Fantasy Value of D’Angelo Russell After Being Traded to the Brooklyn Nets

Brooklyn Nets D'Angelo Russell. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2017 NBAE (Photo by Nathaniel S. Butler/NBAE via Getty Images)
Brooklyn Nets D'Angelo Russell. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2017 NBAE (Photo by Nathaniel S. Butler/NBAE via Getty Images) /

D’Angelo Russell found a new home this offseason when he was traded to the Brooklyn Nets from the Los Angeles Lakers. Will his new home and offensive system have a profound effect on his fantasy value?

The Brooklyn Nets traded all-time leading scorer Brook Lopez to the Los Angeles Lakers for third year guard D’Angelo Russell this offseason. During his first two seasons with the Lakers, Russell made progress in every major statistical category. But L.A. chose to cash in on his value now.

The Lakers were looking for a franchise player that lead them back into championship contention, and Russell wasn’t that guy. He had some off-court issues to start his tenure in Los Angeles and some teammates did not trust him. The new start in Brooklyn is welcome for all parties involved.

If you’re not a fan of the Lakers or Nets, then Russell’s growth and production wouldn’t normally matter. But that’s where fantasy teams come in. If you’re looking to draft him, you have to wonder if Brooklyn is the right spot for him.

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In determining Russell’s fantasy value, it all starts with his fit in the new offense. Head coach Kenny Atkinson’s system is a free-flowing system that should mesh with a potent scoring threat like Russell. You also have to consider what position he will play.

In Los Angeles, Russell floated back and forth from point guard and shooting guard, making him a true combo guard. His role should be more defined in Brooklyn, with the plan being announced that he’s going to play along point guard Jeremy Lin.

If Lin suffers from more injuries, or doesn’t produce as well as the team likes, then Russell may take the reigns of the offense. His comfort level with the offense will determine how well he would be able to play as the team’s main ball handler.

Fantasy Predictions at Point Guard

According to ESPN’s fantasy predictions, Russell’s numbers are predicted to go up across the board. Last season with the Lakers he averaged 15.5 points per game (PPG), 3.5 rebounds per game (RPG), 4.8 assists per game (APG) and 1.4 steals per game (SPG). ESPN has his stats improving to 18.3 PPG, 3.7 RPG, 5.1 APG and 1.5 SPG.

These improvements would we welcomed by both Nets fans and fantasy owners alike. Russell’s scoring output would help fill the scoring lost when the team traded Lopez. His assists would have him tied with Lin as the team’s assist leader.

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His fantasy projections may vary depending on which guard position he is primarily asked to play. If the Nets believe he is the best option at point guard, then I feel his numbers would progress like they did from his rookie season to his sophomore season.

His scoring should go up by 2.3 points to 17.9 PPG, rebounding up 0.1 to 3.6 RPG, assists up 1.5 to 6.3 APG and steals up 0.2 to 1.6 SPG. Numbers like these would make him similar to a player like Dennis Schroder, who averaged 17.9 PPG, 3.1 RPG, 6.3 APG, 0.9 SPG last season. Schroder was the 21st ranked fantasy point guard and averaged 31.54 fantasy points per game (FPPG) last season.

Fantasy Predictions at Shooting Guard

Russell would be an ideal player if he were able to put up those stats at point guard. But his numbers would be slightly different if he played mostly shooting guard. His scoring output would go up with his assists down averaging 20.2 PPG, 3.7 RPG, 3.8 APG and 1.5 SPG.

With Russell moving off the ball and scoring, he should be able to eclipse the 20-point mark often. His assists would suffer, but that doesn’t mean that his creativity with the ball would be gone completely.

Numbers like these would put him at the level of players like CJ McCollum and Dwyane Wade.. McCollum was the 18th ranked fantasy shooting guard, averaging 23.0 PPG and 32.98 FPPG. Wade was the 24th ranked fantasy shooting guard, averaging 18.3 PPG and 30.18 FPPG.

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To Pick Up or Avoid in Fantasy

Fantasy owners shouldn’t shy away from D’Angelo Russell just because he plays in Brooklyn. Expecting Russell to put out production like the star players mentioned is not unrealistic. If he can reach these numbers then he will not only be a star player on the court but on fantasy rosters around the league. So pick Russell for your fantasy team if you have a chance, you won’t regret it.