Fantasy Rankings: Top 150 Overall for 2012-2013
On the eve of training camp, HOOPSWORLD proudly presents the Top 150 Overall preseason rankings for the 2012-13 campaign.
As always, it is imperative that I issue this disclaimer: These rankings are based on 9-category fantasy scoring leagues that account for points, assists, rebounds, steals, blocks, three-pointers made, turnovers, field goal percentage, and free throw percentage. The rankings for five-category leagues would look far different, especially for particular players with major flaws in categories such as free-throw shooting or turnovers.
Beneath the rankings, I have listed a handful of players that just missed the cut. I have also carried over a bundle of comments (many included in the previous ranking), random stats and other interesting tidbits to help explain the thinking behind a handful of these selections…
Without further adieu, I present the 2012-13 Top 150 (updated 10/5/12):
|1||LeBron James||76||Jeff Teague|
|2||Kevin Durant||77||Mo Williams|
|3||Chris Paul||78||Kevin Martin|
|4||Kevin Love||79||Nikola Pekovic|
|5||Dwyane Wade||80||John Wall|
|6||Russell Westbrook||81||Kenneth Faried|
|7||Josh Smith||82||Isaiah Thomas|
|8||Al Jefferson||83||David West|
|9||LaMarcus Aldridge||84||Raymond Felton|
|10||Deron Williams||85||Glen Davis|
|11||Dirk Nowitzki||86||Jason Terry|
|12||Kobe Bryant||87||Thaddeus Young|
|13||DeMarcus Cousins||88||Arron Afflalo|
|14||Pau Gasol||89||Andrei Kirilenko|
|15||Andrew Bynum||90||Lou Williams|
|16||Stephen Curry||91||Gordon Hayward|
|17||Serge Ibaka||92||J.R. Smith|
|18||Ty Lawson||93||DeAndre Jordan|
|19||Marc Gasol||94||Trevor Ariza|
|20||Kyrie Irving||95||Darren Collison|
|22||James Harden||97||Greivis Vasquez|
|23||Paul Millsap||98||OJ Mayo|
|24||Rudy Gay||99||Derrick Favors|
|25||Greg Monroe||100||Jared Dudley|
|26||Al Horford||101||Luis Scola|
|27||Paul Pierce||102||Ricky Rubio|
|28||Kyle Lowry||103||Samuel Dalembert|
|29||Nicolas Batum||104||Michael Kidd-Gilchrist|
|30||Mike Conley||105||Antawn Jamison|
|31||Danny Granger||106||Jameer Nelson|
|32||Andre Iguodala||107||Kemba Walker|
|33||Ryan Anderson||108||Evan Turner|
|34||Brandon Jennings||109||Chris Kaman|
|35||David Lee||110||Derrick Rose|
|36||Marcin Gortat||111||Brandon Bass|
|37||Joe Johnson||112||Kawhi Leonard|
|38||Gerald Wallace||113||Luke Ridnour|
|39||Tyson Chandler||114||Rodney Stuckey|
|40||Ersan Ilyasova||115||Brandon Knight|
|41||Goran Dragic||116||Elton Brand|
|42||Rajon Rondo||117||Mario Chalmers|
|43||Chris Bosh||118||Tristan Thompson|
|44||Monta Ellis||119||Jose Calderon|
|45||Kevin Garnett||120||Brandon Rush|
|46||Tyreke Evans||121||Tony Allen|
|47||Paul George||122||Courtney Lee|
|48||Anthony Davis||123||George Hill|
|49||Jeremy Lin||124||J.J. Hickson|
|50||Danilo Gallinari||125||Jason Thompson|
|51||Joakim Noah||126||Jordan Crawford|
|52||Roy Hibbert||127||Dorell Wright|
|53||Steve Nash||128||Ramon Sessions|
|54||Luol Deng||129||Alonzo Gee|
|55||JaVale McGee||130||DeMar DeRozan|
|56||Dwight Howard||131||D.J. Augustin|
|57||Marcus Thornton||132||Royce White|
|58||Amar'e Stoudemire||133||Hedo Turkoglu|
|59||Manu Ginonbili||134||Dion Waiters|
|60||Eric Gordon||135||Carlos Delfino|
|61||Klay Thompson||136||Shawn Marion|
|62||Damian Lillard||137||Austin Rivers|
|63||Brook Lopez||138||Al Harrington|
|64||Tony Parker||139||Michael Beasley|
|65||Jrue Holliday||140||Chauncey Billups|
|66||Blake Griffin||141||Caron Butler|
|67||Anderson Varejao||142||Bradley Beal|
|68||Wesley Matthews||143||Danny Green|
|69||Kris Humphries||144||Jarrett Jack|
|70||Carlos Boozer||145||Thomas Robinson|
|71||Zach Randolph||146||Jason Kidd|
|72||Andrea Bargnani||147||Emeka Okafor|
|73||Tim Duncan||148||Gerald Henderson|
|74||Andrew Bogut||149||Jason Richardson|
|75||Ray Allen||150||Spencer Hawes|
- A strong case could be made for either LeBron James, Kevin Durant or even Chris Paul as the top overall selection. Personally, I’d go with LeBron primarily due to the all-around versatility and, just as importantly, the durability. King James has only missed a handful of games over the last few years, which makes him as dependable and reliable a fantasy commodity as we have seen in recent fantasy hoops history. Oh, and he’s pretty good at basketball as well. Despite averaging a career-low 37.5 minutes, LBJ ranked third in scoring (27.1 ppg), while pacing the Heat in assists (6.2 apg) and tying for the team lead in rebounds (7.9 rpg). In addition, James established career bests in field goal percentage (.531) and three-point field goal percentage (.362). No reason to expect any of those numbers to decrease any time soon.
