Fantasy Basketball First of the Month: NBA team power rankings, 2.0

Chet Holmgren #7 and Shai Gilgeous-Alexander #2 of the Oklahoma City Thunder
Two of fantasy's best young stars play on the same team. (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images) (Michael Reaves via Getty Images)

It's the first of the month, and we're just over 20% of the way through the fantasy basketball season. I did my first fantasy basketball power rankings this time last month, so let's run it back!

Which teams bring the most fantasy value? Which teams are on tank watch and could hinder their production?

Let's dive into the latest fantasy basketball power rankings — from worst to first.

30. Detroit Pistons

Previous rank: 28

The Pistons are on the fast track to Tankville, losing a franchise-record 16 straight games. As part of that losing streak, there have been injuries and random shake-ups in the starting lineup, making it increasingly difficult for fantasy purposes. Ausar Thompson looked like a steal, but if he continues to come off the bench, that could be a problem. Cade Cunningham is better for points leagues and Jalen Duren has missed seven games already. Yikes.

29. Washington Wizards

Previous rank: 30

Kyle Kuzma is hooping, but Jordan Poole, not so much. He's outside the top 170 in nine-category leagues and the top 100 in points leagues. His ADP was in the 50s, so poor play to start the year has been frustrating. Daniel Gafford has been better lately, but averaging under 10 points and seven boards with two stocks is better for category formats than points leagues. This team is also heading nowhere fast.

28. Memphis Grizzlies

Previous rank: 16

Desmond Bane is carrying a lot of weight on his shoulders, and after a six-block performance on Wednesday, hopefully, Jaren Jackson Jr. is on the verge of living up to his second-round ADP. Outside of those guys, it's been a revolving door of injuries and short-term waiver adds with limited staying power.

27. Portland Trail Blazers

Previous rank: 29

Injuries are delaying the development efforts in Portland, as their backcourt of Anfernee Simons, Malcolm Brogdon and Scoot Henderson have missed a combined 30 games thus far. Deandre Ayton has been decent ranks-wise because of his rebounding and stocks, but averaging a career-low 13.3 points per game is a considerable drop off offensively. Jerami Grant and Shaedon Sharpe hold value despite being on one of the worst teams in the league.

26. Utah Jazz

Previous rank: 21

Lauri Markkanen and John Collins have been the only consistent players for Utah this season. Walker Kessler is still weirdly splitting minutes with Omer Yurtseven, but hey, at least Keyonte George is starting!

25. Golden State Warriors

Previous rank: 9

The Warriors' freefall in the fantasy power rankings is primarily due to Klay Thompson, Andrew Wiggins and Draymond Green looking washed. Stephen Curry remains a top-10 fantasy player, while Chris Paul is the only other Warrior showing any semblance of fantasy appeal beyond streaming.

24. Charlotte Hornets

Previous rank: 26

It sucks to lose LaMelo Ball to an ankle injury (again), but at least it's not season-ending. He was off to a fantastic start, which would've raised the fantasy floor for the entire squad. In the meantime, it'll be Terry Rozier steering the ship, with Miles Bridges and Mark Williams being the primary benefactors for fantasy.

23. Chicago Bulls

Previous rank: 23

No movement here as they're abysmal to watch and becoming increasingly frustrating for fantasy basketball. I don't expect Zach LaVine to live up to his ADP the longer he stays in Chicago, and the same can be said for DeMar DeRozan and Nikola Vucevic.

22. New York Knicks

Previous rank: 18

Welp, RJ Barrett's sell-high window is closed as his numbers are starting to normalize to the player we know is more suitable for points than category leagues. The Knicks are a top-heavy team, with most of the usage going through Jalen Brunson and Julius Randle. Immanuel Quickley is solid, but he'll need an injury to really go off. And Mitchell Robinson is what he is: a good rebounder and rim protector, nothing more.

21. Orlando Magic

Previous rank: 28

I'd rank them higher if someone other than Franz Wagner could support top-100 value in category and points formats. Paolo Banchero and Cole Anthony are solid assets for points leagues, while Jalen Suggs is better for category formats. The Magic are a better real-life team than a fantasy unit.

20. Toronto Raptors

Previous rank: 24

The Raptors are moving on up thanks to Scottie Barnes and his epic rise into the upper echelon of fantasy hoops. Pascal Siakam is still struggling but is great for points leagues. Dennis Schröder continues to outperform OG Anunoby — which is weird. I have OG on a few teams, and while he's one of the best defensively, fantasy managers need to see a lot more on the offensive end. Jakob Poeltl is Jakob Poeltl.

19. San Antonio Spurs

Previous rank: 4

The most significant drop in the power rankings goes to the Spurs, who fell into unfortunate injury luck over the past seven weeks. Victor Wembanyama is doing just fine, averaging almost 20 and 10 with four stocks per game. It'd be nice to see Devin Vassell pick it up a bit, but also Gregg Popovich doing less point-Sochan and more pairing of Tre Jones with Wemby because it's proving to be better for real life and fantasy.

18. Houston Rockets

Previous rank: 25

I doubt anyone is surprised to see Alperen Şengün playing this well when he has a true point guard to help initiate the offense. Fred VanVleet's assists are rising, and despite his poor shooting, he's sustained top-50 value across all formats with Şengün. Jabari Smith Jr. is inside the top 90 in category leagues, while Jalen Green is still a better option in points leagues.

17. Miami Heat

Previous rank: 19

Bam Adebayo is on his way to another All-Star bid, and whenever Jimmy Butler plays, he's one of the best in fantasy. The real question is, when Tyler Herro returns, what does that do for Duncan Robinson and Jaime Jaquez Jr. — two players who've been excellent streaming options recently.

