With the top 20, top 10, top PG, top SG, top SF and top 20 PF for 2011 fantasy basketball in the can, it’s time to go out with a blowout and look at the top 20 centers for 2011. On Monday I warned you that some of these blokes can be considered power forwards. Go ahead and consider them. They love that. Anyway, as has been the pattern so far, these rankings are a hybrid of both 9-cat roto and H2H leagues.
Here are the top 20 centers for 2011 fantasy basketball:
1. Dwight Howard – See the top 20 for 2011 fantasy basketball post for Dwight Howard’s projections.
2. Al Horford – See the top 20 for 2011 fantasy basketball post for Al Horford’s projections.
3. Al Jefferson – RUN ON ALs! It’s going to be a while before we see Harrington. You really couldn’t ask much more from Jefferson than what he gave you last season. I suppose you could have asked for a few more points each game. Maybe an iPad2. That would have been nice of him. I fear his numbers will dip this season out of sheer volume of Utah big men chewing up minutes. Call me crazy, but I also fear that your iPad2 is not forthcoming. Still, Jefferson remains the biggest talent on this team and I’m not betting that guys like Mehmet Okur are going to hobble him too much.
Season Projections: .495/.710/0 3pt/19.5 pts/10 rbd/2 ast/1 stl/1.5 blk/2 tov
4. Brook Lopez – If Present Day Adam told the 2011 Adam that a girlie-named Net with a twin brother in Phoenix would be among this season’s best centers, I bet 2011 Adam would have been horrified – mostly because seeing a slightly older version of oneself would make anyone go nutzoid. I’m sure I would have had so many questions. Like, do I get married in the next three years? If so, is my future wife pretty? Does she nag me a lot? Am I still the type of person that needs to be nagged all the time? And if so, why haven’t I gotten my shizz together and started becoming more of a man? What am I doing monkeying around with the space-time continuum, warning future versions of me about who will be good and bad in future seasons? Doesn’t that seem like an incredible waste of resources? And couldn’t I have at least taken out the trash on my way to the time machine? Don’t I realize what my future wife does for me day-after-day? And also, what the hell are the Nets still doing in New Jersey?
Season Projections: .505/.800/0 3pt/22.5 pts/7 rbd/2 ast/0.5 stl/1.5 blk/2.5 tov
5. Nene Hilario – Whether it be Denver, Jersey, or someplace else, Nene will be fine. He’s a reach in the third round, safe in the fourth, a great value in the fifth and part of a three-team fantasy league if he makes it into any round after that. He is what he is. Ol’ reliable. Sturdy. Don’t knock sturdy, you’re likely to hurt your knuckles. … Because of the sturdiness, you see.
Season Projections: .590/.715/0 3pt/15 pts/8 rbd/2 ast/1 stl/1 blk/2 tov
6. Joakim Noah – Last preseason I anticipated a huge leap in production from Joakim and, technically, that’s what I got. Um, Adam? That’s not what I got. Why did I get that and you didn’t? That’s weird. Are you using that thing correctly? His DRtg tightened up from a solid 101 to a white hot 97. He’s completely locking fools down defensively. He also jumped from 11 points per game to 12, improved his FG% and doubled his per game steals. Yeah, but he missed 34 games last year, after missing 18 games the year before. I hear you, Mr. Italics. Mostly because seeing you would mean that I was hallucinating. Injuries are unpredictable, but it seems pretty clear that when he’s healthy, Noah is a huge asset.
Season Projections: .519/.711/0 3pt/13 pts/12.5 rbd/2.5 ast/1 stl/1.5 blk/2.5 tov
7. Andrew Bynum – Pop quiz, hot shot: What is the significance of the numbers 46, 35, 50, 65 and 54? No, it’s not the combination to the lock on my diary (you wish), it’s Bynum’s game totals for five of his six seasons in the league. He’s only 24 so time is still on his side, but one has to worry about the development of someone so consistently injured. Actually, not just one, many. Many should worry about his development.
Season Projections: .550/.700/0 3pt/13.5 pts/8.5 rbd/2 ast/0.5 stl/2.5 blk/2.5 tov
8. Roy Hibbert – If he can stay away from stupid baby hooks, work the inside/outside game with David West, and go hard to the mothereffin’ paint every once in a while, Dr. Hibbert might have himself a season. If not. He’ll have himself last season.
Season Projections: .465/.770/0 3pt/12 pts/8 rbd/3.5 ast/0.5 stl/2 blk/2.5 tov
9. JaVale McGee – McGee strikes me as someone who would be well-paired with a straight scorer like Eric Gordon or Kevin Martin in fantasy leagues. I wouldn’t scoff at such a pairing. I also wouldn’t scoff because I have no idea how to do that.
Season Projections: .519/.605/0 3pt/12 pts/8 rbd/1 ast/1 stl/3 blk/2 tov
10. Andrew Bogut – WOW! Bogut shot a whopping .442 … and that was WITH an injured elbow! /Adam raises arms in victory, hears a crackling in his headset, is told that the .442 figure was Bogut’s free-throw percentage – not his field goal percentage, immediately drops his arms, thinks of how to spin this in the Aussie’s favor, cartoonishly snaps his finger as the solution comes to him, proceeds to type the upcoming message:\ If Bogut had manged to shoot an un-noteworthy .650 percent on his 217 free throws this season, he would have made an additional 45 freebies and still only averaged 13.5 points per game because of it. What I’m trying to say is, his awful free throw shooting isn’t all that awful when you only get to the line thrice a game. He’s healthier now, he’ll shoot better, while still rebounding and blocking at a huge clip.
