Fantasy Review For 2017/18 Season:

They recovered from lost star in free agency as well as possible. Not only they improved depth but they also found a gem in Donovan Mitchell who almost immediately replaced a lot of what Hayward used to bring. Additionally they reached the playoffs and even made some noise there so in this case success in fantasy went together with success in real life. It’s probably the main reason why they didn’t change much in the offseason…

Changes in the offseason

Lost = Jonas Jerebko, Joe Johnson
Added = Grayson Allen

Projected Depth Chart:

PG SG SF PF C
Ricky Rubio Donovan Mitchell Joe Ingles Derrick Favors Rudy Gobert
Dante Exum Alec Burks Thabo Sefolosha Jae Crowder Derrick Favors
Raul Neto Grayson Allen Royce O’Neale Joe Ingles Ekpe Udoh

Positional Battles: maybe PG or PF?

In the first few months their starting lineup will probably be the same as last year but Jazz will have to answer some key questions about their future. Will Rubio and Favors be with them long-term or should they try lineups with Exum or Crowder as starters? Should they groom Mitchell for a point guard role if he handles the ball a lot anyway? At this point it would be a pure speculation and I’m not sure even Jazz know right now what are the answers. But they will affect some players differently.

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

Rudy Gobert

63,2 FG%, 67,1 FT%, 0 3PM, 14,01 PTS, 11,13 REB, 1,46 AST, 0,77 STL, 2,41 BL, 1,86 TO

At this point he’s a lock to be elite in 3 big man categories and to be weak in 4 others [points, threes, assists and steals] so his value depends mostly on FT% and games played. Gobert improved his FT% two years in a row so there’s a reason for optimism about next step but he still had months with efficiency below 61% so the form hasn’t been stable yet. Finally, he missed a lot of games in every other season so is fair to guess this the year he will be healthy?

Donovan Mitchell

43 FG%, 81,3 FT%, 2,79 3PM, 22,64 PTS, 3,96 REB, 4,16 AST, 1,66 STL, 0,32 BL, 2,79 TO

He had a spectacular rookie season yet it actually obscured how great he was because in the first 11 games he played only 25 minutes per game [which obviously won’t happen this year] and Jazz didn’t give him keys to the offense from the start [ditto]. Additional offseason with the team and typical small improvements for sophomore make him a lock for significant jump in the rankings. But keep in mind last year his profile was around Top60 in 9-cat value so “big jump” doesn’t mean Top20, it’s probably something closer to Top40.

Joe Ingles

46 FG%, 75,9 FT%, 2,6 3PM, 11,88 PTS, 4,28 REB, 4,64 AST, 1,27 STL, 0,2 BL, 1,97 TO

His great three-point shooting and solid play-making were other reason beside Mitchell that Jazz didn’t miss Hayward that much. And with similar role this year he should be able to post similar numbers. It’s worth noting his three-point efficiency is so spectacular [he was actually better than Steph Curry two years in a row!] that any additional shot is really a boon for his fantasy value so hopefully he will have the tradition of increasing those attempts every year.

Derrick Favors

53,5 FG%, 66,4 FT%, 0,24 3PM, 11,06 PTS, 6,58 REB, 1,25 AST, 0,77 STL, 0,92 BL, 1,1 TO

In the last 3 years his fantasy value swung wildly mostly based on the availability of Rudy Gobert. The more Favors plays at center the better asset he is so you basically have to invest in him with the assumption that Gobert will miss a lot of games. Or maybe he will be traded somewhere else… but it’s hard to guess where because there’s somehow too many centers in the league right now which feels weird after decades of the opposite feeling.

Ricky Rubio

41 FG%, 86,6 FT%, 1,2 3PM, 13,27 PTS, 4,58 REB, 5,27 AST, 1,6 STL, 0,13 BL, 2,6 TO

Trade to Utah really changed his statistical profile. On one hand he set career-high in points, shots attempted, FG% and 3P% but on the other hand his assists fell off a cliff as he ceded more ball-handling to others. He simply became more of a scorer and less of a passer which I’m not sure is a great move for one of the best passers in basketball. To me it’s a clue he probably won’t be in Utah long-term, especially when they believe in Exum who could be Rubio’s replacement. But as with speculation about Favors’ future it’s hard to predict where he will land because not that many teams need a point guard and some of them are too bad to want good veteran.

Jae Crowder

42,5 FG%, 81,8 FT%, 1,76 3PM, 11,54 PTS, 3,67 REB, 1,46 AST, 0,94 STL, 0,26 BL, 1,01 TO

His value really collapsed outside of Boston but I think some of it was due to bad luck. He couldn’t make open shots for a month or two and it simply affected him negatively in many ways. I assume he didn’t simply forget how to play ball and that he spent the offseason in the gym behind the three-point line so he will be fine as small-ball four in Utah. Hell, he may even start at some point if Jazz don’t view Favors as their PF of the future.

Could be useful with trades/injuries [or in deeper leagues than 15 teams]:
Dante Exum, Thabo Sefolosha, Ekpe Udoh

Just don’t bother with:
Alec Burks

Don’t forget to check the rest of the Utah Jazz fantasy basketball projections..

Posted in Teams preview