Fantasy Basketball NBA Team Power Rankings, 1.0

Victor Wembanyama #1 of the San Antonio Spurs
Where do Victor Wembanyama and the Spurs land in our fantasy power rankings? (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

The NBA season is finally here, and it's time to dive into fantasy basketball power rankings. Which teams bring the most excitement? Which rosters should you avoid? Get ready as we unveil the power rankings version 1.0.

Stay tuned, as we'll revisit this list throughout the season.

30. Washington Wizards

Nationally televised games: 4

I'm not even overreacting to Wednesday's 143-120 blowout loss to the Pacers; this team is objectively basura. Outside of a nucleus of Jordan Poole, Kyle Kuzma and Tyus Jones, this team offers very little to get excited about from a fantasy perspective. Delon Wright is a better fantasy option than Daniel Gafford, and Deni Avdija has yet to hit 50% rostered. As much as I'm in on the Poole party and Kuzma chucking, this squad is not it.

29. Portland Trail Blazers

Nationally televised games: 6

The Dame-less Blazers are embarking on a new journey centered around Anfernee Simons and Scoot Henderson. Add a self-proclaimed star in Deandre Ayton with a bunch of middling role players, and there you have the mediocrity that is the Portland Trail Blazers. Until Shaedon Sharpe starts, this team will be a mainstay at the bottom of the power rankings.

28. Orlando Magic

Nationally televised games: 5

We saw what the Magic could look like this season: an unselfish unit that will win by committee. While this is great for real-life basketball, I wonder if any players will finish in the top 60 this season. Franz Wagner, Paolo Banchero and Markelle Fultz look legit, though.

27. Detroit Pistons

Nationally televised games: 4

I don't like placing the Pistons this low, given their talent and potential, but Cade Cunningham was the only player on this roster to have an ADP less than 95 in the preseason. As the season goes on, I think we'll see this team defy expectations — especially with the maturation of Jalen Duren and Ausar Thompson.

26. Charlotte Hornets

Nationally televised games: 4

We know the main guys — LaMelo Ball, Terry Rozier and P.J. Washington. However, they also have Mark Williams — who entered the season as a considerable sleeper in fantasy drafts (ADP outside of the top 100) — rookie Brandon Miller and the old and oft-injured Gordon Hayward. Another team that will not be particularly good on defense, I expect Ball's elite passing and playmaking to guide this team to more fantasy production this year.

25. Houston Rockets

Nationally televised games: 4

There will be growing pains after last year's disaster of a season, but I'm optimistic that the Rockets can support at least four players in the top 100 this season. Jalen Green is the wild card, although I feel better about his prospects now that Ime Udoka is coaching and Fred VanVleet is in the building from a leadership standpoint.

24. Toronto Raptors

Nationally televised games: 3

Losing VanVleet this offseason certainly impacts the Raptors' fantasy appeal, but there's still plenty of upside here. Pascal Siakam is looking for a new deal, while Mr. Untouchable Scottie Barnes is trending up. Jakob Poeltl is a top-75 big man, so not all is lost, even though the Raptors are approaching rebuilding status.

23. Chicago Bulls

Nationally televised games: 7

We've seen this movie before, and it's one you'll either fall asleep watching or walk out of the theatre altogether. The Bulls are the high-floor, no-upside squad of 2023-'24 — you always know what you'll get. Vucevic is solid, but last year's production likely outkicked his coverage. DeRozan is consistently in the top 50, and we're left wanting LaVine to graduate from a 24/4/4 line. Neither Coby White nor Patrick Williams are saving me from passing on League Pass.

22. Indiana Pacers

Nationally televised games: 6

Haliburton leads the way for a fun, fast-paced Pacers team that will exceed expectations this year. Myles Turner is solidified, but get ready for the coming-out party for Bennedict Mathurin.

