With the first NBA games only a month away, a lot of the hype is starting to return after last seasons thrills. I for one can’t wait, and I’m sure many other fanatics feel the same way. There is a lot to look forward to: the new faces around the league, the old faces on new teams, the race to the playoffs, and my favorite: Fantasy Basketball. For those of you that have participated year after year, or for those of you who will make this year their first, here are my picks for the Top 5 Fantasy Players in 2017.
Honorable Mentions: LeBron James, Damian Lillard, Kevin Durant, DeMarcus Cousins, Chris Paul, and Kawhi Leonard.
5. Stephen Curry
I was tempted to leave Steph off this list in favor of Kevin Durant, LeBron James, or DeMarcus Cousins, but I just couldn’t do it. Not after his monster season last year.
Most experts are predicting a dip in Steph’s numbers this season, which is expected, but I still see him as a top 5 fantasy player.
With his new running mate, Kevin Durant, Curry’s scoring average will surly drop, but what he loses in points, he will gain in assists. I expect him to have another 250+ three pointers this season, and as he has proven the last two seasons, he is the king of efficiency. This makes him a safe bet for your fantasy team.
4. Anthony Davis
Not many big’s in the NBA can fill up the stat sheet quite like Anthony Davis, nor can they do it as efficiently. Anthony Davis is a monster on the offensive end, but, just as threatening on the defensive end. Davis is a sure bet to be a 20-10 guy, and his 2 blocks/1 steal per game don’t hurt either. Throw in the fact that he made a career-high 35 three pointers last year and Anthony Davis is easily a top 5 pick.
3. Karl Anthony-Towns
Yes, I know; Karl over Davis?
Karl Anthony-Towns led all rookies in scoring, rebounding, and double-doubles in what was one of the best rookie seasons in recent memory. Towns played at a level that most players never reach, and that is scary. ‘KAT’ averaged 20-11 after the all-star break, and I suspect that he will average similar numbers for this upcoming season.
He will be the Timberwolves go to guy, and a force on defense, making him an easy pick for anyone.
2. James Harden
Love him or hate him, James Harden produces. He put up big numbers last year, filling up the stat sheets as usual. I expect him to do much of the same this season, and with Dwight Howard in Atlanta, the Houston Rockets chemistry should be vastly improved.
They also added a couple shooters in Ryan Anderson and Eric Gordon which could boost Harden’s assists numbers, as well.
1. Russell Westbrook
Yup, no surprise here.
Without Kevin Durant for the second time in his career, Russell will have the Thunder on his back this season. We all remember what happened the first time he was without Durant, right?
Westbrook averaged 28 ppg, 8.6 apg, 7.3 rpg, and racked up 11 triple-doubles.
Look for Russ to have another monster season, making him the obvious choice for number one in any fantasy league.