All rankings are for 9-cat H2H leagues unless otherwise noted. All player positions are from Yahoo Fantasy Basketball. 

1) Anthony Davis (PF/C) – He’s the only player who has a shot at dethroning Durant. However, until the Brow shows that he can play 75+ games, it’s tough to take him before LeBron.

2) Kevin Love (PF/C) – Yes, he’ll take a hit playing next to LeBron, but don’t expect a Chris Bosh-like drop in value. Even in Toronto, Bosh was never the fantasy asset that Love was. Love’s value will come down but he has room to fall. Last season, according to BBM, Love was roughly twice as valuable as the 19th ranked Joakim Noah. His rebounding and three-point shooting keep his ceiling in the top 15. The FG% bump that comes with playing with LeBron will help offset the decrease in counting stats.

3) LaMarcus Aldridge (PF/C) – Aldridge has finished in the top 13 four years in a row. He doesn’t have top-5 upside, but there isn’t a safer pick at the end of the first round. If you miss out on the top eight, grab Aldridge and roll the dice later.

4) Al Jefferson (PF/C) – Similar to Aldridge in that he’s not a sexy pick but a smart one. The addition of Lance Stephenson could bump his FG% even higher than his already very useful 51%. There’s some upside here when it comes to blocks. Jefferson has averaged 1.1 BPG over the last two seasons but posted back-to-back 1.6 BPG and 1.7 BPG in 2010-2011 and 2011-2012.

5) Serge Ibaka (PF/C) – His value is obviously heavily dependent on blocks but he’s also an elite FG% anchor (53.6% on 12.1 FGA), and gives you a huge leg up on the competition when it comes to TOs (1.5 TOPG). An ideal target around the turn for those planning to punt assists (1.0 APG).

6) Dirk Nowitzki (PF/C) – Dirk has only finished outside of the top 10 once in last 14 years. No that is not a typo. While clearly no longer in his prime, remains an elite fantasy option due to his incredibly clean line that includes a top three FT% impact and microscopic TOs (1.4 TOPG).

7) DeMarcus Cousins (PF/C) – Cousins’ line is the opposite of clean. He’s going to kill you at the line (72.6% on a whopping 8.4 FTA), be up and down from the field, and turn the ball over a ton (3.5 TOs). However, his upside and versatility (1.5 SPG, 1.3 BPG) more than make up for the messiness.

8) Al Horford (PF/C) – His pectoral injury is an extremely rare basketball injury (it’s more common in football) so I’m hesitant to call him an injury risk despite all the missed games over the last three years. Horford, when he’s on the court, is a very good bet for first-round value. He’s done it in the past and was posting top 15 value before going down last season. Only Andre Drummond and LeBron had a larger FG% impact than Horford last season.

9) Andre Drummond (PF/C) – Speaking of Drummond, the young Piston center has officially become the core piece of the FT% punt build. He won’t give you the points Dwight does, but his lack of TOs (1.3 TOPG) is a breath of fresh air for a build that has traditionally been difficult to pull off without punting turnovers as well.

10) Chris Bosh (PF/C) – With LeBron in Cleveland and Dwyane Wade being a walking injury, we’ll find out if Bosh still has it. I wouldn’t expect a return to his Toronto numbers but 20 points, nine rebounds, a block, and great percentages is a reasonable prediction.

11) Blake Griffin (PF/C) – He’s finally respectable enough from the line (71.5%) to be useful outside of a punt FT% build. Griffin is a great source of out-of-position assists (3.9 APG) and steals (1.2 SPG).

12) Paul Millsap (PF/C) – Millsap is a great source of out-of-position steals (1.7 SPG) and threes (1.0). Millsap was still flirting with top 20 value before the Horford injury so draft him with confidence.

13) Marc Gasol (C) – His 85% from the line in 2012-2013 looked fluky and it proved to be with Marc’s FT% falling to 76.8% in 2013-2014. Assuming his FT% remains close to his career rate of 75%, his value will be determined by his swats. Last season Gasol saw his blocks dip to 1.3 per night from 1.7 in 2012-2013.

