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Fantasy basketball: Top free agents to add before the NBA season tips off

The 2022-23 NBA season tips off Tuesday, and our fantasy basketball experts are here to talk about the best players they see readily available on the free agent market.

Here are André Snellings, Eric Moody, Eric Karabell, Jim McCormick and John Cregan with their top free agents to go after before it's too late.


Steven Adams, C, Memphis Grizzlies (45.9% rostered)

Adams is a consistent rebounder and field goal shooter who added a valuable 3.4 assists per game to his repertoire last season. Adams doesn't score much or block many shots, but only 12 qualified players averaged double-digit rebounds last season, and he was one of them. Of that group, he was fifth in assists! Not every player on your roster needs to boast awesome upside. Avoid the rookies that won't play and add Adams, who will, instead. -- Karabell

Jalen Smith, PF, Indiana Pacers (56.4% rostered)

A player with Smith's potential to tally stocks, boards and 3-pointers merits more attention from fantasy managers. There is admittedly some mystery as to how Smith's rim protection rates play out now that Myles Turner is back in the fold, but the longer play includes him breaking out in an unrestricted role for a lottery-bound Indiana team. For those in deeper formats, rookie wing Bennedict Mathurin (14.3%) shined in the preseason and could be surprisingly productive early in his career in Rick Carlisle's fantasy-friendly system. -- McCormick

If I'm talking about the best, suitably solid, no-regrets, low-risk, medium-upside option? Herbert Jones or Cameron Johnson. But in my opinion, "best" translates to "highest ceiling," meaning swinging for the upper deck. He's had a meh preseason, but Jalen Smith is still in pole position for a top-75-type breakout. Indiana is wafer-thin at power forward. A 24/7 threat to deal their one marquee low-post player (Myles Turner). All signs portend a full-on no-expectations Process Tribute™ campaign as these scrappy, young Pacers look to accrue ping-pong balls. I have a hunch Smith will start flashing more of the top-75 value he threw down over the final month of 2021-22. His high-TS%, multicategorical portfolio translates well into points or roto. And if Turner is dealt at some point? Smith's value climbs even higher. -- Cregan

Malik Beasley, SG, Utah Jazz (46.3% rostered)

While we don't know exactly what the plan is for the Jazz this season, we do know that Beasley is still only 25 years old, and that he showed during his time with the Timberwolves at the end of the 2019-20 season and over the whole of the 2020-21 season that he is fully capable of volume scoring on good percentages with excellent contributions from 3-point range. During that time window, he was a 20 PPG scorer (44-47% FG), 3.5 3PG (40-43 3P%) player in about 33 MPG. If the Jazz start Beasley on the wing, he could replicate or even build upon those numbers this season. -- Snellings

Bones Hyland, PG, Denver Nuggets (24% rostered)

Hyland has gotten a lot of buzz this offseason for the Nuggets. With averages of 14.3 PPG, 3.0 RPG, 4.3 APG and 1.0 SPG in March of last season, he ended his rookie season strong. Fast forward to today, and he's come into the season in great shape and is a serious contender for the Most Improved Player Award. With Will Barton and Monte Morris traded to the Wizards, Hyland should play a lot of minutes. -- Moody