Imaginative basketball players who can make or break your draft

There are many types of risks to be aware of when it comes to evaluating NBA players in fantasy basketball, whether it’s a player’s age, injury history, role in the rotation, or perhaps a statistical flaw that you should build the rest of your way on. about the team.

As you compile your fantasy basketball roster, the size and competitiveness of your league will help you determine how many risks you must be willing to take to position yourself for real in the tournament.

In this column, we’ll focus on 10 of the biggest risk/reward facing players who could make or break your squad in 2022-23.

Anthony DavisPF/C, Los Angeles Lakers

Davis is one of the most dominant attacking players in the league when on the field, averaging 23.2 points, 10.0 rebounds, 1.2 steals and 2.3 pieces per game last season. The question with Davis, apparently since entering the league in the 2012-13 season, is whether he can stay healthy. He played in only 40 games last season after scoring 36 games in 2020-21, and reached the 70-game number he played only twice in 10 seasons of the NBA (2016-2017 and 2017-18). With an average draft position of 25.6 in ESPN’s leagues, Davis goes into the third round in most 10- and 12-team leagues, and could slip into the fourth round in the eight-team leagues, making him steal if–and he is If he is big – he can stay in court.

Therese HalliburtonPG/SG, Indiana Pacers

The secret behind Halliburton, a clever midfield pick last year who is now second in most leagues (13.5 ADP). He holds the position of primary ball handler in Indiana with Malcolm Brogdon Now in Boston, there is reason to believe the 22-year-old could improve on the 17.5 PPG, 9.6 APG, 4.3 RPG, 1.8 SPG, 2.2 3PG and 50.2 FG % he posted after joining the Pacers last season. Indeed, Halliburton is a legitimate candidate to lead the league in assists. The problem is, Haliburton has gone from being a cute puzzle piece last year to a fixture on fantasy rosters this season. Anything short of a second-round production, and fantasy directors will wish they went with another highly regarded second-round option.

Zion WilliamsonPF, New Orleans Pelicans

Williamson is fit and appears to be in good health ahead of this season. In May, he was cleared of all basketball activities after shooting came back on the fifth metatarsal with his right foot clean. Hey, this is good news, we’ll take it. Williamson enters the season with renewed hopes and a new five-year extension worth $231 million. In that deal, there is a clause that requires the 22-year-old to maintain a certain weight, which should be somewhat of a guarantee. However, there are still questions about its durability. He hasn’t played a game since May 4, 2021, and entered his fourth season in the NBA after playing 85 games. With 24.4 ADP, it will take a second or third player to land him this season, and no one has more risk/reward – especially in the Points League. Zion has the potential to finish the season as a top 10 player if he can stay healthy.

Kohi LeonardSF/PF, LA Clippers

Leonard missed last season due to an ACL tear, and the last time fantasy managers saw him on the field, he averaged 24.8 PPG, 6.5 RPG, 5.2 APG and 1.6 SPG. It’s no surprise that Leonard will be back on the court and quickly becoming a fictional dynamo. Any way you look at it, Leonard has missed a lot of matches throughout his career; He hasn’t played 75 games in any of his 11 NBA seasons, and he hasn’t played more than 60 in any of the past five (one has been cut short due to the pandemic). Now 31 years old, it’s very likely that Leonard’s workload will be managed and gradually increased as the season progresses. Additionally, the Clippers have 15 players in a row this season, and that will likely cost Leonard at least a few games. He has top-notch talent when he plays, but the lack of games worries someone with 26.3 ADP.

Ben SimmonsPG, Brooklyn Nets

Simmons averaged 14.3 PPG, 7.2 RPG, 6.9 APG, 1.6 SPG and 0.6 BPG in 58 games in 2020-21, so it’s clear to see why – even after a season absence – the 26-year-old former No. general. Selection has 67.6 ADP. He can do a lot on the field, so it’s easy to see the upside. On the flip side, how many games he will play and where he will be mentally and physically are the bigger questions after a year and a half off. He must also prove that he can get along with his teammates. Simmons and the Nets know that it will take time for him to return to his old normal. It is important to determine your level of patience as a fictional manager before you recruit him.

Keri IrvingPG/SG, Brooklyn Nets

Irving is one of the most unpredictable fantasy basketball players in recent memory. Due to his vaccination status, he only played 29 games last season, making 27.4 PPG, 4.4 RPG, 5.8 APG and 1.4 SPG while shooting 47% of the field. NBA players will not need to be vaccinated to play in the United States this year, but Irving still hasn’t been able to play in Toronto, and in recent years he has missed games for a variety of other reasons. Entering the final year of his contract, Irving has a lot to play for and has the talent to hold fantastic teams. Just know what you’re crafting if you take it, because its 30.2 ADP means you’ll have to pick in the first four rounds of most leagues to land it.

giljus alexander teaPG/SG, Oklahoma City Thunder

In 56 games last season, Gilgeous-Alexander averaged 24.5 PPG, 5.0 RPG, 5.9 APG, 1.3 SPG and 0.8 BPG. He is one of the brightest young stars in the league. Sadly, Gilgeous-Alexander plays for Team Thunder, a team with a long history of tanks. Sure, they’re already eyeing MVP Victor Wimpanyama in next year’s NBA draft, and with Chet Holmgren – the No. 2 overall pick in 2022 – already out for the season with a foot injury, the fear of tanking is real in OKC. In September, Gilgeus Alexander suffered a grade 2 sprain in his MCL that further complicated his situation. The talent is there at SGA, but the 44.9 ADP makes it a risky choice under the circumstances.

Russell WestbrookPG, Los Angeles Lakers

Fantasy Westbrook has always relied on volume, and at this point in his career, he’s more suited to point leagues, as his FT% has fallen in recent years and his turnover rates remain high. Westbrook’s limited role with the Lakers last season hurt his fantasy, but he still runs 18.5 PPG, 7.1 APG and 7.4 RPG – numbers that many players love to claim. After an off-season period to better understand what worked and what didn’t, the 33-year-old could bounce back this season under new coach Darvin Hamm, a former Milwaukee Bucks assistant who insisted Westbrook are crucial to the team. The team’s success this season. With the ADP down to 75.1, this is a place in the draft where it might be worth taking a pilot for a future Hall of Famer.

LeBron JamesPG/SF/PF, Los Angeles Lakers

James was great last season for the Lakers who were without him Anthony Davis For most of the season, he finished with 30.3 PPG, 8.2 RPG, 6.2 APG, 1.3 SPG, and 1.1 BPG. After signing a two-year, $97.1 million extension, James enters season 20 with the same lofty expectations that have surrounded him since he was a teenager in Akron, Ohio. The problem is James has a 10.8 APD, which means it will take a late first player or early second player to land him, which is plenty for the 38-year-old in December who has missed 63 regular season games in the past. Two seasons. Taking into account LeBron’s age, career minutes and numbers that should be a healthy amount of rest days this season, there are reasons to be cautious here. But when he’s on the field, James is still one of the best players in the game.

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