Fantasy Basketball Draft: Top 150 NBA Fantasy Basketball Players
NBA Fantasy Draft: 2010-2011
Closing in on the start of the 2010-2011 NBA season, it is that time of year again to join or rejoin fantasy basketball leagues and prepare for your fantasy basketball draft. With many high-profile players changing teams, young players seeking to realize their potential, and the roles of older veterans changing, it can take a lot of knowledge and research to draft the perfect fantasy basketball team. But don’t fear, I aim to alleviate some of that burden in this all-inclusive fantasy basketball advice with my rankings and analysis of the top 150 fantasy basketball players for the coming season.
Note: Rankings are made in consideration of a combination of points leagues, rotisserie leagues, category leagues, and keeper leagues.
Who should be the #4 overall player taken in fantasy drafts after Durant, James, and Paul?
Fantasy Basketball Draft 2010-11: Top 10
1. Kevin Durant SG-SF – With LeBron James making his “decision” to move along to the superstar-filled Miami Heat, Durant is taking over as essentially a unanimous #1 pick. The future is bright for Durant, who filled up the entire stat sheet last season to the tune of 30 points, 8 rebounds, 3 assists, 1.4 steals, 1 block. It only gets better, as Durant is also an extremely high volume shooter from the field and the free throw line where he shoots 48% and 90% respectively. Those figures will carry a lot of weight in cat/roto leagues. When considering that Durant is also a solid 3 point shooter where he made 128 3-pointers last season at a 37% clip, it is clear to see that Durant does not have any weaknesses in his game. Is it possible that Durant’s numbers may even improve this season? At 21 years of age—you bet it is possible.
2. LeBron James SF – Some say CP3 at #2, others say LeBron. I will put my money on the latter primarily due to his durability. Although I do not believe LeBron will be able to maintain quite the outrageous numbers he put up over the last few seasons, I do think he will be close just based on his ability and the fact that things will come easier for him now playing with Wade and Bosh. In fact, I could see him shoot an even higher Field Goal% than the 50% he shot last year. I would also not be surprised to see him improve upon his numbers in terms of the 1.6 stealls and 1 block he garnered per game last season. The only slight changes I predict for the worse in regard to LeBron is his scoring average of 30 pts per game down to around 26-27 and his assists down from 8.6 to around 7.5.
3. Chris Paul PG – Chris Paul is a fairly consensus top 3 pick in fantasy drafts. Paul still managed to put up outstanding numbers last season in what was an injury-laded and disappointing season by the high standards he has set for himself. CP3 fills up all of the stat categories and will figure to average somewhere around 20 points, 10 assists, 2.5 steals with high shooting percentages. The question is whether missing nearly half of last season was merely an aberration or a sign of things to come.
4. Kobe Bryant SG – How does the motto go? I believe it is that one cannot win a championship with their draft in the first round, but they certainly can lose it. Therefore, I would take Kobe Bryant at #4. Bryant may not put up the gaudy numbers he did 5 years ago but he is still a reliable fantasy player who can do it all on the court. He is also a player who has the ability to give you a mammoth game when you need it the most. As he gets older and the team remains solid around him, I look for Bryant’s all-around game to prosper as opposed to the mere scoring onslaughts he produced a half decade ago. Even though many talk about Kobe’s declining fantasy value, he still put up 27 points, 5 rebounds, 5 assists, 1.5 steals, 1.5 three-pointers, 81% Free Throws on high volume shooting. I’ll take that kind of steady production.
5. Dwayne Wade SG – Many believe Wade’s fantasy value will take a hit with the likes of LeBron and Bosh joining him. I do not think that will be the case. At least not a significant hit that is. Dwayne Wade is one of the best basketball players in the world and has proven he can both carry a team to success and play at a high level when playing with other great players. I don’t think many would debate that Wade played the best out of anyone on the 2008 redeem team, which was filled with all the best the NBA has to offer. Wade also has championship experience and I would expect him to be the Heat player to step up at the end of games. If he stays healthy, Wade will have an outstanding season.
6. Dirk Nowitzki PF – Now, I may get some flack for putting Kobe Bryant ahead of Dirk. While they are both reliable and safe first round picks, I believe that Dirk will not be relied upon for as much production as he has been in the past. The Mavs team is loaded with players that will help Dirk out this season. But you argue the same could be said for Kobe. True. However, Kobe’s ego will not allow his production to dip, while Dirk may find the change welcoming. The Mavs have talent across the board with the likes of Kidd, Terry, Barea, Beaubois, Marion, Butler, Chandler, Haywood. Regardless, whether going with Dirk over Kobe or Kobe over Dirk, there is not wrong way to go.
7. Deron Williams PG – Deron Williams has emerged as one of the elite players in the NBA. At 19 points, nearly 11 assists, and 4 rebounds per game, Williams' only real flaw in fantasy is his 3.3 turnovers per game. That is enough to scare some people away who play in roto formats. It will be interesting to see the effect that swapping Al Jefferson for Carlos Boozer into the Jazz lineup will have on Williams' production and the Jazz success. It could go either way.
