Fantasy Review For 2017/18 Season:

The best regular season in franchise history ended early in the playoffs against the Cavs but fantasy basketball is all about the first part of the season. Lowry and Derozan played less minutes than usual so their value was lower than expected but it created more room for other players to shine and they did. Jakob Poeltl, Delon Wright, Pascal Siakam, Fred VanVleet were all useful at some point during the season so they provided a great depth to fantasy teams and some promise for the future.

Changes in the offseason

Lost = DeMar DeRozan, Jakob Poeltl
Added = new head coach Nick Nurse, Kawhi Leonard, Danny Green, Greg Monroe

That’s a lot of key changes for #1 seed in the East and I’m not sure what to do with their new head coach. It’s hard to assume he will change much given he was on the bench already and they employed his system, right?
But he may do it, it’s something to monitor during the preseason.

Projected Depth Chart:

PG SG SF PF C
Kyle Lowry Danny Green Kawhi Leonard Serge Ibaka Jonas Valanciunas
Fred VanVleet Delon Wright OG Anunoby Pascal Siakam Greg Monroe
Delon Wright Norman Powell C.J. Miles OG Anunoby Serge Ibaka

Positional Battles: C

They have such a great depth it’s tough to present their depth chart with all the options but the main question is what will they do at center? Will Jonas still start or will Ibaka move there to make room for their guards or wings? Either way Valanciunas won’t play a lot of minutes and it probably will depend on the matchups but who will benefit the most from that decision? Will it be OG Anunoby, Pascal Siakam or C.J. Miles? As I’ve mentioned a lot of options there…

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

Kawhi Leonard

48,5 FG%, 85 FT%, 2,24 3PM, 24,02 PTS, 6,13 REB, 3,49 AST, 1,84 STL, 0,74 BL, 2,11 TO

After very weird season he had we are left with many questions without clear answers, is he healthy? How long has he been healthy? Has he lost anything in terms of on-court abilities? How will he fit into his first non-Spurs team? But San Antonio and Toronto made a trade in such a way it’s easy to imagine what will happen on the court. I assume Kawhi will simply have a similar role to Derozan’s. Obviously there are different kind of players so Kawhi will offer way better defensive numbers but worse play-making and less trips to the free-throw line but the minutes and usage should be similar, right? Or is it possible Raptors will use him very differently than Spurs did?

Kyle Lowry

43,5 FG%, 82 FT%, 2,74 3PM, 17,47 PTS, 4,23 REB, 6,52 AST, 1,14 STL, 0,22 BL, 2,41 TO

Last year’s emergence of Fred VanVleet and Delon Wright as legit options was great for the Raptors but it was a really bad news for Lowry’s fantasy value. He lost a lot minutes because of that and he lost some usage as well. What’s more it probably will get worse this year, especially when you consider his advanced age [for elite NBA player] so lower your expectations accordingly. The only hope here is, he will have to take on more responsibility to fill out the role left by Derozan in parts which Kawhi couldn’t replicate.

Jonas Valanciunas

56,3 FG%, 79,5 FT%, 0,18 3PM, 12,46 PTS, 7,9 REB, 0,93 AST, 0,36 STL, 0,87 BL, 1,37 TO

His reported move to the second unit makes one thing clear, Jonas won’t get a lot of minutes anytime soon despite the fact new head coach really likes him. But even in limited run he should provide 3-4 good categories by dominating bench guys on opposing teams. Just don’t get carried away by his per-minute numbers because he won’t realize their full potential. He maybe would have done it in a different era.

Serge Ibaka

48,1 FG%, 80,6 FT%, 1,25 3PM, 11,98 PTS, 6,15 REB, 0,75 AST, 0,36 STL, 1,4 BL, 1,17 TO

While his officially listed birthday suggests he’s in prime of his career his stats say something different.
His blocks amazingly declined 6 years in a row[!] and his profile in fantasy has become more of a jump-shooting small-forward than a big guy but the new head coach will play him more at center which should reverse aforementioned trends. But keep in mind that move also creates more competition for minutes so Ibaka will probably play less than last year.

Danny Green

40,2 FG%, 80,9 FT%, 1,82 3PM, 8,83 PTS, 3,36 REB, 1,58 AST, 0,94 STL, 0,9 BL, 1,06 TO

He always has been sneaky valuable in 9-cat because of contributions in non-scoring categories [especially high blocks and really low turnovers from guard position] and a fresh start on the new team could unlock some potential hidden in Spurs’ system but unfortunately his upside is limited by the Raptors’ depth so I expect only a rotation-level season not a full-blown draft-day steal possibility.

Pascal Siakam

51,8 FG%, 68,6 FT%, 0,51 3PM, 7,97 PTS, 4,55 REB, 1,48 AST, 0,65 STL, 0,6 BL, 0,88 TO

Raptors have a logjam at almost every position [so don’t expect a lot of minutes for prospects] and he’s pretty old for a third year player [so don’t expect a massive jump] but he has a versatile baseline of stats so he just needs a small improvement in shooting categories to really become relevant… and I assume he can do that.

Could be useful with trades/injuries [or in deeper leagues than 15 teams]:
Fred VanVleet, Delon Wright, Greg Monroe

Just don’t bother with:
OG Anunoby, C.J. Miles

Don’t forget to check the rest of the Toronto Raptors fantasy basketball projections..

Posted in Teams preview