Description: Rookie Doug McDermott will have to earn his playing time with hard-noised coach Tom Thibodeau.
Insight: That being said, Chicago traded up to draft McDemott because of his raw talent and ability to score. McDermott will take minutes away from veteran Mike Dunleavy, and owners should expect McDermott to shoot a tremendous percentage playing on such a great passing team.
Description: As far as drafting bench players goes, Bulls forward Taj Gibson should be one of the top bench players taken in fantasy drafts.
Insight: Gibson averaged 19.3 PPG, 2.8 APG, 9.8 RPG, and 1.8 BPG in seven starts last season. The front court is crowded in Chicago, but should Joakim Noah or Pau Gasol go down, Gibson will start and Chicago shouldn't miss a beat. He will be a great sixth man as well, which makes him a late value pickup in fantasy.
Description: Bulls forward Mike Dunleavy has very little upside in fantasy basketball this season.
Insight: Dunleavy averaged 32 minutes per game last season, but we expect that to take a tip with rookie Doug McDermott in the rotation. Dunleavy can provide a boost in leagues with 3-pointers, but that is about it.
Description: Bulls shooting guard Jimmy Butler is averaging 18 points on 60 percent shooting from the field this preseason.
Insight: NBA.com reported Butler is crediting his great play this preseason to his rigorous offseason training. He came in 10 pounds lighter and more focused than last season. That's what fantasy owners love to hear.
Description: Portland small forward Nicolas Batum should be considered an early-round pick for the upcoming fantasy basketball season.
Insight: Batum is notable for filling stat sheets, as he averaged 13.0 points per game, 7.5 rebounds per game, 5.1 assists per game, 0.9 steals per game, 0.7 blocks per game, while shooting 47 percent from the field, 36 percent from three-point land, and 80 percent from the free throw line last season. Batum should be off the board by the end of the second round.
Description: Portland forward LaMarcus Aldridge will be looking to build off a career-season.
Insight: Last season, Aldridge averaged 23.2 points per game, 11.1 rebounds per game, and shot 82 percent from the free throw line, which were all career-highs. He also has career-averages of 1.0 blocks per game, 0.8 steals per game, and shoots 40 percent from the field. As a result, Aldridge should not fall further than the begining of the second round, and it would not be a poor decision, to take him at the end of the first.
Description: Celtics forward Brandon Bass is turning into an irrelevant fantasy player.
Insight: Bass has started at power forward for Boston the last few seasons, but Jared Sullinger and Kelly Olynyk are poised to start in the front court for the Celtics to start the 2014-2015 season. Bass will have a bench role and will not be worth owning.
Description: Celtics' Evan Turner is a candidate to start at point guard on opening night.
Insight: Turner has gained the trust of coach Brad Stevens and with Rajon Rondo out a few weeks, Turner could start at the point. Rookie Marcus Smart is the long-term answer at point guard for Boston, but if Stevens elects to go with experience, Turner will be the guy.
Description: Celtics forward Jeff Green could provide fantasy owners some additional scoring numbers this season.
Insight: Green has been getting more minutes at power forward this preseason, so his field goal percentage should go up. He averaged 16.9 points per game last season, which was a career-high, and shot 34 percent from the field.
Description: Nets center Mason Plumlee could provide some great value late in fantasy drafts.
Insight: Plumlee has done a little bit of everything this preseason for the Nets. He is expected to come off the bench this season, but with fellow center Brook Lopez out for the first two weeks of the season, and Kevin Garnett about as old as dirt, Plumlee could see some significant minutes early in the season. If he takes advantage of the opportunity, perhaps his minutes increase down the road.
Description: Nets forward Alan Anderson has been dealing with an abdominal injury this preseason according to The New York Post.
Insight: Anderson and Andrei Kirilenko should have been battling each other for the starting small forward role, but both have been sidelined for part of the preseason. Rookie Bojan Bogdanovic is currently slotted to start at small forward. Continue to monitor Anderson's health as he could be inserted into the starting lineup at some point.
Description: Nets coach Lionel Hollins told the New York Post he has no desire to change the starting lineup as of this point.
Insight: That means 25-year-old Bojan Bogdanovic will start at small forward. We expect Joe Johnson to also receive minutes at the small forward position, but Bogdanovic is still a late-round flier pick if one is willing to take on the risk.
Description: Nets guard Joe Johnson plans to improve his rebounding this season.
Insight: In most fantasy leagues, Johnson will be able to start at guard or forward, so he does have some additional value. He averaged 3.4 rebounds per game last season while scoring 15.8 points per game. In addition to improving the rebounding numbers, Johnson would also like to shoot more free throws. Last season, he averaged 2.5 free throw attempts per game.
Description: Minnesota forward Anthony Bennett will have to work extremely hard to earn his playing time.
Insight: As of now, Bennett is third on the depth chart at the power forward position, behind starter Thaddeus Young and Dante Cunningham (not a recommended fantasy option). If Bennett can prove he can play small forward as well, that will help increase his playing time, but for now, we would leave him undrafted and simply keep an eye on his progress early on in the season.
