players and first among center-eligible options. Boogie's a nightly double-double waiting to happen.
8. Draymond Green, Golden State Warriors
Obviously, Draymond Green is a different type of fantasy big man. He's not going to put up a ton of points (13.7) on a nightly basis, but he contributes across the board unlike almost any other fantasy power forwards. In the new and improved Golden State offense, Green will be the fourth option, but no worries -- he'll obtain a lot of his stats from distributing and hustling. If you particularly require help in assists, Green's your man.
7. Paul Millsap, Atlanta Hawks
There's a level of uncertainty around Paul Millsap this year, and oddly it has nothing to do with him. It has everything to do with the offseason departures of Jeff Teague and Al Horford. In spite of Atlanta's roster changes, we expect Millsap to continue his year-in and year-out production from his power forward position.
6. LaMarcus Aldridge, San Antonio Spurs
We are all well aware of the retirement of Tim Duncan and how it's set to affect LaMarcus Aldridge. He'll have no choice but to take on more minutes, more rebounding responsibility and more of the scoring burden. With that comes more production -- which is exactly what we project for Aldridge. In fact, we anticipate the 10-year pro's points per game to jump nearly two points from a season ago (18.0).
5. Hassan Whiteside, Miami Heat
Now that the days of Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh are over, Hassan Whiteside is now the guy in Miami. While some expect him to falter in the limelight, don't count us and our algorithms among them. The above projections would mean an improvement of 3.3 points meanwhile maintaining his outstanding field goal percentage to go along with his shot-swatting upside. Whiteside's an especially intriguing option for those punting three-pointers or assists.
4. Giannis Antetokounmpo, Milwaukee Bucks
Depending on what site you're playing at, Giannis Antetokounmpo -- like in real life -- can be anything from a point guard to a power forward. For our purposes, the Greek Freak is a combo-forward who provides the stats of multiple positions. You get the points (20.7) and assists (7.2) of a point guard and the rebounds (8.8), blocks and field goal percentage of a forward. What's not to love? The only thing you could take issue with is Antetokounmpo's lack of three-point production. If you're not worried about threes, Giannis is a first- or second-round target to build around.
T2. LeBron James, Cleveland Cavaliers
With LeBron James, you're getting what you've always gotten from him. There's the assists, rebounds and shooting efficiency. However, what you should like here is the projected increase in points (from 25.3 to 25.8) and three-point makes (from 1.1 to 1.5) per game. Rest is a bit of a concern, but that's just about the only thing wrong with selecting LeBron in the first six to eight picks.
T2. Karl-Anthony Towns, Minnesota Timberwolves
Karl-Anthony Towns' ascendance into the fantasy elite last year might've come a little earlier than expected, but he's not one to be passed up on this time around. The young center, just like his Timberwolves team, is almost certain to make a sizable leap. He's poised to add just under 4 points and nearly 1.5 rebounds per in over three more minutes per contest. That being said, all aboard the Towns train.
1. Anthony Davis, New Orleans Pelicans
Another NBA season, another fantasy basketball season where Anthony Davis is among the top projected players -- and rightfully so. When and if healthy (and that's a big if), Davis has the ability to be fantasy hoops' number-one overall player. The problem is that Davis has, in fact, struggled to sustain long periods of time on the court. Appropriately, we have accounted for that, projecting Brow to miss 11 games this season. On the contrary, if Davis can maintain his health, he's a great pick as our eighth-overall player.