8. Dwight Howard C – We all know that Howard is one of the most valuable players in the real NBA, but when it comes to fantasy it depends on the type of league. If you are drafting in a rotisserie league, Howard will probably go about 20 positions later, mainly due to his high-volume of free throws in which he posts a painful percentage, and to a lesser extent, his turnovers. On the positive side, Howard will be one of, if not the tops in the NBA in rebounding, shot-blocking, and field goal percentage. He led the NBA in each of those categories last season. Sometimes you have to take the bad with the good. They also don’t call him superman for nothing. Howard rarely misses a game.
9. Danny Granger SF – Danny Granger is a high risk/high reward type of player and that is why his draft position typically fluctuates about as much any first round caliber player. Granger easily has the ability and the averages across the board to be a top 5 player but has missed a total of 35 games over the last two seasons and is always a risk due to his chronic knee problems. Granger is a terrific all-around player who will average around 25 points per night, a steady 5-6 rebounds, a strong dose of steals and blocks, a load of 3-pointers. Speaking of the 3-pointers, if he were to shoot less than the 7 per game that he shot last year, he would likely see a rise in field goal percentage as well. Personally, I like to take a safer player in the first round, but if all of those are gone, then Granger is your best bet.
10. Pau Gasol PF/C – Gasol is an underrated fantasy player just for the fact that he plays with Kobe Bryant. He is also about as steady and consistent as it comes in terms of his 18 point and 11 rebound average. Pau shoots a very high field goal percentage at 54% and performs fairly well in every other category as well with the exception of 3-pointers—but then again, one would not typically expect their center to be proficient from behind the arc.
Fantasy Basketball Players: 11-20
11. Stephen Curry PG/SG – Curry had an absolutely fantastic rookie season with the Warriors, especially down the fantasy basketball stretch run where he was a top 5 fantasy player. He likely helped many owners win their leagues. Curry also seems to be on the good side of coach Don Nelson—which is a very good thing for fantasy owners. Other than blocked shots, Curry will be great in every category, especially the shooting categories, being that he plays in the most offensive-friendly system in the league.
12. Carmelo Anthony SG – As it currently stands, there is uncertainty whether Melo will still be a Denver Nugget on opening night and where he lands could have an impact on his fantasy value. The New Jersey Nets look like the front-runners for his services at the moment. Either way, look for Melo to be a beast in the scoring department as he was 3rd in the NBA in scoring last season at 28 points per game. Melo also gets to the free throw line and shoots a solid percentage at 83%, grabs nearly 7 rebounds per game, and will grab more than one steal every night.
13. David Lee C – David Lee has emerged into a fantasy STUD
over the past two seasons. Lee is a double-double machine and was perhaps the
most consistent fantasy player in the league last season. Lee averaged 20 points, 12 rebounds, 4 assists,
1 steal, .5 blocks, 55% FG, 81% FT. That’s pretty much what he produced night
in and night out—no more--no less. Since everyone knew it was coming, the
concern with Lee over the past year had how he would fare if, and when, he
joined another team. Luckily for Lee and his owners, he ended up on the only
team that was even more offensively-friendly than the Knicks.Lee could easily end up as one of the fantasy basketball elite players this season.
14. Amare Stoudemire PF/C – Signing with the Knicks in the offseason, Amare no longer has Steve Nash to set him up for point blank shots, but he does join his former coach, Mike D’Antoni in an offensive-friendly system which will rely heavily upon Stoudemire for scoring. Be patient with Amare, he typically starts off seasons slow and then picks up his game in the second half of the season, just in time for the fantasy stretch-run. The frustrating thing about Amare is his inconsistent rebounding numbers. He will commonly have multiple games consecutively where he will grab 7 rebounds or less and then once he gets criticized he will grab 12+. Hopefully now that Amare has a new start and $100 million dollar deal he will be motivated to play up to that caliber.
15. Steve Nash PG – At 36 years old, the 2-time NBA MVP Nash has not shown any signs of slowing down as he averaged nearly 17 points, 11 assists, 51% field goals, 43% 3-point, 1.5 3-pointers per game. Nash will not be a player who will get you anything significant in the steals or blocks department, but you are well on your way to laying the foundation to your team if you can pair him with someone who does thrive in those areas. It will be interesting to see how Nash performs on the new-look Suns without Amare Stoudemire who departed for the Knicks. As a result, I would look for Nash to try to carry more of the scoring load than he has in the past. It will also be interesting to see how Nash meshes with newly acquired Hedo Turkoglu, who is a good ball-handler in his own right. The only question I have for Nash is whether his health will hold up this season, as he has traditionally suffered from back problems. I am guessing the success of the team will go a long way in determining Nash's willingness to play through the pains associated with turning 37 during the season.
