2014 Outlook: Those who love analytics and poring over contract numbers might loathe Gay, but we fantasy folks don't care so long as Gay is churning out big stats, and that's exactly what he's destined to do this season with the Raptors. In the 33 games he played after being traded to Toronto, Gay averaged 17.1 shots and 4.0 3-point attempts, both of which would be career highs over the course of a full season. Basically, he should wind up in the 19-20 PPG range, while making roto hoopers happy with some 3s, steals, blocks and quality rebounding numbers. There is little risk and plenty to like when it comes to Gay this season.
2014 Outlook: We've been teased by Ilyasova in the past. He's looked like an All-Star at times, yet he couldn't convince his coaches to feed him the rock. He picked up steam again after the All-Star break last season (17.2 PPG, 9.0 RPG, 1.0 SPG, 1.7 3s, 48.7 FG percentage) and should finally parlay that into a full season of big-time fantasy production in '13-14, because the Bucks have dramatically thinned out their roster and will have no choice but to lean heavily on him as a primary scorer. As you can see, he also has a diverse statistical game for roto teams, too. If he takes a large leap in confidence, 19-20 PPG could be possible.
2014 Outlook: Sanders was a revelation in his third NBA campaign. The big fella avoided foul trouble and stepped his game up in the second half of last season as a dominant force on the glass. That was reflected in his 11.1 RPG over the final 26 games and 2.8 BPG on the season. He also chipped in a solid FG percentage and averaged 12.0 PPG after the All-Star break. Even better this season is the expectation that he should play as many minutes as possible in a thinned-out frontcourt. We know that means he'll generate defensive stats, but his offense is a work in progress, though he's not shy about taking shots. Draft him for the D and any offense better than 12-13 PPG will be a bonus.
2014 Outlook: From a pure talent perspective, it's hard to argue that Cousins isn't one of the top big men in the league, but a combination of inconsistency and immaturity has held him back from realizing his full potential in his first three seasons. A high fantasy pick last season, Cousins disappointed with averages of 17.1 points, 9.9 rebounds, 1.4 steals and 0.7 blocks per game. He did improve his efficiency, shooting 46.5 percent from the floor, but was frustratingly inconsistent given his skill set. That said, Cousins is a solid bounce-back candidate this season, as he saw just 30.5 minutes per game last season. If he can find a way to improve on that number with improved consistency on both ends of the floor, he could be a value pick depending on how far he falls on draft day.
2014 Outlook: If Thompson didn't open eyes by finishing 37th on our Player Rater during the regular season, he sure made a name for himself on the national stage during Golden State's 12-game playoff run. We'd love to see him create more steals and be a bit more selective with his shots, but we won't complain with 16.6 points and 2.6 3-pointers per game for the 23-year-old sharpshooter. Already a fantastic fantasy selection, Thompson should continue to improve as he enters his third year in the league.
2014 Outlook: Bosh has kind of gone from Big Three to third wheel next to LeBron James and Dwyane Wade. He remains capable of averaging 20 and 10, but the Heat don't need him to. In fact, his role was so reduced last season, he was essentially a high-end role player. Consider how power forward Bosh's 16.6 PPG and 6.8 RPG compare to small forward Luol Deng's 16.5 PPG and 6.3 RPG. Still, 53.5 FG percentage on 12.3 FGA, 79.8 FT percentage on 4.1 FTA and 1.4 BPG are helpful. However, that BPG mark could be an aberration (most since '04-05) and he fancies himself a 3-point specialist these days, despite shooting a horrid 28.8 percent. Draft him as a role player, and he should provide good value.
2014 Outlook: Monroe is just 23 years old, but he is an old-school big man who likes to bang in the post and has the fundamentals to one day become an All-Star. It's unlikely that will happen this season, though, due to the arrival of Brandon Jennings and Josh Smith, plus the maturation of Andre Drummond. He's widely believed to be on the trading block, and landing in a place where a larger role awaits would be good for his fantasy value. As things stand now, he likely will see a reduction in FGA, scoring and rebounding, and since he doesn't block shots, he will have limited fantasy value and even less upside this season.
