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2022-23 Fantasy Basketball Report Card

Lauri Markkanen

Lauri Markkanen

Rob Gray-USA TODAY Sports

Recently, the NBC Sports Edge staff took a stroll down memory lane by looking back at our preseason rankings and highlighting the hits and misses. This was an exercise that I, Raphielle Johnson and Noah Rubin practiced by identifying only three hits and three misses. Dynasty fantasy legend Matt Lawson upped the ante by collecting the rankings of a dozen analysts and NBC’s composite rankings, organizing the rankings into a spreadsheet, calculating the analysts’ combined average ranking and comparing all of those numbers against the players’ final rankings.

The “2022-23 Fantasy Report Card” is a great talking piece for those of us who submitted rankings. We can brag about our most glorious calls and laugh to keep from crying when noting our most egregious misses (I’m looking at you Collin Sexton and Keegan Murray!). More importantly, we can pick out players whose value was grossly underestimated, those whose value was wildly inflated, and determine which players might be values and busts for the 2023-24 season. Obviously, off-season activity will change our perspectives, but getting the gears turning early is a great way to stay sharp.

I took Matt’s data and picked out a few more points of my own, including Standard Deviation to show which players were most polarizing, ADP vs. final ranking, and ACR vs. final ranking. Here’s what I took away from the 2022-23 season and how that information can be used in next season’s drafts.

The Hits

Lauri Markkanen (ACR 78.8, ADP 101.4, Final ranking 24): He’s just scratching the surface, and his best seasons are ahead of him. He won’t come cheap on draft day anymore.

Nicolas Claxton (ACR 110.2, ADP 126.8, Final ranking 44): Now that Clax has cemented himself as Brooklyn’s starting center, he should be a reliable source of blocks, boards and FG% for years to come.

Jamal Murray (ACR 66.8, ADP 82.3, Final ranking 55): We already knew what he could do. Another season removed from his injury will bump his ADP.

Kawhi Leonard (ACR 22.3, ADP 33, Final ranking 17): His ADP is unlikely to climb based on the risk of sitting games, which we’re witnessing first hand in the playoffs.

Christian Wood (ACR 81.4, ADP 61.7, Final ranking 86): It was a wildly inconsistent season for the big man, and his ADP is sure to fall outside the top-75 in 2023-24.

Paolo Banchero (ACR 90.6, ADP 73.8, Final ranking 136): Poor shooting was a killer in Year 1, but that’s nothing new for rookies. We can expect a step forward in Year 2 and a significantly discounted ADP.

The Misses

Jalen Williams (ACR 189.4, ADP 143.6, Final ranking 74): Only Mike Gallagher of ETR ranked J-Dub in his top-150. The fantasy analyst community won’t make that mistake again, and managers at large will take this guy comfortably inside the top-100 next season.

Devin Vassell (ACR 65, ADP 83.8, Final ranking 84): Analysts loved this guy, but he finished nearly 20 spots below the analyst consensus. There’s room for improvement, and you should be able to draft him much closer to value in 2023-24.

Keegan Murray (ACR 81.8, ADP 96.7, Final ranking 139): I beat the drum for this guy in the preseason, and he was a popular pick among analysts. He’s got the skillset to turn in a top-75 season, but after burning managers in 2022-23, Murray’s ADP should plummet, opening the door for tremendous value in 2023-24.

Gordon Hayward (ACR 99.9, ADP 113.7, Final ranking 132): Hayward can’t stay healthy, and his best seasons are far behind him. He’ll go undrafted in many leagues next season, as he should.

Polarizing Players

The following players had standard deviations of at least 24, and the featured group of analysts had wildly different takes on these guys.

  • Markelle Fultz 32.9: He’s got a history of injuries and has been labeled a bust in most NBA circles. This was a prove-it year for Fultz, and NBA fans and fantasy managers alike will raise expectations for next season.
  • Cameron Johnson 29.5: Another guy who’s struggled to stay healthy, Johnson has finally found a team that will give him plenty of minutes. When he’s available, he’s great, so I’m expecting fantasy analysts to be more aligned on their rankings for next season.
  • Walker Kessler 29.4: His ADP is going to skyrocket, and after we saw how well he can play, this is another guy whose rankings will surely be more “standard” and less “deviation.”

