With the full 2014-15 Fantasy Basketball Rankings now complete, let’s take a look at the top 100. After a week filled with triumphs, successful trades going through, and possibly the biggest news of the offseason – Jared Dudley getting moved. I couldn’t finish the top 100 without knowing where Dudley would be! The ramifications would be catastrophic! So past 75 you’re starting to scrape the bottom of the barrel. The dregs of the cask. Which means it’s sleeper land! Bring out the sleeper patrol! And a lot of times if you hit on just one of these and avoid injuries in your early rounds, you’re set for a playoff run. Here’s my top 100 for the 2014-15 Fantasy Basketball Season (based on 9-cat H2H):
76. Kyle Korver, Atlanta Hawks - Starting your final leg of the top 100 with a ThrAGNOF?! Blasphemy! Well, what is even more blasphemic is how much of a rankings-metric whore he is. So many treys with no TOs! Obviously means you should be a top 50 player… I’ve mentioned this song and dance before, as even though his total value is much higher, I’m not paying the premium. But with the spike to 34 MPG last year (which should be the case again in 14-15), his dimes and steals shot up to career bests and he should have a very replicable year. Don’t reach, ThrAGNOF!
77. Greg Monroe, Detroit Pistons - I’ve always been a Monroe fan. Unfortunately for me, both with Monroe and how down I was on his teammate early last year, Andre Drummond happened. Damn you, Drum! Despite Monroe playing similar minutes to 11-12 and 12-13 campaigns, points went down, boards went down, steals went down, blocks went down… And sure all of those were marginal, but the biggest regression was in dimes down to 2.1 after 3.5 and 2.3 in the prior two seasons. 3.5 dimes from your mid-round big is nothing to snot rocket at! I think Brandon Jennings and Josh Smith with their horrible %s cut into that as well, so the Pistons didn’t help build for him. With Stan Van now the Man Man, minutes should maintain and I think the dimes can be a real surprise again as BJ and Smoove should get a real butt-kickin’ if they are that inefficient again. ADPs and other ranks have him right at 100, I’m reaching a smidge.
78. Isaiah Thomas, Phoenix Suns – Ya know, it’s funny. Funny just how so much can change with trades, seeing other ranks, re-addressing your own ranks… I thought I was gonna love IT2 this year. LOVE I SAY! But instead, it seems everyone is more enamored with IT2 more than a meat lovers pizza. Now part of a three-headed monster, I have no doubt he’s getting the minutes right at 30. He should be the 6th man and easily run with either Goran Dragic and Eric Bledsoe, but with those guys, is there really any way he’s the facilitator? Dimes have never been a big part of his game – 6.3 last year as the Kings starting PG – and he’ll be way way under that this year. I thought IT2 was going to go closer to 100 a month ago – with the role off the bench, behind two really good Gs, changing cities, all of that sinking his perceptive value. But other ranks have him top 50. That’s nuts. Don’t draft him there.
79. Tyreke Evans, New Orleans Pelicans – There might not have a been a more roller coaster season than with Reke last year. Looking at the overall numbers, it was a sad panda. Career-low in points, big dropoff in MPG, and still terrible as a deep shooter. But if you were a Reke owner, you know just how good some of the stretches were, mainly post-ASB. His final 23 games slash was an unbelievable 19.7/5.4/6.4/1.3/0.3. Before that, inconsistency both in his play and in his role made him waiver wire fodder, on top of even more ankle sprains. And a big boost for that final run was the injury to Jrue Holiday that put a lot of facilitating in Reke’s hands. I see big things for Jrue cutting into the assists and points, but Evans should be able to bring you a decent line and play a more consistent role as the starting 3.
80. Kevin Martin, Minnesota Timberwolves - So many points and %s! So little else! After that horrific OKC experiment, K-Mart bounced back better than I thought last season. 19.1 points, 1.7 treys, and a good enough volume 4.5-5.0 FT to have us reminisce in the K-Mart days of yesteryear. The treys were a little low, but I don’t see any way he’s not closer to 2.5 this year with over 20 PPG. No more Kevin Love camping for treys, Martin will be the primary scorer on the rebuilding Wolves and obviously the main perimeter threat. My disdain for three-point specialists keep him from vaulting way up my ranks, but I like him a lot this year and if I needed the deep ball in the 8th round, I’d reach a few picks higher.
81. Giannis Antetokounmpo, Milwaukee Bucks – Alphabet me! The Greek Freak is a big favorite for both Slim and I, who we like to really break out this year. Jason Kidd has already talked about using Giannis as a point-forward, and while it’s unlikely they do that often, he’s already shown some nasty multi-cat prowess and it’s good to see Kidd embracing the Freak-ness. Even though nothing huge stuck out in any sort of stretch last year as Giannis suffered through Larry Drew’s awful rotations, there was one huge thing I noticed. My crack. My additiction. My AST:TO ratio watches! Pre-ASB 1.7:1.7, post 2.3:1.5. “It’s motherf***** crack!” A role that should be 32-34 minutes, upside in virtually every category, Slim and I are going to have a race to grab Giannis before the field in all our leagues.
