Fantasy Basketball Dynasty Tiers for 2019 Start-up Drafts

Fantasy basketball tiers to get you ready for your 2019 fantasy basketball dynasty drafts.

It's never too early to start getting ready for your fantasy basketball dynasty drafts. Today, I'm going to run you through my tiers for dynasty drafts which cover each position (guards, forwards, and centers).

Fantasy basketball dynasty rankings are also available on our website, along with dynasty rookie rankings, and early fantasy basketball rankings for 2019-20.

Guards

Tier 1 leader - James Harden

Harden should be the first guard off the board in dynasty drafts. Even though he’s not 23 anymore, he is locked in for top-5 overall production for the foreseeable future. I’m not overly worried about the addition of Russ. Harden and Chris Paul showed that there is room for two top tier fantasy producers in Mike D’Antoni’s system, and I’m expecting this to continue.

We might see Harden’s rebounding numbers drop a little, but I’m expecting him to produce similarly everywhere else. Whether you are contending or in the middle, adding one of the guys in this elite tier changes the outlook of your fantasy squad.

If you’re looking to head into a rebuild, you should be able to flip one of these guys for a king’s ransom to kick it off. 

Also in this tier: Damian Lillard, Stephen Curry.

Tier 2 leader - Devin Booker

This is tier 1 if you’re looking to rebuild your squad. These three are the young guns with the highest long-term fantasy outlook, in my opinion. We watched Booker take another step forward as a playmaker last season, and for as much of a mess as they are, I can at least see the outline of what the Suns are trying to build around him.

If Booker can ever eclipse the 1.2/1.3 steals per game mark, then he becomes a legit top-5 overall fantasy option with everything else he does for you.

Also in this tier: Trae Young, Donovan Mitchell.

Tier 3 leader - Bradley Beal

Beal appears to have finally gotten past his early-career injury woes and has become a top-15 overall dynasty asset. He’s right in his prime at 26 years old and is the focal point of the Wizards attack.

He contributes across the board, even racking up 0.7 blocks per game from the SG spot last year. This tier contains the guards I consider just outside of the “elite dynasty guards.” 

Also in this tier: Kyrie Irving, De’Aaron Fox.

Tier 4 leader - D’Angelo Russell

This is the point where the tiers start to get bigger as multiple guys become interchangeable depending on your team’s statistical build and timeline.

This is evidenced by the mixture of win-now vets and high upside youth. I’m still incredibly high on D’Angelo Russell and am willing to take any short-term hits (I think he will still be solid in GS, for what it’s worth), with the hope that he gets moved and can slide back over into a primary ball-handling role.

This is as far as I’d want to go down the tiers before grabbing my 1st guard to build around.

Also in this tier: Jrue Holiday, Kemba Walker, Russell Westbrook, Jamal Murray, Zach LaVine.  

Tier 5 Leader - Victor Oladipo

Ideally, I’m grabbing one of the guys that are in this tier to be the 2nd guard on my dynasty squad. Tier 5 is a mix of young guys that are older than you think (LeVert turns 25 this year, Hield turns 27) and shooting guards in their late 20’s that should be in the mix for top-50 overall value for the next 3+ seasons.

If Oladipo can get back to being the guy he was before the injury (especially back to the guy that gets 2+ steals a game) he would move up a tier. 

Also in this tier: Buddy Hield, Caris LeVert, DeMar DeRozan, C.J. McCollum.

Tier 6 leader - Shai Gilgeous-Alexander

At this point, it’s apparent that I am looking into the future with the four guys that settle into tier 7. If you’re a contending team, the guys in the next tier might have more value to you in the immediate future, but I think long-term the ceiling with these young guns is worth waiting and betting on.

With Shai getting moved to OKC it might present a nice buy-low window if his current GM is impatient and upset about him landing on a squad with Chris Paul. One, I believe it’s only a matter of time before they find a new home for CP. And two, Shai is a big enough talent that he will find his way into minutes even if more of it comes playing off-the-ball to start the year.

Also in this tier: Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, Lonzo Ball, Dennis Smith. Jr.

Tier 7 leader - Josh Richardson

The headliner in this tier is heading to a much better team this year, but I don’t expect a drastic change in his overall fantasy value. The small drop he could see in assists should be offset by a rise in his overall offensive efficiency.

He’s good for at least 0.5 block, 1 steal, and two threes with a healthy serving of other counting stats sprinkled in. He’s going to get a ton of minutes and will be counted upon to replicate the spacing and shooting ability (albeit to a lesser degree) that J.J. Redick was able to bring to the floor.

