Fantasy Review For 2017/18 Season:
Three offensive stars proved to be a terrible fit together and all of them disappointed in some way. What’s worse Roberson’s serious injury created a massive hole at SG which they couldn’t plug in the second half of the season so it’s no wonder they fizzed out in the playoffs. The only positive news was about big guys. Steven Adams was unleashed from sharing center duties with Kanter which lead to by far the best season of his career and Jerami Grant was a nice surprise as a small-ball center.
Changes in the offseason
Lost = Carmelo Anthony, Josh Huestis
Added = Dennis Schroder, Nerlens Noel, Timothe Luwawu-Cabarrot
Projected Depth Chart:
|Dennis Schroder||Russell Westbrook||Paul George||Patrick Patterson||Steven Adams|
|Raymond Felton||Alex Abrines||T. Luwawu-Cabarrot||Jerami Grant||Nerlens Noel|
|Russell Westbrook||Terrance Ferguson||Andre Roberson||Paul George||Jerami Grant|
Positional Battles: Guard next to Westbrook, PF
Information that Roberson will miss at least two next months creates the same problem as last year – they are really shallow at wing positions and I can’t imagine their prospects as a viable solution for 48 minutes per game [more if we include SF] on a team with high aspirations. That means Thunder have two options – either they will play Schroder and Westbrook together a lot [probably more than they are comfortable with, especially early in the season] or they will have to make a trade for proven SG. Because they don’t have many assets to trade away I assume they will choose option number 1.
At PF Patrick Patterson and Jerami Grant will be probably in value-killing time-share but if one of them clearly wins the job pick him up.
Fantasy Relevant in leagues with 12- to 15-teams:
44,5 FG%, 86,1 FT%, 3,18 3PM, 23,41 PTS, 5,84 REB, 3,15 AST, 1,98 STL, 0,48 BL, 2,55 TO
He stayed so it means he clearly enjoyed his first season in Oklahoma which was a surprise to many [including me]. Regarding his projected stats here are the most important notes:
– his FT% was way lower than in previous 4 healthy seasons so I assume it was a fluke,
– without Carmelo and with shallow wing rotation I assume his role offensively will grow so I expect another career-high in threes and it’s possible he will do it in points too,
– last year he set a career-high in steals and I assume he will do something similar this year because it was mostly due to different style of team’s defense than he had in Indiana.
44,5 FG%, 80,8 FT%, 1,39 3PM, 25,68 PTS, 9,36 REB, 8,44 AST, 1,74 STL, 0,24 BL, 4,25 TO
Fourth surgery on the knee is concerning but mostly in the long run and in the context of his massive contract. But in fantasy for upcoming season more concerning is what the hell happened to his FT% last year? I have no clue but it cost him a whole round of fantasy value. I assume it was a fluke but there’s a risk it wasn’t.
Another key factor for his fantasy value this year is how well will he mesh with Dennis Schroder because I have to assume they will play a lot together? He didn’t play with another point guard of this type or ability in many years [who was the last one? Harden???] so it’s kind of a guess but I think it will push him gently into role of SG. Especially with Roberson’s injury.
61,3 FG%, 56,9 FT%, 0 3PM, 13,22 PTS, 8,85 REB, 1,15 AST, 1,17 STL, 1,01 BL, 1,68 TO
Despite the fact he’s a good center in his prime there’s one reason I’m pessimistic about his fantasy value this year. Thunder signed a legit backup center and while Noel probably won’t play as many minutes as Kanter did there’s an eerie similarity between those situations. I assume there will be too many nights when Adams sits just a little bit too long on the bench because Noel has a good stint or coach wanted to play Grant against smaller opponents. Also I don’t think he can repeat his top-notch FG% with so many crucial changes among the ball-handlers.
44,5 FG%, 83,9 FT%, 1,2 3PM, 14,79 PTS, 2,92 REB, 4,87 AST, 1,07 STL, 0,14 BL, 2,23 TO
It’s a little weird the only team in the league which wanted to acquire him already had a way better version of a player with this profile. I assume they viewed him just a good backup to Westbrook but with injury to Roberson those plans will have to change. Can he coexist with Russ? How will it exactly work? Will they share the ball or will Dennis just stand in the corner? To be safe I assume something in between but that’s why we have a whole season to learn such things…
Could be useful with trades/injuries [or in deeper leagues than 15 teams]:
Andre Roberson [when healthy], Jerami Grant, Nerlens Noel, Patrick Patterson
Just don’t bother with:
Alex Abrines, Timothe Luwawu-Cabarrot, Terrance Ferguson
While one of them could even start their role will be too limited.
Don’t forget to check the rest of the Oklahoma City Thunder fantasy basketball projections..