Fantasy Basketball Top 50 For 2014

by Will Overton

There has been some shakeup in these rankings since the preseason started due to some injuries, including an injury to what used to be my number one guy. Sleepers are important to pinpoint, but there is an importance in nailing your first few picks as well if you’re going to excel in your league. With that in mind I have my top 50 rankings for standard roto leagues using eight categories (FG%, FT%, PTS, REBS, ASTS, STLS, BLKS, 3PM).

  1. LeBron James – SF, Cleveland Cavaliers
  2. Stephen Curry – PG, Golden State Warriors
  3. Anthony Davis – PF/C, New Orleans Pelicans
  4. James Harden – SG, Houston Rockets
  5. Chris Paul – PG, Los Angeles Clippers
  6. Russell Westbrook – PG, Oklahoma City Thunder
  7. DeMarcus Cousins – PF/C, Sacramento Kings
  8. Carmelo Anthony – SF, New York Knicks
  9. John Wall – PG, Washington Wizards
  10. Kevin Love – PF, Cleveland Cavaliers
  11. LaMarcus Aldridge – PF, Portland Trail Blazers
  12. Kevin Durant – SF, Oklahoma City Thunder
  13. Damian Lillard – PG, Portland Trail Blazers
  14. Kyrie Irving – PG, Cleveland Cavaliers
  15. Joakim Noah – C, Chicago Bulls
  16. Kyle Lowry – PG, Toronto Raptors
  17. Chris Bosh – PF/C, Miami Heat
  18. Al Jefferson – C, Charlotte Hornets
  19. Blake Griffin – PF, Los Angeles Clippers
  20. Paul Millsap – PF, Atlanta Hawks
  21. Ty Lawson – PG, Denver Nuggets
  22. Serge Ibaka – PF, Oklahoma City Thunder
  23. Marc Gasol – C, Memphis Grizzlies
  24. Mike Conley – PG, Memphis Grizzlies
  25. Dirk Nowitzki – PF, Dallas Mavericks
  26. Nicolas Batum – SF, Portland Trail Blazers
  27. Kawhi Leonard – SF, San Antonio Spurs
  28. Al Horford – C, Atlanta Hawks
  29. Rudy Gay – SF, Sacramento Kings
  30. Dwight Howard – C, Houston Rockets
  31. Goran Dragic – PG, Phoenix Suns
  32. Eric Bledsoe – PG/SG, Phoenix Suns
  33. Klay Thompson – SG, Golden  State Warriors
  34. Derrick Rose – PG, Chicago Bulls
  35. DeMar DeRozan – SG, Toronto Raptors
  36. Monta Ellis – PG/SG, Dallas Mavericks
  37. Kemba Walker – PG, Charlotte Hornets
  38. Andre Drummond – C, Detroit Pistons
  39. Chandler Parsons – SF, Dallas Mavericks
  40. Kenneth Faried – PF, Denver Nuggets
  41. Michael Carter-Williams – PG, Philadelphia 76ers
  42. Derrick Favors – PF/C, Utah Jazz
  43. Dwayne Wade – SG, Miami Heat
  44. DeAndre Jordan – C, Los Angeles Clippers
  45. Tim Duncan – PF, San Antonio Spurs
  46. Nikola Vucevic – C, Orlando Magic
  47. Kobe Bryant – SG, Los Angeles Lakers
  48. David Lee – PF, Golden State Warriors
  49. Gordon Hayward – SF, Utah Jazz
  50. Lance Stephenson – SG, Charlotte Hornets

 