16. Dallas Mavericks

Previous rank: 14

Another top-heavy but profitable fantasy duo between Luka Dončić and Kyrie Irving has yet to leave much fantasy value for anyone else on the Mavs. Tim Hardaway Jr. started fast and faded, while Dereck Lively II and Grant Williams are fringe shallow-league assets.

15. New Orleans Pelicans

Previous rank: 8

The Pels are undeniably loaded with talent; they just haven't been able to stay healthy for an extended period of time. CJ McCollum is back, and Trey Murphy III is returning as early as Friday, so seeing how the production shakes out as they're nearing full strength will be interesting. The Pelicans are a team that could quickly move back into the top 10 of the fantasy power rankings.

14. Brooklyn Nets

Previous rank: 20

Brooklyn's posting some strong fantasy production thus far, with the biggest surprise coming from Cam Thomas. He was shelved for several games with an ankle issue, but he got right back to it on Thursday night, dropping 26 points off the bench in a loss to the Hornets. Still, you'll always be able to rely on Mikal Bridges, Nic Claxton and Cam Johnson. And this team could be a problem fantasy-wise when/if Ben Simmons returns soon.

13. Indiana Pacers

Previous rank: 22

It's Tyrese Haliburton's world — we're just living in it. He's putting up absurd numbers, and as usual, Myles Turner is a top-50 player. The problem with the Pacers is that their roster is so deep that there has yet to be a consistent third option, although Buddy Hield is trending in that direction. They score a ton of points and play at a blistering Pace with next to no defense, so as the season progresses, we'll see things tighten up with more opportunities going to the player Rick Carlisle trusts most.

12. Phoenix Suns

Previous rank: 5

Kevin Durant and Devin Booker look like first-round values, while Jusuf Nurkić is quietly producing as a top-60 player this year. It's crazy that Bradley Beal has only played three games.

11. Los Angeles Lakers

Previous rank: 8

Only a little movement from the previous rank as D'Angelo Russell's value replaced where I thought Austin Reaves would be at this point in the season. Reaves is coming on, so it wouldn't surprise me if the Lakers rise up this list by mid-season, assuming LeBron James and AD can stay healthy.

10. Sacramento Kings

Previous rank: 12

The Fox and Ox combo (De'Aaron Fox and Domantas Sabonis) is one of the top guard-big man duos in the league. When you add in the play of (now-injured) Keegan Murray, Kevin Huerter and streamable asset Malik Monk, it's a very intriguing team for fantasy.

9. Milwaukee Bucks

Previous rank: 7

Brook Lopez has been the best fantasy player for the Bucks in nine-category formats, but Damian Lillard isn't far behind and will only get better. Giannis Antetokounmpo remains a beast in points leagues, but the most surprising note is that Malik Beasley is outperforming Khris Middleton.

8. Cleveland Cavaliers

Previous rank: 13

Donovan Mitchell is a top-12 player in all formats and Evan Mobley is pacing towards a career year. I did not see Max Strus' breakout coming, but it looks sustainable in this offense. Imagine when Darius Garland and Jarrett Allen find their groove; they'll be approaching Hawks territory in fantasy production within the top 100.

7. Minnesota Timberwolves

Previous rank: 11

The Timberwolves have been ballin with Anthony Edwards and Karl-Anthony Towns leading the way. Mike Conley continues to be an underrated fantasy asset, while Rudy Gobert looks way more comfortable in Chris Finch's system than he did last season.

6. Denver Nuggets

Previous rank: 2

Jokić is the undisputed 1.01 in fantasy basketball, Michael Porter Jr. is playing above expectation, and Jamal Murray is back. There is no need to dock them, considering Aaron Gordon and Kentavious Caldwell-Pope are highly rostered, even as role players.

5. Philadelphia 76ers

Previous rank: 10

Tyrese Maxey's ascension bumped the Sixers up a lot because he's been the SGA of last season — a league-winner. With reigning MVP Joel Embiid as his sidekick, the duo is ranked in the top 20 across points and category leagues. Tobias Harris has also been great for fantasy managers, stepping up as the third option in Philadelphia's offense.

4. Los Angeles Clippers

Previous rank: 17

After acquiring James Harden, the Clippers made a substantial jump up the fantasy power rankings. Russell Westbrook is still worth rostering in deep leagues, as he's been more than serviceable for rebounds, assists and steals. There's some concern about the production getting cannibalized, but their new big three will be top 40 players the rest of the season.

3. Atlanta Hawks

Previous rank: 15

Quin Snyder is a fantasy whisperer, as he has six players that rank in the top 100 in category leagues thus far. Jalen Johnson's breakout and Bogdan Bogdanovic's ridiculous play have been game changers for fantasy managers, and Onyeka Okongwu has yet to go off. Saadiq Bey will also likely rise up the ranks over the next month.

Not having to mention Trae Young and Dejounte Murray until now shows how much value comes from the A.

2. Oklahoma City Thunder

Previous rank: 3

Shai Gilgeous-Alexander continues his elite fantasy production, but Chet Holmgren is also putting in work as the 12th-ranked player in category leagues and top 50 in points. When factoring in Jalen Williams, OKC could flirt with the top spot if Josh Giddey didn't regress so much this season.

1. Boston Celtics

Previous rank: 1

The Celtics' star power keeps them atop the power rankings. All five of their starters rank in the top 100 in points and category leagues through Friday. Jaylen Brown and Jrue Holiday are lagging based on their ADP so it's scary that there's still room for improvement.