Updated: Nov 12, 2019
The season is upon us and we're looking at who is going to be the next Fantasy Basketball Points, Fantasy Dynasty Basketball, or Redraft player that we're going to cut coupons with. In other words, who is going to be that potential breakout player that you plan on drafting later in your league before your opponent pounces. Maybe you shouldn't worry too much because not many owners are fans of Wasteland Teams or Non-Winning record teams.
Wasteland Teams Benefit at times and this can be overlooked within ourselves, because we get caught up on how well an NBA team is with their fast pace offense, coaching, scoring, defense, etc. Maybe because we want that immediate production and we feel more comfortable knowing the upside play of a guy that has the potential to flourish on a better offense. We should continue to love the upside players on better teams, but let's not forget about the Wasteland teams! Let's look at a few teams in consideration for "Wasteland Team" designation to find possible value.
Young Talent getting minutes
New York Knicks - Record (17-56) in 2018
Team Field Goal %: 30th in NBA at 43%
Team Assists Per Game: 30th in NBA 20.1
Team Points Per Game: 29th in NBA 104.6
Total Team Shot Attempts: 7,241
3 Point Attempts : 2,414
Mid Range Attempts: 1,475
Paint Shot Attempts: 3,352
Projected Starters With Dynasty Ceiling
Risk and Cutting Coupons
It's safe to say that New York Knicks are a Wasteland team that many of us owners will fade come draft day. Although the fade won't be on the following two players in most drafts coming up. The Two that we are intrigued with reaching on in drafts are Mitch Robinson at the earliest end of the 1st/Beginning 2nd round. Julius Randle is being reached for in the 4th round. Those Picks come at risk, but could be rewarding. What about Coupon/Value on other players on the Knicks roster?
Coupon/Value players that most will avoid are Marcus Morris, Kevin Knox, Elfrid Payton, Bobby Portis, and Dennis Smith Jr. It's understandable to avoid these players in fantasy because of the Wasteland team that the Knicks are, but should you consider them a little bit more? First of all, Marcus Morris and Bobby Portis will have some pretty good games during the season, but we're shooting for upside here. Bobby Portis had career-high numbers at 27.4 Minutes 14.3 Points 8.6 Rebounds .809 Free throw percentage Per Game In 28 games as a Wizard last year in a small sample size in Washington. Although all the Power Forwards on the Knicks are head-scratchers, we can believe Dave Fizdale will keep us guessing throughout the season. For that reason, I won't risk playing musical chairs.
Point Guard Battle
On the other hand, let's look into Dennis Smith Jr. and Elfrid Payton. It seems like a situation to avoid and maybe that's because Elfrid Payton finished inside the Top 100 2016-2017 and Dennis Smith Jr. could only dream of reaching that, right? Elfrid Payton is worth an add in all leagues due to the high assist rate he provides. Last 2 months of 2018-2019, Payton average 9.1 assists a game. For that reason, he's still a guy to consider, but don't assume he'll average that in New York. Now, this is where I advise you to turn away from this article because you may not be able to stomach this.
Gut Call Break out
DSJ will be a top 100 player this year. What analytics do I have to back up this case here? First of all, he hasn't even reached inside the top 200 and his percentages are putrid in his early NBA career. Likewise, he had every opportunity thrown his way to succeed in Dallas before Luka came around, and when he had a chance to flourish in New York, he also failed. Due to small injuries, the last few years are a portion of why he hasn't played well in his career. DSJ has the same back ailments that he dealt with last year going into the regular season.
Then there were speculations during the off-season that Kyrie Irving and Kevin Durant were going to join forces in New York, but instead, the Knicks went with other odd moves during offseason. Heaps of information in regards to New York have only hurt DSJ value, including Elfrid Payton joining.
Who's going to score?
In Contrast, New York needs scoring on the board each night. Therefore, we're looking for scoring from 1-3 positions of Elfrid Payton, Frank Ntilikina, Kevin Knox, R.J. Barrett, Marcus Morris, Wayne Ellington, Allonzo Trier, Kadeem Allen, Reggie Bullock, and Ignas Brazdeikis. For that reason, it's hard to trust that they will be able to anchor the load each game in the scoring department.
Other than Julius Randle, who else is going to score? Mitch Robinson only took 4.4 shot attempts a game in 2018-2019. We can expect Mitch to take more shots, but he most likely won't take 14+ shot attempts a game. Although, Mitch did average 15 points per game during the summer league recently on 7.5 attempts. R.J. Barrett could be a sneaky inconsistent guy that will have some productive games that I might add. Maybe because I have been very enticed by the minutes he has been getting in the preseason.
Dennis Smith Jr. will take on the challenge this year to be more of a focal point of the team regardless of what analytics show. His best season was in Dallas ranked miserably at 232. Maybe it was because of injuries that caused him to have awful efficiency in his NBA Career. It seems like it's very difficult to say he'll have a breakout season with the situation in New York and what has happened to him. Although, let me shed some possible light.
" I Think De'Aaron Fox and De'Angello Russell Will Breakout This Year 10/02/2018 " M. Starks Powell
Two Players that come to mind are De'Aaron Fox and D'Angelo Russell. These were two players I looked upon as breakout candidates last year. The numbers they put up the year before last did not indicate much of a reason to believe a breakout was coming either. The Kings and Nets were Wasteland teams a few years ago in the 2017-2018 Season, but the opportunity was needed from the Guard position. Fox finished Top 286 and Russell Top 193 In 9 CAT Leagues in 2017-2018. Last year in 2018-2019, Fox finished Top 70 and Russell finished Top 57. Statistically, there were not many indications that both players would have a breakout season, so what was the driving force to change my logic behind it? Simple stat that isn't used much is the Eye Test and Depth Chart.
