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Fantasy Basketball Breakouts, Busts, And Locks - Washington Wizards 2022 Outlook

The regular season is just one week away and here at RotoBaller, we want to help prepare you for the 2022-2023 fantasy basketball season and your upcoming fantasy drafts!

If you play fantasy football, you'll probably recognize the format here as we had a series of preseason NFL articles that followed the same outline. The idea here is to hone in on several players from each team that we see as values for the upcoming season or that are possibly being drafted too high this preseason.

In this piece, you'll find a fantasy basketball breakout candidate, a fantasy basketball bust candidate, and a fantasy basketball lock (think steady production and being drafted correctly) for the Washington Wizards based on early ADP for fantasy basketball drafts for the 2022-2023 season. Be sure to follow me on Twitter (@Maxadelphia) for more fantasy basketball insight (amongst other things).

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Fantasy Basketball Breakout: Monte Morris

Morris had a bit of a breakout year, but it's hard to have any kind of spotlight playing next to the reigning (and eventually back-to-back) MVP. Morris arrived in Washington via trade, and he figures to slot right into the starting backcourt next to Bradley Beal.

What intrigues me most about Morris is his 3-point shooting ability. Morris is a career 39% shooter from deep, and last year he got that number all the way up to 41.4%. 2021-22 saw career highs in all major statistical categories, minutes, and +/- for Morris, and in my opinion he's a clear upgrade over Ish Smith.

Morris' ADP is somewhere around the 11th round, and I think he's one of the safest options you could ask for around that area of the draft. Morris doesn't have the upside to win you matchups, but he'll have enough volume to ensure that he won't be the reason you lose, either.

 

Fantasy Basketball Bust: Kristaps Porzingis

There are a lot of high hopes around Porzingis this year, and I will admit, the Washington frontcourt is not exactly brimming with talent.

Not even joking, as I was writing the paragraph about how Porzingis has played 55+ games once in the last 5 years, he suffered a pretty nasty looking rolled ankle in the Wizards preseason bout against the Hornets.

It's also worth noting that Porzingis hasn't yet played with Bradley Beal who has been the top dog in Washington for years now. I expect him to score closer to the 37.3 fantasy PPG he averaged with the Mavericks, compared to the 42 fantasy PPG he scored after his move to the nation's capital.

 

Fantasy Basketball Lock: Bradley Beal

It may seem hypocritical of me to declare Beal a lock, after just declaring Porzingis a bust because of injury concerns, but that would be recency bias at its finest. Beal has played 321 total games over the last 5 years compared to Porzingis' 265.

Beal was a league-winning fantasy asset from 2018-21, where he averaged 45 fantasy PPG, and I'm not ready to bail on him after one injured-plagued season.

Beal joined JJ Reddick's podcast for an interview last week, and said that he "wants to be the franchise guy", and the Wizards obliged by giving him a fat $252M contract earlier in the summer. Guys who get paid that much get used accordingly; Beal could be yet again a league-winning piece that carries a very modest 4th round ADP.

Conclusion

The Wizards did their best to improve this off-season to cater to Beal after he said his focus is on winning. I like the direction the franchise is going, but they're still not near good enough defensively to be anything more than a 7 seed at best in the East.

The Wizards had the 6th worst defensive rating in the NBA last year (114.5) and allowed the 5th highest opponent FG% at 47.2%, which does lead to juicy fantasy environments. The Wizards don't have a very deep bench, so target the starters (and Will Barton), or leave them alone in your drafts.

 

Thanks for reading and good luck in your leagues this year!



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