Jul 17, 2012 Fantasy Draft Rankings
PF Rankings Updated Oct. 9. Our 2012-2013 NBA Fantasy Basketball Power Forward Draft Rankings will be updated throughout the offseason and training camp, so check back weekly for updated rankings.
The following rankings are based on the FBD scoring system, which you can find HERE.
I also use these rankings for all of my cash game play at FANDUEL. Daily cash games and tournaments at Fanduel are highly addictive for guys who like daily fantasy action. Registration at Fanduel is free and you can deposit with Paypal or a credit card.
Kevin Love (MIN, 41.8 FPS) – Much like the center position, the top spot on the power forward draft board is an easy choice. Love simply has no weaknesses in his fantasy game. Last year’s 26.0 points, 13.3 rebounds and 5.1 three pointers attempted is a fantasy combination that you just don’t see in any other player. In addition, his 8.2 free throws attempted per game and 82.4 FT% is just icing on the cake. The only bad thing that can be said about Love is his lack of blocks (.9), and possibly that horrible chinstrap beard he had for awhile. He’s going to cost you a first round pick, but he’s easily worth it.
Oct. 9 – Love says he’s going to pass more and shoot less this season. Yeah, not going to happen. He’s going to keep scoring and keep piling up rebounds. He’s an early first round pick.
Josh Smith (ATL, 36.0 FPS) – I probably have JSmoove ranked higher than anyone else you’ll find on the net. He is a complete player who is now going to be the clear centerpiece on a fairly bad team. The Hawks got rid of Joe Johnson and the scoring burder will fall to Smith. The Hawks will also likely be playing from behind a lot this season and Smith should bump up to around 37 minutes a game. As for his skills, he averaged 1.4 steals, 1.7 blocks, 9.6 rebounds, 3.9 assists and 1.7 threes attempted. That’s all around production. His FT% was a little light at 63.0%, but his FG% was still solid at 45.8%. Smith will always help at least one or two fantasy categories every night.
UP – Oct. 9 – The Hawks have been fooling around in camp with a starting lineup of Teague, Stevenson, Korver, Smith and Horford. Who do you think gets all the scoring opportunities in that lineup?
Blake Griffin (LAC, 35.5 FPS) – I love Blake Griffin highlights, but they are usually better than his fantasy game. Blake gets points and rebounds in a big way, but the .8 steals, .7 blocks and zero threes attempted just puts him a notch below Josh Smith. Another problem with Blake is this constant fear of him getting hurt. He just recently hurt his knee and will be out for the next two months. Hopefully he’s going to be 100% by the time camp opens, but the way he plays the game just isn’t good for his long term health. He may end up being a lot like Gerald Wallace. He’s also got a real problem with his free throw shooting with a 52.1 FT% last season, and that’s on a pretty heavy 7.1 FTA per game. If you put Griffin side by side with someone like Zach Randolph, there just isn’t that much difference that would justify the high price you have to pay to get him.
Oct. 9 – Griffin is a tricky rank. I have readers who play in head-to-head, points and roto leagues and Griffin’s value differs in all three games. He’s a beast in Points leagues, solid in Head-to-Head leagues and overvalued in Roto leagues. Move him up or down depending on what type of league you are in.
LaMarcus Aldridge (POR, 33.5 FPS) – Aldridge is the classic fantasy gold on a really bad team. The Blazers aren’t going to have much around Aldridge this season, which will leave the big man as the centerpiece of the offense and probably logging big minutes. He put up 22 and 8 with .9 steals, .8 blocks and solid percentages (51.2 FG%, 81.4 FT%). There’s a chance he could push that to 25 and 10 this year, but I wouldn’t expect any increase in steals or blocks.
UP – Oct. 9 – It’s looking like Aldridge will soon jump Blake Griffin for the number three spot on the power forward board for Roto league players. The real key for Aldridge’s value is how Damian Lillard performs. If Lillard and Aldridge get on the same page quickly, then I’d have no problem bumping Aldridge ahead of Griffin.
Pau Gasol (LAL, 33.3 FPS) – What you saw with Gasol last season is exactly what you are going to get this season, and sometimes consistency is a great thing. You can just about mark him down for 18 and 10, 3.5 assists, 1.5 blocks and solid percentages every night. With Steve Nash running the show there could be a slight dip in assists for Gasol, but it shouldn’t be much. The only negative thing that can be said about Gasol is that he’s pretty far past his physical peak at 32 years old, but there’s probably a good bit of solid basketball left in him.
Update 8/24: After really digging into what the Lakers are going to do with their offense after acquiring Dwight Howard, it looks like Gasol may be the Laker that takes a hit to his stats. If the Lakers truly start running the Princeton offense, there’s really only room for one big man, and that’s probably going to be Howard. Gasol also won’t be Nash’s choice on the pick and roll. I’m bumping Gasol down a spot.