Also in this tier: Eric Bledsoe, Klay Thompson, Malcolm Brogdon, Mike Conley Jr.

Tier 8 - Kyle Lowry and Chris Paul

This mini-tier of Kyle Lowry and Chris Paul is tough to rank. If you are a team is contending or only 1-2 moves away from being there both of these guys are solid targets that you should be able to get at a considerable discount compared to a redraft league.

On a week-to-week and game-to-game basis, these guys could both be so good this year that contending teams could value these guys clear up as high as the guys in tier 6.

Tier 9 leader - Dejounte Murray

Murray was a sexy sleeper heading into last season before sustaining a preseason injury, as he finished just inside the top-100 over the last three months of the 17-18 season in 25 minutes per game.

Over that stretch, he showed an elite ability to come away with steals while contributing to your rebounds and assists on efficient percentages. I’m expecting a big, big season out the young Spurs point guard. 

Also in this tier: Terry Rozier, Kevin Huerter, Jarrett Culver, Gary Harris, Marcus Smart, Collin Sexton, Bogdan Bogdanovic, Fred VanVleet.

Tier 10 leader - Malik Monk

In dynasty leagues, I almost always tend to lean toward youth and upside. At this point we are outside the top-40 guards, so that becomes even more magnified. Unless I’m a squad that is a definite contender, I’d rather fill my bench with young guys with higher upsides than some of the more steady, boring contributors currently finishing ahead of them.

The first two guys in this tier, Malik Monk fits this mold to a tee. As the Hornets find new homes for their vets on expiring deals, I expect them to turn it over to the young guys down the stretch.

There is no doubt that Monk can get buckets, but I think you will see an even more well-rounded skill set when he’s in a more featured role and can play and learn from his mistakes at the NBA level. Last year, Monk put up 9 points, 1.5 three’s and 0.5 steals in 17 minutes per game. I’m very intrigued to see what happens if he gets closer to 25-28 minutes per night.

Also in this tier: Mikal Bridges, Delon Wright, Derrick White.

Tier 11 - Coby White and Darius Garland

The 2nd and 3rd point guards in my rookie rankings find their home just inside the top-50 overall guards. This is an excellent example of how I generally value youth vs. vets. I’m fine betting on the upside and waiting for a year or two on a young guy like these two, over a vet that is steady, but unspectacular like some of the guys in the next tier down. 

Tier 12 leader - Tomas Satoransky

Satonsky was quietly a top-100 player to close out the final three months of last season, putting up an 11-7-4 line with a steal and three-pointer over 32 minutes per game.

He should be a lock for close to those type of minutes right from the get-go. Stylistically he’s close-to-perfect to pair with guys like LaVine and Lauri until Coby White is ready to take over the reins full-time. Satoransky can play off the ball and guard most wings, as well. I would be shocked if he’s not a top-100 fantasy option for at least the next two seasons.

Also in this tier: Ricky Rubio, Jeremy Lamb, Lou Williams.

Forwards

Tier 1 leader - Giannis Antetokounmpo

Giannis Antetokounmpo, Luka Doncic, and Ben Simmons. Those are the only three forwards that I would slap the “elite” tag on for dynasty hoops. Giannis, for what he is now, the literal MVP at age 24. Karl-Anthony Towns is the only player I’d consider drafting ahead of Giannis, and even then, I can’t fault anyone that goes with Giannis. 

Also in this tier: Luka Doncic, Ben Simmons.

Tier 2 leader - Kawhi Leonard

If you could guarantee me 75 full games of Kawhi Leonard, even at age 28, he would sneak into the back end of the first tier. The reality is that we likely won’t see that moving forward, even if he’s completely healthy. Even with that, Kawhi is the 4th forward I’m taking in dynasty drafts.

My number one rookie, Zion Williamson (you might’ve heard about him) sneaks into the backend of tier 2.

Also in this tier: Paul George, Zion Williamson.

Tier 3 leader: Pascal Siakam 

Pascal Siakam burst onto the scene last year, playing an integral role in the Raptors (and a lot of fantasy GMs) championship run. He finished right around the top-40 overall, and with his frame, I wouldn’t be shocked to see his defensive numbers improve with the rest of his game as he is thrust into an even larger role moving forward.

He slides in just ahead of 4 of the guys I consider to be the next wave of All-Star forwards.

Also in this tier: John Collins, Lauri Markkanen, Jaren Jackson Jr., Jayson Tatum.

