MaddenArena: Buy High Fantasy Basketball Players
By: Sir Fantasy Drake
Boy it’s good to finally have the NBA back! And with an NBA season coming, you know what that means… Fantasy Basketball! And just like with any fantasy draft in any year, there are gonna be guys that aren’t seen that highly going in but take that next step in their careers and become productive fantasy players. These are a few guys you want to buy high on because they will reach that next level this year.
Let’s start by looking at a point guard. George Karl might not win many NBA championships, but his players sure do win fantasy championships! With his high-tempo style, there are tons of opportunities for players in his system to put up big numbers. And the guy running the show will be Ty Lawson, which means he will have plenty of chances to not only score for himself, but also get those assists for your fantasy team. Also, Lawson’s speed is the ideal fit for Karl’s style. This will be his 3rd year in the league and 1st as a starter. He also showed improvement from his rookie year to his second year by averaging about 4 more points and 2 more assists per game. Sure, Andre Miller will play some minutes too, but he is more of an insurance policy in case Lawson got hurt, Lawson is a far better offensive player and will see most of the minutes. You want Ty Lawson because it’s his show to run now in Denver.
The next guy to take that next step (if he hasn’t already) is Eric Gordon. A flat-out scorer. Last year for the Clippers, Gordon averaged over 22 points per game while still shooting a solid 45% from the field. This was particularly impressive because anyone who saw the Clippers play last year saw that Vinny Del Negro’s offensive strategy seemed to be get the ball to Blake Griffin every time and hope he makes a highlight reel dunk over someone (albeit not a bad strategy). But now in NOLA, Gordon will be handed the keys to the offense, which means he will shoot and score even more than he did in Los Angeles. Gordon is fully capable this year of averaging 25 PPG and becoming an All-Star in his 4th year in the NBA.
This next player ready to break out was the 2nd overall pick in last year’s draft. Don’t sleep on Evan Turner! Turner played just 23 minutes a game last year and averaged a modest 7 PPG and 2 APG. However, he still shot 42.5% from the field and it’s obvious to anyone that watched him play last year or at Ohio St. that he has the talent to get it done in the NBA. It was just a matter of getting comfortable in the pro game for Evan, and with a year of experience under his belt, expect Turner to be a guy that can average 12-15 PPG, 4-5 APG, and shoot a pretty high percentage. I mean after all, there’s a reason the man was drafted #2 overall, he can play!
It’s hard to think anyone on the Wizards outside of John Wall has legitimate fantasy value, but Javale McGee is a player that will really come on strong this year. His length and athleticism make him a lock to be a league-leader in shot-blocking and playing with a great point guard like Wall makes any big man look better and put up bigger scoring numbers, just ask Tyson Chandler about that. This will be McGee’s 4th year in the NBA and he has shown vast improvement thus far, culminating in a 10 PPG average, 8 RPG and almost 2.5 blocks a game last season in just 27 minutes played per game. With more maturity and minutes, the sky is the limit in terms of McGee’s potential; expect him to make an even bigger impact this coming season.
-Sir Fantasy Drake is one of the Fantasy staff writers for MaddenArena.com. He resides in Chicago and has been a die hard Bears fan since birth. He has also been playing Fantasy Sports since 5th grade. You can ask questions to him, and any of our experts, for any fantasy advice by signing up on the forums or posting below.