At long last, the lockout has ended and that means it is time to get down to fantasy basketball business once again.
The season is shortened and so too is the time you have to prepare for your draft, so we won’t waste any time getting to the heart of the matter.
The RotoProfessor top 100 will be broken down into two parts. Today, we’ll be looking at the bottom half of the top 100 fantasy players, and tomorrow I will be unveiling my top 50.
Keep in mind free agency will start December 9 and will affect some of these rankings.
But with just four weeks to prepare for your drafts, no time can be wasted. Here is the bottom half of the top 100.
51. Brandon Jennings—PG, Milwaukee Bucks
52. Nene Hilario—C, Denver Nuggets*
53. Raymond Felton—PG, Portland Trail Blazers
54. Luol Deng—SF, Chicago Bulls
55. David West—PF, New Orleans Hornets*
56. Luis Scola—PF, Houston Rockets
57. Marcin Gortat—C, Phoenix Suns
58. Greg Monroe—PF/C, Detroit Pistons
59. Devin Harris—PG, Utah Jazz
60. Andray Blatche—PF, Washington Wizards
61. Andrea Bargnani—C, Toronto Raptors
62. Tony Parker—PG, San Antonio Spurs
63. Kevin Garnett—PF, Boston Celtics
64. Tim Duncan—PF, San Antonio Spurs
65. Ty Lawson—PG, Denver Nuggets
66. JaVale McGee—C, Washington Wizards
67. Carlos Boozer—PF, Chicago Bulls
68. James Harden—SG, Oklahoma City Thunder
69. Elton Brand—PF, Philadelphia 76ers
70. Mike Conley—PG, Memphis Grizzlies
71. Michael Beasley—SF, Minnesota Timberwolves
72. J.J. Hickson—PF/C, Sacramento Kings
73. Danilo Gallinari—SF/PF, Denver Nuggets
74. Jason Kidd—PG, Dallas Mavericks
75. Marcus Thornton—SG, Sacramento Kings#
76. Wesley Matthews—SG/SF, Portland Trail Blazers
77. Tyson Chandler—C, Dallas Mavericks*
78. Ray Allen—SG, Boston Celtics
79. Emeka Okafor—C, New Orleans Hornets
80. Amir Johnson—PF, Toronto Raptors
81. Darren Collison—PG, Indiana Pacers
82. Channing Frye—PF/C, Phoenix Suns
83. Roy Hibbert—C, Indiana Pacers
84. Mo Williams—PG, Los Angeles Clippers
85. Kyrie Irving—PG, Cleveland Cavaliers
86. Wilson Chandler—SF, Denver Nuggets #
87. Chris Kaman—C, Los Angeles Clippers
88. Jason Terry—SG, Dallas Mavericks
89. Jordan Crawford—SG, Washington Wizards
90. Derrick Williams—SF/PF, Minnesota Timberwolves
91. Lamar Odom—PF, Los Angeles Lakers
92. Kris Humphries—PF, New Jersey Nets*
93. Ed Davis—PF, Toronto Raptors
94. Jason Richardson—SG, Orlando Magic*
95. Jose Calderon—PG, Toronto Raptors
96. Jeff Teague—PG, Atlanta Hawks
97. Brandon Roy—SG, Portland Trail Blazers
98. Jameer Nelson—PG, Orlando Magic
99. Chase Budinger—SF, Houston Rockets
100. Anderson Varejao—PF/C, Cleveland Cavaliers
* denotes unrestricted free agent
# denotes restricted free agent
I am a bit higher on Brandon Jennings than most, but I am expecting a big step forward this season in terms of production and hopefully a lot less mistakes.
Jennings was expected to take a step forward last year, but injuries kept him from ever really getting into a rhythm, and he also never played with a consistent lineup.
I think the arrival of Stephen Jackson could be a big help to Jennings if the two can co-exist. Jennings has yet to be paired up with a go-to scorer and has tried to take on the role himself too often. With Jackson in town, Jennings should be able to focus on being a point guard which should improve the assist totals.
Jackson’s presence also should help create better scoring opportunities for Jennings which will hopefully improve his abysmal shooting percentage.
Polish Center Marcin Gortat completely came out of nowhere last season after being traded from Orlando to Phoenix. The fact that he hadn’t accomplished much of anything in his first three years raises a red flag, but there is no denying what Gortat did once he got to Phoenix.
After the All-Star break, Gortat averaged 15.3 PPG, 10.6 RPG and 1.5 BPG, and it’s hard to just ignore numbers like that.
With the trade of Raymond Felton to the Portland Trail Blazers, the Denver Nuggets have handed the team over to Ty Lawson and Andre Miller, who they got back in that trade.
I have to believe Miller won’t be more of a mentor to Lawson than a challenge to playing time the way Felton was. In 32 games started last season, Lawson averaged 14.6 PPG, 6.7 APG and 1.4 SPG. At just 24 years old, you have to love the potential.
There are very few players out there that I am higher on than James Harden when looking at where I rank him and most other fantasy analysts rank him.
After the trade of Jeff Green to Boston, Harden started to come into his own as the Thunder's third scoring option. In the month of March, Harden averaged 16.8 points per game and was knocking down 1.7 three-pointers per game.
I think Harden is ready to emerge as a 16+ point per game scorer with a bunch of threes and a solid amount of steals. Plus, he has the greatest beard in the NBA which has to count for something.
Year one of Darren Collison in Indiana was not a success, and he certainly did not live up to the top 50 pick hype that so many bought into last year, myself included.
Collison struggled early last season and then started to have his minutes cut into. I know many are worried about the fact George Hill is in Indiana now, but I see Hill as playing alongside Collison a lot, not just playing instead of Collison.
The Pacers point guard is only 24, and we have seen he has more potential than was shown last year. Give him another year in Indiana and a full year under one coach not named Jim O’Brien before writing him off.
My ranking of Kyrie Irving may seem low to many, but I really think the lockout is going to hurt many of the rookies, especially the ones who are not as seasoned as Irving.
Remember, Irving missed almost all of his one and only season in college and now he is going to be joining his team on December 9 and playing in games 16 days later.
With a shortened season, there just isn’t as much time for an adjustment period. I love Irving’s long-term potential, and I still like him as a fantasy player this season, just not as much as many others do.
There aren’t many players who can gain more from free agency and a change of teams than Jason Richardson. When he was traded from Phoenix to Orlando, Richardson was averaging 19.3 points per game.
Once he got to Orlando, Richardson scored just 13.9 points. His shot total went down, as did his percentage with a change in offensive style.
On the right team, Richardson will probably move up this list, but he could end up moving down a little.
Once Jarrett Jack was traded last season, Jose Calderon took off and turned into a very nice fantasy option. Calderon averaged 9.9 assists or more for three straight months, and he has the ability to put up those assist totals for a full season as long as he can find someone in Toronto to pass to.
While he won’t score many points, he will hit close to one three-pointer per game, steal a pass or two a game and shoot a strong percentage from the free throw line.
He isn’t a big name, but he’s still a name you should pay attention to on draft day.
What do you think of the bottom half of the top 100? Anyone on this list you don’t agree with? Who do I have too high or to low? Opinions are always welcome as are questions on anything you might have.
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