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We’ve got a bit of a Good News / Bad News situation. The Bad News is that the NBA regular season is finished, and with it, your fantasy team – rendering all your strategery as useless as a neck full of Mardi Gras beads in March. The Good News is that it’s never too early to plan for next season. Is that news really all that good? Your girlfriend doesn’t think so. Then again, be thankful you have one, nerd. See? Every yin has its yang. We’ve already gone over point guards, shooting guards, small forwards and power forwards.  Today, let’s go out with a blowout: the league’s best centers. You know the deal, we’re using the season totals from ESPN’s Player Rater to determine each guy’s final rank. We’re listing averages, but we took totals into account because Games Played weighs heavily on his value – natch. Anyway, here’s the top 20 centers for 2010 fantasy basketball and how they compared to where I originally ranked them.

1. Dwight Howard – Roto or H2H, really, Howard should be owned in the top 15 in any format. Top 10 in leagues that don’t count turnovers. Preseason Rank #4, 2010 Projections: .600/.594/0 3ptm/ 18.5 pts/ 13.5 rbd/ 2.5 ast/ 1 stl/ 3 blk/ 3 tov, Final Numbers: .593/.596/0 3ptm/ 22.9 pts/ 14.1 rbd/ 1.4 ast/ 1.4 stl/ 2.4 blk/ 3.6 tov, 78 games.

2. Al HorfordI anticipated a leap in production from Horford and that’s what I got. Why did I get that and you didn’t? That’s weird. Are you using that thing correctly? Preseason Rank #3, 2010 Projections: .540/.777/ 0 3ptm/ 17 pts/ 11 rbd/ 3 ast/ 0.5 stl/ 1.5 blk/ 2.5 tov, Final Numbers: .557/.798/0 3ptm/ 15.3 pts/ 9.3 rbd/ 3.5 ast/ 0.8 stl/ 1 blk/ 1.5 tov, 77 games.

3. Al Jefferson – Gets a small bump up the rankings because he hung in for 82 games when most centers did not. And I’m okay with it. After missing 11+ games in four of his previous six seasons, it’s nice that Jeff hung around and even nicer that his post-All-Star Break stats (20/10/2)looked nothing like his November. Preseason Rank #5, 2010 Projections: .515/.724/0 3ptm/ 22 pts/ 10 rbd/ 2.5 ast/ 1 stl/ 1.5 blk/ 2 tov, Final Numbers: .496/.761/0 3ptm/ 18.6 pts/ 9.7 rbd/ 1.8 ast/ 0.6 stl/ 1.9 blk/ 1.3 tov, 82 games.

4. Marc Gasol You really couldn’t ask much more from the guy than what he gave you this season. I suppose you could have asked for last season’s scoring numbers. Maybe a PS3. That would have been nice of him. I don’t see his numbers dipping next season. Call me crazy, but I also don’t see a PS3 in your future. Preseason Rank #8, 2010 Projections: .555/.690/ 0 3ptm/ 16.5 pts/ 10 rbd/ 2.5 ast/ 1 stl/ 1.5 blk/ 2 tov, Final Numbers: .527/.748/ 0 3ptm/ 11.7 pts/ 7 rbd/ 2.8 ast/ 1 stl/ 1.9 blk/ 2 tov, 81 games.

5. Brook Lopez Expect a bounce-back year from Lopez, especially because his 2010 down-year wasn’t all that down when the cards are all shuffled and dealt. To maintain the gambling theme, I’m willing to roll the dice and say he doesn’t play a full 82-game season for the fourth year in a row. Preseason Rank #1, 2010 Projections: .525/.810/0 3ptm/19.5 pts/ 9 rbd/ 2.5 ast/ 0.5 stl/ 2 blk/ 2.5 tov, Final Numbers: .492/.787/ 0 3ptm/ 20.4 pts/ 6 rbd/ 1.6 ast/ 0.6 stl/ 1.5 blk/ 2.1 tov, 82 games.

