Fantasy Basketball Rankings 2022: Sleepers, breakouts, busts from proven NBA simulation – CBS Sports

  • September 24, 2022

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The return of the NBA season is already just around the corner and is set to begin on October 18 with two premier matchups featuring the Philadelphia 76ers vs. Boston Celtics and Los Angeles Lakers vs. Golden State Warriors. Besides providing fans with a couple exciting games to watch, it also gives Fantasy basketball players their first regular season look at some of the league’s top talents. Players like Joel Embiid, Jayson Tatum and Steph Curry are all sure to top the 2022 Fantasy Basketball draft strategy for many, but leagues are won by understanding where everyone else will fall among 2022 Fantasy basketball breakouts, sleepers and busts.
Fantasy players must decide if this is the year to trust Los Angeles center Anthony Davis, who has played just 76 games over the last two seasons. LeBron James, who still holds a top-10 Fantasy basketball ADP, has missed over 50 games since the 2020-21 season and turns 38 this season. 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: Kings power forward Keegan Murray. After playing an important bench role for the Iowa Hawkeyes as a freshman, Murray broke out in his sophomore season when he averaged 23.5 points, 8.7 rebounds and 1.9 blocks per game while shooting 55.4 percent from the floor and 39.8 percent from the 3-point line.
Those incredible numbers led to a surge up the 2022 NBA Draft board and he’d eventually be selected fourth overall. Now he should slot in as a starter at power forward in Sacramento and should be the No. 3 scoring option behind De’Aaron Fox and Domantas Sabonis, who both share the basketball well. Murray’s ability to score efficiently in a variety of ways and make a multi-category impact defensively is why the model ranks the rookie as a top-10 option at the position for 2022-23.
As for players to avoid, the model lists Cavaliers guard Donovan Mitchell as one of its top 2022 Fantasy basketball busts. Mitchell was already a somewhat aggravating player at times due to his wide variance in efficiency, but he now joins a Cleveland team that already has a potent backcourt.
The Cavaliers now have one of the most complete starting lineups in the Eastern Conference with Mitchell, but his swings in productivity combined with a number of other scorers that will get looks for the Cavs could be a recipe for Fantasy headaches at times this season. Additionally, Mitchell also has a tendency to get nicked up, and he played just 53 games in 2020-21 and 67 games last season. Considering the lousy luck that the Cavs had keeping their guards healthy last year, there should be some trepidation as Mitchell gets acclimated to his new surroundings in Cleveland.
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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