We have reached the All-Star break in the 2022-23 NBA season! Fantasy Basketball leagues are already over halfway done so it’s time to dive into NBA All-Star weekend and hand out some hardware for the biggest fantasy surprises and disappointments of the season! Bradlee Kilgore (BK), Jordan Kligman (JK), Michael Tomlinson (MT), Kyle Frank (KF), and Mike Omelan (MO) debate a few topics and pick who they think will win this years NBA Championship!
Meet The Staff
Below are the analysts that will be sharing their mid-season thoughts and Championship pick for the 2022-23 NBA season. We’ve included their initials so that you know who is who down below, and also their Twitter handles, so you can give them a follow and let them know what you think of their opinions and interact with them over the remainder of the season for great insight!
- BK – Bradlee Kilgore – @SirBradleeK
- JK – Jordan Kligman – @416Basketball
- MT – Michael Tomlinson – @PDX_Michael
- KF – Kyle Frank – @kylefrank_11
- MO – Mike Omelan – @mikeomelan
Biggest Fantasy Basketball Surprise
BK – Alperen Sengun, C – Houston Rockets
Alperen Sengun. He’s basically received the reigns from Houston. Finally. As they run their offense through him on most nights. KPJ is out, and Jalen Green still takes a bunch of shots, but the 15/9/4 he’s averaging this year is what I was expecting from him last year (my ROY pick). He’s baby Jokic!
JK – Nic Claxton, C – Brooklyn Nets
I’ve liked Nic Claxton as a player but wasn’t willing to invest draft capital in him this season. For fantasy basketball purposes he finished outside the top 175 in 9-cat leagues. This season he’s been top 30 thanks to the insane field goal percentage and block rate (with an uptick in rebounds).
MT – Kristaps Porzingis, PF/C – Washington Wizards
While Kristaps Porzingis’s top end talent was never questioned. I like most wondered if he’d ever regain that form. Well, he’s having his best season in 6 years. In fact, he’s already played more games, 50 than he had in all but one season dating back to 2016-17.
KF – Lauri Markkanen, SF/PF – Utah Jazz
When Lauri Markkanen went to the Jazz, the opportunity was there for a solid season. I don’t think anyone was expecting an efficient 25 and 9 with 3 threes a game. He’s putting up first-round value and there’s no reason to believe it won’t continue!
MO – Buddy Hield, SG/SF – Indiana Pacers
I didn’t see this kind of season coming from Buddy Hield. Hield has been a top-25 fantasy player on the season and currently ranks in the top-40 in points and leads the league in 3-pointers by a significant margin. Hield had an ADP of 90 and is shattering those expectations.
Biggest Fantasy Basketball Disappointment
BK – Zion Williamson, PF/C – New Orleans Pelicans
I had 100% exposure in all of my fantasy leagues on Zion Williamson. I thought he’d go overboard in taking care of his body as he’s had to go through hell the last couple of years. But he still got injured. When he plays, he’s an unstoppable force of nature. Can I count on him to play 60 games in a season? I’m sad to say that I don’t think I can.
JK – Terry Rozier, PG/SG – Charlotte Hornets
I was paying over ADP to get Terry Rozier on as many fantasy basketball teams as I could. That was a mistake. He’s played much better over the last month, but he’s dealing with injuries again. The field goal percentage has been rough this season. Additionally, Rozier felt like a cheat code in roto because of the low turnovers, but those are way up this season. Terry Rozier was a top 30 player last season and top 40 the year prior. He’s unlikely to sniff the top 50 this season on a per-game basis.
MT – Paolo Banchero, SF/PF – Orlando Magic
First off, this has everything to do with fantasy manager expectations, and how a lot of smart people thought he could be a top 50 performer in season one. Welp, at the All-Star break Paolo Banchero may not even be a top 25 forward.
KF – Chris Paul, PG – Phoenix Suns
The veteran point guard Chris Paul has seen his numbers drop in every category this season, and his shooting percentage has plummeted. He’s still putting up assists and steals, but he’s leaving a lot to be desired.
MO – Robert Williams III, C – Boston Celtics
Robert Williams III was a trendy pick in fantasy this season as the Center was creeping into the end of the third and early fourth rounds of drafts but that has not come close to fruition. He’s battled some injuries this season but averaging under nine points and nine rebounds a game just won’t cut it for me. Big disappointment.
NBA Championship Prediction
BK – Milwaukee Bucks +430
The West has a lot of parity and those teams will beat each other up. I think the Champ comes from the East. MIL over GSW for all the marbles.
JK – LA Clippers +1200
I’ve picked Kawhi Leonard and the Clippers to win almost every year now. I’m ready to be wrong again. Very few NBA stars elevate their game come playoff time. Leonard does exactly what is needed at the exact right moment. Do you need a steal? Kawhi will get you that ball. Need an insanely difficult game-winning shot? Well, we have all seen the Kawhi four-bounce series winner. Health has been the Clippers’ Achilles’ heel, but they have the depth to make a run.
MT – Milwaukee Bucks +430
The Bucks might not be the splashy pick to win the finals, but when healthy their depth and defensive stature are as good as there is in the league.
KF – Boston Celtics +280
I thought last year’s team was good enough to win it all, but this is the year the Boston Celtics get it done. Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown are on a mission, and the supporting cast is as good as any.
MO – Phoenix Suns +480
I really wanted to go with the Dallas Mavericks, but I got to lean toward the Phoenix Suns here. If Kevin Durant is healthy, no one is stopping a team with Durant, Chris Paul, Devin Booker and Deandre Ayton. It’s just that simple. Charles Barkley will be dancing on the TNT set with his Suns jersey soon.