The 2023-24 Bruski 150

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    Friends, welcome to the 2023-24 Bruski 150!

    I’m so thrilled and so happy to bring this product to you for so many reasons and right at the top of that list is because it’s clobbering time.

    There are a lot of people at this website who have been working around the clock not just to get this list to you guys, but to build something sustainable in an industry that is trending toward used car sales — despite the clear draw we all have to living and breathing the NBA via this wonderful game we play, fantasy hoops.

    This list embodies all of that hard work and this list continues to power this website.

    Rather than spewing this work product for free to get 10 seconds of Twitter fame in July, August and September, we want our subscribers to win and they do. We know you are willing to pay for a product that gives you our edge, our education and most importantly our energy behind the pay wall. And yes our blurb feed is the best in the industry by many miles and it is free, but we take care to make sure that it’s the customers that matter and not just raising our profiles in the race to the bottom known as #engagement. So we wait for the market to set itself and then we stalk it and then here we are.

    Our team also understands that in order for us to stand apart in an industry with low barrier to entry via a twitter account and at the same time a very high bar to clear in order to actually produce compelling work product, we have to provide the goods and wallop the competition.

    These ranks do exactly that.

    It’s a 400 hour exercise that accumulates corporate knowledge every single season and this season I have unveiled a secret weapon, albeit accidentally if we consider that the thoracic outlet syndrome causing me to be unable to type was the driver behind that weapon.

    I’m talking of course about Andre Lemos, our European hoops podcasting/former basketballer/stat supreme analyst who joined the squad a few years back. He took the reins in the second season of me having somebody do all of the data entry as I dictate all of the processes behind the B150 because, again, I cannot type with my hands.

    I did this last year and it was a revelation to be able to explore even more angles as a result of the exercise of talking everything through with another person. Last season I used somebody who was definitely knowledgeable about basketball, but this season talking everything through with Andre allowed me to break down the game with somebody who can also evaluate basketball players and fantasy data at the highest levels – a rarity we happily used to our advantage.

    Whether it was data manipulation or breaking down defensive philosophies for new coaches with new personnel, or figuring out which play types were most likely to be used in places with players wearing nametags, or getting factors such as player degradation or player improvement completely nailed down with extreme efficiency because dammit we have more angles to figure out… I strongly feel all of that has led to my best B150 ever.

    And feel free to ask Andre about it but aside from working through all of these basketball angles this list is still decidedly mine. There were countless times I could hear him panicking because once again we’re going for it and there is no such thing as playing it safe. This, of course, is exactly how I like it because to beat the players that I need to beat in high-stakes contests who are almost all using this list against me I can’t think about mailing a ranks lists in with safe analysis or the echo chamber stuff.

    The ringers understand everything I’m talking about here even if the industry at large does not. And I’m simply not wired to approach the game in any other way. I can’t sit here and tell you guys that I’m an expert and not treat this like the full time, often 80-hour per week job that it is. You have to do the work to get the angles, not just tweet every once in a while or invite people on your weekly podcast. The fact that we have people representing themselves as industry experts with that kind of philosophy is always going to work in our favor.

    And whether it was Andre, our tech team, our content team or site management, we have all taken that approach that it is the customer that matters and for that reason when we lean into a product like this it’s clobbering time.

    Anyway, thank you all for the support as I’ve battled this medical issue and thank you for all of your support in helping SportsEthos grow to what it has become… A multisport, multi-vertical beast leading the way in industry sustainability.

    Speaking of Andre and all of the forementioned folks… You all need to be using the site projections and tools we are creating heading into the season. They are Vegas grade projections that can be used not just for traditional fantasy but also for DFS and betting.

    We are out for blood this season and even if you’re playing just for fun, which is entirely acceptable of course, it’s also very fun to win so please do enjoy.

    *Editor’s Note: Also please do enjoy our major release of the preseason – the B150 draft tracker – which incorporates the projections behind the B150 as well as the B150 ranks into an Excel based spreadsheet programmed with draft logic you simply can’t find anywhere else. Once you have access to the B150, you have access to this tool including everything just discussed, whereas if you didn’t have access to the B150 yet you might have been using the demo tool based on industry consensus projections. Make sure you get a fresh copy and also check back as we are constantly updating and building in improvements. Drop us a line in our forums if you have questions or feedback! Get the tool right here with this link.

    Without further ado the ground rules for this list!

