The NBA season is lengthy and ever-changing. Our weekly position rankings will give you the top-3 players at each position over the course of the season. There’s sure to be some staples throughout the season, as well as some much welcomed surprises. Without further adieu …
Stephen Curry — Not much of an explanation needed here. The reigning MVP should be back at it again, looking to break his own record for most 3-pointers made in a season (as he did last season). He’ll be one of the league’s leading scorers and top assist men once again. The only downside here is that the Warriors were so dominant last season that Curry sat out almost 1/4 of his team’s fourth quarters.
Russell Westbrook — If Durant were to miss any time, I’d tell you Westbrook is the top overall fantasy player. But even with KD, Russ is still a beast, and should have no problem flirting with triple-doubles on a nightly basis. Sometimes he can force too many shots, but hey, that’s not our problem. At this point, Westbrook is the player we all thought D-Rose would be following his MVP season.
Chris Paul — CP3 isn’t the scorer that these first two guys are (although he can be on occasion), but he makes up for it in two categories: assists and turnovers. Paul is the favorite to lead the league in assists, but will do so while turning the ball over much less than the other top ranked PGs. Aside from Curry, not many PGs will connect on as many 3-pointers as CP3 either.
James Harden — Many, including Harden’s peers within the league, thought that The Beard should have been last season’s MVP. Regardless, Harden is going to be an MVP contender again this season. Harden is a deadly scorer with the ability to get to the paint, go to the free throw line, or step back and knock down 3’s. There’s no stopping him, but his fantasy value has really improved of late because of how he’s rounded out his game.
Klay Thompson — His fellow splash brother holds him back a bit because the ball is often in Curry’s hands, as it should be, but Thompson should still have another fantastic season. If he can grow as a passer and rebounder, Klay would take a huge jump in fantasy rankings, but the reality is that his scoring alone keeps him ranked very highly anyway. Thompson will be a scoring machine that consistently connects from downtown being a huge part of his value.
Jimmy Butler — Butler is probably the most well-rounded SG in the league when you factor in defense. Obviously we’re looking more for offensive guys in fantasy, but D does carry some value. For starters, defense will keep Butler on the floor. He’ll be in charge of shutting down the opponent’s top wing every night, meaning he has a chance to average 40 minutes. Butler should have a lot of steals and blocks to go with his otherwise balanced stat lines.
LeBron James — Many feel that KD is the top SF heading into this season, but I can’t knock LeBron off the top spot yet. It’s likely a coin flip between the two, but when it comes down to it, LeBron is the safer choice. James may be banged up himself, but with Durant and Westbrook both healthy, LeBron should be asked to do more this season with his team already hurting.
Kevin Durant — KD is 1A here. It sounds like he has his health and is motivated to have a career season. If Durant just stays on the floor, he’s automatically a top-5 fantasy player. He’s the total package, but what makes him so attractive is how high his ceiling is on any given night. Rostering him on a night where he goes off for 50 points and knocks down eight 3-pointers means you’re in a pretty good spot. Nobody is as big a threat to do so as KD.
Paul George — PG13 is another comeback player candidate here. Other options like Leonard or Carmelo may be more obvious, but if he returns to form, George will be a top-3 SF. The last time George was elite, he had Hibbert, Stephenson and West by his side. This season it looks like he and Monta Ellis will carry the offense, meaning George will be asked to do more than he’s ever done for Indy in the past.
Anthony Davis — Davis should not only be the top fantasy player this season, but he has a realistic shot at the MVP. AD is a walking double-double who has been working on extending his range to downtown. Keep in mind he had 200 blocks and 100 steals last season. He does everything, and yet somehow this could still be his breakout season.
Pau Gasol — Surprise! I had to give you something a little unexpected in the rankings, but this pick isn’t for show. Gasol was a legit top-10 fantasy player last season. Father time is undefeated, but if Pau has one more season like last year left in him, he should be a big time fantasy steal this year. Go check the numbers.
LaMarcus Aldridge — We need to monitor how Aldridge fits in San Antonio, but I think we all expect it to be a pretty smooth transition. I don’t see Duncan as a threat to Aldridge’s value, rather a positive. The two should work well together, and you have to think at some point Duncan may slow down a tad. All of that production projects to fall on Aldridge.
DeMarcus Cousins — I’m not sure the Kings’ somewhat loud offseason is going to translate to wins, but it definitely will be fun to watch play out. The one certainty in Sacramento is that Boogie will continue to dominate. Cousins stuffs the box score like a wing player at times, which is pretty much the best thing you can ask for from a big.
Rudy Gobert — Welcome to the big time, Rudy! This guy will average the fewest points per game on the list by far, but when it comes to fantasy, he holds a ton of value. He’s an extremely efficient scorer that’s still learning how to use his 7-foot-1 frame to his advantage on offense. But while Gobert learns, he’s going to be blocking shots and rebounding the ball like a machine. He’s so raw that you have to be intrigued if he can continue to climb towards his ceiling.
Al Horford — Old faithful, right here. Horford is just so consistent. He won’t blow you out of the water in any one category, but he’s good at everything and rarely has a bad matchup. An inside/out center that can shoot, rebound, pass and block shots is hard to find. Horford does it every night, so don’t stress yourself out looking for something very hard to find when it’s right in front of you.
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