16. Brook Lopez C – The Nets had virtually no inside presence last season to help Lopez down low. As a result, Lopez was keyed on and constantly double-teamed by opposing teams. This season they have brought in Troy Murphy and drafted Derrick Favors. Will Murphy and Favors open things up more for Lopez down low, or will they take some of his numbers away from him? Either way, Lopez should be a good top 20 pick and one of the best centers in the league.
17. Al Jefferson PF/C – I know many would say that I am overrating Big Al, but I am expecting big things from him playing with a much better team and coaching in Utah. Playing with an elite point guard in D-Will certainly will not hurt matters either. Big Al has perhaps the best post-game in the league and is also a fairly good mid-range shooter. He should see plenty of the mid-range shots within Utah’s pick-and-rolls. Jefferson had an off-year last season playing in that mess in Minnesota and was also coming off knee surgery. Now having recovered for over a year, I’d look for big Al to return to his old 20pt, 10 rebound per game form.
18. Rajon Rondo PG – Rajon Rondo is the best player on a loaded and experienced Boston Celtic team. Rondo led the NBA in steals last season and is a triple-double threat every night he hits the court. Expect Rondo to be amongst the league-leaders in assists and to improve slightly upon his jump shooting, as teams will continue to challenge him to shoot rather than drive.
19. Chris Bosh PF – Many think Bosh will take the biggest hit out of the superstars that joined up with the Heat. Bosh has been a solid 20/10 guy over the past few seasons and I am not expecting a huge drop off in his all-around game. The fact of the matter is that the Heat are very thin down low and will rely on Bosh for scoring in the post and largely for rebounding. I would also expect Bosh to shoot a high percentage from the floor as defenses will be drawn to LBJ and Wade when they slash to the basket.
20. Gerald Wallace SF – “Crash” played a career-high 76 games last season and could be a bargain at #20 if he is to stay healthy again this season. Wallace is another player who fills up the stat sheets and turned into an outstanding rebounder for his position at 10 per game last season-- 2.3 rebounds more per game than his previous career best. Wallace also averaged 18 points, 1.5 steals, over 1 block, 48% field goals, and nearly one three-pointer per game. Once again, his biggest strength is also his only weakness. He plays so hard that he has been very injury-prone in his career. That is just something to keep in mind when you are drafting in your fantasy basketball leagues.
NBA Fantasy Basketball: 21-30
21. Brandon Roy – Roy is one of those players who is much better in real life than he is in fantasy. His injuries problems over the past two seasons will not help his draft prospects for this season either. Roy can be one of the hottest scorers in the league and shoot a high percentage, while producing decent totals at best across the rest of the board.
22. Tyreke Evans PG/SG – Tyreke Evans is coming off a tremendous rookie season, as he joined Michael Jordan, LeBron James, and Oscar Robertson as the only rookies to ever average 20 points, 5 rebounds, 5 Assists. That is what I’d call elite company. The future is bright for this kid.
23. Josh Smith SF/PF – Smith is about as versatile of a player as there is. For a small/power forward, Smith puts up solid numbers in terms of rebounds and is outstanding in terms of blocks and steals. Smith also shoots a high percentage from the floor now that he has stopped shooting 3-pointers. Last season, Smith averaged 16 pts, 9 rebounds, 2 blocks, 1.5 steals.
24. Andre Iguodala SF – Andre Iguodala is another versatile player who is looking to take the next step into stardom this season. He is now the unquestioned leader of the 76ers team, which has taken on a great coach in Doug Collins who will be sure to optimize Iggy’s potential. Iggy will look to improve upon his 17 points, 7 rebounds, 6 assists, and nearly two steals per game. If he does, he could end up being a huge value for owners taking him after #20.
25. Russell Westbrook PG - #25 is the general area where Westbrook should go in points leagues. If you play in cat or roto leagues, Westy is likely to be going around 20 positions later due to his high turnovers (3.3), low field goal percentage 41%, mediocre free throw percentage 78%. On the other hand, Westbrook has as much upside as anyone in the league as a young player who is getting accustomed to playing the point guard position. Westbrook made strides last season and looks to have a bright future ahead of him. As a solid source of scoring, rebounding, and assists, I'd look for Westbrook to notch a couple of triple-doubles under his belt this season. With his blazing speed, there are very few players in the NBA that are fast enough to keep up with and defend Westbrook without help defense.
26. Jason Kidd PG – At 37 years of age, Kidd has been able to maintain his high-level of play well past his mid-thirties. He has also been very reliable. Kidd is a stud player in roto leagues and warrants a better draft position than #26 in those leagues. I expect the Mavs, who are very deep this season, to cut back his minutes this season as he has been dreadful come playoff time in the last few seasons. Regardless, Kidd will still be a solid producer in all of his usual categories.
