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Before I begin, head on over to the football side and play and/or host some RCLs by clicking here. I’ve got my league up, so come get it. I have no doubt that you are a degenerate so I’m just trying to help a brother or sister out. Also, check out Jay’s rankings. Not because he’s a swell guy (he is), but because he was the third-most accurate ranker according to FantasyPros.

Ok, now back to hoops. If you missed it, here are the links for the Top 10 and Top 25. I’ll keep the intro to this piece short and sweet because there’s a ton of players to get through.

As always, big shout-out to Slim, who provided projections and insight.

26) Kevin Love

The world truly is in disarray. We got world leaders pissing in the sandbox and superstar NBA players not wanting to play with each other. Can’t we all just get along? As the Beatles sang many of times, All You Need Is Love. I initially had Love lower, but after spending the day in a K-Town sauna, I elevated him to here. Why you ask? Well, I think the Cavs are going to increase his usage rate, which was at 26% last season. I just can’t imagine Drew being on the squad this year. So, instead of ISOs on the wing, I can see more post-ups for Love, where he is still very effective. Bron is still going to do his thing, which will give Love spot-up 3s, but when Bron needs a break, I see many sets with Love down low. That could potentially increase his paltry 1.9 assists per game that he tallied last year. Did you know that Love was 12th in double doubles last season?

UPDATE 8/22/17:

Well then. I did think Kyrie would be gone, but he will be replaced by IT, so basically everything I said above is kaput. Move down Love a bit, but there’s no more cruising down the street with the top down.

Slim’s projection:

FG% FT% 3P PTS TRB AST STL BLK TOV MP
.425 .830 2.3 18.5 10.9 2.2 0.8 0.4 2.0 32

27) C. J. McCollum

C. J. McCollum is underrated in my opinion. Is it because he plays in Portland? Possibly. Is it because he plays with Damian Lillard? Perhaps. Is it because he looks like Steve Urkel?

Image result for steve urkel Related image

Indubitably. Enough I say! C. J. shall get his respect and we at Razzball shall be at the forefront of that campaign! He ain’t your mommas shooting guard. He can spot-up, catch-and-shoot off screens, and do all the things that shooters do. What separates him is his playmaking and ball handling. He is so fluid in the pick-and-roll. Can shoot the mid-range, step back for the 3, finish strong at the rim, or do things like this:

There was a recent NBA player survery in which a former player said, “He would be a superstar if he had his own team.

Slim’s projection:

FG% FT% 3P PTS TRB AST STL BLK TOV MP
.470 .880 2.5 23.0 3.6 3.7 0.9 0.5 2.2 34

28) Bradley Beal

McCollum and Beal are so similar statistically that I wouldn’t have a problem if someone flip-flopped the two. For me, the tie-breaker pretty much came down to the fact that McCollum starred in his own television show. Seriously, though, it’s the durability issue. McCollum has played 80 games the past two seasons. Beal’s last three seasons were 77, 55, and 63 games played.

Slim’s projection:

FG% FT% 3P PTS TRB AST STL BLK TOV MP
.465 .795 2.6 21.0 3.2 3.4 1.1 0.3 2.1 34

29) Klay Thompson

I put Klay right below Urkel and Beal because of assists. Other than that, the numbers are very similar. It’s Krazy to think that Klay is the third scoring option on his team. Imagine if he was the primary guy. You think he could do it? We will probably find out in two years. I’m leaning towards yes, as he reminds me a lot of Reggie Miller, and that guy did alright for himself. On a separate note, can we use the expression, the defender got Klay’d?

Slim’s projection:

FG% FT% 3P PTS TRB AST STL BLK TOV MP
.470 .870 3.4 22.0 3.7 2.0 0.8 0.5 1.6 34

30) Marc Gasol

I still remember thinking it was cute that the Lakers threw in Marc when they traded for Pau back in 2008. Who knew? The GOAT, Jerry West, that’s who. Anyways, Gasol saw an uptick in shot attempts last year, which translated to almost 20 ppg. The rebound numbers fell below seven for the first time in his career, but the assist numbers went up. He also added a three-point game to his arsenal. He fell 0.1 shy of joining the 1/1/1 club. If he stays in Memphis, he and Mike Conley should continue to thrive. Just keep in mind that, back in July, there were rumors of a possible trade to Boston.

