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Offseason Beat

The Bruski 150

by Aaron Bruski
Updated On: October 4, 2018, 4:04 pm ET

So here we are again with one week to go before the season starts.  As usual, we’re publishing as late as possible so as to let the market solidify before we release these picks – many of which will go against the grain. 


This is the same exact list that I will use in upcoming big money competitions including the National Fantasy Basketball Championship among others.  Last year it was good enough to bring home third place in the NFBKC's Hall of Fame League, which has the highest price point for entry. 


Longtime readers will know that I don’t play it safe here.  I’m not worried about standing out from other sites’ rankings or even our own.  This is about throwing my best punch and not being concerned about looking crazy when I do it.  As a result, I’ve had some high profile wins on player projections and a few high profile losses, too.  I haven’t seen any fantasy expert rankings in a while but when I have seen them they’ve put me at or near the top.  Hopefully for all of us that trend will continue. Lastly, be sure to read the ground rules – they are key to using this list correctly. 


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Here is a look back at last year’s B150 from this summer.




*Programming Note: There will be a planned update to this list on Saturday morning.



The ground rules….


  • This is a Roto list. It’s not a head-to-head list or a points league list.  It’s not a list to account for playoff formats.  Frankly I’d prefer it to not even include 9-cat rankings because it’s terrible to penalize better players for handling the ball a lot. But because we all play 9-cat I include my ranks for 9-cat and the associated Average Draft Positions (ADP), as well.  While I’m banging on 9-cat leagues I’ll bang on playoff leagues, too.  Why go through the nightly grind of the NBA season to have the ever-growing problem of shutdowns determine your league.


  • Each player in the top 300 or so has been hand-projected for each category. Those projections have been scrutinized in every context that might affect the final outcome.  A proprietary blend of methodologies – both quantitative and qualitative – is used to weave the resulting numbers into these rankings. 


  • This is a year-long list.  By ranking a player (for example) No. 33, I am predicting they will finish as the 33rd ranked player at the end of the year, cumulatively.  In that respect, it is vital owners know that I am not intending for them to draft players in this order.


  • Again, owners need to consider their specific marketplace and determine where they would like to draft players based on ADP, strength of their league and the like.  Just because I rank a guy way ahead of his ADP, or if the ADP doesn’t exist because the guy isn’t getting drafted enough – it doesn’t mean you grab him where I rank him.


  • ADPs are pulled from ESPN for 8-cat and Yahoo for 9-cat.


  • These are pure values that don’t account for any punting or specialized team builds you might want to look at.  If you want to adjust for punting or a specific type of team build you’ll need to do that on your own.  For what it's worth I seek balance when building a team whether it's Roto or H2H. 


So without further ado, I give you the Bruski 150:


