Monday, February 06, 2006

New! Updated! Top 20!

I’m stealing BV’s thunder because I’ve always wanted to do one of these. As a special bonus, I’m leaving spot #20 open so you can decide who gets the call there.

1. Shawn Marion – Time to face the truth and accept the fact that The Matrix is the biggest fantasy stud there is. He simply has no weaknesses, never misses any action and puts up huge numbers on the league’s highest scoring team.

2. LeBron James – Expecting a huge second half from LBJ as he looks to singlehandedly get his team into the playoffs – and secure homecourt advantage in the first round.

3. Kevin Garnett – His days as the game’s clearcut #1 – or even #1 at all – are over. But you’d still be hard pressed to find someone (besides the two above) with better well-rounded games.

4. Kobe Bryant – I for one fully expect the tear to continue throughout the season as Kobe tries to will the Lakers into the playoffs and top MJ’s highest single season scoring average (37.1).

5. Elton Brand – His total dominance in FG%, blocks and rebounds puts him a cut above the players just below; proving that injuries from 02-03 and 03-04 were indeed flukes.

6. Dirk Nowitzki – With Dallas basically at full strength, he’s finding that there aren’t as many numbers to go around; solid play of both Diop and Dampier is killing his boards.

7. Steve Nash – Never misses a beat and is just so utterly dominant in assists that owners can be creative in filling out the rest of their roster.

8. Dwyane Wade – Tendency to get just a bit banged up is the only thing keeping him out of the top five; who cares about the lack of 3s as long as he shoots 49% on 19 shots per game as a guard (not to mention 2 steals per contest).

9. Gilbert Arenas – He gets the nod over AI solely because of his durability; completely lost his three-point stroke in January, but get ready for a barrage this month.

10. Allen Iverson – His owners knew an injury was coming and can’t be surprised if he sits out a few more contests as the season wears on.

11. Tracy McGrady – Shooting has been downright putrid lately, but he’s one of the few players capable of carrying a team when he’s at his best.

12. Andrei Kirilenko – Seeing absolutely huge minutes, which is always a worry on Utah; steals/blocks dominance is truly unique.

13. Ray Allen – Was overrated last year, but is underrated this year; hitting 3s at a ridiculous rate and averaging a career high in steals, which is quite rare for a player in his 10th year.

14. Paul Pierce – Early returns from Davis/Szczerbiak trade aren’t too hot; he’s looking to score a whole lot more and his numbers – not just FG% -- are suffering.

15. Jason Kidd – Getting better as the season progresses, which is a great sign from an aging player.

16. Chris Bosh – Center eligibility combined with incredibly consistent day-to-day production and the clear #1 role on his team make him a true stud.

17. Tim Duncan – The numbers can’t support putting him any higher, and honestly, even this might be high.

18. Marcus Camby – Yes, he’s already been injured since his latest return, but his 21/11/3 with a steal and 4 blocks is a line he’s capable of putting up every night; for teams desperate to move up, he’s worth taking a chance on.

19. Chris Paul – Going with the youth over the vet; every time you expect him to slow down (rookie wall, thumb injury) he bounces back stronger than ever.

20. ???????

10 Comments:

Blogger JM said...

Good list, I would just make a couple changes...

In a 9-cat league (includes TO), I would replace Duncan, Mcgrady and Kirilenko with R.Lewis, Rasheed and C.Billups. At the #20 spot I would put V.Carter.

I would also move E.Brand up above Kobe and Garnett.

If it's an 8-cat league (no TO) than I would make the same changes as above, except I would include Kirilenko instead of Rasheed.

ps basketballmonster.com rates Duncan at #33 in 9-category leagues (#23 in 8-category) Add his subpar year to his injury concerns, and I don't think he's a top-20 guy at this point.

12:11 PM  
Anonymous Andy said...

I would have either Rashard Lewis or Vince Carter in the #20 spot. Both players were highly regarded coming into the season, and both have actually been better than advertised.

Lewis has been pretty consistent and there really aren't any other players not named Nash or Lebron who can give you a couple of threes a night and also help your FG%. Additionally, he's getting to the line way more often than he has in the past and he is shooting a great percentage. He's still chipping in his 6 boards, a steal, and a block per game. He helps you in every category with the possible exception of assists, and even there he is averaging a career-high 2.4 which isn't bad from the SF spot.

Vinsanity, meanwhile, has continued to put up great numbers in NJ. He's still an elite scorer and he's having a very well-rounded year in the 3's/reb/ast/stl/blk categories. Also, like Rashard, he is having a career year at the line. He's streakier than Lewis but when he's hot, he has more of an ability to dominate. Obviously, FG% is his weakness but his performance in the other categories has been outstanding.