2014 Outlook: On the strength of some fantastic per-minute numbers, Duncan averaged 17.8 points, 9.9 rebounds and 2.7 blocks despite seeing only 30.1 minutes per game. His efforts were good enough to place the 37-year-old 10th on our Player Rater by season's end. He even managed to connect on a career-high 81.7 percent of his free throw attempts. While it is clear that he still has a lot left in the tank, fantasy owners should still have some concerns about his lack of playing time in regular-season action. Duncan isn't getting any younger, so be aware that Gregg Popovich will continue to limit his minutes throughout the regular season in an effort to keep him fresh for the playoffs.
2014 Outlook: Despite playing in 1,102 games, chucking up 17,630 shots and turning 36 during training camp, Pierce has managed to hold Father Time at bay. He's avoided any catastrophic injuries, missed only sporadic game action and has continued to be a viable fantasy force. In fact, his combination of scoring, assists, rebounding and helpful production from both the 3-point and free throw lines still makes him one of the better small forwards in Fantasyland. Donning a new jersey (pun intended) in Brooklyn should have little effect on his production; Pierce will remain a solid contributor across the board, so long as his body continues to stand the test of time.
2014 Outlook: Currently recovering from Achilles tendon surgery, it remains to be seen how Bryant will be hampered to start the season. If he's 100 percent healthy, Kobe is still an elite fantasy option after posting 27.3 points, 5.6 rebounds, 6.0 assists, 1.4 steals and 1.7 3-pointers per game with terrific percentages a season ago. With Kobe hoping to return for the start of the campaign, fantasy owners will want to watch his progression closely before using a high pick on him in fantasy drafts.
2014 Outlook: We pegged Vucevic as a sleeper last season, noting that "a 7-footer with a 7-foot-5 wingspan just needs minutes to rack up rebound/block totals," but he came through as a scorer, too, and proved to be a steady force all season long. His post-All-Star stats of 14.6 PPG, 12.8 RPG and 51.2 FG percentage are fully attainable for him this season at age 23. It's tough to nitpick, but his 1.0 BPG is disappointing for that 7-foot-5 wingspan. Perhaps we'll see more blocks this season. Also of note is that the impact of his shoddy 68.3 FT percentage was minimized because he took only 1.6 FTA per game.
2014 Outlook: A deadly 3-point shooter from downtown, Anderson has posted at least 16.1 points and 2.6 3-pointers in each of the past two seasons. He won't do much for fantasy owners on the defensive end, but Anderson is more than just a 3-point specialist for fantasy leaguers thanks to his 6.4 rebounds per game and 84.4 percent free throw shooting. He'll have fewer scoring opportunities with newcomers Jrue Holiday and Tyreke Evans needing touches, but he should still be a fine selection for points, rebounds and free throw percentage while providing elite 3-point shooting.
2014 Outlook: Playing alongside Dwight Howard and battling various injuries, Gasol turned in the worst season of his 12-year career, posting just 13.7 points, 8.6 rebounds, 4.1 assists and 1.2 blocks in 49 games. Now with Howard gone, and reportedly healthy after undergoing a procedure to clear scar tissue in his knees, Gasol makes for a solid bounce-back candidate if he can keep himself on the court. He's just one season removed from averaging 17.4 points, 10.4 rebounds, 3.7 assists and 1.4 blocks, so there is quite a bit of upside here if he can remain healthy.
2014 Outlook: Tabbed as a potential breakout candidate in 2012-13, Leonard delivered on his promise, particularly in the playoffs where he posted 13.5 points, 9.0 rebounds, 1.8 steals and 1.1 3-pointers in 21 postseason games. Leonard's playoff success did not come as a surprise after he averaged 11.9 points, 6.0 boards, 1.7 steals and 1.1 3-pointers in only 31.2 minutes per game during the regular season. The 22-year-old is one of the more talented young stars in the game today, and fantasy owners should expect big things in 2013-14.
2014 Outlook: Savvy fantasy owners are well aware of this underrated statistical gem. Not only is Young eligible at both forward spots, but he can score, rebound, shoot over 50 percent from the field and pile up a quality steals total. Last season, he averaged 14.8 PPG, 7.5 RPG, 53.1 FG% and 1.8 SPG. This season, with the Sixers roster stripped bare, Young has the chance to take a career-high in shots, which means he could score in the upper teens. Expect him to be one of the better breakout players in fantasy this season and a sleeper NBA All-Star candidate.