1. Dario Saric, Phoenix Suns
Dario Saric was traded to the Phoenix Suns, which opens the door for him finally starting. He has been a guy off the bench for most of his career in Philadelphia and Minnesota. When we look at Saric when starting, he averaged 14-6-2. He is a solid shooter, going 44% from the field and 37% from three. Minutes should be around 30 minutes, and I like his potential in this offense. Saric fits well with Deandre Ayton up front and we know Devin Booker is going to be the offensive weapon. Phoenix finally has cleared out their PF options, and Frank Kaminsky is the only name behind Saric. Mikal Bridges can play PF, but he is likely going to be a strong sixth man.
Saric is just 25 years old, and we have to remember he was a 12th overall pick. He has averaged 12.7 points per game in his career, starting 150 out of 240 games. Averaging 27 minutes per game, it is hard to see any sort of drop off in production. A 35% career shooter from three, and he has averaged 4.4 attempts per game. He shoots over 80%. Saric is a somewhat notable name, especially for those who play DFS. Saric is highly on my radar as a consistent performer.
2. Rui Hachimura, Washington Wizards
Rui Hachimura was drafted 9th overall in the 2019 draft, and I thought that was fairly high. He was a third year guy at Gonzaga, who averaged 19 points in 30 minutes at Gonzaga. His shot transformed in his junior year, but he wasn’t taking a ton of threes. Over the three years, he shot 58%. He is athletic and should be a decent rebounder early on. His minutes have a chance to be upper 20s right off the bat, and with all these Washington Wizards guys the opportunity is going to be there. I wouldn’t expect him to shoot over 55%, but I would put up above 45%.
Bradley Beal is the big usage guy on the team, and there isn’t a sidekick that is going to suck up a ton of usage. I would expect a fairly even spread throughout the rest of the starting five. Hachimura is going to be a late round pick because we know the minutes are going to be there. He is a depth play with some upside, even if I believe the Wizards reached for him.
3. Markieff Morris, Detroit Pistons
The 2018-19 season was a drop off for Markieff Morris, who had a tough time carving out a role in Washington and Oklahoma City. It was the first time since 2012 that he averaged less than ten points per game. The Detroit Pistons have had little depth in the front court that has been worthwhile in fantasy. Morris is going to be a guy off he bench behind Griffin and Drummond. There is isn’t a lot of names to challenge Morris, which should put him by the 25 minute mark. Off the bench Morris is someone who can close in on double-digit shot attempts given the usage will be there.
Morris’ FG% has fluctuated in his career, but I do still see him in the 40-45% range. He has averaged one three per game in the last two seasons, and his free throw percentage is a downside. I have Morris averaging a shade over ten points per game, which is value for where he will be drafted. Given the lack of depth at the forward positions and center, Morris will soak up those backup minutes and play with some other options that will likely succeed usage to him.
4. Miles Bridges, Charlotte Hornets
Miles Bridges doesn’t stray too far from his brother in terms of 2019-20 projections. He has potential to score 15 points per game this season. Minutes will be there pushing around 30. The Charlotte Hornets have a thin front court, and the time is up for Marvin Williams to be getting anything major for minutes. Bridges can play both the three and the four. He split time between the two last season. He doesn’t quite have the steal potential of his brother, but I like him offensively. He also averaged four boards in 21 minutes per game last season.
There is a lot of usage up for grabs in Charlotte this year. Kemba Walker is gone, and I am not sure Terry Rozier is stepping into a 30% usage role. There are a few names to shakeout in this depth chart, as Dwayne Bacon, Malik Monk, and Nicolas Batum are all other names to emerge. Batum is the veteran coming off a down season. He has never been a high usage guy, and I don’t expect him to take on a monster role. The Hornets will be looking to see what they have in this still very young group as they go back to a true rebuild process.
5. Zach Collins, Portland Trail Blazers
Zach Collins is projected to be the starting power forward for the Portland Trail Blazers. Hassan Whiteside has the starting center job until Jusuf Nurkic returns, and Collins is going to take Al-Farouq Aminu’s spot left behind from last season. Collins is a high energy guy who can chip in across the board. I am most intrigued with seeing some of his defensive stats now that he will see bigger numbers. Collins was drafted tenth overall back in 2017 out of Gonzaga. Collins is going to pick up steam in terms of ADP closer to draft season, as he will be a name mentioned around the industry. The only knock on Collins is that he isn’t a three point shooter, and doesn’t give that spacing potential for Portland to hit those corner threes.
There was some bad news out of Portland for Collins. He suffered an ankle sprain and torn ligament. There doesn’t seem to be too much worry and Portland expects him back for training camp, which is a good sign for him heading into the new season. He won’t be the highest usage guy among the Portland starter, but I like him to get over a block per game and generate above average rebounding numbers.
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