Dirk Nowitzki (DAL, 31.1 FPS) – Dirk is 34 years old and has shown signs of declining the last three seasons and that really scares me, especially given the fact that Dallas lost some really key players this offseason. His minutes have gone from 37.5 per game in 2010, to 34.3 in 2011, all the way down to a career low of 33.5 per game last season. As expected, the rest of his stats have followed. He posted career lows of 21.6 points and 6.8 rebounds. He’s got too much talent to rank any lower, but he’s going to have to get things turned around or risk being a real fantasy disappointment this year.
Greg Monroe (DET, 29.0 FPS) – At just 22 years old, Monroe had a great sophomore NBA season posting 15 and 10 with 1.3 steals and .7 blocks. He logged 31.5 minutes per game and I would expect that could bump up to nearly 35 MPG this season. He also increased his FT% from 62.2% to a very respectable 73.9%. The only fantasy weakness was his high turnover rate of 2.4 per game. Monroe is a guy who still has a lot of room to improve and I think he’s got a great fantasy upside.
UP – Oct. 9 – I probably started Monroe off way to low in my initial rankings, but I’ll take this opportunity to move him back up. He’s looked very strong in camp and should improve his stats this season. He’s especially attractive for keeper leagues and dynasty league owners.
Zach Randolph (MEM, 34.7 FPS) – If you put Randolph and Aldridge’s stats side by side, it would be difficult to tell them apart. The only real difference is that Randolph is the stronger rebounder, but weaker shotblocker. The only concern I have with Randolph is his performance after returning from an MCL sprain last season, his stats just weren’t that good. I’ll be watching him closely in training camp just to make sure he’s 100% and worth the number seven ranking.
UP – Oct. 9 – Randolph has looked like his old self and the knee looks healthy. He seems poised to return to his regular 20 and 10 stat line.
David Lee (GSW, 32.5 FPS) – Lee was another dependable 20 and 10 player last season with the Warriors and he should keep those stats going this season. He set career high marks with 16.2 field goals attempted per game, as well as as a career high 4.9 free throws attempted per game. His career 53.9 FG% and 77.7 FT% are both solid. His weakness is the shotblocking category, where he only managed .4 blocks a game. His .9 steals and 2.8 assists were fairly mediocre.
Paul Millsap (UTA, 31.1 FPS) – Millsap put up 17 and 9 in 2012 with a great steals stat of 1.8 per game. He put up .8 blocks per game, with 2.3 assists. He’s got a career 52.2 FG% and 71.9 FT%, although he has improved his free throw shooting recently with a 75.7 and 79.2 mark the past two seasons. The only red flag in Millsap was his decrease in minutes last season to just 32.8 per game. He’s 27 and those minutes should be trending up, not down.
Update 8/24: Millsap’s fantasy value seems to be decreasing as the Jazz keep talking about giving Derrick Favors a larger role in the rotation. Keep an eye on this position battle in camp and if Favors does indeed get a bigger role, then I’ll be bumping Millsap down a few spots.
Chris Bosh (MIA, 29.0 FPS) – Bosh would probably be a top 5 power forward if he played on any other team than Miami. His stats have been nearly identical the the past two seasons, but they aren’t anywhere near as good as his performance in Toronto. Bosh still put up 18 and 8, with .9 steals and .8 blocks. He’s the third offensive option on the Heat, but he still managed 14.2 shot attempts, hitting them at a 48.7% rate. He’s a good free throw shooter getting to the line 4.9 times a game and converting on 82.1%. His only blackmark was as career low 35.2 MPG, but that’s still pretty solid for fantasy owners.
UP – Oct. 9 – Bosh has center eligibility on a few sites and should gain it on all sites this season, which really ups his fantasy value.
Amare Stoudemire (NYK, 27.6 FPS) – Stoudemire was simply horrible last season, there just isn’t any other way to say it. Much of the poor performance was due to a bulging disc in his back, and that’s the type of injury he could re-aggravate at anytime this year. Even worse was the self inflicted hand laceration that knocked him out of the playoffs. When he was playing, he wasn’t putting up Amare-like stats with just 17.5 points, 7.8 rebounds. After his first monster season in New York, much more was expected last season. I’ll probably end up moving him up in the rankings, but I’ve got to see that his back is fully healed and that he’s at least developed a little more chemistry with Carmelo Anthony.
Kevin Garnett (BOS, 28.9 FPS) – I’m not a Garnett fan, but you have to give him credit for still producing at a fairly high level after such a long time in the league. Garnett played a lot of center last season, but I think most fantasy sites will keep him listed at power forward. If they move him to center, I’ll do the same. He’s 36 years old but turned in 16 and 8 with .9 steals and 1.0 blocks in 31.1 minutes of game action. It appears that he’ll have most of the same teammates surrounding him again this year, minus Ray Allen, so he should be able to keep up something close to his 2012 stats, but I don’t think there is any upside.