Overall, I'd give a slight nod to Lewis, particularly in TO leagues. Carter is more of an injury concern, and he doesn't seem to play well when Richard Jefferson, who has his own injury problems, isn't in the lineup.

Oh, and if Gerald Wallace could stay healthy, I'd have him in the top 20 as well. But he's on my team, so that's not possible.

1:15 PM  
Blogger Rook said...

I'm a Pierce owner and I've definitely seen the disappointing results of the trade you noted, esp. in FG%. If he keeps playing as he has since the trade, would he maintain a #14 ranking? If not, do you think it might be time to move him while his FG% is still high?

1:32 PM  
Blogger JM said...

Rook,
I'm also a nervous Pierce owner. His numbers had already started to slide before the trade (especially his FT% and FG%). Since the trade he's been up and down - 4 off games and 2 great games (the ones he scored in which he scored 40 and 37).

So the jury's still out on how he'll do post-trade. I'm hoping the Celts will figure out how to play with their new rotation soon, and his slump will end.

But the uncertainty makes me willing to trade him for a solid top 20 guy, who isn't likely to get worse in the 2nd half (i.e. R.Allen, K.Bryant, D.Wade, J.Kidd, S.Nash, R.Lewis)

His FG% for the first 2 months of the season was ridicululously high for a swingman (49%). He has dropped to 47% now.
By the end of the season I think 45% is realistic for him (it would match his career best fg% he had in 2000-01 and 2004-05)

I'm just hoping he's about to snap out of his FT% funk. In the last month or so his FT% has fallen from 80% to 77%. That was hurting me just as much as his FG% slump.
In the past two he's hit 7 of 9 and 11 of 13 FT.

3:16 PM  
Blogger T-Plan said...

Did anyone notice the Nets decided to start Cliff Robinson in place of Nenad Krstic in their last game?

Is this a reason to officially downgrade or drop Nenad, or is there an injury the game recap and box score failed to mention?

4:51 PM  
Blogger bv said...

Krstic had the flu ... just like i had the rights to this column.

DM, you bastard.

4:55 PM  
Blogger Biggs said...

Nice list DM - it's tough to argue with those picks - but just for arguments sake, here is my top 25 (yes, 25, I know I'm not following the rules, but there is a reason). These ranks are for an 8 cat league (per game stats).

1 Shawn Marion
2 Kobe Bryant
3 LeBron James
4 Allen Iverson
5 Kevin Garnett
6 Elton Brand
7 Gilbert Arenas
8 Dwyane Wade
9 Steve Nash
10 Ray Allen
11 Dirk Nowitzki
12 Marcus Camby
13 Jason Kidd
14 Paul Pierce
15 Gerald Wallace
16 Chris Paul
17 Rashard Lewis
18 Chauncey Billups
19 Vince Carter
20 Tracy McGrady
21 Andrei Kirilenko
22 Chris Bosh
23 Michael Redd
24 Baron Davis
25 Samuel Dalembert

Because these are per game stats, you might want to kick Gerald Wallace, McGrady, or AK out of there, in which case Bosh and Redd would step up. And how about Chris Paul? What a nice surprise for anyone who drafted him.

7:53 PM  
Blogger Domo_kuun said...

I just pulled of a 3-for-2 deal that netted me Brad Miller and left me with an empty roster spot. At first, I was planning on switching daily and rotating the players in that spot, but looking at the waiver wire, there are some good players. I need a forward. Who do you think would be the best bet: Bobby Simmons, Darius Miles, or Mike Dunleavy? Or should I just play it daily?
(btw, 10 team H2H league with 9 cats)

12:05 AM  
Anonymous bublitchki said...

domo:

If you're looking for threes, Simmons.

If you need steals, Miles (but beware if you're in a TO league; Darius makes more turnovers than your average bakery).

I'd pass on Dunleavy; although his numbers have been improving, I'm just not a fan of his game. I actually like his teammate Pietrus better.

BTW, I just traded for Brad Miller too. I imagine his recent thumb fracture and overall injury history has prompted a lot of nervous owners to sell low on him. Hope he stays healthy. If he does, I'll finally have a decent center option for the first time all year in my two center league.

1:00 AM  
Blogger Jeremy said...

Alright, so Woods is now a bust, although it wasn't really his fault, and I have a roster spot (or two open).

Right now, I went out and replaced Woods with Pietrus, as I think he'll be a solid option to go with long-term and should hold decent value. Similarly, I have Andres Nocioni, whom I'm considering dropping as well. He has really struggled as of late, and guys like Al Jefferson and Granger are on the waivers. Thus, I have two spots (right now Nocioni and Pietrus) and am looking for guys who give me a little of everything, hopefully including threes...what is the best choice.

Overall, I guess is Granger a better option than either Nocioni or Pietrus? Thanks.

6:10 AM  

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