    The ground rules….

    ♦ This is a fearless list. I’m not trying to play it safe. I’m not trying to stay in the friendly confines of industry consensus. I’ll probably have a high profile miss. But as regular readers know, we’re going to hit far more than we miss. And we’re going to hit real big on a bunch of them. This list will guide how much you should pay, who you should reach for and who you should run the other direction from.

    ♦ This is a Roto list. It’s not a head-to-head list or a points league list. It’s not a list to account for playoff formats. Frankly I’d prefer it to not even include 9-cat rankings because it’s terrible to penalize better players for handling the ball a lot. But because we all play 9-cat I include my ranks for 9-cat and the associated Average Draft Positions (ADP), as well. While I’m banging on 9-cat leagues I’ll bang on playoff leagues, too. Why go through the nightly grind of the NBA season to have the ever-growing problem of shutdowns determine your league’s championship.

    ♦ You can now sort the list. The ADP losses and gains don’t relate well for players toward the beginning and end of the draft as they do for players in the top 30-100, nor does it correlate well to actual fantasy value being returned.  But it does give you a quick way to know how early or late a player is going.  We’ll always be looking at new features like this as we grow but we will also want to maintain the simplicity of this list.

    ♦ Though this is a top-150 list (including 50-100 or more honorable mentions at the end), each player in the top 400 or so has been hand-projected for each category. Those projections have been scrutinized in every context that might affect the final outcome. A proprietary blend of methodologies – both quantitative and qualitative – is used to weave the resulting numbers into these rankings.

    ♦ This is a season-long list. By ranking a player (for example) No. 33, I am predicting they will finish as the 33rd ranked player at the end of the year, cumulatively. In that respect, it is vital fantasy GMs know that I am not intending for them to draft players in this order.  You may also consider a player’s early or late season trajectory.  A young player that profiles better at the end of the year will probably play under that rank to start and over that rank to finish.  As a result, it might not be easy to roster certain players early on in the year.

    ♦ Again, fantasy GMs need to consider their specific marketplace and determine where they would like to draft players based on ADP, strength of their league and the like. Just because I rank a guy way ahead of his ADP, or if the ADP doesn’t exist because the guy isn’t getting drafted enough – it doesn’t mean you grab him where I rank him.

    ♦ ADPs are pulled from ESPN, Yahoo and other sites. Early ADP data can be pretty rough so just keep that in mind. For undrafted players they are given ADPs of 200 or 225 when the systems aren’t providing that data, but you’ll notice for ESPN they give players an ADP of 140 when they’re selected and nothing when they’re not. Yahoo stops somewhere in the 150s. Do with that what you will.

    ♦ These are pure values that don’t account for any punting or specialized team builds you might want to look at. If you want to adjust for punting or a specific type of team build you’ll need to do that on your own.

    ♦ The only place on this list where I might eschew predicting end-of-season value is toward the bottom of the ranks. I do build in some logic for flier picks and upside guys over the plodders who are going to get three yards and a cloud of dust for 76 games.

    So without further ado, I give you the Bruski 150:

