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Fantasy Basketball Player Ranks: What is ‘must-roster?’ It’s not just about numbers

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For most Fantasy managers, standard leagues consist of 12 teams and nine categories. While roster depth can fluctuate from one league to another, we typically look at around 150 players in a roster per league. When we talk about players who are considered “must have” it’s not as simple as “well, if they’re in the top 150, they should be on the list.” So where is the cutoff? Which players can we ignore despite their ratings to the contrary?

Let’s dive in.

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For those new to fantasy basketball, player ranks are the deciding factor when it comes to who to include in a roster. It might look as simple as “this player is in 115th place, so I need him on my list.” But it’s more difficult. Definitive deficits, injuries, team composition, statistical weaknesses and format must be taken into account when deciding which players to include in the roster.

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Generally speaking, any top 80 player should be included in all formats. Although there may be one or two exceptions to this rule, players in this range often have minimal disadvantages. Someone like De’Anthony Melton, currently ranked 49th, gets most of his value from stealing. However, he also helps you with three-pointers, providing stealth value in both rebounding and blocking from the defensive end.

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De’Anthony Melton

FI • SG • #8

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Once we get beyond the top 80, things get more subjective. While there are certainly a few players in this range that should be on the roster, we’re starting to come across a few names that won’t necessarily be of value to your team. These are generally players who, like Melton, rely heavily on one or two categories to maintain their overall value. On the other hand, they may not cause you too much harm in either category, while still offering very few benefits. Based on the current player ranks, here are a few players who, despite their numerical value, are not automatically included in standard formats.

Delon Wright, Wizards (Current rating: 94)

Despite coming off the bench, Wright is arguably the best point guard option the Wizards have right now. Monte Morris was promoted in the off-season but didn’t live up to the hype. This discrepancy is perfectly visible when looking at their respective ranks. With nearly 30 minutes per game, Morris is ranked 130th while Wright is 94th in just 20 minutes per night. Now, while Wright is clearly the best option, especially when it comes to fantasy, his role doesn’t look like it’s going to increase significantly in the future. The bulk of his value comes from steals, of which he averages 2.1 per game. Anyone with a need for steals can certainly put it on the list, but other than that, it should be considered primarily as an option for streaming.

Bol Bol, Magic (Current rank: 96)

After a hot start to the season, Bol predictably cooled off. On the face of it, he deserves a spot on most 12-team lists. However, if we dig a little deeper, we will see a different picture. Over the past month, his playing time has decreased, as has his production. During that time, he became the 215th player with only 10.1 points on 5.4 rebounds and 1.3 combined steals and blocks. The Magic are gradually recovering, which means that the front area is getting more and more crowded. Although he was able to show himself at the beginning of the season, his prospects for the rest of the season are far from bright. Judging by the recent sample size, there is no reason to believe that its role will increase anytime soon, which means that it is a relatively safe replacement for standard formats.

Kentavius ​​Caldwell-Pope, Nuggets (Current Rank: 97)

Unlike Wright, Caldwell-Pope doesn’t offer a ton of benefits in any category. Of course, he has his strengths, but they are not worthy of the stream. He is right in the top 100, averaging 11.7 points, 3.1 rebounds, 2.2 assists, 1.2 steals and 2.1 three-pointers. While these are undoubtedly sufficient numbers, they won’t win their fantasy league for anyone. He is a safe late round roto option, albeit with very little excitement. In the individual league, it is better for managers to broadcast his position in order to accumulate statistics.

Alex Caruso, Bulls (Current rating: 119)

Caruso is another player whose value relies heavily on one or two categories boosting his overall ranking. Despite only averaging 5.6 points per game, he is in the top 100 thanks to his 1.6 steals and, to a lesser extent, 3.5 assists. He currently sees 24.5 minutes per night, although unlike Wright, his role could increase if he can stay healthy. Lonzo Ball doesn’t appear to be close to making a comeback, meaning the Bulls need a defensive option at quarterback. With a possible spike in minutes, it makes sense for Caruso to become a must-have in a few more situations. However, his limited skill set means he’s not for everyone.

Marcus Morris, Clippers (Current Rank: 123)

Morris was a consistent inside asset, averaging 13.3 points, 2.1 3-pointers, 4.8 rebounds, and 1.2 combined steals and blocks. However, like Bol, its value has dropped a lot in recent times. During the first month, Kawhi Leonard barely showed up, while Paul George came in and out of the rotation. Leonard is back and working hard, and George could be back pretty soon. While Morris is likely to be a key player in moving the Clippers forward, his options will be limited, especially offensively. At this point in his career, we know who he is. Is it a mandatory player from 12 teams? No, it’s not.


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