2013-14 Fantasy Basketball Top 50

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This is as originally posted on DimeMag.com. Kevin writes as Dime Magazine’s Fantasy Doctor. For more extensive fantasy basketball advice, follow him on Twitter at @DimeFantasyDoc.

There’s nothing better than beating down a different opponent every week as opposed to the monotony of rotisserie. All of the trash-talking among friends is fun, but the biggest advantage of head-to-head is that there’s no shame in punting a category. That’s why it doesn’t matter when guys like Dwight Howard and Rajon Rondo miss 1,000 free throws, or John Wall and Ricky Rubio clank 1,000 threes. All that ground can be made up elsewhere.

In a roto-dominated world, it’s near impossible to come across legitimate head-to-head rankings, so I took it upon myself to solve that problem. Remember, this list is in constant rearrangement, much like the landscape of the NBA, and is not to be taken as a concrete guide on who to take over whom.

1. LeBRON JAMES, Miami Heat

I wouldn’t blame you for taking Durant here if your scared of you ace resting on the sidelines in the fantasy playoffs, but LeBron’s the best player in the game and his stats reflect it.

2. KEVIN DURANT, Oklahoma City Thunder

Not a bad consolation prize to missing out on LeBron, especially if he can raise his assists per game average again.

3. JAMES HARDEN, Houston Rockets

Scoring numbers make take a hit with the addition of Dwight, but he should be able to improve upon last year’s 45 percent from the field.

4. CHRIS PAUL, Los Angeles Clippers

CP isn’t the nightly triple-double threat anymore, but he’s easily the safest point guard you can take.

5. DWIGHT HOWARD, Houston Rockets

Dwight is a head-to-head matchup nightmare. I’m not sure if he’ll put up 20 points per game, but his numbers certainly won’t be any worse than last year (17.1 points 12.4 rebounds 2.4 blocks IN A DOWN YEAR).

6. KEVIN LOVE, Minnesota Timberwolves

Wouldn’t blame you for taking him over Dwight, depends on your preference of threes or blocks. Consider last year’s injury marred season an outlier.

7. STEPHEN CURRY, Golden State Warriors

What’s scary is that Steph set the NBA record for treys in a season last year and he’s only scratching the surface.

8. RUSSELL WESTBROOK, Oklahoma City Thunder

It’s going to take more than minor knee surgery to scare people off from 5.2 rebounds and 0.3 blocks per game from their point guard.

9. PAUL GEORGE, Indiana Pacers

The addition of Danny Granger only means more dimes for last year’s Most Improved Player.

10. KYRIE IRVING, Cleveland Cavaliers

It scares me to take someone’s who has missed 54 games in two seasons at the end of the first round, but his upside is through the roof.

11. DERRICK ROSE, Chicago Bulls

Wouldn’t call you crazy if you took him higher. In most league’s he’ll be the steal of the draft. Did everyone forget about 21.8 point and 3.4 rebounds and 7.9 assists per game?

12. AL JEFFERSON, Charlotte Bobcats

Al Jeff still has plenty of good basketball left in him, and more importantly, now has a frontcourt all to his self (sorry Cody Zeller).

13. DERON WILLIAMS, Brooklyn Nets

It’s doubtful that Deron will duplicate last year’s 18.9 points per game, but with a stronger supporting cast, I think an increase in assists and efficiency is in order.

14. CARMELO ANTHONY, New York Knicks

Melo is as good of a candidate as anybody to lead the league in scoring again. His power forward eligibility is what sets him apart.

15. SERGE IBAKA, Oklahoma City

The edge that Ibaka gives you in blocks is matched only by Larry Sanders. He has improved his numbers in every season so far and there are no reasons to think that will change.

16. MARC GASOL, Memphis Grizzlies

Last year’s Defensive Player of the Year tied Joakim Noah for more assists per game (4.0) amongst center eligible players.

17. DWYANE WADE, Miami Heat

Don’t sleep on D-Wade; his career isn’t over just yet. The blocks he gets you from your shooting guard are irreplaceable.

18. RAJON RONDO, Boston Celtics

Interested to see what Rondo will do with his own team. Expect the scoring numbers to come up and assists to go down.

19. PAU GASOL, Los Angeles Lakers

Don’t forget how fantasy dominant Pau has been when Bynum/Dwight were sidelined with injuries.

20. JOHN WALL, Washington Wizards

Wall was one of the best point guards in the second half of last season and can only get better as he heads in to his fourth year.

21. RICKY RUBIO, Minnesota Timberwolves

Rubio is a triple-double waiting to happen and if he can clean up his field goal percentage even the slightest bit, he’ll be a draft day steal.

22. AL HORFORD, Atlanta Hawks

Put him in the Al Jefferson category of big men with their own team who are set to dominate.

23. JOSH SMITH, Detroit Pistons

If there were ever a year for Smoove to set his career-high in points per game, this would be it. The Pistons are starving for offense.

24. NICOLAS BATUM, Portland Trail Blazers

Batum’s stats have been getting incrementally better each season and should do so again this year.

25. DEMARCUS COUSINS, Sacramento Kings

Replacing the ball dominant Tyreke Evans with the unselfish Grievis Vasquez could be just what Cousins needs to finally get that field goal percentage up.

26. LAMARCUS ALDRIDGE, Portland Trail Blazers

Aldridge’s shaky situation with the Blazers could scare off owners, but as long as he’s in Portland he’s one of the safest players you can draft.