Kris Humphries (BN, 28.4 FPS) – Humphries is still hanging in limbo waiting on the Nets to figure out what they want to do with him. He seems to constantly be distracted in some way or another, but he put up some solid stats in 2012 going for 14 and 11 with 1.2 blocks and .8 steals. His career shooting percentages aren’t very exciting at 46.7 FG% and 65.7 FT%, but we’re getting to the middle of the pack in the rankings, so those can be overlooked in order to pick up a guy who averages a solid double-double. His final ranking will depend greatly on where he ends up playing.
Carlos Boozer (CHI, 26.5 FPS) – I keep seeing people overpay for Boozer based strictly on his name and past performance, and I expect that it will probably happen again this year. The Bulls will be without Derrick Rose, so they may look to Boozer to add a little extra scoring. The red flag on Boozer is that his minutes over the last two seasons have been just 31.9 MPG in 2011 and an even lower 29.5 MPG last season. If Boozer can’t top 30 minutes a night, his value really declines. He put up 15 and 7 last season, but those numbers are the lowest of his career.
Serge Ibaka (OKC, 24.2 FPS) – Ibaka is a beast in the blocks category, but he’s going to have to improve his scoring and rebounding to move up in the rankings. He posted just 9 and 7, with a 53.5 FG% and 66.1 FT%. If you draft Ibaka, it won’t be for the points, it will be for the 3.7 blocks per game he averaged in 2012. I think he can repeat that number and from watching some of his playoff performances, there’s a good chance he can improve his scoring.
UP – Oct. 9 – If you want blocks, you’ll want to move him up your board. I like Ibaka, but the problem with him is that you have to use a second or third round pick to get him, and I just don’t think the one category strength is worth it.
Ersan Ilyasova (MIL, 24.5 FPS) – The Bucks just signed Ilyasova to a 5 year, $45 million contract, so it looks like he’s now the man at power forward. I’m still a little hesitant, but I think as training camp starts and I get to see him a little more, that his ranking will change. He managed 13 and 9 in 27.6 MPG, but he also shot 49.2 and I’m not sure if he can keep that up. If his shooting percentage falls to the lower 40′s, then his scoring could take a hit. His defensive stats were solid at .9 steals and 1.0 blocks.
Anthony Davis (NOR, Rookie) – Anthony Davis was the number one pick in the 2012 NBA Draft and there’s a good chance that he steps right into a starting role for the Hornets. He’s got great shotblocking ability and he should excel in rebounding, but it remains to be seen how fast his offensive game will develop. I’ve got him listed at power forward, but there’s a good chance that the Hornets decide to play him at center. Training camp will go a long way in determining his final draft ranking.
UP – Oct. 9 – The rookie looks strong and it appears that the Hornets are committed to getting him on the court for 30+ minutes a night. If you are in a keeper league, you have to move him even further up the board.
Kenneth Faried (DEN, 20.9 FPS) – Faried moves into the Top 25 with the trade of Al Harrington out of Denver, as well as the fact that Chris Anderson isn’t returning to Denver either. Those two things point to Faried being moved into the starting lineup at power forward. Faried is an excellent rebounder and should also get his fair share of points in a very fast paced Denver offense. If nothing else, he should get two or three buckets a night from offensive rebounds alone.
UP – Oct. 9 – It looks like Faried is clearly the starter and probably looking at 32-34 minutes a night. He just seems to keep improving his offensive game, which really pushes up his value. He’ll still get major boards, but the scoring could be a big surprise.
Ryan Anderson (NOR, 26.2 FPS) – Anderson was recently traded to the New Orleans Hornets where he’ll step into a starting spot and hopefully something similar to the 32.2 MPG he got last season in Orlando. Anderson put up 16 and 8 with .8 steals and .4 blocks. He best fantasy asset is his ability to shoot the three pointer. He attempted 6.9 threes per game last season and hit them at a 39.3% rate. He’s also got one of the lowest turnover rates for a power forward at just .9 turnovers per game. If you like to build your team around efficient three point shooting, Anderson is definitely a guy to move up your draft board.
Down – Oct. 9 – I’m starting to sour on Anderson in New Orleans. After taking a look at his stats in Orlando, it becomes pretty clear that he had a benefit of a lot of open looks with Dwight Howard drawing defenses away from the perimeter. But I don’t think that is the only factor at play, the Magic also had other excellent perimeter players like Jason Richardson and JJ Redick that stretched defenses and didn’t allow them to concentrate on Anderson. Anderson won’t get that luxury in New Orleans, especially if Eric Gordon is slowed with his knee injury, and his stats could suffer.
David West (IND, 23.1 FPS) – David West had a very difficult time last season bouncing back from a torn ACL that he suffered in 2011. He could only manage 29.2 MPG and posted near career lows with just 12.8 points and 6.6 rebounds. His shooting percentages were still near career average and his defensive stats didn’t seem to suffer too much, but the lack of scoring was evident. I’ll be watching him in training camp to see how he’s improving physically and then I’ll revisit his ranking.