21. Utah Jazz

Nationally televised games: 9

Adding John Collins, coming off his worst statistical season since his rookie year, was an interesting choice, but it enhanced the Jazz' fantasy appeal. Lauri Markkanen and one of last seasons best rookies, Walker Kessler, broke out last year. Jordan Clarkson is great for points leagues, and the final positional battle for the other guard spot will be something to monitor between Talen Horton-Tucker, Collin Sexton and rookie Keyonte George.

20. Brooklyn Nets

Nationally televised games: 11

I'm here for the new-look Nets, embracing Mikal Bridges as the top dog with solid foundational pieces like Nic Claxton and Cam Johnson. Ben Simmons looks ready to prove he's still got it. Cam Thomas remains an underutilized bucket who might've earned HC Jacque Vaughn's trust (finally).

19. Miami Heat

Nationally televised games: 29

How could I put the defending Eastern Conference champions so low on the totem pole? Well, they have two high-profile players and a bunch of other guys. Jimmy Butler and Bam Adebayo are both top-30 players. Tyler Herro is a top-75 guy, but then there's a substantial drop-off in fantasy relevance.

18. New York Knicks

Nationally televised games: 25

New York needs to give Jalen Brunson a key to the city because the Knicks would be hot garbage without him. There's no doubt about Julius Randle's standing in fantasy; it's really about whether RJ Barrett can get better in year five and if Mitchell Robinson plays more than 60 games. If yes, we'll see the Knicks rise, especially with Immanuel Quickley looking like Lou Williams.

17. Los Angeles Clippers

Nationally televised games: 22

The team is healthy and motivated to prove the doubters wrong. Many don't believe in Russell Westbrook like I do, but he was a top-100 player after joining the Clippers last season. With two bona fide All-Stars and less load management, the Clippers are less frustrating than in years past.

16. Memphis Grizzlies

Nationally televised games: 19

Grind City will rise once Ja Morant returns, but Jaren Jackson Jr. and Desmond Bane are two players who will hold down the fort in the meantime. Xavier Tillman Sr. is a quick riser who'll immediately produce for fantasy managers with so many injuries to their depleted frontcourt.

15. Atlanta Hawks

Nationally televised games: 15

Thankfully for fantasy managers, Quin Snyder is here to redirect the path of the Atlanta Hawks team that underachieved last season. We'll see a more fantasy-friendly team that will breed more production from young players like Saadiq Bey, Jalen Johnson and Onyeka Okongwu.

14. Dallas Mavericks

Nationally televised games: 28

Luka Magic and Uncle Drew form arguably the best backcourt duo in the NBA. Did you see Luka splash that game-winner last night? That's why it's must-see TV no matter how slow the Pace is for the Mavs. The knock is that little usage is available, limiting the fantasy options around the ball-centric Dončić and Irving.

13. Cleveland Cavaliers

Nationally televised games: 17

Max Strus going off like that on opening night was not on my bingo card, and I doubt he'll have much staying power in the future. Still, any time you have three All-Star-caliber players in Donovan Mitchell, Darius Garland and Evan Mobley, the team will rank among the best in the league. Jarrett Allen remains out of commission with an ankle injury, and assuming that doesn't turn into a long-term injury, the Cavs will be a team you'll want to follow.

12. Sacramento Kings

Nationally televised games: 22

The surprise team of the 2022-23 season isn't sneaking up on anyone anymore. The Kings are one of the best teams in the Western Conference, and beyond De'Aaron Fox and Domantas Sabonis, they have a few players who will be on the cusp of top-100 status. I want to see Malik Monk thrive, and he's well on his way.

11. Minnesota Timberwolves

Nationally televised games: 10

Anthony Edwards is a star in the making. Karl Anthony-Towns remains an elite fantasy player when healthy and Rudy Gobert does Rudy Gobert things. As bad as Gobert was in real life, he was still a top-60 fantasy player last season. I anticipate a big leap from Jaden McDaniels once he returns from a calf injury. When you add in Mike Conley and relevant per-min bench guys like Kyle Anderson and Naz Reid, this is one of the better-constructed fantasy teams this season.