  • Robert Williams 26.6: I’m expecting another vast array of rankings for a guy who went for top-24 to outside the top-100 in the span of a year.
  • Herbert Jones 25.8: What to do with a guy whose fantasy value relies so heavily on defensive contributions?
  • Russell Westbrook 24.9: He had some great moments to close out the season for the Clippers, but no matter where he plays next season, he’ll continue to post empty calorie stats for category leagues.
  • Paolo Banchero 24.4: We have a better idea of what he can do on the court, but there will surely be a variety of opinions on his trajectory in Year 2.

Biggest Busts

Which players finished significantly lower than ADP, and what can we expect next season?

  • Giannis Antetokounmpo (ADP 3.3, Final ranking 50): His horrendous and voluminous free-throw shooting was an anchor, but if you drafted him, you likely punted that category. He’ll be a first-rounder again in 2023-24.
  • Karl-Anthony Towns (ADP 9.4, Final ranking 28): Even when healthy, KAT’s play was lackluster compared to seasons past. His ADP is sure to fall outside the first round.
  • Dejounte Murray (ADP 21.1, Final ranking 39): Playing alongside Trae Young pulled his production down, and there’s no reason to expect that to change next season.
  • Rudy Gobert (ADP 28.1, Final ranking 67): Just like KAT, Minnesota’s big man failed to live up to expectations - in fantasy and especially in real life.

  • Deandre Ayton (ADP 37.7, Final ranking 61): We’ve seen what Ayton is - an 18-20 point scorer who will average 10-ish rebounds with few defensive stats. No reason to take him in the fourth round anymore.
  • Scottie Barnes (ADP 44.2, Final ranking 73): Sophomore slump? Barnes can improve in Year 3, and he’s sure to come at a discount in 2023-24 drafts. Target the value if his price falls significantly.
  • John Collins (ADP 58.2, Final ranking 122): Unless he’s traded, there’s no reason to expect a major bounce-back in 2023-24.
  • Jalen Green (ADP 69.8, Final ranking 131): Is he anything more than a volume scorer? We haven’t seen anything to prove otherwise.
  • Paolo Banchero (ADP 73.8, Final ranking 136): Improvements in shooting would be a major boost to his fantasy value. He can be a top-100 player as a sophomore.
  • RJ Barrett (ADP 94.4, Final ranking 210): He doesn’t need to be drafted in 12-team leagues.
  • Keegan Murray (ADP 96.7, Final ranking 139): The definition of a post-hype sleeper. Expect him to outperform his ADP in Year 2.

Biggest Values

The following players rose so far above their preseason ADP that they were likely league-winners.

  • Brook Lopez (ADP 120, Final ranking 32): Was 2022-23 a fluke? His ADP will rise, but analyst rankings are sure to be all over the place on this guy.
  • Nicolas Claxton (ADP 126.8, Final ranking 44): He won’t be drafted outside the top-75 in most leagues next season.
  • Lauri Markkanen (ADP 101.4, Final ranking 24): Hope you enjoyed the value while it lasted, because Markkanen’s fantasy price point is now at a premium.
  • Trey Murphy (ADP 153.4, Final ranking 76): Murphy’s draft pice is going to rise too much in 2023-24 to make him a worthwhile pick, considering New Orleans should be healthier.
  • Markelle Fultz (ADP 143.2, Final ranking 69): Can he replicate the successful 2022-23 season he just turned in?
  • Jaren Jackson Jr. (ADP 107.4, Final ranking 16): He’ll get drafted inside the top-20 on average in 2023-24.

  • Jalen Williams (ADP 143.6, Final ranking 74): The runner-up for Rookie of the Year is going to be a popular fantasy pick in 2023-24, which will likely dilute any value he still has.
  • Shai Gilgeous-Alexander (ADP 49.3, Final ranking 3): You’ll never get value like this from SGA again. He’ll be a top-5 pick in 2023-24 drafts.
  • Cameron Johnson (ADP 129.7, Final ranking 85): It’s time to shine in Brooklyn... if he stays with the team. Johnson is a RFA this summer, but I’d expect the Nets to keep him around as a building block for the future.
  • Kristaps Porzingis (ADP 47.1, Final ranking 14): Injury risk will always be baked into his ADP, but after this marvelous season in Washington, his ADP will be closer to his ceiling.
  • Keegan Murray (ADP 82.3, Final ranking 55): He burned managers this season, so he’ll be a value pick in 2023-24.