27. Monta Ellis PG – Ellis is an interesting fantasy player headed into the season. Then again, who isn’t when they play for the run-and-gun Warriors. Ellis’ has not been in the best graces with the team and was a candidate to be traded during the offseason. As of now, it appears as though Ellis will remain with the team and is currently trying to mend some of the fences. With that said, Ellis should regain his large scoring, shooting role with the team and play heavy minutes. Ellis is a much better player than his #27 ranking in points leagues, while he is not so much of an asset in Cat or roto leagues. Simply stated, Ellis is a pure scorer.
28. Carlos Boozer PF - It will be interesting to see how Boozer does in a change of scenery. Boozer has been a double-double machine for the Utah Jazz for several seasons but now he finds himself on a much more talented Chicago Bulls team, where I figure Joakim Noah will take a lot of rebounds away from him being that he is an undersized power-forward. I would look for Boozer to average around 18 points and 9 rebounds this season.
29. Joe Johnson SG - After a supreme tank job in the NBA playoffs last season, Joe Johnson still got paid by the Hawks in the offseason. As players like Josh Smith and Al Horford improve, and Jamal Crawford is around to eat up shots, I would not look for Johnson to improve upon his 21-5-5 averages he has been good for over the past few seasons. However, if you need an abundance of 3-pointers at this stage of your fantasy basketball draft, then Joe Johnson is the player for you.
30. Stephen Jackson SG/SF - "Captain Jack" is one of my favorite players to watch in fantasy basketball leagues. He plays a ton of minutes, takes a ton of shots, and fills up ALL of the stat categories for better or for worse. Reaching the latter years of his prime, I look for Jackson to improve his numbers this season as he really took off after joining the Bobcats 10 games into last season.
Fantasy Basketball Rankings: 31-50
31. Al Horford C - Horford's strong performance at the end of last season has led to much optimism for the 2010-'11 campaign. And why not? Horford has shown improvement in each of his first three NBA seasons. Averaging 14 points and 10 rebounds per game last season, Horford should be one of the NBA leaders in double-doubles this season. Horford is also good for around one block and one steal per night.
32. Chauncey Billups PG - As it stands right now, "Mr. Big Shot" could take a big jump in these rankings if Carmelo Anthony does gets traded before the season. Such a trade would render Billups the top player on a team that would be looking for direction. Billups is a good scorer, will give you respectable assist output, and is a tremendous 3-point and free throw shooter. Billups performed well in the World Championships over the Summer, so there is no reason to believe his age will hold him back this season.
33. Zach Randolph PF - Randolph is commonly one of the more underrated players in fantasy basketball as he is a 20-10 machine. Randolph was second in the league last season in double-doubles (57) and third in rebounding (11.7). Although he does not get any assists or block shots, Randolph is still a big asset in relation to his average draft position in fantasy basketball leagues by virtue of being one of the few 20-10 players in the NBA.
34. Darren Collison PG - Collison is taking over as the starting PG on the
offensive-minded Indiana Pacers. Starting in place of Chris Paul last
year, Collison averaged 19 points, 9 assists, 1.5 steals, 1 three-pointer, 86%free throws,
49% field goals, 43% 3-point% in 37 games as a Rookie starter. During which time,
he took the fantasy basketball world by storm, as he was a top 10
fantasy player during that time. Although he is not as proven as many of the top point guards, drafting Collison could prove to be very beneficial if his output can closely resemble that of last season. In his sophomore season, I see no reason why he cannot be a top 10 point guard.
35. Derrick Rose PG - This could be the season Rose breaks out in the fantasy basketball ranks. With the addition of Carlos Boozer, the Bulls are a great team on paper and Rose stands to be a fantasy benefactor of that. Rose reportedly worked on his 3-point shooting over the summer. He will need that to be a viable factor in roto and cat leagues, as he has also been relatively weak in steals and blocks.
36. Kevin Love PF – Many do not have Kevin Love rated nearly this high but I am up on him this season. The Timberwolves traded their star Al Jefferson in the offseason just in order to make Kevin Love their player of the future. Love is the best rebounder in the NBA per 48 minutes and will also score well in the Timberwolves supposed up-tempo offense this season. The only thing that could hold Love back this season is Wolves coach, Kurt Rambis, who inexplicably played Love for only 28 minutes per game last season. Despite the lack of playing time, Love still managed 14 points and 11 rebounds per game. Imagine if he had played 35 minutes a game. Love should also be a solid source of 3-pointers for a PF.
37. Tim Duncan PF– Duncan may be one of the best per-minute producers in fantasy basketball, but unfortunately that is not how fantasy basketball works. The Spurs have made efforts to save him for the playoffs and cut him back each of the last few seasons. That may be even more of the case this year, as he probably will not top 28-29 minutes per game. On the other hand, the Spurs may have to fight just to make the playoffs this season, so that should at least keep him in the lineup and with a limited number of the surprise DNPs for rest.
