Lakers Fantasy Basketball Draft Guide

So you play fantasy basketball and you want to draft some Lakers but still have a chance at winning? It’s going to take some special handling but as long as you don’t pay Kobe’s real salary in an auction draft, it’s definitely possible. It’s not always obvious how real basketball translates to fantasy but in the case of these Lakers, the parallels are not hidden. Guys have weaknesses and traits that require certain league settings and team builds to be successful. Nick Young may never be great on the hardwood but on the softwood (software – softwood – get it?) his turnovers and poor shooting can be punted or compensated for.

Roy Hibbert

  • Target settings: any
  • Target builds: standard

It sometimes feels like Roy Hibbert went from franchise hero to worthless scrub overnight but by now everyone is deeply aware of his woes. Many have written him off, but this sets the scene for him to be a sleeper in the upcoming season and significantly outperform his average draft position.

Last season he was ranked 117th in 9-category leagues on just 25.4 minutes per game.

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This season, Fasketball has him projected for 29.5 minutes and a rank of 73.

lakers-roy-hibbert-projection

Given the lack of NBA caliber talent in the Lakers’ front court, this is entirely reasonable. Moreover, a fresh situation with a new coach and a faster offence might be just the thing Roy needs. He has shown he has the physical tools to be an enforcer in the paint, he just needs to get his head straight.

Brandon Bass

• Target settings: none
• Target builds: none

Brandon Bass is actually supremely efficient on the offensive end, shooting 50%+ from the field and around 80% from the charity stripe, on very low turnovers. The problem is he doesn’t provide the blocks and rebounds needed from a big man in fantasy basketball leagues. Combine that with the uncertainty about the timeshare with Julius Randle, Bass is unlikely to be relevant in all but deep leagues. He will start and possibly get up to 28 minutes on the floor, potentially making him a sneaky option off the waiver wire.

Julius Randle

• Target settings: points
• Target builds: none

As much hope (hype?) as there is for Julius in L.A., his classical scoring and rebounding game just does not translate into fantasy basketball production. In college he didn’t offer much beyond those two stats so there’s no reason to believe this will change in the NBA. Randle is only worth consideration in dynasty points and head to head leagues at this stage of his career.

Nick Young

• Target settings: points
• Target builds: none
Nick Young played 23.7 minutes per game during the 2014-2015 season. His poor shot selection together with the addition of Lou Williams and the well documented feud with coach Byron Scott means those minutes probably aren’t coming this season. The best you can hope for is a Kobe injury to leave a hole in the rotation, otherwise there is just no reason to draft Nick Young.

Kobe Bryant

• Target settings: head to head, points
• Target builds: punt turnovers, punt field goal percentage
Even now, when Kobe is 37 years old and coming off 3 major injuries, there is a 50% chance you have an insane Kobe fan in your league. As long as your league isn’t in that 50% and you aren’t THAT guy, the black mamba has the potential to be a fantasy steal this season. Let’s not beat around the bush, he was unimaginably inefficient last season.

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The good news is, both his turnover rate and field goal percentage were far worse than his career marks. Father time may be catching up but it’s unlikely he caught up this far, this quickly. You can expect his efficiency to bounce back somewhat and his minutes to drop a little. He’ll still fit best in field goal percentage punt builds and points leagues, but he’ll definitely be worth the injury gamble towards the end of drafts.

Lou Williams

• Target settings: any
• Target builds: punt field goal percentage
The Lakers made a sneaky great move signing 6th man of the year Lou Williams. Like Kobe and Young he works best in a punt FG% build but he doesn’t come with the turnover burden. Regardless, he will get plenty of minutes and will probably crack the top 80 in standard leagues while being drafted outside the top 100.

D’Angelo Russell

• Target settings: head to head, points
• Target builds: punt turnovers, punt field goal percentage
The second overall pick comes with a lot of hype but if summer league taught us anything, it’s that he’s not quite ready to be a productive NBA player. He looked a step slow, failed to finish and turned the ball over a tonne. That may very well change in time, but even if the Lakers play him 30+ minutes, outside of assists he just won’t have a useful fantasy line. Unless you are playing in keeper or dynasty leagues, steer clear.

Jordan Clarkson

• Target settings: any
• Target builds: standard
Just watch this and try not to get excited. You couldn’t, could you? After solidifying himself in the rotation last year, Clarkson dominated the back half of the Lakers season putting up top 30 numbers. His passing, athleticism, and finishing are perfect for fantasy. The only barrier to a top 50 performance is Kobe not handing over the keys to the bus.
Have fun!

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