Fantasy Basketball Dynasty: Brandon Ingram Outlook
Welcome to the Brandon Ingram Fantasy Basketball Dynasty article! If you haven't already, check out our Dynasty article on Bam Adebayo.
Brandon Xavier Ingram was born on September 2, 1997, in Kingston, North Carolina. He stands at 6‘7 and weighs 196 lb. He has a 7’3 wingspan and 9-foot-1 inch standing reach. His ability to use his long wingspan to consistently get shots up over defenders and block shots on the defensive end frequently leads to Kevin Durant comparisons.
As a high school senior, Ingram averaged 24.3 points, 10.4 rebounds, 2.3 assists, 1.6 steals, and 3 blocks per game. He was a five-star recruit and widely considered one of the best high school prospects of the 2015 class.
Before deciding to play under Head Coach Mike Krzyzewski at Duke University, Ingram had offers from North Carolina, Kansas, Kentucky, UCLA, and North Carolina State.
Ingram spent one year in the NCAA averaging 17.3 points, 2.2 three-pointers, 6.8 rebounds, 2 assists, 1.1 steals, and 1.4 blocks. He and teammate Luke Kennard led Duke to the “Sweet 16” before being eliminated by the Oregon Ducks.
During his lone season at Duke, Ingram received multiple awards including the 2015-16 ACC All-Freshman, ACC Rookie of the Year, All-ACC 2nd Team, Wooden Award – Preseason, and 2016 NCAA Tournament All-Region.
After his freshman season concluded, he decided to enter the 2016 NBA Draft. Ingram was selected by the Los Angeles Lakers with the second pick behind first overall pick Ben Simmons.
Ingram played 79 games while starting in 40 of them during his rookie season. With the Lakers lacking depth and overall talent, he received a ton of run in his first year averaging 28.8 minutes per game.
In those 28.8 minutes, Ingram averaged 9.4 points, 0.7 three-pointers, 4 rebounds, 2.1 assists, 0.6 steals, and 0.5 blocks while shooting 40% from the field.
Ingram was named to the 2016-17 All-Rookie 2nd Team.
Next Two Years
Brandon Ingram went on to play two more years for the Lakers before being traded.
Here’s a breakdown of his stats in the two years following his rookie season:
2017-18 (Age 20): 16.1 points, 0.7 three-pointers, 5.3 rebounds, 3.9 assists, 0.8 steals, and 0.7 blocks on 47% shooting.
2018-19 (Age 21): 18.3 points, 0.6 three-pointers, 5.1 rebounds, 3 assists, 0.5 steals, and 0.6 blocks on 49% shooting.
During his first three years in the NBA, Ingram was showing a pattern of being a solid scorer while providing low-end rebounds and assists with very little three-pointers, steals, and blocks.
At this point, he was a much better real-life player than a fantasy player.
Immediately following the trade, Brandon Ingram’s path to minutes was looking plentiful and safe until the Pelicans landed the number one pick in the 2019 NBA Draft. With the first pick in the 2019 NBA Draft, the Pelicans selected Zion Williamson out of Duke University.
Zion Williamson was widely considered one of the top prospects in the 2019 draft and the assumption was that he would become any team’s focal point and star. The Pelicans desperately needed star power to replace Anthony Davis and they got their answer with Zion.
With Zion Williamson coming to town, Brandon Ingram was left with a murky fantasy future.
Before the season began, Zion Williamson tore his right meniscus. With Zion projected to be sidelined for 6-8 weeks, Ingram was looking at increased opportunity. He took FULL advantage.
In the first 39 games without Zion, Ingram averaged 25.6 points, 2.5 three-pointers, 6.7 rebounds, 4.4 assists, 0.9 steals, and 0.8 blocks while shooting 48% from the field.
He was launching and making three-pointers LEFT AND RIGHT. During Ingram's first three years in Los Angeles, Ingram averaged just 0.7 three-pointers while shooting 33% from deep. So far in New Orleans, he’s averaging 2.5 three-pointers while shooting 39% from deep. He's also scoring, stealing, and blocking more.
At age 22, Ingram was showing the world what he was capable of, and he was proving he was one of the best players in the NBA. In those 39 games without Zion, he was a Top 15 fantasy player in nine-category leagues according to Yahoo Sports.
When Zion returned to the court on January 22nd, things changed for Ingram. As Zion was getting more and more comfortable on the court, Ingram started to look more and more uncomfortable.
In the 17 games playing alongside Zion, Ingram is averaging 21.1 points, 2.4 three-pointers, 5.2 rebounds, 4.2 assists, 1.2 steals, and 0.3 blocks while averaging 44% from the field. Those are good-looking stats, but the decrease in points, blocks, and field goal percentage is a bit concerning.
He was easily a Top 15 player without Zion but is now barely clinging onto Top 100 status.
Although Ingram has enjoyed a breakout year, he is not quite the fantasy player we saw during the first half of the 2019-20 season. To expect Top 15 numbers from Ingram moving forward would be a mistake.
However, Ingram is only 22-years-old. We’ve seen what he could do when given the keys to the offense, and that can’t be ignored. I expect him to average somewhere between the numbers he posted with and without Zion.
Strengths: PTS, 3P, FT% Semi-Strengths: FG%, REB, AST, STL, BLK, TO
Ingram is a prime target for dynasty owners in the 3rd round (Picks 28-35). If he and Zion can build on their chemistry over the offseason, it should lead to Ingram producing more consistent across-the-board stats next season.
He shouldn’t slip past the third round of any dynasty draft.
For context purposes, I have given a list of players that have a similar Dynasty ranking to Brandon Ingram going into next season:
I'm taking Brandon Ingram OVER
Players I'd take OVER Brandon Ingram
LeBron James (unless rebuilding)
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God bless all of you!
Jacob W. Dunne