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Alex Burns' 2023-2024 Fantasy Basketball Points Leagues Rankings

Julius Randle - NBA DFS Picks, Daily Fantasy Basketball Betting, Prop Picks

While category leagues require more strategy, points leagues are pretty straightforward. Each week, you go head-to-head with an opposing team, and the team who scores the most points wins. It's as simple as that. That's not to say that points leagues don't require any strategy. It does. But it looks a bit different.

If you have an upcoming points league draft, you'll want to focus on two things: usage rate and playing time. According to a study by Josh Lloyd of Basketball Monster, there is a pretty strong correlation between a player's usage rate and the number of fantasy points they score. This was found after pulling two years' worth of tracking data. The same can be said for playing time. The longer a player is on the court, the greater the chances they have to produce. It only makes sense.

With that in mind, let's take a look at my Top 150 draft rankings for points leagues with some brief analysis. Let's dive right in!

Editor's Note: Our incredible team of writers received five total writing awards and 13 award nominations by the Fantasy Sports Writers Association, tops in the industry! Congrats to all the award winners and nominees including NBA Writer of the Year, Best NFL Series, MLB Series, PGA Writer and Player Notes writer of the year. Be sure to follow their analysis, rankings and advice all year long, and win big with RotoBaller! Read More!

 

Alex Burns' Top 150 Points Rankings

 

Round 1

Giannis Antetokounmpo Inside the Top 5

Giannis' value takes a slight hit in category leagues due to his poor free-throw shooting. As a result, he's relegated to more of a mid-late-round pick in the first round. That's far from the case in points leagues. Giannis, and his league-leading 38.7% usage rate finished 4th last season with just under 53 fantasy points per game. His usage should solidify down to the mid-30s with Damian Lillard in town, but he should have no trouble racking up 50+ points per game. The Greek Freak is a no-brainer top 5 choice and has the upside to finish inside the top 3 if all breaks right.

Luka Doncic No Longer Top Dog

Luka's 55.02 fantasy points per game led the entire league last year, so why is he falling? If you dig into the numbers, you'll find a small decrease (emphasis on small) in production that correlates with Kyrie Irving's arrival in Dallas. After the trade deadline, Luka's numbers slipped to 29.9 points, 8.1 rebounds, and 7.5 assists. As a result, his fantasy points per game dropped to 50.27, which was good enough for 5th-most during this span. While he's still worth a top 3 pick, Irving's presence on the court may make it difficult for him to finish on top again.

Anthony Edwards Is A First Round Pick

Edwards finished 28th in fantasy points per game last season, but the difference between 30th and 12th was only 4.2 points. If his performance in last year's playoffs is any indication of the leap he's about to take, then we're in for a treat. By all accounts, he's overtaken Karl-Anthony Towns as the top option on offense and he should be walking into career-high usage. I wouldn't be surprised to see him flirt with 28-30 points every night and 45-47 fantasy points per game this season.

 

Round 2

Tyrese Haliburton Falls To The Second Round

I think we can all agree that Hali is one of the most talented playmakers in the league. His unique blend of defense and playmaking is scintillating to watch. That said, his skillset translates better to category leagues than in points leagues. For example, Hali was 8th in per-game value when it came to 9 Cat but finished 16th in points leagues with 42.99 fantasy points per game last season. He's positioned well to keep up his dominance on the court, but nothing suggests he'll turn into a first-round value in points leagues.

Zion Williamson Just Outside The Top 20

I know there are health and availability risks, but Zion is just too good to pass up in points leagues. In the 29 games he was healthy last season, he put up 26.0 points, 7.0 rebounds, 4.6 assists, and 41.3 fantasy points per game. Recent reports suggest that he's in great shape and ready for the start of the season, meaning Zion could be a massive value on draft day, so long as he can stay on the court. It's a risk but isn't that baked into his current ADP?

 

Round 3

It's Jordan Poole SZN, baby!

Poole showed flashes of brilliance during his stint with the Golden State Warriors, but bad shot selection and quite possibly some locker-room beef got him sent to Washington. Without trying to be too hyperbolic, getting traded to the Wizards is the best thing that could have happened to his fantasy value. He'll have the green light to chuck as many shots as his little heart desires on a nightly basis and his usage should go through the roof. I seriously wouldn't be surprised to see him average 25 points on 25 shots this season. While the inefficiency will dock him in the 9 Cat rankings, the shots, usage, and minutes are exactly what we're chasing here in points leagues. And there will be plenty of 'em this year.

Julius Randle Is Back For More

While Randle's skill set is known to be unfriendly with 9 Cat rankings, the opposite is true in points leagues. Randle's 40.75 fantasy points per game last season was good for 20th, a far cry from his 9 Cat ranking of 74. Jalen Brunson's continued emergence has the potential to get in the way, which is why he falls to 33 in my ranks. The good news, however, is that Tom Thibodeau plays his guys heavy minutes and that's a welcome sight in points leagues. Randle is locked and loaded as a third-round pick this season.

 

Round 4

Paolo Banchero Takes A Leap

Banchero was rather inefficient last season but was still able to finish with the 58th most fantasy points per game as a rookie. Oddly enough, less than two points stood in the way of him finishing as a third-rounder. Just by factoring in a year two leap, we can expect him to increase his production and efficiency this season. If you can get him in the fourth round, you're practically selecting him at his floor.

Tyrese Maxey To The Moon

Maxey came alive in last year's postseason and it's got people (me) excited. Right now, the James Harden saga is the only thing standing between him and fantasy magic. If Harden stays in Philadelphia, his ball-dominant nature will suppress Maxey. If he departs, Maxey will go to the moon. As the second option behind Joel Embiid, there's no reason he couldn't flirt with 30% usage and average 24-26 points per game. I realize this is an aggressive ranking considering he finished 85th last year, but I'm banking on Philly moving Harden before long.

 

Round 5

Victor Wembanyama Falls To The Fifth

Wemby is a fantasy unicorn, but his skill set is best served in 9 Cat. Don't get me wrong, top 60 is still impressive, but points leagues won't value his defensive stats as much as 9 Cat does. There's also a realistic possibility that he could struggle offensively out of the gate when matched up with bigger centers or smaller forwards. As amazing as he was in Monday night's game against the Thunder, we saw him have some trouble dribbling when smaller defenders (namely Jalen Williams) were defending him. He's going to be a great fantasy asset and most likely a first-round pick in many fantasy formats for years to come, but he's more of a 5th rounder for me in points leagues.

Deandre Ayton Gets A Bump

Ayton was arguably the biggest winner from the Damien Lillard trade. He went from being the fourth option in Phoenix to the second option at worst in Portland. He was able to finish 57th in fantasy points per game last season, so my ranking of 51 isn't that far-fetched. I believe he has a realistic shot at posting career-high numbers across the board, and if that's the case, he'll blow this ranking out of the water.



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