Fantasy Basketball: Seven players set for big breakout seasons

·5 min read
Coby White and Michael Porter Jr could both be poised for huge seasons for the Bulls and Nuggets respectively - as well as your fantasy basketball team. Pictures: Getty Images
Coby White and Michael Porter Jr could both be poised for huge seasons for the Bulls and Nuggets respectively - as well as your fantasy basketball team. Pictures: Getty Images

Every year, we have players take a big step forward. Bam Adebayo was one I saw coming last season. Brandon Ingram, not so much.

So, I am trying to look into my crystal ball and give you seven players who could have breakout seasons in Yahoo Fantasy Basketball this year.

Shai Gilgeous-Alexander

Shai was great last season, but it’s a whole new ball game this season. Having played mainly off the ball last season, Shai is the Thunder’s point guard with Dennis Schröder and Chris Paul on new teams this season.

He is going to be the number one option on offence, too, with Danilo Gallinari also gone.

I expect Shai to be a top 20 player and could even push into the top 10 and with efficiency not being a problem in a Yahoo league, the extra focus defences have on him shouldn’t be a problem.

Christian Wood

We saw Christian Wood explode after Andre Drummond was traded last season and now he has a big opportunity to do it for a full year in Houston.

Russell Westbrook, usage vortex, is already gone and James Harden could be next.

DeMarcus Cousins’ body isn’t going to hold up as a starter, so Wood should get his first season as a 30+ minute a night starter and be on his way to a huge fantasy season.

Dejounte Murray

Dejounte Murray returned from his ACL injury last season and split minutes with Derrick White. But in the bubble, Spurs coach Gregg Popovich finally played Murray and White next to each other and it looked great.

My feeling is that we will get that same alignment this season and that means I expect Murray to see his minutes rise. If his offence catches up to his defence, a real breakout could be on our hands.

Coby White

Like Wood, we saw White earn and impress in a starting role just before the season shutdown in March.

Usage was high and he improved his shooting and assist numbers.

He should enter this season as the Bulls’ starting point guard and he has a real NBA coach now in former OKC Thunder mentor Billy Donovan, after a season under the unconventional Jim Boylen.

I look for White to establish himself as a great fantasy points point guard in his second season.

Michael Porter Jr.

Michael Malone held Michael Porter back last season, because of his poor defence.

This season, I feel like the reins are off and Porter is going to start and play pretty big minutes as a starter next to Nikola Jokić and Jamal Murray.

In the bubble games, Porter was the 23rd ranked player and averaged 38 fantasy points in 33 minutes. Maybe he doesn’t do that, but there’s a real chance he does.

Wendell Carter Jr.

Like Coby White, Wendell Carter has a real coach to play under now. Jim Boylen took the ball out of Carter’s hands and told him not to shoot threes.

That’s an interesting tactic for a centre who can pass and who shot over 40% from deep in his one season at Duke.

Boylen ruined his confidence, but not to worry, that horror is over. Carter is going to launch more and he is going to pass more. He should play more too.

Hopefully, he stays healthy.

Darius Bazley

Bazley is going to start for the Thunder and is likely also going to be the number two offensive option most nights for the Thunder.

He had a cameo in the bubble games and showed he can do it. He averaged 13 points in 27 minutes, scoring 26 fantasy points per game and I expect usage and playing time to only increase this season.

He can also block shots and if he sees an increase in his percentages his scoring could rise even more. He has strong upside as a late pick.

More from Yahoo Fantasy Sports

Explore the Larry O'Brien Trophy winners throughout the years in augmented reality

Explore the championship history of the Lakers, Celtics, Bulls, Heat and Warriors in augmented reality. Click on the video below and cycle through the four icons on the bottom of the experience to view each teams “trophy case,” which includes all of their NBA championship trophies as well as pictures of the team throughout history. Make sure to turn on your device’s sound to get an analysis of what makes each of these franchises so dominant.

The 3D experience can be viewed on both desktop and mobile.

For desktop:

  • Click on “View in 3D” above

  • Use your mouse to zoom and rotate the object

For mobile (optimal experience):

  • Click on “View in 3D” above

  • Tap on the camera icon in the upper right-hand corner of the browser

  • Press “allow” (this prompt should come up multiple times)

  • Place the object in your space, use your fingers to resize and rotate in augmented reality

  • To take a photo of what you’re seeing, tap on the screen and a camera icon will appear