1 2 Stephen Curry GSW G No matter what I do to manipulate Brow's stats, I still have Curry coming out on top. 2 2
2 1 Anthony Davis NOR F/C If you take AD No. 1 I can't blame you. He has an unknown ceiling and could blast through reasonable projections. 1 1
3 4 Kevin Durant OKC F It'll be stressful, but his upside cannot be ignored. 3 5
4 4 James Harden HOU G/F A safe pick that gives both upside and peace of mind. 5 4
5 8 Chris Paul LAC G He has been slipping in drafts and has at least one more year of putting the kids in their place. 4 7
6 6 Russell Westbrook OKC G Everything you want in a first round pick - a nice floor and top 3-4 upside on top of it. 10 6
7 7 DeMarcus Cousins SAC F/C The only risk here is if George Karl's offense takes him away from the hoop. 13 8
8 5 LeBron James CLE F If he can get going toward the hoop again, he has top-5 upside. 9 5
9 12 John Wall WAS G The Wizards' new uptempo offense could make him the surprise pick at the turn of Round 1 and Round 2. 16 17
10 13 Kawhi Leonard SAS G/F I'd like to believe he can climb higher than this, but the LaMarcus Aldridge addition could hold that in check. 6 10
11 12 Klay Thompson GSW G/F It's going to be hard to turn a profit on Klay but he's a very safe play at the top of the draft. 11 13
12 9 Damian Lillard POR G Efficiency problems are the only thing stopping him fom having a truly special fantasy season. 17 15
13 19 Rudy Gobert UTA C Owners can thank the hype train for removing the profit margin here. Still, he could surprise and climb higher. 8 20
14 15 Jimmy Butler CHI G/F Another victim of the hype train, Butler can exceed this by taking full control of the Bulls' offense. Rose lingers. 12 14
15 18 Serge Ibaka OKC F/C A case of less is more on the offensive end. He can get back to his efficient, defensive roots cleaning up for Kanter. 7 20
16 13 Paul George IND G/F He looks great and yes there's all sorts of risk, but this is where I think he lands. 14 21
17 23 Marc Gasol MEM C A safe, boring pick that can clear your team of worrying about an upper-level big man later in the draft. 18 26
18 26 Eric Bledsoe PHO G I worry about Phoenix imploding, but Bledsoe should be able to survive a Suns meltdown. 45 34
19 38 Kyrie Irving CLE G This could get adjusted if we get bad news on his return date, but no player in the second round has his upside. 19 22
20 26 Draymond Green GSW F It feels like folks have some Draymond fatigue, but there's no reason he can't do it again this season. 15 28
21 31 Rudy Gay SAC F He fits well in George Karl's offense and better teammates should help keep his efficiency high. 25 41
22 31 Kyle Lowry TOR G Clearly he's on the no-carb diet. His ADP hasn't caught up to his preseason onslaught. 27 28
23 25 Gordon Hayward UTA G/F Hayward looks like he packed on yet another 15 pounds of muscle. He could emerge as a true No. 1 scorer. 30 40
24 24 Paul Millsap ATL F/C I have concerns about his mileage, but so far he looks like he has turned the page on shoulder issues. 28 18
25 25 Nikola Vucevic ORL F/C The only small risk with Vucevic is that Scott Skiles messes with him. Still, a very safe play. 21 23
26 49 Al Horford ATL F/C The 3-point shooting is real and the hope is that he doesn't lose it all on the back end of his FG%. So far so good. 20 13
27 33 Jeff Teague ATL G If Atlanta didn't have depth issues, I'd worry about Dennis Schroder. But there's enough to go around. 38 42
28 43 Goran Dragic MIA G Keep an eye on the interplay between he and Dwyane Wade. We may have to revisit this rank if they stumble. 36 53
29 56 Mike Conley MEM G Contract year for Conley and a full summer off to heal his numerous ailments. 35 33
30 35 Victor Oladipo ORL G His defensive chops should keep him from getting into Scott Skiles' doghouse. 49 36
31 32 Kevin Love CLE F/C Look for the Cavs to try and establish him early as the rest of the squad gets healed up. 24 24
32 45 Reggie Jackson DET G Word out of Detroit is that they're going to put the ball in his hands a lot. 66 75
33 16 Carmelo Anthony NYK F I like what I see out of him, but the reality is that he can't play the heavy minutes that push him up the rankings. 42 13
34 34 Chris Bosh MIA F/C We could be looking at the final peaking of Chris Bosh before those legs start to give in. 31 38
35 42 Nicolas Batum CHA G/F Batum has looked sharp and the Hornets need everything he can give them. 47 62
36 15 Blake Griffin LAC F/C Increased depth will give Doc Rivers an easy decision to ease up on a guy that has recently run out of gas. 55 19
37 28 Pau Gasol CHI F/C I see folks taking him very high but Tom Thibodeau isn't walking through that door. His mpg is taking a hit. 32 30
38 59 Danny Green SAS G/F Perenially underrated and the Spurs need both he and Kawhi Leonard to lock down the wings. 22 58
39 33 Hassan Whiteside MIA C It's not going to be comfortable drafting him, period. But when you cut through the haze this is where he lands. 23 33
40 31 Nerlens Noel PHI F/C A defensive monster and his post All Star stats give a window into his value this year. 33 33
41 62 Kemba Walker CHA G The hope for owners is that better teammates can help keep him from having to take shots late in the clock. 40 62
42 38 DeAndre Jordan LAC C Jordan's ability to do all the dirty work offsets the FT issues -- elite levels of blocks and boards at the same time. 26 29
43 57 Brandon Knight PHO G Quietly he's in a great position to exceed his ADP. Just beware of his still achy ankle. 65 55
44 67 Giannis Antetokounmpo MIL F A quiet preseason has kept the hype train at bay and there's a chance he could slide. 53 62
45 32 Andre Drummond DET F/C He looks to be in better shape and his skills have improved. Unfortunately more post chances dilute the dunks. 37 36
46 52 Karl-Anthony Towns MIN C He has upside beyond this rank, but he will need to keep fouling issues at bay. 48 62
47 82 Ricky Rubio MIN G All of the injury issues have actually been helpful to his stock as you can see by the ADP. 72 77
48 53 Isaiah Thomas BOS G I'd hate to be the GM that incessantly spread rumors about this guy. 61 76
49 39 Brook Lopez BKN C You know the story by now. He is the epitome of boom-bust pick and the price is a bit high right now. 29 33
50 61 Greg Monroe MIL F/C There's a very good chance he emerges at the No. 1 option on offense. 64 57







