Fantasy basketball: Our experts each list five players they are targeting in drafts

Scottie Barnes and Ivica Zubac both make the expert lists. Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

We gathered our fantasy basketball experts together and asked each of them which five players they wanted to make sure they drafted this season.

A simple question, right?

Well, the findings are both interesting and informative, giving an indicator of who some of the most coveted fantasy players and value picks might be in your drafts.

Those players you see on numerous lists below?

That could very well be a strong indicator that the demand is high and you might need to go a round (or two) higher to land them.

Andre Snellings' five guys

Mikal Bridges, SG/SF, Brooklyn Nets: Bridges posted elite box score production with the Nets that he should build upon this season, and he has never missed a game in his 5-year NBA career. That's a level of reliability rarely seen at the top of fantasy hoops drafts, and he projects as a top-10 fantasy points producer that might be available in the late second/early third round of drafts.

Scottie Barnes, SF/PF, Toronto Raptors: This one's a hunch. The 2021-22 NBA Rookie of the Year had a slow start to his sophomore campaign but picked it up later in the season. The Raptors are a team in transition, with a new coach and point guard this season and constant trade rumors surrounding the other impact players outside of Barnes. I think they feature him this season, give him all the responsibility he can handle to see if he has superstar upside.

Alperen Sengun, C, Houston Rockets: Sengun was an analytics pick to play well as a rookie and then again as a sophomore. Once he secured the starting gig for the Rockets last season, he started proving those analytics projections accurate. His upside as a scoring/passing/rebounding center in the mold of a junior Nikola Jokic has his season projections surpassing his current seventh-round ADP.

Tyus Jones, PG, Washington Wizards: After backing up Ja Morant for the past several seasons, Jones gets to run his own squad with the Wizards this season. Jones' numbers whenever Morant missed extended time were very strong, and last season bordered on elite for 22 games. If he can replicate that production this season, he's extreme value with his current 10th-round ADP.

Ja Morant, PG, Memphis Grizzlies: Morant has a ninth-round ADP because he is suspended for 25 games and isn't eligible for the injured list. But, for the last 70% of the NBA season, he projects to top-2 round production if my team can weather the storm of his absence. I like that kind of upside, particularly when the absence isn't due to an injury that may hinder him long term.

Eric Moody's five guys

Anthony Edwards, SG/SF, Minnesota Timberwolves: Edwards' significant offseason contract suggests that the Timberwolves are committed to building their team around him, and considering his huge statistical jump last season, he has the potential to be a top-12 fantasy player this season.

Zach Collins, PF/C, San Antonio Spurs: After the Spurs traded Jakob Poeltl last season, Collins showed what he's capable of. In those 19 games, he averaged 16.5 PPG, 8.0 RPG, and 1.1 BPG. Collins should thrive at center with Victor Wembanyama playing power forward.

Josh Giddey, PG/SG/SF, Oklahoma City Thunder: Despite being just 21, Giddey posted impressive averages of 16.6 PPG, 7.9 RPG, and 6.2 APG last season. Following a strong performance in the FIBA World Cup this summer, he's poised for an even greater breakout in his third season, especially if he improves his efficiency.

Mark Williams, C, Charlotte Hornets: Following Mason Plumlee's trade to the Clippers last season, Williams will be the Hornets' starting center this season and is a nice value late in drafts. In 17 starts last season, he averaged 11.6, 10.0 RPG, and 1.1 BPG.

Tyrese Maxey, SG/PG, Philadelphia 76ers: The highly publicized split between James Harden and the 76ers' front office has created an opportunity for Maxey to step into an expanded role. With his ability to contribute across various statistical categories, I'm confident in reaching for him in drafts.

Eric Karabell's five guys

Nikola Vucevic, C, Chicago Bulls: Vucevic is so underrated that he finishes among the top 10 Player Rater options annually yet continues to slip into the fourth round of drafts. Sign me up for the third or fourth round every time.

