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TheFantasyHoops: Our Guys We Aren’t Passing On

FantraxHQ would like to officially welcome the crew from The Fantasy Hoops to the family. They’ll be bringing their fantasy takes on everything fantasy basketball! Also keep an eye out for their podcast which makes for a great listen as we all get prepared for the 2022-23 NBA season.

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Our Guys We Aren’t Passing On

Early: Ja Morant (ADP Middle to End of 2nd Round)

The reigning Most Improved Player of the year averaged 27.4 PPG, 5.7 RPG, 6.7 APG, 1.2 SPG, while shooting 49.3% from the field. Ja finished 12th overall in Fantasy Points per game. Right now Ja Morant is projected as a Middle to End of the 2nd Round. I have Ja just cracking the top 10 fantasy basketball rankings at 10th in head-to-head points redraft leagues. If you can get a 1st round ceiling player at the end of the 2nd round, sign me up.

Ja has been steadily improving his stats across all categories since his rookie year and following up an All-NBA season I expect him to take another step forward. We saw flashes of Ja catapulting his game during the 2021 Playoffs where he averaged 8.0 Rebounds along with 9.8 Assists. If Ja can improve his three-point shooting percentage and get more active on the glass – the sky’s the limit for his fantasy value.

Ja Morant

Middle: Jakob Poeltl (ADP Early to Middle of 7th Round)

We have said this before but Middle Round players are some of the most important picks you have to translate into a successful season. I typically like looking for players in the 7th-8th rounds who have top 50 ceilings. Well for me one of those players is Jakob Poeltl.

Jakob finished last year right outside of the top 50 FPPG and this year is currently being drafted in the late 6th to early 7th round. Well with the departure of Dejounte Murray who stuffed the stat sheet as a Triple double machine, I expect Poeltl to soak up that lost production.

What intrigues me the most with Poeltl’s ceiling would be his passing ability as a big man. Last year, Poeltl had the 7th most APG for a Center in 2022 while playing alongside Dejounte Murray, who tallied the 3rd most assists in the league. Poeltl also finished last year with the 7th most blocks in the league. If Poeltl can increase his scoring and work on his post-up game while seeing a spike in his stats with Dejounte Murray no longer in San Antonio, he should post top 45 Fantasy value no problem.

Jakob Poeltl

Late: RJ Barrett (ADP Late 9th Round)

When you enter the later rounds (9th and beyond) this is entering the part of the draft when you look for sleeper picks. (Check out our top 10 Sleeper Picks)

My Late Round must-have player is the man who just inked a 4-year $120-mil contract – RJ Barrett. Barrett has all the necessary motivation to make this upcoming season his best year yet. RJ took a step forward as a scorer, posting 20 Points per Game last season while steadily showing an increase in his scoring three straight years with the Knicks while adding a higher than league average for rebounds as guard at 5.8 RPG.

The big lights at the Mecca should have dimmed down by now for RJ as he feels more comfortable and confident playing at MSG. Additionally, now having a legit primary ball handler out of Jalen Bruson (while also parting ways with Kemba who was a ball-dominant guard) will free up more offensive fluidity.

I’d love to see RJ attack the basket more, use his 6 foot 6 wide frame and make some contact rather than settle for the pull-up or contested three. I project Barrett to once again increase his offensive production to 24.5 PPG while also increasing his average rebounds to 6.5 RPG. Getting this type of product in round 9 or 10 is how you win your leagues.

RJ Barrett

Early: Tyrese Haliburton (ADP Middle to End of 2nd Round)

After being traded to the Pacers Haliburton averaged 9.6 assists and 1.8 steals while shooting 50.2% from the field, 41.6% from three and 84.9% from the free throw. He finished in the top 10 in the league for assists and steals while ending up 11th in three-point percentage last season. His usage rate will increase with the Pacers and I can see him getting close to being in the 50-40-90 club while finishing in the top 5 in assists and steals next season. He will be an outstanding pick in dynasty and redraft leagues.

Tyrese Haliburton

Middle: Cade Cunningham (ADP Early to Middle of 4th Round)

The NBA All-Rookie team member averaged 21.1 points, 6.5 asts, 5.7 rebs, 1.1 stls, 0.7 blks, and 1.3 threes after the All-Star break in his rookie season. Cade led all rookies in points per game averaging 17.4 for the season. The Pistons have given the keys to the franchise to Cade and his all-around playing style will bode well for fantasy in the years to come. Draft him with confidence especially if you’re in a dynasty league.

Cade Cunningham

Late: Franz Wagner (ADP Late 10th Round)

Franz had a solid rookie season averaging 15.2 points while shooting 46.8% from the field and 35.4% from three. He made the All-Rookie first team and was top 5 in scoring among rookies. Franz has a great feel for the game and despite the arrival of Paolo Banchero he should still put up solid numbers across the board. He could potentially be one of those players that contribute to a league winner so please do me a favor and draft Franz regardless of what league you’re in this season.

Franz Wagner

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