More rankings, more “hindsight is 20-20″-ing! Damn man, seeing LaMarcus Aldridge carve up the Rockets after his huge season is bumming me out – even before I hop into reviewing 21-50! Get the red marker ready Slim! Get that F ready!
Just like we reviewed in the Top 20, rankings are based on my final updated top 200, comparing them to the FantasyPros aggregate Draft Day Rankings along with Basketball Monster’s Total Value for 9-cat leagues on the season. Slim busts out his grading pens and reviews for grammatical correctness and how stringently I followed the assignment. “What if I stay after class for tutoring!?” This dialogue and mental image is starting to sound like a low-rent porno. It’s not like that! Here’s a look back at the Top 50 for the 2013-14 Fantasy Basketball Season:
21. Nicolas Batum
FantasyPros Draft Rank #18
Basketball Monster Total Value Rank #24
Batum was another guy like Paul George that I got a lot of flack for ranking lower than most. I narrowly had him outside the top-20, and didn’t feel like I buried him – as evidence to his aggregate rank. My concern was falling %s (which came back up) and declining 2nd half offensive output from 12-13 (which did carry over to a 1.3 PPG dropoff from 12-13 to this past year), so I feel pretty good with the analysis there. His Stls and Blks dropped, but Rebs went to a career-high and he played 82 games. With a 24th overall finish, I feel good on this one, which will make me feel better on the next one.
Slim’s Grade – B - A decent year but with 3s/Stls/Blks all coming down and with injury concerns looming again Batum will fall well out of my fair graces next year.
22. LaMarcus Aldridge
FantasyPros Draft Rank #12
Basketball Monster Total Value Rank #23
Well, when you see his overall value this doesn’t look so bad! Of course the rank itself doesn’t tell the whole story, as L.A. only played 69 games due to injury and looked like a first rounder through the first half. I should’ve had him in my second round. As bad as the analysis looks now, I thought if the Blazers got off to a bad start they would shop him like the pseudo did in 12-13. Alas, the Blazers were awesome and look like they’re about to get to the Western semis.
Slim’s Grade – A - FG% came crashing down, blocks weren’t near elite but he was well over a career high in rebounding. Points and boards are good but that doesn’t win fake championships.
23. Dirk Nowitzki
FantasyPros Draft Rank #22
Basketball Monster Total Value Rank #6
What’s really annoying is I thought I was high on him! His range on FantasyPros was 13-59, so he had some crazy volatility, but I bought his second half in 12-13 and drafted him in RCL with handsome rewards.
Slim’s Grade – A - This should be a much lower grade, right? He played much better than his ranking, right? Well, I say left, at Dirks age picking him any higher would have been far too risky.
24. Ty Lawson
FantasyPros Draft Rank #24
Basketball Monster Total Value Rank #70
Lawson was playing really well when on the court, but held to only 62 games with various injuries, including some late-season “we’re out of it anyway” DNPs. I think you liked what you got from T-Law at this rank.
Slim’s Grade – B - Injuries hurt but the per-game stats are just fine.
25. Josh Smith
FantasyPros Draft Rank #29
Basketball Monster Total Value Rank #109
You know, if you can build around his flaws, you could’ve survived. I thought Detroit would limit his shots and labradoodle 3-pointers, but I guess Josh Smith can’t be coached! I didn’t think this ranking was particularly that bold, but I guess it was considering the aggregate. Doh!
Slim’s Grade – D - He’s going to go to Detroit and he’s going to change his ways. Did anyone actually believe that? At 28/29 years old? JB did with this ranking apparently.
26. Joakim Noah
FantasyPros Draft Rank #30
Basketball Monster Total Value Rank #13
Wooo, a good one! Of course, no one could predict Derrick Rose would be out virtually the whole season, which turned Noah into a triple-double machine. Even though he finished as a high 2nd-rounder, another rank in the mid-20s seems right again next year as the assists will go back down with Rose.