14) DeAndre Jordan (C) – DeAndre is obviously a tough player to have on your team if you’re not punting FT% (only Dwight had a larger negative impact from the line) but is an absolute must-grab if you are punting FT% due to his elite rebounding (13.6 RPG), blocks (2.5 BPG), and FG% (67.6 FG%) and his sneaky steals production (1.0 SPG).

15) Joakim Noah (PF/C) – It’s difficult to know what we’ll get from Noah this season. He’s an injury risk who managed to stay healthy last season despite a massive increase in his role. Rose is back, but it’s fair to wonder for how long. The last time Rose was healthy, Noah barely posted top 50 value. Noah is a better player now but his value is directly tied to Rose’s knees. This is too high if Rose stays healthy and too low if he doesn’t.

16) Nikola Vucevic (PF/C) – He’s known for his rebounding (11.0 RPG in only 31.8 MPG), but Vuc is also a sneaky source of steals (1.1 SPG) and doesn’t hurt you from the line (76.6 FT%).

17) Dwight Howard (PF/C) – He’s no longer the dominant punt-FT% force that he once was due to his sudden lack of steals (0.8 SPG) but is still a great target if you’re punting FT%. A LeBron-Howard punt FT% is extremely doable this year. That will definitely be recommended when I write up my punting strategy articles.

18) Tim Duncan (PF/C) – You know what you’re going to get from him. A double-double with two blocks and a whole lot of updating Rotoworld for last minute sits during the fantasy playoffs.

19) Marcin Gortat (C) – Gortat posted top-35 value over the last three months of season. He’ll hurt you a bit from the line (68.6 FT%) but he’ll get you a double-double and a 1.5 swats every night. The Polish Hammer is also one of the better FG% anchors available in the middle of the draft (54.2 FG% on 10.4 FGA).

20) Robin Lopez (C) – Brook may have the early round upside, but I’ll take Fropez. Lines don’t get much cleaner than the less-heralded Lopez brother. He’s very good from the line (81.8 FT%) and never turns over the ball (1.0 TOPG). Throw in 8.5 RPG and 1.7 BPG and you have yourself a stud. Lopez posted top-20 value over the last two months of the season.

21) Derrick Favors (PF/C) – There’s not many players with more breakout potential than Favors. He didn’t truly breakout last season but still managed to post top 60 value despite shooting 66.9% from the line. That top-60 finish included a top-30 performance over the last two months of the season. He should be a very good source of defensive stats this year (1.0 SPG and 1.5 BPG).

22) Brook Lopez (C) – There’s first-round upside here but Lopez is not your run-of-the-mill injury risk. Lopez has only played in 96 of the Nets’ last 230 regular season games.

23) David Lee (PF/C) – Draymond Green is a legitimate threat to Lee’s value but he’s still going to give you close to a double-double every night on very good percentages (52.3 FG% and 78.0 FT%).

24) Tyson Chandler (C) – Last season, Chandler fell victim to the mess that was the New York Knicks and saw his averages drop to a paltry 8.7 PPG and 9.6 RPG. Expect a bounce back now that he is back in Dallas. In 2012-2013, Chandler had the fourth largest positive impact on FG%.

25) Nerlens Noel (PF/C) – Wiggins and Parker have all the hype, but this is the rookie you want this year. Noel is very likely to have a very strong impact on FG%, rebounds, and blocks but the thing that makes him really intriguing is his potential for steals. At Kentucky, Noel averaged 2.1 SPG. He’ll likely be babied by the Sixers but he projects as a per minute monster.

26) Larry Sanders (PF/C) – It’s hard to trust him after the disaster that was his 2013-2014 season, but he’s got more upside than anyone else left on the board at this point in the draft. He’s the type of pick that can win you your league. It’s not a large sample size but over Sander’s last ten games of the season, he was posting top-65 value.

