It’s never too early to project the fantasy basketball season, with the bulk of offseason movement done.
Preparing for the 2023-24 season, it’s clear that this is harder than ever before. There are so many good players, that a lot of guys are being left on the cutting room floor.
For now, we’ll use the standard Yahoo head-to-head points scoring system, which can be viewed here. Here are HoopSocial’s top 50 fantasy basketball players, broken into tiers, for the 2023-24 season.
Tier 1 – Must draft if available
- Nikola Jokic
Jokic was once again the top-scoring player in fantasy basketball last season. Jokic scored 3,842.4 fantasy points last season. The gap between him and second (Luka Doncic with 3,747 points), was larger than Doncic over the next two highest-scoring players.
I’ve long argued that Russell Westbrook is the greatest fantasy basketball player of all time, but Jokic is challenging that crown. The only thing holding him back is a potential injury from taking this crown once again.
- Luka Doncic
Yes, Luka Doncic is going to have to share the ball with Kyrie Irving over a full season more. That might hurt some of his overall production. However, it’s not enough to take him off the second spot. He outscored Jokic in fantasy points per game but played in three fewer games than the two-time Serbian MVP.
A healthy Luka is the only thing that can challenge Jokic, and he’s still going to put up plenty of points and plenty of assists next season.
- Joel Embiid
After a frustrating playoff performance, it feels like the league has unfairly knocked Embiid for what happened in the series’ loss to the Boston Celtics.
Regular season Embiid isn’t a problem, as he was second in fantasy points per game last season, behind only Doncic. With the rumors of a potential James Harden trade in the works, Embiid could take on a bigger offensive burden next season, leading to higher fantasy points.
- Giannis Antetokounmpo
Antetokounmpo is coming off an injury that hindered him in Milwaukee’s first-round playoff loss to the Miami Heat but should be back with a vengeance as one of the best in the world. He had a career-low in blocked shots and steals last season, something that will likely change for the 2020 defensive player of the year. He was fourth in fantasy points per game last season.
- Shai Gilgeous-Alexander
One of the biggest risers from last season, Gilgeous-Alexander finished the season sixth in fantasy points per game and seventh in overall scoring. While it’s flying under the radar how many guys will take points away from the all-star guard, his defensive work rate makes up for offensive production lost.
Oklahoma City has a desire to compete for the first time in a few seasons, and a full season of SGA could vault him into the top five in fantasy in 2023.
Tier 2 – First round level players
- Jayson Tatum
Tatum isn’t the sexy pick in the first round of a fantasy draft, but he’s probably the most dependable player in the league.
He’s played in 70 or more games in four of his six NBA seasons. He’s scored 26 points per game or more in each of the last three seasons. He’s averaged a steal per game every season. Tatum is one of the best players in the world and a steady presence on a fantasy basketball roster.
- Anthony Edwards
Edwards’ fantasy points per game weren’t high, but his durability and increased scoring output gave him a high floor heading into next season. He finished ninth in overall fantasy scoring, and as he makes the third-year leap, could be one of the steals of the fantasy basketball season.
This is a huge rise given Edwards’ production last season, but he’s a player and a talent capable of this sort of leap.
- Stephen Curry
Curry is one of the best basketball players of all time, and still provides a ton of value in fantasy formats. While he is still much better in category leagues, where his 3-point shooting and efficiency can be dominant, Curry still finished the season 11th in fantasy points per game.
- LeBron James
Another ho-hum season for the King in fantasy basketball, as he was seventh in fantasy scoring last season. He would be pushing the top five if he wasn’t about to turn 39. He’s still worthy of a first-round pick, I just can’t use a high-end first-round pick on a player who has missed a lot of games over the last five years and is one of the oldest in the league.
- Domantas Sabonis
Sabonis earned himself a third-team All-NBA nod last season and was productive in fantasy as well. He was 14th in fantasy points per game, along with 79 games played to give him a top-five scoring season for the entire league. With the Kings running things back with a similar cast of characters, there’s no reason to let Sabonis slip out of the first round.
- Damian Lillard
This could all change if Lillard ends up on the Miami Heat next season, but Dame was top 10 in fantasy points per game again last season. There are two sides to the coin, however. Lillard could end up on a better team next year, like Miami or Boston, taking away some of his touches and shot attempts.
On the flip side, if Lillard is traded, he won’t face the risk of being shut down toward the end of the season, making him valuable for fantasy playoffs. That’s worthy of a late first-round pick.