38. Andrea Bargnani C – With the departure of Chris Bosh and Hedo Turkoglu, Bargnani, the former #1 overall draft pick, figures to take over the reigns as the go to player for the Raptors this season. Bargs should be in store for a breakout season with a supporting cast of Jose Calderon, Jarrett Jack, Demar DeRozan, Leandro Barbosa, Linas Kleiza, Sonny Weems, and Amir Johnson. Bargnani has not typically been a good rebounder at the Center position, but makes up for it with his great 3-point shooting. Bargs will also be a solid source of Blocks, FG%, and scoring.
39. Gilbert Arenas PG – Agent Zero could be a wildcard in this year’s fantasy basketball drafts. As the ultimate high risk/high reward player, Arenas has largely disappointed over the last three seasons. After being a top 5-10 caliber fantasy player from ’04-’07, Arenas only played 15 games the next two seasons due to multiple injuries. Last season looked to be Arenas’ road to redemption as he was averaging 23 points, 7 assists, 4 rebounds per game before being suspended for the remainder of the season after playing only 32 games. One thing is for sure, Arenas has had plenty of rest over the last three seasons. I am guessing Arenas will have a very strong season and mesh well with his new running-mate John Wall.
40. Mo Williams PG – New Cavs coach Byron Scott says he wants Mo Williams to return to the caliber of player he was with the Bucks. With the exit of LeBron James, Williams will have every opportunity to become that man. I look for him to score and make more 3-pointers this season by necessity of the Cavs now being a substandard team.
41. Joakim Noah C - Noah had a bit of a breakout season in '09-'10 as he averaged 11 points, 11 rebounds, and nearly 2 blocks per game in only 30 minutes per night. Also keep in mind that Noah battled plantar fasciitis for part of the season. The Bulls also have shown much confidence in Noah by signing him to an extension and refusing to include him in a trade for Carmelo Anthony. If he can stay healthy, Noah could become a monster fantasy basketball player, as he can contribute in every category.
42. Troy Murphy PF - Murphy has been an underrated player over the past few seasons but now he faces a change of scenery --out with the Pacers, in with the Nets. This change has cast some uncertainty over Murphy's value and whether he will even start ahead of Nets rookie and #3 overall draft pick Derrick Favors. Keep in mind however that Murphy averaged 15 points and 10 rebounds last season for the Pacers in only 33 minutes per game. I do not see why he cannot get at least that many minutes with the Nets. For someone who is 6'11'', Murphy is a great source of 3-pointers, which makes up for his lack of shot-blocking. He should also complement Brook Lopez who is more of an inside presence.
43. Devin Harris PG - Devin Harris had a difficult time last season playing on a team that lacked any sort of supporting cast beyond Brook Lopez and his fantasy production suffered greatly because of it. Harris has been known as a solid scoring point guard but his scoring decreased nearly 4.5 points per game. I would look for Harris to get back on track this season with a much stronger supporting cast in New Jersey.
44. Rudy Gay SF - Rudy Gay will try to play up to the max contract he received from the Grizzlies in the offseason. As one of the most athletic players in the league, Gay has the ability and has shown glimpses of being a go to player. He also improved his numbers across the board last season. Although Gay is not great in any category, he will do a little something for you everywhere and has never played less than 78 games in any of his first 4 seasons, which certainly makes him an attractive fantasy basketball player.
45. Jason Richardson SG - After having high expectations for him last
season, J-Rich finally caught fire near the end of last season and
maintained it all the way through the Suns run to the Western Conference
finals. Richardson loves to jack up a lot of 3-pointers and is a fairly
good scorer. In theory, he is a great fit for the up-tempo Suns.
Without Amare in the mix, I look for Richardson to pick up where he left
off at the end of last season in terms of attacking the basket, being
confident with his 3-point shooting, and thus being around a 20 point
per game scorer. I would not be surprised to see J-Rich amongst the
league leaders in 3-pointers this season. Although he is inconsistent,
he is also a decent rebounder averaging slightly over 5 per game.
46. David West PF - David West struggled much of last season with inconsistency and had an all-around disappointing fantasy campaign. Furthermore, he regressed from 21 points and 9 rebounds per game in '08-'09 down to 19 points and 7 rebounds per game last season. Perhaps much of that had to do with the poor season. If that is so, I would look for West to have a bounce back season, as I also expect the Hornets to get back into the playoffs this season. West is not a solid shot blocker nor does he get a lot of steals --he averages less than 1 per game in each--however his outstanding free-throw percentage (87%) and field goal percentage (51%) make him a good fantasy basketball option if you believe he will in fact have a bounce-back season.
47. John Wall PG – The rookie sensation will have free reign as the Wizards point guard and is talented and intelligent enough to produce right away. Wall could produce a high number of turnovers, but don’t let that scare you away. In fact, he may be worth reaching for those in keeper leagues. Wall has already impressed as he was named the MVP of the Las Vegas Summer League.