27) Jordan Hill (PF/C) – Hill’s always been a per minute beast and should finally get the run he deserves with the Lakers having next to nothing up front. Incredibly, over the last two months of the season, Hill posted top-35 numbers despite only playing 24.3 MPG. With D’Antoni gone the only thing that can hold back Hill is his health.

28) Jonas Valanciunas (C) – Jonas busted last season but he showed promise down the stretch of the regular season (top-40 value over the last month of the season) and during the playoffs. A major reason why he didn’t crack the top-100 was that his block rate fell of a cliff. After posting 1.3 BPG in only 23.9 MPG as a rookie, Big V regressed to 0.9 BPG in 28.2 MPG as a sophomore. I’m not sure that his blocks will recover this season. Jonas’ weight gain has seemed to sap quite a bit of his explosiveness. On the positive side, Dwane Casey seemed to trust Val more down the stretch so his minutes should be played around with less this year.

29) Amir Johnson (PF/C) – Amir’s health, as it usually is, was an issue for most of the season which lead to a decrease in his defensive stats (0.7 SPG and 1.1 BPG in 2013-2014 vs 1.0 SPG and 1.4 BPG in 2012-2013). Patrick Patterson has carved himself out a nice role but Amir remains the Raptors defensive anchor and should still see his usual 28 MPG.

30) Roy Hibbert (C) – It’s not like it can get any worse for Hibbert. It’s pretty difficult to shoot under 44% from the field when you’re 7’2 but Hibbert pulled that off in a spectacular fashion last season. Regardless of whether he fixes the issues between his ears, he’ll be better this year due to volume. Obviously, there will be more shots to go around but we should also see his rebounding improve due to the loss of George and Stephenson. Both are very good rebounders for their position.

31) Ryan Anderson (PF/C) – The injury to Anderson’s neck was extremely serious. Expect the Pelicans to bring Anderson along very slowly. He’s still a good bet for 2+ 3PG, but the injury combined with the signing of Omer Asik makes him a risky mid-round pick.

32) Markieff Morris (PF/C) – With Channing Frye in Orlando thanks to one of the worst free agent deals I’ve ever seen, Morris should finally be unleashed. He’s easily the most talented player in the Suns’ frontcourt and posted top-100 value last season despite only 26 minutes a night. He’s scoring will be his main contribution but with the extended minutes, he also has an outside chance of joining the one three/one steal/one block club. Morris posted 0.6 3P36, 1.1 SP36, 0.9 BP36 last season.

33) Pau Gasol (PF/C) – Pau turned an awful start into a top-50 finish thanks to his top-20 production over the final three months of the season. The Gasol-Thibs match is a little scary. Thibs runs his players into the ground and Gasol has been very fragile the last three seasons. He’ll be a good sell-high candidate if he starts off hot.

34) Josh McRoberts (PF/C) – McBob is a great glue guy to have on your team and an excellent target for those punting points (8.5 PPG). He is an excellent source of out-of-position dimes (4.3 APG) and threes (1.3 3PG). With Miami having little up front and Bosh not being much of a rebounder these days, expect McRoberts to improve on the pedestrian 4.8 RPG that he averaged in 2013-2014.

35) Greg Monroe (PF/C) – His FT% (65.7 FT%) continues to regress and be a major drag on his value. In addition to his charity stripe woes, his role is up in the air with the Pistons wanting to play Josh Smith more at PF. Still he’s a solid source of steals (1.2 SPG) and will give you close to a double-double every night.

36) Andrew Bogut (C) – Another great punt points target. Bogut missed 15 games last season but for Bogut, that’s a very good sign. Bogut is elite in three categories: rebounding (10.0 RPG), blocks (1.8 BPG) and FG% impact (62.7 FG% but on only 5.6 FGA). Just watch out for his horrendous free throw shooting. Bogut somehow managed to have the 28th largest negative FT% impact despite only shooting 1.0 freebies a night. That’s what shooting 34.4% from the line will do.

