Wednesday, December 21, 2005

New! Updated! Top 20!

Here we go. The cream of the crop. The last time we did this was in mid-November, so we may be a bit overdue. Last time’s rankings are in parentheses.

1. Kevin Garnett, F, Min (1)
The boards and assists are down a bit, but no worries - he’s still the best in the game. Plus, his 53% from the field is pure gravy.

2. LeBron James, SF, Cle (3)
Is it possible to be “slumping” while scoring 31 ppg? His boards and assists are lower than last year, which is surprising, but he’s really the only true 8-category player in the game. Still, maybe we should forget about that 30-10-10 idea for a little while.

3. Dirk Nowitzki, PF, Dal (2)
You know, what I’d love to see is Dirk handling the ball more on the perimeter as a play-maker, not just a pure shooter. I feel like he could get a good 5-6 apg if Avery Johnson would let him try.

4. Shawn Marion, F, Pho (4)
After hitting just one three pointer in his first 10 games, The Matrix has put in 23 triples in his last 13. Now, however, there’s a new concern – Shawn, what’s with the FT%?

5. Elton Brand, PF, LAC (13)
This is a huge drop-off from the top four. Brand is the MVP so far this year in real basketball – in fantasy basketball, he’s just about everything you could ask for from a PF.

6. Dwyane Wade, G, Mia (8)
The big guy is back, but Wade will still be this team’s on-court leader. Having Shaq on the floor short-term has meant a better FG%, and long-term means less chance of injury. If Wade ever develops a three-point shot (a disgusting 7.1% this year), he’ll join the fantasy elite.

7. Tim Duncan, F/C, SAS (5)
FT% in November: 78%. FT% in December: 56%. What’s it gonna be, Timmy? Other than that, though, he’s as consistent as they come, a guaranteed 20/10 with 2.5 blocks and sweet FG%.

8. Allen Iverson, G, Phi (10)
The fact that he’s now a PG makes his TO’s more bearable, and if the 76ers were any good he’d be getting MVP talk, too. He’s having perhaps his best statistical year ever so far – career highs in points and FG%, with the great assists and steals that you’ve come to expect.

9. Kobe Bryant, SG, LAL (7)
Unless your league counts shots as a category, Kobe might be one of the most overrated players in the game right now. His points are awesome to be sure, but nothing in his boards, assists, percentages or defensive numbers separate him from the rest of the upper-tier SG’s. (Ed. Note: BV wrote this before last night's ridiculous explosion. Just sayin'.)

10. Paul Pierce, G/F, Bos (11)
Something’s gotta give in Boston. Pierce and Ricky Davis are having huge years but the C’s are losing big time. This might be the time to sell high on Pierce before his role changes a bit.

11. Tracy McGrady, G/F, Hou (6)
This is definitely too low for McGrady, especially with the solid December he’s put up so far and the fact that Yao will miss some time, giving Tracy more shots, but his back is still a concern. If he stays healthy for a few weeks he’ll be back up in the 5-7 range like he usually is.

12. Gilbert Arenas, PG, Was (9)
His boards are slightly down, but everywhere else is just as good or better than last year. He’s a top-5 point guard for the foreseeable future, but if your league counts TO’s he’s probably a little further down this list.

13. Chauncey Billups, PG, Det (NR)
Okay, we’ll bite. Billups is having a career year and is showing no signs of slowing down. 19 assists in one game? Is that even legal?

14. Ray Allen, SG, Sea (16)
He’s closing the gap on Kobe and T-Mac … if there even is a gap there anymore.

15. Jason Kidd, PG, NJN (14)
You know, you keep on thinking he’s getting too old for this, and maybe you’re right – but you can’t ignore 14/7/7 with 2 steals and nearly 2 threes. Maybe one of the most underrated fantasy players in the league, if that’s possible.

16. Marcus Camby, C, Den (15)
If we ran this column last week Camby would be in the 7-10 range. But now that he’s missed three straight games with a sprained pinkie, he’ll stay right about where he was last time. I can’t tell if he’s a good sell high or buy low right now, or something else entirely, but those numbers are tough to ignore.

17. Rasheed Wallace, PF/C, Det (NR)
Wallace is very quietly putting together a top-thirty season. Combine that with his inexplicable center eligibility and this looks about right for Sheed. The problem is, there’s nothing to suggest that he’ll maintain his 1.7 steals (career average: 1.0), 81% from the stripe (career 71%), or ridiculous 47.7% from the arc (career 33.9).

18. Steve Nash, PG, Pho (12)
Amare who? Classic Nash – the 96% from the stripe is misleading, though, as he only gets to the line 3.8 times per game.

19. Rashard Lewis, SF, Sea (NR)
I was really down on Lewis early in the year, because of his pedestrian rebounding numbers. The thing is, he’s such a plus in six other categories, you can forgive that.

20. Chris Paul, PG, NO (NO)
LeBron, Year 1: 20.9/5.9/5.4, 0.8 3’s, 1.7 steals, 42% FG, 75% FT.
Wade, Year 1: 16.3/4.1/4.5, 0.3 3’s, 1.4 steals, 47% FG, 75% FT.
Paul, Year 1: 16.6/6.6/7.6, 0.5 3’s, 2.4 steals, 45% FG, 77% FT.

I’m just saying, CP3 is on the right track.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm in a keeper league, and by some nifty drafting and a few trades, my team includes: Jason Kidd, Eddie Jones, Andre Iguodala, Tim Duncan, Shaquille O'Neal, Chris Paul, Dwight Howard, Sam Cassell, Shane Battier, and Sarunas Jasikevicius. I know its a bit early to think about keepers, but looking at this list, I see the potential keepers as Kidd, Iggy, TD, Shaq, Howard, and Paul. I think the best keepers of the bunch are TD, Howard, and Paul, especially Howard/Paul because of their youth. Comments? Also, in regards to late season strategy, what do you think of packaging Kidd, Shaq, and TD for Lebron. I love to idea of having 3 young studs manning my keeper team for years to come.

