Brooklyn Nets: Fantasy Basketball Primer

Caris LeVert Brooklyn Nets (Photo by Nathaniel S. Butler/NBAE via Getty Images)
Caris LeVert Brooklyn Nets (Photo by Nathaniel S. Butler/NBAE via Getty Images) /

The 2019 Brooklyn Nets look amazing on paper and figure to be a playoff team but strangely few, if any of their players are worth using high fantasy basketball draft picks on.

This is truly bizarre and I’ll examine why this is the case player by player. Here’s your official Brooklyn Nets Fantasy Basketball Primer:

Kyrie Irving:

Despite Sports Illustrated ranking him as the 15th best player heading into the 2019 season I would not draft him in the top 20 of a fantasy league because he only plays 63.5 games per season. Kenny Atkinson will also likely reduce his minutes due to load management as Irving has a propensity to get injured and a balky arthritic knee. Despite this, he’s the only Net worth drafting in the top 20, if you want to take that risk. He can definitely stuff the stat sheet in all areas when healthy. If you want to draft him in the top 20 try to make a quick PG insurance pick and draft another PG as well, just in case. (maybe Dinwiddie as his handcuff)

Caris LeVert:

If he played like he did in the playoffs on a nightly basis he would warrant a top 30 fantasy selection but he has yet to prove he can do that so, taking him in the top 50 would be a risk. He still needs to prove he can be a consistent perimeter threat and improve his 71 percent free throw shooting as well. He is also a risk for injury as he’s had 3 lower leg injuries in his short basketball career. His upside is tremendous but it comes with considerable risk in fantasy basketball. The NBA is full of proficient shooting guards so LeVert falls just outside of the top 50 in fantasy formats by my estimation. It’s also worth noting he was recently extended so he won’t be playing for a contract which may reduce his incentive to put up stats.

Joe Harris:

Harris is an excellent three point shooter by percentage but outside of shooting and using screens to slash to the basket for layups he doesn’t offer a multi-dimensional stat stuffing game that winning a fantasy league requires. Defensively he contributes very little and he is not a reliable resource for rebounds or assists, or even points for that matter. However, he is in a contract year and will play harder which is favorable but he also participated in the FIBA games so he may just run out of gas as well. He looked tired in the NBA playoffs last season and many wondered why he opted to participate. I have him pegged beyond the 8th round only if you desperately need threes.

Taurean Prince:

While a talented player, he simply has not cemented himself into a solidified role that will provide reliable stats for your fantasy team. He is a small forward who figures to play some minutes at the power forward position. He is a middle of the road type player all around and certainly would not warrant a top 50 selection in a fantasy draft. He’s definitely worth a late round flier though in case he becomes the starting power forward. He could be worth a 7th or 8th round pick but keep an eye on him in training camp to see if he becomes the official power forward. He could pay dividends as he is in a contract year.

Jarrett Allen:

He is a decent source for rebounds and blocks but his offensive game is still a work in progress. Atkinson is trying to convert him into a stretch 4 but that experiment has yet to see consistent results. He needs to add more dimensions on offense before you can comfortably take him in your top 50. He’s a great screen setter though. Too bad that’s not a stat in fantasy land. I have him valued as an 8th round selection or beyond due to his uncertain status as starter and position conundrum as well.

Spencer Dinwiddie:

Although a highly proficient bench player in ISO situations he won’t rack up enough three pointers or assists to warrant a top 50 fantasy selection, the minutes just won’t be there to be a robust selection. He regularly struggled on defense last season as well. However, if Irving were to suffer a serious injury he’d worth having so keep him in mind later. If you need a consistent scorer he could be worth a 7th or 8th round pick but mostly his value is capped due to lack of minutes.

Rodions Kurucs:

With his status up in the air (Due to breaking news the New York Daily News gave us.) and his inconsistent play in general, drafting Rodions could prove to be too high of a risk. Avoid at all costs as you can find consistent power forwards in a league full of them these days.

DeAndre Jordan:

Currently slated as the backup center to Allen he should not be taken in the top 50. While his free throw shooting is improved he might only be worth taking in the top 50 if he’s guaranteed to start and play 30 minutes a night which doesn’t seem likely. He is still offensively limited and there is always the risk of regression from the charity stripe. However, if Atkinson names him as the official starter at center, you could gamble on him in the 4th or 5th round. I wouldn’t though. I have him as a 6th round selection unless named the starter.

Wilson Chandler:

He’s suspended for the opening 25 games of the season so that’s that. Even if he wasn’t, as a bench player he wouldn’t warrant a top 100 selection at this stage of his career. He is waiver wire fodder likely to be added and dropped several times when he returns from suspension.

Dzanan Musa:

As a bench player he still has to prove he belongs in the NBA. A player who needs to prove that should be nowhere on the radar of your top 100 fantasy draft board targets. More waiver wire fodder, but even that may be unlikely. Just a permanent waiver wire guy unless something drastic happens.

Garrett Temple:

A season ago he averaged 7.8 points per game and was a relatively serviceable bench player. However, using a fantasy pick on Garret may not prove to be fortuitous.

Theo Pinson:

Unfortunately dancing isn’t a stat that will help you in any format of any NBA fantasy draft, if it was, Pinson is your unchallenged number one overall pick.  He could be a waiver wire pickup though if Kyrie and Dinwiddie go down with injuries. That’s too many if’s though. He shouldn’t be on your draft board at all.

David Nwaba:

He’s a good defender with a great wingspan but that won’t be something you’ll be looking for in fantasy land. Avoid at all costs. He’ll be on your waiver wire forever probably.

Nicolas Claxton:

He’s worth a late round flier at best due to his intriguing skill set but by his own admission he is a project and doesn’t figure to play regular minutes. Maybe next year though, or the year after, or the year after, he could be a top 50 target. However, if he balls out in the G-league and the Nets struggle mightily at power forward, he could get some opportunities to snatch that spot. He’s a player to keep an eye on as the season progresses but not on your draft night

Kevin Durant:

Obviously you can’t draft him in the top 50 unless you are unaware that he has an Achilles injury. However, he appears to be ahead of schedule in his recovery and since he is a top three player in the NBA if you had an amazing first seven or eight picks, you could risk taking him in that area if you think he’ll return in time and be in great form to win you a fantasy championship, but I wouldn’t do it. I’d wait until the ninth or tenth round for that. While other players snatch him up off his stardom you can use those mid round selections to get great season long value from a reliable player not coming off a catastrophic injury.

Lastly, the biggest reason why the Nets aren’t a fantasy friendly team is Kenny Atkinson’s rotations and minutes allocation. He rarely plays guys 30 minutes a game and uses a deep bench so that mitigates the impact of individual players. He also gives everyone the green light to shoot 3’s so that could hurt your field goal percentage category, unless your punting that, which you shouldn’t.

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The Nets will likely be a playoff team and do well in reality, but in fantasy land, outside of Kyrie and a few others, there’s not many players on this roster that are deserving of a top five, six, or seventh round pick in fantasy regardless of format.