37) Anderson Varejao (PF/C) – Very good per minute player who you will want to sell high if he starts off hot. Last season was the first time in four years that Varejao has played over 31 games. A better bet to stay on the court now that the Cavs are playing for something. While healthy he’ll give you very solid rebounding (9.7 RPG) and steals (1.1 SPG). Expect his FG% (49.5 FG%) to rise with LeBron in town. The last time LeBron wore a Cavs uniform, Varejao shot 57.2% from the floor.

38) Timofey Mozgov (C) – Brian Shaw did not enjoy his time with JaVale McGee last season (18.1 MPG). There’s a good chance that JaVale will be in the doghouse once again, especially after Mozgov broke out down the stretch of last season. Over his last 16 games of the season, Mozgov posted a very healthy 13.8 PPG, 8.7 RPG, 1.2 BPG on 55.1% shooting. As an added bonus, Mosgov doesn’t hurt you from the line (75.4 FT%).

39) Gorgui Dieng (C) – Pek is a great bet to breakdown and there’s already talk of limiting his minutes. Enter the beast that is Gorgui Dieng. Over the last month of the season Dieng averaged an incredible 12.0 PPG, 11.4 RPG, 1.0 SPG, and 1.3 BPG on 52.0 FG%. He may start off slow due to Pek’s presence but it’s only a matter of time before he gets extended run. Reach for him.

40) Nikola Pekovic (C) – Pek has never played in more than 65 games in any of his four years in the NBA. I don’t see that changing with the Wolves going through a rebuilding year as he’ll have little incentive to play through injuries. Expect to see a lot of Gorgui Dieng this season. When healthy, Pek will be a strong source of points (17.5 PPG), rebounds (8.7%), and FG% impact (54.1 FG% on 13 FGA). Just don’t expect anything else (0.9 APG, 0.6 SPG, 0.4 BPG).

41) Zach Randolph (PF/C) – After a slow start, Zach posted top-85 value over the last three months of the season. He’s really only a two-category player (17.4 PPG, 10.1 RPG) but is a good target for those punting blocks (0.3 BPG).

42) JaVale McGee (C) – I know I bashed him a bit when discussing Mozgov, but at this point in the draft, it’s all about upside. You’ll drop most of the players that you draft after the 10th round anyways so you might as well swing for the fences. Even if McGee busts again, he should be good for 2+ swats a night and very strong FG% impact (57.4 FG% in 2012-2013).

43) John Henson (PF/C) – Henson looked like he was about to explode at the beginning of the season but cooled off considerably down the stretch. Despite playing 25.3 minutes a night, Henson didn’t even post top-200 value over the last three months of the year. There’s upside here though. Henson averaged a very healthy 2.1 BP36 last season. He’s a good end-of-the-draft target for those punting FT% (51.4 FT%).

44) Taj Gibson (PF/C) – The signing of Pau Gasol was a buzzkill to those hoping Taj would take over Boozer’s old role. He won’t break out unless Pau goes down but Pau going down is basically a given. Even if Gibson’s minutes remain below 30 a night, he’ll still provide decent rebounding (6.8 RPG) and block numbers (1.4 BPG).

45) Mason Plumlee (PF/C) – He has two of the most injury prone players in the league in front of him and is coming off a rookie campaign in which he finished as a top-90 player on a per 36 basis. Plumlee is one of the best FG% (65.9 FG%) sources going outside of the top-100. Despite only playing 18.2 MPG last season, Plumlee had the 13th-largest positive impact on FG%.

46) Channing Frye (PF/C) – Frye’s inexplicable 4 year/$32M is a pretty good indicator that they plan on giving him serious minutes despite their stable of young PFs. Frye will give you elite out-of-position threes (2.0 3PG), decent blocks (0.8 BPG), and low turnovers (1.1 TOPG).


