Fantasy Basketball Rankings 2022: Best sleepers, breakouts, busts from proven NBA model – CBS Sports

  • September 22, 2022

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The 2022 NBA season is just around the corner with Opening Night set for Oct. 18. Training camps are about to open, and that means Fantasy basketball draft prep time has arrived as well. The early Fantasy basketball rankings 2022 have familiar names such as Giannis Anttokounmpo, Trae Young, Ja Morant, Luka Doncic, LeBron James and Kevin Durant near the top. They’re all locks to go off the board early, but how should Fantasy basketball players value some of the league’s rising stars such as Tyrese Maxey, Darius Garland and Jalen Green?
There are plenty of tough calls to make before going on the clock in Fantasy basketball drafts. And having a great feel for who the top 2022 Fantasy basketball sleepers, breakouts and busts will be can give you a huge edge as the season plays out in the coming months. Before making any 2022 Fantasy basketball picks, be sure to check out the 2022 Fantasy basketball rankings and cheat sheets from the proven computer model at SportsLine.
SportsLine’s proven model simulates each season 10,0000 times. This model is powered by the same people who powered projections for all three major Fantasy sites. And that same group is sharing its 2022 Fantasy basketball cheat sheets.
These cheat sheets and rankings, available for leagues on many major sites, are updated multiple times every day. Any time an injury occurs or there’s a change on a roster, the team at SportsLine updates its cheat sheets.
Last year the model was extremely high on DeMar DeRozan even though he was being drafted in the fifth round on average, predicting he’d outperform small forwards being drafted ahead of him like Khris Middleton and Brandon Ingram. The result: DeRozan had a resurgent year where he finished fifth in the NBA in scoring (27.9 ppg) and wound up being a top-10 player overall in Fantasy basketball.
The model also called past Fantasy basketball sleepers like Lauri Markkanen and Aaron Gordon in 2018-19 and warned about Zach Randolph being a bust that same year. Anyone who followed the model’s Fantasy basketball advice on them was well on their way to making a deep postseason run.
Now, SportsLine has simulated the entire NBA season 10,000 times and released its latest Fantasy basketball rankings 2022, along with plenty of sleepers, breakouts and busts. Head to SportsLine now to see them
One of the top 2022 Fantasy basketball sleepers the model is predicting: New Orleans Pelicans center Jonas Valanciunas. The big man has averaged 17 or more points in three of the past four seasons, but his value as a rebounder has really gone up the past few years. He’s averaged at least 10.7 boards every year since 2018-19 as he’s played for both the Grizzlies and the Pelicans in that span.
Now he’s the starting center for an intriguing New Orleans squad that will feature CJ McCollum, Brandon Ingram and a healthy Zion Williams in 2022-23. SportsLine’s model has pegged Valanciunas as the No. 11 center in the Fantasy basketball rankings 2022. That puts him ahead of notable names such as Jusuf Nurkic, Christian Wood and Deandre Ayton, making him one of the Fantasy basketball sleepers you’ll want to target if you miss out on a top-tier center. 
One of the 2022 Fantasy basketball breakouts the model has identified: Orlando Magic power forward Paolo Banchero. The No. 1 overall pick in the 2022 NBA Draft had a solid freshman season at Duke before declaring for the draft, averaging 17.2 points, 7.8 rebounds and 3.2 assists while shooting 47.8 percent from the floor and 33.8% from the 3-point line.
That potential to be a multi-category contributor at the next level who can both score with his back to the basket and stretch the floor is a big reason why the model is predicting enormous success in his rookie season. Banchero has been the 24th power forward off the board on average in 2022 Fantasy basketball drafts but the model is predicting he finishes as the No. 11 power forward this season, ranking him ahead of Evan Mobley who is being drafted four rounds earlier on average.
As for players to avoid, the model lists Lakers point guard Russell Westbrook as one of its top 2022 Fantasy basketball busts. After winning the NBA championship in the bubble in 2020 but being eliminated in the first round of the 2021 NBA playoffs, the Lakers made a big splash to bring Westbrook in to form a new Big Three with LeBron James and Anthony Davis.
However, having two ball-dominant players like James and Westbrook on the court at the same time proved to be a serious challenge and the Lakers wound up missing the postseason entirely in 2022. Westbrook looked particularly lost in his role, averaging just 18.5 points and 7.1 assists per game. The Lakers were unable to move Westbrook during the offseason, so it appears they’ll be stuck with the same problem again, and the model predicts Westbrook finishes outside its top 70 point guards for 2022-23.
SportsLine is also extremely high on a forward to make a big leap and advises you target him in 2022 Fantasy basketball drafts. This youngster is listed as a shocking top-five option ahead of superstars like Anthony Davis and Kevin DurantYou can only see who it is, and the 2022 Fantasy basketball rankings for every player, at SportsLine.
So which 2022 Fantasy basketball sleepers, breakouts and busts should you target and fade? And which forward shocks the NBA with a top-five performance at the position? Visit SportsLine now to get 2022 Fantasy basketball cheat sheets for every single position, all from the model that’s nailed its Fantasy basketball picks, and find out.
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