The fantasy basketball season is just around the corner and you might want to do some prep work before the big draft. For the next few weeks at BFantasyHoops, you’re going to see every team’s fantasy preview right here… And with every preview, there is going to be a TL;DR section if you scroll down. So far, I’ve covered the Atlantic and Central divisions and the previous post was on the Orlando Magic. This time we’re heading to the Nation’s Capital.
Notable Arrivals: Ian Mahinmi (Indiana), Jason Smith (Orlando), and Trey Burke (Utah),
Notable Departures: Nene (Houston), Jared Dudley (Phoenix), Ramon Sessions (Charlotte), Garrett Temple (Sacramento), and Alan Anderson (Los Angeles)
Rejoice Wizards fans! Randy Wittman is gone. Under Wittman’s guidance, the Wizards were a mess last year. After a ’15 playoff appearance, Randy Wittman decided to change things up and jack up the pace by a lot, to the point where the Wizards’ offense seemed chaotic and disorganised. Hopefully, under the new head coach, Scott Brooks, he’ll bring the Wizards back to the playoffs. And the first true test he’ll have is to resolve the relationship between John Wall and Bradley Beal, who apparently don’t like to play with each other. As for this off-season, the Washington Almost-Bullets didn’t change much to their starting line up, while they did try and beef up their bench. They went with significantly younger players compared to the likes of Nene and Jared Dudley. Let’s dive in and see which players to target and who to avoid for this coming year in D.C.
John Wall – The franchise player for the Wizards went under the knife this offseason.Wall had two knee surgeries this summer and it’s reported that the left knee surgery would sideline him for months if it was operated on during the season. It’s not the first time Wall had knee problems and it’s starting to concern me a little bit. There’s no doubt that Wall is a stud on the floor, and he’s going to be able to stuff the stat sheet, but owners have to be cautious of his injury situation. Last year, Wall averaged 19.9 points, 4.9 rebounds, 10.2 assists, to go along with 1.5 triples, 1.9 steals, 0.8 blocks and 4.1 turnovers. Personally, I think the stats are slightly inflated with Bradley Beal missing almost half the season. Fantasy GMs also have to keep an eye on Wall’s situation with his backcourt duo, Beal. If things get worse, Wall probably won’t be the scapegoat of the situation, but after Wizards giving Beal a massive contract, you never know what might happen. There’s some risk involved with picking Wall so I’ll be staying away from him in the first-round. If you’re going to be punting turnovers, you should draft him at the first turn of the draft, otherwise I would rather have other point guards like Damian Lillard, Kyle Lowry, and Kyrie Irving.
Otto Porter – I don’t understand the hype surrounding Porter. How he’s rated as a top-40 prospect, I actually have no idea. He isn’t bad, but he’s not stellar. He sort of had a mini-breakout year last year, averaging 11.6 points, 5.2 rebounds, 1.6 assists, with 1.3 threes, 1.4 steals and 0.9 turnovers in 30.3 minutes on the floor. Heading into his fourth season, he’ll probably improve on his game, but as long as he’s the fifth option on the starting lineup, I don’t see him translating that to fantasy production. Coach Brooks would likely use Porter as their primary wing defender. Meanwhile on offense, he’ll be standing in the corner waiting for the ball. His value comes from his low turnovers, so don’t pair him up if you’ve drafted John Wall or other turnover prone players. Yahoo! listed him at 36 with his ADP hovering around top-40. Personally, there are much better and exciting players to own with higher upside than Porter. I’d drop him a couple rounds below his ADP.
Marcin Gortat – The Polish Hammer smashed his ADP last year. He averaged 13.5 points, 9.9 rebounds, 1.3 blocks, and 1.6 turnovers, on .567 from the field and .705 from the charity stripe. That’s good enough for third-round value. He had this solid season even when there were times Wittman decided not to play Gortat in some situations. With the new addition of Ian Mahinmi, it’s hard to picture Gortat playing 30 minutes a game now that he’s turning 33 this coming season. Everything is relative to his ADP and as of now, it’s hovering around top-45 with his Yahoo! rank at 42. That’s a bit too high for me, as I see him more of a solid mid-round pick with his stats regressing a little bit. There’s also a possibility of Gortat being traded away this coming season, and splashing on Ian Mahinmi for him to sit on the bench for most of the game isn’t good business for the Wizards. Furthermore, Scott Brooks’ M.O. is usually splitting minutes between his centers, and with that I’d drop Gortat down a couple rounds below his ADP, making him a mid-round pick if he’s still there.
Bradley Beal – After witnessing Bradley Beal’s emergence in the ’15 playoffs, I thought Beal would have a breakout year like C.J. McCollum. Beal was my plan B if C.J. is sniped off, and boy, did my plan B go wrong. I thought that entering into his fourth-year, injuries would be behind him, and he’s going to play himself into All-Star contention. That was the hope anyway. Let me tell you, stress fractures are no joke. Especially if it’s causing you to miss significant amount of games in every f**king season. In terms of the stats, Beal had his career high of 17.4 points on .449 shooting, 3.4 rebounds, 2.9 dimes, 1.9 triples, 1.0 steal in 31.1 minutes on the floor. But you probably guessed it, he only played in 55 games. He was only good enough for eighth-round value and he’s probably going to have a minute limitation around 31 minutes per game for at least the next few years. Save yourself the pain and don’t invest into Beal but if you insist on picking him, an eight or ninth-round pick would be suffice, instead of his ADP of 84.
Markieff Morris – Markieff, supposedly the better Morris brother, had himself a disappointing season. He forced his way out of Phoenix and got traded to the Wizards. Not only that but he also only played 25.5 minutes per game, which was a significant drop from his previous year. Morris averaged 12.0 points on .425 from the field, 5.5 rebounds, 0.7 threes, 0.9 steals, 0.5 blocks and 2.1 turnovers. It’s not the best season he’s had but after settling down in Washington and going into a full training camp to gel with his team, he should probably have a bounce-back year. Two years ago in Phoenix, Morris averaged 15.3 points on .465 from the field, 6.2 rebounds, 0.7 threes, 1.2 steals and 0.5 blocks. He reached top-70 value in that season so it’s just a reminder of what Morris is capable of. Yahoo! ranks him at 129 with his ADP also hovering around the vicinity, but I’m a believer in Markieff to be rejuvenated under Scott Brooks, and possibly as the third scoring option on the team, he’ll have himself a top-100 value season.
Ian Mahinmi – The big man from France had himself a career season, with a career high in minutes (25.6), points (9.3), rebounds (7.1), steals (0.9) and blocks (1.1). He played himself into a four-year, $64million deal with the Wizards. And if you’re a believer in Mahinmi, you’re hoping the Wizards will give him a bigger role than a first-big-off-the-bench type of player. However, as long as Marcin Gortat is in D.C., Mahinmi should be seeing around 20-25 minutes per game. You might want to take a late-round flier for a cheap source of rebounds and defensive stats, and also the possibility of Gortat being shipped away. Other than that, you’ll see him on the waiver wire.
- Early-Rounds: John Wall
- Mid-Rounds: Otto Porter, Marcin Gortat, Bradley Beal
- Late-Rounds: Markieff Morris
- Deep Leagues: Ian Mahinmi
- Sleepers: Markieff Morris
- Busts: Otto Porter, Bradley Beal
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