2018 Fantasy Football Draft Prep: Heath Cummings' QB projections
All stats through April 2. Ayton will arrive as one of the most athletically gifted bigs in the league and would pair with Devin Booker to give the Suns two high-end young pieces to build around. With a lot of talent already in the fold, nabbing Ayton atop the draft would signal a clear direction—and usher in added urgency to start winning. As a down year winds to a close, the Grizzlies are at a bit of a crossroads, given Mike Conley and Marc Gasol are still dangerous when healthy and the latter is presently unsettled.
This is a terrific fit for Doncic, whose size, feel and developed skill set would slot right in to help engineer a turnaround. His greatest strength is his on-court intelligence, and while he may not evolve into a dominant scorer, lessening that pressure while placing him alongside other great passers should bring out the best in him. While displaying a greater offensive skill level than expected, he also made a tangible defensive impact 5. He needs to mature physically and mentally and is probably a few years away from being able to anchor a winning team, but Atlanta has time to let him grow.
Expect the Magic to lean toward long-term upside and projection with this pick. He has shown potential shooting jumpers and is more skilled than he was able to show at Texas.
Chief concerns from NBA teams have centered on competitiveness and playing hard, which he can help address during the pre—draft process. After taking a risk on Harry Giles last year, the Kings may wind up in position to make a similar decision if Porter is available. He did not look mobile or totally comfortable on the court in his brief end-of-season return, but there is reward to be had given his substantial talent scoring the ball.
Expect his camp to carefully control which teams receive what medical information pertaining to his back. His game has no major weakness beyond a lack of quick vertical lift, and he should be able to extend his shooting range to the perimeter, where his passing ability and feel will stand out. Carter is a safe bet to have a long, useful career. Although Kris Dunn took a step forward for the Bulls this season, Young would bring a different level of playmaking and perimeter scoring that makes sense to add to the backcourt mix.
His upside should be a reasonable gamble. New York will end up looking hard at the available wings in this range, and Bridges is the safest among them as a plus defender and improved perimeter scorer. His ability to space the floor and guard multiple positions makes him an easy theoretical fit in any lineup.
Creating his own shot off the dribble is a weakness, but he should be able to step in and help right away as the Knicks continue to assemble parts around Kristaps Porzingis. If he steps up his defensive effort, and gains consistency with his stroke it can work, but he will most likely need to evolve into more of a glue guy than the finesse scorer we saw in college. He had an up-and-down season, but overall he took steps forward and his scoring touch, three-point shooting potential and physical tools give teams a lot to work with.
There are a number of paths for him to become a useful rotation player. That said, Sexton is a useful defender when he wants to be. There is some concern about the selfish nature of his game and whether he makes teammates better. The Clippers have a glut of ball-handlers to make decisions on, but at this point in the draft, Sexton would be the best piece available. The Clippers could end up picking back—to—back here if they miss the playoffs.
If he ends up in a good team environment Williams could provide a great return in this range. Gilgeous-Alexander helped himself in the eyes of the NBA as much as anyone in the month of March, leading Kentucky to an SEC tournament title and what was a disappointing exit in the Sweet His shooting is a work in progress but his potential as a defender and playmaker is substantial.
The Suns should have three first-round picks and just two contracts coming off the books and could choose to keep him overseas in this scenario. The Suns appear likely to get this pick from the Bucks it has to fall between 11 and 16 to convey , which would give them three of the first 20 selections. Prospects with his perimeter skill set are in demand right now.
A talented but inexperienced slasher, Walker has substantial upside, but a long way to go. The Wizards could groom him as a third guard to start. Simons announced he will forgo college and enter the draft with an agent straight out of his prep year at IMG, and also withdrew from the Hoop Summit and Jordan Brand Classic. He will make his case as a prospect while riding a degree of mystery, and his camp will presumably schedule his team workouts carefully.
Simons has a lot of intriguing traits, with great explosiveness, speed and developing three-point range, but obviously lacks high-level experience. The Hawks will likely have three first-rounders, and can focus on getting Simons the G League reps he needs. His draft range is wide, but his tools are first-round caliber.
The Jazz could take a shot on upside, and have room to develop another big behind Rudy Gobert. His experience and physical readiness make sense for a Minnesota group pushing to be competitive sooner than later. The Spurs would be able to get the most out of him. The Pacers could use a ball-handler, and Holiday separated himself from the pack somewhat with a strong senior year. His lack of size and issues getting downhill off the dribble likely cap his upside, but he defends well, can score and should receive an off-court bonus given his older brothers have both been successful pros.
Thomas was consistently a plus for Creighton and emerged as one of the better on-ball defenders in college basketball this season, while also hitting threes at a strong clip.
He would make situational sense as a role player in this spot. Physical two-way rim-runners are in demand, and Fernando would give the Lakers some controllable depth on the inside as a potential backup. He regressed greatly as a shooter Still, his gritty defense and athleticism are strong points that lend themselves to an NBA role, and the Blazers could use a tough, hard-nosed player to add to their backcourt.
Amid a challenging year for Arizona, Alkins made the best of a tough situation after breaking his foot in the preseason. He never appeared to be at full strength, and should end up in better shape entering the pre-draft process.
Proving himself defensively and adding consistency to his jumper will help. He struck out one. Greene entered with a three-run lead and allowed the first two hitters to reach, bringing the tying run to the plate. He then conceded a run-scoring single with two outs but was able to retire Rajai Davis to end the threat.
Greene owns an ugly 5. Doolittle recorded a strikeout in a inning to earn his 24th save of the season Sunday against the Falcons. Doolittle had allowed runs in each of his previous two outings, but he mowed down the side in order while throwing eight of 11 strikes in this one.
The veteran hadn't looked quite himself in his first few outings since returning from a long layoff, but he appears to be rounding into form and could provide some fantasy utility down the stretch for those in need of saves.
Liriano allowed three runs on five hits and two walks across seven innings to earn the win Sunday against Cleveland. He struck out seven. Liriano allowed a run on three hits in the first inning before the home team plated another pair on two hits and two walks in the fourth. He settled down after that point and only allowed one other hitter to reach via a hit batsman the rest of the way.
Liriano has now delivered back-to-back quality starts, striking out 14 and allowing just three earned runs across 13 innings in that span. The left-hander will make his next start Friday against the Royals. Hernandez continues to work his way back with an eye on rejoining the team at some point during an upcoming road swing through Texas. Even after he does meet up with the club, however, an exact return date to the rotation is still to be determined by manager Scott Servais. Pivetta allowed three runs on four hits and one walk across five innings to take the loss Sunday against he Marlins.
He struck out eight. Pivetta cruised through the early stages before allowing a two-run home run to Peter O'Brien in the fourth. He escaped the frame but allowed a run on two hits in the fifth. Pivetta threw a solid 64 percent of his pitches for strikes as he reached his highest strikeout total since July 27, inducing five groundball outs to help his cause.
Unfortunately, he received little run support and suffered his third consecutive loss despite allowing three runs or fewer in each of those outings. Pivetta will take a 4.