12:02 PM  
Blogger Rook said...

What do you see happening to Pierce if the scenario you mentioned happens?

1:03 PM  
Blogger bv said...

Pierce, well, it's tough to tell. His FG% is at an all-time high, largely because he's shooting less 3's than ever before, but at a higher rate. So that should stay where it is.

The biggest drop could be in rebounds, where Pierce is enjoying 8.3 per game, 1.0 higher than any other time in his career. This is almost entirely due to the horrendous rebounding of his teammates, notably Raef LaFrentz or Mark Blount. At some point Doc Rivers will have to make way for the better-rebounding Al Jefferson or Kendrick Perkins or a more regular basis, meaning less boards slipping out to Pierce in the backcourt.

5:44 PM  
Blogger bv said...

well it's tough to comment on keeper league without knowing the rules behind it. But i will say this: the team you have looks like it could be a league winner, and my long-standing theory in all fantasy keeper leagues is that if you've got a chance at a title, don't sacrifice it for a better tomorrow (i.e., trading three studs for lebron). It's so tough to predict what will happen next week, much less next year or the years after. So don't panic and make a move for the future when you could win a title right now.

5:48 PM  
Blogger Domo_kuun said...

Who do you think is the best bet for a backup center that I could get off the waiver wire? I picked up Swift because of Ming's injury, but Mutombo will be back soon, plus he isn't looking too hot tonight. Haywood, Kaman, Curry, Mihm and Krstic are also on the waiver wire, and I can't decide who to go with. Also, my starting center is Okafor, so now that he's injured I basically am center-less for the next week. Should I try to swing a trade to get more depth at center, or should I just hope Okafor comes back strong and stays healthy?

9:57 PM  
Blogger MKD said...

I did it. I had to do it. I traded Kirilenko for Chris Paul and Ron Artest tonight. It was just sitting there for sooo long. And Kirilenko has been injured for soooo long. Sure, I might feel back when he comes back and goes 17, 10, and 5 with 4 blocks per--but it had to be done. Didn't it? Didn't it?! Chris Paul is really good, though. Artest, too. I didn't like the idea of Kirilenko leaving the road trip to see back specialists...

11:50 PM  
Blogger bv said...

well it looks like you can safely drop swft at this point, and i sure do look like a jackass for my column on tursday. Still, when you drop him, i'd consider those guys in the following order: Krstic, Curry, Kaman, Mihm, and Haywood.

As for your trade, MKD, i love it and I think you got by far the better end of the deal. Honestly, a CP3-for-AK47 is worth considering, and Artest makes it a no-brainer. nice job.

10:09 AM  
Blogger DM said...

Wait a second here ... BV, show some love for our boy Brendan Haywood! Seriously tho, I think I might suggest those centers in the exact opposite order. BV has Krstic, so he's biased; I admit I have Haywood so I'm biased. But here's a secret about Krstic -- he sorta sucks. He doesn't do much of anything. At least Haywood is semi-dominant in FG% and blocks, which is what you want from a fill-in center.

But basically, what this goes to show is that backup centers are such a volatile, interchangeable bunch.

10:24 AM  
Anonymous Steve said...

Hey fellas. I have a questions but I want to let you know that your site is one of the few places that I trust for fantasy basketball advice. It also is a good break from work. Anyway, enough ass kissing.

I play in a 10 team, nine cat (Points, Boards, Assists, TOs, 3's, FT%, FG%, Blocks, Steals), head to head league, with daily lineup changes and a max on add/drops for the season. Also, the format of the league is the following: 1 PG, 1 SG, 1 G, 1 PF, 1 SF, 1 F, 2 C with a bench, using Yahoo eligibility.

My current team is:
Bibby, Deng, Ridnour, Stojakovic, D. Howard, L. James, Przybilla, B. Miller, Calderon, Pierce, Odom, Haywood.

Tinsley is on the waiver wire. Considering my current team, do you value Tinsley or Calderon higher for the rest of the season? Also, any suggestions to improve my team would be appreciated.


10:36 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Stro got kicked in the balls by Bosh by accident. He sat out the rest of the game. He should be ok next game.

12:47 PM  
Anonymous Charlie said...

I was offered Webber and Diaw for Kirilenko. This was before he left the road trip, and the owner pulled the trade back. But if i reoffered it, I think i could swing it. Thoughts? I was also offered Cassell and D. Howard for Billups and Ilgauskus. I turned it down and countered with Bosh in place of Cassell. I know that's asking a lot, but I'm from Detroit and Chauncey is just too damn good. Help me out here boys...

1:22 PM  
Blogger Jeremy said...

Tinsley, when healthy, can be a beast. With that and the fact that we don't know about Ron Artest, you have to pickup Tinsley in lieu of someone like Calderon. Sure, Calderon will get you assists, but he doesn't help you in any other category. And, I doubt he'll necessarily be picked up. I play in a really deep league, and Calderon is still available...he could sit on the waiver ready to be picked up again when Tinsley goes down.

Overall...Tinsley is the better player by far...when he is healthy...a risk worth taking for sure.

2:16 PM  
Blogger bv said...

Steve, i'm gonna have to agree with Jeremy on this one. Tinsley will, when healthy, be far superior to Calderon, who should be on and off waiver wires all year. Go with Tinsley.

7:21 PM  

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