Read below for points-league rankings and reaction.
Points-league rankings and reaction
I just did a midseason fantasy basketball expert draft. It was a points-based league using the new NBA scoring system, and I definitely used my own points-based rankings to guide my draft. For example, I had the fourth overall pick, and I went with Karl-Anthony Towns over either of the New Orleans Pelicans bigs or Stephen Curry. Davis had the highest fantasy average of those left on the board, but I went with the Big KAT based on his durability and his tendency for strong second halves of seasons.
Another set of decisions came up with my second and third picks (17th and 24th overall), and I went with the two Philadelphia 76ers in Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons. Per my rankings, I got good value on both picks, and the current points-based stats support that decision (they rank ninth and 11th in fantasy points per game this season in this scoring system).
Kawhi Leonard slid a bit in this week's rankings due to his new shoulder issues, but he still ranks in my top 30. Thus, me getting him with the 37th pick was good value. I followed that up with Dwight Howard as the 44th pick (42nd in these rankings), Elfrid Payton at 57th (49th in these rankings), and TJ Warren at 64th (58th in these rankings).
In fact, I got value on all of my first 10 picks, based on these rankings. So, I'm currently very happy with that draft. The big question is whether I'll be just as happy at the end of the season, which ultimately will help keep me accountable as to the quality of these rankings this year.
Ish Smith has stepped in as the starting point guard in place of Reggie Jackson -- and as the starter, he has an expected value that is very similar to a healthy Jackson.
Markelle Fultz has moved up to full-contact practice and is getting closer to getting back on the court, so he moves into the top 150.
Eric Gordon has taken the expected jump in response to James Harden's injury. He is strong as a sixth man, but as the starter, he's more consistent with higher volume.
Austin Rivers continues to battle injuries, and his last evaluation suggested that he's out for at least another couple of weeks. This slid him down the rankings a bit, but if he comes back strong, and the LA Clippers (as rumored) trade Lou Williams, Rivers could bounce back in a few weeks.
Gerald Green was out of the NBA two weeks ago, and now he is averaging more than 20 points a game for the Houston Rockets. His value may drop when Harden returns, but right now, he's the primary scoring option from the perimeter, working off Chris Paul setups.
Leonard has something torn in his shoulder, which sounds bad, but he's currently being treated as a day-to-day injury. Either way, the constant physical issues dropped him a bit in these rankings.
Josh Richardson made his debut in the rankings last week and makes another jump based on just how consistently strong his play has been. He has averaged 19.4 points, 4.0 assists, 3.3 rebounds, 1.8 3-pointers, 1.5 steals and 1.2 blocks during his last 11 games.
Michael Beasley, much like Green, has burst back into the limelight after completely leaving the NBA. Beasley is currently nursing a sprained ankle, but was averaging 19.2 points, 9 rebounds, 2.4 assists, 1.4 steals and 1.0 blocks during the five games before that to earn himself a spot in the rankings.
LaMarcus Aldridge had slid in the rankings with Leonard coming back, but Leonard's new injury has created more opportunity for Aldridge to get more games in as the man. As such, he gets a slight boost in the rankings that mirrors Leonard's fall.
Trey Lyles is legit, averaging 17.7 points and 7.1 rebounds during his past 15 games. He may come off the bench for the Nuggets, but until Paul Millsap returns, he seems entrenched as the man.
Markieff Morris has averaged 12.3 points and 12.7 rebounds during his past three games, and a still strong 12 points and 9.6 rebounds over his last eight games. He seems to finally be getting his legs under him after struggling with injury all season.
Enes Kanter's value is inversely related to Michael Beasley's, as much of Beasley's production seemed to come at Kanter's expense. He slides in the rankings this week, though he did have another strong game with 18 rebounds and 13 points in the last game where Beasley (ankle) sat.
Bismack Biyombo was the player who I got called out on for not having in last week's rankings. Fair enough. He's averaging 11.2 rebounds, 9.4 points and 1.8 blocks during his past five games with Nikola Vucevic sidelined. Vucevic is still expected to be out another month-plus, so Biyombo earned a spot in this week's rankings.