Way-too-early 2018-19 fantasy basketball rankings for points leagues

As we head into the offseason, is Joel Embiid a legitimate top-10 fantasy pick in points leagues? AP Photo/Matt Slocum

Click here for roto-league rankings and reaction.

Read below for points-league ranks.

Points-league rankings and reaction

It's never too early to look ahead to the next fantasy season, right? Sure, things will change dramatically after the NBA draft and free agency, but the point of these rankings is to give an initial reset of value as we enter the offseason.

2018-19 rookies aren't included here, nor are incumbent guys who likely will be benched for those rookies. Players who were injured last season are put back into more reasonable slots, and players who shot up the rankings during the "garbage time" of the NBA season are pushed back into their more likely range moving forward.

This list should be a good resource for fantasy managers in keeper leagues who are considering the future, and it also should help establish reasonable ranges to then be modified as the offseason plays out.

Until then, here is my first look at what next season could look like.

Point guard

John Wall was injured for a large part of the season, which really limited his value. However, he was a borderline top-10 player going into last season, and he should be at that level again next season.

Kyrie Irving returns healthy for the Celtics, with a playoffs-tested supporting cast who all can shoot. Irving should have room to work, and he also will be surrounded by finishers who can help him generate assists.

Mike Conley missed essentially the entire 2018 season with Achilles issues. However, in 2017, he was a top-50 producer, and if he is healthy next season, he will have that upside again.

Isaiah Thomas finally shut down his injury-plagued, nightmarish season in March to have hip surgery. The expected recovery estimate of four months should have him fully healthy in time for training camp. Look for him to bounce back with a vengeance as he tries to reestablish his worth on the market.

Elfrid Payton doesn't have a clear team or role for next season. But, he finally got a haircut, which means that he should actually be able to see the rim, which can only help his shot.

Markelle Fultz was the No. 1 pick in the last NBA draft, and after his shoulder injury robbed him of a rookie season, he enters next season as a major enigma. Presumably, like Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons, Fultz will get the chance to have a fresh rookie season and make more of an impact next season.

Shooting guard

Jimmy Butler missed time toward the end of the season due to injury, but he is healthy now and should resume his borderline top-10 value for next season.

Gordon Hayward had the most gruesome injury of the 2017-18 season five minutes into the campaign. His absence allowed his young teammates to flourish, but he should still return to an impact role that allows him to approximate his ranking of 33rd from the 2016-17 Player Rater.

Donovan Mitchell had an outstanding rookie campaign and projects as the primary scorer for the Utah Jazz next season as well. He should only get better.

Small forward

Kawhi Leonard was a clear top-10 player in 2017 before missing almost the entire 2018 season. He will be a bit of an enigma going into next season, but assuming he's healthy, he should be back to a first-round talent.

Tyreke Evans took advantage of all of the injuries on the Memphis Grizzlies to become a huge impact player in the first half of last season, but the Grizzlies made it clear in the second half of the season that they didn't see him as part of their future. As such, his value is a mystery until the offseason shakes itself out.

Jabari Parker missed most of the season recovering from a torn ACL, but he enters this season healthy and will be looking to prove himself to still be a young star in this game.

Power forward

Kevin Love is back and healthy, which makes him an impact play for next season. If LeBron James leaves Cleveland this offseason and Love stays, he could have much higher upside to produce as "the man."

Julius Randle was one of the most productive players in the NBA over the past couple of months of the season, but the Lakers entered last season with Randle seemingly not in their long-term plans, and it's not clear whether he did enough to move into those future plans. With that uncertainty, he slides down into the bottom half of the top 100.

Kristaps Porzingis is a huge enigma right now, with Knicks owner James Dolan stating that he could be back as early as December or possibly miss the entire 2018-19 season. He's near the bottom of these rankings until his situation becomes more clear.


Joel Embiid entered last season with huge upside but major question marks because he had played only about 30 games in his first three NBA seasons. However, he played the majority of the 2017-18 season and did so at a very high level. As such, he enters next season as a top-10 prospect.

Hassan Whiteside was very effective fantasy-wise when healthy last season -- but he had injury issues all season and then publicly clashed with Heat coach Erik Spoelstra and president Pat Riley in the playoffs about his lack of playing time. Whiteside's role with the Heat moving forward is unclear, and he dropped in the rankings as a result.

DeMarcus Cousins will be an unrestricted free agent during the offseason after tearing his Achilles early in 2018. It is unclear when he'll be back on the court or for whom he'll be playing. Like Porzingis, he's represented in the top 100, but he has huge question marks next to his name.