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Embiid is coming off a 2020-21 season in which he finished second in MVP voting behind Nikola Jokic. In 31.1 minutes per game, Embiid averaged 28.5 points, 10.6 rebounds, 2.8 assists and 2.4 combined blocks-plus-steals. He also posted a career-high true shooting percentage (63.6) by a significant margin. The result was him finishing as the fifth-best fantasy player on a per-game basis. However, he continued to miss time with injury and appeared in just 51 games, limiting his total fantasy production to 16th overall. Injuries are still the overarching theme with Embiid, as his career high in games played is 64 (2018-19). He's a top-five fantasy talent but will often slip to the end of the first round due to the concern. Heading into 2021-22, not much should change regarding Embiid's role, and there's potential for him to see more usage if Ben Simmons is traded, as has been rumored all offseason. That could create better floor spacing for Embiid to work in the post. Even if Simmons doesn't get dealt, Embiid will still presumably put up MVP-caliber numbers as one of the best two centers in the NBA.
Embiid took a small step back in 2019-20, though it was mostly due to a reduced workload, seeing about four fewer minutes per game than he did in 2018-19. The injury woes persisted as well, with Embiid missing 22 games. Even so, he was one of the best centers in the league, being named to his third consecutive All-Star game and averaging 23.0 points, 11.6 rebounds, 3.0 assists, 1.3 blocks, 1.1 threes and 0.9 steals. The scene of the 76ers has changed around him and co-star Ben Simmons, as coach Brett Brown was fired and Doc Rivers was brought in for the 2020-21 campaign. Daryl Morey was also hired as general manager, who quickly acted by dumping Al Horford and Josh Richardson for Danny Green and Seth Curry to increase spacing. Still, that likely won't mean a huge shift in role for Embiid, and we can still expect him to be a 20-and-10 machine. For fantasy managers, the tough part about considering Embiid is where to draft him given his injury potential. He's been putting up top-20 numbers since his rookie campaign, but lost time can make him the equivalent of a third or fourth-round selection, as he ranked 43rd in total production in 2019-20 for eight-category leagues.
Embiid is coming off his second consecutive All-NBA selection, and he made significant strides as a scorer in 2018-19. He upped his field-goal attempts by 2.1 per game while also increasing his free-throw attempts by 2.7 per game. The end result was a scoring average of 27.5, which was good for fourth-highest in the NBA. Embiid also finished second in rebounds per game (13.6) and sixth in blocks per game (1.9). His next step as a player is improving his three-pointer. While Embiid launched 4.1 shots per game from deep in 2018-19, he converted them at a rate of just 30.0 percent. The 76ers have undergone some roster changes over the summer, signing Al Horford and trading Jimmy Butler to the Heat. The addition of another big man to the starting lineup has the potential to affect Embiid's production. Horford's ability as a floor spacer should ensure that he's out of Embiid's way in the post, but it seems possible that Embiid's rebounding could take a dip. Even if that's the case, Embiid still figures to be an All-NBA selection and fringe MVP candidate assuming he stays healthy. The main concern for Embiid's fantasy value has been, and may always be, his health. He was drafted in 2014 but didn't debut until 2016 due to injury, and he's appeared in just 158 of 246 possible games since then. Drafting Embiid in fantasy practically guarantees elite production at center, but he might never play more than 65 games in a season.
After playing in just 31 outings as a rookie, Embiid was able to more than double his amount of games played in 2017-18, taking the court for 63 contests. The 76ers also felt more and more comfortable getting their big man extended run and after being brought along slowly early on in the season, Embiid ended the year averaging 30.3 minutes. He turned that into his first full season of averaging a double-double, finishing with 22.9 points, 11.0 rebounds, 3.2 assists and 1.8 blocks. Those numbers placed him 15th in the league in scoring, ninth in rebounds and sixth in blocks, while it also earned him his first selection as an NBA All-Star. In addition, Embiid was a capable floor stretcher, knocking down 1.0 three-pointer at a 30.8 percent clip. That wasn't the most efficient number, but still forced defenses to extend to the perimeter and not sag in the lane. Looking forward to the upcoming campaign, Embiid should be in line for a similar role and could actually see another slight uptick in his workload now that he's further away from the foot injuries that plagued him previously. Obviously, one of Embiid's biggest downfalls is his health, so the risk of him missing double-digit games is always on the table. However, his elite production in multiple categories, as well as the fact that Embiid finished second in the league in usage percentage behind James Harden last year, should bring him into consideration to be a top-5 center off the board. He would benefit with increased efficiency from the three-point line, as well as the charity stripe, but with another offseason to hone in on his shot, Embiid will be an elite Fantasy asset.
