Fantasy Basketball: Projected Fallers in 2023-24
Entering his 19th season, 38-year-old Chris Paul is on a new team with a different role. With the Golden State Warriors, it’s very possible that he’ll come off the bench, something he’s never done in his career (1363 games). Thus, Paul’s role will mainly be as a veteran leader and ball handler. While his fantasy value has steadily declined over the past few years (a trend that will continue this season), he still offers assists and decent field goal percentages.
Coming off one of his best fantasy seasons, Kristaps Porzingis was traded to the Boston Celtics in June. With the Washington Wizards, the forward/center was a top-two scoring option on a team that lacked star power. Now he’s suiting up for one of the deepest teams in the NBA and is the third option offensively behind Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown. On top of that, he’s dealing with plantar fasciitis, which sidelined him for the FIBA World Cup.
Drafting the injury-prone Bradley Beal for the last few years has been a gamble, and the gamble may apply for this season. Following his trade to the Phoenix Suns, Beal will play alongside Kevin Durant and Devin Booker. As a result, his offensive role will likely decline, and his usage will be lower than it was with the Wizards, where he was the number-one option. Although, his assists will likely increase as he projects to be the starting point guard.
While the Rudy Gobert experiment was mainly dubbed a failure last season, its fallout will still be felt this year. Karl-Anthony Towns only suited up for 29 games due to a calf injury, but the results were discouraging in the little time he played with Gobert. Most of his stats decreased, but his rebounds and blocks took the biggest hit. With Towns healthy and Gobert still on the Minnesota Timberwolves, his production (particularly on the defensive end) may fall.
Minnesota’s experiment also had a significant impact on Gobert. The center is coming off one of the worst seasons of his career, statistically and fantasy-wise. His defensive numbers were disappointing, and it’s unlikely that much will change this season. If anything, the situation will worsen as Gobert and Towns share the floor more.
Kelly Oubre Jr.
Kelly Oubre Jr. was a solid role player for fantasy managers as he stepped up for the short-handed Charlotte Hornets. He played one of the best seasons of his career and was a primary offensive option. However, with LaMelo Ball healthy, Miles Bridges returning, and the addition of second-overall 2023 draft pick Brandon Miller, Oubre won’t see the same usage this year. It looks like his role this season will be as depth insurance.
Kevin Porter Jr.
While the Houston Rockets were one of the worst teams in the league in 2022-23, Kevin Porter Jr. was a bright spot. The 23-year-old was a surprisingly solid fantasy option and put up great points, rebounds, assists, and shooting splits. However, his role changes this season with Fred VanVleet inking a three-year deal with the young squad. Porter may move to the bench and see a decrease in minutes.
With the return of Cade Cunningham, Bojan Bogdanovic likely won’t be the Detroit Pistons’ go-to option offensively this season. The 34-year-old was able to thrive on the team in 2022-23 as the former first-overall pick missed the majority of the season after undergoing surgery. Expect him to still put up solid fantasy numbers, but he’ll take a step back next to Cunningham. The Pistons also have a young core, expected to get more usage.
Fantasy basketball has some excitement for this upcoming season.