Slim’s Grade – B
27. Larry Sanders
FantasyPros Draft Rank #40
Basketball Monster Total Value Rank #308
Get the booze, it’s time to start drinkin’! Hey, at least the highest on FantasyPros was 19, so I’m not the only maniac in the room! We all know what happened to Sanders with an off-court injury, an on-court injury, and a frontal lobe injury. Sanders nearly swept our First Annual Razzies, and became the butt of virtually every joke imaginable. How the hell can anyone feel comfortable drafting him next year? Going to be the hardest guy to rank.
Slim’s Grade – I - I can’t wait to see where Sanders falls next year in drafts. Spoiler: I’m going to be there to catch him.
28. Tony Parker
FantasyPros Draft Rank #27
Basketball Monster Total Value Rank #124
Hmmmm, yeah I guess Tony Parker was this bad. Didn’t really think about this one until now, but man, Parker was brutal. 4 Pts less a game, 2 Asts fewer, FG and FT%s down 3 each. I’m kinda scratching my head here… I think since the Spurs were just so flippin’ good regardless of who was out there, Parker got 3.5 less minutes a game and was a rough pick. Lesson – rank old guys lower JB! Wait, Dirk did good… And Duncan… Ugh, fantasy…
Slim’s Grade – F - I’m starting to notice a trend with the rankings that didn’t live up to expectations. They’re all old, in fantasy basketball years of course, in real life, well, they’re still old.
29. Jeff Teague
FantasyPros Draft Rank #46
Basketball Monster Total Value Rank #59
For portions of the year, this bold of a rank looked great. For others, one of the worst ranks on the year. Thanks for being consistent, Teague! I would’ve tied the high rank on Teague on FantasyPros (I’ll be in it next year), but ended up not working out… I think if Al Horford had stayed healthy all year, it would’ve really benefited Teague’s assists and offensive consistency. He averaged well over 8 dimes a game through December, to under 6 afterwards.
Slim’s Grade – C – So you went out on a limb with Jeff Teague and it didn’t work out as well as you hoped. Don’t worry JB, there’s always next year, and with the way Teague has played down the stretch I bet he’s going to be high on my rankings next year too.
30. David Lee
FantasyPros Draft Rank #26
Basketball Monster Total Value Rank #61
A myriad of lingering injuries kept Lee to only 69 games, but he was solid across the board for ya.
Slim’s Grade – F - Injuries sure but a big without blocks that’s over 30. This ranking turned out far too generous and we should have seen it coming.
31. Mike Conley
FantasyPros Draft Rank #28
Basketball Monster Total Value Rank #36
Like Lee – another boring, nothing too bold, productive guy you got in the early 30s. I thought he missed more than 9 games, but he played 73 even with that bad ankle sprain. His consistency might put him in my top-30 next year.
Slim’s Grade – B
32. Russell Westbrook
FantasyPros Draft Rank #33
Basketball Monster Total Value Rank #112
Limited to 46 games, the second knee injury really knocked him out of big value, but on a per-game basis you did pretty well. Looks good in the playoffs and I think with no restrictions next year he might be a value.
Slim’s Grade – A - Higher than most and it turned out well worth the 3rd round pick. Then came the 2nd injury…
33. Pau Gasol
FantasyPros Draft Rank #36
Basketball Monster Total Value Rank #86
What a mess the Lakers were. Pulitzer worthy analysis right there! Limited to 60 games with a groin injury then the vertigo from out-of-nowhere, Gasol’s value spiraled out of control. Still a pretty good player when healthy, but we’ll see where the offseason takes him and if this vertigo is of any consequence to his last few years.
Slim’s Grade – A - If you followed these rankings then you didn’t draft Pau. Repeat after me. Go JB Go JB Go.
34. Nikola Vucevic
FantasyPros Draft Rank #37
Basketball Monster Total Value Rank #81
On a per-game basis, Vucevic was quite solid yet again. He ain’t no Jell-O! Only 57 games played knocked down his overall value, but I think you’d be hard-pressed to find a more consistent young big man in the first four rounds next year.
Slim’s Grade – B
35. Dwight Howard
FantasyPros Draft Rank #23
Basketball Monster Total Value Rank #117
Man, Basketball Monster weighs FT% hard! But the blocks took a pretty big hit, and that FT% was a bummer to build around. As I said in my rankings at this spot, “probably won’t end up on many of my teams…” and it turned out to be true! Was way under the consensus and I think you did well avoiding.
