2022-23 Fantasy Basketball One Category Wonders

by Brian Dailisan
2022-23 FANTASY BASKETBALL ONE CATEGORY WONDERS

Our journey into fantasy basketball begins as the NBA season gets underway and that includes our 2022-23 Fantasy Basketball One Category Wonders. 

A great way to prepare for your upcoming fantasy drafts for the season that is nearly here is by looking at those one-category wonders. Always best to know those players who can take you to victory in a particular category by themselves.

Below are the criteria that we used to choose the players for our 2022-23 Fantasy Basketball One Category Wonders list:

No-Brainer: Star players who might be available early

Less Prominent and Late Goodie: These players are most likely to be available in the middle to late rounds and maybe players who are providing out-of-position stats. The big difference between the "less prominent" and the "late goodie" is the former is typically those players you find in the middle of your draft while the latter is often in the very late rounds of your draft. 

Let's take a look at some of my recommended one-category wonders for this upcoming season.

2022-23 Fantasy Basketball One Category Wonders: POINTS

No-Brainer

Giannis Antetokounmpo, Milwaukee Bucks, (PF/C)

If you're fortunate enough to have one of the first two picks in a draft and you want to be competitive in scoring, Giannis Antetokounmpo should be one of your primary targets. Giannis' excellent scoring average (29.9 PPG) is very helpful because the Points category is the most challenging category to find in a draft. In terms of scoring last year, he was just somewhat behind Joel Embiid (30.6 PPG) and Lebron James (30.3 PPG), and of the three, he is the most reliable bet.

However, you should probably use the Punt FT% strategy if you intend to draft Giannis. Then it would be best to focus on the guard positions early because finding reliable sources of Points and Assists will be challenging after the first few rounds. Choose your second big man in the middle rounds if you wish to select Giannis in the first round.

Less Prominent

DeMar DeRozan, Chicago Bulls, (SF/PF) 

In every Punt Threes build, Demar Derozan will be my primary target. Last year, he came in seventh in scoring (27.9 PPG). In addition to his superb scoring, he contributes significantly to Assists (4.9 APG) and both Percentage categories (50.4 FG% on 20.2 FGA, 87.7 FT% on 7.8 FTA). All are crucial in the Punt Threes setup. Moreover, he is one of the most durable players and appeared in 76 games last season.

Late Goodie

Lauri Markkanen, Utah Jazz, (SF/PF) 

The recently completed FIBA Eurobasket 2022 saw Lauri Markkanen finish second in scoring with 27.9 PPG. And he is just behind Giannis Antetokounmpo (29.3 PPG). We like Lauri's outlook this season with his new team after the Utah Jazz acquired him. He might be one of the Jazz's top two options.

Lauri is one of the few late-available players whose impact on points (17–18 PPG) can be relied upon. He just needs to have sufficient playing time. However, injury risk is our major issue here, but I'm ready to take the chance, given his current price.

2022-23 Fantasy Basketball One Category Wonders: REBOUNDS

No-Brainer

Nikola Jokic, Denver Nuggets (C)

The best player in fantasy basketball right now is Nikola Jokic. You're committing a deadly sin if you don't take him as your top pick. The Big Honey may have a chance to win the rebounding title this year as Rudy Gobert, who outrebounded him last year (14.7 RPG), will now be playing alongside Karl-Anthony Towns.

In addition to having a superior rebounding rate (13.8 RPG), Nikola Jokic also contributes significantly in the areas of points (27.1 PPG), assists (7.9 APG), and steals (1.5 SPG), with highly respectable percentages in both categories (58.3 FG% on 17.7 FGA) and (81.0 FT% on 6.3 FTA). He will be an excellent first pick in a Punt Threes, and Punt Blocks build.

Less Prominent

Jarrett Allen, Cleveland Cavaliers (C)

Last year, Jarrett Allen was ranked 11th in rebounding (10.8 RPG). His role will be somewhat similar to last year's, and we anticipate him to keep providing quality rebounding, FG%, and blocks. If you are punting one of the guard categories (Threes, Assists, FT%), he is an excellent middle-round target.

Late Goodie

Josh Hart, Portland Trail Blazers (SG/SF) 

Josh Hart is a mediocre choice. However, I suggest him in this situation because he can record impressive out-of-position rebounds (7.2 RPG) and FG% impact (50.4% on 10.5 FGA). These numbers are special in specific builds, such as the Punt Blocks setup. Therefore, if you employ that tactic, I would focus on him in the closing rounds.

2022-23 Fantasy Basketball One Category Wonders: ASSISTS

No-Brainer

Chris Paul, Pheonix Suns (PG)

In fantasy drafts this year, Chris Paul is being overlooked. Since he has a history of injuries and is getting older, I understand why. He may have only played 65 games last year, but he finished first in the assists category (10.8 APG). I will take another chance with Chris Paul at his current ADP (typically around 35th overall) this season.

Less Prominent

Draymond Green, Golden State Warriors (PF/C)

Draymond Green will be my primary target in the middle rounds if I build a Punt Points setup. His out-of-position numbers in assists (7.0 APG) will be crucial in this strategy. I would go elsewhere however if I weren't punting points, given the potential for missed games and the underwhelming performance in areas other than assists, rebounds, steals, and blocks.

Late Goodie

Tre Jones, San Antonio Spurs (PG)

Tre Jones may have trouble making 3-pointers, but he has high assists-per-minute figures (7.3 AP36). Josh Primo's injury during training camp, which the Spurs have confirmed, may have solidified Tre Jones as the early starter at the backcourt. If I wanted to succeed in areas other than assists and steals, I would avoid Tre Jones. However, Tre Jones is your man if you're looking for assists in the later stages.

