The NBA Season is a few days away and I am continuing my in-depth Fantasy Player Ranking for this upcoming 2019-2020 Fantasy Season. Make sure to check out the other rounds first:
2019-2020 NBA Fantasy Season Rankings – Round 3:
1. Nikola Vucevic – C, Orlando Magic
He’s a steady as they get when it comes to fantasy production. Last year he averaged 20.8 ppg, 12 rpg, 3.8 apg, 1 spg, 1 bpg. You will be very happy to have a consistent center on your team if you own Vucevic. If you look at the last 3 seasons though, it seems like he’s been getting better (14.6 ppg, then 16.5 ppg to 20.8 ppg). Initially you’d think that is going to continue since he’s only 28. However, he was in a contract year last year. His numbers were more similar to the 2014-15 season, which was the previous time he was in a contract year. Given that they have Mo Bamba, Jonathan Isaac, and Aaron Gordon, they may still try to move to a long, fast offense in the front court, rather than a post-up one with Vucevic. I wouldn’t expect last year’s contract worthy season, but you’ll still get a productive one, probably along the lines of a few seasons before.
2. Zach LaVine – PG, Chicago Bulls
LaVine’s numbers pretty much matched those of Donovan Mitchell’s across the board. So technically he should be higher, especially if you also believe that he’s going to break out even more this year for a Chicago team that desperately needs him to. The problem is that he’s only averaged around 45 games per year the last 3 years. That’s not someone you want to base your team around. You’ll be thrilled you have him when he’s healthy, getting you perhaps 25-5-5. Yet if his frail frame fails him again (say that 5 times fast), you’ll be kicking yourself.
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3. Rudy Gobert – C, Utah Jazz
It’s easy to think of Gobert as just a solid defensive center, but he puts up strong numbers too. Last year he averaged about 16 ppg, 13 rpg, 2 apg, 2.3 bpg, and 0.8 spg. That’s a pretty solid player to have on your fantasy roster, especially if he gets one of those 20-20 games. He improved last year and is only 28 years old, so he’s is in his prime for further development. Moving Favors out might clear up some space in the middle, and having Mike Conley at point guard might give him the ball at optimal points, thus increasing his scoring even further.
4. DeMar DeRozan – SG, San Antonio Spurs
He should be higher. Last year he averaged 21.2 ppg, 6.0 rpg, 6.2 apg, and 1.1 spg in what seemed like a down year. He’s in a contract year and doesn’t really miss games. Yet San Antonio has so many strong, young guards right now who can defend so well that I find it hard to believe San Antonio will keep giving him almost 35 minutes a game. It’s questionable if they want to resign him, and if not, they may trade him during the season which would put his status in flux. If they keep him though, and give him more freedom on offense, I could see his scoring jumping back up to 25 ppg. If not, it’ll continue to drop and you’ll be annoyed you picked him.
5. LaMarcus Aldridge – C, San Antonio Spurs
He might not be the guy you want to build your team NBA around, but for fantasy he’s super serviceable and efficient. He doesn’t miss a lot of games, playing in 82 last year, and easily averages over 20-9-2. Plop him in at Center and don’t move him all season.
6. Pascal Siakam – SF/PF, Toronto Raptors
This is the leap of faith pick. With Kawhi gone, it is Pascal’s time to shine. His trajectory based on last year and his performance through the end of the season is through the roof. He has the size, athleticism, and skill-set to get there. Yet it’s no sure thing that it’ll happen this year, as he still has a lot to learn. If he does, the question you want to ask is, how high will it go this year. He ended last year at almost 17 ppg, 7 rpg, 3 apg, 1 spg. At his best in the Orlando series, he got to 22.6 ppg, 8.4 rpg, 3.0 apg, and just below 1 blcok. That’s the most I’d expect this season, but probably closer to the finals where he averaged 19.8 ppg, 7.5 rpg, 3.7 apg. If so, that’s still a huge leap.
7. De’Aaron Fox – PG, Sacramento Kings
The trajectory for Fox shows that he should improve in his 3rd season from 17.3 ppg, 7.3 apg, and 3.8 rpg. He might be the most hyped player this year because of how well he performed last year, compared to the year before. That hype might lead to over drafting though. There are a lot of bodies that want to be fed in Sacramento, so he might take a slight back seat in scoring. Expect 18 – 8 – 4, but hope for 21 – 9 -5.
8. Jamal Murray – SG, Denver Nuggets
This should be the year Jamal Murray truly breaks through. He was more aggressive last year and is surrounded by an even stronger cast, that should allow him to continue making plays. He averaged 18.2 ppg, 4.2 rpg, 4.8 apg, which were all up from the year before. I could see him being a 20-5-5 guy before the year is through.
9. Chris Paul – PG, Oklahoma City Thunder
No one wants his contract and all of his buddies are getting pushed out of the league or close to it. Yet CP3 wants to prove he still belongs and can be a missing piece for a playoff or championship team. He did the ESPN bodies to not just show off his body to readers, but to tell all the teams that he’s as fit as ever. He knows that the only way he’s getting out of Oklahoma City is if he can outperform his contract, or at least come close to it. So he’s going to need to go hard, and I expect his scoring and assists to go up a lot from last season.
10. Lauri Markkanen – SF, Chicago Bulls
Another junior who should thrive in his third year. He improved significantly last year averaging 18.7 ppg and 9.0 rpg. It’s easy to think he’ll be a 20-10 guy this year, if not with even more scoring. Chicago will make him a centerpiece of their future and utilize his mismatches on offense early and often. Yet he missed 30 games last year and 14 the year before, so it’s worth knowing your risk before choosing him for the potential.
11. Victor Oladipo – SG, Indiana Pacers
In a down, injury-filled year, Oladipo still averaged 18.8 ppg, 5.0 rpg, 5.6 apg, and 1.7 spg. He shouldn’t have a problem getting back to 20-5-5-2 if he has the confidence he had the season before and the drive he had when that season ended. He’s in his prime age at 27 and wants to take Indiana to the next level.
12. John Collins – PF, Atlanta Hawks
If you followed John Collins at Wake Forest, it should be no surprise he’s essentially a 20-10 player. He may not be a great defender, but fortunately you don’t have to worry about that in fantasy. He’s in his third season and getting more comfortable with Trae Young, so the rise should continue for Collins. He knows he needs to become a better shooter and is working on all aspects of his game.
Where’s Zion, Hield, McCollum and others you may be asking? They are coming next in Round 4!