Here is the final installment of my top 200 rankings for this year along with a couple comments on each guy who cracked the top 50. Feel free to leave a comment with your agreements or disagreements. Both are very welcome.
1. Kevin Durant – SF, Oklahoma City: He’s the most prolific scorer in the NBA these days and he can do just about everything else too. Another assist per game might be nice, and a decrease in turnovers, but now we’re just being nitpicky.
2. Chris Paul – PG, New Orleans: He’s closer than some think to number one. If for no other reason than he is the most dominant player at possibly the most important position.
3. Lebron James – SF, Miami: I think the nay sayers who assume his move to Miami is going to reduce his fantasy value are greatly overestimating things. He’s going to be just fine and there really isn’t much separating these top 3 for me.
4. Dirk Nowitzki –PF, Dallas: Maybe the most consistent guy in all the NBA. He’s basically a lock for 24 and 7 at the least, with plenty more to go with it.
5. Kobe Bryant – SG, Los Angeles Lakers: Not sure why so many people have Kobe towards the back end of the top 10 other than they’re bored with him. He’s good for 25-5-5 and contributes something to nearly every category without hurting you in any.
6. Dwayne Wade – SG, Miami: Oddly enough the people who think the new Heat team hurts Lebron thinks it makes Wade better. I think they’re both going to continue to be close to what they’ve been. Look for more to come soon on this topic though.
7. Deron Williams – PG, Utah: Does he get better or worse without Boozer? I think he maintains, though he may get a little closer to the 20 point mark this year.
8. Danny Granger – SF, Indiana: If he is healthy he is an elite scorer, and I think Darren Collison is only going to make him better. He is the Pacers offense so he should score plenty, possibly top 3 in the league.
9. Stephen Curry – PG, Golden State: Looking at the stats he amassed from February on will make you shudder with excitement considering he is still getting better. The coaching change may be a wildcard, but I think Curry is the kind of guy who can adept to any system.
10. Dwight Howard – C, Orlando: I can’t argue with the people who have him lower, but the fact that he can almost win you two categories, send your FG% through the roof and is still getting better offensively makes him worth the free throw woes. Just be prepared to adjust your draft strategy if you take him.
11. Pau Gasol – PF, Los Angeles Lakers: He gets the points, boards and blocks without killing you on turnovers or FT%.
12. Amare Stoudemire – PF/C, New York: Amare should settle right into New York and the familiar system. His last season with D’Antoni as coach he scored 25 points and grabbed 9 boards per game.
13. Carmelo Anthony – SF, Denver: I think Carmelo is actually underrated in terms of fantasy leagues. The only difference between him and Granger are the threes and he is a better rebounder.
14. David Lee – PF/C, Golden State: I’m not completely sold on Lee repeating what he did in New York, but he should at least come close to it. I will be going more in depth on Lee in the next couple days.
15. Jason Kidd – PG, Dallas: He may not score much, but he is one of the best in the categories that you look for in a PG; steals, 3’s and assists. Until he starts showing signs of his age or losing minutes it won’t stop me from taking him.
16. Brook Lopez – C, New Jersey: He’s closing the gap between him and Superman as the best center and this is only his third season. Expect him to continue progressing this year.
17. Steve Nash – PG, Phoenix: Just like Kidd I am not ready to give up on Nash when we aren’t really seeing signs of him slowing down. Losing Stoudemire inside hurts, but it isn’t enough to drop him out of the 2nd round.
18. Gerald Wallace – SF, Charlotte: Turning into a fantasy stat stuffing machine. If he keeps working on his jumper he’ll close in on the top 10 next season.
19. Brandon Roy – SG, Portland: He does a little of everything and he doesn’t turn the ball over as much as similar players. I anticipate a bit of a jump in 3’s this year, closer to 1.5 per game.
20. Andre Iguodala – SG/SF, Philadelphia: The only thing keeping him from jumping Roy is the turnovers and the fact that he sometimes tries to do too much because he is playing on a bad team. He’ll take the next step if he eliminates some of the mistakes.
21. Chris Bosh – PF, Miami: If the formation of the big 3 hurts anyone it’s Bosh who was the whole show in Toronto and will now be the third option on offense. Lebron’s presence inside may also take away a rebound or two as well.
22. Rajon Rondo – PG, Boston: He’s coming into his own and we saw it in the playoffs. But don’t let what we saw in the playoffs shoot him to far up this list. Until he starts making some 3’s and free throws he won’t go any higher than this for me.
23. Tyreke Evans – PG/SG, Sacramento: I like him better at the 2 spot than the point, but he just makes things happen when he has the ball. Last season was good, this season should be even better.
24. Josh Smith – PF, Atlanta: He does a little bit of everything but the defensive stats are what puts him here. The perfect compliment to someone like Kobe. And the 4 assists a game are just gravy.