    UPDATED THROUGH ITEMS POSTED: October 24, 10:54 p.m. ET

    8C-B150 ADP +/- NAME TEAM POS NOTES 9C-B150 ADP +/-
    1 1.4 0.4 Nikola Jokic DEN C We're still having fun and you're stilllllll the one 1 1.1 0.1
    2 6.9 4.9 Shai Gilgeous-Alexander OKC PG/SG One of the top players in the NBA and still folks haven't really caught on 2 5.6 3.6
    3 11.0 8.0 Tyrese Haliburton IND PG/SG More athleticism and continued expansion of his game 3 6.5 3.5
    4 5.3 1.3 Joel Embiid PHI C It's probably impossible but it's fun to think about what if this guy played a ton of games 5 3.3 -1.7
    5 4.6 -0.4 Jayson Tatum BOS SF/PF Hard to argue with prime Jayson Tatum 4 5.1 1.1
    6 15.0 9.0 Kevin Durant PHO SF/PF Durant has a funny way of making players move around him and not vice versa 7 11.4 4.4
    7 29.8 22.8 Mikal Bridges BKN SG/SF There will be a wing dedicated to him in the Ethos Hall of Fame 6 19.2 13.2
    8 8.9 0.9 Stephen Curry GSW PG Can the addition of Chris Paul help keep mileage down here 9 6.6 -2.4
    9 19.6 10.6 LaMelo Ball CHA PG/SG It's tough but you more or less have to give him a mulligan for last season 13 12.5 -0.5
    10 3.8 -6.2 Luka Doncic DAL PG H2H punters aside, this is where he ranks. Seems like he might have gotten in shape this year 15 2.8 -12.2
    11 15.9 4.9 Donovan Mitchell CLE PG/SG As rocksolid as it gets in this stage of the draft 11 17.9 6.9
    12 37.7 25.7 Jaren Jackson Jr. MEM PF/C The hype machine has been up and down but the truth remains - he has elite potential 8 19.3 11.3
    13 14.6 1.6 Trae Young ATL PG Was he humbled? He can go higher if he can get the efficiency figured out 26 18.9 -7.1
    14 10.8 -3.2 Damian Lillard MIL PG Who needs extra usage when you can be assassin level efficient 14 10.9 -3.1
    15 9.8 -5.2 Anthony Edwards MIN SG/SF The reckoning is here 20 14.4 -5.6
    16 22.9 6.9 Kyrie Irving DAL PG/SG As long as he can stay away from the crazy they all said in unison 10 13.0 3.0
    17 51.5 34.5 Desmond Bane MEM SG/SF Fluke injuries were a wet blanket last season 18 24.5 6.5
    18 36.3 18.3 Karl-Anthony Towns MIN PF/C Another humbling in the NBA and generally betting against Rudy Gobert here 25 25.8 0.8
    19 12.9 -6.1 Domantas Sabonis SAC PF/C Sacramento and Sabonis are going to do everything to give him a career season 24 16.6 -7.4
    20 12.2 -7.8 Devin Booker PHO SG/SF Somewhat boring and a tiny bit of risk but at least you know what you're getting 21 15.7 -5.3
    21 40.3 19.3 James Harden PHI PG/SG Speaking of humbled, as long as he doesn't fully implode he can be a decent distressed asset 23 27.9 4.9
    22 26.9 4.9 Jimmy Butler MIA SF/PF Fade Butler and the Miami Heat at your own risk 12 25.7 13.7
    23 2.6 -20.4 Giannis Antetokounmpo MIL PF/C Remember these are Roto ranks and it just is what it is 44 7.2 -36.8
    24 25.1 1.1 Dejounte Murray ATL PG/SG Some hidden upside in the event something weird happens with Trae Young. Murray clearly the favorite son in Atlanta 19 32.8 13.8
    25 40.2 15.2 Darius Garland CLE PG Would really like to see him cut loose on another team but otherwise still locked in for fantasy 34 40.7 6.7
    26 26.6 0.6 De'Aaron Fox SAC PG As long as his shooting ability held even he is going to terrorize teams 27 38.7 11.7
    27 20.6 -6.4 Anthony Davis LAL PF/C I get it, he has all the upside but lateral movement issues and injury risk are what they are 17 12.3 -4.7
    28 53.5 25.5 Paul George LAC SG/SF/PF See Kawhi Leonard 36 30.9 -5.1
    29 30.0 1.0 Jaylen Brown BOS SG/SF Huge contract and plenty of leash even after adding Holiday 33 36.9 3.9
    30 51.3 21.3 Kristaps Porzingis BOS PF/C As long as the Boston guys play along we are going to get to see the best version of Porzingis 16 43.9 27.9
    31 81.9 50.9 Jalen Williams OKC SG/SF So much to like about his game, shades of James Harden in some respects 35 65.0 30.0
    32 23.3 -8.7 Lauri Markkanen UTA SF/PF Feels like a bit of a high watermark but predictability is decent here if not great 29 26.3 -2.7
