Fantasy Review For 2017/18 Season:

Their core had a similar value to one achieved in 2016/17 but early in November they added another member to it – Eric Bledsoe. He finished the year as a Top40 player in 9-cat ranking so it turned out to be a great move for his value but it did hurt Malcolm Brogdon’s minutes and production. Also it was finally the year John Henson got a chance to start at center full time and he was decent so maybe it wasn’t the last one in his career.

Changes in the offseason

Lost = Jabari Parker, Jason Terry
Added = new head coach Mike Budenholzer, Brook Lopez, Ersan Ilyasova, Donte DiVencenzo

They hired a new head coach in Mike Budenholzer which was most important move of the offseason for fantasy. That’s because he will change multiple things about the Bucks including their playing style, rotation and minutes played. It worth checking out their preseason games for more details how exactly it will look like.

Projected Depth Chart:

PG SG SF PF C
Eric Bledsoe Malcolm Brogdon Khris Middleton Giannis Antetokounmpo Brook Lopez
Matthew Dellavedova Tony Snell Tony Snell Ersan Ilyasova John Henson
Malcolm Brogdon Donte DiVencenzo Sterling Brown D.J. Wilson Thon Maker

Positional Battles: SG? C?

I am tempted to write “none” but new head coach offers more possibilities and he may prefer Snell’s defense to Brogdon’s offense. Additionally there’s a chance Giannis will become starting center but they probably have too many big guys for that move.

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

Giannis Antetokounmpo

54,2 FG%, 75,7 FT%, 0,61 3PM, 24,18 PTS, 9,84 REB, 4,47 AST, 1,38 STL, 1,33 BL, 2,71 TO

He’s a young superstar bound to improve in some way [3P%? Finishing at the rim?] and I assume new head coach will put him in better situations to be efficient… so why his projected fantasy value didn’t improve significantly?
Because there’s one catch – minutes. Last year Giannis played almost 37 per game but under Mike Budenholzer nobody in Atlanta played over 34 minutes per game in 5 seasons. So I have to assume that’s his strategy which he will apply to all players in Milwaukee. That would be a pretty big and sudden drop among stars which could limit Giannis’ upside this year. But if you assume he plays 36+ again he will clearly be a candidate for Top3.

Khris Middleton

45 FG%, 88,4 FT%, 1,81 3PM, 17,69 PTS, 4,77 REB, 3,59 AST, 1,36 STL, 0,23 BL, 2,09 TO

Similarly to Giannis he played a lot of minutes per game last year [in fact both were in the Top10!] so just based on the same assumption of lower minutes I expect a significant drop in fantasy production.
But it’s worth mentioning Khris is in the last year of his contract which raises the possibility of a trade to another team… which probably would play him more than Budenholzer. So I guess that’s something to root for because while Middleton’s friendly statistical profile is stable his projected minutes and role can be all over the place.

Eric Bledsoe

45 FG%, 80,7 FT%, 1,54 3PM, 15,88 PTS, 4,07 REB, 4,79 AST, 1,55 STL, 0,5 BL, 2,73 TO

He joined a new better team and he lost usage because of it but a change of scenery clearly rejuvenated him. He seemed more active and he had a great season in FG%, threes and steals. The last one is important because it was his by far the most positive value among standard 9 categories and it probably won’t happen again under Budenholzer [I assume less gambling for steals].
Like Middleton he is also in the last year of his contract and Bucks already have a replacement for him in Brogdon so his chances of being traded are high. Though there aren’t many teams in the league which need a point guard [and most of them are in a rebuilding mode] so will he end up on a team disappointed with their current starter or will he stay in Milwaukee? Either way he should be solid with some missed games.

Brook Lopez

45,3 FG%, 75,8 FT%, 1,51 3PM, 12,38 PTS, 4,41 REB, 1,7 AST, 0,41 STL, 1,33 BL, 1,33 TO

Changes in the league were not kind to him so he adapted by adding a reliable three-point shot but his days of good fantasy production are probably gone. What’s worse, offseason market for centers was brutal so he chose a team based mostly on it’s quality [no better one could offer him a real possibility of starting job] but his fit is iffy. Not only he has a lot of competition for minutes [I include option of Giannis at center] but his playing style probably won’t mesh well with fast and switchable starters around him. With all that said… it’s still a better situation than last year in LA!

Malcolm Brogdon

47 FG%, 88,3 FT%, 1,26 3PM, 11,5 PTS, 3,05 REB, 2,79 AST, 0,84 STL, 0,23 BL, 1,3 TO

Big loser of Bledsoe’s arrival was still useful in fantasy thanks to the stellar percantages but his outlook for this year is really a pure guess. There are 3 main possibilities for him:
– [best-base scenario] full time starter at PG with another Bledsoe trade or injury,
– [worst-case] backup guard behind Bledsoe and Snell.
– somewhere in the middle between above two [the most realistic scenario].

Depending on assumptions his value can be all over the place so which guess do you take?

Could be useful with trades/injuries [or in deeper leagues than 15 teams]:
John Henson, Ersan Ilyasova

Just don’t bother with:
Matthew Dellavedova, Tony Snell

Don’t forget to check the rest of the Milwaukee Bucks fantasy basketball projections..

Posted in Teams preview