After two years on the sidelines struggling through foot injuries, Embiid finally took the floor in 2016-17. The third pick in the 2014 draft was a revelation as a rookie, ranking as a top-40 per game Fantasy performer, despite averaging only 25.4 minutes per game. He averaged 20.2 points, 7.8 rebounds, 2.1 assists, and ranked third in the league in blocks per game with 2.4. Unfortunately, he saw action in only 31 games. From the start of October until January 20, Embiid rested for one game of each back-to-back set, plus four additional planned rests. He played under a soft 24 minutes per game cap to start the season, which was quickly increased to a soft 28 minutes per game cap. Then, on January 20th, Embiid suffered a “knee contusion”. He missed a week, then played well in a nationally televised game that would turn out to be his final game of the season – though Fantasy owners were strung along until March 1st, when official announcement of the end of his season finally came. It was later revealed that the initial injury was more than just a contusion, and he would eventually undergo surgery in March that removed a small portion of his meniscus as part of the treatment for a meniscus tear. As of August, reports indicate that he is progressing through his recovery well, though the 76ers front office injury reports should not be taken at face value when they involve their franchise prospects. In both the cases of Embiid and Ben Simmons (foot), throughout 2016-17 the 76ers front office routinely provided information that would later turnout to have understated the significance and recovery timetable of the stars’ injuries. Whenever he is healthy, Embiid is the unrivaled starting center, as he is already better than even the most optimistic projections for Jahlil Okafor or Richaun Holmes. Embiid is a dynamic star with top-10 Fantasy potential when healthy, but he is a major injury risk. He is likely to deal with planned rests and minute restrictions, though he can be an incredible contributor even in limited minutes. The 76ers have realistic playoff ambitions this season, which could help minimize the rests and lead to an increased workload, but the team is still likely to prioritize Embiid’s long term health over their immediate success.
It’s been more than two years in the making, but it appears Embiid is finally ready to make his NBA debut. Following a spectacular freshman season at Kansas in which he elicited Hakeem Olajuwon comparisons, Embiid was selected No. 3 overall by the 76ers in the 2014 NBA Draft. The 76ers drafted Embiid with the understanding that he had an existing stress fracture in his right foot, but the seven-footer’s immense upside still made him too tempting to pass up. That said, the organization likely wasn’t prepared for how problematic the center’s foot issues would ultimately prove to be. He was sidelined for the entire 2014-15 season after undergoing foot surgery and endured more complications in his recovery than expected, requiring a second procedure on the foot last August that sidelined him for the 2015-16 campaign. Fortunately, the rehab process has gone much more smoothly for Embiid this time around, as he was cleared to begin working out in December and has steadily increased his on-court activities throughout the summer. Embiid has claimed that his foot is now fully healed heading into training camp, and though the team brass has indicated he won’t be subjected to any medical-related limitations in his rookie season, the big man will likely face minute restrictions on some level while he works to regain conditioning following the lengthy layoff. Additionally, Embiid will have to contend with former first-round picks Jahlil Okafor and Nerlens Noel for playing time at center, though one of those two players could eventually get shipped elsewhere to clear out the logjam in the frontcourt. Despite his lack of game action the last two years, the hype still remains high for the talented Embiid, but the 76ers aren’t counting on him to immediately emerge as a nightly double-double threat. Instead, the main goal seems to be simply getting Embiid through the season with his health fully intact, an achievement that would go a long way toward convincing the organization that he’s a worthy building block for the long haul.
Undergoing foot surgery a week prior to the 2014 NBA Draft, Joel Embiid was selected third overall by the 76ers and didn't play a single game last season. A second foot surgery for a navicular stress fracture this August will sideline him a second straight season. During his lone season at Kansas, Embiid averaged 11.2 points, 8.1 rebounds, 1.4 assists, 0.9 steals, and 2.6 blocks in 23 minutes per game while shooting 63 percent from the field and 69 percent from the free-throw line. Embiid embarked on his journey to the NBA at the age of 17 when former teammate and current free agent Luc Mbah a Moute spotted him at a basketball camp. The healing in Embiid's foot has been stymied by his still growing and developing body. Also, Embiid reportedly skipped steps in the rehab process, and his weight became a concern during the middle of the season, drawing question marks about his commitment level. Navicular stress fractures have a long-standing history of drastically handicapping a player's career, from Bill Walton to Yao Ming, and Embiid must wait until the 2016-17 season before playing his first game in the NBA.
Joel Embiid is entering his rookie season in the NBA, having been drafted with the third-overall pick this June. In his only season at Kansas, he averaged 11.2 points, 8.1 rebounds, 1.4 assists, 0.9 steals, and 2.6 blocks in 23 minutes per game through 28 games played. He shot 63 percent from the field on 6.1 attempts per game and 69 percent from the free-throw line on 5.1 attempts per game. Embiid shows strong instincts on both sides of the ball, but his game unpolished in some respects, in part because he has only played organized basketball for three seasons. Offensively, he has shown great talent as a finisher, scoring on 76 percent of his attempts at the rim. Defensively, he is a strong rim protector and won All-Big 12 Defensive Player of the Year. His biggest weakness is his relatively poor performance when he played against larger big men in college. Embiid is often compared to Hall of Famer Hakeem Olajuwon, but due to his struggles to remain healthy, he is also occasionally compared to Greg Oden. Embiid had surgery on his right foot in June, and the earliest projections for recovery would allow him to return to the court in March. In light of how the 76ers handled the recovery of Nerlens Noel last season, it's likely that Embiid will not play at all this season.