Depth Chart Opening Day Kings and Nets Starters 2017
These opening day starters were pretty bad. Considering the potential wasteland teams that were staring us in the face in 2017. Jeremy Lin had a chance to bring back "Linsanity" but unfortunately fell short. George Hill didn't seem he would last with the Kings due to the youth movement in Sacramento. Fox wasn't the opening day starter, so we had to assume he would start later in that season. Above all, these lineups showed us that there could be a chance the following year that breakouts could formulate through Fox and Russell.
In Conclusion, Dennis Smith Jr. could potentially still be inconsistent and provide poor percentages. Current ADP at around 200 in yahoo is a coupon/bargain worth jumping on without looking back. If he is a bust in a Dynasty League it can be more hurtful to your team, but in a points and redraft league the risk is minor.
Charlotte Hornets - Record (39-43) in 2018
Team Field Goal %: 26th in NBA at .44%
Team Assists Per Game: 24th in NBA 23.2
Team Points Per Game: 21st in NBA 110.7
Total Team Shot Attempts: 7,305
3 Point Attempts : 2,758
Mid Range Attempts: 1,099
Paint Shot Attempts: 3,448
Projected Starters With Dynasty Ceiling
Bridges the Gap
Charlotte Hornets is one of the more popular wasteland teams this year. There is a lot of interesting parts on this vehicle to make you wonder who will benefit the most. Miles Bridges piqued my interest a little more than the Sun's Mikal Bridges due to the opportunity and athleticism he showed last year. He continues to climb up draft boards this year for a team that needs his particular skill set. Sky's the limit for Bridges and it would not surprise me if he finishes Top-60 or better this year in Charlotte.
The two projected starters Cody Zeller and Nicolas Batum may not last as starters throughout the regular season. It seems like Batum is older than the age of 30, but he's not. The skillset is starting to slowly deteriorate. Maybe because he wants to be on a playoff-contending team. As for Cody Zeller, his ceiling has reached its peak and it's difficult to see Zeller improve. Both players will still provide value, but we're looking for the player who can benefit the most in Charlotte.
Rozier and Bacon Potential Fantasy Basketball Points Specialists
Terry Rozier signed a three-year $58 million dollar contract and should get all the minutes he can handle, but his current ADP at around 73 is tough to draft him at. In a Points League it makes sense to get him at his current price, but in Dynasty and redraft it's a little tougher. If you're fine with punting FG% then you should consider his price tag. His Per-36 numbers last season, Rozier had averages of 14.2 points, 6.2 rebounds, 2.4 Triples, and 1.4 Steals on 38% FG shooting.
" Intends to play Terry Rozier 34 Minutes a night this upcoming season". James Borrego
Dwayne Bacon is strictly tailored towards points leagues, but not so fast! First of all, he has earned a starting role in Charlotte which gives him an instant boost in fantasy. Likewise, James Borrego wants him to not just be a scorer but to take some ball-handling responsibility away from Rozier from time to time. It's wishful thinking for him to average 4+ assists a game, but if he's capable of doing that on top of scoring, that would make things more interesting for him in all formats this year. Bacon's leash may be shorter with Rozier and other players on the team.
All eyes on Malik Monk and PJ Washington
I'll admit I was wrong on Monk last year, but I'll go do down with the ship this year believing he'll drop a 40 point game this season. A high volume scorer out of Kentucky that can fill up the basket in any game, but unfortunately it hasn't translated in the NBA. Dynasty Leagues can get him at a Coupon cost that will be well worth it. In Redraft and Points league, Monk may likely go undrafted. If he doesn't pan out, you can easily cut bait with him. Hopefully, he becomes a starter at some point this season. If not, a 6th man role could possibly work out for him.
Hanging with MR. PJ has shown some flashes here and there in the Preseason. As I had advised through Take A Ride Podcast, you should not put a lot of stock in the preseason. Although players that are attempting to get rotation minutes are the players you want to have more keen eyes on. Wasteland teams are desperately looking for a Rookie or talent that can get minutes on the floor immediately. Washington is also worth a late-round flier in all deep formats and needs to be rostered on a dynasty team.
Marvin Williams - Might hover around 110-130 ADP value at the age of 33. Should tailor off quickly at this point in his career with the youth movement.
Willy Hernangomez - Continues to let us down but could get more minutes behind Cody Zeller this year. Worth an add in the deepest of deep formats.
Devonte' Graham- If things don't pan out for Rozier, Graham could be a valuable asset in a Dynasty format. Keep your eyes on him this season.
In conclusion, this is why it's important to still use measures behind Summer League and Preseason. Maybe the reason for that is because established teams that already have starters and rotation minutes to give out will be hard to give up current roles unless skill level depreciates, gets in trouble, or injuries occur. For that reason, we should be more inclined to enjoy Wasteland teams that can provide value and can be had at a nice coupon/great value. Last but certainly not least, the usage rates of Kemba Walker 31.8% and Jeremy Lamb 22.6% are gone. Who and what collective amount of players will take advantage of soaking that up?
Thank you all for your love and support. God bless you guys. What would you like for us to write next?
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