Fantasy Basketball Top 100: Kevin Durant, Lebron James, Chris Paul Among Top 3

Will OvertonCorrespondent INovember 29, 2011

MIAMI, FL - MARCH 16:  LeBron James #6 of the Miami Heat guards Kevin Durant #35 of the Oklahoma City Thunder during a game at American Airlines Arena on March 16, 2011 in Miami, Florida. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this Photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)
Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images

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:

  1. Kevin Durant – SF, Oklahoma City Thunder
  2. Lebron James – SF, Miami Heat
  3. Chris Paul – PG, New Orleans Hornets
  4. Derrick Rose – PG, Chicago Bulls
  5. Dwayne Wade – SG, Miami Heat
  6. Dwight Howard – C, Orlando Magic
  7. Kevin Love – PF, Minnesota Timberwolves
  8. Russell Westbrook – PG, Oklahoma City Thunder
  9. Deron Williams – PG, New Jersey Nets
  10. Monta Ellis – SG, Golden State Warriors
  11. Amare Stoudemire – C/PF, New York Knicks
  12. Pau Gasol – PF/C, Los Angeles Lakers
  13. Stephen Curry – PG, Golden State Warriors
  14. Dirk Nowitzki – PF/C, Dallas Mavericks
  15. Kobe Bryant – SG, Los Angeles Lakers
  16. Al Jefferson – C, Utah Jazz
  17. John Wall – PG, Washington Wizards
  18. Josh Smith – PF, Atlanta Hawks
  19. Carmelo Anthony – SF, New York Knicks
  20. Eric Gordon – SG, Los Angeles Clippers
  21. Blake Griffin – PF, Los Angeles Clippers
  22. LaMarcus Aldridge – PF, Portland Trail Blazers
  23. Al Horford – PF/C, Atlanta Hawks
  24. Danny Granger – SF, Indiana Pacers
  25. Rudy Gay – SF, Memphis Grizzlies
  26. Tyreke Evans – PG/SG, Sacramento Kings
  27. Steve Nash – PG, Phoenix Suns
  28. Kevin Martin – SG, Houston Rockets
  29. Paul Pierce – SF, Boston Celtics
  30. Zach Randolph – PF, Memphis Grizzlies
  31. Andre Iguodala – SG/SF, Philadelphia 76ers
  32. Manu Ginobili – SG, San Antonio Spurs
  33. Joe Johnson – SG/SF, Atlanta Hawks
  34. Kyle Lowry – PG, Houston Rockets
  35. Rajon Rondo – PG, Boston Celtics
  36. Gerald Wallace – SF, Portland Trail Blazers
  37. Dorell Wright – SF, Golden State Warriors
  38. David Lee – PF/C, Golden State Warriors
  39. Chauncey Billups – PG, New York Knicks
  40. Chris Bosh – PF, Miami Heat
  41. Brook Lopez – C, New Jersey Nets
  42. Serge Ibaka – PF, Oklahoma City Thunder
  43. Paul Millsap – PF, Utah Jazz
  44. Jrue Holiday – PG, Philadelphia 76ers
  45. Joakim Noah – PF/C, Chicago Bulls
  46. Andrew Bogut – C, Milwaukee Bucks
  47. Stephen Jackson – SF, Milwaukee Bucks
  48. Marc Gasol – C, Memphis Grizzlies#
  49. Andrew Bynum – C, Los Angeles Lakers
  50. 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.

Deron Williams

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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.

Eric Gordon

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.

DALLAS, TX - MAY 06:  Center Andrew Bynum #17 of the Los Angeles Lakers takes a shot against the Dallas Mavericks in Game Three of the Western Conference Semifinals during the 2011 NBA Playoffs on May 6, 2011 at American Airlines Center in Dallas, Texas.
Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

Danny Granger

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.

Zach Randolph

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.

Gerald Wallace

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.

Andrew Bynum

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