51 51 Tyreke Evans NOR G Hopefully he doesn't have to tote the rock too much since he's an injury risk, but talk about high-octane situation. 83 79
52 55 Jonas Valanciunas TOR C Jonas will finally be freed this season, if Dwane Casey's comments about playing him in the 4th hold up. 39 65
53 19 LaMarcus Aldridge SAS F/C He's a guy that wants to get his numbers, but that's not how things roll in San Antonio. 34 17
54 63 Khris Middleton MIL G/F A great example of not getting too crazy about the preseason. He was falling far in drafts a few days ago. 41 70
55 47 Andrew Wiggins MIN G/F The Wolves may want to limit his minutes after last year's workload, but he has immeasurable upside. 75 61
56 76 Danilo Gallinari DEN F The Gallo hype train has been helped by him quietly strolling through the preseason. 50 73
57 84 Nikola Mirotic CHI F The Mike Dunleavy injury has opened the door to big minutes. Now it's his job to force Fred Hoiberg's hand. 43 78
58 93 Marcin Gortat WAS C He looks great and will benefit from Nene being phased out of the offense. 44 57
59 84 Michael Carter-Williams MIL G As long as he stays in his lane, takes good shots and is active on defense he should slide right into this rank. 109 80
60 50 Derrick Favors UTA F/C Favors has never really cashed in on the hype and there's no reason for Utah to overuse him this year. 63 48
61 68 Tobias Harris ORL F If you've taken some risky players early in the draft, Harris can be viewed as a safer mid-round selection. 59 50
62 41 Monta Ellis IND G The uptempo offense should help alleviate concerns about a new system and ball-dominant teammates like PG. 89 58
63 82 Trevor Ariza HOU G/F Ariza should benefit from all sorts of catch-and-shoot action on the other side of the floor from Harden and Lawson. 51 48
64 69 DeMarre Carroll TOR F As usual, he should slide into a mid-round value and there's a chance he's entrusted to do more this season. 46 62
65 68 Dwyane Wade MIA G Wade will still probably be overdrafted by somebody that's not you. 92 65
66 84 Gorgui Dieng MIN F/C Dieng is all upside even if he won't be run ragged like he was last year. 56 101
67 47 Kenneth Faried DEN F/C Michael Malone is going to give us the Manimal we all thought we were getting last year. 57 55
68 93 CJ McCollum POR G The hype train has killed his profit margin in competitive leagues. Efficiency and defensive issues cap his upside. 68 124
69 69 Tim Duncan SAS F/C This is the annual Tim Duncan will make us all look silly again ranking. 54 48
70 59 Kobe Bryant LAL G/F A very fluid ranking here for the Mamba. He can get here if he loses a step, but not if he loses two. 116 64
71 74 George Hill IND G If the get out and run, Hill has some hidden upside as a guy that will really benefit from an injury in the backcourt. 67 73
72 106 Eric Gordon NOR G Especially with other players dropping like flies, Mr. Contract Year could yield a nice 1-2 round profit. 82 102
73 39 Chandler Parsons DAL F A risk-reward pick going way too early in laid back leagues, but in competitive leagues he has been dropping far. 71 69
74 78 Markieff Morris PHO F/C He's the same player that was getting hyped as a top-50 guy last year, just with multiple distractions in his life. 90 96
75 70 Kyle Korver ATL G/F So far so good on the rehab. They may pull him back, but he could easily have another historic shooting year. 58 55