UP – Oct. 9 – The knee has looked solid, but I’m still waiting to see if West gets that real burst of explosiveness back. If he does, then his scoring and shooting percentage could increase as he gets back to taking it to the rim.
Luis Scola (HOU, 22.7 FPS) – Houston used their amnesty provision on Scola and sent him packing. He was immediately claimed by the Phoenix Suns and there’s a good chance that he could take over the starting PF spot in Phoenix. If he does, then he’ll likely move up a little in the rankings, however if he finds himself in some kind of platoon situation with Channing Frye, then his ranking will suffer.
UP – Oct. 9 – I was worried about a timeshare with Channing Frye in my initial rankings, but Frye is expected to miss the entire season with a heart problem, which leaves Scola as the clear starter at PF. He’s going to get big minutes and needs to move up the board.
Taj Gibson (CHI) – Gibson makes a jump into the top 25 as reports keep coming out that he’ll likely see starter type minutes backing up Carlos Boozer and Joakim Noah. The extra minutes at center are the big thing here. If Gibson can gain center eligibility and get close to 30 minutes a night, then he becomes a very attractive fantasy option, especially in keeper leagues.
UP – Oct. 9 – Added to Top 25
Thaddeus Young (PHI, 21.7 FPS) – Elton Brand has been shipped out of Philadelphia, so Young could finally get his chance to shine. Even with Brand around, Young still got 27.1 minutes a game, so that should jump well over the 30 MPG mark this year. Young is still just 24 years old, so he’s got plenty of time to improve his game and become a valuable fantasy asset. His final ranking will depend greatly on the rotation that emerges in training camp for the Sixers.
Update 8/24: Thaddeus Young was looking pretty good after the Elton Brand trade, but news out of Philly is that the Sixers plan on moving Evan Turner to SF and Hawes to PF, which leaves Young back on the bench. They also have to find minutes for LaVoy Allen at PF. I was expecting a starting role for Young, but that isn’t looking so good right now.
Brandon Bass (BOS, 21.3 FPS) – It felt like Bass had a breakout season, but if you really look at his per 36 numbers, his 2012 numbers were worse than his 2011 year in Orlando. Bass just seemed to have the spotlight on him, but in reality he managed just 13 and 6 with .6 steals and .9 blocks. He’s got excellent shooting percentages with a career 49.3 FG% and 82.4 FT%. Unless Bass starts getting way more than the 31.7 minutes he got last season, I don’t see much upside in his fantasy production.
Antawn Jamison (LAL, 27.1 FPS) – Jamison quietly had a productive season in 2012 putting up 17 and 6 with .8 steals and .7 blocks. He’s another power forward who has the ability to shoot the three pointer. He launched 4.1 per game last season and converted 34.1% of them. His rebounding slipped to a career low of 6.3 per game, but that’s probably to be expected from a 36 year old. There’s a good chance Jamison is somewhere other than Cleveland when the upcoming season starts, so his ranking could change greatly.
Update 8/24: Jamison was traded to the LA Lakers and will now come off the bench behind Pau Gasol. The move from starter in Cleveland to bench player in LA really kills his fantasy value. The only thing that could save Jamison is if the Lakers decide to give him some run at SF, in addition to his run at PF, to get him close to the 30 MPG mark.
Emeka Okafor (WAS, 20.5 FPS) – Okafor was traded to the Washington Wizards, along with Trevor Ariza, where he should slide into the starting power forward spot. I’m looking for Okafor to get about 30-32 minutes a game and put up something close to the 10 and 8 he put up last season for the Hornets. He didn’t show much shotblocking last season, only swatting 1.0 per game, but he’s got a career 1.8 blocks per game average, so the ability is there. Washington should be a defensive oriented team this season and Okafor could be looked upon to anchor the interior and provide some useful late round production.
Elton Brand (PHI, 23.9 FPS) – Philadelphia finally had enough of Brand and decided to use their amnesty provision on him. He was quickly picked up by the Dallas Mavericks, but the real issue now is that he’ll be playing behind some guy named Dirk Nowitzki. There’s a good chance Brand could still see 28-30 minutes a night backing up both Nowitzki and Kaman. His name and experience are the only things keeping him him ranked at the moment, so Brand’s final role will depend greatly on how Dallas decides to use him.
Channing Frye (PHO, 20.4 FPS) – Channing Frye is another power forward with three point shooting skill that can be productive for fantasy owners who like to build their team around that category. The Suns just picked up Luis Scola, but I still think Frye can manage 26-28 minutes a game, which should give him enough minutes to repeat last season’s 11 and 6, with .7 steals and 1.1 blocks. The 4.1 three pointers attempted are a nice bonus from the power forward spot.
Down – Oct. 9 – He’s out for the year with a heart problem.