48. Baron Davis PG – Davis is somewhat of an enigmatic player. He has the ability to be one of the top players in fantasy basketball, as he was in some formats from ’06-’08 but the problem is that he has a reputation for tanking when things are not going well. Davis has faded at the end of each of the last two seasons. However, the Clippers look to be an improved team this coming season, which could make the Baron a pick with some upside.
49. Marc Gasol C - Marc Gasol broke out as a fantasy basketball player last season in a big way after the Grizzlies drafted Hasheem Thabeet with the #2 overall pick. It looks as though the Grizz will not be needing Thabeet's services after Gasol's strong improvement. With another year of experience under his belt and averages of 15 points, 9 rebounds, nearly 2 blocks, 1 steal, and 58% field goal percentage last season, I do not see any reason why the 25 year old Gasol cannot slightly improve upon those numbers this season.
50. Manu Ginobili SG - Personally, I am not a big fan of Ginobili as a fantasy basketball player due to the fact that he is a 6th man and is a typically injury prone player who plays for a team in the Spurs, who would sit a player for a chipped fingernail. However, if last season is any indication, Ginobili will be heavily relied upon by the aging Spurs in order to make the playoffs. Ginobili was on fire during the last few weeks of the regular season and I believe this will be the year the Spurs will truly have to fight to make the playoffs. As one of their best players, I expect Ginobili to pick up where he left off last late last season.
Fantasy Basketball Player Rankings: 51-75
51. Blake Griffin PF -I had huge expectations for Blake Griffin last season. It was so disappointing when his entire rookie season was wiped out due to a stress-fracture in his kneecap. As a result, the expectations are not as high this season, as the thoughts fellow injury-prone top draft picks like Greg Oden loom in the minds of fantasy basketball owners. Regardless, I think Griffin is worth a reach, especially in keeper leagues. Griffin, the former overwhelming National Player of the Year in College Basketball, averaged 23 points, 14.4 rebounds, and over 1 block and steal per game during his sophomore season at Oklahoma.
52. Nene Hilario C – Nene is a super-active center who will get you average points and rebounds, but will provide you will a solid all-around game with blocks, steals, and outstanding field goal percentage.
53. Paul Pierce SF – I am not too high in Pierce. At his age, Pierce is merely another piece to the puzzle on what is a loaded Celtics team that does not care about the regular season.
54. Danillo Gallinari SF – Will this be the year “Gallo” takes off with better players around him? Gallinari is a versatile player at his size 6’10 and can shoot the 3-ball with the best in the league. There is a lot of upside in the 22 year old.
55. Raymond Felton PG– There hype behind Felton’s fantasy appeal coming into the season, as he joins the D’Antoni system in New York. Felton should put up better numbers this season than in the past few, but an average point guard is still an average point guard.
56. Antwan Jamison PF– Uncertainty around Jamison’s role on the LeBron-less Cavs has him moving down on my draft board. Not to mention the fact that he is now 34 years old. Jamison was rumored to be headed to the bench, where he formerly won a 6th man of the year award. I doubt he will end up in that role, but I think the Cavs want to see what they have in their younger players like J.J. Hickson.
57. Andrew Bogut C– Bogut would be rated more favorably if not for his questionable health heading into the season. There is a high probability that Bogut will not be ready to start the season. Injuries seem to be a common theme for Bogut, who is a fantasy stud when healthy. The problem is in knowing when, and for how long, that will be.
58. Brandon Jennings PG– Jennings is a player who took the NBA by storm with his amazing start to last season, which included a 55 point game against the Warriors. After that hot start however, Jennings hit the wall and was an average at best point guard until he showed promise once again in their bid to upset the Hawks in the first round of last season’s playoffs. Jennings has a great deal of upside.
59. Luis Scola PF – Scola is coming off a monstrous run for his native-land Argentina in the World Championships where he averaged 27 points and 8 rebounds per game. Scola also got hot last season after the Rockets traded Carl Landry. Now that Yao Ming is back, it will be interesting to see how that changes Scola’s game. Regardless, I could easily see Scola average 16 points and 10 rebounds this season. Although Scola is not a great shot blocker and will not gather many steals, he Scola is a reliable player, who has never missed an NBA game in his first three seasons.
60. Aaron Brooks PG - Brooks had a solid, albeit inconsistent, '09-10 campaign in his first full season as the Rockets starting point guard. However, was his 20 points per game scoring a result of having very little around him or can he maintain that figure with a stronger team around him this year? I would be happy to grab Brooks if he falls beyond #60, but his lack of steals, blocks, rebounds, and lackluster field goal% make for no reason to reach for him earlier.
61. Paul Millsap PF - Millsap is one of my favorite fantasy basketball players and figures to finally make it into the Jazz starting lineup to start this season. About time! Last season, Millsap averaged 15.4 points, 8.4 rebounds, and around 1.5 steals and blocks in only 8 games as a starter. In 2008, when given extended run as a start due to injuries to Carlos Boozer, Millsap impressed with 16 points, 10 rebounds and around 1 block and 1 steal per game in the 38 games he started. Flat out, Millsap is an active player who piles up stats as a result of the energy with which he plays the game. If the Millsapper can maintain 35+ minutes per night and his starting gig when Mehmet Okur returns from injury, it would not be far fetched to see Millsap amongst the league leaders in double-doubles and fall into the top 25 fantasy basketball players by the end of the season. Even while playing alongside Al Jefferson.