- Obviously, this is taking nothing away from Durant, who won the scoring title for the third-straight season, despite being just 23-years old. But, the other facets of Durant’s game are also emerging, which is why he has emerged as one of the NBA’s best fantasy producers. Last season, KD averaged career-highs in rebounds, assists, blocks, and three-pointers.
- Paul was the only player in the NBA last season to average over 19.0 points, over nine assists and 2.5 steals; he is also one of only two players in NBA history to complete a season with averages of 19+ ppg, 9+ apg and 2.5+ spg. (Tim Hardaway was the other, in 1990-1991).
- Kevin Love is the final member of the elite top tier. When healthy, Kevin Love has been as proficient as any player in the sport. Look at the ridiculous numbers he posted in March: Over 16 games that month, he averaged 30.7 points, 13.9 boards, and three triples. He finished the year averaging 26 ppg, 13.4 rpg, and 1.9 three-pointers. Consider this: Love averaged more rebounds than Andrew Bynum, more points than Carmelo Anthony, and more three’s than Jason Richardson.
- Dwyane Wade is a bit of a risk at #5 overall, considering the nagging knee injuries that troubled him all season long. In addition, he averaged just 22.1 ppg, the first time he’s scored fewer than 24 per game since his rookie season back in 2003-04. Still, when healthy and locked in, he is undoubtedly a fantasy force.
- Russell Westbrook saw his scoring average increase for the fourth-straight season last year (23.6 ppg in 2011-12). While his assists dropped dramatically (from 8.2 apg in 2010-11, down to 5.5 apg in 2011-12), his proficiency from downtown increased; Russ averaged a career-high 0.9 three-pointers per contest (more than doubling his previous high).
- Stephen Curry is the ultimate boom-or-bust guy. Many general manager’s in the past have been burned by spending a top-20 pick on the sharpshooter with the fragile ankle. I fully acknowledge I am higher on him than most heading into next season, and I am willing to roll the dice, especially if he falls into the 3rd or 4th rounds. The math is pretty simple actually; if he stays healthy and starts 70+ games next season, I guarantee you he finishes amongst the Top-10 overall in 9-category leagues. Reports of his workouts this summer have been encouraging (although every player claims to be in the “best shape of their lives” each August), and we’ll obviously keep an eye on his status in training camp and the preseason, but I’m ready gamble on a guy that possesses such incredible fantasy upside. For his career, including his disappointing 2011-12 season, Curry averages 17.5 ppg, 5.8 apg, 4.1 rpg, 1.7 steals, while shooting a mind-boggling 47.3 percent from the floor, 45.5 percent from the three-point stripe, and 90.1 percent from the free-throw line. Consider this – Only four active NBA players (minimum 180 games played) have career averages of at least 17 ppg and free-throw percentage of 87 percent or higher: Kevin Durant, Ray Allen, Dirk Nowitzki and Curry. And of those four players, Curry possesses the highest free throw percentage and highest three-point percentage (and only Kevin Durant boasts a higher FG percentage)
- Last season, Andrew Bynum appeared in 60 games, averaging 18.7 points, 11.8 rebounds, and 1.9 blocks in 35.2 minutes, ranking him among the league leaders in scoring (20th), boarding (3rd), FG percentage (4th), and blocks (6th). He became just the fifth Laker in franchise history (joining Wilt Chamberlain, Elgin Baylor, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, and George Mikan) to record 30+ rebounds in a single game on 4/30. Then, in L.A.’s next game, he scored 30 points in a 103-97 Lakers victory over the Denver Nuggets at STAPLES Center. In doing so, Bynum became the first NBA player with 30 rebounds in one game and 30 points in the next since Moses Malone had 32 rebounds on February 11, 1982 and then scored 32 points in his next game, two days later… Now that he no longer has to share the spotlight (or the basketball) with Kobe out in L.A., Bynum has an opportunity to see his scoring opportunities increase dramatically as the focal point of the Philadelphia 76ers offense.
