Fantasy Review For 2017/18 Season:

Everybody relevant disappointed with lower fantasy value in Roto than projected before the season so it’s no wonder they changed a head coach to mix things up. James Borrego is an unknown in terms of tendencies so it’s kind of impossible to predict what he will do with this opportunity but one have to assume some players will bounce back by the regression to the mean alone…

Especially when they got rid of Dwight Howard who became a scapegoat for whatever happened there.

Changes in the offseason:

Lost = Dwight Howard
Added = head coach James Borrego, Bismack Biyombo, Tony Parker, Miles Bridges, healthy Cody Zeller

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
Kemba Walker Jeremy Lamb Nicolas Batum Marvin Williams Cody Zeller
Tony Parker Malik Monk M. Kidd-Gilchrist Frank Kaminsky Bismack Biyombo
Malik Monk Nicolas Batum Miles Bridges M. Kidd-Gilchrist Willy Hernangomez

Positional Battles: SG for sure, maybe PF?

According to the reports Batum will play more at SF so it opens up some minutes at SG.
It’s easy to assume in the beginning they will go to incumbent Lamb but it’s worth mentioning their front office is high on Malik Monk so he could win the job during the season.

The problem with Monk as a sleeper is he was very bad last year with only 36% from the field and terrible defensive numbers so he needs a massive improvement just to reach a level of solid backup. He is very young and he shot way better during freshman season in NCAA so it’s possible he will do it or even jump up multiple levels, just don’t bet a lot draft dollars on it because the odds are against him.

At PF there are two options: Marvin Williams and Michael Kidd-Gilchrist and the decision will probably come down to the value of spacing in the eyes of new head coach. In current era my default is “he will choose spacing”.

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

Kemba Walker

42,724 FG%, 84,95 FT%, 3,09 3PM, 22,07 PTS, 3,78 REB, 5,31 AST, 1,2 STL, 0,32 BL, 2,12 TO

On the surface last season looks like a typical Kemba year since he has established himself as a legit all-star but there were 3 small changes which lowered his Roto value – turnovers went up, usage went down and rebounds took a huge hit. All of those factors could be attributed to playing a lot next to Dwight Howard so he should have a slightly better season in 2018/19.

Nicolas Batum

42,35 FG%, 84,429 FT%, 1,78 3PM, 14,22 PTS, 5,63 REB, 5,64 AST, 1,14 STL, 0,5 BL, 2,41 TO

After 2 solid years in Charlotte Batum suddenly became a fringe starter which could be a sign of age-related decline or lost interest. But in my opinion the biggest factor for it happened early in October – he had a pretty serious injury to his left elbow which probably had lingering effects and at least partially caused his more passive play. I assume after the offseason of rest he will bounce back to another solid season.

Jeremy Lamb

45,789 FG%, 85,769 FT%, 1,14 3PM, 12,82 PTS, 4,56 REB, 2,07 AST, 0,77 STL, 0,45 BL, 0,99 TO

After multiple seasons below 20 minutes per game Lamb finally got a real chance and at least in fantasy Roto he delivered finishing with solid stat-line. He would be the sleeper of this team with the possibility of more minutes at SG but it seems to me that Monk will stop this parade early in the season. Please note that with assumption “Monk will be a bust” this projection significantly undervalues him… but also don’t get carried away as it was his first season with such large role – coaches just don’t trust him.

Marvin Williams

42,804 FG%, 83,721 FT%, 1,68 3PM, 10,01 PTS, 5,62 REB, 1,31 AST, 0,79 STL, 0,51 BL, 0,83 TO

It’s very hard to predict what will new coach do with Marvin because there are only two excluding options here:
1) his role will be diminished as he’s 32 years old and there are multiple prospects who could replace him in the starting lineup,
2) his role will increase because currently he’s the best two-way player among all PFs.
It really depends on the teams’ priorities but I assume they will fight for the playoffs so I’m kind of optimistic on Marvin. But we will see early if that’s a wrong choice.

Cody Zeller

53,968 FG%, 74,622 FT%, 0,03 3PM, 9,3 PTS, 6,29 REB, 1,29 AST, 0,65 STL, 0,85 BL, 1,02 TO

Last season was a lost one because of the injuries and Hornets’ gamble on another center.
Hopefully both factors won’t be true this year so Zeller will be able to thrive again as a low-end starter.
But with Bismack again in town his upside is fairly limited.

Could be useful with trades/injuries [or in deeper leagues than 15 teams]:
Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, Frank Kaminsky, Miles Bridges, Malik Monk, Bismack Biyombo

Just don’t bother with:
Tony Parker [name recognition is the only thing left at this point].

Don’t forget to check the rest of the Charlotte Hornets fantasy basketball projections.

Posted in Teams preview