62. LaMarcus Aldridge PF - Aldridge is one of those players who is more valuable to his actual NBA team than he is as a fantasy basketball player. Although he is a good scorer, who will get you a solid 18 point per game, he is a lackluster rebounder for a player of his size and ability. He averaged a career-high 8 rebounds last season, but keep in mind the Blazers were decimated by injuries all season and he could almost get 8 rebounds by default. He does however maintain a solid field goal percentage around 49-50% but is not real strong in the steals, blocks, or assists departments.
63. Trevor Ariza SF - Departing the loaded L.A. Lakers team as a mere role player, Ariza showed some promise in his only season in Houston as he averaged 15 points, 6 rebounds, 4 assists, and 1.8 steals per game. With a move to New Orleans this year and playing alongside Chris Paul, I look for Ariza to make a big impact in terms of scoring and defensive statistics. Ariza has the ability to contribute across the board. In fact, he could very well be one of the players who outperforms his average draft position the most this coming season.
64. Chris Kaman C - After being an overachiever for 3/4 of the season, Kaman flat-out fell off the face of the map and packed it in, much like the rest of the Clippers, in the final quarter of the season. The Clippers rid themselves of Marcus Camby before last season's trade deadline, which means that Kaman will keep a main role as he will play alongside Blake Griffin this year. Kaman is a double-double threat but has a career laundry list of injuries which renders him to many fantasy owners' do not draft list.
65. Kevin Martin SG– Martin scores and scores some more, but will be futile in terms of rebounds, assists, steals, and blocks. And oh yeah, he is also one of the more injury-prone players in the NBA. If I were to select Martin, it would be because you badly need scoring, Free Throw%, and 3-ptrs, but then again, a player who is not playing does not help much either.
66. O.J. Mayo SG - The Grizzlies experimented with O.J. Mayo as their point guard in the summer league--that experiment did not work. The bottom line is that Mayo is a solid scorer at 18 points per game but is really just another me-first player on a team full of me-first players. With that said, Mayo is a decent contributor in points leagues, but I do not see any more upside with him when he is playing with Grizzly teammates in the same boat such as Zach Randolph, Rudy Gay, and Marc Gasol, or even Mike Conley.
67. Andray Blatche PF - The good: Blatche showcased his talents by averaging 21 points, 8 rebounds, 4 assists, nearly a block and a half, and nearly a steal in 36 games as a starter last season. The bad: All of the good happened after Gilbert Arenas was suspended for much of last season and the team traded away all of their good players. This year, Arenas is back and the team drafted John Wall with the top overall pick, and also signed some viable free-agents. What this means is that Blatche will not be the featured player, nor will he be the player whom the team goes to on every play like he was when he went on his amazing fantasy basketball run late last season. He does still have the ability to be a solid producer but I am not sure he is worth investing in with a pick in the top 65.
68. Eric Gordon SG– Gordon went into the “sophomore slump” last season and looks to regain the promise he showed as a rookie with what figures to be a much better Clippers team. Gordon had a very nice showing in the World Championships and looks to carry some of that confidence into the coming season.
69. Anthony Randolph SF/PF– Randolph has as much upside as anyone in the draft, although the same was said about him going into last year. Randolph is about as high risk/reward as it comes. Those who believed in the hype last year got burned profoundly as Randolph found himself in Don Nelson’s doghouse—a fantasy owner’s worst nightmare. Randolph gets a fresh start this year in another system (the Knicks) that has the potential to suit him quite nicely. At pick #70, Randolph could either end up as the biggest steal in the draft or a regular on the waiver wire.
70. Jeff Green SF -What I like about Green as a fantasy basketball player is the fact that he is essentially unchallenged at his position on the young Thunder team. He also averaged 15 points, 6 rebounds, 1.3 3-pointers,1.3 steals, and nearly 1 block per game last season. On the negative side, his numbers were essentially down across the board last season from the previous year. Is the 17 points and 7 rebounds Green produced in his sophomore season the pinnacle? Can he take some pressure of fellow teammate Kevin Durant? If so, Green can be a viable fantasy option at this point in the draft.
71. Marcus Camby C - Personally, I am not as sold on a 36 year
old Camby as many are. I believe that once Greg Oden makes it back into
the lineup, there will be a logjam between him, Aldridge,Pryzbilla,
and Camby at the Power forward and Center positions. Add to that the
fact that Camby has not been the most reliable player in terms of health
throughout his career, I am not going to jump on drafting Camby even
though he is outstanding in all of the defensive categories.