76 57 Al Jefferson CHA F/C I'm tempted to go higher as he's fit and in a contract year, but there's a lot of mileage on Big Al. 52 38
77 60 Bradley Beal WAS G The story is the same with him -- efficiency issues and lower defensive stats plague his value. 91 86
78 104 Terrence Jones HOU F All the random injury news has taken the shine off of good reports from the folks in Houston about his play. 60 95
79 90 Thaddeus Young BKN F You worry about his foul shooting but he should get all he can eat this year for Lionel Hollins. 84 88
80 91 JR Smith CLE G/F Smith could be a guy you take a flier on with the hopes he goes off in the first third of the year. 62 120
81 69 Dirk Nowitzki DAL F/C Minute restrictions and slowly waning production are turning the page on a brilliant fantasy career. 70 41
82 100 Robert Covington PHI G/F There's nothing settling about the landscape in Philly, but Covington should be able to survive the stank. 79 90
83 63 DeMar DeRozan TOR G/F Playing for a big contract, he should be ready to go. The usual issues plague him. 102 63
84 73 Zach Randolph MEM F/C It won't be flashy but he'll grit and grind his way to a respectable rank. 103 65
85 119 Meyers Leonard POR F/C He's emerging as a key cog in the Blazers rebuild. 76 106
86 93 Wesley Matthews DAL G/F You really can't go wrong at this stage of the draft. He has top-50 upside if modern medicine wins out. 74 75
87 54 Ty Lawson HOU G Lawson will be productive and folks in Houston are encouraged by what they see. But Harden is going to gash him. 117 74
88 86 Ryan Anderson NOR F/C Especially with injuries to the center position, he's a perfect fit next to AD as a stretch four under Alvin Gentry 69 101
88 109 PJ Tucker PHO G/F Assuming he's not a part of any Phoenix implosion, he'll plod his way to a top-100 season. 73 139
89 140 Dennis Schroder ATL G Schroder brings elite quickness to the table and he will force Budenholzer to keep him on the floor. 137 140
90 117 Lou Williams LAL G An explosive veteran on a team that could suffer from young mistakes. That's a good recipe for success. 78 133
91 105 Deron Williams DAL G He seems snake-bitten already. He's a flier pick that has more downside than upside, but upside nonetheless. 127 86
92 107 Joakim Noah CHI F/C Early reports indicate he's in pretty good shape. Unfortunately the Bulls are stacked down low. 94 83
93 60 Jarrett Jack BKN G His ADP is out of control as Jack had plenty of run last year to make an impact and didn't. 171 119
94 119 Al-Farouq Aminu POR F It's hard to get too excited about preseason ball, or a series against HOU for that matter, but a solid late-rounder. 87 121
95 120 Marcus Smart BOS G His preseason absence and the logjam of players in Boston have hidden one of the talks of Summer League. 95 123
96 111 Otto Porter Jr WAS F Porter can actually go up from here and to me he's the key to Washington's season. 77 140
97 140 Rodney Hood UTA G/F Folks in Utah and around the NBA are gushing about Hood. He's one year away from a real breakout. 81 148
98 118 Alec Burks UTA G The same goes for Burks, who needs some tweaks to his stat set but is a guy to target later in drafts. 115 142
99 116 Stanley Johnson DET F I am on the Stanley Johnson hype train, but as with most rookies the stats don't always translate in Year 1. 98 134
100 96 Jordan Clarkson LAL G There are a couple of ways he can beat this rank, but barring injury in front of him he won't turn a profit. 118 127