82. Nikola Pekovic, Minnesota Timberwolves - “What can I do for you, Pek?” “You can tell me why you’re wiping your ass with my client’s contract promising a TiVo!” Pek is one of my favorite real-life players. Strong, Yugoslavian beat downs in the paint. But for our fun little fantasy game, Pek is pretty empty Pts/Reb guy with injury issues. “Why, Pek, Why?!” Under 1 Ast/Stl/Blk every year in his career, but shot 54% from the field last year and offers great interior FG%. That said, no more Love means a little choppier water in the paint and maybe a slight dip in %.
83. Larry Sanders, Milwaukee Bucks - “Never again!” That’s Sanders owners in a collective riot seeing him at 83 for me this year. Don’t hate me! He’s higher in a ton of places. Last year was a well-documented disaster, both on and off the court. If Colonel Sanders can come close to what he did in 12-13 though (9.8/9.5 with 2.8 blocks in only 27 MPG), he could win you your league. There’s so many variables! Including a recent report hinting John Henson might start at the 5 opening night. Even with so much downside, this late in your draft to get someone with his kind of upside would be impossible for me to pass up. He could indeed get a starting role, but even in 27 minutes again like 12-13 in a primary bench role he could be huge. Just depends on if he plans on hitting the nightclubs again right after his infant son is born while leaving his German Shepherds chained up outside in the winter…
84. Markieff Morris, Phoenix Suns - The Kieff! I haven’t been this pumped for a Kief since they announced 24 was coming back… A huge breakout for the better-named Morris twin last year, with a pretty impressive 13.8/6/1.8/0.8/0.6 slash given it was in a 26:33 MPG role. But the breakout signs are still piping hot for a big 14-15. First is his role which should be a 32-34 minute starting gig at PF. Just for s’s and g’s, his per-36 last year was 26/11.3/3.4/1.6/1.4 with 0.8 treys a game. Dem fighting numbers! Given that’s against some second units, but still! Add in his offseason emphasis has been on boards and treys, and without Channing Frye camping beyond the arc, I think Kieff gets over a trey a game. There’s so much upside bubbling over that I’m shocked he’s below 100 almost everywhere else.
85. Channing Frye, Orlando Magic - Haha, I promise it wasn’t intentional! Just where the numbers took me. From one high-upside multi-cat big to a more treys/Reb big, I’ll take the full multi-cat upside guy. But Frye is in a pretty good situation and is getting passed up on more often than I would’ve previously imagined. In 28 minutes per last year, actually had a more multi-cat season than I remembered going 11.1/5.1/1.2/0.7/0.8 with 2 treys a game. Frye was given “you’re starting at PF for a ton of minutes” money to play in Orlando (that’s at least what I imagine the contract says), and with nothing too proven on the perimeter in Disney World, Frye is gonna make it rain like [insert a raining scene from a Disney movie, I can think of any]!
86. Jonas Valanciunas, Toronto Raptors - Nooooooooooooooooooo! The Luminescent Lithuanian is back to give me nightmares! As much as I wanted to give him a spite 172 ranking, I guess I’ll let bygones be bygones and grab JV here. His rookie season was marred by a broken finger, but I caught some games down the stretch and was enamored with his post presence and ability to get to the stripe. Last year, a-notsamuch. In more than 4 more minutes a game, blocks fell from 1.3 to 0.9, FTs went from 2.4-3 to 2.4-3.2 (worse % and didn’t go up) and his FG% fell over 2.5%. Bleck! In the Raptors games I watched, he was slower, less physical, and I posited he was fighting an injury. Finally he showed me those glimmers of his Luminescentness with a huge 8-game April of 16.8/11 and was a much better player post-ASB with a 58% FG clip after 50% pre-ASB. The total FT and FT% both had major spikes as well. He worked out with Hakeem the Dream this offseason, the DUI charges in Canada got dropped, everything is primed for a bounce back from the junior slump. If I wasn’t still heartbroken from last year, I’d probably have him a little higher.
