Atlanta Hawks: Players to Target for Fantasy Basketball


The 2015-2016 NBA season starts next week, so it is time to take a look at what Atlanta Hawks players to target in fantasy basketball drafts.

The Atlanta Hawks took a big step forward last season, finishing the season with the best record in the Eastern Conference. The Hawks finished the regular season seven games ahead of the Cleveland Cavaliers, who represented the Eastern Conference in the NBA Finals. Jeff Teague, Kyle Korver, Paul Millsap, and Al Horford helped lead the Hawks to their first division title since 1994. With all four players returning for the 2015-2016 season, the Atlanta Hawks are poised to return to the NBA Playoffs.

-= Related: Kent Bazemore: Ready to Start? =-

The Atlanta Hawks drafted Jeff Teague in the first round of the 2009 NBA Draft out of Wake Forest University. Jeff Teague turned a corner last season, putting up 15.9 point per game (PPG) along with 7.0 assists per game. Teague registered his highest field goal percentage since the 2011-2012 season. He finished last year with a field goal percentage of .460, marking the second-best percentage of his career (.476 in 2011-2012). Also, Jeff Teague possesses the ability to go off for a double-double, which some fantasy leagues reward.

If Jeff Teague can build off of his strong 2014-2015 season, look for the Atlanta Hawks’ point guard to be a top-10 PG in fantasy formats. While it is unlikely he breaks-out and averages a double-double this season, he provides nice low-end PG1 value. With a dynamic front-court of Millsap and Horford, Teague has the ability to accumulate assists in bunches. Teague looks to have a high-floor, low-ceiling entering the season, but he is on the radar as a breakout candidate. Have faith in drafting the six-year veteran entering his seventh season.

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Jeff Teague’s back-court mate Kyle Korver presents low-end value entering the season. With the Atlanta Hawk’s back-up shooting guard Kent Bazemore knocking on the door, Korver could see a decrease in usage this season. Korver averaged 32 minutes per game, and he led the NBA in 3-point percentage with .492. However, at times, he was stagnant in the offense, especially if teams geared towards shutting him down. Korver finished the 2014-2015 season with 12.1 points per game, but if your fantasy league rewards players for shooting 3-pointers, Korver presents a viable fantasy option.

Do not invest high in Kyle Korver. If anything, he is a late-round filler that has the potential to throw out some huge games mixed in with some clunkers. He is not a reliable fantasy option, and he should not finish among the league’s best shooting guards for fantasy purposes. Take the gamble on Korver late in the draft, but do not expect to much. As already mentioned, Kent Bazemore presents a real threat to Korver’s minutes this season.

Moving from the Atlanta Hawks’ back-court to their front-court, Paul Millsap and Al Horford present the best fantasy impact potential. Millsap, coming off of his second-career All-Star selection last season, looks to regain his 2013-2014 form where he averaged 17.9 points per game and 8.5 rebounds per game. Last season, he numbers fell slightly (16.7 PPG and 7.8 RPG), but the Atlanta Hawks enjoyed their most successful season in years.

Paul Millsap presents the double-double threat every time he starts a game, and one aspect of his game that bodes well for fantasy is his durability. Millsap never played in less than 64 games in a season, and in the 2014-2015, his 73 games played marked the second-lowest of his career. Once again, if your league rewards double-doubles, target Millsap in the early-to-middle rounds of your draft. Health and durability are hard to find in big men; thus, Millsap provides nice upside for a guy drafted in the middle rounds.

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Finally, Paul Millsap’s front-court counterpart Al Horford is the last potential fantasy impact player on the Atlanta Hawks’ roster. When healthy, Horford presents nice upside for a big man; however, he missed significant time in both 2011-2012 and 2013-2014, where injuries limited him to 29 or fewer games in both seasons. Horford offers high-risk, high-reward value on draft day in fantasy basketball. In 2012-2013, Horford averaged a double-double, finishing the season with 17.4 PPG and 10.2 RPG.

Last season, Al Horford played in 76 games for the Atlanta Hawks, his highest mark since the 2010-2011 season. Also, he put up numbers similar to Paul Millsap, 15.2 PPG and 7.2 RPG; however, Horford normally gets drafted in leagues before Millsap. Essentially, the two players carry the same amount of fantasy value heading into the 2015-2016 season, but Horford presents injury concerns for any team willing to take the risk. If Horford can stay healthy, he likely finishes the season as one of the best center-eligible players in the league.

The Atlanta Hawks offer some value on draft day; however, they lack superstar value. Each player mentioned (besides Korver) should provide good production to your team during the season. Do not shy away from Hawks players on draft day, as they are one of the most sound teams in the NBA. Good luck with your drafts heading into the new season.

Next: Atlanta Hawks: Winning the East Is Not Farfetched

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