47) Jared Sullinger (PF/C) – He’ll never be a stud due to his lack of defensive stats (0.5 SPG, 0.7 BPG) but Sully should hold some end-of-the-bench value due to his scoring (13.3 PPG), rebounding (8.1 RPG), and out-of-position threes (0.8 3PG). Sullinger is a good late-round target for those punting FG% (42.7 FG%).

48) Brandan Wright (PF/C) – Wright as always, posted elite per 36 numbers. And by elite, I mean really elite. We’re talking 7th overall elite. Unfortunately, Rick Carlisle continues to refuse to give Wright even decent bench minutes (18.6 MPG). This is unlikely to change with Tyson Chandler in town so Wright will remain a late-round FG% anchor (7th highest FG% impact in 2013-2014) who will also chip in a block a night (0.9 BPG). Wright is a better roto pick than H2H pick.

49) Carlos Boozer (PF/C) – Boozer is now a two-category player as he now struggles to score efficiently (45.6 FG%). Moving from the Bulls’ last-ranked offense to a more free following offense in Los Angeles should help but there’s still no way he breaks the top-100 due to his complete lack of defensive stats (0.7 SPG, 0.3 BPG).

50) Kelly Olynyk (C) – His rookie year wasn’t overly impressive and the Canadian failed to post top-200 value. However, he showed some signs of life down the stretch, posting 17.0 PPG, 1.3 3PG, and 7.7 RPG on 55.3% shooting from the floor over the last seven games of the season. Keep your expectations very low on the defensive end (0.5 SPG, 0.4 BPG).

51) Steven Adams (C) – Adams has been a monster in his first four preseason games and looks like he will take the starting center spot from Kendrick Perkins. In those four preseason games, Adams averaged 17.0 PPG, 6.5 RPG, 1.8 SPG, and 1.8 BPG on 76.9 FG%. If Adams does end up cracking the starting lineup, he should be a good source of defensive stats, rebounds, and FG%. His upside is capped by his his poor passing (1.1 APG) and struggles at the line (58.1 FT%). Adams is a great late-round target for those punting FT% or punting both FT% and points.

52) Kyle O’Quinn (PF/C) – O’Quinn won’t get the run he did last season, but has a chance to have some value due to his top-40 per 36 minute numbers. Last season, over the last three months of the year, O’Quinn provided top-100 value despite only playing 21.4 MPG. Even in limited minutes, he’ll be a decent source of rebounds (5.3 RPG) and blocks (1.3 BPG).

53) Omer Asik (C) – For FT% punters only. Asik is a rebounding specialist who’s block rate has fallen off a cliff since leaving Chicago. In his last year as a starter, Asik couldn’t crack the top-170 despite playing 30.0 MPG. With Anthony Davis and Ryan Anderson also in the Pelicans frontcourt, Asik’s minutes may end up south of 30 a night.

54) Chris Andersen (PF/C) – His role shouldn’t change much despite all the roster turnover the Heat have experienced. Birdman will give you blocks (1.3 BPG), FG% impact (64.4 FG%) and not much else.

55) Andrea Bargnani (PF/C) – Despite disappointing in his first year in New York, Bargs showed some promising signs from a fantasy perspective. After three straight years of averaging under a block a game, Bargs put up 1.2 a night last season. A block and a three a game to go along with 13+ points is possible. That would easily make Bargnani rosterable.

56) Henry Sims (C) – Sims will likely start next to Noel and while he won’t block much (0.4 BPG), if he gets 28+ minutes he could push for 12 points and 8 rebounds a night. Last season, Sims per 36 averages included 14.4 points and 9.9 rebounds.

57) Miles Plumlee (PF/C) – The Suns have next to nothing up front so Plumlee should continue to start. He’ll hurt you from the line (56.1 FT%) but is a good, late source of rebounds (7.8 RPG) and block (1.1 BPG).



1 comment

  1. chwilowki

    Nice points.

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