    33 59.5 26.5 Evan Mobley CLE PF/C As you can see I'm not all that big on Jarrett Allen, the only thing stopping Mobley at this point 37 43.1 6.1
    34 61.5 27.5 Jrue Holiday BOS PG/SG No real change in Boston 39 39.8 0.8
    35 69.7 34.7 Fred VanVleet HOU PG Have to be worried about his knee but he's going to unload the chamber in Houston 31 25.0 -6.0
    36 37.7 1.7 Kawhi Leonard LAC SG/SF Did he reach the point where he no longer cares about preserving his body for the future? 22 27.7 5.7
    37 55.0 18.0 Cade Cunningham DET PG/SG I'd love to go higher here but a lot of what we're seeing out there just isn't realistic 59 36.6 -22.4
    38 73.9 35.9 Myles Turner IND C Can't really bank on it but wouldn't it be great to see this guy play 76 games 32 37.7 5.7
    39 27.0 -12.0 Bam Adebayo MIA C Mobility is definitely a question mark and offense comes and goes 46 32.6 -13.4
    40 69.4 29.4 Bradley Beal PHO PG/SG Adding Nurk low key takes the ball out of his hands a tiny bit 45 60.4 15.4
    41 14.8 -26.2 LeBron James LAL SF/PF What is there to say that hasn't been said? Go get em old man! 58 24.6 -33.4
    42 29.9 -12.1 Pascal Siakam TOR PF/C Some downside here if some of the suboptimal play gets reeled in finally 43 29.3 -13.7
    43 28.8 -14.2 Victor Wembanyama SAS PF/C I'm fine losing if he goes massive, it's asking a lot for him to crank up to his ADP 55 29.5 -25.5
    44 73.8 29.8 Walker Kessler UTA C Some concerns about high variance in blocks but the dude can play 28 48.1 20.1
    45 33.9 -11.1 Nikola Vucevic CHI C Boring, declining but very safe. Might still be overdrafted but if he falls have at it 41 37.9 -3.1
    46 44.4 -1.6 Jamal Murray DEN PG/SG Fantasy ranks aside I think this season might be the peak Jamal Murray season 47 42.4 -4.6
    47 74.9 27.9 Chet Holmgren OKC PF/C Some shiny toy syndrome going on here but so much to like 38 48.4 10.4
    48 100.3 52.3 Derrick White BOS PG/SG There is no shortage of hype here but I don't think people truly understand how good he is 30 74.6 44.6
    49 64.2 15.2 Deandre Ayton POR C If we could project more blocks his ranks would be a whole lot better 53 52.0 -1.0
    50 112.4 62.4 Jalen Duren DET C The sky is the limit here. Physical specimen improving his skills everywhere at such a young age 48 98.0 50.0
    51 102.2 51.2 Cam Johnson BKN SF/PF I hope somebody taught him how to fall during the off-season. Durability the only question mark 40 64.0 24.0
    52 26.3 -25.7 Jalen Brunson NYK PG I'm a little worried about durability but other than that he should be great 56 36.6 -19.4
    53 92.1 39.1 Nicolas Claxton BKN C Not too much variance here in terms of how he plays but a few too many ways he can find his way off the floor 42 53.9 11.9
    54 79.9 25.9 Franz Wagner ORL SG/SF/PF He's ready to take the next step and if Orlando wasn't so Florida this would look a lot better 69 67.8 -1.2
    55 54.8 -0.2 Tyrese Maxey PHI PG/SG Let's see if he can have a season he was supposed to have last year 49 57.2 8.2
    56 92.6 36.6 O.G. Anunoby TOR SG/SF Despite the uncertainty it feels like the range of possibilities is narrow unless some team truly believes 52 49.9 -2.1
    57 54.5 -2.5 Scottie Barnes TOR SF/PF Toronto is a team in flux and Barnes is entering a potential post hype season. Balance the risks and he goes here 57 54.1 -2.9
    58 50.5 -7.5 Josh Giddey OKC SG/SF/PF A rare case of plenty of improvement on the way and downward pressure on him due to crowding 91 58.8 -32.2
    59 126.8 67.8 Onyeka Okongwu ATL C Some hidden upside here if Atlanta moves on from Capela 51 104.9 53.9
    60 108.5 48.5 Terry Rozier CHA PG/SG Scary Terry? More like Steady Terry 50 82.8 32.8
    61 44.2 -16.8 Brandon Ingram NOR SG/SF/PF The toxicity in New Orleans contributed to some of last year's injury charades but regardless, Ingram needs to prove he can stay on the court 78 51.4 -26.6
    62 27.5 -34.5 Jordan Poole WAS PG/SG I'm not sure you go full Jordan Poole, but regardless that's what we're going to see 117 48.7 -68.3
    63 100.1 37.1 John Collins UTA PF Stepping on up for the third consecutive season of being too far ahead on John Collins but I have to go with what I have to go with 62 103.8 41.8