- Tyrese Haliburton
Another player I’m projecting a big leap from, Haliburton was 18th in fantasy points per game last season. That should increase even further this year, and he’s also a fantastic category option given his efficient shooting. If he takes another leap, Haliburton is worthy of a first-round selection.
Tier 3 – Might be worth the risk
- Anthony Davis
Davis is a dominant defensive force (and a dominant fantasy option) when he’s healthy. The problem with that is it’s Anthony Davis, predicting his health is like predicting college football realignment. The Brow was fifth in fantasy points per game. He’s the kind of player that could win you the league in the second round, or have you on the waiver wire in two weeks.
- Kevin Durant
Similar to Davis, Durant carries his injury complications, and perhaps is even a bigger risk than Davis at this point in his career. He was 10th in fantasy points per game but has played 137 games the last three years and topped 50 games once in that span (55 games in 2021-22).
Add in the major injury that held him out of 2020 and a slew of foot and leg issues, it’s a difficult ask to bet on Durant being a top-10 fantasy player again.
Tier 4 – Second round targets
- Trae Young
Young can certainly be a frustrating player on the court, but he was first in total assists the last two seasons and first in total points two years ago. That high-volume production alone gives him a fantastic fantasy floor.
- Julius Randle
Julius Randle is probably the least sexy second-round pick, but he’s productive at this point in his Knicks tenure. He was 20th in points per game last year and eighth in total fantasy scoring. He also may be a frustrating NBA star, but he’s a great option in fantasy nonetheless given his durability and workload.
- James Harden
Wherever Harden ends up playing next season, it’s fair to say he’ll get a lot of assists, 3-pointers and free throws. He’s done that his entire career and it shouldn’t change anytime. As he ages, his volume decreases and injury risk increases, bumping him out of the first round.
- LaMelo Ball
I had Ball in my top 10 last season, only for him to get hurt and derail his entire season. For a fantasy basketball player, I’m still betting big on him being great. In an incredibly small sample size, he was 16th in fantasy points per game.
- Devin Booker
I’m personally fascinated by Booker for next season. If the plan is for him to take on the point guard responsibilities next season, he could be a steal in this range. He was 24th in fantasy points per game, with his scoring upside giving him a high floor.
- Donovan Mitchell
Ditto Mitchell for Booker, though a less creative upside puts a ceiling on him as a fantasy player. Still, he’s a solid fantasy basketball selection in round two.
- Mikal Bridges
Another big riser from last season, Bridges was 22nd in fantasy scoring last season. His leap in Brooklyn and opportunity for production move him into the top 25, and his legendary durability makes him one of the safer picks.
- Jimmy Butler
Butler is an infinitely better NBA player than a fantasy basketball player but still has plenty of value in most fantasy formats. His biggest question every year is how much will he care about regular season production.
- Pascal Siakam
Siakam is a dynamic wing for Toronto and one of the most underrated players in the league. His future with his current team makes his spot tentative, as a move to Atlanta could drop him in the rankings.
- Kyrie Irving
Irving put up monster numbers again last season, ranking in the top 15 in fantasy points per game. He gets a bump against his overall projections because, well, he’s Kyrie Irving. Every season carries a risk.
- Brandon Ingram
Ingram is a player I’m pretty high on for next season. He was 33rd in fantasy points per game, and I expect another bump in production this year. The upside is there for him to be a second-round selection.
- Jaylen Brown
Brown had a career year last season, earning an All-NBA nod and a massive payday for his future. For all of his frustrations as a star basketball player, there’s no debate about his fantasy effectiveness.
- Zion Williamson
Draft at your own risk. He’s dominant when healthy.
- Paul George
Somewhat similar to Zion, George’s counting stats have taken a hit, but he’s still a productive player. He was 29th in fantasy points per game last season.
- Zach Lavine
Lavine brings high scoring and 3-point volume. You could argue for a dip in his rankings based on his uncertain future.
- Karl-Anthony Towns
Towns is one of the most difficult players to grade this season. The small sample size of him and Gobert makes it difficult to project, and he’s performed as a top-10 fantasy player in the previous season. The uncertainty knocks him a bit in my rankings.
Tier 5 – Best of the rest
- De’Aaron Fox
- DeMar DeRozan
- Bam Adebayo
- Lauri Markkanen
- Paolo Banchero
- Josh Giddey
- Jaren Jackson Jr.
- Dejounte Murray
- Jalen Brunson
- Evan Mobley
- Myles Turner
- Victor Wembanyama
- Nic Claxton
- Cade Cunningham
- Kawhi Leonard
- Bradley Beal
- Darius Garland
- Desmond Bane
- Walker Kessler
- Jamal Murray