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The Charlotte Hornets 2019-2020 fantasy basketball outlook

Sometimes fantasy isn’t better than reality.

2019-20 Charlotte Hornets Media Day Photo by Kent Smith/NBAE via Getty Images

I proudly carry the banner as one of the world’s relatively few die-hard fantasy NBA players. Personally, I love pulling up Stat Tracker every night as little green flashes highlight the points, rebounds, assists, and other stats my boys rack up. My league’s draft is coming up on Saturday so it’s fitting for me to share the fantasy outlook for Charlotte Hornets players. And sorry, friends, but it isn’t pretty. Here are their 2019-2020 projected stats (via ESPN) and average draft position (from Fantasy Pros):

Projected stats, 2019-2020

Terry Rozier 56 37.7 2.8 19.7 5.9 6.1 1.4 0.4 39% 78% 1.4
Miles Bridges 89 30.9 1.2 12.8 5.9 1.7 1.0 0.9 47% 75% 0.9
Nicolas Batum 113 31.7 1.6 10.8 5.3 4.3 1.0 0.5 43% 85% 1.8
Cody Zeller 134 24.5 0.1 9.6 6.4 1.7 0.7 0.8 55% 75% 1.2
Marvin Williams 199 24.6 1.5 8.8 4.8 1.1 0.7 0.6 43% 81% 0.6
Malik Monk NA 28.9 2.6 14.8 2.9 2.8 0.8 0.4 38% 87% 1.9
Dwayne Bacon NA 22.8 0.4 6.0 4.0 1.2 0.5 0.1 41% 79% 0.7
Michael Kidd-Gilchrist NA 22.4 0.1 7.9 4.5 1.0 0.6 0.6 49% 75% 0.7
Bismack Biyombo NA 21.0 0.0 6.2 6.6 0.9 0.3 1.2 54% 61% 1.1
Willy Hernangomez NA 17.6 0.2 8.7 6.7 1.3 0.5 0.5 53% 69% 1.3
P.J. Washington NA 10.0 0.5 4.4 3.2 0.3 0.5 0.3 43% 70% 0.4

Yikes. While most fantasy leagues have some variation in terms of the number of teams, stat categories, and roster size, it’s hard to see very many Hornets players getting selected on draft day and sticking on the same fantasy team all year. Terry Rozier may be the only Hornet to reach that level. One of the general fantasy problems plaguing the Hornets roster is the amount of timeshares players will face. Productive fantasy players normally need to consistently play in excess of 30 minutes per night, and that might be the rare exception in Charlotte. Here is my breakdown of some of our team’s top fantasy targets:

Terry Rozier, PG

ESPN is quite bullish with their projections on the former Boston Celtic. If he does in fact average close to three 3-pointers, 20 points, six rebounds, and six assists that puts him elite fantasy territory. Last year only James Harden eclipsed that threshold. Other fantasy NBA projection sites have Rozier hovering closer to two 3-pointers, 15 points, five rebounds, and four assists per game. In any event, Rozier will get all the minutes he can handle and will be the engine of the team’s offense which makes him a valuable fantasy asset despite his poor field goal percentage.

Miles Bridges, SF/PF

Miles Bridges will be looking to build on a fairly promising rookie season last year in which he averaged 21.2 minutes with 0.8 3-pointers, 7.5 points, 4.0 rebounds, 1.2 assists, 0.7 steals, and 0.6 blocks. As a starter this year he should be looking at closer to 30 minutes per night. From a fantasy standpoint he could be a helpful “money stats” player by averaging in excess of 1.0 3-pointers, steals, and blocks to to along with double-digit scoring and decent rebounding. Versatile stats like those could help some fantasy rosters.

Malik Monk, SG

While 2.6 3-pointers, nearly 15 points per night, and 87 percent from the free throw line sounds good, Malik Monk doesn’t offer any real upside in other fantasy categories. He doesn’t rebound or collect steals or blocks. His projected 2.8 assists are weak for a guard and his sub-40 percent field goal percentage can torpedo that category. Guys like Monk are a dime a dozen in the fantasy landscape. If the Hornets are playing back-to-back and you have a shot at winning both 3-pointers and points then he might be worth a short-term look on the waiver wire.

Frankly, I have no fantasy interest in any other Hornets players. While Nicolas Batums’ well-rounded stat lines look attractive on paper, he’s incredibly frustrating to own (trust me, I’ve been there.) On any given week he can sink your team with multiple games in the range of seven points, four rebounds, and three assists. Cody Zeller can be helpful in spot situations, but his low minutes and high injury risk are a red flag.

In the real world the 2019-2020 season will likely be a tough one for the Charlotte Hornets. The same holds true in the fantasy world.