    64 112.3 48.3 Herb Jones NOR SF/PF Last year he got struck by lightning a handful of times, I'm expecting another step forward 61 110.4 49.4
    65 90.3 25.3 Klay Thompson GSW SG/SF Gunning for his next deal, respect and aside from some days off he should be in line for another normal year 63 77.6 14.6
    66 71.4 5.4 Austin Reaves LAL SG/SF Somehow Reaves is both hyped up and underrated. Some of that is Los Angeles but most of it is simply not understanding how good he is 71 88.1 17.1
    67 82.4 15.4 Tyler Herro MIA PG/SG Despite everything swirling around him he is the same exact player that he was prior to all of that 77 72.6 -4.4
    68 29.4 -38.6 DeMar DeRozan CHI SG A trade somewhere probably hurts and natural degradation of his game might impact him more than the next guy 67 47.5 -19.5
    69 50.4 -18.6 Zach LaVine CHI SG/SF He managed to dodge the knee issues last year and I just wonder how long he can go 80 50.9 -29.1
    70 90.5 20.5 Jakob Poeltl TOR C Somewhere in an alternate universe he learns how to shoot free throws and jumps about three rounds 54 84.0 30.0
    71 115.9 44.9 Devin Vassell SAS SG/SF Everybody loves Vassell and he's kind of safe-ish here but after the knee issue if anything happens again time off becomes the issue 66 71.4 5.4
    72 34.2 -37.8 Zion Williamson NOR PF/C Perhaps he gets in shape and destroys the NBA. There are also several factors on and off the court with regard to his future home to be concerned about 90 58.5 -31.5
    73 115.8 42.8 Draymond Green GSW PF/C Early ankle issue aside this season figures to be normal in fantasy. I just want to see he and Chris Paul barking at each other 97 97.6 0.6
    74 125.4 51.4 Paul Reed PHI PF/C It's pretty safe to call Paul Reed a sleeper/young upside guy, the question that separates analysts is where to place him 81 101.5 20.5
    75 131.4 56.4 Markelle Fultz ORL PG/SG If not for Orlando being oddly developed I'd be more excited here. 100 96.4 -3.6
    76 124.2 48.2 Mark Williams CHA C My biggest fear here is Steve Clifford making him earn it a bit too much 70 101.5 31.5
    77 63.6 -13.4 Alperen Sengun HOU C I have no idea why there are people who think he can play defense but there are 88 61.1 -26.9
    78 90.4 12.4 Anfernee Simons POR PG/SG If not for a deficient stat set he would be looking at an early round season 101 70.8 -30.2
    79 86.5 7.5 Andrew Wiggins GSW SF/PF Set it and forget it Andrew Wiggins is here (unless he's not) 65 90.4 25.4
    80 95.5 15.5 Tobias Harris PHI SF/PF There are dozens of us Tobias enthusiasts! Dozens! 73 93.0 20.0
    81 89.4 8.4 Keegan Murray SAC SF/PF If not for the logjam of players folks would get to see the future All-Star start getting consideration for that 60 101.8 41.8
    82 138.2 56.2 Bruce Brown IND PG/SG/SF It's a little bit messy in Indiana but he got paid and he fits in so many ways 64 98.4 34.4
    83 140.1 57.1 Jalen Johnson ATL SF/PF He had some great minutes in the playoffs and fits what Atlanta needs really well 72 134.0 62.0
    84 101.5 17.5 Buddy Hield IND SG/SF His fantasy game travels pretty well but there are some locations which would definitely hurt 84 78.5 -5.5
    85 104.9 19.9 Marcus Smart MEM PG Nothing to see here just Marcus Smart doing Marcus Smart things 89 89.8 0.8
    86 133.2 47.2 Miles Bridges CHA SF/PF Breaking news regarding more legal issues necessarily has to move him way down 82 99.9 17.9
    87 97.8 10.8 Brook Lopez MIL C Could it be that we all sleep again this year? It's very hard to bet on this train continuing to roll like it did last year 76 66.1 -9.9
    88 105.8 17.8 Jerami Grant POR PF Another classic Jerami Grant season ahead, letting it rip early and then a big question mark 79 75.7 -3.3
    89 78.9 -10.1 Khris Middleton MIL SF/PF The off-season hopefully did him wonders but last year was brutal for his outlook 92 79.0 -13.0
    90 39.8 -50.2 Julius Randle NYK PF At some point New York is going to get tired of the low IQ offense 108 53.6 -54.4