Season Projections: .530/.561/0 3pt/13 pts/10.5 rbd/2 ast/0.5 stl/2.5 blk/2 tov
11. Andrea Bargnani – Here’s you choice, we can talk about Bargs’ four ppg leap between 2009 and 2010 and prance and sing and carry on, or we can talk about how a 7-foot-tall man somehow grabbed one FEWER rebound in 2010 than the 6.2 he pulled down the season before. Or how he blocked half the shots last year that he did in ’09. Or3: Or Harder, we can try to blame his lack of big man stats on Reggie Evans or Ed Davis or Amir Johnson, even though no such loss of scoring happened in the face of DeMar DeRozan’s development. Your final choice is talking about my babysitter, whose name was also Andrea. She was into David Bowie and Boy George. No matter what you choose it, it all ends the same way: me being confused beyond words.
Season Projections: .465/.825/1.5 3pt/20 pts/5.5 rbd/2 ast/0.5 stl/1 blk/2 tov
12. Marc Gasol – When I first outlined this list, I wrote down the following note for Marc Gasol: “mention his ‘gas hole.'” No clue where I was going with that, but we’re gonna let it stew in the pot.
Season Projections: .514/.721/0 3pt/12.5 pts/7.5 rbd/3 ast/1 stl/1.5 blk/2 tov
13. Marcin Gortat – Ooooo … so that’s why the Polish Hammer was all pissy about being Dwight’s backup. Okay, yeah. Cool I get it.
Season Projections: .545/.700/0 3pt/16 pts/11 rbd/1 ast/0.5 stl/1.5 blk/1.5 tov
14. J.J. Hickson – Two things, right off: a) I’m super excited for J.J. Hickson’s 2011-12 season, b) I’m a little nervous about that excitement. The talent is there. We’ve seen it in pockets of two different seasons, including the 17 ppg/11 rpg 25-game stretch he went on to end last season. Pulling that out of your hat a couple games throughout a season is a fluke, averaging that over two-and-a-half months is progress. I’m not saying this is as big of a blow to Ohioans (Ohioates? Ohiomans? Ohiomies?) as the King’s exodus, I’m saying it’s below it, but not as far below it as his ADP (ninth round average) suggests it is.
Season Projections: .490/.719/0 3pt/17 pts/9.5 rbd/1.5 ast/0.5 stl/1 blk/2.5 tov
15. Tim Duncan – We need to come up with a glossary term for an aging player who buys himself a couple extra seasons by getting smarter and boosting his efficiency to make up for a failing body. My early vote is to call this phenomenon “Shamwane,” “FeebleWobble,” or maybe “Ripen Van Winkle.”
Season Projections: .485/.720/0 3pt/13 pts/8 rbd/2.5 ast/0.5 stl/1.5 blk/2 tov
16. Tyson Chandler – I haven’t forgotten that he’s missed at least 10 games in half of his 10-year career, nor have I forgotten about his occasional lapses in both scoring and rebounding, nor the fact that he’s coming off a career year. The free agency market may have forgotten, but I haven’t. Superior low-post defense doesn’t play here, Chandy.
Season Projections: .610/.715/0 3pt/9.5 pts/9.5 rbd/0.5 ast/0.5 stl/1 blk/1.5 tov
17. Boris Diaw – Hey look! A Bobcat! Neato. He only played 7 percent of his season at the five-spot last year, but it appears he’ll be forced to play a lot more this season with Biyombo getting time at power forward. Of every guy on this list, Diaw is the only big man to finish in the top five in threes, assists and steals. Among qualifying centers, he sank the second-most threes and doled out the most assists. Generally, he had one of the best seasons of his career, and never got any fanfare for it. I blame his lack of popularity on being stuck in Charlotte … the city, not some girl. I felt I had to clarify. He is French, after all. Anyway, there’s pretty solid value here.
Season Projections: .485/. 710/1 3pt/11.5 pts/6 rbd/4 ast/1 stl/0.5 blk/2.5 tov
18. Emeka Okafor – Big ‘Mek never delivered on that special sauce he had his rookie year when he averaged 15 / 11. He’s offered only declining returns ever since. Can’t blame injuries – he’s only missed 10 games in four seasons. Can’t blame an overly-talented roster – Chris Paul only makes other players better and David West didn’t bang down low if he didn’t have to. Can’t blame the coaches – he’s had three to choose from in as many seasons. they all coaxed out the same results: yawns.
Season Projections: .550/.555/0 3pt/12 pts/10 rbd/0.5 ast/0.5 stl/1.5 blk/2 tov
19. DeAndre Jordan – Jordan was supposed to be a Warrior, Kaman was supposed to be a Hornet, I was supposed to be born three years later than I was, according to my parents’ pre-marital plans and all any of this proves is that you can’t always get what you want. You get what you need. And when you see the centers awaiting you after Jordan, you’ll realize you need to jump on a second center before it’s too late.
Season Projections: .585/.465/0 3pt/8.5 pts/10 rbd/0.5 ast/0.5 stl/2.5 blk/2 tov
20. Anderson Varejao – Remember Joakim Noah from, like, 13 spots (or about 17 inches) ago? Yeah, this is the Noah you get if you missed him and want a supremely discounted version. Varejao doesn’t do much better than JoaNoah, but he does do a lot of the same things very similarly. Oh, and I haven’t even mentioned the goofy hair connection. I mean, I guess I just mentioned it. But before I mentioned it, I hadn’t mentioned it.
Season Projections: .530/.665/0 3pt/9.5 pts/10 rbd/1 ast/1 stl/1 blk/1.5 tov