Slim’s projection:

FG% FT% 3P PTS TRB AST STL BLK TOV MP
.460 .830 1.5 20.0 6.6 4.5 0.9 1.3 2.3 34

31) Kemba Walker

Kemba’s usage rate was 29.2% last season, which was an increase from his usual 26%. That translated into more shot attempts and points. The shooting percentage on both 2s and 3s increased as well. While the assists slightly ticked up, the rebounds and steals came down. Now, he did have meniscus surgery on his left knee in May, the second in as many years. Recovery time is around six weeks, but he was seen running around on the court in the NBA Africa Game last week. I wanted to put him lower, but I think the acquisition of Malik Monk will provide more spacing for him and he puts dudes on skates like this:

Slim’s projection:

FG% FT% 3P PTS TRB AST STL BLK TOV MP
.440 .850 2.9 22.5 3.8 5.7 1.2 0.3 2.1 34

32) Mike Conley

MC is so good that he makes the spectacular look unspectacular. He’s so good that he makes, on average, over $30 million per year, while scoring more than 20 ppg only once in his career. Ok, that makes him lucky, as he hit free agency at the perfect time. With that said, I’ve always been a fan of Conley. He is so efficient and always seems to make the right play. He’s not flashy and won’t show up on ESPN often, but make no mistake about it, he’s a baller. Now, he may be a better real life player than a fantasy player but that gap may be shrinking. The one negative I can say about MC from a fantasy perspective is that he’s not uber-aggressive. By that, I mean that he doesn’t force many bad shots. While he’s efficient, the volume was often lacking. So, why put MC at 32? The volume was there last season and there’s a good chance it continues to creep up, especially if Gasol gets traded. Last year, the field goal attempts went from 12.4 to 14.6. The three-point attempts went from 3.8 to 6.1. Amazingly, the shooting percentage numbers went up as well. With the Grizzlies shedding some players in the offseason, the situation has changed to possibly force him to be more aggressive.

Slim’s projection:

FG% FT% 3P PTS TRB AST STL BLK TOV MP
.450 .840 2.2 19.0 3.2 6.2 1.3 0.2 2.3 34

33) Al Horford

Al’s last name might as well of been Bundy because fantasy basketballers pretty much clowned him all last year. Horford wasn’t bad, though. It’s just that expectations were too lofty. 14 ppg, 6.8 trb, 5 ast, and he fell 0.2 steals short of becoming a 1/1/1 member. That ain’t bad, yo. There’s been mention that he played hurt for stretches last season and that was his first year in Boston, so I think there’s room for improvement. Do I think he will be the double dub machine when he was in Atlanta? Naw, but that Celtics O is going to be a potent one and Horford is going to be an integral part of it.

Slim’s projection:

FG% FT% 3P PTS TRB AST STL BLK TOV MP
.480 .800 1.3 14.0 7.0 4.4 0.8 1.3 1.6 32

34) Gordon Hayward

I love everything about Hayward. Both his parents were around 5′ 10,” so his dad pushed him to develop the skills of a guard. He chose Butler University because of Coach Stevens and the fact that practices wouldn’t interfere with classes and he would be close to his twin sister. He looked like a nerd, so you know he was focused. Now, he’s a GQ model with the suave haircut that can do it all on the basketball court. He’s 6′ 8″ 226 pounds so he doesn’t get bullied down low. He’s got three-point range with a beautiful mid-range game. He doesn’t AND1 anyone. Instead, he just takes what’s there, but will flush it in grills when the opportunity presents itself. Because he can. Boston truly is the perfect situation for him. There’s so much talent that the floor will be spaced well. Coach Stevens is so good with his offensive sets that defenses are going to have fits trying to stop them. The relationship that Stevens and Hayward have cannot be understated. Hayward knows what Stevens wants, while Stevens knows what Hayward is good at, where he’s most comfortable, etc. In addition, the versatility that’s on the roster will present so many matchup problems for the opposition, with Hayward being front and center. Also, Utah was last in pace, while Boston was 12th.

