The toughest position in fantasy basketball is the centers. It seems like half of these guys were hurt last year and their numbers are so bunched to began with.
Only a few guys have points worth targeting so focus on shot blockers and rebounders who play big minutes if you want worthwhile production.
Rankings: PG | SG | SF | PF
The Top 10
1. Dwight Howard, Orlando Magic - A word to the wise, if you draft Howard don't try to hedge the pick with great foul shooters and guys that don't turn the ball over. Throw a few categories away and play off the new Superman.
Howard continues to improve his game. He has averaged roughly 20 and 14 the past two seasons and he led the NBA in blocks with 2.9 per game. His field-goal percentage in amazing and if you play in any leagues where free throws made or attempted count, he’s a plus there, too.
2a. Al Jefferson, Minnesota Timberwolves - *Buyer Beware* Nobody wants to see a bigman miss 32 games with a knee injury; it killed fantasy owners and the T-Wolves are going to do everything they can to prevent it from happening again.
Jefferson is a scoring machine on the block and he eats rebounds. His 1.7 blocks per game last year were solid and he converts from the stripe at a good clip. The threat of re-injury is the only reason not to draft him.
2b. Tim Duncan, San Antonio Spurs - In an effort to save his body, Duncan relaxed his off-season training routine which means he will be fresh for the season.
Duncan is no longer a first round lock but he is still one of the better shot blocking big men and he may be the best passing center in the game. Every season in the NBA Duncan has averaged a double-double and I don't see that trend breaking.
4. Brook Lopez, New Jersey Nets - No rookie impressed more than Lopez last season, and the young professional will come out even better this season. I am expecting a double-double average with scoring in the mid to high teens and he should push his blocks over 2.0 per game.
The Nets are going to be hurting this year so I expect Lopez to play 35 minutes or more if he can handle it. Something to keep in mind is he is a fantastic foul shooter for a rookie at 79.3 percent.
5. Andrea Bargnani, Toronto Raptors - Finally in his third season, Bargnani is starting to live up to his No. 1 overall pick after switching to the five full-time.
In 44 games as a starting center he averaged 18.9 points, 6.0 rebounds, and 1.4 blocks per game. He also canned 1.9 threes per game in that role. I expect his rebounds to go up by one or two and he is a great value pick.
6. David Lee, New York Knicks - Mr. Efficiency, Lee is a career 56.4 percent shooter from the field and he posted a career high 16.0 points and 11.7 rebounds for the up-tempo Knicks.
Be aware that he doesn't black many shots but he can log one steal per game if he plays 35 minutes. Playing on a one year deal, Lee will need to meet or beat last year's numbers to ensure a big paycheck in 2010.
7. Mehmet Okur, Utah Jazz - Playing through some turmoil in his family, Okur was able to score 17.0 points and grab 7.7 rebounds per game. A bonus is that the big Turk hit 1.3 threes per game at a career best 44.6 percent.
Now Okur lets his power forwards bang more down low, and he doesn't get many blocks or steals, but his great shooting touch can offset traditional center numbers.
8. Emeka Okafor, New Orleans Hornets - *Buyer Beware* After playing 82 games in back to back seasons, Okafor would seem like a safe pick, but this preseason, he has been hampered by a sprained toe, reminding owners that he missed 80 games through his first three seasons.
When Okafor does hit the floor he will flourish playing wih Chris Paul. The buckets should come easier than ever and he could break the 15 points per game mark for the second time in his career. Okafor has been a double-double lock since entering the NBA and he is an imposing shot blocker. Had the toe not been n issue he may be ranked higher.
9. Andrew Bynum, Los Angles Lakers - *Buyer Beware* If you want to see a really impressive center check out Andrew Bynum—just make sure you do it before February because for each of the last two seasons his year has been cut short by serious knee injuries.
Back in action, Bynum will strive for another double-double like he was averaging in 2007-08. With all of the talent on LA he isn't likely to beat a mid-teens scoring average but he is capable of blocking over two shots per game.
If Bynum can play over 30 minutes per game he will be an absolute fantasy stud because he shoots great percentages from the field and is solid from the stripe at 70 percent.
