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Offseason Beat

Dr. A reveals his mid-September list of 'My Guys' to target in fantasy

by Steve Alexander
Updated On: September 9, 2021, 11:25 am ET

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As most of you know by now, I love ‘my guys.’ It seems like in most of my many fantasy hoops drafts I end up with teams that look pretty similar, mostly consisting of guys I love, regardless of whether or not I have to reach for them. Sometimes it works out fantastically and I dominate, and other times I have issues and my teams struggle. But regardless of which scenario plays out, I still usually end up with ‘my guys,” and there’s at least some logic behind why I like them. So here is a theoretical round-by-round look at who I might be drafting this season. Putting out this sort of column for the world to see sets me up to get pimped on a lot of my picks, but it is what it is. I hope you enjoy it.

Round 1

Luka Doncic – I bet you could have guessed that one, as I am the unofficial president of the Luka Doncic fan club. Yeah, he struggles at the line. Yeah, he’s had some injury concerns. Yeah, he turns it over and doesn’t necessarily steal or block enough. And yeah, he was only a third- or fourth-round player on Basketballmonster.com last year. But I don’t care. If I have a shot at Luka in the first round, I’m taking him. If you throw out the FTP and TOs last season he jumps up to the No. 6 player in fantasy. I still think he can cut down on the TOs and start making free throws. But even if he doesn’t, I’ll take the walking triple-double complainer time and time again. Let’s go!

Round 2

Michael Porter Jr. – I think it’ll take a second-round pick to get MPJ this season and he’s coming off a year in which he returned fourth-round fantasy value. He’s only played two NBA seasons and should be set up to fully explode in his third year. And with Nikola Jokic and Porter Jr. on their squad, the Nuggets are going to be a very good team, even without Jamal Murray (knee surgery) to start the season. MPJ averaged 19 points, 7.3 rebounds, 1.1 assists, 0.7 steals, 0.9 blocks and 2.8 3-pointers last season and I will be surprised if most of those numbers don’t improve this season. And his fun-factor in fantasy is off the charts. I own three shirseys – Luka, MPJ and Trae Young. And if I come out of Round 2 without Luka or MPJ, there’s a pretty good chance that Ice Trae will be on my roster instead.

Round 3

LaMelo Ball/Zach LaVine/Caris LeVert – These are all more of ‘my guys’ and I really think LaMelo is going to blow minds this season. I especially love his low turnovers and high steals, while he could flirt with a ton of 20-10-10 lines this season. He was a rookie last year and has a lot to learn, but he’s on the road to being the most exciting point guard in the league. And he could get there this year. LaVine gets better every season and was a Top 25 player last season and LeVert should come in fully healthy and be ready to roll for the Pacers, especially since T.J. Warren remains out indefinitely.

Round 4

Anthony Edwards/Deandre Ayton/Chris Boucher – Edwards is a much better player (and shooter) than I thought he was going to be and I can’t wait to see if I can get him on my teams this year. Yes, he was just a ninth-round player last season, but he was much better in the second half and was a borderline fifth-round player from February through the end of the season. He can score, steal and hit 3-pointers, his rebounds and assists aren’t bad and he’s not a turnover machine. Hopefully, he can do better than 77 percent from the line this season but the sky’s the limit for this kid. And if I don’t get Edwards in Round 4 there’s a very good chance I will end up with Deandre Ayton or Chris Boucher. Ayton was a dominant force in the playoffs and Boucher’s upside is limitless. I just wouldn’t reach for either of them prior to Round 4.

