Welcome to a new series we’re launching here at RotoBaller to start preparing you for the 2022-2023 fantasy basketball season!
If you play fantasy football, you’ll probably recognize the format here as we had a series of NFL preseason articles that followed the same pattern. The idea here is to refine several players from each team that we consider valuable for the upcoming season or who may be over-drafted this pre-season.
In this piece, you’ll find a fantasy basketball breakout candidate, a fantasy basketball bust candidate, and a fantasy basketball lock (think stable production and drafted properly) for the Philadelphia 76ers based on the first ADP for fantasy basketball drafts for the 2022- 2023 season. For full transparency; I’m a Sixers fan, but you have my word that this is all objective. Be sure to follow me on Twitter (@Maxadelphia) for more on fantasy basketball (among other things).
Editor’s note: Our amazing team of writers have received five total writing awards and 13 Fantasy Sports Writers Association award nominations, the best in the industry! Congratulations to all of the winners and nominees, including NBA Writer of the Year, Best NFL Series, MLB Series, PGA Writer and Player Notes writer of the year. Follow their analysis, rankings and tips throughout the year and win big with RotoBaller!
Fantasy Basketball Escape: Tyrese Maxey
Maxey has proven to be one of the most exciting young players in the NBA after making tremendous progress last season. A perfect compliment to James Harden (more on him soon), Maxey is one of the fastest players in the NBA and has MASSIVELY developed his 3-point shooting from Year 1 to Year 2 (30.1% in 2021 at 42.7% in 2022) making him an offensive threat on many levels. He’s currently dropping to 6th round on average, but I think he offers a major advantage that puts him firmly in the top 50.
I think you should plan for a minor regression because shooting 42.7% from 3 is really tough, especially when you’re not a point shooter whose only offensive responsibility is to space the floor. However, Maxey has developed a reputation as a gym rat, so much so that he has to be physically removed from the gym by team staff members, so maybe regression is less likely than we think. think.
Doc Rivers says they had to kick Maxey and Paul Reed out of the gym several times this offseason.
He says Spencer Rivers and Sam Cassell had to ask him for help because they couldn’t get Maxey out of the gym themselves.
—Austin Krell (@NBAKrell) September 26, 2022
Maxey finished the season averaging 35 minutes per game, averaging 17.5 PPG on 48.5% from the field, the aforementioned 42.7% from 3 of 4.1 attempts per game, 3.2 rebounds and 4 .1 assists per game, and he shot 86.8% from the FT line to complement his offensive vision. Encouragingly, his productivity increased when the Sixers moved to Harden. Maxey is a willing defender, but he’s not really an impact player in terms of defensive stats. Maxey should also provide huge edge plays when one (or both) of Embiid/Harden is running out of time. I think Maxey is one of the more balanced fantasy options on guard if you miss one of the elite PGs early on.
Fantasy Basketball Bust: James Harden
So let’s establish something upfront; James Harden is an exceptional player. He’s going to be a big contributor to this Sixers team that has legitimate title aspirations. *Voice of Stephen A. Smith* HOWEVER! He is, by definition, a second option for Joel Embiid (more on him shortly), and in his current top 10 – ADP top 15, I’m not sure I want to be the guy taking Harden.
Harden saw nearly all of his offensive categories suffer some sort of minor hit, and his overall fantasy points-per-game average dropped 2 points after being traded to the Sixers for Ben Simmons, Seth Curry, Andre Drummond and a few picks. Those things are to be expected when your usage goes from 28.4% with the Nets to 24.7% for the Sixers. Combine that with the fact that the Sixers are a deeper team than they were last year, and the Sixers will no doubt try to keep Harden as fresh as possible for the playoffs, and it feels like may the stars align that Harden will let anyone take him. the top 15 only wanting one a little After.
I want to be clear in saying that I still believe in Harden as a player, AND as a fantasy asset, it’s just that your first two picks are especially crucial to your team’s success. I think there are better options for the 10-15 range, but if Harden is still there near the end of the second, or even the start of the 3rd somehow, he’s definitely worth it. Harden said “if my conditioning can be up to my skill level and my IQ and the work I put into it, that’s MVP” on media day, and it certainly looks like he’s in better shape. form than at this time last year.
“I’ve always said if my conditioning can be up to my skills, my IQ and the job I do, that’s MVP”
— SiriusXM NBA Radio (@SiriusXMNBA) September 27, 2022
— Philadelphia 76ers (@sixers) September 24, 2022
I think Sixers players all have pretty fair ADPs, but I have to pick a bust, and I think the reduction in utilization, and subsequently, production, raises enough red flags to qualify Harden.
Fantasy Basketball Lock: Joel Embiid
I know it’s brave of me to take a consensus top 5 as a fantasy lock, but someone has to. Embiid has repeated as Nikola Jokic’s MVP runner-up each of the past two seasons, but this year could be very different.
Embiid and Giannis Antetokoumpo are the only two players in the league who are the center of attack and defense for their respective teams, and anyone who has watched the Sixers in recent years has seen Embiid gassed at the end of games, and at the end of the season itself. The Sixers made significant off-season moves, acquiring De’Anthony Melton and PJ Tucker, to provide perimeter defense, which was a major issue for the Sixers last year. Allowing Embiid to focus more on paint protection should not only yield higher block counts, but should also increase offensive efficiency, as he should be able to conserve more energy on defense.
If you follow basketball enough to play fantasy basketball and read fantasy basketball preview articles, you don’t need me to tell you that Joel Embiid is currently one of the best players in the NBA. He finally has a legit assist in his starting and bench units, and in the 35-40 games where he played with a real PG (Harden), he looked unstoppable in the pick-and-roll. So I leave you with this – Joel Embiid will win NBA MVP this year, do you want to miss out?
The Sixers should be considered one of the favorites to come out of the East this year, along with Milwaukee and Miami. Embiid/Harden/Maxey has major Big 3 potential, and if you add Tobias Harris into the mix, the Sixers could have the best top 4 in the NBA.
When it comes to fantasy endings, there aren’t many secrets on this list. It’s easy to clearly picture every player in the role of the team (except who will complete the starting unit), and no one really stands out as a major value based on their current ADP. On paper, the Sixers appear to have a healthy player turnover, which dampens nearly everyone’s projections for the year.
Thanks for reading and good luck in your leagues this year!
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