27. MONTA ELLIS, Dallas Mavericks

No matter where he plays, Monta will always be Monta. In Dallas, expect tons of points and tons of gambles on defense. Not so great for his teammates, but awesome for the fantasy game.

28. TY LAWSON, Denver Nuggets

No Iggy and a lot of time without Gallo should equal a prime year for Lawson, at least to start.

29. TIM DUNCAN, San Antonio Spurs

Despite his age, it’s hard to disrespect Duncan in the rankings. Shows no signs of declining.

30. DIRK NOWITZKI, Dallas Mavericks

Dirk is still great for scoring and your percentages, but his upside is immensely limited compared to other guys you can draft near his rank.

31. DAMIAN LILLARD, Portland Trail Blazers

Hard to imagaine Lillard not being able to build on last year’s 19.0 points per game and 43 percent shooting from the field.

32. TONY PARKER, San Antonio Spurs

You’ll have to get your threes and steals elsewhere, but San Antonio becomes more and more his team with every year that passes.

33. JRUE HOLIDAY, New Orleans Pelicans

Jrue proved his worth last season without a supporting cast, but all those guards he now plays with in New Orleans won’t really help his value.

36. JOAKIM NOAH, Chicago Bulls

Apparently, the only thing that can slow him down is plantar fasciitis. With a fresh start and a summer to heal, look for Noah to continue to dominate the defensive stats while dishing out an above average amount of assists for his position.

35. ANTHONY DAVIS, New Orleans Pelicans

If you generally draft for upside you might even take Davis higher than this.

36. GREG MONROE, Detroit Pistons

The Pistons frontcourt is suddenly stacked, but Monroe has the basketball IQ to play with anybody.

37. ANDRE IGUODALA, Golden State Warriors

I’m expecting resurgence for Iggy in Golden State. He seems to be happy in his new home and the up-tempo Warriors should keep the diversity in his stat lines.

38. BROOK LOPEZ, Brooklyn Nets

If KG gets Brook to play mean, it might be the best thing to happen to Lopez’s career. Still, there are too many mouths to feed in Brooklyn for Lopez to have too strong of a fantasy impact.

39. DAVID LEE, Golden State Warriors

Expect Lee to fully recover from his postseason hip injury and get back to his usual double-doubles

40. RUDY GAY, Toronto Raptors

Averaged 19.5 points in 33 games with the Raptors and might be able to build on that.

41. TYREKE EVANS, New Orleans Pelicans

A change of scenery could be just what the doctor ordered to revive Tierce’s once promising fantasy career.

42. ZACH RANDOLPH, Memphis Grizzlies

A lock to average a double-double, but his stat lines are rather plain outside of points and boards.

43. PAUL MILLSAP, Atlanta Hawks

Millsap is the type of hustle player that will grind out stats wherever he goes and has already shown he can play with another sold big man. He should settle in just fine next to Al Horford.

44. LARRY SANDERS, Milwaukee Bucks

If you miss out on Serge Ibaka this is your guy. Has the upside to equal Serge’s numbers, but will be drafted a few rounds after.

45. BRANDON JENNINGS, ????

No matter where he plays, you know Jennings is going to get up enough shots to keep himself fantasy relevant.

 46. MIKE CONLEY, Memphis Grizzlies

Conley’s upside is somewhat limited, but his floor his higher than most others at his position.

47. KEMBA WALKER, Charlotte Bobcats

What can Kemba do playing with someone that has a legitimate post game? I don’t see how it hurts.

48. NIKOLA VUCEVIC, Orlando Magic

Orlando did nothing to help their dearth of big men over the summer, so Vucevic should be in line for major minutes, thus stats next year.

49. JEFF TEAGUE, Atlanta Hawks

Without Smoove or Joe Johnson around anymore, the ball will be in Teague’s hands more often than not.

50. ROY HIBBERT, Indiana Pacers

Hibbert may have really turned a corner in last year’s playoffs, but how early are drafters willing to find out?

 

NEXT IN LINE

 DERRICK FAVORS, Utah Jazz

THADDEUS YOUNG, Philadelphia 76ers

NENE HILARIO, Washington Wizards

STEVE NASH, Los Angeles Lakers

GORAN DRAGIC, Phoenix Suns

GRIEVIS VASQUEZ, Sacramento Kings

RYAN ANDERSON, New Orleans Pelicans

 

BEST OF THE REST

TYSON CHANDLER, New York Knicks

ANDRE DRUMMOND, Detroit Pistons

KENNETH FARIED, Denver Nuggets

NIKOLA PEKOVIC, Minnesota Timberwolves

ANDREW BYNUM, Cleveland Cavaliers

ERIC BLEDSOE, Phoenix Suns

CHANDLER PARSONS, Houston Rockets

ERIC GORDON, New Orleans Pelicans

 

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5 thoughts on “2013-14 Fantasy Basketball Top 50

  1. Surprised to not see Ilyasova. You essentially have him out of the top 65 and a lot of others would call him top 40 talent. I’m also surprised you have Cousins in the top 25 as he has yet to put it all together.

    Reply
    1. These are Head-to-Head rankings. Kawhi doesn’t really dominate any categories, making him much less useful in this format. If you’re in a roto league, he’s your guy.

      As for Illyasova, he was horribly inconsistent last year. I think he’ll bounce back, but he’s not in my top 50 just yet. It’s only a pre-preseason ranking.

      Reply

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