Fantasy Review For 2017/18 Season:

Josh Richardson’s breakout year and solid contributions from backup centers were on the positive side but it was overshadowed by struggles from the rest of starting lineup. Dragic fell off a cliff, Waiters was a pure bust and James Johnson simply couldn’t replicate his breakout season from the previous year. On top of that their best fantasy player Hassan Whiteside missed a lot of games and did not see eye to eye with the coach so he dipped as well. Overall that was a massive regression and all the nice memories from 2016/17 faded away.

Changes in the offseason:

Lost = Fringe Players.
Added = Fringe Players.
That’s a great example how high payroll and lack of flexibility can affect teams…

Projected Depth Chart:

Goran Dragic Dion Waiters Josh Richardson James Johnson Hassan Whiteside
Tyler Johnson Wayne Ellington Justise Winslow Kelly Olynyk Bam Adebayo
Dwyane Wade Derrick Jones Udonis Haslem Kelly Olynyk

Positional Battles: SG, C?

Dion Waiters has not yet been cleared by a doctor for full-contact activity with is not a great sign so close to the preseason but it means an opportunity for someone else. Wayne Ellington, Tyler Johnson or Justise Winslow [with Richardson sliding to the SG] will benefit the most but all are fringe options at best. Especially with Wade back for last season it’s a logjam.

At the center slot Whiteside probably will start early in the season but it could be just a showcase to trade him down the road so we maybe will see more minutes for Olynyk and Adebayo.

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

Hassan Whiteside

54,518 FG%, 66,775 FT%, 0 3PM, 12,91 PTS, 11,4 REB, 1,15 AST, 0,57 STL, 1,65 BL, 1,59 TO

In my opinion Hassan Whiteside has the widest range of possible non-injury related outcomes in the entire league. In his best case scenario he could be a Top20 fantasy player again [like in 2016/17] but in his worst case scenario he could land in the doghouse or he could become 3rd string center which would make him a drop candidate in most settings. Because of his contract and past performances I believe he will get a chance and he will put up some good numbers but please consider there’s way more risk involved with him than with other players of the similar value.

Josh Richardson

43,499 FG%, 82,53 FT%, 1,67 3PM, 12,13 PTS, 3,4 REB, 2,68 AST, 1,32 STL, 0,84 BL, 1,55 TO

Sudden improvements are great for the players but they are tough for the analysts because what is a new normal and what was just a fluke? For example, can we say for certain that Josh in 2018 is a 82,5% free throw shooter or should we still strongly consider last 6-7 years [including NCAA] when he was significantly worse than that? Sample size was bigger for the latter but the former was more recently so which part is more important? I’m usually hedging in those cases because of the regression to the mean but if you believe last season was his new normal you should bump him up in your rankings. Hell, he’s young enough to have another mini-leap in him.

James Johnson

48,17 FG%, 68,722 FT%, 0,83 3PM, 10,56 PTS, 4,77 REB, 3,64 AST, 0,96 STL, 0,74 BL, 2,02 TO

Speaking of new normal here’s an example that breakout year can be a reason to avoid such player for the next season. JJ’s threes and blocks collapsed and he needed a big jump in FG% to not lose more than half of his fantasy value in Roto. He should stabilize as a solid option for the bottom of your rotation but as a 32-year old in the crowded rotation he has more risk than upside.

Kelly Olynyk

47,684 FG%, 76,371 FT%, 1,45 3PM, 11,71 PTS, 5,77 REB, 2,96 AST, 0,8 STL, 0,48 BL, 1,97 TO

Another interesting case of what to do with career-years. Olynyk didn’t do anything new for him in 2017/18 but he improved because he just played more minutes than usual and he had more on-ball opportunities which in my opinion is entirely sustainable. The only risk here is can he repeat those minutes with healthy Whiteside around? I hope he played too well not to.

Goran Dragic

44,765 FG%, 78,328 FT%, 1,34 3PM, 16,26 PTS, 3,74 REB, 4,63 AST, 0,77 STL, 0,15 BL, 2,2 TO

Last year looked like a beginning of the end for Goran. His role and minutes went down but what’s the most worrisome his athletic markers went south as well. For a point guard close to his 33rd birthday that could be just father time being undefeated. Buyers beware, this could be his last season of relevance in fantasy hoops.

Could be useful with trades/injuries [or in deeper leagues than 15 teams]:
Tyler Johnson, Wayne Ellington, Bam Adebayo

Just don’t bother with:
Dwyane Wade, Justise Winslow, Dion Waiters

Don’t forget to check the rest of Miami Heat fantasy basketball projections.

Posted in Teams preview