6. Nene – Nene shot 2 percent better from the field than anyone who scored more than 11 point per game this season. That’s sturdy. Don’t knock sturdy, you’re likely to hurt your knuckles. …Because of the sturdiness, you see. Preseason Rank #10, 2010 Projections: .564/.698/0 3ptm/ 14 pts/ 8 rbd/ 2 ast/ 1 stl/ 1 blk/ 1.5 tov, Final Numbers: .615/ .711/ 0 3ptm/ 14.5 pts/ 7.6 rbd/ 2 ast/ 1.1 stl/ 1 blk/ 1.8 tov, 75 games

7. Channing Frye – Is a solid FT% and shizzton of threes worth owning a center that shoots terribly, rebounds poorly, assists rarely and steals infrequently? My use of adverbs should tip my hand a bit? Preseason Rank #16, 2010 Projections: .441/.799/2.5 3ptm/ 13 pts/ 6.5 rbd/ 1.5 ast/ 1 stl/ 1 blk/ 2 tov, Final Numbers: .432/.832/2.2 3ptm/12.7 pts/ 6.7 rbd/ 1.2 ast/ 0.6 stl/ 1 blk/ 0.9 tov, 77 games

8. JaVale McGee His PER, ORtg, and DRtg saw slight bumps in 2010, everything except his terrible free throw shooting took one big JaVale McG-leap forward. And he’ll be 24 in January. If an improvement from the Wiz next season is a lock, McGee’s the key. I can’t get enough McGee puns! Preseason Rank #17, 2010 Projections: .499/.680/0 3ptm/ 15 pts/ 9.5 rbd/ 0.5 ast/ 0.5 stl/ 3 blk/ 2.5 tov, Final Numbers: .550/.583/ 0 3ptm/ 10.1 pts/ 8 rbd/ 0.5 ast/ 0.5 stl/ 2.4 blk/ 1.3 tov, 79 games

9. Tyson Chandler – Career-best PER (18.4), league-leading ORtg (131) and career-bests or second-bests in PPG, FT%, and TOV. Who knew? ‘Cause it certainly t’weren’t fantasy ‘perts, NBA writers, or Brendan Haywood. Preseason Unranked, Final Numbers: .654/.732/0 3ptm/ 10.1 pts/ 9.4 rbd/ 0.4 ast/ 0.5 stl/ 1.1 blk/ 1.2 tov, 74 games

10. Roy Hibbert – Dr. Hibbert made the expected third-year  increases to his stats, but there’s still trouble in Circle City. That starts with T and rhymes with P and that stands for percentages. As in, Hibbert’s should have been higher, could have been higher and would have been higher had Jim O’Brien not freaked him out all winter. But the bad man is far, far away now, so let’s just take that into the deep summer and ignore the rest. Preseason Rank #15, 2010 Projections: .525/.759/0 3ptm/ 14.5 pts/ 7 rbd/ 2.5 ast/ 0.5 stl/ 2 blk/ 2 tov, Final Numbers: .461/.745/0 3ptm/ 12.7 pts/ 7.5 rbd/ 2 ast/ 0.4 stl/ 1.8 blk/ 2.3 tov, 81 games

11. Marcin Gortat Marcin’s the guy you placed on your team after you auto-drafted Yao Ming and traded for Chris Kaman thinking it’s “only a matter of time before he gets totally healthy.” In other words, Gortat’s the guy you got after karma had had its fun. 13/9/1 in 30 minutes with the Suns, 15/11/1 in his final 24 games of the season. Preseason Unranked, Final Numbers: .561/.725/ 0 3ptm/ 10.2 pts/ 7.9 rbd/ 0.9 ast/ 0.5 st;/ 1.1 blk/ 1 tov, 80 games

12. Andrea Bargnani .448 from the field, five boards and half a block from your center? Dude better be throwing down 30 points a game with averages like that. Preseason Rank #6, 2010 Projections: .449/.7890/2 3ptm/ 20.5 pts/ 7 rbd/ 1.5 ast/ 0.5 stl/ 1.5 blk/ 2.5 tov, Final Numbers: .448/ .820/ 1.2 3ptm/ 21.4 pts/ 5.2 rbd/ 1.8 ast/ 0.5 stl/ 0.7 blk/ 2.3 tov, 66 games

13. Chuck Hayes Meh. He’ll be 28 next season and this was easily the best season of his six-year career. Preseason: Unranked, Final Numbers: .527/ .662/ 0 3ptm/ 7.9 pts/ 8.1 rbd/ 2.7 ast/ 1.1 stl/ 0.7 blk/ 1.2 tov, 74 games

