New York Knicks Fantasy Basketball: Player Breakdown by Position
There is limited potential for fantasy basketball greatness to come out of the New York Knicks roster this season.
Carmelo Anthony and Amar'e Stoudemire are the two Knicks players that should be taken early in fantasy drafts.
Tyson Chandler will be a fine mid-round option as a starting center, but anyone else should be utility players at best.
Here’s the 2012-13 fantasy basketball player preview for each of the Knicks’ starters.
PG: Raymond Felton
Chris Trotman/Getty Images
If Raymond Felton is your starting fantasy point guard entering the season, chances are that you’ll be in deep trouble.
He is a career 41.2 percent shooter from the field and 78.7 percent from the line. He’ll knock down one three-pointer per game, and there's little reason to believe that his shots from the floor will go in at a higher rate this season.
Felton's free-throw percentage should be better, though. He converted more than 80 percent of his shots from the stripe last season in Portland. A reasonable expectation would be around 80 percent, given that he knocked down 86.7 percent in New York two seasons ago but 61.7 percent in the same season in Denver.
Felton’s assist numbers were near elite in New York under coach Mike D’Antoni, but D’Antoni is no longer there. He won't drop nine dimes per game this year, especially with Jason Kidd in the fold.
Felton should average around six assists per game.
He won’t be an elite scoring option as a fantasy point guard with the Knicks, as his PPG number also peaked under D’Antoni (17.1). Aside from that, he’s barely topped 14 PPG for his career.
In the late rounds, drafting Felton as a utility or bench player is a risk worth taking, but I would rather take my chances with Kemba Walker of the Charlotte Bobcats or Brandon Knight of the Detroit Pistons.
SG: J.R. Smith
Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images
As one of the streakiest players in the NBA, Smith’s name will probably be involved in an awful lot of transactions this season.
He’ll score 28 per game for a few games in a row, and get moved for a guy that’s been a less flashy but a more consistent fantasy performer that’s better over the long haul.
He’ll then score seven per game for a few games in a row and get flat out dropped.
Next thing you know, Smith will put up 16 or 17 PPG for a month straight and get picked back up.
In case you haven’t noticed, Smith’s fantasy value is mostly derived from his scoring ability. He’s a good bet to knock down a three in any given game, and averaged 1.9 threes made last year.
He’ll also add a steal per game on defense.
With the Knicks this season, Smith should have the green light to shoot.
His percentages are going to be problematic for your fantasy team over the course of the season, so in order to take full advantage of his scoring you’ll need to pair him with much more efficient shooters.
But that’s par for the course as far as a typical fantasy shooting guard’s production.
Since it’s almost guaranteed that Smith will be on and off the waiver wire, it’s best to look elsewhere for upside on fantasy bench options (Kemba Walker, Evan Turner, Brandon Roy or Bradley Beal) in drafts this season.
If you find a gem at the back end of the draft, you won’t have to worry about counting on the erratic fantasy performance of Smith. Although it's always fun to see him torch a defense and find a 41-point game in your team’s box score from an unlikely source.
SF: Carmelo Anthony
Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images
Amid the Lin-sanity of the New York Knicks’ campaign last season, Melo turned out to be horribly inefficient, by his standards.
His scoring output in 2011-12 (22.6 PPG) was the lowest since his second NBA season (20.8).
Melo still provides fantasy value with the volume and efficiency of his free-throw shots, but those numbers also dropped last season (6.7 attempts, 80.4 percent in 55 games) when compared to two years ago in New York (7.0 attempts, 87.2 percent in 27 games).
That’s not good.
He’s only 28 years old, so expecting a bounce back in 2013 is quite reasonable.
This time around, Anthony should be able to build a better rapport with Amar'e Stoudemire and get his percentages back up to the 45/83 range.
He might even add a healthy amount of assists (around four) if Stoudemire can stay on the court with him.
You’ll definitely want LeBron James or Kevin Durant (James first) if given the choice between either of them and Anthony.
Melo would provide great scoring punch (around 25 PPG) to a fantasy team as a third-round selection. He’ll probably go more frequently in the second round, but for him to be worth a pick there, he would have to put last season’s performance behind him.
PF: Amar'e Stoudemire
Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images
Stoudemire could be the No. 1 fantasy power forward with his skill set—a reliable mix of shooting efficiency and volume with strong rebounding numbers and enough defensive stats to matter.
The problem, of course, has been his health.
Stoudemire’s percentages can’t be of much assistance to fantasy owners if he isn’t on the floor.
Expecting 48 percent field-goal shooting and 75 free-throw shooting may be a bit pessimistic for Stoudemire’s skills, but if he must deal with nagging injuries all season, it’s unfortunately realistic.
Matt Shetler of BucketsOverBroadway.com reports that the process of Stoudemire’s bout with injuries has already begun.
Amar'e has actually never been a double-double guy, so he doesn’t compare favorably to Kevin Love of the Minnesota Timberwolves from a fantasy perspective.
He’s a fourth-round pick with the ability to perform like a second rounder. Serge Ibaka of the Oklahoma City Thunder is a more intriguing prospect at the power forward position this year.
C: Tyson Chandler
Marc Serota/Getty Images
Now, if you’re looking for a double-double guy, this is your man.
Chandler can get you 10 points and 10 rebounds nightly with a block thrown in for good measure.
His scoring numbers aren’t an indicator of a poor finisher—he’s one of the most efficient scorers in the NBA—but they hint at his exclusion from the offense.
His stellar percentage from the floor (67.9 percent last year) doesn’t help a fantasy lineup very much in tiny doses, however repeatable it may be (65.4 percent two seasons ago).
Chandler is better than Dwight Howard in that he doesn’t kill you from the free-throw line (68.9 percent last season).
He obviously will not get the volume of shots that Howard should with the L.A. Lakers, either.
All in all, Chandler is a nice seventh or eighth-round pick as a No. 1 center, as long as you find your fantasy scoring elsewhere.