Round 5

Christian Wood/Jaren Jackson Jr./Jonathan Isaac – I was all in on Wood last year and he got off to an incredible start to the season last year. But injuries took a toll and Houston was just a weird place to play. But Wood showed all the tools and finished as a fourth-round player on a per-game basis. The 1.9 3-pointers, 20 points, 9.1 boards, 0.9 steals and 0.9 blocks were quite fun. The injuries (27 games played) were not. I’m going all-in again and am hoping he can stop stepping on people’s feet. Whether or not he’ll be available in the fifth round is the big question here. If he’s not, I’ll gladly take Jackson Jr. or Isaac. Surely one of them will be available in the fifth, right? I haven’t really studied JJJ’s game but I love Jonas Nader and he loves JJJ, so therefore I too love JJJ. And Isaac is supposedly the next coming of an NBA superstar. Injuries have derailed all of these careers but Round 5 seems like an acceptable place to take a chance on one, or all, of them.  

Round 6

Robert Williams/Bogdan Bogdanovic – Williams, aka the Time Lord, returned sixth-round fantasy value in just 18.9 minutes per game last season with 8.0 points and 62 percent free throw shooting, which is pretty incredible. He shot it lights out from the floor and averaged 6.9 rebounds, 1.8 assists, 0.8 steals and 1.8 blocked shots. It will literally only take a boost in minutes to make him a fantasy stud. Maybe it happens under new coach Ime Udoka and maybe it doesn’t. But he feels like a steal to me in Round 6. If he’s gone, depending on my roster, I’ll look at Bogy Bogdanovic as a homer pick. He really came into his own last season and finished with fifth-round value, but I bet he’ll be there in the sixth in a lot of leagues.

Round 7

Kyle Anderson/Norman Powell/Evan Fournier

I’d be content with any of these guys in Round 7. SloMo (Anderson) hit a ton of 3-pointers last season and emerged as a leader in Memphis, Powell is the yang to the yin of Damian Lillard and C.J. McCollum in Portland, and Fournier could be the second-best player on the Knicks, behind Julius Randle. I’d be happy with any of these targets in Round 7 and might take one of them in Round 8 if they’re still sitting there.

Round 8

Nickeil Alexander-Walker – The Pelicans got rid of Eric Bledsoe and we’ve got NAW slated in as the starter at shooting guard. This kid has blow-up potential written all over him and my guess is the hype train will be rolling on him this season. Maybe he won’t even be available in Round 8, but he had 17th-round value last season without a set role in fewer than 22 minutes per game. He shot 42 percent from the floor and just 73 percent from the line but that could all change now that he’s finally getting a chance to show his stuff. Maybe Round 8 is a round or two too early, but a full NAW breakout really feels like it’s coming. And I’m going to be there for it.

Round 9

De’Andre Hunter – The kid has been injured for much of his career and might be Atlanta’s best two-way player. He’s only scratched the surface on what he can do and he’s a much better offensive player than I thought he’d be coming in. He only played in 23 games last season but averaged 15 points, 4.8 rebounds, 0.8 steals and 1.3 3-pointers with very strong shooting percentages in both spots. If I can get Hunter in Round 9, I’m all in.

Round 10

Jaden McDaniels/Jonathan Kuminga - Maybe this is wishful thinking on Kuminga and maybe it’s a reach for McDaniels. And be careful with McDaniels, because there are two of them. But I’m pretty much feeling Jaden in Minnesota with only Taurean Prince and Jarred Vanderbilt standing in his way of power forward fantasy greatness. Round 10 seems like a good round to take a flier on him, while Kuminga might be the most NBA-ready rookie not named Cade. I’m not a big fan of drafting rookies and chances are Kuminga will be gone by Round 10, but if one of these guys is available, I’ll be happy.

More of ‘My Guys’

Shai Gilgeous-Alexander

Lonzo Ball

Kevin Porter Jr.

De’Anthony Melton

Seth Curry

Terance Mann

Duncan Robinson

Dillon Brooks

Khem Birch

James Bouknight

Daniel Gafford

Steve Alexander

Steve "Dr. A" Alexander is the senior editor for the NBA for NBC Sports Edge and a contributor to NBCSports.com. The 2020-21 NBA season marks (at least) his 20th year of covering fantasy hoops for NBC Sports. Follow him on Twitter - @Docktora.