Other players looking to break into the Top 25:
Jul 14, 2012 Fantasy Draft Rankings
C Rankings Updated Oct. 15. Our 2012-2013 NBA Fantasy Basketball Center Draft Rankings will be updated throughout the offseason and training camp, so check back weekly for updated rankings.
The following rankings are based on the FBD scoring system, which you can find HERE.
I also use these rankings for all of my cash game play at FANDUEL. Daily cash games and tournaments at Fanduel are highly addictive for guys who like daily action. Registration at Fanduel is free and you can deposit with Paypal or a credit card.
Dwight Howard (LAL, 41.0 FPS) – When it comes to the center position, there’s Dwight Howard and then everyone else. Now that the ‘Dwightmare’ scenario is over and he’s found a home in LA, he can get back to being the top center in head to head leagues. One bit of caution though is the back injury that ended his season. It’s the one thing that could alter his ranking as the season approaches. Another red flag on Howard is that his blocks have trended down the last four seasons to a low of 2.1 per game last year. It’s still good, but not what it used to be. Of course the free throw percentage is still horrible and was a career worst 49.1% last season, but that’s just the wart you have to deal with to have the best center in the game on your fantasy roster.
Oct. 15 – Howard is progressing well from his back surgery and should be ready to go sometime during the first month of the season. I’m not as high on Howard as I have been in past years. I can handle the poor FT% with a totally healthy Howard, but not with a post surgery Howard in a crowded offense.
Andrew Bynum (PHI, 34.2 FPS) – Bynum finally had his breakout season in 2012, putting up a career high in minutes with 35.2 per game in his 60 games played. He’s trying hard to shed the ‘injury prone’ label and another solid season would accomplish that. Probably the biggest benefit to Bynum this year will be the addition of Steve Nash to the Lakers. Bynum should get some prime feeds from Nash and could increase his scoring to break the 20 point barrier. He’s going to get you two blocks a game and has a career FT% of 68.7%. If Howard’s back becomes an issue, Bynum could take over the top spot in the center rankings.
Down – Oct. 15 – I’m really worried about Bynum’s knee. He should have been on the court soon, but instead he just underwent a procedure to inject lubricating fluid into his knee with the hope that it would get the joing working properly. This has bad news written all over it.
Al Jefferson (UTA, 35.0 FPS) – Jefferson put up a better FPS than Bynum last season, but I’m not sure that anyone really noticed him out in Utah. Jefferson was his usual consistent beast and turned in a line nearly equal to his 2010-2011 season. If you want the safety of dependable numbers without the flash, Jefferson is your guy. He’s really worked on his free throw shooting and has put up a 76.1 and a 77.4 FT% the last two seasons, so if you like to build your team around percentages, Jefferson might be a better play than Bynum and he’ll likely be cheaper on draft day.
UP – Oct. 15. – If you have a high pick and Bynum, Jefferson and Cousins are all on the board, I think you have to give serious consideration to grabbing either Jefferson or Cousins ahead of Bynum, especially in Roto leagues. I haven’t officially changed the ranking, but it could happen this week after I hear more about the latest medical procedure Bynum had done.
DeMarcus Cousins (SAC, 33.4 FPS) – Cousins was probably the biggest surprise at the center position last season and he should continue to hold a top 5 ranking in 2013. The one factor that puts Cousins so far up on the list is his potential for improvement. He only logged 30.5 minutes per game, but put up the fourth best FPS score for a fantasy center. He should take another step in his third season and if he can work his minutes to the 34-35 per game range, he’ll be an elite option at center. Cousins had good defensive stats of 1.2 blocks and 1.5 steals, as well as an acceptable 70.2 FT%. His FG% of 44.8 was a little low for a center, but that’s simply due to the nature of his offensive skills. The only red flag on Cousins is his immaturity at times, but this is his third season and with his enormous potential, it’s something that most fantasy owners can deal with.
UP – Oct. 15. – See Al Jefferson.
Al Horford (ATL, 30.2 FPS) – Horford caught a bad break last season suffering a torn pectoral muscle that forced him to miss nearly the entire season. He was able to return for the playoffs and looked just as good as before the injury. He should enter this season completely healthy and will anchor the Hawks interior. The Hawks have traded away their leading scorer in Joe Johnson, so they may lean on Horford a little more for scoring. He’s still going to get you 9-10 rebounds and a block every night with a solid career 53.7 FG% and 76.1 FT%.
Marc Gasol (MEM, 30.5 FPS) – Gasol had a down year in 2010-11, but bounced back strongly last season to average 36.5 minutes a night over 65 games played. Marc has a style very similar to his brother Pau, which was evidenced by the fact that he led all centers with 3.1 assists per game. He’s a sneaky source of assists if you like to work that fantasy angle. He should post 15 and 9 again this season and post something around his career 52.8 FG% and 72.2 FT%. On the defensive side, he’ll get you two blocks and steal per game.