Tier 4 - Jimmy Butler and LeBron James

If you’re a team looking to win now, these guys can slot in at the top of tier 3. Jimmy could be in line for a bump in value this season, but he also turns 30, and I watched him play a LOT of minutes under Thibs early in his career (and in Minnesota), so I worry that when it starts to fall apart for Jimmy, it could come apart quickly.

On the other side, you have a 34-year-old LeBron James, who has currently played more minutes in his career than Vince Carter. Which makes me think I might be worried about Jimmy’s legs a little too much. 

Tier 5 leader: Aaron Gordon 

Aaron Gordon is 24 years old and already has multiple top-100 finishes under his belt. Each year, he continues to show a little more as a playmaker, evidenced by a career-high 3.7 assists (4.1 over the last two months). If he can continue that trend and get his steals and blocks to improve slightly, the top-40 is not out of the question for AG.

Behind him are a few guys I would be stoked to get as my 2nd or 3rd forward options on my dynasty squads.

Also in this tier: Robert Covington, Khris Middleton, Tobias Harris.

Tier 6 leader: Kevin Durant 

Raise your hand if you feel comfortable taking Kevin Durant in the top-50 of a dynasty start-up? If you’re theoretically sitting there with your hand up right now, you’re much braver than I am.

For that reason alone, I know that I’m likely to come away with exactly 0 Kevin Durant shares, but I am okay with it. He’s already 30 and just suffered a devastating injury that at-best changes the way guys play after. A lot of people will point to Boogie Cousins as an example of a positive recovery from this injury, but I’d counter with the fact that Boogie is a full 2-years younger than KD, and has had several likely related injuries on the road back.

Even if KD comes back to top-50 form, I’m going to encourage you to sell him as fast as you can for any other elite dynasty assets because you’ll be holding your breath every time he goes down to the floor the next 2-3 years. I’m not here for that headache. 

Also in this tier: Blake Griffin, Jonathan Isaac, Marvin Bagley, Draymond Green, Otto Porter Jr, Julius Randle.

Tier 7 leader: Kelly Oubre Jr  

Over the final three months of the season, Kelly Oubre was outstanding. He contributed across all 9-categories and finished inside the top-50 overall during that stretch. What gets me excited about Oubre is his ability to rack up defensive stats with an increased efficiency after the trade to Phoenix (43% up to 45% FG%.). A season with 2+ threes, 2+ Steals, and 1+ block is not out of the question here.

Also in this tier: R.J. Barrett, Brandon Clarke, Domantas Sabonis, Montrezl Harrell.

Tier 8 leader: Justise Winslow 

This is the biggest tier of forwards in the top-50, as I could see a lot of different outcomes for all of the players in this tier. Winslow is the one I feel the safest about moving forward. Over the final two months of the season, Winslow finished as the 120th overall player in 9-cat scoring. He knocked down 1.5 three’s and raised his FG% over 20 percentage points in this frame.

Until they make another move, I’m buying into the point-forward role for Justise as the secondary ball-handler next to Jimmy long-term. They could be one of the toughest defensive backcourts in the league.

Also in this tier: Brandon Ingram, Kyle Kuzma, Andrew Wiggins, Jaylen Brown, Zach Collins, Cedi Osman, Miles Bridges, T.J. Warren, Jerami Grant, Taurean Prince.

Tier 9 leader: Kevin Love

At this point, I’m okay nabbing the older veterans that will outperform their draft slots, even if they are on the way down in terms of long-term value. That is what you will find here in Tier 9. A combination of age and injury history leaves all of these guys with some question marks. If I’m a rebuilding team, there is 0 reason to own any of these guys.

Also in this tier: Danilo Gallinari, Gordon Hayward.

Tier 10 leader: Kevin Knox

This is the tier 9 for rebuilding teams. If I'm playing for 2+ years down the road, I’d much prefer to take a swing on a combination of these guys than any of the three listed in the tiers below. Conversely, If you’re a contending team, I’d look to shop these guys as they are more valuable to a team in the middle of rebuilding.

Kevin Knox by some metrics was one of the worst players in the league last year, but in reality, he’s far from that. He was 19 years old and able to play 28 minutes a night in the NBA. I’m willing to give this guy a few years to develop before writing him off.

Also in this tier: Michael Porter Jr, OG Anunoby.

