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Fantasy basketball ADP battle: Obi Toppin vs. RJ Barrett

We take a look at two breakout candidates who are rising on fantasy basketball draft boards everywhere.

New York Knicks forward Obi Toppin (1) runs back down the court during the second quarter against the Detroit Pistons at Little Caesars Arena. Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports

With the 2020-21 NBA regular season surprisingly only less than a week away, it is a great time to discuss some fantasy basketball. Unlike fantasy football, where your first two picks, could make or break your team. In fantasy basketball, you do not need to fret as you can find value up and down the draft board.

One position where you can find a variety of value is at forward. The forward position has evolved from playing specifically into the low post to being able to stretch the floor from behind the arc. Then you have the forwards, who are of the 3-and-D variety and can play at the shooting guard spot. The two players we are going to focus today is New York Knicks rookie Obi Toppin and his teammate RJ Barrett.

Fantasy basketball ADP battle: Obi Toppin vs. RJ Barrett

The high-flying Obi Toppin was drafted with the eighth overall selection in the 2020 NBA Draft last month. Toppin had a dominant sophomore year at Dayton, which not only put the Flyers in the conversation for a No. 1 seed, but also on the radar of multiple NBA teams. Last season, the 6-foot-9 forward averaged a career-high 20 points, 7.5 rebounds, 2.2 assists, and 1.2 blocks in 31.6 minutes per game.

He also shot 63.3 percent from the field and 39 percent from three-point range on 2.6 attempts per game. For his efforts, Toppin won numerous awards including the Wooden and Naismith Awards, along with being named to the All-American first team.

That being said, Toppin has upside but will it happen immediately with the Knicks? It’s tough to say because New York still has Julius Randle and former first-round pick Kevin Knox, who play the same positions. When you add those two players into the equation it’s puzzling to see Toppin’s ADP at 54, per FantasyPros.

On the other end of the spectrum, there’s RJ Barrett, who did have the greatest of rookie seasons. Many expected Barrett to flourish last season but he didn’t find his groove. The former Duke standout averaged a solid 14.3 points, 5.0 rebounds, and 2.6 assists in 30.4 minutes per game.

However, his shooting stats leave a lot to be desired. Barrett shot 40.2 percent from the field and 32 percent from three-point range on 3.5 attempts per game. It is good to see the 20-year-old take that many threes, but he needs to improve inside the arc.

When you at Barrett shooting splits, the second-year guard shot 26.7 percent between 3-10 feet, shot 27.7 percent between 10-16 feet, and shot 28.8 percent between 16 feet and the three-point line. That being said, if he can improve on those numbers, then the former Duke Blue Devil would be worth his ADP of 57.5.