Slim’s Grade – C – If you punted FT% and went with Howard it actually went pretty well. I’ve never done it. Did you win? Is anyone there? Oh…
36. Tim Duncan
FantasyPros Draft Rank #47
Basketball Monster Total Value Rank #40
Oh man, the consensus hated Duncan! Which I typoed “Funcan” at first, which I think would be a good party DJ name. You’d have to wear his jersey! Anyway, for a guy to play 74 games at under 30 minutes per to still be a top-40 player was a pretty phenomenal year. I think this was one of the better rankings in this range.
Slim’s Grade – B – Sure he was OK, played more games than I expected. No way I was drafting him here though.
37. Paul Millsap
FantasyPros Draft Rank #35
Basketball Monster Total Value Rank #21
Damn, I thought I was higher on Millsap than the industry, but guess not! My analysis on him coming into the year was he got his workload cut his last year in Utah and was (still is) pretty young. He flourished in Atlanta even with Al Horford, so I think he’s going to be a beast again next year.
Slim’s Grade – C - Great year, we should have had him higher. All the signs were there for 2nd round production. This grade was a ‘B’, but we need to learn from this one.
38. Rudy Gay
FantasyPros Draft Rank #32
Basketball Monster Total Value Rank #47
I definitely wasn’t a huge Gay guy (meh), but still thought he would be decent here. The trade to SAC seemed to limit his upside and I think seeing his range of 17-49 on FantasyPros show you the kind of boldness some had for him. Not me!
Slim’s Grade – A - Following these rankings no one drafted Rudy, but this ranking turned out to be just about right. Pat yourself on the back JB.
39. Kawhi Leonard
FantasyPros Draft Rank #45
Basketball Monster Total Value Rank #29
Wooooo! Loved Kawhi coming into the year. What’s funny is his perception was a guy that started very slow, got hurt by Pop’s rotations, and also missed big time with injury. Even at 66 games and limited by a hand brace for a few afterwards, Kawhi’s under-the-radar multi-cat ownage vaulted him into a top-30 player according to B Monstah. As a dynasty owner in REL, very encouraging. Can’t wait to be bold on him again next year.
Slim’s Grade – A - Multi-cat is good, but it’s not worth a 3rd round pick like his pre-draft rankings were for most.
40. Roy Hibbert
FantasyPros Draft Rank #43
Basketball Monster Total Value Rank #79
Ugh. Oh man, how bad did this end?! The offensive game crumbled, he somehow dropped 1.7 boards a game despite playing a minute more per, and lost roughly half a block. And that’s after averaging 4 a game after a month and a half! His 2013 was fine, but 2014 just abysmal. A big man I’ll be avoiding next year.
Slim’s Grade – D - I’m sorry. I didn’t see this coming at all. I spent $30 in the REL and look what happened there. I don’t remember, let me go check. Ohh, Ahh, It’s so shiny…
41. DeMarcus Cousins
FantasyPros Draft Rank #31
Basketball Monster Total Value Rank #28
Yikes. My b Razzball Nation! I certainly was worried about “the knucklehead factor” and this turned out to be his year. Huge improvements virtually everywhere, but heading into next year, I’ll still be worried especially since the Kings are likely going to be out of contention early again. Going to make him whiny.
Slim’s Grade – C - This was around the industry standard ranking and everyone whiffed. You know who didn’t whiff. Pete Nice didn’t whiff that’s who.
42. Blake Griffin
FantasyPros Draft Rank #38
Basketball Monster Total Value Rank #15
Another guy I thought I was higher on than I’d seen in a lot of places, it turns out the consensus liked him. Well, they liked him a good bit under his ADP, but I was slightly behind. And you got a career year, highs across the board, improvements everywhere. Looking like a highish 2nd-rounder next year.
Slim’s Grade – B - JB was a little bullish on Griffin it looks like, but not enough. Will he be a 2nd rounder next year in my rankings? Are you waiting for an answer?