Slim’s projection:

FG% FT% 3P PTS TRB AST STL BLK TOV MP
.465 .830 2.0 19.5 5.0 3.9 1.1 0.4 2.1 34

35) Joel Embiid

Remember Dikembe Mutombo and his “Who Gonna Sex Mutombo?” pick up line? That’s where I feel Embiid is at. He could walk into any room, say that line, and women and men would start taking numbers. Per 36 last year, 28.7 points, 3.5 blocks, 1.7 steals, 4.1 assists, 15.1 rebounds with 2.2 three-pointers made and a 78% free throw percentage. I WILL SEX EMBIID! Unfortunately, he only played 31 games. And that is why I cannot put him higher, no matter how many times I sex him. You know the 76ers will not give him a full load, but can he even crack 50 games played? At the end of the year, you are either going to fly out to Philly to try and sex him or you will be sexing yourself. The ultimate boom/bust pick.

Slim’s projection:

FG% FT% 3P PTS TRB AST STL BLK TOV MP
.470 .780 1.2 18.5 8.1 2.2 0.9 2.4 3.5 28

36) Eric Bledsoe

Starting point guard for the Suns, a team that was second-fastest in pace last year. Yes and thank you. It doesn’t hurt that Bledsoe has some serious skills. With that said, he’s missed a ton of games over the years due to injury, with the left knee being the most serious. Keep in mind that there’s some smoke regarding a trade to Cleveland for Drew. I don’t think Drew is on the Cavs, so a swap with Bledsoe, who just happens to be boys with Bron, is a viable possiblity. This would be a negative for Bledsoe’s fantasy value.

Slim’s projection:

FG% FT% 3P PTS TRB AST STL BLK TOV MP
.440 .815 1.5 19.5 4.6 6.0 1.5 0.4 3.2 32

37) Ricky Rubio

If this picture is any indication, we are in for a special season from Rubio. Homeboy looks like a White Walker coming to wreak havoc on the North. We all know that Rubio is a fantastic passer with a suspect J. So why the optimism? For starters, Viz is a Jazz fan and he raves about Gobert’s ability in the PnR. Hmmm, sounds like an advantageous thing for a guy like Rubio. Quin Snyder’s motion offense suits Rubio’s skill set well. I’m curious to see the wrinkles he puts in when defenses sag off Rubio. Finally, Rubio’s shooting has actually improved over the years, culminating in a percentage over 40% last season for the first time in his career.

Slim’s projection:

FG% FT% 3P PTS TRB AST STL BLK TOV MP
.410 .860 1.0 13.5 4.3 11.0 1.9 0.1 2.8 36

38) Brook Lopez

“It is not the strongest species that survive, nor the most intelligent, but the ones most responsive to change.” – Charles Darwin. I agree with this quote, although I could make the argument that the ones that respond to change are the most intelligent to begin with, but that’s a discussion for another day. Why do I mention this quote when writing about Lopez? Well, for starters, he went to Stanford, so he’s an intelligent guy. He’s tall, but he’s not the quickest, strongest, or can jump the highest. Yet, this will be his 10th season in the NBA. Taking a look at his career, he’s made more changes than Jennifer Lopez. When he first entered the league, he averaged more than eight boards a game. There used to be a time when rebounding specialists would exist. They have gone the way of the dinosaurs. Anyways, Brook was like, F this man. I don’t wanna pound down low. Over time, he morphed into a stretch 5, as he attempted 5.2 threes a game and made 1.8 last season. As we’ve seen positionless basketball expand, the players that can’t shoot don’t play. I told you Brook was smart. Anyways, he’s leaving a team that was first in pace and joining the Lakers, who were sixth in pace. They also acquired this Lonzo Ball kid, who should be a boon for a player like Brook. It’s all about how many minutes Luke Walton decides to give him, but if he gets over 30, Brook is going to be a valuable commodity.