Tyrese Maxey, PG/SG, Philadelphia 76ers: The 76ers needed Maxey to become a big-time 3-point threat, and he did it. Now they likely need him to run the point and average 5 APG per game. He can do that, too.

Tyus Jones, PG, Washington Wizards: Jones finally gets a starting nod in Washington and based on his numbers when he started last season in Memphis, this may be a top-10 point guard, but with merely mid-round investment cost.

Ivica Zubac, C, LA Clippers: Zubac keeps adding more rebounds and blocks to his ledger, while hitting at least 60% of his field goals and playing in 72 or more games for four consecutive seasons, and he goes outside the top 100 annually.

Josh Hart, SG/SF, New York Knicks: Fantasy managers should love the combination of rebounds, assists and steals from the small forward spot, so even if Hart does not start and does not score traditionally, he is so dependable and valuable, especially at minimal cost.

Steve Alexander's five guys

Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, PG/SG, Oklahoma City Thunder: I want a Top 5 pick in this year's drafts so I can get my hands on either SGA, Tyrese Haliburton or Luka Doncic. And it will take a Top 5 pick to get all of them. I'd rank them just like I did above - SGA, Haliburton and Luka - only because I'm worried about a possible Mavs tank late in the season and Luka's already dinged up (calf).

Jaren Jackson Jr., PF/C, Memphis Grizzlies: The guy can do it all, could lead the league in blocks, will be asked to score more with Ja Morant suspended for 25 games and he can even shoot free throws for a big man. I could see JJJ taking it to another level this season.

Victor Wembanyama, PF/C, San Antonio Spurs: Yes, Gregg Popovich could load manage him and yes, Wemby is a shutdown candidate if the Spurs aren't in the hunt late in the season, but I don't care. The hype is real and he's going to be a fantasy monster this season if his early preseason run is any indication of what he will be doing for his fantasy managers.

Chet Holmgren, PF/C, Oklahoma City Thunder: Holmgren has looked fantastic in the preseason and his ESPN ADP (in 60 range) feels almost too good to be true. Yes, I'm a little worried about the foot becoming an issue again but the Thunder are going to play to win this year and Holmgren should be out there every night if he's healthy.

Bennedict Mathurin, SG/SF, Indiana Pacers: Mathurin should be one of Tyrese Haliburton's favorite teammates and targets this season. He played 78 games as a rookie last season and only made 17 starts, but that should change this year. I think he's going to be starting from Day 1 and his ADP (in 125 range) makes him a perfect late-round flier.

Jim McCormick's five guys

Jaren Jackson Jr., PF/C, Memphis Grizzlies: Let's open the list with a high-end draft selection who is still somehow underrated: this dude has led the NBA in blocks per game two years running all while sustaining real leaps on offense. "JJJ" is a league-winning selection.

Desmond Bane, SG/SF, Memphis Grizzlies: Not only is Morant due to miss the first 25 games, or 30% of the season, Jones' departure in a swap for Marcus Smart aligns with increased distribution and playmaking duties from Bane, who is far more than just a sharpshooter. How much would you value prime Klay Thompson scoring and shooting, only with more playmaking?

Chet Holmgren, PF/C, Oklahoma City Thunder: Blocks remain so rare, especially in an era of such 3-point volume, which naturally removes shots from the restricted area from the menu. Holmgren is simply undervalued in most formats, which is the natural outcome of having a rookie year on the shelf. Draft and enjoy the fun numbers.

Devin Vassell, SG/SF, San Antonio Spurs: The leap already happened, the crowd just didn't notice until his recent huge extension. Look past the cash and realize that Vassell is already an emergent two-way force.

Paul Reed, PF, Philadelphia 76ers: Nearly free in most formats, Reed will finally see the court aside Joel Embiid in Nick Nurse's modernized scheme. With sticky, as in sustainable, defensive rates driving a high floor, Reed could become the ideal help forward in Nurse's fantasy-friendly system.