Football is back, but for fantasy hoops players that means one thing. It’s time to prepare for your fantasy basketball drafts! With nearly all of the offseason moves done and dusted, (still looking at you, Eric Bledsoe), it’s time to begin releasing my fantasy basketball rankings for the 2014-15 season.
Yesterday, I released the top 10, which you can find here, and in that piece, I also explain the rationale behind how my rankings work.
The rankings I’ll be presenting are for eight category leagues and take into account each players best six categories.. For each player, I’ll mention which two categories I’ve excluded from my calculations.
The Next Rung
11. Russell Westbrook, PG, Oklahoma City Thunder (Blocks, Field Goal Percentage)
Westbrook has been a per-game beast in eight category leagues, finishing in the top 10 in the past four seasons, even as he shook off the rust last season from multiple knee surgeries. Excluding his sub par shooting, Westbrook could easily be a top 10 guy again. Remember, before last season, Westbrook had never missed a game. Ever.
12. Carmelo Anthony, SF/PF, New York Knicks (Blocks, Field Goal Percentage)
Melo has been at his best the last two seasons, and there’s no real reason to think his play will regress. The Knicks have nothing else, as Seth Klein and I discussed on the Knicks’ Preview Podcast, and the switch to the triangle, should hurt his value. Sure, it will change, with some more assists, maybe less rebounds, but overall, Melo is the man.
13. DeAndre Jordan, C, Los Angeles Clippers (Three-Pointers, Free Throw Percentage)
Much like Dwight Howard and Andre Drummond, who both sneaked into the top 10, Jordan is a head-to-head beast. You punt his horrid free throw shooting and reap the benefits of league leading rebounding numbers and elite blocks. Doc Rivers was the best thing to ever happen to Jordan.
14. Blake Griffin, PF, Los Angeles Clippers (Three-Pointers, Free Throw Percentage)
Much like his teammate, Jordan, Griffin struggles at the charity stripe. He did shoot a career high 71.5 percent last season and if that trends up to high 70’s, his roto value becomes tantalizingly close to top 10. As a big man, Griffin gives a great amount of assists and steals as well and is really an underrated head-to-head fantasy talent.
15. Serge Ibaka, PF/C, Oklahoma City Thunder (Assists, Steals)
To think, last season, Ibaka blocked 2.7 shots per game and it was a significant drop off from the last two seasons. Prior to 2013-14, Ibaka had blocked over three shots a game for two straight seasons. Add in his his improved scoring, rebounds and the developing three-ball, Ibaka round off the Oklahoma City troika nicely.
16. Kyle Lowry, PG, Toronto Raptors (Blocks, Field Goal Percentage)
Lowry exploded in a contract season last season, and was incredible value for whoever drafted him. He was routinely picked in the seventh or eighth round last season, but returned top 20 value. The worry is if he gets injured or drops the ball after getting paid, but it seems unlikely, with the Raptors showing to have a bright future. Points, assists, steals, and three-pointers are where Lowry’s bread is buttered and is a great second tier point guard option.
17. Damian Lillard, PG, Portland Trail Blazers (Rebounds, Field Goal Percentage)
I’m not as high on Lillard as others, but he’s still a top 20 point guard, due to his great scoring and three-point contribution. If he could improve his steal numbers, he may crack the top 12, but so far, it seems a long shot.
18. Al Jefferson, C, Charlotte Hornets (Three-Pointers, Assists)
Jefferson was a beast for the then-Bobcats last season and looks to usher in a new era of Hornets’ basketball this season. With Lance Stephenson now in town, the Hornets will be playing for a top four seed, so look for Jefferson to average close to 20-10. His block numbers have dropped considerably of late, but he does have the potential to get close to two blocks per game, in contrast to the 1.1 he averaged last season.
19. Kevin Love, PF, Cleveland Cavaliers (Steals, Blocks)
In a roto league, Love is a top 10 guy, but in head-to-head, with LeBron James and Kyrie Irving around, he drops in value a bit. The reason for the drop, is that he is such a well-rounded contributor, that other guys, with such blatant outliers bump him in the rankings.
20. LaMarcus Aldridge, PF, Portland Trail Blazers (Three-Pointers, Steals)
A great free throw shooter for a big man, Aldridge suffers slightly like Love, due to his consistency across categories. He’s still a great pick in the top two rounds, and if his field goal percentage could return to the 51.2 percent he shot in 2011-12, he’d skyrocket.
21. Kemba Walker, PG, Charlotte Hornets (Rebounds, Field Goal Percentage)
Walker struggled a little last season, but he was superb option the previous season. His field goal percentage dropped to below 40 percent for the first time since his rookie season, and his steals dipped as well, but he’s a much better head-to-head player than rotisserie. Life Jefferson, Walker will be focused on getting this team into the upper echelon of the East, and I’m looking for him to have a bounce back season.
