Your fantasy draft is coming soon and you have no idea what happened over the summer. I’m here to help.For the next few weeks at BFantasyHoops, you’re going to see every team’s fantasy preview and outlook for the coming season…You’ll see who I think are the players to aim for and who to avoid. If you’re lazy, you can just scroll down to the TL;DR section. Let’s take a look at the hype surrounding The City of Brotherly Love!
Notable Arrivals: Ben Simmons (rookie), Joel Embiid (back from 2 years of injury), Dario Saric (rookie), Gerald Henderson (Portland), Jerryd Bayless (Milwaukee), and some D-league calibre and european players
Notable Departures: Ish Smith (Detroit), Isaiah Canaan (Chicago), and Kendall Marshall (Utah)
The leading advocate of the tank train, Sixers, are finally heading towards the right direction! Congratulations on finally having the first pick of the draft, in what feels like decades of busts and disappointment. I know it’s actually only three years of tanking but I’m not really a big fan of the whole lottery system. That’s another day for another topic. This year they are going to be fun to watch and should be in quite a lot of people’s radar. Particularly one player!
Ben Simmons – If you search up Ben Simmons summer league highlights on YouTube, you would feel excited for the 76ers and know what the fuss is all about. He’s still lacking a jump shot but it was reported that he’s working on it and making it his first priority this offseason. He’s 6’10, 240 lbs, and he’s going to be running the point guard duties for the team. You can expect a lot of stat lines flirting with triple doubles and popcorn stats, but the steals, threes, and blocks department won’t look as good. Plus the crowded front court of the 76ers really cramps up the minutes. Still too early to tell what Brett Brown is going to do, as he’s going to have to do some trial and error with his franchise player on what position he’s going to play. Drafting him around mid-late (8th-10th) round would be pretty ideal, especially if you need assists on your team but he’s probably gone by then.
Nerlens Noel – Nerlens Noel is surrounded by trade rumours during this offseason. It seems like the Sixers are trying to trade him away to open up space for Ben Simmons, Joel Embiid and Dario Saric to run this franchise. However, Noel is by far the best fantasy player in this team, with averages 11.1 points, 8.1 rebounds, 1.8 steals and 1,5 blocks. Noel has shown glimpses of what he can do when he reaches his potential. During the month of January, Noel reached top-10 fantasy player according to Basketball Monster and his upside is unreal. He can potentially average 2.0 steals and blocks per game, but because of the stacked front court in the Sixers, it doesn’t seem likely to happen. It is possible that his minutes are going to be around mid-late 20s, but he’s not the type of player that needs 30+ minutes to be effective. He’ll be a solid mid-round big with early-round upside, but just be cautious of possibility of him getting traded.
Jahlil Okafor – Let’s talk about Jahlil Okafor, who was the leading scorer of the Sixers last season. He’s not going to get as many minutes or as many looks this coming year. Okafor is competing minutes with Nerlens Noel, Embiid, Saric, and Simmons. That’s 5 players fighting for two spots, and by the looks of things, Sixers aren’t really buying into Okafor and Noel being their building blocks for their future. I wouldn’t be surprised if he gets traded mid-season, but his skills down low in the block is as smooth as silk. He brings an automatic 18 points to teams who need a low post threat. Sort of like a new look Al Jefferson. With averages of 17.5 points and 7 rebounds, he was only a 9th round value. I’d stay clear from Okafor, as the upside isn’t as high this year but he’s worth a look towards the late-rounds.
Robert Covington – Robert “Bob” Covington had 6th round value last year. He’s going to be crucial for the Sixers to win games this coming season, as he’s probably the only threat from range in the team, maybe Saric as well. He’s going to flirt with 3 threes a game and possibly 2 steals, but the percentages (38 percent from the field) is going to be a turnoff. Reminds you of a Trevor Ariza doesn’t he? If you don’t mind the percentages, he’s worth a mid-late-round grab.
Joel Embiid/Dario Saric – Meanwhile, the rookies that are not named Ben Simmons, are playing their first games in the NBA this year after being drafted years ago. Joel Embiid has impressed in his 1-on-0 workout videos, moving silky smooth for a 7’2’ big man. Showing shades of Hakeem the Dream. The Sixers won’t rush him to play heavy minutes, but the big man has potential and upside. I believe he’ll have solid stats even with 20 minutes a game. A late-round flier for him would be ideal if you need a big man. Dario Saric on the other hand, is another 6’10 do-it-all type of player. He averaged 11.8 points, 6.7 boards and 3.2 dimes during his stretch of games in the Olympics. Not dominating but he did show that he can stretch the floor and beat you off the dribble if he’s playing the 4 and post you up and score down low if he’s matched up against a smaller defender. He’s going to start off slow while he adjusts to playing in the NBA. He’s going to have his up’s and down’s as rookies tends to have in the league, but he’s worth a late-round pick for his upside.
- Early-Rounds: N/A
- Middle-Rounds: Nerlens Noel, Robert Covington
- Late-Rounds: Jahlil Okafor, Ben Simmons
- Deep League: Joel Embiid, Dario Saric
- Sleepers: Robert Covington
- Busts: Jahlil Okafor
Come back soon for the previews of the remaining teams in the NBA. Meanwhile, you can also hit me up @bfantasyhoops on Twitter!