Fantasy basketball: Bold predictions for the 2023-24 NBA season

Brook Lopez remains a big fantasy presence entering his 16th NBA season. Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports

Sometimes it takes an expert's eye to see something before everyone else does, such as Lauri Markkanen taking his game to a whole new level in Utah or Nic Claxton becoming one of the league's premier shot-blockers.

And then there was Shai Gilgeous-Alexander averaging 31.4 PPG after never reaching 25 PPG in any of his first four seasons in the league.

How many people saw any of this coming?

If you did, you had a major leg up on the competition in your fantasy basketball leagues -- that's for sure!

With that in mind, we gathered our fantasy basketball experts -- André Snellings, Eric Moody, Eric Karabell, Jim McCormick and Steve Alexander -- to detail their boldest fantasy basketball predictions for 2023-24.

JJJ plays like a fantasy first-rounder

Jaren Jackson Jr. will finish as a first-round fantasy force in any and all category formats.

I don't know if I can get bold enough to suggest this outcome in points-driven formats given the lack of rebounding volume present in Jackson's profile. I am not attempting to temper my enthusiasm for "JJJ," however, as I truly believe he's a league-winning talent given an already absurd defensive profile and what is undeniably a rising offensive repertoire. The Grizzlies will need more offense, and more rebounding to be clear, from Jackson in the wake of Ja Morant's suspension and Brandon Clarke's significant injury. Can you believe that the reigning DPOY turned 24 last month? No really, he's still just entering his prime and just delivered sustainable spikes in nearly every offensive category all while leading the league in blocks per game for the second straignt season. Seems good. -- McCormick

Zion and/or Wemby outperform Durant

At least one of Victor Wembanyama or Zion Williamson produces more total fantasy points this season than Kevin Durant.

Durant is still universally considered one of the best players in the NBA, but his new role with the Suns (second option to Devin Booker, with Bradley Beal also needing touches/shots) and his injury history (average 45.7 games played in last three seasons) make him a risky fantasy hoops play. Williamson has his own major injury history and Wembanyama is an untried rookie, but I think at least one if not both of them end up outproducing KD this fantasy hoops season. -- Snellings

Collins returns to fantasy stardom

John Collins finishes as a top-25 fantasy option in his first season with the Utah Jazz.

He finished as a top 50 fantasy option four straight seasons before last year. Having parted ways with the Hawks after years of trade rumors, Collins should be motivated to deliver a monster season. Last season, the Jazz finished 10th in points per 100 possessions, and Collins is poised to thrive as a key player on a Utah team with aspirations of making a deep playoff run. Collins having a breakout season similar to that of Lauri Markkanen from last season is not out of the question. -- Moody

Another monster season by Lopez

Brook Lopez finishes as the top Bucks option on the Player Rater... again.

Lopez was No. 8 in roto and tied with LeBron James at 31st in points formats last season. Why can't he do it again? Because he's 35? In fact, let's go bolder and say Lopez is the only Bucks player to finish top 10. Damian Lillard (6th last season in Portland) should lose some usage. Giannis Antetokounmpo (67th last season, due to poor FT shooting) should also lose some usage. Lopez doesn't need the ball more. He will pile on the blocks, add more boards and hit his shots. Again. -- Karabell

Bane becomes a fantasy star

Desmond Bane will finish with top-15 fantasy value.

Bane averaged 21.5 points, 5.0 rebounds, 4.4 assists, 1.0 steals, 0.4 blocks last season and hit nearly three 3-pointers a night in his 58 games played. He's also an elite free throw shooter and shot almost 48% from the field, which also puts him in elite territory for players who hit that many triples. Add in the fact that Ja Morant is suspended for 25 games, and this should be the season we see Bane completely take over. I would not be surprised if he averages 25 points, 5.5 rebounds, 5.0 assists, 1.5 steals, 0.6 blocks and 4.0 3-pointers per game. -- Alexander