22. Paul Millsap, PF, Atlanta Hawks (Three-Pointers, Free Throw Percentage)
Millsap was insane last season, even when Al Horford was healthy and now he’s playing for another free agent contract, after signing only a two year deal last summer. Along with Wesley Johnson, Millsap was the only player to average a three-pointer, a steal, and a block per game last season.
23. Mike Conley, PG, Memphis Grizzlies (Rebounds, Blocks)
Conley battled ankle injuries last season and it hampered his productivity somewhat. If he’s full healthy and firing, he’s a gy who can average over two steals and seven assists per game to go along with his improved scoring. He’s also a point guard who doesn’t irt you with a poor field goal percentage.
24. Brandon Jennings, PG, Detroit Pistons (Rebounds, Field Goal Percentage)
When I ran the numbers on these rankings, having Jennings this high was one of the most surprising. His field goal percentage was horrid last season, but he’s a great source of points, three-pointers, assists, and steals, and the hope is that new coach Stan Van Gundy re-motivates him to be a serviceable player — not the guy who was outplayed by Will Bynum down the stretch after the firing of Mo Cheeks.
25. Monta Ellis, PG/SG, Dallas Mavericks (Rebounds, Field Goal Percentage)
Ellis was a little surprising last season, as he improved his efficiency, but let’s be honest — you don’t draft Monta Ellis for his stellar field goal percentage. Ellis is a scorer, a passer and pesky ball thief and has been remarkably consistent in the past three seasons. With no Jose Calderon this season, he may handle the ball a little more and could see a bump in assists, back up to over six per game.
26. Chris Bosh, PF/C, Miami Heat (Three-Pointers, Assists)
Bosh is a better roto player due to his ability to help in all categories, but he’s still a great option and is criminally underrated. With no James, Bosh could approach his Toronto numbers, although that seems a little wishful, but regardless, look to Bosh to be a dominant NBA player yet again.
27. Ty Lawson, PG, Denver Nuggets (Rebounds, Blocks)
Lawson missed 20 games last season and fingers crossed he’s healthy this season, for Nuggets’ fans and fantasy owners alike. Lawson improved his assists by two per game last season and that high number may be a little unsustainable, but with no viable backup point on the roster, Lawson is going to handle the ball a lot. LIke Bosh before him, Lawson is an underrated fantasy option.
28. Joakim Noah, C, Chicago Bulls (Three-Pointers, Steals)
Noah managed to stay healthy last season and it paid off handsomely. There are few factors against im this season though. One, he’s currently injured, missing France’s World Cup campaign. Two, with Derrick Rose returning, it’s unlikely he matches his output of 5.4 assists per game. Three, with Pau Gasol in Chicago, Noah may see a slight reduction in minutes. He’s still a great guy for blocks and boards and could easily continue upon his form when Rose was absent, it’s just that it is a worry for is fantasy value.
29. Dirk Nowitzki, PF, Dallas Mavericks (Assists, Steals)
Dirk was insane last season, turning in a top 10 rotisserie season. In head-to-head leagues, and with his age increasing, I’ve dropped him a little, as he is more well-rounded than dominant. Aside from his elite scoring and free throw shooting, Dirk does a little of everything, but if you could grab him in the third round, you won’t be disappointed.
30. Ricky Rubio, PG, Minnesota Timberwolves (Blocks, Field Goal Percentage)
This is now Rubio’s team and the time is now for him to seize control and be a star. He’s never going to be an elite shooter, but his ability to get steals and dimes is elite and with no Kevin Love, the offense will look to him more than ever. His not for everyone, but his talents lend themselves to head-to-head formats and can almost win you the steals category on his own.
The top 30 so far
- Kevin Durant
- Stephen Curry
- James Harden
- LeBron James
- Anthony Davis
- Andre Drummond
- Chris Paul
- John Wall
- Dwight Howard
- DeMarcus Cousins
- Russell Westbrook
- Carmelo Anthony
- DeAndre Jordan
- Blake Griffin
- Serge Ibaka
- Kyle Lowry
- Damian Lillard
- Al Jefferson
- Kevin Love
- LaMarcus Aldridge
- Kemba Walker
- Paul Millsap
- Mike Conley
- Brandon Jennings
- Monta Ellis
- Chris Bosh
- Ty Lawson
- Joakim Noah
- Dirk Nowitzki
- Ricky Rubio
And so we have the top 30 revealed. I’m sure there’ll be some kick back on a few of these rankings, so remember to leave comments below or on Twitter @redrock_bball.