The 2021-22 NBA season is quickly approaching and that means fantasy basketball leagues are about to begin. While stars typically get evenly distributed across each team in a league, it’s the fringe players who turn into big contributors who often make the difference. Are there any centers who will swing fantasy leagues and DFS matchups this season? Here’s five players to look out for, followed by our projection for the top 30 players at the position this season.
Nikola Jokic, Denver Nuggets
Jokic is the reigning league MVP and will have to shoulder a larger load offensively with Jamal Murray sidelined to begin the season. The Nuggets expect to be in contention when Murray eventually returns, meaning the offense will run through Jokic once again. Can the big man improve on the defensive end to truly become one of the league’s most dominant players?
Myles Turner, Indiana Pacers
Turner had a rough 2020-21 season and saw Domantas Sabonis take over as the team’s leading big man. Rick Carlisle has some history coaching two big men with the 2010-11 Mavericks. If he can unlock the same success with Indiana’s big men, look for Turner to post one of his best seasons ever and be in contention for Defensive Player of the Year.
Jonas Valanciunas, New Orleans Pelicans
Valanciunas was a force with the Grizzlies last season, averaging 17.1 points and 12.5 rebounds per game. He’s going to have to adjust to life in New Orleans with Zion Williamson commanding a majority of the offensive touches. Brandon Ingram and Trey Murphy are going to demand looks as perimeter scorers, and Kira Lewis Jr. is a candidate to break out. Can Valanciunas keep up his production in what is expected to be an up-tempo offense built on speed and perimeter shooting?
Brook Lopez, Milwaukee Bucks
Lopez is a steady fourth option for the Bucks and can provide tremendous value due to his ability to hit triples. Depending on how your fantasy league works, Lopez could be near the top of the list for centers. He’s going to get consistent minutes as a starter and his injury issues seem to be a thing of the past. If your league values three-point shooting, Lopez is your big man.
Al Horford, Boston Celtics
Horford returns to Boston in more of a mentorship role. He’s expected to split time at the center position with Robert Williams, who offers more rim protection at this stage of his career than Horford. The veteran has playoff experience and familiarity with the team, but will he be productive enough to merit fantasy consideration as the season goes on?
Center Fantasy Basketball Rankings 2021-22
|10||Jusuf Nurkic||Trail Blazers||60.6|