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Fantasy Basketball Risers, Rookies and Draft Sleepers (Central Division) - Khris Middleton, Myles Turner, DeMar DeRozan, Donovan Mitchell, Jaden Ivey

Giannis Antetokounmpo NBA DFS picks daily fantasy basketball lineups sleepers

The regular season is inching closer by the day, and most offseason moves have already been completed – barring a surprising Russell Westbrook trade, or the pending Jae Crowder deal when/if Phoenix finds a proper partner before tip-off day. Each team's depth chart is mostly complete, so it makes sense to start analyzing how it could work come October. Before diving into the fantasy season, RotoBaller has you covered with some last-minute basketball depth chart recaps for each team, including some useful bits of analysis for players you want to keep on your radar.

The charts below are based on career usage rates while the rosters have been updated to reflect these off-season moves. The charts don't include players drafted this summer, although they are factored into the depth charts; in other words, you'll find some charts "missing" a player at a certain position/role in the charts below, as we don't have data about them regarding usage percentage in the NBA yet but we can already predict where they'll slot in their franchise's rotation. That being said, comments will be made on rookies when deemed necessary in each team breakdown.

Here are the current preseason depth charts for the Eastern Conference Central Division.

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Milwaukee Bucks - Fantasy Basketball Depth Charts

Impact Rookies: None

We predicted it last summer, and it came to happen: the Bucks couldn't repeat and win back-to-back chips. Of course, that was the easy pick to make as the field is always stronger than any particular team, but still. And hey, it's not that losing against the actual Eastern Conference champion is bad!

The Bucks' core remained the same this summer and there is one only legitimate addition to the whole roster in Joe Ingles. Too bad for fantasy GMs, this feels like a lost season for Ingles as he'll remain out recovering from injury until very late in the regular season. You can forget about him until we're past the All-Star break.

Other than that, not a lot to tell you about the usual Bucks suspects. Giannis is a bonafide No. 1 player and in fact, only Nikola Jokic outperformed him last season. Jrue Holiday and Khris Middleton are also in the top-35 OVR projections.

Watch out for Middleton's potential missed time at the start of the year as he's coming off an injury suffered last season and Milwaukee might ease him a bit instead of dumping him on the court from the get-go. Once everybody is fit and available you can count on a steady 32+ MPG for that trio and a solid production on all (yes, all) cats from all of them individually.

Bobby Portis usurped Brook Lopez of the starting role at the center position but he should be back to C2 in the depth chart this season. That's not bad, though, as Portis is an excellent per-minute producer and even on 28 MPG last season he still put up 30.8 FPPG with a 14-9 per-game stat line.

Grayson Allen is your man when it comes to hitting long-range buckets (40.9%) on huge volume (5.9 3PA a pop) but you have a similar/cheaper option in Pat Connaughton (39.5% on 5.7 3PA) and a better/expensive one in Jrue, who obviously does many more things than just scoring triples.


Indiana Pacers - Fantasy Basketball Depth Charts

Impact Rookies: Bennedict Mathurin (SG)

Chalky rotation assuming everything stays the same...which won't be the case. Buddy Hield was close to leaving the Pacers last season but the Lakers opted for Russell Westbrook instead. Myles Turner has been in the rumor mill for a few years and will get traded sooner rather than later. Every other player – perhaps with the exception of Tyrese Haliburtonis at the expense of whatever those moves/trades bring to the franchise. So don't trust one single thing coming out of Indy.

Now, that said, we have to do some analysis here. Starting at the top, the backcourt is where the tastiest fruits can be found. Both Hield and Haliburton come off top-50 seasons in the fantasy world with the latter, who arrived in Indiana mid-season, even got to put up a top-10 campaign among players with G eligibility.

Haliburton put up 47/41/84 shooting splits launching just 11.8 FGA per game. With Sabonis out of Indiana and only Hield/Duarte as viable scorers, odds are that volume goes up a notch or two. It wouldn't be surprising for Hali to finish next year at around some 18-4-8-1 per-game stat line. Hield should be close (without so many assists and steals), but there is some volatility and risk baked into his status as a member of the Pacers going forward.

Myles Turner isn't going to be a cheap piece to draft, but if you're hurting for a top-1 (yes, best at it) shot-blocking machine you won't find a better one. Other than that, though, Turner might not help you that much because he's just a 7+ RPG, 13+ PPG tops.

James Smith projects to start at PF and he was ridiculously great on a per-minute basis last year, but we'll see how he adapts to starting 60 games instead of the eight he did last year. Isaiah Jackson actually performed to a 1.17 FP/min figure, which is pretty much superstar-level, only he did on a measly 15 MPG.

Rookie Ben Mathurin could be a fantasy impact player only and only if Hield/Duarte get traded and he's forced into the starting lineup just because the Pacers lack any other warm body. So it's more of a what-if player than a solid option right now and as this roster stands.


