With the football and basketball seasons rapidly approaching, the fantasy leagues are bound to follow. For Cleveland and basketball fans who may not be the most prepared for their upcoming draft, here’s a fantasy evaluation of the 2023-24 Cleveland Cavaliers roster.
How fantasy basketball works
First a quick rundown of how fantasy basketball works using the ESPN default point system. While each fantasy platform has its differences, the majority work the same in terms of what is awarded points and what causes point deductions so the player value will be relevant for most leagues.
Points are awarded/deducted as follows:
- +1: Point, three pointer made, free throw made, rebound
- +2: Field goal made, assist
- +4: Steal, block
- -1: Field goal attempted, free throw attempted
- -2: Turnover
For an example of how this works, a two-point bucket would equate to three points in ESPN fantasy. One fantasy point would be awarded for each point scored (2) plus two for the field goal made (4), then one point deducted for the field goal attempted (3).
Now into the rankings.
Donovan Mitchell: Mitchell enters this year as the best fantasy option on this season’s Cavaliers roster. Averaging 28.3 points with just over four rebounds and assists plus a steal last season, Mitchell is a certified bucket. He’s also prone to large scoring outbursts, having multiple 30-40 plus point games in a row (with an almost 50 percent field goal percentage). Mitchell is one of the best fantasy guards in the league.
Evan Mobley: Mobley has the chance to emerge as a premier fantasy option this season. Last year he almost averaged a double-double with 16.2 points, nine rebounds and just under two assists with a block and a half. He also gets the majority of his buckets in the paint, Gearing to be a future franchise centerpiece Mobley should only see an increase in both usage and talent, making him a solid option for starting power forward.
Darius Garland: Averaging 21.6 points, seven assists and over a steal a game last season, Garland is an all around good fantasy option. With more depth scoring added this offseason (and thus the opportunity for more dishes) he has an opportunity to get even better. Although there are certainly better starting point guard options, Garland remains a high quality starter who would be an asset to any team.
Jarret Allen slips just under the top tier, but remains a good option to take once the big names at center have been taken. Last season he averaged 14.3 points and 9.8 rebounds on a 63 percent field goal percentage. While Mobley will be the primary scoring option in the frontcourt, Allen will still consistently rack up solid numbers.
Max Strus, Ty Jerome and Georges Niang were all picked up over the off-season to bring in more scoring, and thus can be expected to see relatively high usage. Depending on which of them is able to flourish in Cleveland’s system, this is a group to watch when filling your bench.
Isaac Okoro, Caris Lavert and Danny Green are not likely to have seasons that translate well to fantasy, but could potentially make some good waiver-wire spot starts.
Players to keep an eye on
While not likely to see much NBA usage Emoni Bates, Sam Merrill, and Craig Porter Jr are all players who had excellent summer league performances and could develop into larger roles as the season progresses.
Players to stay away from
Ricky Rubio, Dean Wade, and Raul Neto are all players to stay away from this draft. Rubio and Wade will likely see largely reduced roles and Neto suffered an injury in the 2023 FIBA World Cup.
Featured photo courtesy of NBA.com
“From Our Haus to Your’s”