2022-23 NBA Fantasy Plus-Minus Breakouts

by Mark B
2023-24 Fantasy Basketball: Boring But Valuable Vets

You might be asking yourself why you should care about the 2022-23 NBA Fantasy Plus-Minus Breakouts when it isn’t a category for either head-to-head or points leagues.

Or you might even be asking "What is plus-minus?". Plus-minus is used to measure a player’s impact on a game. It is the ratio difference of their team’s total scoring versus their opponent’s when the player is in the game.

For example, the Golden State Warriors are facing the Los Angeles Lakers. Both Stephen Curry and LeBron James play the entire 1st period. The score after the 1st period is 20-15 in favor of the Warriors. Curry’s plus-minus is +5 while LeBron’s is -5. Now Curry doesn’t play the entire 2nd quarter but LeBron does and the Lakers end the quarter with the lead 30-35. LeBron’s plus-minus is now +5 and Curry (because he did not step on the court in the 2nd) is also still +5. Had Curry played the entire 2nd period, his plus-minus would have been -5. It is entirely possible for a player to have a positive rating and for their team to lose.

So, why should you care about the impact of this on your fantasy basketball team if it's not even a category? The answer is that it is a good metric to see how players impact the game, but more specifically to analyze if someone can improve their rating based on circumstance and opportunity.

With that in mind, let's look at four players who I like as 2022-23 NBA Fantasy plus-minus breakouts.

2022-23 NBA Fantasy Plus-Minus Breakouts

Jordan Poole, PG/SG, Golden State Warriors

PlayerGPFG%FT%3PTMPTSREBASTSTLBLKTO
J. Poole7644.892.52.818.53.44.00.80.32.5

2021-2022 Rating +324
2020-2021 Rating +28
Career Rating +152

Jordan Poole is easily this season’s favorite for sixth man of the year. He had a +324 rating last season (+28 the year before). With the core of the Warriors aging, look for Poole to tackle and play many games/minutes at the start of the year which should signal a strong finish as well. He has the full faith of the team and expectations are extremely high. In my main league, he went 6th round which is likely where he'll be drafted but could be the steal of that round. He is ideal for 3-point builds and PG/C builds.

Christian Wood, PF/C, Dallas Mavericks


PlayerGPFG%FT%3PTMPTSREBASTSTLBLKTO
C. Wood6850.162.31.917.910.12.30.81.01.9

2021-2022 Rating -406
2020-2021 Rating -98
Career Rating -519

Okay, okay. Hear me out on this one. Woods has never really been on a proven team. Detriot and Houston aren’t the best samples to take from especially when the tank is so enticing. Wood’s stats are decent besides his free throws which shows that he belongs. Woods now has a chance to show his worth alongside Luka Doncic.

Woods will be coming off the bench to replace JaVale McGee. McGee, being the veteran, will start but I don’t foresee him starting for too long if Woods can get it together. He definitely might be considered for the sixth man of the year. He went in my draft round 6 and his pre-season rank is around round 8. Due to his free throws, he is perfect for a punt free throw build but can also work as a point guard-center builds.

Malcolm Brogdon, PG/SG, Boston Celtics

PlayerGPFG%FT%3PTMPTSREBASTSTLBLKTO
M. Brogdon3644.885.61.619.15.15.90.80.42.1

2021-2022 Rating 0
2020-2021 Rating -32
Career Rating +510

Brogdon is a player that fell off the map. Most criticized Milwaukee for trading him but look how that turned out. The actual issue with Brogden is health more than anything else. Due to his output and positive rating on the court, he was seen as starting point guard caliber. On Boston, newly acquire Brogdon won’t have nearly as much pressure with the amount of talent that surrounds him.

Boston will also stagger his minutes to prolong his season. Under normal circumstances, fewer minutes equates to less output but not for Brogden. His per-minute output and reserve role might be in his favor. He is great in any point guard or assists build (point guard-center builds too). He went in the 11th round in my recent draft and his pre-season rank has him about round 10. Due to uncertainty, he goes late and often slips (like in my draft) but as a late-round flier, he could be a great pick especially if he gets to play with Robert Williams III.

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Derrick White, PG/SG, Boston Celtics


PlayerGPFG%FT%3PTMPTSREBASTSTLBLKTO
D. White7542.186.41.513.23.54.90.90.81.6

2021-2022 Rating +202
2020-2021 Rating +95
Career Rating +523

White only had a short time to get to know his teammates on the court (since he was traded from San Antonio) but helped Boston make the finals. Fun fact: White has never had a minus rating in any season overall. Based on last season’s stats he is a great late-round pick – he gets you a little of everything and doesn’t hurt you anywhere.

He will be off the bench once Williams III returns but with a pairing of Brogden (much like he had with Dejounte), he will have good opportunities to do what he did last year plus more. He is currently undrafted and a waiver in my league which is also suggestive of his pre-season rank. If you require a guard off the waiver or in your round 13, you could certainly do worse.


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