Fantasy Breakout Predictions: 2010

Posted on 20. Jul, 2009 by Tarun Joseph in Fantasy Hoops, NBA

5. Andrea Bargnani PF (TOR) - 2008/09 Averages: 15.4 PPG/ 5.3 RPG/ 1.2 Blocks

Though in December the former No.1 draft pick had been struggling off the bench dealing with inconsistent playing time, a lack of confidence and the “bust” label, everything changed once Sam Mitchell got fired and Jermaine O’Neal got traded. Bargnani began to look like a completely different player in 2009 becoming a much more versatile scorer as well as a much improved shot blocker. Bargnani really started to turn it on after January due partially to 20 pounds of muscle increase over the previous offseason, and added a much needed pull up jumper to his dangerous arsenal. As Bargnani’s confidence began to grow under Jay Triano he began using his strength to get to the basket, which in turn increased his free throw attempts. Andrea should benefit even more from another year of comfort in Toronto’s high octane offense, as well as, the presence of Hedo Turkoglu. Bargnani averaged 19.8, 17.9 and 20.3 points per game for January, February and March respectively and with a little work on his rebounding should be ready to truly breakout next year.

4. Anthony Randolph SF (GSW) - 2008/09 Averages: 7.9 PPG/ 5.8 RPG/ 0.7 Blocks

At the end of the 2008-09 season Anthony Randolph caught fire in the starting SF role for the fast paced Warriors offense, averaging 14 PPG/ 11 RPG/ 1.4 Blocks/ 1.5 Stls for fantasy owners in the final 10 games of the NBA season. Randolph has great length and athleticism at the SF spot and has already been handed the starting role next year in the Warriors line-up. Randolph has added 20 pounds of muscle over the off-season and could potentially be a 5-cat player next year if given consistent minutes. Randolph is a versatile athlete who should be a great source of rebounding and blocks at the SF position and shoots a great percentage due to his ability to get to the basket. Randolph really turned it on for the Warriors the last month of the season and ripped up the Vegas Summer League to the tune of 27 PPG / 10.5 REB / 3.0 Blocks. Let the hype machine begin.

3. JR Smith SG (DEN) - 2008/09 Averages: 15.2 PPG/ 1.0 Stls / 2.2 3PTM

No player on this list changed the outcome of Fantasy Leagues at the end of the season more perhaps than JR Smith. Smith is an incredible long range shooter and one of the streakiest players in the NBA. Smith began the season on the bench but had a tremendous end to the season as the starting SG. Smith really found his stroke once Chauncey Billups came on board and should be an excellent source of 3 PTM and PPG for next year. Smith not only possess seemingly limitless range on his jump shot but is also extremely confident. Fantasy owners won’t forget his 45 point game at the end of the season where he hit 11 3PT in only 27 minutes or even his 19 PPG/ 3.3 3PTM averages since March 1st. Smith has always been an undeniable talent and will have the green light from George Karl next year with a heavier workload. Smith ended the season off with a scorching April where he averaged 22.4 PPG and 3.7 3PTM and should be a selected in the first 6 rounds of this years drafts.

2. Paul Millsap PF (UTA) - 2008/09 Averages: 13.5 PPG/ 8.6 RPG/ 1.0 Blocks

When Carlos Boozer went down with injury in late November backup PF Paul Millsap began to shine in a starting role and became one of the hottest fantasy pickups of the year as a double double machine. Millsap is a great rebounder, especially on the offensive end, and started to get more and more confident with his offensive game with more consistent minutes. Though Millsap got injured in January he averaged 18.6 PPG/ 11.5 RPG in December including 17 Double Doubles in 17 games. As a post scorer Millsap should complement Okur nicely and really began to mesh well with PG Deron Williams as a starter. With Carlos Boozer on the trading block Utah seems ready to hand the starting job over to Millsap and he’s more than earned it.

1. Russell Westbrook PG (OKC) - 2008/09 Averages: 15.3 PPG/ 4.9 RPG/ 5.3 Ast/ 1.3 Steals

Russell Westbrook reminds me of a young Dwayne Wade. He is a phenomenal athlete with explosive leaping ability, quickness and excellent offensive rebounding skills as a PG. Westbrook started 2008-09 in a tough position backing up Earl Watson but earned the starters role late November. He immediately won the Western Conference Rookie of the Month for December averaging 15.5 PPG / 5.1 APG/ 5.1 RPG. What makes Westbrook so tantalizing as a fantasy prospect is that he has the type of all round game that oozes with triple double potential and improved leaps and bounds throughout the course of his rookie year. Westbrook has an uncanny ability to get to the basket and uses his strength and athleticism to attack the rim. Though initially Westbrook went through some tough rookie growing pains turning the ball over, he improved greatly in that category as he got more comfortable as a floor general. With the addition of James Harden, Westbrook’s assist numbers should be even better while his offensive game should benefit heavily from Kevin Durant attracting double teams. Westbrook continued his marked improvement by averaging 20.6 PPG/ 6.1 RPG/ 5.9 APG in February and his triple double in March was the first by a rookie since Chris Paul did it in 2006. Westbrook should be much more comfortable in the PG position with a year already notched on his belt and will be counted on by Coach Scott Brooks to take on a heavier workload. Westbrook ended the year by averaging close to 7 APG in April and seems more ready than ever to breakout next year as one of the most dynamic PG in the fantasy world.

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One Response to “Fantasy Breakout Predictions: 2010”

  1. Jason Stone

    23. Oct, 2009

    NBA is starting!!! whooooot Im in the money again!!

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