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

  • September 28, 2022

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One could create an All-Star team with the list of NBA players who missed all of last season. Kawhi Leonard, Zion Williamson and Ben Simmons were the biggest names, but also the likes of John Wall and Jamal Murray didn’t suit up for a single game. With these players coming off such lengthy absences, where should they fall in 2022 Fantasy basketball rankings? Because they’ve fallen a bit off the radar for many fans, some of those players could end up being Fantasy basketball sleepers 2022.
That was the case with Klay Thompson last year after he came back after an absence of more than two years. But the Splash Brother picked up right where he left off as his averages for points, rebounds and assists were all actually higher than his career numbers. So, should any of those returning players factor into your 2022 Fantasy basketball draft strategy? 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: Bulls guard Zach LaVine. The two-time All-Star was in-and-out of the lineup several times last year, missing 15 games, but still averaging 24.4 points, 4.6 rebounds and 4.5 assists. He parlayed that production into a five-year contract extension worth over $215 million.
LaVine has averaged at least 23-4-4 each of the last four years so he’s as consistent as he is productive. The injuries last year may have led to him falling off the radar, but it’s another Bulls injury which is why you shouldn’t sleep on LaVine for this upcoming season. Starting point guard Lonzo Ball (knee) will be sidelined to start the year and LaVine takes on more playmaking responsibilities when Ball is off the court. That leads to more assists while maintaining his scoring average, and the model pegs LaVine as a top-3 SG in its 2022 Fantasy basketball rankings.
One of the 2022 Fantasy basketball breakouts the model has identified: Jazz center Walker Kessler. The big man led the NCAA in total blocks for Auburn last year en route to being named the national Defensive Player of the Year. He was then taken late in the first round of the draft, and has been traded twice already, but is in a position to contribute right away with Utah’s roster overhaul.
As a defensive big man, Kessler profiles similarly to the player he’s replacing in Gobert. He averaged 11.4 points, 8.1 rebounds and 4.6 blocks last year and had at least seven blocks in nine different games. Utah moved on from both Gobert and his backup, Hassan Whiteside, and they accounted for 86% of the center minutes in 2021-22. There’s no one standing in Kessler’s way in Utah and he’s not a name to forget late in 2022 Fantasy basketball drafts.
As for players to avoid, the model lists Cavaliers guard Donovan Mitchell as one of its top 2022 Fantasy basketball busts. After five seasons in Utah, Mitchell was traded to Cleveland this offseason in exchange for Lauri Markkanen, Collin Sexton, Ochai Agbaji, three first-round picks and two pick swaps. Now the Cavaliers are expecting him to help take a franchise that won 44 games last season and turn them into legitimate contenders in the East.
However, he’ll have to share the basketball with another ball-dominant guard in Darius Garland, who is eager to establish himself as a superstar in this league. Cleveland also has a frontcourt that will be hungry for shots with Evan Mobley, Jarrett Allen and Kevin Love. Mitchell has also missed 34 games over the last two seasons and that’s another big reason why the model is ranking Mitchell several spots below his 2022 Fantasy basketball ADP.
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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