The NBA season kicks off in just hours. As fantasy football fans roll their eyes, fantasy hoops fans are absolutely thrilled, and I’ll be honest, I’m really starting to enjoy doing fantasy basketball work. So, to kick off the start of the season, I am bringing on a special guest to play some Over/Under on some players I’m interested in for 2013. Chris Towers, a fantasy hoops writer for CBS Sports, will be joining me today.
Let’s do this.
Over/Under Thaddeus Young PPG; 18.5
Chris- Under: As much as I love Thad and the situation he’s in from a fantasy perspective, he’s only ever averaged more than 17 points per-36 once in his career. I still like him a ton for fantasy purposes, as I hope Doug Collins leaving means he will have a little more leeway on on shooting from three-point range, where he has been effective in his career.
Adam- Push: I absolutely love Thad, and because of that love, I’m giving him the benefit of the doubt here. The Sixers are going to be stupidly bad this season, and will have to lean on Young to put up points. He’s a versatile player, and has been overlooked throughout his career. I think this is the year he breaks out. Jrue Holiday is gone, and with that, so are his 1,300 shots from a season ago. Young hasn’t attempted 1,000 shots once in his career, and after leading all Sixers in shots this preseason, he’ll easily eclipse that number. I think it’ll be close, but I’m going with the gut.
Over/Under Andre Drummond Finish; Top-10 Center
Chris- Under: Center is deeper now than it has been in past years, and I don’t see any way he breaks through a very strong top-10. I’m not even convinced Drummond is going to be a top-15 center this season. His upside is incredible and I love watching him play, but NBA coaches are notoriously stubborn when it comes to playing young big men big minutes, especially ones with major free-throw issues. I think he’s a fine number two fantasy center, and it wouldn’t shock me terribly if he was a top-10 center by year’s end.
Adam- Under: I’m really high on Drummond this year. I think he draws comparisons to the likes of Dwight Howard. A guy who is an atrocious free-throw shooter, but can produce a double double at will. However, I agree with Chris here. There are a ton of young, promising fantasy big men this season, and in a bit of a crowded frontcourt in Detroit, I’m not sure how many minutes Drummond will receive. He has been dominating the preseason, but again, are we positive Josh Smith has the shooting touch to consistently play the small forward position? If he ends up going back to power forward, Drummond should see less playing time. I love Drummond, but I want to see it first.
Over/Under two rookies finish inside top-50
Chris- Under: Under, barely. I have Oladipo and Carter-Williams just outside my overall top-50 yearly projections, and Trey Burke was right there before the injury. I think you could see all three wind up as top-75 players.
Adam- Push: I think the two Chris mentioned (Oladipo and Carter-Williams) will both finish inside the top-50 this season. Oladipo will be playing some point guard this season, which will help one of the very few knocks on his fantasy value; assists. This kid can score at will, should give owners elite steal potential, and is a strong rebounder. Orlando doesn’t have any dominant scorers, so Oladipo could easily average around 16-18 points per contest. Meanwhile, Carter-Williams has a special place in my heart. Born about 45 minutes from Syracuse, I’m a huge Cuse fan, and while MCW will turn the ball over quite a bit, and shoot terribly from the field, he’ll log all the minutes he can handle. I think he just barely cracks the top-50.
Over/Under games Andre Bynum plays; 50
Chris-Push: When it comes to Bynum, I want to hedge my bets as much as possible. Don’t feel confident in him in any way. I am staying far away from him for Fantasy, even with his upside.
Adam-Push: Shoot, as a Cavs fan, I hope he plays over 50. The Cavaliers will easily flirt with playoff contention if that’s the case, but we keep hearing that Bynum is “close” to suiting up for game action. It’d be a safe bet to expect less with Bynum, but he’s in better shape than last season, and there seems to be less pressure. I’ll say 50 even.
You can follow Chris on Twitter here
Adam Pfeifer is a featured fantasy sports columnist for Rant Sports.
You can follow him on Twitter @aPfeiferRS.