Slim’s projection:

FG% FT% 3P PTS TRB AST STL BLK TOV MP
.480 .800 1.2 20.0 6.3 2.2 0.5 1.6 2.2 30

39) Blake Griffin

So far, Blake has been the most difficult player to rank. He’s super talented and skilled for a 6′ 10″ 251 pound player. He can dribble, pass, rebound, and has three-point range. He’s big enough to bully people in the post, yet quick and agile enough to blow past them. He also has handles like a guard. With CP3 gone, there’s been much chatter about Point Blake. Not a surfing movie starring Keanu Reeves, but an offense with Blake impersonating Magic Johnson. Sounds juicy, especially since he averages close to five assists a game already. He has the potential to be a first-round player. There are a bunch of negatives, though. As athletic as he is, Blake has been averaging around eight rebounds per game for the past four to five years and has never sniffed blocking a shot per game. Aaaannnddd, the big elephant in the room is the extensive injury history: back spasms, torn quad, knee surgery, and broken toe and hand. It’s the lower body injuries that really concern me, especially because he’s such a big man and so much of his game is predicated on explosiveness. I wanted to put him outside the Top 50, but there’s one thing that kept pushing him up for me. Jerry West. If you don’t know, he’s my godfather. Mr. West would probably consider me a stalker. Semantics. Anyways, he’s on the Clippers staff and they just re-signed Blake to a five-year, $173 million contract.

Slim’s projection:

FG% FT% 3P PTS TRB AST STL BLK TOV MP
.490 .750 0.7 23.0 8.4 5.4 0.9 0.5 2.5 34

40) Victor Oladipo

Dipo played his college ball at Indiana University, so he’s returning home, sort of. He was born and raised in Maryland, but IU was his home away from home. Anyways, he’s returning to a place he’s intimately familiar with, a place where he had much success on the basketball court. For four years, many in the fantasy community have been drooling over the potential of Dipo. Is this the year it happens? Well, he’s no longer a Russell Westbrook sidekick, as RW had an insane 41.7% usage rate last year. Dipo’s was at 21%. That number will probably be closer to 30% this season. While Dipo occasionally struggles with his J, he has good form and will contribute in all the categories. The situation is ripe for him to finally reach his potential.

Son’s projection:

FG% FT% 3P PTS TRB AST STL BLK TOV MP
.440 .800 1.5 18.0 4.5 4.0 1.5 0.5 2.3 34

41) Goran Dragic

The Dragon had a renaissance of sorts last season in Miami, as he averaged over 20 ppg for the first time since 2012, when he played for the Suns. The usage rate last year was a robust 27.1%, the highest mark of his career. That was primarily due to the plethora of injuries the Heat suffered. With a healthy roster, expect the numbers to come down across the board. With that said, the floor is relatively high and The Dragon will contribute in everything besides blocks.

Son’s projection:

FG% FT% 3P PTS TRB AST STL BLK TOV MP
.480 .775 1.2 16.0 3.7 5.8 1.1 0.2 2.6 32

42) Lonzo Ball

I’ve been affected with the BBB virus. Send help!!! I’m probably going to be the most aggressive in ranking Ball, but….as the kids be saying these days, YOLO. Do the kids still say that? I’m so out of touch with things and my kids are too young to school me in what’s cool yet. Anyways, we know the skill set. Questionable shot and athleticism but amazing court vision and IQ. The Lakers are the perfect fit for Ball. They played at the sixth-fastest pace last season and I can see them ending higher this year. The one thing that gave me pause was how many minutes was Walton going to give Ball, as he divied up the minutes and gave DLoading, in particular, 28 a game. I’m of the opinion that they unleash the beast. I kept wanting to put him higher, but I do realize the range of outcomes is wide with Ball and I’m probably at the most positive end. In addition, Grey would probably have me start pissing into cups.