Tier 11 leader: Dario Saric

All of the guys at this point in this tiers have flaws in their fantasy games. Dario Saric is no exception to this as he is going to give you next to nothing on the defensive side. However, I do see him bouncing back closer to the player he was in 17-18 (80th overall) than the guy we saw in Minnesota last year (175th overall).

He never really seemed to fit in with the T-Wolves, but I think he is in a perfect opportunity to thrive in Phoenix. At this point, if I’m rebuilding, I’d prefer to look at some rookies in my back half of the lottery.

Also in this tier: Cam Reddish, Harrison Barnes, Deandre Hunter.

Centers

Tier 1 leader: Karl-Anthony Towns

Anyone who says big men are dying in the NBA doesn’t play fantasy basketball. There are more talented big men in the league than ever before, and I would expect at least 4 Centers to come off the board in the first round of every 12 team dynasty start-up draft. Towns is my pick 100 times out of 100 if I land the 1.01 in a dynasty start-up. I’m not looking to trade back, and I’m grabbing Towns and never looking back.

Few have been as consistently good at a young age as Towns. He contributes to all 9-categories and hasn’t finished worse than 6th overall in the last three seasons. He’s increased his steals, blocks, and three’s in each of the previous three seasons and I think his numbers are team-proof, meaning he’s going to do this no matter who is playing next to him. I honestly believe it would take an injury for him to finish outside of the top-12 in the next 7-8 seasons.

Also in this tier: Nikola Jokic, Anthony Davis, Joel Embiid.

Tier 2 leader: DeAndre Ayton

Ayton wrapped up his rookie season with a top-35 overall 9-cat finish, not too shabby. He projects to be a positive contributor in 5+ categories with no weaknesses outside of 3-pointers. He doesn’t have terrible shooting form and is a decent shooter from the free-throw line, so I wouldn’t be shocked if he’s hitting 0.7+ from behind the arc in 2-3 years. That is just what happens with the elite young big mean in today’s NBA.

Also in this tier: Myles Turner, Rudy Gobert, Kristaps Porzingis.

Tier 3 leader: Andre Drummond

I always said Drummond just had to become a 51% free throw shooter to be a guy I would have zero issues drafting in a head-to-head league. With everything else he does, I would either stack up with FT% helpers or punt it all together. Well, last year he got that number up to 59% and returned 2nd round value. Even if that is his ceiling, that is a guy you can win with as a core dynasty piece.

Also in this tier: Nikola Vucevic, Clint Capela, Mitchell Robinson, Wendell Carter Jr, Bam Adebayo.

Tier 4 leader: Jusuf Nurkic

If we’re being honest, Nurkic surpassed all of our expectations last year. He was a top-40 player in 72 games last year, and even if he’s out for this entire fantasy season, I’m fine stashing him on my IR. Rounding out Tier 4 are two young guns that could reach the level Nurk was at last season if things break right for them in the upcoming seasons.

Also in this tier: Thomas Bryant, Jarret Allen.

Tier 5 leader: DeMarcus Cousins

The days of Boogie finishing as the number one overall center are likely done, but in 30 games last year he was 33rd overall player on a per-game basis. He comes with his fair share of injury concerns at this point, but this late in the draft there aren’t a lot of guys with top-25 potential. The 1st Center in the Rookie Rankings, Jaxson Hayes rounds out Tier 5. 

Also in this tier: Al Horford, Steven Adams, LaMarcus Aldridge, Derrick Favors, Jonas Valanciunas, Jaxson Hayes.

Tier 6 Leader: Brook Lopez

If you’re a win-now team, I like all of these guys in this tier to beef up your rotations. BroLo and Gasol have obvious age concerns but have still been very effective fantasy contributors. Hassan could experience a mini-revival in Portland this year, as Head Coach Terry Stotts has found a way to get the best out of a lot of his guys. Remembers Whiteside is only two years removed from back-to-back top-40 overall seasons.

Also in this tier: Hasan Whiteside, Marc Gasol.

Tier 7 leader: Enes Kanter

Enes Kanter has been one of the most consistent yet unspectacular fantasy players in the NBA since he started receiving 20+ minutes. If he’s out there, he’s a threat for a double-double on very efficient percentages, but he’s not going to do much outside of that. He’s elite help in those spots though. His lack of defense restricts him from getting 30+ minutes per night, but you could do a lot worse at your 2nd or 3rd Center spot.

Also in this tier: Willie Cauley-Stein, Kevon Looney.

Become a Patreon Member to unlock my full dynasty positional draft/trade tiers, including the top 100 guards, 100 forwards, 60 centers, and 40 rookies.

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