  • With Kevin Durant out for the start of the season it was really a three man race for the number one spot and I chose to go with the sure thing, LeBron James. I don’t worry about injuries with James and I know what he’s going to do for my team, and that’s contribute in just about every category across the board.
  • Speaking of Kevin Durant, he comes in at number 12 for me in my rankings. A lot of places I have seen Durant still being ranked in the top 10, but I can’t see him being a first round pick. He should only miss 20 games or so, but the Thunder won’t rush him back until he’s completely ready and a lot can happen, no two recoveries from these injuries are the same. Taking Durant in the top 10 is a risk.
  • By looking at other rankings around the internet I find that I tend to be higher on Joakim Noah than most are. I love Noah’s do it all kind of approach to the game. Noah is a game changer on defense and it shows in his defensive stats. He’s also building up a more well rounded offensive game to pair with it, a game that includes being a very underrated interior passer which gets him a surprising amount of big man assists.
  • You may also find that I am a little bit lower on Serge Ibaka than most. Chances are you’re more likely to find Ibaka where I have Noah and Noah where I have Ibaka. I love the improvements that Serge Ibaka made last season and I have no problem with someone taking in the second round. For me though he falls just outside the top 20. He improved his rebounding numbers, but he’s still not elite there. He’s an elite shot blocker for sure, but he only gets you pretty standard points and rebounding production for his position.
  • As a player in the NBA Rudy Gay tends to draw a lot of heat, but fantasy owners shouldn’t let that cloud their thinking when it comes to drafting. Gay is one of the better scorers in the league, he’s a solid rebounder for the small forward position and he gives you good production in steals while giving you something in blocks and threes as well. Gay is seen as one dimensional in the NBA game, but he’s far from it in fantasy.
  • Most of the attention in the Golden State Splash Brothers combination goes to Stephen Curry. Still, Klay Thompson deserves his due respect. This guy is one of the league’s premier shooters, hitting 42% of his threes last season and making 2.8 per game. He’s still developing some of the other areas of his game, but he’s making progress and he’s on his way to being a star in this league I think.
  • Last season wasn’t the coming out party we expected it to be for Derrick Favors, but whose to say this won’t be it. Favors has the upside to be a double-double machine and he’s got a chance to be DeMarcus Cousins with a little bit less offensive game. He blocks shots and gets steals which is a nice combo for a big and he doesn’t turn the ball over a ton. Is the ceiling as high as we once thought? I don’t really know. But are you going to complain if you get 15-10-2-1 from him this season?
  • Am I too low on Kobe Bryant? Maybe I am. I honestly hope that I am, because I want to see old Kobe out there lighting it up night in and night out. My concern is that the Lakers keep him locked into no more than 30 MPG and that’s going to take a toll on his offensive numbers. I think Kobe is going to have to settle for more jumpers now than ever and be more of a distributor. If can do that and be successful than I am going to be wrong, but I think he’s too risky before round four or even five.

4 comments

  1. ML says:

    I don’t know what it is in Noah or in Ibaka that you have Noah in front of Ibaka about half a round… to me that’s just ridiculous…

    2013-2014 Stats: (After FGA/FTA the stats are pts/reb/ast/stl/blk/TO)
    Noah – .475FG on 10.0 FGA, .737FT on 4.2 FTA, 12.6/11.3/5.4/1.2/1.5/2.4
    Ibaka – .536FG on 12.1 FGA, .784FT on 2.5FTA, 15.1/8.8/1.0/0.5/2.7/1.5

    To me Noah’s FG is unacceptable for a PF/C, and his FT% is a problem due to his 4.2 attempts. Ibaka shoots a lot better in both areas and his positive FG contribution is a lot higher than Noah.
    Noah is elite in rebounding and elite in assist at his position, but do you expect him to dish 5.4 times with Rose and Gasol around? Come on…
    Ibaka blocks more than one shot more than Noah, and that’s not to be overlooked. As scarce as block sources are out there, Ibaka can really carry a team in that category.

    In Yahoo last year Ibaka’s average rank was 11 and Noah was 19. Maybe the gap reduces this year but it’s difficult to predict Noah outproducing Ibaka with a margin of pick 15 and pick 22…

    I reckon your rankings need to be a little more objective for certain players…

    • Will Overton says:

      It comes down to me placing more value on Noah and his all-around game then Ibaka who I see as a bit more one dimensional. I see both guys being elite on one category, but you get more across the board contributions from Noah.

      I’ve always been a bit lower on Ibaka than most people in fantasy basketball, and I see where others arguments come from, I just prefer more all-around types early and then target specific categories in the mid/late rounds.

      • ML says:

        I agree Noah is more all around, but you have to recognize that each stat carries significantly different value. One block for example is probably 10 times more valuable than one point scored in fantasy.

        Throw in a gimpy knee Noah has already before the season started, I’d leave Noah outside of top 25 to be honest, and rather draft Ibaka, Jefferson, Bosh and Horford in front of Noah… heck I’d probably be more willing to scoop up Drummond before Noah – Drummond could return top 10 value if FT is punted correctly in 9cat leagues…

        By the way on a side note, Rudy Gay’s FG% with IT3 on the bench last season was awful… there’s some risk taking him in the top 30 to be quite honest… I’d feel more comfortable drafting him in the early 4th… Klay Thompson should go in front of Gay for example – he’s pretty much in a contract year (RFA after the season)

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