Every couple of weeks our fantasy basketball expert Kevin Smith will weigh in with his rankings for the New York Knicks strictly in terms of their fantasy performance. Here is his first edition…
I wouldn’t trade the Knicks roster depth for anything, but in the fantasy game it hurts a lot more than it helps. Take J.R. Smith for example. If it wasn’t for the abundance of talent in the backcourt, Smith would probably be starting and playing lots of more minutes, leading to tons of more stats (especially with his trigger happy style of play). Instead, Smith finds himself contending for the Sixth Man Award and sharing the floor with Raymond Felton and Iman Shumpert. However, the depth also makes the Knicks one of the most fantasy friendly teams in the NBA. Here’s how their players rank among the team through the first half.
1. Carmelo Anthony (28.6 points 6.5 rebounds 2.7 assists, 2.7 threes 0.8 steals 0.5 blocks)
It’s kind of sad that Melo averages just as many threes as he is dimes, but I’m guessing he was drafted solely for his scoring by all owners. He’s currently ranked 9th overall in Yahoo leagues and 10th by ESPN. Barring injury, Melo is a lock to stay atop the New York Knicks fantasy rankings.
2. Raymond Felton (14.9 points 2.9 rebounds 6.3 assists, 1.4 threes 1.3 steals 0.1 blocks)
There are certainly much better point guard options out there in the fantasy world, but Felton’s shooting guard eligibility is what gives him the most value. Any time you can plug a point guard in at the two, it gives you a major leg up in assists, and Felton’s 6.3 per game have been doing just that. His scoring has come down a tad, but he still the mid-season number two fantasy player on the Knicks.
3. Tyson Chandler (11.4 points 11.1 rebounds 1.0 assists, 0.6 steals 1.1 blocks)
Tyson is having his best season since he was catching lobs from CP3 in New Orleans in 2007-08. That year he put up 11.8 points and 11.7 rebounds while playing in all but three of his team’s games. While his stats now look pretty similar to that season, he is now leading the league in field goal percentage for the second consecutive season. He’s not going to carry you to the championship by himself, but he has a lot of value as a fantasy glue guy.
4. J.R. Smith (16.0 points 5.2 rebounds 2.8 assists, 1.8 threes 1.3 steals 0.4 blocks)
Anyone who took a late round flier on J.R. Smith on draft day has to be ecstatic. He’s averaging career highs in points, rebounds, and assists, and has played in all 50 of the Knicks games. Smith has really matured on the court and completely understands his role on the team. Offensive spark plugs like Smith can ignite a fantasy team just as well as he ignites the Knicks.
5. Amar’e Stoudemire (13.6 points 4.8 rebounds 0.5 assists, 0.4 steals 0.8 blocks)
Being eased back into a full workload has hindered Stoudemire’s numbers so far. Slowly but surely, the offensive presence we’ve all come to love has been creeping back on to the court, and soon enough he will once again be a legitimate fantasy threat. We’ll never see Stat put up the numbers that he used to, but his efficiency will keep him fantasy relevant.
6. Jason Kidd (7.2 points 4.0 rebounds 3.6 assists, 1.8 threes 1.7 steals 0.4 blocks)
Four rebounds a game from your point guard is rock solid, and the fact that Kidd has been doing it in just 27 minutes per game speaks volumes to his basketball instincts. The future Hall of Famer is more efficient in rotisserie leagues rather than head-to-head these days, but still post solid value in both. Considering I didn’t think he’d be fantasy relevant at all this season, Kidd is having a great year.
7. Steve Novak (6.9 points 1.9 rebounds 0.5 assists, 2.0 threes 0.3 steals 0.1 blocks)
Novak is nothing more than a Sunday pickup if you’re trailing in threes, but nonetheless, that still holds value. He’s even more valuable if you’re league counts three-point field goal percentage, but I wouldn’t be rushing to the waiver wire to add him if I were you.
8. Iman Shumpert (5.3 points 3.4 rebounds 1.5 assists, 0.9 threes 0.7 steals 0.1 blocks)
Iman Shumpert has the potential to climb up this list, but for now he find himself stuck in the middle at number eight. Once he gets his legs back underneath him and cranks up his lockdown defense (and I’m saying when, not if), I’m sure we’ll see him towards the top of this list.
9. Pablo Prigioni (3.4 points 1.6 rebounds 2.9 assists, 0.6 threes 0.9 steals no blocks)
Prigioni averages almost a full steal in just 14 minutes per game. He’s too hesitant on shooting the ball to hold any real fantasy value, and at age 35 it’s hard to break habits.
10. Ronnie Brewer (3.7 points 2.2 rebounds 0.9 assists, 0.5 threes 0.8 steals 0.1 blocks)
A lot of us here at Turn On The Knicks are clamoring for more playing time for Brewer. He’s a lock for steals when getting legitimate run, but the amount of threes he was knocking down at the beginning of the year were a bit fluky.
11. Chris Copeland (6.2 points 1.3 rebounds 0.3 assists, 0.7 threes 0.2 steals 0.2 blocks)
Cope showed the ability to put the ball in the hole during Melo’s brief absences, but he doesn’t see enough time to warrant any fantasy attention.
12. Kurt Thomas (2.4 points 2.2 rebounds 0.4 assists, 0.2 steals 0.4 blocks)
Kurt Thomas holds more sentimental value than fantasy value to Knicks fans.
13. James White (1.8 points 0.8 rebounds 0.3 assists, 0.2 threes 0.2 steals, no blocks)
I would say that James White should just stick to dunking, but after Saturday night’s performance I don’t even know about that anymore.
14. Rasheed Wallace (7.2 points 4.2 rebounds 0.3 assists, 1.1 threes 0.7 steals 0.8 blocks)
It’s a cruel fantasy world, where Kurt Thomas and James White hold more value than an injured player.
15. Marcus Camby (2.1 points 3.7 rebounds 0.6 assists, 0.8 steals 1.0 blocks)
See Wallace, Rasheed.