2021-22 Fantasy Basketball Division Preview – Central

by Travis Argo
2021-22 Fantasy Basketball Division Preview - Central

Welcome to the 2021-22 Fantasy Basketball Division Preview - Central article!

The Bucks finally overcame the playoff hump and got Giannis Antetokoumpo his championship ring. During this offseason. Milwaukee has made some parallel moves; they lose Bryn Forbes and P.J. Tucker but signed Rodney Hood and Semi Ojeleye. So, the Bucks look poised to run it back for another championship.

The Bulls were extremely active this offseason revamping damn near their entire roster. They’re bringing in DeMar DeRozan, Lonzo Ball, and Alex Caruso, hoping to make their first playoff appearance since 2017.

The Pacers came up short in the play-in tournament and came up short in their overall expectations for the season. The Nate Bjorkgren experiment at head coach was a disaster and destroyed the Pacers’ team chemistry and defense (111.9 Defensive Rating in 2020-21; 107.5 Defensive Rating in 2019-20.). Rick Carlisle should fix those issues moving forward. The Pacers’ offseason was very similar to the Bucks; they lost a shooter in Doug McDermott but signed Torrey Craig, a valuable piece for the Suns during their playoff run.

The Cavaliers were constantly in the headlines with rumors that they would trade Colin Sexton, but that hasn’t happened so far. Cleveland is still moving forward with the rebuild, drafting Evan Mobley and trading for Lauri Markkanen from the Bulls.

Speaking of rebuilds, the Pistons are in a full-blown rebuild mode, trading and waiving any players with big contracts. They spent most of their offseason building through the draft (Cade Cunningham, Isaiah Livers, and Luka Garza) and only signing veteran players like Kelly Olynyk and Trey Lyles to wipe these young guys into shape.

2021-22 Fantasy Basketball Division Preview - Central

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New Faces in the Division


The Pistons selected Cade Cunningham with the first pick of the draft. He should start right away for the rebuilding Pistons. It will be curious to see how he will play with a ball-dominant player like Killian Hayes when you consider that Cunningham isn’t the best shooter from three-point range.

The Cavaliers drafted Center/Forward Evan Mobley, who will probably come off the bench starting the season, but Mobley will slide in the four spot across from Jarrett Allen if Kevin Love is injured or traded.

The Pacers drafted Chris Duarte 13th overall, who might be one of the best shooters in the draft. He’ll most likely come off the bench sporadically until he proves his perimeter defense is legit.

Neither the Bulls’ nor Bucks’ draft picks will see the court this upcoming season.

Impact Free Agents

[pickup_prop id="7291"]

  • Chicago Bulls - DeMar DeRozan

The Bulls are the only Central team to add any real, impactful free agent. DeMar DeRozan had three great seasons with the Spurs after his time in Toronto. He averaged 21.6 points, 6.2 assists, and 5.3 rebounds per game for the Spurs.

DeRozan was the primary scorer in San Antonio, but that will not be the case for him in Chicago. He will play second fiddle to Zach LaVine. This is a role DeRozan has thrived in before, playing next to Kyle Lowry.

His points-per-game will probably take a slight dip, but nothing that keeps him off your radar during draft day.


Lauri Markkanen is an exciting piece in the Cavs’ lineup; he is a good three-point shooter (36.6 percent for career), decent rebounder (7.1 rebounds for career), and is a decent defender who can slide from the post to the perimeter with ease. So, Cleveland would be wise to slide Markkanen in the small forward to help defensively on the edge and hang out at three-point range when the Sexland backcourt looks to kick out for an easy three.

Lonzo Ball will help relieve Zach LaVine from being the Bulls’ primary ball-handler, focus more on cutting to the basket, and create space for more open shots. Ball's scoring could improve this season considering his True Shooting percentage improved from 51.5 percent in 2019-20 season to 55.1 percent last year, but his real impact will be in the assist column where he has plenty of mouths to feed (Zach LaVine, DeMar DeRozen, and Nikola Vucevic).

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Draft With Confidence

PG - Malcolm Brogdon, Jrue Holiday, Lonzo Ball

SG - Caris LeVert, Collin Sexton, Zach LaVine

SF - DeMar DeRozan, Kris Middleton, Jerami Grant

PF - Giannis Antetokounmpo, Domantas Sabonis

C - Jarret Allen, Nikola Vucevic

Category Specific Players (Last season stats)

True Shooting (TS%) – shooting efficiency including 2pt field goals, 3pt field goals and free throws

Effective Field Goal (eFG%) – adjust for the fact that a 3pt FG is worth more than a 2pt FG


PlayerPtsFG%3pt%eFG%TS%Pts per
100 poss
T.J. Warren
Darius Garland17.445.139.551.754.725.9

3pt Shooters

Player3pt Att3pt%eFG%TS%
Saddiq Bey6.638.053.056.7
Kevin Love6.236.552.255.6
Justin Holiday6.338.255.157.1
Donte DiVincenzo5.237.952.854.2


PlayerRebReb per
100 poss
Myles Turner6.59.911.48.8
Isaiah Stewart6.715.317.35.2
Bobby Portis7.
Oshae Brissett5.510.512.03.1

Click here to read the Southeast Division Fantasy Basketball Preview

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