Son’s projection:

FG% FT% 3P PTS TRB AST STL BLK TOV MP
.390 .720 1.0 15.0 5.5 7.5 1.0 0.5 3.0 34

43) Jusuf Nurkic

Is it any wonder why Nurkic and Jokic couldn’t play together? First, their names are so similar, which probably confounded their teammates, and discombobulated the whole operation. Secondly, their games are so similar. Jokic is a bit more finesse, but they are both excellent passers. It’s a great pairing in a video game, as you’d essentially have the same player on the court for 48 minutes, but alas, we live in the real world. He fits in so well with Dame and CJ. It’s going to be fun watching that triumvirate for a full season. There are definitely injury concerns, so keep that in mind. I’m just too tantalized by the upside.

Son’s projection:

FG% FT% 3P PTS TRB AST STL BLK TOV MP
.500 .650 0.0 15.0 10.0 3.0 1.0 1.5 3.0 29

44) Jeff Teague

Man, the Timberwolves are going to be very, very good. Teague is going to make the PnR with Towns unstoppable. In addition, when Butler and Towns get doubled, he’s going to get a ton of open looks. The upside is capped from a fantasy perspective, but the floor is uber-high, especially since Thibs is pretty consistent in his allocation of minutes and rotations.

Slim’s projection:

FG% FT% 3P PTS TRB AST STL BLK TOV MP
.440 .860 1.4 16.5 3.3 7.7 1.3 0.3 2.9 32

45) Dennis Smith Jr.

I’ve loved DSJ since the draft process began. He really does remind me of Stevie Franchise, who just happened to put up a 18/5/6 line his rookie year. All this stuff about “Donnie Nelson wants Dennis Smith Jr. to earn starting point guard spot” is cute, but it’s just lip service. Yogi Ferrell and J. J. Barea are not taking minutes away from him. They will be there to give him a breather or if/when DSJ needs a coaching moment. Other than that, DSJ is not only the starting point guard, but he is the Face of the Franchise in Waiting. Like the Queen of England, Dirk still has the title, but in name only.

Son’s projection:

FG% FT% 3P PTS TRB AST STL BLK TOV MP
.450 .700 1.0 18.0 4.5 4.5 1.7 0.2 3.0 34

46) Nikola Vucevic

Vucevic was 14th in double dubs last year with 38. He’s a good passer, contributes in both steals and blocks, and won’t force you to punt free throw percentage. With that said, his minutes have decreased by three minutes a game the past two seasons and his field goal percentage is low for a big man. An encouraging development over the summer, though, is that he’s been working on a three-point shot.

Slim’s projection:

FG% FT% 3P PTS TRB AST STL BLK TOV MP
.480 .725 0.2 15.5 10.0 2.9 0.9 1.0 1.7 30

47) Khris Middleton

Ha! The early 90s! Anyways, it’s too bad Khris missed most of the season due to a hamstring injury. As Britt Robson of SB Nation put it:

“…Middleton is the caulk, seaming the joints and shoring up any cracks that inevitably appear on the Bucks young roster. One whose future upside is still more enviable than its current experience and inherent synergy. His outside shooting opens up the floor for the team’s offense. His hard-earned knowledge of trapping angles and timing collapses the floor for opponents when the Bucks are engaged in their typically aggressive defensive sets. Middleton doesn’t wow onlookers in the moment. But his effectiveness is what makes the Bucks’ gambles, on schemes and on personnel, work day-to-day.”

This is one of the few instances where real-life and fantasy value are almost identical. Middleton is the guy at the YMCA pickup game that’s not wearing the flashy gear or showcasing fancy moves. He’s just the guy sweating the most because his team keeps winning.

Son’s projection:

FG% FT% 3P PTS TRB AST STL BLK TOV MP
.445 .880 1.8 16.5 4.0 3.8 1.5 0.2 2.3 34

48) Nicholas Batum

I wouldn’t have a problem if you went Batum over Middleton, as he will probably give you more rebounds and assists. I just like Middleton better and feel that his ceiling is a little higher. Some people say toMAYtoe, while others say toMAtoe. I honestly don’t give a shit. You do you and I’ll do me. As long as the meaning is the same, why do people get so worked up over something like that. I think my favorite one is Robitussin. Some say ROWbitussin while others say roBITussin. Anyways, Batum does it all. I’m always surprised that the steal and block numbers aren’t higher with him, though.