Marcin Gortat (PHO, 29.3 FPS) – Gortat had a career year in 2012, but the departure of Steve Nash could work to the detriment of the big man. Gortat averaged a 15 and 10 double-double, with 1.5 blocks and .7 steals. He’s got a 67.4 career FT% and 55.5 FG%. The only problem with Gortat is that most fantasy drafters will have to pay up to get him, and there’s a good chance that last season’s numbers are his statistical ceiling. It’s a situation where you have to pay a fairly high price and hope for perfection, without the additional benefit of much surprise upside.
Roy Hibbert (IND, 26.3 FPS) – Hibbert was offered a $58 million contract by Portland, but the Pacers matched and Hibbert will be back in Indiana with a financially secure future. I was hoping that Hibbert would take a step forward last year with his offensive game, but it didn’t materialize and might not happen this season either. We could already be looking at his offensive ceiling of around 12-14 points per game. He did manage to increase his rebounding to a career high 8.8 per game mark, as well as a career high 2.0 blocks. I’d expect a similar FPS score from Hibbert again in 2013, which would put him right at the edge of the top 10 fantasy centers.
Brook Lopez (BN, 30.1 FPS) – Lopez is a very difficult player to rank this season. He missed nearly all of last season with a foot injury and this year he returns to a completely new team around him with plenty of other scoring options. Lopez is a scoring center who doesn’t rebound very well and with the Nets having plenty of other scorers on the team, there’s a chance that Brook’s biggest fantasy asset might not be needed as much as in prior years. If he isn’t scoring 20 a night, then his fantasy value takes a hit because he just doesn’t offer enough in the other categories. I would expect that his final ranking will fluctuate wildly depending on what happens with training camp.
UP – Oct. 15 – Lopez has looked very healthy in the first couple of preseason games and should return to his 18 and 6 level.
Tim Duncan (SAS, 29.4 FPS) – Duncan played a lot of power forward last year and the Spurs brought in Boris Diaw to play some PF this season, so I’m going to list Duncan in the center rankings. If the major fantasy sites move him to PF, I’ll do the same. Duncan just signed a three year extension to remain in San Antonio. While he put up a great FPS score last season, the red flag of decreasing minutes remains. He logged just 28.4 MPG in 2011 and 28.2 last year. If that declines anymore, his fantasy value gets close to falling out of the top 10 centers. He’s aging and it’s just a matter of time before his game declines, and you don’t want to get caught holding the bag when it does.
Oct. 15 – The same concern year in and year out with Duncan – how many minutes will he get and how many games will he be rested by Popovich?
Joakim Noah (CHI, 25.1 FPS) – I ranked Noah pretty high last season and he completely disappointed me, although some of it was due to injury. I’m not making that mistake again with him. He’s still battling a left ankle injury that he suffered in the first round of the playoffs, which is serious enough to cause him to miss the Olympics. The Bulls are also a mess this season with Derrick Rose out for a good portion with the ACL injury. Noah could still bounce back and put up a nightly 10 and 10 double-double, but the upside that was once there is shrinking quickly. He’s still good value, but he’s a recognizable name which somewhat inflates his fantasy price.
Down – Oct. 15 – Noah is dealing with a chronic foot injury which makes makes him a little undependable.
Andrea Bargnani (TOR, 27.0 FPS) – Bargnani is basically Brook Lopez Lite. He’s a scoring center with no rebounding or shotblocking ability. He’s also injury prone, missing a good portion of the last two seasons. His one redeeming quality though is the ability to shoot the three. He took 3.7 threes per game last year and has a career 36.5 3PT%. If you are looking to build your fantasy team around scoring and threes, then Bargnani will likely be higher on your center draft board.
UP – Oct. 15 – Bargnani is back on the court and working to get his conditioning in order. He’s a little soft and injury prone, but is a must draft if you are looking for scoring, threes and a good FT% out of your center.
Tyson Chandler (NYK, 25.1 FPS) – Chandler had another solid season in New York and should again be the starter at center. The only red flag is that the Knicks just brought in Marcus Camby, which might cut into Chandler’s minutes. Last season’s production was probably Chandler’s ceiling, so less minutes will definitely hurt his fantasy value. His final ranking will depend a lot on what type of rotation time evolves in training camp.
UP – Oct. 15. – Chandler has looked great working with Raymond Felton and should be in line for a solid year. Camby doesn’t seem to be any threat at all to Chandler’s minutes.
Chris Kaman (DAL, 24.1 FPS) – Kaman was recently traded to the Mavericks and could be a huge sleeper in 2013 if he can grab the starting job. The Mavs used their amnesty provision on Brendan Haywood, so all signs point to Kaman being the man. His ranking is sure to increase soon. Kaman could be a souce of offensive production at the center postion on a team that recently lost Jason Kidd and Jason Terry. Kaman had an all-star season with the Clippers where he went for 19 and 9, so the ability is there. His final ranking will fluctuate depending on how the Mavs structure their offense this season.