Description: Timberwolves small forward Corey Brewer is penciled in as the starting small forward to begin the season.
Insight: He started 81 games for Minnesota last season and put up some solid numbers (12.3 PPG, 1.9 SPG, 48% FG). Brewer does not have anyone pushing him for his starting spot, so he should be able to at least duplicate those numbers. Target him towards the end of your drafts.
Description: Timberwolves forward Thaddeus Young will look to be a big-time player during his first year in Minnesota.
Insight: Young had a very nice season in Philadelphia in 2013-14, and will have the opportunity to duplicate his some of his numbers (17.9 PPG, 6.0 RPG, 2.1 SPG) with the Timberwolves. He should be targeted starting in the late fourth round.
Description: Thunder forward Lance Thomas is expected to start at small forward during the absence of the injured Kevin Durant.
Insight: While he is expected to start and get playing time, Thomas is not expected to make an impact from a fantasy perspective. Oklahoma City is hoing he provides a little scoring punch, but owners should leave him undrafted on draft day.
Description: Thunder forward Kevin Durant is now an extremely interesting pick for the upcoming fantasy basketball season.
Insight: As a result of his foot injury, Durant has dropped down from being the consensus number-one overall pick, to being drafted in the second round. The biggest concern for owners is that he is going to comeback too soon from the injury (6-to-8 week timetable). However, assuming Durant will be his normal self, his averages will be amongst the best in the NBA, and drafting him the first round is not a ridiculous move for owners to make.
Description: Thunder power forward Serge Ibaka will have to well, especially early on in the season.
Insight: With Kevin Durant out with a foot injury for several weeks, Ibaka will have a great chance to be a dynamic fantasy player. He averaged career-highs in points (15.1 PPG), rebounds (8.8 RPG), assists (1.0 APG), steals (0.5 SPG), and free throw percentage (.784) last season. With him, and Russell Westbrook the focal points of the offense early on, Ibaka should be selected in the second round. If he is able to get off to a hot start, we feel it could easily last the entire 2014-15 season.
Description: Jazz small forward Gordon Hayward should be line for a breakout season.
Insight: He averaged a career-best 16.2 points per game, 5.2 assists per game, 5.1 rebounds per game, and 1.4 steals per game. Hayward should be right around his career-average of .365 from three-point land, and with all of this being said, owners need to target him in the early-to-middle rounds of fantasy drafts.
Description: Utah power forward Derrick Favors is looking to build off his career-best season.
Insight: He averaged a career-high in points (13.3 PPG), rebounds (8.7 RPG), assists (1.2 APG), and steals per game (1.0) last season, and at only 23-years-old is destined to improve on those numbers. He has a career .506 field goal percentage, along with a career-average of 1.3 blocks per game. Favors should be going around the fifth or sixth round of drafts, and owners should not be afraid to pick this potential breakout candidate. He also will have eligibility at the center position as well.
Description: Thunder forward Kevin Durant has a fractured foot, and will most likely require surgery.
Insight: There is no set return date, but the injury is being classified as a "Jones" fracture, which typically requires surgery, and a six-to-eight week recovery time. This will no doubt shake up the beginning of fantasy drafts, however owners should still take the reigning MVP somewhere in the first round.
Description: Bulls forward Mike Dunleavy will not play in Chicago's preseason game on Saturday.
Insight: Dunleavy has soreness in his knee, but it does not sound serious. Doug McDermott will start in Dunleavy's place on Saturday. It will be fascinating to see how McDermott does in his first start, but Dunleavy clearly has the better fantasy value at this point.
Description: Suns forward T.J. Warren looked fantastic on Friday, scoring 10 points and grabbing six rebounds, against the Nuggets.
Insight: Warren shot 4-for-8 from the field and made two from behind the arc. With P.J. Tucker suspended, Warren will be in the Suns rotation to start the year. He probably isn't worth drafting, but keep an eye on this 21-year-old.
Description: Thunder power forward Serge Ibaka will not play in Friday's preseason game against the Mavericks.
Insight: The Thunder want him to get an extra day of rest. Ibaka has missed just three games the last three seasons, so we would be surprised if he is not ready by opening day. Ibaka is a late-first round, early-second round target in most fantasy drafts.
Description: Warriors small forward Andre Iguodala broke his nose against the Lakers on Thursday night.
Insight: Golden State said he should be able to play through it, so Igoudala won't miss any playing time. He likely isn't a high fantasy draft pick anyway, but he shouldn't drop on the big board due to this injury.
Description: Philadelphia G/F Hollis Thompson suffered a corneal abrasion in his left eye and is out on Wednesday according to Comcast Sports Net.
Insight: Most of the time, this type of injury is minor, but other players have missed significant time from it. If he missing significant time, K.J. McDaniels and Alexey Shved will see more playing time.
Description: Knicks PF/C Andrea Bargnani started at power forward in a preseason game on Wednesday.
Insight: Bargnani started along with Jose Calderon, J.R. Smith, Carmelo Anthony and Samuel Dalembert. Bargnani should benefit from playing with Calderon as both played with each other in Toronto. Still, Bargnani is not worth drafting in most leagues.