Son’s projection:

FG% FT% 3P PTS TRB AST STL BLK TOV MP
.425 .840 1.8 15.0 6.0 5.8 1.0 0.5 2.6 34

49) Avery Bradley

I’m not sure people realize how good AB is. For three consective seasons, he’s increased ppg, apg, fg%, and 3p%. He shot 39% from three-land. The rebound number may be an outlier, as it went from three to six per game last season. I’m going to keep the rebound number relatively high because, while there is some luck as to where the ball bounces, a change in mindset and willingness also are factors. In addition, the Pistons were fifth in defensive rebounding, so while Drummond soaked up many of them, everyone chipped in. With that said, Bradley’s defense is very good and SVG loves defense, so he should get a boatload of minutes and contribute in everything but blocks. I think the usage goes up and he becomes an important part of the offense.

Son’s projection:

FG% FT% 3P PTS TRB AST STL BLK TOV MP
.455 .770 2.0 18.0 5.0 2.2 1.4 0.2 1.5 34

50) Gary Harris

Well, Jokic was the final player in the Top 10. Millsap was the final player in the Top 25. It’s only fitting that Harris is the final player in the Top 50. Was that coincidence? Naw. So this is how being a god feels like? I like it, although I’m having trouble deciding which one is better…this or hovering over ants with a magnifying glass? Anyways, all three players were around the cutoff, so I made it happen to emphasize how much I love the Nuggets offense. I LOVE THE NUGGETS OFFENSE!!! That works too I guess. The Nuggets were seventh in pace last year, so there is going to be a ton of opportunities for fantasy goodness. I still can’t believe Jokic only started 59 games last year. Anyways, Harris shot 50% from the field and 42% from three-land. He’s a little light in rebounds and assist, but he contributes over a steal per game. He is going to get so many more open looks in this offense.

Son’s projection:

FG% FT% 3P PTS TRB AST STL BLK TOV MP
.500 .790 2.0 16.0 3.0 3.0 1.2 0.1 1.3 32
  1. Mad Beach Bums says:
    (link)

    Ahh yes, rankings tuesday! Thanks for the top 50. We the people need Gary’s projection tho. Looks like it was left off, reading on my iPhone at least. Thanks again and like Method Man said: “i call my brotha Sun cuz he shine like one”

    • Son

      Son says:
      (link)

      @Mad Beach Bums: Ha! Thanks MBB! Ah, my bad on Gary. Will take care of it later.

  2. michael says:
    (link)

    anyone heard of demar derozan? i look forward to a ‘revised top 50 because we forgot demar was a top 30 fantasy player’ tomorrow am…

    • Son

      Son says:
      (link)

      @michael: The field goal percentage and lack of 3s knock him down.

  3. Chase says:
    (link)

    Dennis Smith Jr. in the top 50? wow…. never was really that high on rookies so don’t agree on that one. I think his field goal percentage is going to hurt a lot with volume shooting, especially with dirk’s minutes going further down. Nice ranking everywhere else though!

    • Son

      Son says:
      (link)

      @Chase: Valid point. I know I’m super aggressive on him, but I have puppy eyes for my DSJ.

  4. sergio says:
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    Where is Otto and Ariza?

    • Son

      Son says:
      (link)

      In the 75

      • sergio says:
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        @Son:

        Porter was 22nd last season in 9 cat. What’s the reason he’s not gonna be at least in top 50 this season?

        Ariza was top 40 4 straight seasons, dont see any reason why he’s not gonna make at least top 50, And with CP3 he’s gonna get a little bit more open looks.

        • Son

          Son says:
          (link)

          @sergio: I have him right outside. Slim put it best when he said the efficiency ranks Otto higher than he should be. The limited volume doesn’t have as much of an effect.

          I explain my Ariza ranking in the Top 75, releasing tomorrow morning. Hint: I was initially with you

  5. where is Dennis schroder? not even top 75
    I dont agree here for sure he going to be top 50 for sure and i take bets

    • Son

      Son says:
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      Nope. Just outside.

Comments are closed.