2022-23 Fantasy Basketball One Category Wonders: STEALS

No-Brainer

Dejounte Murray, Atlanta Hawks (PG/SG) 

Dejounte Murray finished second in steals last season (2.0 SPG), only behind All-Star Paul George (2.2 SPG). While playing with Trae Young now, he might lose some touches, but that won't likely stop him from trying to win the steals crown this year. Draft him confidently in the late second or early third round because, in addition to his elite steals, Dejounte Murray will provide you with out-of-position rebounds (8.3 RPG) and significant numbers in assists (9.2 APG). He will be a particular target in Punt Threes builds.

Less Prominent

Herbert Jones, New Orleans Pelican (SF/PF)

Herbert Jones (1.7 SPG) placed 12th in steals last year, but he could challenge Dejounte Murray for the top spot this year. The former will probably be my target in Punt Points as I won't have to worry about his subpar scoring with this strategy (9.5 PPG).

Late Goodie

De’Anthony Melton, Philadelphia 76ers (PG/SG)

We all adore De'Anthony Melton, and we can't wait till the day when he is finally let loose. De'Anthony Melton won't see a significant increase in minutes this season in Philadelphia, but as long as he plays consistent minutes in the low-20s, he'll still be a good source of steals (1.4 SPG).

2022-23 Fantasy Basketball One Category Wonders: BLOCKS

No-Brainer

Myles Turner, Indiana Pacers (C) 

No one else came close to Myles Turner (2.8 BPG), who won the Blocks title in 42 games last season. Given Myles Turner's lackluster performance in other categories and his current ADP, I wouldn't precisely advise getting him. Myles Turner is a good pick if you are low on blocks early. I will look elsewhere if you are already in a strong position with Blocks.

Less Prominent

Jakob Poeltl, San Antonio Spurs (C) 

Last year, Jakob Poeltl placed top 7 in Blocks (1.7 BPG). And in any Punt FT% strategy, he is one of the big men you want to target. To secure your big man categories (rebounds, blocks, and field goal percentage), if you choose Giannis or Gobert in the early rounds, you would want to select Poeltl in the middle rounds. I fret about Poeltl's outlook for the entire season, though. I believe it would be fantastic for him to remain with the San Antonio Spurs.

Late Goodie

Nic Claxton, Brooklyn Nets (C)

The breakthrough season for Nic Claxton may finally come this year. He will be a fantastic source of blocks (1.1 BPG) available late in the draft as he is currently the apparent starter at center. He will be a tremendous pick for any punt FT% build.

2022-23 Fantasy Basketball One Category Wonders: FIELD GOAL PERCENTAGE

No-Brainer

Rudy Gobert, Minnesota Timberwolves (C)

Rudy Gobert had an exceptional average of 71.3 FG% during the previous season, placing him in the top 4. Any Punt FT% team would do well to select him in the second round. And there's no need for concern that he's now teaming up with Karl-Anthony Towns.

Less Prominent

Mikal Bridges, Pheonix Suns (SG/SF) 

Mikal Bridges is included on this list solely due to his exceptional out-of-position Field Goal Percentage (53.4 FG% on 10.5 FGA). In addition, he stands out in nine-category leagues due to his low turnover rate (0.8 TPG). Mikal Bridges' exceptional FG% and FT% percentages, along with his good three-point shooting (1.4 3PG) and steals (1.2 SPG), make him an ideal Punt Assists and Punt Points option.

Late Goodie

Bruce Brown, Denver Nuggets (SF/PF) 

Last year, Bruce Brown was a formidable force in the final stretch. He recorded a round three value over the final two months of the 2021–2022 NBA season while averaging 53.2 FG% on 9.8 FGA. Yes, Bruce Brown will have a difficult time replicating this one. But I do not doubt that in Denver, he will have an excellent role where he can contribute valuable stats like field goal percentage, rebounds, and steals.

2022-23 Fantasy Basketball One Category Wonders: FREE THROW PERCENTAGE

No-Brainer

Trae Young, Atlanta Hawks (PG)

It takes more than having a good percentage to have a positive free-throw impact. A player also needs to make a lot of free-throw attempts. Trae Young is one of the few players who can offer elite Points (28.4 PPG), Threes (3.1 3PG), and FT% impact (90.4 FT% in 7.3 FTA). You would want Trae Young on your fantasy team because he is a legit scorer and free-throw expert.

Less Prominent

Zach LaVine, Chicago Bulls (SG/SF)

If you miss out on Trae Young or Demar Derozan for your Free Throw percentage boost, you may want to look at Zach Lavine. Zach Lavine had a stellar 2021-2022 NBA season in terms of scoring (24.4 PPG) and three-point shooting (2.8 3PG), and he also recorded an (85.3 FT% in 5.6 FTA). He will be a particular 4th-round target for Punt Assists, Punt Blocks set up, and a fantastic 3rd-round grab for punt steals.

Late Goodie

Lauri Markkanen, Utah Jazz (SF/PF)

Lauri Markkanen is listed twice because we think highly of him this season, especially given his current ADP. If he can remain healthy the entire season, he can match his points per game (18.7 PPG) and outstanding Free-Throw percentage (87.2 FT% on 3.8 FTA) from the 2018-2019 NBA season.

Who are your favorite 2022-23 Fantasy Basketball One Category Wonders? Feel free to comment below!

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