Read below for rest-of-season points-league ranks.
We're three weeks into the season, and the rankings are pretty stable at the top with positions 1-4 staying the same. As you move through the rest of the rankings, some of the changes are due to feedback from the past week -- injuries, players performing better or worse, roles changing, etc.
Kyle Lowry is an example of this, as he has started off the season playing extremely well, and with the news that Kawhi Leonard is expected to sit out one half of back-to-backs for the foreseeable future, all of the other Raptors impact players get a boost in their projections.
However, it's very early in the season, so I am still tinkering with my projections formula (see bottom of article for a basic description of my methods). Last week, my formula was heavier on the projections when compared to the feedback of play this season, and I modified that a bit this week.
Also this week, I fiddled with the injury coefficient to make it a bit less impactful in the rankings. This really helped a player like Chris Paul, who I had identified as an injury risk based on his history and decremented his projections to a larger degree than I think is reflective. This week he still has an injury risk factored in, but because I made that factor less impactful, his ranking has increased to an area more reflective of his value.
Here are this week's rankings. Remember they are rest-of-the-season rankings, which means that a player can be on the shelf for a month and still maintain more value than a lot of healthy players. So, without further ado ...
Rest-of-season points-based rankings breakdown by position
Kemba Walker slowed down a bit from his torrid pace to start the season, which probably represents some regression to the mean. He averaged 31.7 PPG (46.6% FG) during the first two weeks of the season but settled back to 19.3 PPG (45.2% FG) last week. Entering this season, Walker's career-highs were 23.2 PPG and 44.4 percent from the field.
De'Aaron Fox is off to an outstanding start to the season, outplaying his projections across the board. He had the game of his career last week against the Atlanta Hawks, notching a triple-double with 31 points (9-13 FG, 10-11 FT), 15 assists and 10 rebounds to set new personal bests in all three categories.
Lonzo Ball and Rajon Rondo continue to be locked in a value battle. Ball played well enough while Rondo was out to take over the starting job. However, since Rondo has returned, he has been much more productive than Ball even when coming off the bench. Rondo appears to be the dominant fantasy producer for now, so his ranking moves way up while Ball's takes a hit.
Donovan Mitchell is dealing with a balky ankle right now, and has also struggled from the field for the past week. One of my Twitter followers (follow me @ProfessorDrz), has been after me all season to swap Mitchell and Gobert in the rankings. This week, my projections finally agree with him, as Mitchell slid below his big man in this week's rankings.
Jimmy Butler sat out another game on his own recognizance last week, and hinted that he could sit out whenever he decides that his body is sore. This all ties in with the drama surrounding him this season unless and until a trade gets made, and is enough to slide him down a few spots in the rankings.
CJ McCollum has started off the season a bit slowly, averaging 18.9 PPG on 42.9 percent from the field along with 2.3 APG, all three of which would represent low marks since the 2014-15 season. Presumably, he will pick it up at some point, but for now this caused him to slide in the rankings.
As mentioned above, Leonard is expected to miss one half of back-to-backs for the foreseeable future. This lowered his games projections, and thus dropped him slightly in my rankings.
Jayson Tatum got off to a hot start this season while his teammates were battling rust, but as they have picked up the pace it has eaten into Tatum's opportunities. Thus, he slides back down to closer to his original projected value for this season.
TJ Warren was in this space for positive reasons last week, but this week, he is battling back issues that slowed him then forced him to start missing games. His injury is not considered serious, but the back is nothing to play with when it comes to the possibility of recurrence.
John Collins hasn't played a minute this season due to an ankle issue. He was reevaluated on Monday and remains out indefinitely, but he still is likely to return with the vast majority of the season remaining. Thus, he maintains a solid ranking based off his projections.
Wendell Carter Jr. seems to be taking advantage of his increased opportunity with so many Chicago Bulls injured. He is averaging 17.0 PPG, 9.0 RPG, 4.0 APG, 2.0 BPG and 1.8 SPG during the Bulls' four-game home stand and appears to have found his footing at the NBA level.
Serge Ibaka (and Pascal Siakam) are two other Raptors who get a bit of a boost with the news that Leonard will be missing back-to-backs. Both earned their raises this week, though, putting up good numbers when called upon. Ibaka has been solid all season, taking advantage of increased playing time at center and playing off his potent teammates to produce his best start in years.
Karl-Anthony Towns continues his slow drop in the rankings, as he continues to have embarrassingly low splits when playing with Butler. He turned in 28 points and 16 rebounds against the Jazz last week with Butler on the bench, similar to the 31 points that he dropped earlier in the season against the Mavericks with Butler out. However, with Butler in, he just isn't the player who many drafted as a top-five prospect this season.
Dwight Howard returned from his buttocks injury and appears to be healthy enough to resume his expected levels of production moving forward.
JaVale McGee has played well all season for the Lakers, putting up surprisingly consistent good numbers. The Lakers are expected to sign the newly released Tyson Chandler, who could eat into McGee's production, but for now, he enjoys a high-water mark in the rankings.
I calculated preseason projections for more than 320 players to feed the fantasy draft kit, and we now have three weeks worth of player data to give feedback on how players are actually performing. The rest-of-season rankings are influenced by my projections, current player performance, injury, and player situation factors to quantitatively estimate the rest-of-season rankings with more precision.
Also, our rankings include arrows to indicate whether a given player made a notable move up or down the rankings since last week. This helps keep you up to speed with how player values are changing during the course of the season.
Note: These rankings reflect the expected player value for the remainder of this season.