Fantasy Review For 2017/18 Season:

The highlights were John Collins’ strong rookie campaign and Dewayne Dedmon’s career-year fueled by career-high minutes played and new-found three point shot. On the other side there were wasted opportunities to shine by Dennis Schroder, Kent Bazemore and Taurean Prince [at least partially due to the injuries but their averages weren’t encouraging either].

Changes in the offseason:

Lost = Dennis Schroder, Mike Muscala
Added = head coach Lloyd Pierce, Trae Young, Jeremy Lin, Alex Len, Omari Spellman, Kevin Huerter

New head coach is always an important new variable to consider because he can change team’s pace, playing style and players’ minutes played. But without any previous track record it’s a pure speculation what he will actually do which rises error bars for below projections. Keep that in mind while reading this preview.

Projected Depth Chart:

PG SG SF PF C
Trae Young Kent Bazemore Taurean Prince John Collins Dewayne Dedmon
Jeremy Lin Kevin Huerter Justin Anderson Omari Spellman Alex Len
Tyler Dorsey DeAndre’ Bembry Taurean Prince Miles Plumlee

Positional Battles: C, maybe PG?

Trae Young problably will be the primary point guard but Hawks acquired Jeremy Lin as if they value him as a player so it’s at least worth mentioning he could steal some serious minutes there.

But the main positional battle will happen among the big guys – will Dedmon and Len split minutes at center? Or will one of them emerge as a clear starter? Or will they both be squeezed out by John Collins if he moves there? And there are even other options possible with Omari Spellman and Miles Plumlee in the mix.

Fantasy Relevant in leagues with 12- to 15-teams:

John Collins

54,509 FG%, 72,381 FT%, 0,64 3PM, 13,68 PTS, 8,25 REB, 1,57 AST, 0,73 STL, 1,17 BL, 1,77 TO

As a rookie he was the best player in Atlanta even though he played just 24 minutes per game so it’s really hard not project big jump for him as a sophomore. In my opinion we should wonder wherever he will become a star or not but based on Hawks’ offseason I’m not sure they view him this way… why did they acquire so many big guys? Is it wise for a great finisher to be bombing threes at 34% efficiency?
Another danger to his blossoming fantasy value is how terrible his team will be. With blowouts on many nights I’m tempering my expectations for his minutes this season.
Finally, will this be a year of trying stuff to check what will stick? Facilitating on offense has a nice upside down the road but a lot of downside for his value this year if he’s not good right away at it.

Dewayne Dedmon

48,945 FG%, 76,271 FT%, 0,88 3PM, 9,2 PTS, 7,4 REB, 1,45 AST, 0,67 STL, 0,91 BL, 1,28 TO

Dedmon attempted 1 three point shot in his first 4 NBA seasons on 4 different teams… and made 50 in his 5th stop in Atlanta. I guess some tales from the offseason do come true! But career-high minutes played and one new skill hid the fact he slipped in other areas – rates of blocks and offensive rebounds were career-low and FG% obviously took a hit because of those three pointers so it wasn’t all good. This season his value will probably be lower because of the increased competition for minutes among big guys and the possibility of a trade to the contender. But he should be still able to fill out a role of cheap solid second center.

Taurean Prince

41,722 FG%, 85,377 FT%, 2,21 3PM, 14,01 PTS, 4,65 REB, 2,48 AST, 1,17 STL, 0,56 BL, 2,18 TO

Popular breakout candidate a year ago did deliver offensively in 2017/18 and even flashed some playmaking potential but his defensive numbers were kind of weak for a role player which limited his fantasy value. He’s also sneaky old for a player in his third season so I don’t expect big jumps if he were 21 years old. He should join the ranks of solid tier but it probably is his ceiling?

Kent Bazemore

40,731 FG%, 77,617 FT%, 1,66 3PM, 12,73 PTS, 4,04 REB, 3,02 AST, 1,49 STL, 0,74 BL, 2,23 TO

In cases where player is likely to be traded should you make a projection for his current team or for some generic league-average team? Or should you assume he will land on the contender because those teams will value the most solid but overpriced veterans? Those are key questions to ponder when talking about Bazemore and I’m probably optimistic here. I just feel he’s kind of wasted in Atlanta and he could be a better fit in many other cities which need a wing like that.

Alex Len

56,089 FG%, 70,508 FT%, 0,02 3PM, 8,63 PTS, 7 REB, 0,88 AST, 0,44 STL, 0,99 BL, 1,17 TO

Last year he cut down almost all of his mid-range shots which caused his FG% to skyrocket [I assume it will stick]. That change combined with his rebounding and shot blocking abilities made him a typical solid backup center. In the past player with that profile at the age of 26 would sign with a team where he could start and his value would explode. But in a current era he was lucky to get a decent backup job with a possibility of spot starts.

Trae Young

38,74 FG%, 82,402 FT%, 2,37 3PM, 15,16 PTS, 2,53 REB, 6,15 AST, 1,11 STL, 0,14 BL, 3,36 TO

Normally I would ignore player ranked so low but he will play a lot of minutes and he will have eye-catching points and assists numbers so I’ve felt obligated to include him. In short, do you remember the hype around Dennis Smith Jr last year? He finished outside the Top200 in 9-cat Roto and it’s a pretty similar situation.
Sure there’s an great opportunity and potential but with weak defensive stats, a lot of turnovers and terrible FG% it’s just really hard to project rotation-level fantasy production in those formats even with really nice averages in points, assists and threes. Though he can be a solid fit for some punting strategies or in leagues without the turnovers.

Could be useful with trades/injuries [or in deeper leagues than 15 teams]:
Jeremy Lin, Justin Anderson, Kevin Huerter, Omari Spellman

Just don’t bother with:
The rest of the roster.

Don’t forget to check the rest of the Atlanta Hawks fantasy basketball projections.

Posted in Teams preview