43. Jeff Green
FantasyPros Draft Rank #56
Basketball Monster Total Value Rank #99
Quick trivia! Guess the number of other Green’s that finished ahead of Jeff Green in overall rankings… Have your guess? Because it’s 3!!!!!!!!!! Gerald Green, Danny Green AND Draymond Green. What a horrific year it turned out to be, as none of the aggressive defensive numbers panned out, he shot terribly, and nothing improved when Rajon Rondo returned. This sleeper pick turned out to be just plain awful, and Green goes into my “never again” scrapheap.
Slim’s Grade – F - I trust JB will burn himself at the stake for this one [editor’s note – whoa! rough!]. 4th round in a 12er? What are you going to leave me in your will? Can I have your wardrobe? I can wear your pants, someone else will wear your shirt and sit on my shoulders. Then we’ll just do what you do, climb down bean stalks and trample the peasants villages. No one would even know you were gone, you would be immortal, kinda.
44. Nikola Pekovic
FantasyPros Draft Rank #63
Basketball Monster Total Value Rank #136
My 40s were absolutely atrocious. I blew the 5th round of 10-team drafts harder than Paris Hilton at a lollipop store. Only able to play 54 games was obviously a big hit, but I’m not using that as an excuse – he didn’t jive well with Kevin Love and this was likely his final year in MIN. At least he gave you good %s which was one of my big selling points, but for BLKs to fall from 0.8 to 0.4 just won’t work from your big.
Slim’s Grade – B - We both know you don’t deserve a grade this high. But after that last pick I imagine your ego needs a little stroking. At least I hope that’s your ego.
45. Kobe Bryant
FantasyPros Draft Rank #52
Basketball Monster Total Value Rank #409
Talk about volatility! His range was 15-130, a lot depending on when “experts'” final draft day ranking was pulled. Who knows what would’ve happened if he didn’t break his kneecap, but I think I was cautious enough with this ranking to not sink too many teams.
Slim’s Grade – I - You ranked Kobe? Shame on you.
46. Jonas Valanciunas
FantasyPros Draft Rank #68
Basketball Monster Total Value Rank #95
My #1 sleeper heading into the season ended up being a Razzie favorite. Sigh, this was a brutal one, as JV’s season was marred with horrible inefficiency, just at the eye level seemed like he was hurt or worn out, then got a DUI to top it off. There’s still upside to his career and he’s still young, but none of that will help me rank him favorably in 14-15.
Slim’s Grade – B - I don’t think this was a bad ranking. He may be eerily similarly rankedly next year.
47. Chris Bosh
FantasyPros Draft Rank #49
Basketball Monster Total Value Rank #18
Underrated yet again, Bosh got to 79 games while getting you 1 3/Ast/Stl/Blk a game. Steady, sure-handed production and this was one of the few in the 40s I did OK with…
Slim’s Grade – B - His value is buoyed by %s and TOs. I like your ranking better than whatever his final ranking turns out to be.
48. Derrick Favors
FantasyPros Draft Rank #50
Basketball Monster Total Value Rank #51
Looks like everyone was right across the board, as Favors – while not getting the big blocks like I expected – put together a very solid multi-cat season. Shot over 52% 13/9/1/1/1.5 is really solid stuff. He easily could take another step forward next year, and will probably near the 30s and be a big sleeper for me in my ranks.
Slim’s Grade – B – This was a good gamble. It didn’t quite work out but it was closer than you think to being a championship altering pick.
49. Kemba Walker
FantasyPros Draft Rank #34
Basketball Monster Total Value Rank #54
I was hugely down on Walker coming into the season, and if you had ignored my other horrible calls in this range, you would be happy to follow this one! My blurb was “…don’t think Jefferson fixes bad FG%, low Asts”, and while he got his Asts up 0.4 more a game to 6.1/per, he shot under 40% and lost almost a steal a game. I feel pretty spot on with the analysis here.
Slim’s Grade – C – Way too low. I know he has a few issues but not this low, now promise me he’ll be ranked higher next year. Promise…
50. Brook Lopez
FantasyPros Draft Rank #44
Basketball Monster Total Value Rank #266
I didn’t like him with the incoming former Celtics, but it turned out a broken foot would keep us from knowing if I was right or wrong. One of the tougher injuries from last year.
Slim’s Grade – I