101 81 Robin Lopez NYK C Last year has justifiably spooked folks. But if he stays healthy he doesn't have any real competition for minutes. 88 94
102 73 JJ Redick LAC G With added depth the Clippers won't have to ride him as hard as they have in the past. 80 84
103 116 Joe Johnson BKN G/F Johnson will get all he can eat and the only question is whether or not the Nets start playing for ping pong balls. 120 101
104 102 Tyson Chandler PHO C Chandler is a good center to target late if only for the fact the Phoenix training staff could add a few rounds of value 86 75
105 92 Emmanuel Mudiay DEN G I'm not convinced he can be efficient and he might have to take a back seat to others for a while. 281 101
106 96 Elfrid Payton ORL G Physically he's as gifted as any point guard in the league, but you already know about his shooting. 158 69
107 120 Jeremy Lin CHA G The only real question for Lin is whether or not he can hold up. Unlike last year in LA, he is a good fit for Charlotte. 129 135
108 114 Timofey Mozgov CLE C Per usual he will plod his way into a late-round ranking, and has mid-round upside if he climbs above 27 mpg. 97 117
109 120 Darren Collison SAC G Collison won't have free reign like last year, but he's the Kings' third-best weapon on offense. 105 134
110   Kelly Olynyk BOS C He has a fantasy friendly game and Sullinger sure looks like he's eating his way out of Boston. 106 136
111 95 Enes Kanter OKC C A safer pickup at center in the later rounds. As long as he doesn't get too bad on defense, he should be relevant. 121 91
112 113 Harrison Barnes GSW F I'm ranking him as if the knee issue is not an issue. 96 121
113 122 Ersan Ilyasova DET F If he had ever cracked 30 mpg in a season I'd be much more inclined to believe in his upside. 100 95
114 58 Derrick Rose CHI G Inefficient and lacking in defensive stats, he can't produce the counting stats to make it all work. 233 74
115 49 Dwight Howard HOU F/C Similarly to Rose, he's not putting up the gaudy numbers to offset his foul shooting. 197 60
116 100 Jrue Holiday NOR G Holiday has looked sharp and he feels good. Barring no disasters, he could have a solid 2nd half of the year. 122 58
117 112 Jerian Grant NYK G Grant has some holes in his fantasy game but it's not hard to see his path to value in New York. 126 141
118   Tyler Zeller BOS F/C Similarly to Olynyk, he's benefiting from Sullinger's decline and Boston sounds amicable to keeping him. 85 139
119 120 Josh Smith LAC F Just like in Houston, he's perfectly cast in L.A. and with proper expectations he can help your squad. 187 133
120 116 Jeff Green MEM G/F Green is a plodder and owners will probably want to look for greater upside. 114 135
121 140 John Henson MIL F/C A little goes a long way with this guy and the Bucks believe he's a part of their core. 111 140
122   Kyle O'Quinn NYK F/C Remember this guy! I want to go higher with him but I can't unless I know he's logging center minutes. 110 140
123 140 Alex Len PHO C Tyson Chandler is no spring chicken and Len has flashed really good potential to go with his ankle issues. 108 140
124 113 Mo Williams CLE G This is a first month of the season pickup and anything beyond that is gravy. 174 139
125   Jae Crowder BOS F With all the mouths to feed in Boston his upside is capped. 93 107
126 114 Frank Kaminsky CHA C Frank the Tank needs to convince Steve Clifford that he can not be a liability defensively. 113 135
127 110 Wilson Chandler DEN G/F Some mild upside to go with decent injury risk, but Michael Malone will probably rely on him all year. 138 110
128 107 Roy Hibbert LAL C I don't see the upside nor the defensive prowess. But his back is against the wall and this would be the time. 134 102
129 140 Brandon Bass LAL F/C A sneaky fantasy stat set can float some low-end value. Byron Scott likes vets, too. 107 136
130   Kosta Koufos SAC F/C Better suited for deeper leagues, he'll plod his way to this ranking as an underrated player on both O and D. 99 150
131 117 Andrew Bogut GSW C There's no real upside here anymore but his 20-24 mpg doesn't have to do much to land here. 124 113
132 113 Kentavious Caldwell-Pope DET G KCP actually looks good from what I've seen. Unfortunately his fantasy game doesn't translate. 125 119
133 113 Avery Bradley BOS G Too many mouths to feed in Boston and not enough versatility to bring it all together. 128 127
134 110 Ed Davis POR F/C There aren't any superstards in the Portland frontcourt, but enough young talent to hold any upside in check for Ed. 101 126
135   Courtney Lee MEM G/F If only he would actually shoot the ball. He's good at it - just doesn't like doing it. 112 149
136 117 Kevin Martin MIN G/F Martin has headache written all over him this season as an odd fit for a young team wanting to play its kids. 133 91
137 140 Marcus Morris DET F There are a few ways he can get the minutes necessary to be a deep league asset. 123 144
138 119 Evan Turner BOS G/F Boston truly appreciates what he has morphed into, but he needs high volume to pan out in fantasy leagues. 199 139
139 140 Corey Brewer HOU G/F One of the most consistent and easy players to rank. 143 141
140 117 Luol Deng MIA F Deng gave everything he had to Tom Thibodeau and there's nothing left. 135 109
141 120 Jusuf Nurkic DEN C Unfortunately, his knee injury has slowed his progress and he's surrounded by a promising young big man group. 145 122
142 120 Mason Plumlee POR F/C Plumdog will get just enough minutes to eke his way into this rank. 156 138
143 84 David Lee BOS F/C Lee's best attributes will be highlighted when he's on the floor, but his fantasy days are basically over. 136 103
144   Tiago Splitter ATL C Splitter will have a small increase in his role but he's not going to become a big-minute guy overnight. 141 149
145 140 Taj Gibson CHI F/C Taj has to worry about Bobby Portis before he can worry about getting into fantasy lineups. 132 137
146 115 Trey Burke UTA G The Jazz have plenty of guys who can handle the ball. Despite good reviews, he has an uphill climb. 170 127
147 140 Tony Wroten PHI G Remember, Philly sucks and Wroten can firehose his way into a lateround rank in 8-cat leagues. 274 143
148 96 D'Angelo Russell LAL G All of a sudden he appears brittle and it's asking a lot for him to navigate Kobe and the NBA, in that order. 241 100
149 116 Myles Turner IND C Ian Mahinmi isn't just going to hand over big minutes, and I'm not convinced Turner has the goods in Year 1. 214 140
150   Joffrey Lauvergne DEN F/C Love this guy but the crowded frontcourt isn't doing him any favors. 164 141