25. Chauncey Billups – PG, Denver: Another vet trying to stave off the crop of young PG’s. The drop in assists is a bit worrisome and if Carmelo is traded it’s hard to imagine them coming back.
26. Monta Ellis – PG/SG, Golden State: If a coaching change hurts anyone it’s Monta Ellis who is made for the uptempo pace of basketball. That said I don’t think it’s a big deal. He will be splitting touches a lot more with Curry and David Lee though and he has to cut out some turnovers.
27. Al Jefferson – PF/C, Utah: I love this guy in Utah. One of my favorite moves of the offseason. Deron Williams should do big things for his career and I expect him to be the number one scoring option as he gets back over 20 points a game.
28. Joe Johnson – SG/SF, Atlanta: He’s right there with Roy and Iggy and he could easily play much better than this ranking this year.
29. Rudy Gay – SF, Memphis: He started to come into his own and I think he takes the next step this year. Memphis is a good young team and Gay is the best player on that team.
30. Al Horford – PF/C, Atlanta: You don’t hear much about him, but he is about as consistent as they come. It’d be nice to see him take another step forward on the offensive end.
31. Paul Pierce – SF, Boston: Pierce is still the man, but I’m not sure if he has many more 20 point per game seasons left. I think where he finished last year (18 ppg) is closer to what you’ll see again.
32. Tim Duncan – PF, San Antonio: Maybe the most boring pick in the draft, but you can’t go wrong here. Especially considering his above average FT% and minimal turnovers.
33. Darren Collison – PG, Indiana: I love Collison as a started in Indiana. 18.8 ppg and 9.1 apg as a starter last year. Expect something similar, with maybe a couple less points.
34. David West – PF, New Orleans: He’s still Chris Paul’s favorite guy to look for and West knows what he’s doing when he gets the ball inside. Also one of the best FT shooting big men.
35. Troy Murphy – PF, New Jersey: He could very well be the focal point of the New Jersey offense this season and put up a career high for points per game.
36. O.J. Mayo – SG, Memphis: He needs to take the next step both for Memphis and for his fantasy owners. He should close in on 20 points a game this year and take another step forward beyond the arc.
37. Russell Westbrook – PG, Oklahoma City: He did a lot of really good thing last year. But there are to many thing he doesn’t do well still to elicit a spot higher than this.
38. Marc Gasol – C, Memphis: He might give some of the guys above him at Center a run for their money this year. 15 points and 10 boards per game is easily within reach.
39. Aaron Brooks – PG, Houston: He’s Houston’s best player and while he might not lead the team in scoring he’ll score plenty of points and hopefully add a couple more assists this year. If he does that he gains a few spots on this list.
40. Lamarcus Aldridge – PF, Portland: A lot like Horford in that he goes about his business and no one pays him any attention. At this point though I think he’s about where he’ll stay 18 points and 8 boards.
41. Zach Randolph – PF, Memphis: Someone in Memphis is bound to take a hit scoring and I don’ think it’s Mayo or Gay. Even still though he should amass 17 – 18 points a game and 8 – 9 boards at least.
42. Eric Gordon – SG, Los Angeles Clippers: I think this guy is the future of the Clippers, not Blake Griffin. He got better last year and he’ll get better again this year. He has to learn how to take over a game though.
43. Kevin Love – PF, Minnesota: This is one guy who could fly up the board quickly if things come together for him. I think a lot of his success though is dependent on how he’s used by Kurt Rambis.
44. Danilo Gallinari – SF, New York: He’ll need more than 15 points a game to justify this ranking. And seeing how I have him here I obviously think he’ll get there.
45. Derrick Rose – PG, Chicago: Losing Boozer for a couple months hurts, but what he really needs is to develop some range. With Noah and Boozer inside he should get a lot of good looks from three point land.
46. Manu Ginobili – SG, San Antonio: Much like his teammate Tim Duncan, and frankly his whole team, he isn’t the sexiest pick to make, but he’s so solid across the board he’s hard to pass up at this point.
47. Baron Davis – PG, Los Angeles Clippers: He was higher on the list before the out of shape stuff started coming out. He put up good numbers last year and if he has his head right they should be even better this year with Gordon and Griffin hopefully take some of the load from him.
48. Nene Hilario – PF/C, Denver: I was hesitant to put Nene this high because there are so many big men in Denver vying for playing time, but none of them are as good as Nene. The more court time he has with Al Harrington the more rebounds he’ll grab as well as Harrington isn’t one to hang around inside.
49. Antwan Jamison – PF, Cleveland: It’s up to Antwan and Mo Williams to save some face for Cleveland. I don’t know how many wins they’ll get, but Jamison should score plenty of points. He’ll just have to take planty of shots to do it.
50. Andrea Bargnani – C, Toronto: If he can manage to grab some of the boards that will be there with Bosh gone and not lose his three point game to do it than he’ll outplay this ranking. Not convinced he does it.