Toronto Raptors Fantasy Basketball: Who should you target?

Toronto Raptors - Marc Gasol (Photo by Claus Andersen/Getty Images)
Toronto Raptors - Marc Gasol (Photo by Claus Andersen/Getty Images) /
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(Photo by David Dow/NBAE via Getty Images)
(Photo by David Dow/NBAE via Getty Images) /

Kyle Lowry:

Gone are the days of Kyle Lowry being an elite fantasy point guard. After averaging 21.2 points, 2.1 steals, 6.4 assists and 4.7 rebounds in 2015-16, Lowry has been on a steady decline from a fantasy perspective. Scoring fewer points and recording fewer steals season to season, Lowry was slipping in draft orders. That was, until last season.

Last year, Lowry leaped forward in assist contributions as he averaged 8.7 assists against 2.9 turnovers. He regained new value last season as he found a superstar running mate in Kawhi, as well as a secondary scorer in Pascal, for the first time in his career.

Kyle was able to step back into a tertiary scoring role, and his point total reflected that. However, he was also able to play to his strengths. So can this be sustained?

The departure of Leonard will force Lowry to take more shots, especially in clutch situations. As the most capable and experienced Raptor left on the roster, Kyle will be the leader of this team, even if he’s not the best player. That being said, Pascal will certainly grow into more shot opportunities to help ease Lowry’s burden. Marc Gasol will pick up some the leftover looks as well.

The Toronto Raptors will still trot out an elite supporting cast, and Lowry should continue to be a beneficiary of players who can make shots in what projects to be a good Nick Nurse offense.

Fantasy managers drafting Kyle should not expect a full season, with him playing 60,78, and 65 games in the last three seasons respectively. With that in mind, the Raptors will likely not clinch a high playoff seed early in the season, which means Kyle Lowry’s rest days will not come during the fantasy playoffs.

Yahoo currently ranked Lowry as the 82nd overall pick, and the 26th overall point guard. Drafting Lowry as your second or third point guard in a 10-12 team league is great value. As a proven player, who won’t tank you in percentages or turnovers, Yahoo having him ranked behind players such as Marcus Smart and Shai Gilgeous-Alexander almost seems criminal.

Verdict: Safe Pick