Chicago Bulls - Fantasy Basketball Depth Charts

Impact Rookies: None

Not a lot of changes in Chicago, if any at all. Andre Drummond and Goran Dragic decided to sign with the Bulls (or the other way around) for some reason, but it's not that they're going to become game-changing players for the franchise at this point.

DeMar DeRozan and Zach LaVine are the honchos who will keep most of the attention, but Nikola Vucevic could be (he is, in fact) a sneaky steal in fantasy drafts for savvy GMs out there – like you are, of course, as you're reading this!

One thing to exploit when it comes to the Bulls players is that they play a ton of minutes. Four starters (DeRozan, LaVine, Vooch, and Lonzo Ball) played 33+ MPG with DeRozan hitting 36.1 MPG last season! All of them kept up their efficiency even on those massive runs (except Lonzo) averaging between 1.12 and 1.20 FP/min each over the year. The main trio is also durable as hell, with 67, 73, and 76 games played.

It's a shame we're losing Drummond to a C2 role, but he already played in a similar situation last season (73 games, 36 starts, 20 MPG) and he was sublime with an 8-9-2 per-game stat line. He's still a great value to snatch for a cheap price/pick with tons of upside even on a reserve role.

Lonzo's situation is a little bit blurry with his injury constantly having him suffering setbacks and never truly recovering if judging from the latest reports and news. Ball, when/if available, is a fantastic fantasy player and a do-it-all asset to have rostered. He can put up some 12-5-5-2-1 easily, but of course, you know he'll miss time and hurt your overall scores at some points throughout the season. Same for Patrick Williams, only on the big-man departments.

I wouldn't pay two cents for Dragic even with Lonzo perennially hurt, and Coby White/Ayo Dosunmu grabbed some headlines here and there but are still a few seasons and improvements away from becoming interesting fantasy pieces.


Cleveland Cavaliers - Fantasy Basketball Depth Charts

Impact Rookies: None

Everybody will try and grab some shares of the Cavs if only because they are the new flashy, hyped, bombastic kid in town. Don't (entirely) fall for it! The rotation is very clear on paper but the addition of Donovan Mitchell might change everything we know about this team.

Looking at the current depth chart and pairing that with last season's data, there are seven Cavs in that roster with averages of 28+ MPG and five of them into the 30+ MPG figures. That won't remain that way starting with Caris LeVert either losing many minutes or having a very reduced, second-unit role that will inevitably cut his upside because of the poor context he'll play in (along with Kevin Love and Ricky Rubio as his best teammates, probably).

Garland and Mitchell should keep their 40+ FPPG up, but the days of Garland dishing out 8+ APG are probably over with Mitchell bulking up his tally to around 6+ APG now that he not only has big boys in the paint but also another capable combo-guard playing next to him. I wouldn't really move any projection for Mitch, but I'd tame my expectations with Garland a bit.

The two big men (Jarrett Allen and Evan Mobley) are fantastic but don't overpay for them. They are great on the blocks and rebounding categories, but hey, I guess that's the thing they're asked to do as professional basketball players? I have to admit there is upside for both of them getting to 15-10 per-game seasons, that's the truth.

Isaac Okoro is expected to start at PF and for that, he'll need to show some stout defensive chops. Anyway, and for fantasy purposes, he will probably get buried ten feet underground. The sneaky, clever, almost-forgotten players here are definitely going to be Love (1.23 FP/min off the pine) and Ricky Rubio (1.08) once we get word he's fine and able to return.


Detroit Pistons - Fantasy Basketball Depth Charts

Impact Rookies: Jaden Ivey (PG/SG), Jalen Duren (PF/C)

Detroit has changed the whole freaking roster ahead of 2023, but it's not clear if that's for the better or for the worse yet. Cade stays put at the PG1/SG1 role with rookie Jaden Ivey taking on the open backcourt slot. One has to assume Ivey will take on the initiator duties relieving Cade of leading the attacks a bit.

Other than that, it's a mess. Will Isiah Stewart really start at C? Will Detroit prioritize starting Bojan Bogdanovic (to boost his value ahead of the trade deadline) instead of phenomenal youngster Saddiq Bey? What about the likes of Marvin Bagley III, Alec Burks, Cory Joseph, and the other vets? Too hard to project, honestly.

Looking at the numbers, the only players to put above-average FP/min last year while playing more than 1,000+ MP for the Pistons were Cade (an obvious top-tier pick) along with Hamidou Diallo and Bagley. You can snatch the latter two for peanuts or just via waivers, so don't waste any remotely-high pick on them!

Bey might get lost and slips in your draft and you can pick him. We'll see how his development goes as he enters his third year, but his 16-5-3-1 line was very promising and he did it playing tons of minutes, which proves he's good enough to sustain those levels of production even over full seasons of play (yes, he appeared in all 82 games).

Ivey will give you the goodies even as a rookie (say, some Cade Lite production) but Duren will have it harder with such a group of big men present in the roster and not a very clear path toward playing tons of minutes.

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