NBA 2018-2019 Season Must-have Players
Some must-have players for the 2018-2019 NBA Season that might fly under the radar come fantasy draft day.
With a majority of the attention focused on the NFL right now, it is easy to overlook that NBA training camps open up today Sept. 28th with its first preseason game. The first regular season tipping off in less than 3 weeks on October 16th. Let DKL give you the fantasy edge with some NBA players you can snag in mid-later rounds, that will eventually turn your roster into an unbeatable force.
Jamal Murray (DEN)
There is no more questions about the PG position for the Nuggets, Murray is clearly the main option at PG now after a strong 2017-2018 season with Denver. Denver ranked 6th in offensive efficiency last season and showed that they could score with the best teams in the NBA. Most of this was due to great ball movement, and giving the keys over to Murray who has one of the best shots in the NBA. Jamal has one of the purest shots, so that means he should improve on a 37% 3-point percentage, and a 45% field-goal percentage. Look for Murray to capitalize in a fast paced system that can put up big scoring nights, the team lacks defense, but most of fantasy is based on offensive stats.
Kris Dunn (CHI)
I personally spoke to Horace Grant about some of the young talent in Chicago and where the franchise is heading. Grant is in the Bulls front office and has been for several years now. Dunn has been given the reigns to lead Chicago’s backcourt. Mostly due to the fact that the Bulls really don’t have anybody else capable of running an NBA offense, let alone play defense. Dunn is the only player that can defend and has a strong 6-9 wingspan for a PG. Given the fact that Zach LaVine and Jabari Parker are two of the worst defenders in the NBA, this should lead to a lot of minutes for Kris Dunn. If Dunn can improve on his shot making and ball handling, he can clearly be the lead focal point in Chicago for a team that is still in its growing pains. Look for Dunn as a mid-round low risk option with a huge upside.
Tyreke Evans (IND)
Evans went back in time to his semi-healthy self last year and had the best season of his career in Memphis averaging 19 points with an astounding 52% field-goal percentage. Though he mostly went under the radar with so much talent in the NBA, I look for him to have the same role in Indiana and be the main option off the bench. Evans has also shown that he can shoot the 3-ball hovering around 40% over the last two seasons. You can expect him to be a reliable solid cheap option coming draft day for points, assists, 3-points, and he is still under 30 years old.
Devin Booker (PHX)
Do the Suns finally have a solid plan for their future? I believe they are finally making strides in the right direction. Though the Suns will still be rather terrible this year, they might have a brighter future on the horizon and it all starts and ends with Devin Booker. Devin Booker’s shot making ability and shot selections are only getting better year after year, and with a 30% usage rate which is extremely high, elite high. The adding of Trevor Ariza who is a veteran guy can show how both sides of the ball are played in which Ariza is one of the best in the league at doing. Then throw in a freakish athlete in DeAndre Ayton and it can be a great pick-and-roll situations for Booker. The kid is only 21 years old and the future is bright for Booker, he is one of my top picks heading into the 2018-2019 season.
Kris Middleton (MIL)
Kris Middleston is back and healthy, I love this guy. He played in all 82 games last year and showed a solid all around game. If you are looking for a guy in heading into his prime, it his him. In his 2017-2018 season Middleton averaged 20.5 points per game and 5.7 rebounds per game to go in which both were career highs. Those stats didn’t even include his steals and blocks which were both respectable. New head coach Mike Budenholzer will probably get away from isolation ball and head to a more spread offense with open looks, and Middleton can shoot. He is another one of my top picks heading into the 2018-2019 season.
Josh Jackson (PHX)
Jackson is the only two-way player that the Suns truly had last year which means he should see an increase in playing time. Jackson had a great second half once he figured out how to excel in the NBA and use his strengths putting up 18.7 points 5.9 rebounds and 1.6 steals per game. Even though he only averaged 25 minutes last year he had a usage rate of 26% which means he should get lots of looks this year. I expect his numbers to get even better in his Sophomore year, and with the lack of scoring in Phoenix I can see Booker and Jackson absorbing most of the shots. Jackson should be taken early in Dynasty leagues and low to mid tier range in most drafts.
Taurean Waller Prince (ATL)
Prince had a stellar rookie season and looked like the two-way player that he is. This guy can fill a stat sheet and if his shot gets better look out because Atlanta is desperate for offense. Atlanta has a nice young core in Prince, Collins, and Trae Young so scoring might come hard to find at times, but these guys can put up points. With Prince filling the stat line on a nightly basis I will definitely be taking him in the later rounds as a great sleeper.
John Collins (ATL)
Collins is the other bright spot for Atlanta, and he has more offensive potential then Prince will ever have. Collins only played about 24 minutes a game last year with an average of 10.7 points and 7.5 rebounds. Look for him to reach double-double type of stats on a nightly basis if he can stay out of foul trouble. Collins can block at a high rate as well, the only problem is as stated before he fouls a lot. If he can clean up some of the fouls like he did in the Vegas summer league where he averaged 24.2 points, 8.4 rebounds and even shot the three ball well, then he can get more minutes in which equals more production. His potential is high, so keep him on your radar.
Jarrett Allen (BKN)
Allen has already shown us he can protect the rim at an elite level to go along with rebounding. When Allen was given more than 25 minutes in his rookie campaign he showed spurts of all star capable numbers. Given his current draft position his upside is very hard to ignore, especially if he can average over 25 minutes a game. Allen isn’t as good as many of the players listed above, but you should be able to get him at a steal of a late round pick.
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