10. Philadelphia 76ers

Nationally televised games: 29

Harden's in street clothes, but that doesn't change the fact that Philly will be a good fantasy unit this season. Joel Embiid is the reigning MVP, and there are several steady contributors like Tobias Harris, De'Anthony Melton and the ascending Tyrese Maxey, who have a great opportunity to take on more production with Harden out of the lineup in the short term. Nick Nurse is notorious for playing his starters heavy minutes, so buckle up.

9. Golden State Warriors

Nationally televised games: 41

The Warriors are another team whose championship window is closing. Still, they have easily five players who will be good for fantasy purposes. Klay Thompson is set to become an unrestricted free agent this summer, so I like his motivations for needing to play well, while Chris Paul's hybrid starter-bench role should keep him in the top 70 in fantasy. As old as this team is, the youthful upside of Jonathan Kuminga and Moses Moody intrigues me if they can get more consistent minutes this year.

8. New Orleans Pelicans

Nationally televised games: 12

Zion Williamson is back, and that's really all you need to know. I hate that Trey Murphy III is hurt right now, but the Pels are in a position to be not only one of the most entertaining teams in the NBA but actually one of the best teams in the Western Conference. There's a lot of fantasy allure, and if they can manage to stay healthy, watch out.

7. Milwaukee Bucks

Nationally televised games: 30

I've hated Khris Middleton all offseason, but he's back! And that means the new trio of Giannis Antetokounmpo, Damian Lillard and Middleton are ready to rock. There will be lofty expectations now that they're the odds-on favorite to win the NBA championship, but fantasy-wise, this team is going to be lit. The real question is, can Brook Lopez defy father time and continue his run as one of the best three-point-shooting and blocking big men in the league?

6. Los Angeles Lakers

Nationally televised games: 40

It's the Lakeshow, so how can they not be in the top five? They're stacked with a deep roster and plenty of fantasy assets between Austin Reaves, D'Angelo Russell and recently, Taurean Prince. Even if LeBron James plays fewer minutes (the man is 38!), there will still be a fantasy juggernaut here.

5. Phoenix Suns

Nationally televised games: 37

The new Suns core of Devin Booker, Kevin Durant and Bradley Beal will be ridiculous if they can all stay healthy. There's only been one game, but it's concerning to see Beal missing games because of a back injury. Jusuf Nurkić fits in well, and we'll have some early waiver wire guys in Josh Okogie and Drew Eubanks (in deeper leagues) coming onto the fantasy scene.

4. San Antonio Spurs

Nationally televised games: 19

It may seem bold, but Victor Wembanyama will be such a draw for casuals and die-hard NBA fans that it's hard to rank the Spurs outside the top five. The rookie phenom is surrounded by players who are highly rostered in fantasy basketball and are on the upswing in terms of fantasy production. Jeremy Sochan at point guard could be a cheat code soon enough.

3. Oklahoma City Thunder

Nationally televised games: 13

The Thunder are dripping in fantasy appeal and excitement this season. With such a young and dynamic core, it's mind-blowing that they're only getting 13 nationally televised games. Shai Gilgeous-Alexander is a legit MVP contender and with a host of top-60 fantasy players, this is one of the best teams to watch and back for fantasy purposes.

2. Denver Nuggets

Nationally televised games: 30

Jokić is the undisputed 1.01 in fantasy basketball, and the supporting cast is getting even better. Murray looks poised to put together his best season yet and Michael Porter Jr. actually rebounding is huge for his value. Couple in Aaron Gordon and Kentavious Caldwell-Pope as underrated later-round players, and you have one of the most fantasy-friendly squads led by the best basketball player on the planet.

1. Boston Celtics

Nationally televised games: 35

They boast one of the deepest basketball starting units, and there's an argument that each of their starters could finish in the top 70 this season (Derrick White is the wild card). They're among the best teams in the league, so it's no surprise they're at the top of the initial fantasy power rankings.