Fantasy Review For 2017/18 Season:

They had some decent contributors but most of them left in the offseason or will be gone soon via trade so the main story was Kristaps Porzingis, he started really well but unfortunately one serious knee injury derailed his two seasons at once… and Knicks didn’t even get a Top7 draft pick in 2018 as a consolation. It’s a shame but at least it made painfully obvious which direction they should take in 2018/19.

Among all the debris there were some positive news, they clearly won the Carmelo trade [Kanter even provided solid value in fantasy!] and mid-season addition Trey Burke got hot after the all-star break but 2017/18 provided a rather bleak outlook for the franchise.

Changes in the offseason

Lost = Doug McDermott, Kyle O’Quinn, Michael Beasley, Jarrett Jack
Added = new head coach David Fizdale, Mario Hezonja, Kevin Knox, Mitchell Robinson, Noah Vonleh

Knicks had to embrace the rebuilding project so they added only young players but the most important change for fantasy was on the sidelines, will their style of play finally join the league-wide trends?

Projected Depth Chart:

Trey Burke Tim Hardaway Mario Hezonja Kristaps Porzingis Enes Kanter
Frank Ntilikina Courtney Lee Kevin Knox Kevin Knox Luke Kornet
Emmanuel Mudiay Frank Ntilikina Lance Thomas Noah Vonleh Mitchell Robinson

Positional Battles: PG, SF

At point guard there are 3 prospects to consider, I assume in the beginning Burke will start based on his strong finish last year but I think Ntilikina will overtake him at some point during the season [or at least play more minutes]. I don’t know why would anyone still view Mudiay as a candidate to start in the NBA but Knicks for some reason were very recently on that list so I guess there’s a chance.

Among the forwards it comes down to the question where will Kevin Knox play? If David Fizdale uses him at PF, it will open up minutes for Mario Hezonja but if he’s mostly a SF Noah Vonleh or Lance Thomas will get a chance until Kristaps’ return.

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

Enes Kanter

56,8 FG%, 81,5 FT%, 0,01 3PM, 14,59 PTS, 11,5 REB, 1,58 AST, 0,48 STL, 0,52 BL, 1,8 TO

Even on bad teams there are a lot of stats generated, Kanter in New York was a nice example of that rule and he should remain in that role for another season. He set career-high in 4 categories last year so it’s tempting to assume another step forward in 2018/19 but 3 things will slow him down:
– he’s probably not in the Knicks’ long-term plans so they will play youngsters over him, especially in 2019.
– his improvement in FT% looks like 2 hot months, I assume regression to the mean there.
– Knicks will be bad which will lower his opportunities to play a lot of minutes because of too many blowouts.

Don’t get me wrong, without Kristaps he should easily be their best fantasy player, just don’t get carried away with how high he will go.

Also it’s worth noting he has an expiring contract so he could be traded and he will be a backup on a new team which is additional risk here.

Kristaps Porzingis

43 FG%, 79,9 FT%, 1,71 3PM, 19,91 PTS, 6,12 REB, 1,09 AST, 0,67 STL, 2,02 BL, 1,85 TO

Because of the standard post-ACL diminished performance the most interesting numbers about KP are minutes and games played. With Knicks tanking we hopefully can rule out that he won’t be rushed back but when will he come back? Is it possible he won’t play at all this year??? Or that he will only have George-like cameo in April? Keep those questions in mind because while it’s tempting to buy a star at a discounted price the risks for a bust are simply enormous.

Tim Hardaway Jr.

43,3 FG%, 80,9 FT%, 2,6 3PM, 18,92 PTS, 3,58 REB, 2,59 AST, 0,98 STL, 0,2 BL, 1,68 TO

I assume new coach will use him in a better way so he will set a new career-high in points and threes and he should be a solid specialist in offensive categories because of that. But keep in mind he had poor defensive numbers in the past so even fully unleashed his upside is average-ish at best. What’s worse, Knicks will be bad which will lower his opportunities to play a lot of minutes because of too many blowouts.

Could be useful with trades/injuries [or in deeper leagues than 15 teams]:
Trey Burke, Mario Hezonja, Courtney Lee, Mitchell Robinson, Luke Kornet

Just don’t bother with:
Kevin Knox, Frank Ntilikina, Emmanuel Mudiay, Noah Vonleh

Their 2 recent Top10 draft picks couldn’t be based on the stats because they had very few strong categories [and many weak ones for NBA-bound players]. There was some positive buzz after the summer league for Knox but outside of really high usage rate [which lead to a lot of points and threes and which won’t translate to the regular season] what was the most promising number? Because of his poor versatility in the NCAA and summer league in my opinion he should be avoided in fantasy draft despite almost a guarantee to play a lot of minutes [which is a rare thing to say].

Don’t forget to check the rest of the New York Knicks fantasy basketball projections..

Posted in Teams preview