2008-2009 Top 20 NBA Fantasy Player Rankings
Courtesy of Flagrant Foul, it’s time for people with too much time on their side to play fantasy basketball. Are you truly in the office working on that computer like you’re supposed to or are you researching and resetting your lineup? The economy is bad so wasting an hour here or two analyzing trades and performance isn’t really hurting anyone. Just don’t get caught. Here I will attempt to prove that Dwight Howard is a top-20 player in the fantasy game.
20) Yao Ming
WHY: Arguably the best center in the NBA. If he didn’t rack up so many injuries, he wouldn’t be this low. I would place him in top 10. Seriously. I would. Reality is truth and he messed up a lot of fantasy teams last year going down in February with that knee injury. Again. He is not a number one pick for anyone. If he’s still there in the 3rd round, take him.
19) Rudy Gay
WHY: Another good all around player. His stock rose last season. Look for him to get better unless rookie OJ Mayo jack shots all night.
18) Kevin Durant
WHY: Don’t laugh. He’s going to be a monster. He just needs to improve on his shot selection. Besides scoring and FG percentage, if he improves in everything else, he should be a perennial top-20 player and more. Try not to get injured with that bony frame eh?
17) Al Jefferson
WHY: Just as good as Dwight Howard but he can hit his free throws and doesn’t turn the ball over often. Big Al is underrated and not as flashy as D12. There’s the difference. He’s not a true center though but he can man the position quite well and will be a center in Minny for the rest of his career.
16) Danny Granger
WHY: SG/SF/PF eligible! If he keeps it up, he will crack top-15 next season unless he’s there now. A much underrated player who gets his numbers quietly. Remember, Jermaine O’Neal is gone so he has to do more.
15) Baron Davis
WHY: Jenny Craig has his number. He also has some ailing injuries holding him back from being placed higher. An all around point guard who should get many steals in a Clipper uniform.
14) Shawn Marion
WHY: Getting slower each season. Miami has Michael Beasley and 100% healthy Wade. He will be the dirty work man he was in Phoenix but all stats across the board will go down. That’s the thing though; he’ll still get all kinds of stats.
13) Steve Nash
WHY: He has officially moved out of the top-10 group because of age. He’s still super, but not super MVP status. Don’t look for him to play 34+ minutes every game. Next season? He will not be in my top 20 but will consistently be in top-30. Yes, his stock will drop that low because all he does is pass and shoot. Aging legs cannot take heavy minutes and where are the steals?
12) Allen Iverson
WHY: He still hasn’t shown signs of slowing down. I can only say amazing. This is probably the year that he slows down yet he’s capable of putting 24PPG, 3 rebs, 7-8 assists since Denver coaching staff insists he passes more. The Answer will probably be top-20 next year as well because he can get steals; another category to longevity for fantasy fans. It’s something that Nash can’t do. Be careful, Allen Iverson might be traded by the trade deadline.
11) Deron Williams
WHY: This young man is blossoming to be a top-10 fantasy player, just not this season. He can average 20+ppg and 10+ assists with a few boards. He will also play major minutes entering his 4th season because he’s the young franchise leader for Utah. That’s why he’s ranked ahead of Steve Nash. He doesn’t get steals at the rate of Paul and has to reduce turnovers, which will probably forever hold him out of being a top-3 fantasy player.
10) Elton Brand
WHY: Yeah we saw Brand advertising himself at the end of last season showing that he can still do it. He’s 100% healthy and signed a new fat contract with Philly even if it’s betrayal portrayed by Clipper Nation. He’s in the East, too. The lack of quality big men in the East will have him getting numbers unless karma comes back to get him sidelined again. Let’s hope that’s not the case.
9) Kevin Garnett
WHY: He was a top 5 player last season, but this season he goes down because he’s getting older. He will not play as much minutes. Despite James Posey leaving, people automatically assume he has more responsibilities. Perhaps, but that doesn’t change the fact that Coach Rivers prefers to keep him as fresh as possible for the playoffs. He’s still a top-10 talent who does a little bit of everything.
8) Josh Smith
WHY: An incredible stat machine covering all bases. He has catapulted his stock tremendously. He’s improved in many areas, but he still needs work on those free throws. A top notch shot blocker who is a threat to get a quadruple double game.
7) Caron Butler
WHY: He’s showed us why he’s a fantasy stud: 20.3PPG, 6.7 rpg, 4.9 assists, 2.2 stls while hitting 90% FT. Gilbert Arenas will be out for awhile so Butler will step up his efforts to stay in the playoff hunt.
6) Dirk Nowitzki
WHY: Dependable, durable, and has a diverse game. The thing holding him back is the lack of defensive stats.
5) Dwayne Wade
WHY: I think he’s proven that he’s back judging from the Beijing 2008 performances. If he truly is 100% healthy, take him over Amare. For a 2 guard, he averages an insane amount of assists. That’s a huge plus! But then again, he also gets many turnovers. I’d take him regardless.
4) Amare Stoudamire
WHY: He should be the first big man to be taken in any league. He has proven that he can be dependable; has played in two 82 game seasons. It’s amazing how he bounced back after those knee surgeries and with Shaq Diesel taking pressure off of him, the numbers will go up. In addition, he doesn’t suck at free throws hitting at an 80% clip.
3) Kobe Bryant
WHY: Entering his 30’s, he’s still at his prime. Having Gasol and a healthy Bynum will help the Lakers immensely, but Kobe’s numbers will take a hit. He doesn’t have to score and rebound as much. I don’t see him averaging 30+ppg again because of the big 2 inside threats. He’s still super just not as super as Lebron and Paul statistically. Projected stats: 27.8ppg, 5.4 rebs, 5.9 asts
2) Chris Paul
WHY: Many people will lobby that he should be number one because, like Lebron, he’s great at everything except he doesn’t rebound or block shots like him. He grabs steals at a high clip, but I don’t see him as a scary triple double threat because he will not average 7 rebs a game to flirt with a triple double night in and night out.
1) Lebron James
WHY: The ultimate triple double threat. He has ugly free throw percentages, but that’s the only thing that’s stopping him. He’s insanely awesome in everything else and built durable. He is today’s only hope to average a triple double for the season; number one in my book.
So there you have it, I have proven that Dwight Howard is NOT a top-20 player unless he starts hitting 70% of his free throws and cut down on turnovers. He doesn’t get assists or steals either. Sometimes he gets only 1 block a game, which is terrible for a young man with his stature. Yes, he’s insanely built to last. I know. But he only gets high FG percentage, points, insane amount of rebounds, and some blocks; not many categories. I should know because he was on my team last year. Amare Stoudamire, Kevin Garnett, Al Jefferson, Yao Ming, Andrew Bogut, Chris Bosh are better big man choices. I’d probably take David West over him, too because he fulfills more categories. If D12 is still available in the third round, take him. I expect many people to jump the gun and take him in the 1st-2nd round based on name recognition. I might take him in the 2nd round if he’s still there because he’s too durable. And NO! I’m not hating on Dwight.
Agree or disagree? Did I diss your favorite player? Explain below.