Yesterday we looked at my take on the bottom half of the fantasy basketball top 100. Today we take a look at the way I have the top 50 shaking out. The top three look awfully similar to last year’s top three. It really is a close battle between the three, and an argument can and has been made for each one of them.
Outside the top three are some familiar faces. Yet, there are also plenty of new faces breaking into the top tier of fantasy basketball. While other former top 10 fixtures have slipped out of the first round range. Let’s not waste any time, let’s get to the top 50:
- Kevin Durant – SF, Oklahoma City Thunder
- Lebron James – SF, Miami Heat
- Chris Paul – PG, New Orleans Hornets
- Derrick Rose – PG, Chicago Bulls
- Dwayne Wade – SG, Miami Heat
- Dwight Howard – C, Orlando Magic
- Kevin Love – PF, Minnesota Timberwolves
- Russell Westbrook – PG, Oklahoma City Thunder
- Deron Williams – PG, New Jersey Nets
- Monta Ellis – SG, Golden State Warriors
- Amare Stoudemire – C/PF, New York Knicks
- Pau Gasol – PF/C, Los Angeles Lakers
- Stephen Curry – PG, Golden State Warriors
- Dirk Nowitzki – PF/C, Dallas Mavericks
- Kobe Bryant – SG, Los Angeles Lakers
- Al Jefferson – C, Utah Jazz
- John Wall – PG, Washington Wizards
- Josh Smith – PF, Atlanta Hawks
- Carmelo Anthony – SF, New York Knicks
- Eric Gordon – SG, Los Angeles Clippers
- Blake Griffin – PF, Los Angeles Clippers
- LaMarcus Aldridge – PF, Portland Trail Blazers
- Al Horford – PF/C, Atlanta Hawks
- Danny Granger – SF, Indiana Pacers
- Rudy Gay – SF, Memphis Grizzlies
- Tyreke Evans – PG/SG, Sacramento Kings
- Steve Nash – PG, Phoenix Suns
- Kevin Martin – SG, Houston Rockets
- Paul Pierce – SF, Boston Celtics
- Zach Randolph – PF, Memphis Grizzlies
- Andre Iguodala – SG/SF, Philadelphia 76ers
- Manu Ginobili – SG, San Antonio Spurs
- Joe Johnson – SG/SF, Atlanta Hawks
- Kyle Lowry – PG, Houston Rockets
- Rajon Rondo – PG, Boston Celtics
- Gerald Wallace – SF, Portland Trail Blazers
- Dorell Wright – SF, Golden State Warriors
- David Lee – PF/C, Golden State Warriors
- Chauncey Billups – PG, New York Knicks
- Chris Bosh – PF, Miami Heat
- Brook Lopez – C, New Jersey Nets
- Serge Ibaka – PF, Oklahoma City Thunder
- Paul Millsap – PF, Utah Jazz
- Jrue Holiday – PG, Philadelphia 76ers
- Joakim Noah – PF/C, Chicago Bulls
- Andrew Bogut – C, Milwaukee Bucks
- Stephen Jackson – SF, Milwaukee Bucks
- Marc Gasol – C, Memphis Grizzlies#
- Andrew Bynum – C, Los Angeles Lakers
- DeMarcus Cousins – PF/C, Sacramento Kings
Kevin Durant vs. Lebron James
Many are proclaiming Kevin Durant as the surefire, no doubt number one guy. I have Durant at the top, but the gap between him and Lebron James is incredibly close. I couldn’t dismiss any argument for Lebron at one. Durant’s range, improving defensive numbers and scoring totals put him slightly over the top for me.
Where to rank Deron Williams was a difficult decision for me. I considered him all the way from sixth overall to 12th before settling on the nineth spot for him. His final numbers of 20.1 PPG, 10.3 APG, and 4.0 RPG are certainly hard to deny, but the unknown scares me. His assists went up in New Jersey, but his point scoring took a hit. He certainly isn’t surrounded with the same amount of talent in New Jersey as he was in Utah.
You might not find Eric Gordon in the top 20 of many ranking lists, but I think he is poised for a breakout. Although he is overshadowed by another member of his team, the guy is a star in the making. Gordon is one of the best, if not the best three-point shooter in the league. He could make a move towards eclipsing 25 points per game this year.
Remember when most fantasy analysts considered Danny Granger a borderline first round pick? I hope so because it was just last year. This year, it doesn’t look like Granger will crack the first round in deep leagues even. Granger dropped nearly four points per game last year, and after his second consecutive season shooting under 43 percent it can no longer be considered an aberration. Granger could certainly end up as a top 10—15 player, but he shouldn’t be drafted as one.
It is hard to call someone ranked at 30, underrated. Despite his playoff coming out party, Zach Randolph still feels underrated. He is limited in the categories that he contributes to, yet he averages 20 points and 12 rebounds a game. So he brings a lot to a couple of categories. If Rudy Gay stays healthy all year, and Marc Gasol comes back then the numbers might not be quite as nice. However, Randolph will still be a double-double machine.
A full season in Portland should do Gerald Wallace some good. He’ll no longer feel like he has to be the go-to-guy on offense. Something he was never cut out to be in the first place. After going from Charlotte to Portland last season, Wallace’s point totals stayed the same. But his shooting percentage jumped from 43 percent to just a shade under 50 percent. Don’t expect numbers exactly like 2009 – 2010. Although, something closer to that than what we saw last year should be in order.
It hasn’t been a lack of talent that has kept Andrew Bynum from being a top 50 fantasy player. All he needs is to stay healthy, which is easier said than done for Bynum. The Lakers' promising center scores, rebounds and blocks shots. Everything you want from a top center. If he stays healthy, then he could and should be a top 35 player. It’s the injury risk that keeps him just inside the top 50.
What are your thoughts on my top 50? Where do you agree or disagree with these rankings?
For more fantasy basketball analysis make sure to check out my work at Rotoprofessor where I will be posting daily