14. Samuel Dalembert – I was surprised to see Sammy D ranked this high. I  won’t be surprised if he’s an afterthought in 2011. His stats are like your devlish good looks – enjoy ‘em now, ’cause it’s only a matter of time before everything starts drooping. Preseason Unranked, Final Numbers: .473/ .730/ 0 3ptm/ 8.1 pts/ 8.2 rbd/ 0.8 ast/ 0.5 stl/ 1.5 blk/ 1.7 tov, 80 games

15. Emeka Okafor – 10 pts/ 10 rbd/ 1.5 bpg, and the shiniest forehead in the entire league (both conferences). Sometimes it’s nice to know what you’re getting on draft day, even if what you’re getting is mediocre at best. Preseason Rank #18, 2010 Projections: .540/.601/0 3ptm/ 12.5 pts/ 10 rbd/ 1 ast/ 1 stl/ 1.5 blk/ 1.5 tov, Final Numbers: .573/ .562/ 0 3ptm/ 10.3 pts/ 9.5 rbd/ 0.6 ast/ 0.6 stl/ 1.8 blk/ 1.7 tov, 72 games

16. Andrew Bogut He played hurt all season. We were warned he’d be playing hurt all season. And he still averaged career-highs in rebounds and blocks. His percentages were facacta, but I expect to see them rise closer to his career averages in 2011. Just remember that when you wonder why I rank him three rounds higher than everyone else next fall. Preseason Rank #13, 2010 Projections: .509/.591/0 3ptm/ 13.5 pts/ 11.5 rbd/ 2.5 ast/ 0.5 stl/ 2.5 blk/ 2.5 tov, Final Numbers: .495/ .442/ 0 3ptm/ 12.8 pts/ 11.1 rbd/ 2 ast/ 0.7 stl/ 2.6 blk/ 1.9 tov, 65 games

17. Greg Monroe – 7/6/1 in 25 mpg before the All-Star Break, 14/10/2 in 33 minutes after it. Despite spending November and December being ignored in favor of Ben Wallace, my third pick for Rookie of the Year spent the first four months of 2011 spreading hope in Detroit. Preseason Unranked, Final Numbers: .551/ .622/ 0 3ptm/ 9.4 pts/ 7.5 rbd/ 1.3 ast/ 1.2 stl/ 0.6 blk/ 1 tov, 80 games

18. DeMarcus Cousins – Played 72 percent of his minutes at C, 27 percent at PF and the rest of his time at the “Wait, where’m I at?” position. The ESPN Player Rater spanked Cousins’ bottom on account of his terrible field-goal percentage and his crapple turnovers. Both are stats that tend to improve in big men the more experienced they become. He may be ranked only 18th this season, barring injury next season, he’ll be the guy you reach for after you missed out on Nene and Hibbert. Preseason Unranked, 2010, Final Numbers: .430/ .687/ 0 3ptm/ 14.1 pts/ 8.6 rbd/ 2.5 ast/ 1 st/ 0.8 blk/ 3.3 tov, 81 games

19. DeAndre Jordan He showed flashes of being a huge fantasy asset this season. The problem with flashes is, once the light goes out, you’re blind and incapacitated. Preseason Unranked, Final Numbers: .686/ .452/ 0 3ptm/ 7.1 pts/ 7.2 rbd/ 0.5 ast/ 0.5 stl/ 1.8 blk/ 1.3 tov, 80 games

20. Joakim Noah He’s proven to be one of the five best defensive big men in the game. He’s also proven to be a health risk, having missed 32 percent of his last two seasons. Had he played 75+ games this year, he would have been one of the five best fantasy options at center. But he didn’t, so he wasn’t. Preseason Rank #7, 2010 Projections: .512/.735/ 0 3ptm/ 12 pts/ 11 rbd/ 2.5 ast/ 1 stl/ 1.5 blk/ 2 tov, Final Numbers: .525/.739/ 0 3ptm/ 11.7 pts/ 10.4 rbd/ 2.2 ast/ 1 stl/ 1.5 blk/ 1.9 tov, 48 games