NBA Offseason: Value Added and Diminished for those who didn’t move
We’ve seen a multiple trades and dozens of important signings or options made over the past two weeks. Check out the three part series on Free Agency starting with Part 1 where we dive into the narrative of gaining or losing fantasy value for the biggest signings. Today we take a look at players who will be most affected by those signing and trades who didn’t actually move teams.
Often we are too focused on the new shiny toys and forget what was already there. There hasn’t been enough coverage of the production of already stable fantasy basketball commodities. Let’s take a look at the top 3 situations which change the most without moving teams.
#3 Russel Westbrook, Oklahoma City/James Harden, Houston Rockets
- The top two players from last year were both granted an excellent teammate in the offseason. Paul George joining forces with Westbrook and Chris Paul teaming up with James Harden. The key words here are usage and opportunity. Both Russ and Harden will see their usage and opportunity go down. When you add high caliber players who in themselves are creators you can bet the house that the fantasy value for both will be reduced.
- Look for Westbrook to have value around where he was the last year with Durant, definitely still a first rounder and top 5 but will be nowhere near the animal he was last year. Also, don’t be surprised if he just doesn’t show up in the box score for certain games. There will be times when PG13 will take over and Russ takes a back seat, it won’t happen often but keep this in mind for the daily aspect.
- Harden is in a similar situation where he was the man especially handling the ball and posing a point guard. He will not be doing that this year. Harden will still create on his own and we’ll see him bring the ball up but just not as much. He should still be the Alpha in scoring and shots taken but his assist numbers won’t be in the double-digits.
- Overall who would go first in a draft? At this point, I lean toward harden. CP3 is the best facilitator in the game and even though Harden won’t have the ball in his hand to create as much, CP3 can do it for him. The same can’t be said for PG13 creating for Westbrook. Slight edge to Harden
#2 Andrew Wiggins Victor Olapdio, Minnesota Timberwolves
- The still young (22 years old) and ever promising career of Wiggins is a frequent topic amongst fantasy basketball players. Some are still waiting for that incredible season and the talent to show through. Going into his 4th year, it was looking like this could be the year. However, with the Jimmy Butler trade Minnesota adds another high octane player who will be taking away touches from Wiggins.
- A decline in stats in predictable here. Less shots with Butler joining up, Wiggins may be destined to become an empty player – a 23 points 3 boards 2 assist guy. Not really great on a fantasy roster. Beware the hype, the pie of fantasy stats in Minnesota is only so large and Wiggins won’t be getting the big slices.
#1 Dennis Schroder – Same Team: Atlanta Hawks
- Schroder was already blossoming into a great fantasy point talent and the exodus of his teammates continued after Paul Milsap packed his bags for Denver. Over the past two years Jeff Teague, Al Hordford, Dwight Howard (arrive and leave) Kyle Korver, and the aforementioned Milsap have all left Atlanta leaving more and more of the fantasy stat pie to be eaten by Schroder.
- After finally getting the starting job last year, Schroder’s numbers jumped from 9.8 shots per game in 2016 to 15.4 in 2017. He also dished out 2 more assists and raised his Free throw percentage from 79% to 85.5%.
- Schroder should be able to take full control in his 5th year of Atlanta and they will go as far as he can carry them. One thing to note is the three pointers did not dramatically rise even though he was getting almost 11 more minutes per game. If he can start shooting the 3 better, say 2 per game instead of 1.3, then he will be an absolute beast in fantasy basketball for 2017-2018