87. Jeremy Lin, Los Angeles Lakers – We’re back with the Lin-sanity! Is there really any better team that Lin could’ve gone to this year? Houston didn’t work, Knicks didn’t want him, and now he’s playing for one of the biggest fanbases and Kobe is going to hog the ball to keep the pressure off. The upside is obviously limited, but I see a little mini-resurgence this year. His minutes were cut for the PBev in 13-14, but he did have his best season beyond the arc, best FT%, and tied his best FG%. And before last year was over 6 dimes a game and 1.6 steals two straight seasons. Would it really be that hard to see Lin get back to 5.5 dimes and 1.5 steals while putting up 13 or 14 points a night? It’s really plausible, and his value will also rise if he can be pretty efficient TO-wise. Let Kobe rack those up! As I said, low-upside, but I think he’s going to have a legit season.
88. George Hill, Indiana Pacers – Who felt like the biggest bust at the midway point last year? “Me! Pick me!” That’s George Hill’s response… But when it was all said and done, Hill actually wasn’t that brutal last season with his metric-friendly game, finishing 77th overall. Almost all of that stems from the 1.5 treys & 1.2 TOs a game, which those logarithms love. With the very unfortunate Paul George injury, is it really that far a leap to see Hill replicating 12-13 numbers? 14.2 points, 4.7 dimes, 1.7 treys and only 1.5 TOs? I don’t think it’s that far-fetched and he was ranked 41st that year! A very boring pick with low-upside, he does offer that mix of treys and some dimes with low TOs that some constructed teams will need.
89. Elfird Payton, Orlando Magic – Elfird on the Shelfrid! Might be our favorite nickname, all Slim on that one. I need to hit up some marketing people to have that available for this Holiday season… The rookie starting PG has oodles of upside, way more than the two PGs above, but it’s likely to be a rockier road than Honey BooBoo’s freezer. His Summer League slash over 5 games showed some multi-cat promise of 9.2/5.2/7/1.4/0.6 including two trip-dub flirts of 12/8/9 and 8/9/10. But before you draft him in the 6th round and scream “dollar makes me holla!”, he’s not a high-volume scorer, and isn’t a good FT shooter, going 65% in Summer League and 61% in his 3-year college career. Then those sad, sad TOs with 4 a game in Summer ball and 3.4 a game through college. If you have a solid team protecting those stats, or have already punted FT, Elfrid is a guy to reach a little further for up the Shelfrid.
90. Arron Afflalo, Denver Nuggets - Ugh, i need a shower. I’m not really an Afflalo guy, but the move to Denver pairs him up with arguably the best PG he’s played with in Ty Lawson, and the Nugs needed a more consistent wing last year. I don’t care if Randy Foye had some nice games, he a scrub! And Wilson Chandler who I liked a lot last year was… inconsistent. Curse of the Neck Tattoo! Fast track that movie idea… Afflalo has dramatically improved his offensive game since the last time in Denver, making a career high 1.8 treys last season and has improved his dimes every year since being in the NBA. I’m not “excited” to get him here, but he should be a pretty high-volume scorer at 19-20 a game for some late points.
91. Terrence Jones, Houston Rockets – I’m not sure what the hesitation on Jones is this year… Finished an obscene 49th overall in value last year, and that includes a 4-game stretch early in the year where he barely got off the bench. When he finally got a start on 11-11, his slash from then on in 72 games was 12.7/7.3/1.2/0.7/1.4 with 1.4 treys. Multi-cat alert! There’s no reason to think he should get comparable numbers as the starting 4 this year, and probably will get more minutes as the only true 4 since Chandler Parsons isn’t around to shift to PF anymore and Trevor Ariza can’t fit that role. Jones is a guy I like a lot and could move up depending on if the wave moves him up ADPs, but right now ranked 147 on Yahoo is a travesty. I’m getting him top 100 in all leagues.
92. Zach Randolph, Memphis Grizzlies - Now for a PF completely different! T-Dog is as boring as iust gets.. But just as he is boring he’s just as steady. He’s 17/10 in the bank, with 2 dimes that sometimes are overlooked, and an ultimate roster comp guy. Unfortunately, he’s always been a little TO prone, doesn’t shoot a great % as a big, and doesn’t block. There’s nothing too special, but consistency is special!
93. Taj Gibson, Chicago Bulls – The acquisition of Pau Gasol certainly clouds the minutes, but Gasol can shift to the 5 when Joakim Noah is sitting and Gibby should have no problem finally topping 30 minutes. Last year snuck up on me a little bit, with a 13/6.8/1.1/0.5/1.4 slash. I don’t expect much more – maybe a little less – in the scoring department, but I think his swattage is a little undervalued and he’s an ultimate team player saying he has no problem starting or coming off the bench. Even in a bench role I think he has a good shot at that 30 minute threshold behind some semi-brittle bigs after playing 82 games last year. He’s only missed more than 3 games once in his 5-year career, so I think you’re paying for some safety there too. Nothing is going to overwhelm you, but the end value I think will justify him here.