- Defensive dynamo Josh Smith was at it again last year, ranking among the NBA’s best in several defensive categories. He tied for 8th in blocks (115), 10th in rebounds (632) and 18th in steals (93). He was the only player in the NBA ranked in the top 20 in bpg and spg. On January 7 versus Chicago, Smith finished with 25 pts, 5 rebs, 5 assts, 6 blks and 4 stls, becoming the first player in over 18 years to hit those levels in a game (since Hakeem Olajuwon on 12/30/93), according to Elias Sports Bureau. He’s also the fourth player to ever record those numbers in a game, joining Hall-of-Famers Olajuwon (5x), Kareem Abdur-Jabbar (4x) and David Robinson (once).
- Over the final 31 games of the regular season (after returning from a minor ankle injury), Ty Lawson scored 20+ points 15 times and averaged 17.3 ppg, 4.1 rpg, 7.0 apg and 1.32 spg during this stretch. Lawson then went on to play arguably the best ball of his career in the postseason, giving the Lakers fits. Lawson’s stock is definitely on the rise.
- Paul Millsap is one of those players than consistently seems to fly under the radar, despite continually putting up superb all-around numbers. Millsap stuffs the stat sheet across the board — There were only two players in the league last year to average over seven rebounds and 1.5 steals = Paul Millsap and LeBron James.
- Over the first half of the 2011-12 season (33 games), Kyle Lowry averaged 15.9 ppg, 5.3 rebounds, 7.5 assists, 1.9 steals, and 1.8 three-pointers. Those phenomenal all-around stats had him ranked seventh overall in 9-category leagues during that stretch, behind only Durant, LeBron, CP3, Love, Wade, and Curry.
- I loved Ryan Anderson as a sleeper last season, scooped him up late in nearly every draft in which I partook, and he delivered in a major way. What separates Anderson from the pack is the fact that’s he’s center-eligible and contributes in a number of different categories, without hurting you in any. Not only did Anderson lead the league in three-point makes last season, he also averaged 7.7 rebounds and turned the ball over fewer than once per game. Now a member of the Hornets, Anderson will be looked at as a primary scorer on the frontline.
- You already know the deal with Dwight Howard – he is far, FAR more valuable (Top-10 overall) in 5-category leagues and head-to-head formats. But in nine-cat leagues, which are what these rankings are based on, his FT% is crippling. Last season, Dwight shot just 49.1% from the stripe. Not only does he shoot poorly from the line, he gets there more than any other player in the NBA (10.6 attempts per game), which really drags down your overall score in roto leagues. (As a point of comparison, Corey Maggette averaged just 6.5 attempts per game, but still averaged more FT makes). The other major blemish on Howard’s resume is the turnovers. Last season, he turned the ball over 3.2 times a night. Again, if you are playing in a five-category league (which tallies solely points, boards, assists, steals, and blocks), feel free to take Dwight early in the first round. If you play in an 8 or 9-cat league, let somebody else make the mistake of reaching for him too early.
- Goran Dragic, who started at point guard for the Rockets over their final 26 contests, averaged 18.0 points 8.4 assists, and 1.8 steals in his 28 total starts last year. Per Houston public relations, Dragic dished out at least six assists in a career-best 24-straight games (3/10/12-4/21/12). It ranked tied for the second-longest such streak in the NBA this season (Steve Nash ran off 40 straight, and Rondo posted 24 consecutive such games).
- Marcin Gortat was a monster last season, but what happens now that his partner in pick-and-roll crime (Nash) has left for Hollywood? It is unlikely Gortat would approach last seasons numbers without Nash running point in the Valley of the Sun. However, with Channing Frye sidelined the entire season due to a heart issue, Gortat could see an increase in his playing time.
- Anthony Davis will make an immediate impact on the defensive end of the floor. A rebounding machine at Kentucky (10.4 rebounds per game) and a defensive dynamo (4.7 blocks and 1.4 steals per game), the #1 overall pick is expected to step in and make significant contributions in those categories from the very start of his initial NBA season. Unfortunately, you’ll likely have to reach early on in your draft to secure his services, as the big man’s undeniable upside will have fantasy GM’s salivating on draft day.
