Fantasy Basketball Mailbag: The last round draft picks that are worth a flier

Josh Lloyd is a Fantasy Basketball expert for Yahoo Sport based in Melbourne, Australia. His weekly articles will give you the edge on your opponents. Get in touch with questions for Josh on Twitter where he's always active.

The NBA is almost back and that means fantasy basketball drafts are right around the corner.

With so much player movement in the NBA, there is a lot of uncertainty, so every week, I am here to answer your questions you’ve asked me on Twitter.

Let’s get to it.

@TomCDub: Do you see any semblance of a bright future for Kevin Knox?

By advanced metrics, Knox had one of the worst rookie seasons in recent history. 538’s CARMELO projection system estimates Knox to provide -$90.2m worth of value over the next five years.

Yes, that is negative $90m. As a rookie, David Fizdale and the Knicks mucked him around, moving from starting, to the bench and back again. But he did end up playing 29 minutes a night. In a standard points league, Knox was the 174th ranked player, outside of the purview of standard leagues, which roster 156 players.

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This season, the Knicks brought in both RJ Barrett with the third pick in the draft, and signed Marcus Morris, both of whom could cut into his playing time in his second season. So, to answer the question, do I see a bright future for Knox?

No, I don’t. He is a volume scorer who is inefficient, a poor rebounder, nonexistent passer and subpar defender. He is still remarkably young, so I am not writing him off yet, but he is not someone who is on my radar for this season, where he could take a step back on a disappointing rookie season.

@hedgefundEddie: Who are some last round fliers that could crack the top 75 if things like playing time/health break right?

Not to make this too Knicks-centric, but Dennis Smith Jr, who the Knicks acquired in the Kristaps Porzingis trade last season is someone who is generally available at the end of your draft, who could have a big impact if things break right.

Dennis Smith Jr. #5 of the New York Knicks. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)

He is someone the team wants to succeed, so they can say they got something out of trading away KP, and in a standard points format, the lack of efficiency stats boost his value in a big way. If he can thoroughly beat out Elfrid Payton, Smith could be a nice windfall at the end of drafts.

I also think someone like Justise Winslow and Brandon Ingram, who are both available outside the top 100 could easily crack the top 75, whereas if you want to get wild, Markelle Fultz could be a surprise at some point (unlikely), while rookie Darius Garland could be a nice surprise pick.

@Alvin7910: Do you think Tomas Satoransky will be the starting point guard for the Chicago Bulls this season? Can he earn big minutes per night?

I don’t really see a situation where Satoransky, who starred for the Czech Republic in the recent FIBA World Cup, isn’t the Bulls starting point guard. Despite the fact that he is still on the roster, Kris Dunn is not in the Bulls’ plans and Coby White is far from ready to be a starting point guard on a team that hopes to make the playoffs.

Now, big minutes is another question. I don’t think we will see him getting the same playing time as Zach LaVine, Lauri Markkannen, or Otto Porter Jr., but he should play 30 minutes and be a key piece in the starting five and is currently a good value pick in fantasy leagues.

@JackTweeter4: Can we get any kind of dynasty/keeper for H2H points league advice? I’m trying to choose between keeping Kevin Durant and Khris Middleton, wondering if having KD as dead weight on injured reserve for a year is worth keeping in your opinion?

We have to operate under the assumption that Kevin Durant will miss the entire season after tearing his Achilles tendon in June during the NBA Finals. Durant will be 31 on September 29, so by the time the season starts in 2020-21, he will be 32, and recovery from Achilles injuries is never easy. In fact, I would wager that Durant is never the same, top-five fantasy player, he was, ever again. Middleton is three years younger and is actually going to play this season.

Kevin Durant is facing a season on the sideline after an injury in the finals. (Photo by Claus Andersen/Getty Images)

If the rest of your squad is remotely competitive, I would consider keeping him over Durant. Middleton, under Mike Budenholzer, wasn’t a top 50 player last season (just outside), but do three to four seasons of top 60 production from Middleton outweigh maybe two years of top 20 production from Durant, at best? That’s a question the rest of your roster will need to answer for you.

@ZissisNBA: Who are you taking at picks 8-12?

In Yahoo leagues, the top seven according to Average Draft Position (ADP) are Anthony Davis, Steph Curry, James Harden, Giannis Antetokounmpo, Karl-Anthony Towns, Nikola Jokić, and Damian Lillard.

But, the ADPs on Yahoo are based on category leagues and there are differences for points leagues. So, the rest of the first round should be populated by Joel Embiid, LeBron James, Russell Westbrook, Luka Dončić, and Andre Drummond, with Ben Simmons knocking on the door.

Don’t forget to follow me on Twitter and keep an eye out for the next mailbag tweet to gather your questions.

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