Top 20 Dynasty Fantasy Basketball Targets in the 2015 NBA Draft

dangelo-russell

  1. Karl-Anthony Towns – Kentucky – Towns is a kid I have heard a ton about for a long time.  He’s from right around the corner here in New Jersey and I thought people were exaggerating when they talked about his ability to shoot the ball and move at his size.  Well they weren’t being “homers’ when they talked about him that’s for sure.  He has great length and and enough athleticism to become a top shot blocker and rebounder in the NBA and the skill to score inside or out whenever he gets the ball.  The upside for scoring with blocks thrown in is too good to pass up as the best Fantasy Basketball Draft target in this draft.
  2. D’Angelo Russell – Ohio State – Russell is as slick as they come.  He has great handles with pin-point accuracy when he fires his passes.  If he lands in a place where the big men don’t have stone hands he could be a top six point guard out of the gates.  His defense does need a bit of work, but what point guard was all world coming out of college after just one year.  His length and body type should make it easy for him to catch up in that area as he continues to fine tune his jumper.
  3. Kristaps Porzingis – Latvia – Porzingis is the type of player that is worth the risk associated with drafting a European player on upside in fantasy drafts.  His slight build will hold him up his first few seasons in the NBA, but his height at 7’1″ and shooting skills make him someone who could end up being the best player in this draft.  He has very nice athleticism to along with his size and from what I’ve seen he really enjoys being aggressive on both sides of the ball.  His aggressiveness on defense was especially nice to see as he can be a weapon when going for blocks.
  4. Jahlil Okafor – Duke – Okafor is one of the best low-post scorers to come out in the draft in a long time.  He can score twenty and grab eight rebounds a night with out getting one ounce better at the next level.  For him to be a great fantasy asset he will have to become an even more aggressive rebounder and figure out a way to use his smarts to protect the rim.  People talk about him like he’s Enes Kanter, but in reality I think he can develop a bunch on the defensive side of the ball.
  5. Emmanuel Mudiay – China (Via-USA) – Mudiay is a guy I really like.  I loved him coming out of high school and thought he had a chance to be the top player in this draft.  He has the size and athleticism that you just can’t teach a player.  He also has blazing quickness which makes him a threat to break down a defense at will.  His issue has been his jump shot, but I have heard conflicting reports on how it looked in China, with some reports saying it didn’t get better, while others said it looked retooled and solid enough to make defenses respect it.  He is a fit with the Lakers, 76ers and the Knicks, but he may slide if they all pass on him for others in the top four.  He can play shooting guard, but I think that would put too much pressure on his jump shot at an early stage.
  6. Justice Winslow – Duke – I love wings who can shoot the ball and defend.  Why?  Because those type of players are always on the court.  In today’s NBA you need wings that can lock down the opposing team’s best scorers and space the floor with a real 3-point shot threat to open up your offense.  Winslow can do both really well already.  He came in a little shorter than most thought, but I’m not as worried about that as others as he has the body type and strength to still guard the small forward position.
  7. Mario Hezonja – Croatia – Hezonja is the player you need to add if you need 3-point shooting and scoring.  He doesn’t seem to be athletic enough to cover the really quick wings int he NBA and that scares me for his playing time.  If he lands on a team with a player that can switch off to cover the better offensive player and hide him a bit defensively than he’ll be a steal with his shooting and scoring prowess.
  8. Devin Booker – Kentucky – Booker is a knock down shooter with ideal body length to play the shooting guard position in the NBA.  He even has nice strength on his frame for his age where I think he will compete right away for a starting spot.  His game has been compared to Klay Thompson‘s so it’s worth taking him around this area if you need 3 point shooting and scoring.
  9. Willie Cauley-Stein – Kentucky – Cauley-Stein has an NBA ready skill when it comes to shot blocking and defending the rim as he enters the NBA.  he will rebound because of his elite length and athleticism, but will he score enough to make him a big time fantasy asset.  I’m not sure if we can project him to be Dion Jordan type dominant, but he could be Tyson Chandler-esque.  If he ends up on a team that runs the floor he could put up huge rookie numbers while he learns how he fits into an NBA offense.