- Much like Howard, Blake Griffin is another player I will NOT draft next month as his production won’t match his hype – especially in 9-category leagues. The first major issue is the free-throw shooting. Blake averaged 7.1 FT attempts per game last season (6th highest total in the NBA) but converted just 52.1 percent. As noted earlier in regards to D Howard, that’s the worst possible combination – a guy who gets to the line a lot, but misses nearly 50 percent of the time. The free-throw shooting is obviously horrible, but that’s not the only issue. The limited blocks and steals are also a problem. Griffin recorded a total of just 48 blocks during the entire 2011-12 season. Let someone else draft him way too high and then remind that GM that you’d don’t get fantasy points for amazing dunks, as jaw-dropping windmills have the same value in the box score as a boring Tim Duncan bank shot. That said, if you are playing in a 5-cat league, consider this: Blake Griffin finished 2011-12 as the ONLY player in the NBA to average over 20.5 points, 10.5 rebounds and 3.0 assists.
- Nuggets neophyte Kenneth Faried started 39 games last season, averaging 11.0 points, 8.2 rebounds and 0.95 blocks in those games. Additionally, he played 20+ minutes on 34 occasions, averaging 11.9 points, 8.6 rebounds and 1.03 blocks in those contests. Furthermore, among rookies his 7.7 rebounding average and his .586 field goal percentage ranked 1st and his 1.02 blocks ranked 3rd.
- Luol Deng played well in the London Olympics, quieting concerns related to his wrist injury. If Deng is close to 100 percent and remains healthy, he should be able to put up solid scoring numbers for an undermanned Bulls team playing without Derrick Rose.
- Over the final 11 games Glen “Big Baby” Davis played in last season (excluding the final contest in which he left early dude to injury), Davis averaged 17.7 ppg (on 50.6 FG percentage), 9.5 rpg, and 1.5 spg. With Dwight Howard sidelined, Davis was viewed as a crucial source of offensive production. As we know, D12 is in La La Land, which means Big Baby will see the ball early and often in Orlando.
- Ricky Rubio has gone on record recently, explaining that he hopes to return to the hardwood by December or early January. Major upside if he only misses a month or so, and remains healthy the entire season.
- Opportunity and playing time, just as much as talent and skill, are the keys to fantasy success in every sport and at every position. Be at shooting guard, or first base, or quarterback, an athlete can’t produce and contribute to your fantasy squad unless he sees the field/court, etc. The more he plays, the better chance he puts up solid stats. Well, out in Salt Lake, Mo Williams has a legit opportunity to play heavy minutes at PG. With Devin Harris traded to Atlanta (in the Marvin Williams deal), the only PG’s left on the Utah roster are Earl Watson and Jamal Tinsley. Those two averaged 6.7 ppg last season – combined. Mo Will has a chance to put a stranglehold on the starting job if he plays well. And, it should be noted, the Jazz have some solid offensive options, especially down low, which will likely lead to plenty of easy assists. The last time Williams started and played 34+ minutes a night consistently was back in 2009 with the Cavs. He poured in 17.8 ppg for Cleveland during the 2008-09 season, was among the league-leaders in three-pointers, and shot over 91 percent from the free-throw stripe.
- Over the last two seasons combined (139 games), Lou Williams has averaged 20.8 points, 5.0 assists, 3.2 rebounds, 1.8 three-pointers, and 1.0 steals Per-36 minutes.
- With Raymond Felton shipped off to New York, the Blazers starting PG job is up for grabs and the smart money says Lillard takes the gig and runs with it. Heading into camp, it appears his primary competition will be Nolan Smith and Ronnie Price, so it’s not as if the highly touted rookie has to unseat superstar veterans. He was a scoring machine while at Weber State (24.5 ppg as a junior) , and although we can’t put too much stock into college numbers, I’ll highlight two stats that should be intriguing to fantasy GM’s: Lillard nailed nearly three triples per game (shooting an incredibly impressive 41 percent from downtown), yet also attacked the basket on a nightly basis, attempting eight free-throws per game and converting at an 89 percent clip from the charity stripe. The combination of starter’s minutes and an enticing skill set is undeniably promising.
- Royce White played point-forward for Iowa State and led his team in just about every statistical category you could imagine. He finished the season averaging 13.4 points (shooting 53.4 percent from the floor), 9.3 rebounds, 5.0 assists, 0.9 blocks, and 1.2 steals. To help put those numbers in perspective, consider this: Royce White averaged more points than Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, more rebounds than Andre Drummond and more than twice as many assists as Austin Rivers.