UP – Oct. 15. – Kaman is dealing with some nagging injuries, but he should be good to go for the regular season. He becomes a valuable fantasy asset if Dirk Nowitzki is forced to miss time with his knee problem.
Nikola Pekovic (MIN, 22.7 FPS) – Pekovic was a huge surpise in Minnesota and he’s likely your starter now that the Wolves have amnestied Darko Milicic. He put up 14 and 7 in just 27 minutes of action per night. If he bumps to 33-35 minutes, his ranking will shoot up. He’s not going to be much of a shotblocker, but he can score and his career 54.7 FG% and 75.1 FT% are solid.
UP – Oct. 15. – Pekovic has backed on some muscle and he’s in great shape. He could be one of the better sleepers at center this season.
Andrew Bogut (GSW, 26.9 FPS) – I’ve probably got Bogut ranked too low this early, but he’s still in the process of recovering from an ankle injury. If he comes back 100% healthy, then he’ll move up. His 2010-11 stats should be achievable on a decent Warriors team. Expect Bogut to put up 14 and 10 with a couple of blocks per game. He’s just a career 57.4% free throw shooter, so be careful with that.
Down – Oct. 15 – He is behind on his injury rehab and hasn’t made it back on the court yet. I’m guessing he misses the first month of the season getting back into shape.
Nene (WAS, 25.0 FPS) – Nene was traded to the Wizards late last season and his stats didn’t change much from what he was putting up in Denver. The Wizards have rebuilt and will surround Nene with John Wall, Bradley Beal, Trevor Ariza and Emeka Okafor. It should be a much more mature team, but will likely be a defense oriented team. Nene should be a force on the interior and once again be able to average 14 and 8, with a block and steal per game.
Down – Oct. 15. – Still out with plantar fasciitis and there is no timetable for his return. The Wizards will be out of the race quickly without John Wall and there doesn’t seem to be any urgency to get Nene back on the court before his condition is completely gone.
JaVale McGee (DEN, 23.8 FPS) – McGee has the talent, he just doesn’t seem to have the motivation and maturity to convert it into fantasy production. That isn’t the kind of player who will excel with George Karl as coach. McGee was having a decent season in Washington before a late season trade sent him to Denver. His stats in Denver were disappointing: 10.3 points, 5.8 rebounds, 1.6 blocks and a 37.3 FT%. His biggest fantasy asset is his shotblocking ability, where he’s averaged 2.2 and 2.4 per game over the last two seasons. His weakness is the career 58.1 FT%. He’s still just 24 years old, but it’s time to grow up.
Down – Oct. 15. – George Karl has stated that McGee would probably play minutes somewhere in the “high 20′s”. Not what fantasy owners wanted to hear.
Omer Asik (HOU) – Asik has a deal in place with the Rockets and it doesn’t appear that Chicago is going to match it. Asik only got 14.7 minutes of run per game last season, but his Per 36 numbers were pretty impressive with 7.6 points, 13.0 rebounds and 2.5 blocks. All he needs is a starting job.
Anderson Varejao (CLE, 22.7 FPS) – Varejao has only managed 66 games over the past two seasons, but he has the ability to be a nightly 10 and 10 double-double if healthy. His latest injury was a fractured right wrist and the Cavs decided to play it safe and shut him down for the remainder of the season. It’s an injury that should heal completely and Varejao should be ready for training camp. If he looks healthy at camp, then we’ll adjust his ranking.
DeAndre Jordan (LAC, 19.9 FPS) – At this point in the rankings we’re pretty much left with defensive minded centers without much offensive potential. Jordan makes his fantasy production with blocks and rebounds. He avereaged just 7.4 points in 2012, but he produced 8.3 rebounds and 2.0 blocks a night. I’d expect more of the same this season.
Spencer Hawes (PHI, 21.4 FPS) – Hawes was one of the hottest waiver wire claims last season, but he just couldn’t keep it going for the whole year and was horribly inconsistent. He averaged 9.6 points and posted career highs in rebounds (7.3) and blocks (1.3). He’s still just 24 years old, so this is going to be an important season in his development. If he gets over the hump, he could be a guy who can get you 13 and 9 with nearly two blocks a night. If he can’t progress, he could find himself on the bench behind, Kwame Brown, Lavoy Allen or Nikola Vucevic.
UP – Oct. 15 – Hawes could gain some value if Bynum is forced to miss time with his knee problem.
J. J. Hickson (POR) – Hickson has won the starting center spot for the Blazers, but the question is for how long. The Blazers will probably be out of the race by January, at which time they’ll start working some of their young talent into the rotation, specifically Meyers Leonard at center. I see a fantasy killing timeshare somewhere down the road for these two.
Added October 15.