  10. Myles Turner – Texas – Turner is a player that probably should be a lot higher on this list, but I found myself putting him here because of his slight build.  He can shoot the ball and is an excellent help defender so he should crack a rotation right away, but big minutes will be tough to come by until he can put some muscle and weight on.  If you need to gamble on a scoring big man on your team I would take Turner in this spot.
  11. Stanley Johnson – Arizona – Stanley Johnson is a bit of a conundrum for me.  He is physically strong and decently athletic, but I’m not sure he is quick enough to guard NBA Small Forwards.  His body type makes for an interesting fit defensively, but he has skills, if not inconsistent, to score in many ways on the offensive side of the ball.  He is actually projected to go in the draft right in the area where he could see a lot of early playing time.
  12. Trey Lyles – Kentucky – I really love Lyles’s feel for the game.  He has soft hands and nice passing ability and can score and rebound.  Defensively he will hold his own and he should be a nice addition to any team as a potential starting power forward in the future.  If he had better length and could actually play the five in the NBA he would have more value, but if he lands on a team with a big need at PF he could pay dividends early.
  13. Sam Dekker – Wisconsin – Dekker has nice size at 6’9″  and can score the basketball.  Sometimes guys get a knock because of how well they fit into their college system and this may be the case with Dekker.  If he lands in the right spot he is a guy who should see a lot of playing time as long as he can guard the SF spot in the NBA.
  14. Cameron Payne – Murray State – Payne is an all around point guard who has the ability to be special.  I like his speed and handle and his vision for passing.  As always it will come down to if he can defend the position at only 6’2″ in the NBA, but I think he will be fine.  If he lands on a point guard needy team you have to be happy.  If he lands as a back-up to Russel Westbrook well than he’s a stash.
  15. Bobby Portis -Arkansas – Portis is a finished product.  He is going to score and rebound and hustle his butt off.  He is not going to block a ton of shots, but he will contribute just because he will be in the tough areas all the time.  I can see him being a double double type of player int he right system or a rotational power forward who can help you when injuries hit.  Safe pick IMO.
  16. Frank Kaminsky – Wisconsin – Kaminsky can score the basketball in many ways.  He has goofy and effective low post moves that remind some of a goofier Kevin McHale and he has a shot that can go all the way out to the three point line.  He will compete on defense and is smart about positioning and blocking out for defensive rebounds.  He’s the type of guy who could find himself in and out of rotations based on his shooting and defense so I gave him a bit of a knock, but I do like him.  In the right system he could move all the way up to 10th overall in my rookie mocks.
  17. Kevon Looney – UCLA – Looney is going to need to have his hip fixed so he will be a draft and stash for a year, but he has enough upside that he is worth it.  He has excellent size and a nice inside outside game to be a featured player at the Power Forward Position down the road.  Love the upside with a stash pick this late.
  18. Kelly Oubre – Kansas – Oubre has the ideal slasher size for a small forward at 6’7″ and just over 200 pounds.  If he can learn the NBA game and get NBA strong he has a ton of potential.  At this point you need to gamble on future upside and Oubre is worth it to me.
  19. Joseph Young – Oregon – All I hear about the kid is that no one can stay in front of him and he’s got a shot and range to go with it.  I like those things especially late in fantasy rookie drafts where players start to become single category types.  If young lands in the right spot he could be a steal.
  20. Justin Anderson – Virginia – Anderson has a great body type and game to guard the big wings in the NBA.  He also has the potential to be a nice floor spacer with a 3 Point shot and good enough athleticism to finish.  He has to work on his handle and passing, but he could be a guy that contributes a lot more than we think because of his ability to stay on the floor.

Other who were under consideration are the point guards Jerian Grant of Notre Dame, Delon Wright of Utah (Great size and wing span) and Tyus Jones of Duke and shooting guards R.J. Hunter of Georgia State and Rashad Vaughn out of UNLV.  There are a few Power forward rotational types that could find themselves with nice fantasy appeal if they land on a PF needy team like Jarell Martin out of LSU and Cliff Alexander of Kansas.

In all, this crop of Fantasy Basketball Rookie prospects are a bit top heavy.  I would weigh the top four to six picks heavily over the rest of the draft.  If someone was trying to move up for say pick 11 to pick 4 it would take a haul to get up there.  Forget about trading out of the top three in this year’s Dynasty Fantasy Basketball Rookie Drafts.