Fantasy NBA Breakout Contenders Season 2016-17 – Top 20 (#8-#5)

Welcome back everyone, with only five days to go until the first games of the 2016/17 NBA Season we are continuing to countdown the twenty players who can have a significant fantasy impact this season.

Here are the four players rated 8 to 5 that could be ready to break out in 2016-17.

#8 – Kent Bazemore, SF, Atlanta Hawks

After signing a four-year $70 million contract with the Hawks in the offseason, it would appear as though Bazemore it Atlanta’s small forward for this season at least.

At 27 years of age, this could be the perfect time for Bazemore to explode into a quality fantasy option.

Last year, Bazemore erupted with career-best per-game averages across the board – 11.6 points, 5.1 rebounds, 2.3 assists, 1.5 triples and 1.3 steals in 27.8 minutes – finishing as the 66th ranked player.

RNK PLAYER, TEAM POS FG% FT% 3PM REB AST STL BLK PTS ‘16 RATING
66 Kent Bazemore, Atlanta SF -0.29 0.50 1.21 0.78 0.42 1.64 0.38 0.74 5.39

While Bazemore does have more competition for playing time this season with Thabo Sefolosha, Tim Hardaway Jr. and the two rookie first-rounders the Hawks drafted, the contract off the Hawks put in front of Bazemore is more than enough to convinvce me that he is the man who will begin the season as starting SF.

At worst he’ll still likely produce top-100 value, but I believe that another top-70 finish would not be much of a surprise, as Bazemore contributes in almost every category, making him a valuable addition to your fantasy side.

#7 – Giannis Antetokoumpo, SF, Milwaukee Bucks

Last month, the Milwaukee Bucks agreed to an extension with small forward Giannis Antetokounmpo, for 4-years worth $100 million. The Greek Freak as he has been dubbed is one of the rising stars of the NBA and would make a valuable contribution to any Fantasy NBA team this season.

Despite being projected to go in the first round of a number of fantasy mock drafts, a number of NBA Fantasy players still do not know who Giannis is. If he is on the board late in the first round and you are having a pick, do no pass up the opportunity to pick Antetekoumpo, as he will contribute to you team in almost every cateogy except 3PM.

Last season, Antetekoumpo averaged 16.9 points, 7.7 rebounds, 4.3 assists, 1.2 steals and 1.4 blocks in 35.3 minutes per night, finishing as the 19th-ranked player.

RNK PLAYER, TEAM POS FG% FT% 3PM REB AST STL BLK PTS ’16 RATING
19 Giannis Antetokounmpo, Milwaukee  SF/SG/PF 1.92 -0.63 -0.30 1.96 1.75 1.53 2.72 1.79 10.73

Antetokounmpo poses the length (6’11”), speed and playmaking ability of a young Kevin Durant meaning he can play almost any position from the 1 to the 5. The fact that he doesn’t turn 22 until December makes him one of the hottest fantasy commodities. Importantly, the Bucks have committed to keeping him as the primary playmaker.

After the All-Star break last season, Giannis averaged an even more impressive 19.0 points, 8.8 rebounds, 7.4 assists, 1.4 steals and 1.9 blocks, all while shooting 50 percent from the field.

Giannis is an extremely hard worker who is continuously working to improve all aspects of his game, particularly his outside shooting, and most believe that GA is only going to improve on the above numbers and, eventually, become at worse an average outside shooter.

With Antetekoumpo providing his owners last season with 5 triple-doubles in his last 28 games, there is every chance that he can be a top-10 player by seasons end.

#6 – Jabari Parker, PF, Milwaukee Bucks

Parker’s rookie season of 2014-15 was cut short after he tore his ACL just 25 games into his highly anticipated NBA career. However, he did recover in time for last season and played well.

The Chicago native put up averages of 14.1 points and 5.2 boards while shooting nearly 50 percent from the field for the Bucks, leaving him ranked as the 91st best fantasy player, with his play showing enough for him to make the USA Select team over the Summer.

RNK PLAYER, TEAM POS FG% FT% 3PM REB AST STL BLK PTS ‘16 RATING
91 Jabari Parker, Milwaukee SF 1.31 0.13 -0.65 0.86 0.11 0.81 0.10 1.18 3.84

While his output with Milwaukee in 2015-16 was solid, it was not spectacular, and he clearly has more to give. Last season was really the 6-foot-8 forward’s rookie year, his first full season of action. And, for a player who was once the most highly touted high school player in the country, it seems like things can only go up.

His high school dominance earned him a scholarship to Duke, where he turned in an impressive one-and-done freshman season where he averaged 19.1 points, 8.7 rebounds, 1.2 assists and shot 47.3 percent from the field in 30.7 minutes of action, and he played in the extremely physical ACC.

The Bucks were predictably cautious with Parker to open the season, but once he was unleased after the All Star break, we saw his raw ability. In those 28 games, the Duke product averaged nearly 19 points a game on 49.8-percent shooting to go along with 6.1 rebounds, 2.2 assists, and 1.4 blocks-plus-steals.

If those numbers sound familiar, it’s because we saw Carmelo Anthony (20.8/5.7/2.6/1.3) do essentially the same thing in his second NBA season, but in a less efficient manner (43.1-percent shooting from the field).

Parker won’t be able to shoot from distance like ‘Melo, but with additional aggression that comes with confidence, we could be looking at a player who is ready to enter the “elite scorer” conversation sooner than later.

#5 – Devin Booker, SG, Phoenix Suns

After being drafted 13th overall by the Suns in 2015, Booker had a far better rookie season than most people predicted. Due to injuries to Brandon Knight and Eric Bledsoe, Booker received extra playing time in 2015/16 and well and truly capitalised on it. His play earned him All-Rookie first team honours.

Last season. Booker averaged 13.8 points on 42.3 percent shooting, 2.6 assists, 2.5 rebounds, 1.3 triples and 0.6 steals in 27.7 minutes, finishing as the 130th-ranked player.

RNK PLAYER, TEAM POS FG% FT% 3PM REB AST STL BLK PTS ‘16 RATING
130 Devin Booker, Phoenix SG -0.90 1.12 1.02 -0.20 0.64 0.10 -0.18 1.13 2.73

However, after New Year’s Day, Booker started all but one of Phoenix’s final 47 games, and went on to average 18.3 points on 41.1 percent shooting, 3.7 assists, 3.2 rebounds, 1.7 triples and 0.7 steals in 35.0 minutes, which would have meant that he finished as the 99th-ranked player

In the 19-year-old’s two games for Phoenix in the Las Vegas Summer League this offseason, he put on a show with averages of 26 points, five rebounds and 6.5 assists while shooting 60 percent from long range in 33.5 minutes. Booker, like Parker, was also a member of the USA Select team.

It was Booker’s lackluster field-goal percentage that limited his fantasy value, particularly in roto leagues, last season and with the return of Bledsoe and Knight it could be argued that this should help steer defenses away from him.

However, remain aware that this duo may also siphon off his playing time. Booker could very well be in for a breakout campaign if he builds upon his promising 2015-16 finish.

Next time we will discuss the top 4 breakout contender for season 2016/17 including; Dennis Schroder, D’Angelo Russell, Harrison Barnes and Joel Embiid.
As always if you have any questions please feel free to leave a comment at the bottom of this page or send it to us via Twitter or why not join in the conversation by joining our Facebook group!


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