Samuel Dalembert (MIL, 18.3 FPS) - Dalembert was recently shipped to the Milwaukee Bucks where he’ll be asked to play his usual solid defense and protect the rim. Dalembert isn’t much of a scorer, averaging just 8.0 points a game over his career, but he has averaged 8.2 rebounds and 1.9 blocks.
Marcus Camby (NYK, 19.1 FPS) – Camby has averaged just 4.7 and 4.9 points a game over his last two seasons, but he does have the ability to get you 9 rebounds and 2 blocks a night. His only problem is that he doesn’t have a starting spot as he’s playing behind Tyson Chandler. If he can somehow get 25 minutes a night, he might be draftable, but he’s probably going to be waiver wire material.
Bismack Biyombo (CHA, 14.5 FPS) – Biyombo got 23.1 minutes per game in his rookie season and could get a chance for a bump up in minutes this season. He’s got some shotblocking ability and has a 2.8 blocks per 36 minutes number. He could give you 10 and 8, with the blocks, but he’s also shot free throws at a 48.3% rate.
Others looking to break into the Top 25:
Kendrick Perkins (OKC)
Jason Maxiell (DET)
Brendan Haywood (FA)
Andre Drummond (DET)
Meyers Leonard (POR)
Jonas Valanciunas (TOR)
Dec 20, 2011 Blog
The 2011 NBA draft wasn’t one of the better rookie draft classes of the past few seasons, but there a few players who might provide immediate help to your fantasy team. Mostly though, these guys are going to be more important for keeper league owners. A handful of these guys could really develop in a couple of years if you have the patience to stash them away.
Fanduel has opened registration for their $5000 Christmas Day Fantasy Basketball Tournament! The entry fee for the one day tournament is $10 and space is limited to 556 teams. Get signed up while there are still spots available!
Kyrie Irving, Cleveland – The Cavs used their amnesty card on Baron Davis, which was a very wise decision. Cleveland really has nothing going for it this season, so why not throw the rookies into the fire and get them some on the job training? Irving probably has the biggest chance for minutes of any of the new rookie class. It appears that Ramon Sessions will probably start the season at PG, but it won’t be long before Irving learns the NBA ropes and takes this spot for the next 5+ years.
Ricky Rubio, Minnesota – Techically, he’s still a rookie even though he was drafted a couple years ago. All reports are that Rubio is living up to the hype. You will have to pay up for him, but it might be worth the gamble if you like Jason Kidd type fantasy numbers.
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Dec 18, 2011 Blog
I participated in several drafts this weekend and noticed a few players who seemed to be slipping, undervalued or even completely ignored in each draft. If you haven’t drafted yet, the players below could be great bargains on draft day. Sometimes winning a fantasy title requires gambling a little on unknown circumstances.
Rodney Stuckey, Detroit – I’m guilty of missing out on Stuckey in a keeper league that drafted Saturday morning. I should have checked the news just before drafting, where I would have noticed that Stuckey has been signed for the next three seasons by the Pistons. His contract status surely kept his price down.
Shannon Brown, Phoenix – Brown was only a last round flier or went undrafted in many leagues this weekend. He’s better than that and should be a late round pick. He’s slipping because the Suns keep mentioning Jared Dudley as a challenger for the starting SG spot, but I think Brown is clearly the better player.
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Dec 16, 2011 Blog
Below are the initial 2011-2012 NBA Fantasy Basketball Center draft rankings for all 30 teams. I have placed a copy of the rankings under the 2011-2012 Draft Rankings Tab at the top of the homepage for easy access as drafts approach.
Tier 1 – The 2011-2012 Fantasy Basketball All-Stars
1 Dwight Howard (ORL) – Whether he’s in Orlando or any of the other 29 teams, he’s the man at Center. He is probably a tier all to himself. 2010 stats: 22.9 PPG, 14.1 RPG, 2.4 BLKG and 1.4 SPG. Yes, the 59.8 FT% hurts, but the 59.3 FG% soothes some of that fantasy pain. The only real drawback here is all the trade speculation, but I don’t think Howard is the type of person to let that distraction harm his game.
2 Al Horford (ATL) – Horford is probably the most consistent center on the board, and that’s definitely worth something. He posted 15.3 PPG, 9.3 RPG, 3.5 APG, .8 SPG, 1.0 BLKG. He’s got a career FG% of 53.6 and a career FT% of 76.2. One thing that probably slips by most drafters is the fact that Horford has the highest assists per 36 number at 3.5 per/36 than any other center on the board, which is a nice bonus from the center spot.
3 Al Jefferson (UTA) – Jefferson put up good stats in Utah last season and got big minutes because the Jazz were a little short on big men. Mehmet Okur is healthy again and the Jazz will surely want to get Enes Kanter some minutes, so Jefferson’s stats might drop tiny bit from last season’s 18.7 PPG, 9.7 RPG, 1.9 BLKG. He’s still great value though and one of the better scoring centers.
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