Brandan Wright
Patrick Patterson
Zaza Pachulia
Aaron Gordon
Amir Johnson
Cody Zeller
Tony Parker
Noah Vonleh
Shabazz Muhammad
Nikola Jokic
Ben McLemore
Donatas Motiejunas
OJ Mayo
Mario Hezonja
Jamal Crawford
Aaron Brooks
Jared Sullinger
Jabari Parker
Josh McRoberts
Arron Afflalo
Jodie Meeks
Jahlil Okafor
Nemanja Bjelica
Tony Allen
James Johnson
Kris Humphries
Julius Randle
Zach LaVine
Jeremy Lamb
Paul Pierce
Will Barton
Willie Cauley-Stein
Tristan Thompson
Ian Mahinmi
Marvin Williams
Jose Calderon
Justin Anderson
Matt Barnes
Kristaps Porzingis
Gerald Green
David West
Bojan Bogdanovic
Patrick Beverley
Rajon Rondo
Justise Winslow
Greivis Vasquez
Devin Harris
Wesley Johnson
Chase Budinger
Kendall Marshall
Aaron Bruski
Aaron Bruski has covered hoops for Rotoworld since 2008 and has competed in national fantasy sports competitions for nearly two decades. In 2015 he was named FSWA Basketball Writer of the Year. You can also find his work over at ProBasketballTalk, where he received critical acclaim for his in-depth reporting of the Kings' relocation saga. Hit him on Twitter at Aaronbruski.