10. Andris Biedrins, Golden State Warriors - *Buyer Beware* In the second half of the season Biedrins missed 20 games, bringing up questions of whether or not his body will be able to handle another full load in the post. I am not seriously concerned about it though, and Biedrins is a solid pick coming off his first 11 and 11 season.
The long Latvian blocked 1.6 shots per game last year and he is especially efficient as a 60.4 percent shooter for his career. Keep in mind that comes with a 55.1 free throw percentage. If Biedrins can sustain the hot 15 and 12 start he had through the first month of the season last year, he could be a steal in the draft.
Marcus Camby, Los Angles Clippers - *Buyer Beware* Can't rank him in the top 10 because he's played 70 games three times in 13 years. Gets it done when on the court though.
Nene Hilario, Denver Nuggets - *Buyer Beware* Dunking machine is a good scoring big, but the rebounds and blocks aren't as bountiful as you might expect. He does steal though.
Rasheed Wallace, Detroit Pistons - With something to play for, I don't expect Sheed to miss much time; his threes are rare for the center position.
Spencer Hawes, Sacramento Kings - Developing a nice three ball, all numbers will continue to climb with more PT.
Shaquille O'Neal, Cleveland Cavaliers - Minutes will be less than but he can still get it done under the hoop.
Al Horford, Atlanta Hawks - *Buyer Beware* Another young big who experienced injuries that limited production, but his numbers climbed from year one to two.
Greg Oden, Portland Trailblazers - *Buyer Beware* Will make a bid for the All-Star spot in the West if he doesn't miss time.
Samuel Dalembert, Philadelphia 76ers - Fell-off last season but will post more double-doubles and has played 82 games three straight years.
Kendrick Perkins, Boston Celtics - Doesn't need to score much but he blocked 2.0 shots per game in 30 minutes of play.
Jermaine O'Neal, Miami Heat - *Buyer Beware* Can't seem to avoid getting dinged up but he is very talented on offense—is he afraid to bang?
Chris Kaman, Los Angles Clippers - *Buyer Beware* Very good center when in the game but his body is breaking down.
Andrew Bogut, Milwaukee Bucks - *Buyer Beware* Was posting a double-double for 36 games before a scary back injury.
Joakim Noah, Chicago Bulls - More minutes will lead to more blocks and rebounds, love his energy.
Marc Gasol, Memphis Grizzlies - Smooth offensive touch but may lose PT to Thabeet.
Chris Anderson, Denver Nuggets - He does one things (blocks) but he does it better than anyone not named Dwight.
Tyson Chandler, Charlotte Bobcats - *Buyer Beware* Numbers will drop away from CP3 and his injuries are a concern.
Brad Miller, Chciago Bulls - *Buyer Beware* If he gets traded from the Bulls his value may rise, he doesn't seem to be a major part of their plan.
Zydrunas Ilgauskas, Cleveland Cavaliers - *Buyer Beware* - Off the bench role should save his legs but shave his PT.
Brendan Haywood, Washington Wizards - *Buyer Beware* Traditionally healthy and solid, he played six games last year.
Don't Sleep On
Channing Frye, Phoenix Suns - Robin Lopez is hurt to start the year, Frye has a good jumper and can hit the three.
Roy Hibbert, Indiana Pacers - Looked like a starting NBA center all summer, he has great size and does the dirty work.
Hasheem Thabeet, Memphis Grizzlies - Still very raw but he will block shots at an uncanny per minute pace.
Nenad Krstic, Oklahoma City Thunder - Backup centers in OKC are suspect, he scored 16.4 points per game three years ago.
David Andersen, Houston Rockets - Big Aussie will get plenty of chances to post numbers, has a nice shooting touch.
DeAndre Jordan, Los Angles Clippers - When Kaman and Camby go down he will post huge numbers.
Fabrecio Oberto, Washington Wizards - Could earn starting role for the Wiz but has never been a stat machine.
Marreese Speights, Philadelphia 76ers - Posted a few big games but may not get the PT he needs to be fantasy relevant.
Rankings: PG | SG | SF | PF