72. Michael Beasley SF - Since he landed in Minnesota, Beasley has shown a lot of confidence in his game and in his team. First, Beasley stated that he is circling every game on the team's calendar this season for NBA teams not believing in him in general. And more recently, Beasley touted his Timberwolves as the team to beat in the NBA. Now, before you accuse me of being as high as Beasley for ranking him this high, I believe the Wolves are the perfect fit for a player who dominated in his freshman season in college at Kansas State with 26.2 points and 12.4 rebounds. I think he will be granted the opportunities in Minnesota that he was not with the Heat. Often times, the Heat benched Beasley for the 4th quarter because of his lacking defensive skills. The T-Wolves plan on playing at a faster pace this season and I believe Beasley could be in store for a breakout year with his change if scenery. That is--if he can stay out of trouble.
73. Rodney Stuckey PG -I honestly do not know what to make out of the Detroit Pistons. The team is log-jammed at every position with players who were prominent at some point in their career but are currently at their low-point. With that said, Stuckey is the player I like the most this coming season. Hey, someone has to stand out right? I only like Stuckey in points leagues as he is not a strong 3-point shooter (23%) or from the field all together (40-41%). As a side note, you have to admire this man's confidence. Stuckey recently stated that he believes the Pistons are the best team in the NBA on paper.
74. Luol Deng SF -Deng's numbers from last season (17 points, 7 rebounds, 1 steal and block) warrant a more favorable draft position than I am giving him this season, but keep in mind that the Bulls have loaded up this offseason and Deng is always the first player mentioned in trade rumors. Not to mention the fact that Deng has been quite injury prone over the last 3 seasons. Deng is a nice player if all things work out perfectly but all together, is not worth drafting before the 6-7th round in your fantasy basketball leagues due to the risks and lack of upside.
75. Hedo Turkoglu SF - It was one-and-done after a dreadful season in Toronto for Turk. This season, Turkoglu owners hope the playing for the Suns will translate into the stat-friendly success he had in Orlando. Is he past his prime or will playing with Steve Nash on the offensive-friendly Suns revitalize Turk's fantasy production? If the latter is true, Turk could be a solid producer across the board. If not, his days of fantasy basketball relevance are over.
Rounding out the Top 100 Fantasy Basketball Players
76. Lamar Odom PF
77. Jrue Holiday PG
78. Tony Parker PG
79. Caron Butler SF
80. Jason Terry PG/SG
81. Andersen Varejao PF/C
82. Roy Hibbert C
83. Vince Carter SG
84. Jamal Crawford PG/SG
85. Ray Allen SG
86. Kevin Garnett PF
87. John Salmons SG
88. Marcus Thornton SG
89. Andre Miller PG
90. Boris Diaw SF/PF
91. DeMarcus Cousins PF
92. Jameer Nelson PG
93. Yao Ming C
94. Rashard Lewis SF/PF
95. Andrew Bynum C
96. J.J. Hickson PF
97. Emeka Okafor C
98. J.R. Smith SG
99. Carl Landry SF/PF
100. D.J. Augustin PG
Fantasy Basketball Player Projections: 101-150
101. Channing Frye PF/C
102. Evan Turner SG/SF
103. Al Harrington SF/PF
104. Robin Lopez C
105. Brendan Haywood C
106. Mike Conley PG
107. Corey Maggette SF
108. Jermaine O’Neal C
109. Andrei Kirilenko SF
110. Andris Biedrins C
111. Darko Milicic C
112. Terrence Williams SF
113. Martell Webster SG
114. Thaddeus Young PF
115. Jose Calderon PG
116. Elton Brand C
117. Drew Gooden C
118. Tyrus Thomas PF
119. Linas Kleiza SF
120. Jason Thompson C
121. Travis Outlaw SF
122. Richard Hamilton SG
123. Shawn Marion SF
124. Wesley Johnson SG/SF
125. Reggie Williams SF
126. Beno Udrih PG
127. Ron Artest SF
128. Samuel Dalembert C
129. JaVale McGee C
130. DeMar DeRozan SG
131. Anthony Morrow SG
132. Leandro Barbosa SG
133. James Harden SG
134. Rodrigue Beaubois PG/SG
135. Amir Johnson PF
136. Richard Jefferson SF
137. Marvin Williams SF
138. Nazr Mohammed C
139. Tiago Splitter
140. DeJuan Blair PF
141. Jarrett Jack PG
142. Yi Jianlian PF
143. Luke Ridnour PG
144. George Hill PG/SG
145. Tayshaun Prince SF
146. Lou Williams PG/SG
147. Grant Hill SF
148. Serge Ibaka C
149. Shaquille O’Neal C
150. Al Thornton SF
Other Players Currently Projected to Miss the Start of the Season, Who Would Otherwise be in the Top 150:
- Mehmet Okur, Jonny Flynn, Greg Oden, Mike Miller, Kelenna Azubuike, Josh Howard
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