2015-16 Fantasy Basketball: ESPN ADP Analysis — Undervalued Targets
In a 10-team standard ESPN league, the rankings are usually something to rely on, especially if you are new to fantasy basketball and need help getting your team put together. However, there are a good number of players, based on the drafts I have done so far this season, that are being drafted too low in ESPN drafts. You should also check out my ESPN ADP overvalued article to see the flip-side of things.
Looking for the next breakout star — the next Jimmy Butler or Rudy Gobert — in fantasy drafts can be exhausting, and in some cases, you can ruin the season for your fantasy team by taking too many chances throughout the draft. Here are some players that I believe will exceed their current ESPN ADP.
Andrew Wiggins – SG/SF – Minnesota Timberwolves
The Canadian superstar out of the University of Kansas has some of the rawest talent in the NBA, and we saw flashes of that talent last season on his way to winning rookie of the year. Wiggins ADP this year is 45.8 based on ESPN standard leagues, which to me is entirely too low, especially if you’re drafting in a keeper league. Wiggins averaged 16.9 points in 2014-2015, but it took him a while to get going as the number one scoring option for the Wolves, on a team that is still looking for it’s true identity. It took a couple of years, but Anthony Davis has now emerged straight to the top of fantasy basketball draft boards, and I believe that Wiggins will shoot up the boards soon as well.
Mo Williams – PG – Cleveland Cavaliers
Williams is an intriguing player in 2015-2016, as he proved last season that he can be a great fantasy point guard when given starter minutes. The only problem with that is that he is now a member of the Cleveland Cavaliers, so he will likely sit more than he has in the past. However, Kyrie Irving is still out with his fractured kneecap that he suffered in game one of the NBA finals against the Warriors, leaving the starting point guard spot open for Mo until he returns. There are reports that Irving will not return to action until Christmas, which would make Williams an intriguing play in the meantime.
Williams averaged just 14.2 points per game last year, but there is something about going to the Cavs and playing with LeBron James (reuniting in this case) that just makes players of that magnitude better. Timofey Mozgov, J.R. Smith and Iman Shumpert can speak from experience, and I believe Mo Williams deserves to be drafted higher than his 109.1 ADP so far this year. If he is able to raise his field goal percentage even a little bit from 40% last season, Williams should be a great late-round option all season long, but especially while Kyrie Irving is out.
Elfrid Payton – PG – Orlando Magic
In the final 20 games of the season, Payton had nine double-doubles and two triple-doubles for the Orlando Magic, averaging 8.4 assists per game. The Magic have a great deal of players that have the ability to score, so Payton will more than likely not contribute as a consistent scorer, but he has shown the ability to put up big numbers. He will deliver for you as well in the steals category, as he averaged between 1.4 and 1.9 steals per game each month of the season, but he averaged 3.3 steals over the final eight games of the season in April. He’s a surprisingly bad free throw shooter for a point guard, as he shot just 55% from the line and 42% from the field in his rookie season. Another year in the league should bring improvements in his overall game, making him a candidate to really breakout if the Magic rely heavily on him like they did a year ago, and there’s no reason to think they won’t.
Jonas Valanciunas – C – Toronto Raptors
Valanciunas is poised for a big year with the Raptors, as he’s developed into a player that even Dwayne Casey can’t deny him of big time minutes, which should give a substantial boost to his stats from a year ago. Jonas should provide a double-double fairly consistently and supply a fair amount of blocks as well, all while shooting well above 50% from the field. He shot 57% from the field in 2014-2015, and he is a good free throw shooter for a center as well (78%). Valanciunas is everything you want from a big man in fantasy sports, as he will score, rebound, block shots, and has great percentages both from the field and the free throw line. His average draft position is 85.8, but has been taken later than that in each mock and live draft I’ve been a part of.
Danny Green – SG – San Antonio Spurs
Did you know that Danny Green ranked 39th at the end of the season on the fantasy basketball player rater? His average draft position so far for 2015-2016 is 84.7, mainly because it’s hard to tell who is going to emerge as the best fantasy option in San Antonio. Green will likely be a great option again this season, and being able to draft a player who shoots the ball as well as Green does, who quietly finished so high on the player rater a year ago and is going this late, could be considered a steal. He was the 4th best shooting guard in fantasy basketball last season and can contribute in all areas across the board. Green averaged 1.1 blocks, 1.2 steals, 11.7 points, 2.4 three pointers, and 4.2 rebounds per game last season. He’s at the top of the board when it comes to blocked shots at the shooting guard position, and he will light it up from three-point range as well.
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