94. Patrick Beverley, Houston Rockets - The Razzball faux pas from last year! Well, it really wasn’t that bad, was it? WAS IT?! Did you know he actually finished 74th in per-game last year? PBev owners-then-droppers are like, “um, no he didn’t.” Well, PBev does have a metric-friendly game with treys and no TOs, and while he’s going to be inconsistent and boring, he improved in FG% and treys as the season wore on and is ready for even more minutes with Jeremy Lin out of town. It’s not like he’ll absorb Lin’s touches, he’s still the 5th option offensively with the starters, but his defensive prowess should get him up to 34 minutes a game which will automatically boost up his stats a bit. More treys, still very few TOs, and he’ll be a sneaky value in the 10th.
95. Lance Stephenson, Charlotte Hornets - What team is he on?! Pacers? Bobcats? It’s so hard this fantasy basketball thing! I love the acquisition as a semi-Hornets fan, but don’t see him doing too much different fantasy-wise. He finished 89th last year in total value, and I do think he’ll improve on the 2.7 TOs with a better offense around him. But that will come at the expense of some boards, as citing Al Jefferson as a better rebounder than Roy Hibbert is as obvious as calling 2001 a better movie than Transcendence. Points, assists and steals should be pretty usable and Lance has been fairly durable playing 78 games the past two seasons.
96. Draymond Green, Golden State Warriors - #OccupyDraymondGreen! Oh man, it’s gonna be fun doing that again! Especially as he’s a major Razzball sleeper this year. After muddling off the bench for a bit, Green actually finished as a top 100 player in total value, and should have a more consistent and bigger role in 14-15. Slightly picking an arbitrary date, but from December 29th-April 14th he was a 7.1/5.5/2.1/1.5/1.0 slash guy with 0.6 treys and only 1.1 TOs. And that was in 24 minutes a game! He’s like Andrew Bogut, but with treys! And less boards, but still… Green has a really good shot to start at SF with Andre Iguodala leading the second unit (makes so much sense), and while he won’t be scoring much, that multi-cat ability in a 30 MPG starting role would be a steal this late. Spend the money to #OccupyDraymondGreen!
97. Reggie Jackson, Oklahoma City Thunder - I came into these final picks of the top 100 thinking I was going to have RJax out… I’m not huge on the guy – I think he could be a monster next year if he gets a starting PG gig somewhere – but for now he’s probably starting at the 2 and not getting a ton of rock. That said, there’s value here and apparently no one wants him. In 36 games as a starter last year, he was 14.1/3.7/5.1/1.4/0.1 with 1.1 treys, and while most of those starts were with Russell Westbrook kneed up, I think he can get somewhat close to that line again minus some points and dimes in 14-15. Plus if Westbrook goes down again, you have a bottom-end guy suddenly a big part of your team.
98. Jodie Meeks, Detroit Pistons - This one could change dramatically as we approach the season, as of course Slim and I are hoping Kentavious Caldwell-Pope can sneak by and take the starting SG role. Since that’s probably unlikely, Meeks is looking at a big role on the Pistons to hit treys and rack up steals. Stan Van is a defensive-minded coach, and it’s really not that unthinkable that Meeks can come pretty close to his 13-14 output which was 39th overall! He’s likely to lose some points and maybe go from 2.1 treys to 1.7-1.8, but the 1.4 steals are legit and he has great %s from a deep shooter with low TOs.
99. Corey Brewer, Minnesota Timberwolves - Brewer might be the worst shooting SG/SF in the NBA. Burn! But he’s absolutely awesome and knows his game. I wish I knew my game! A very sneaky 53 overall finish last year, a lot due to the metric-friendly low TOs and occasional trey, but what Brewer brings you is those sweet, sweet steals. 1.9 last year, and will be starting again with no reason to think he won’t rack em up. Plus, since he knows he’s a bad shooter, his FG% is great at 48.1% making so many layups. Hopefully he takes a few less treys this year since he’s a career 29.5% from downtown, and after watching him so much, I think he can surprise with 4 boards a game with Kevin Love not gobbling everything down.
100. Alec Burks, Utah Jazz - Mr. Irrelevant! Oh wait, we have 100 more to go… Burks is awesome to watch, and while his game isn’t exactly fantasy-transferrable, Dante Exum and Trey Burke are both works in progress at best, and someone besides Gordon Hayward is going to have to create. The 154 finish last year was vomit-licious, but he’s marginally improved on his AST:TO since joining the league and in expanding minutes, and I see him playing over 30 MPG this year. He’s not going to do anything great for you besides score, but there’s upside and opportunity and I could see a surprising breakout.
Whew-ee! 100 in the books, sorry for the delay, it’s been a busy past couple of weeks here in Razz-nation. Top 200 will be done next week, and then we’ll be approaching pre-season! Be sure to start an RCL League today to challenge Razzball Nation and have a great weekend!