I bet you’re like, “Yo, Redacted… why 5-24?  Why not 1-20 like a normal person?”  Well I’m not going to sit here and type to you why LBJ/KD/Paul/Love should go 1-4 because everyone should know that they go 1-4.  If not, please invite me to your money league.  I call these my bold 5-24 because they ignore safety/consistency and positional scarcity.  I’m saying at the end of the year I wouldn’t blink if this is how they ended up in the rankings.  In your draft, I’d reach a little higher for these guys and not necessarily where I’ve placed them on this list (i.e. I LOVE Gordon but I wouldn’t draft him top 20).  No doubt someone will not have read this paragraph and slaughter me in the comments for ranking Eric Gordon top 20.

5.  Andrew Bynum – He’s over in Germany getting the same shit done to his knee that Kobe did.  We all know how that worked out.  Oh yea, he’ll be the focal point of the entire team.  Nom nom nom.

6.  Russell Westbrook – Not bold.  Sometimes you just have to be boring.

7.  Dirk Nowitzki – Got a championship, showed up out of shape for the season, and then was back to his old self by the end of the year.  He’s going to have to shoulder the load for this team because Mark Cuban failed him in the off season.  Just got a feeling he’s going to have a chip on his shoulder.

8.  Al Horford – He’s healthy and proved it in the 3 post-season games he played.  Turned 26 this year and now that Joe Johnson isn’t there I expect him to increase his role in the offense.

9.  Paul Millsap – 53% FG 3 out of last 4 years and shot less than 50% last year.  Just an extra boost for someone already going pretty high.

10.  James Harden – 16.8/4.1/3.7/1 slash line.  Add in there 1.8 3’s per game with a 49% FG and 85% FT and you got yourself a fantasy monster.  Only 23 and look for another mini-leap.  Embrace the beard.

11.  Ty Lawson – Sexy pick alert!  Sexy pick alert!  Lawson is going to go high in fantasy drafts and I wouldn’t be surprised to see him top 15 or even top 10 at the end of the season.  Not exactly a proven player but damn, he’s sexy.

12.  Josh Smith – See #6.

13.  Carmelo Anthony – The coach is his bitch and he will be running the show.

14.  Greg Monroe – Last year I was riding shotgun in the Monroe bandwagon and this year I want to be the driver.  15.4/9.6/2.3/1.3/0.7 slash line in only his second season with a solid 52% FG.  Yeah, he only blocked 0.7 shots per game but he’s 6’ 11” so I’m expecting improvement.

15.  Stephen Curry – A consensus early 2nd round fantasy pick last year, he will probably go anywhere in the 4th – 6th rounds this year.  I LOVE the upside here and in round 4 I think this is a steal.  He never let that ankle heal last year so with him fully healthy I expect him to return to form.

16.  Paul George –  I’m so far out on this limb it’s about to break.  This guy is Danny Granger back when Danny Granger didn’t destroy your FG%.  Third year in the league and I’m more all-in than a redskin fan is with RG3.  Hype hype hype (make sure you watch the second dunk).

17.  Al Jefferson –  Admittedly, I’m probably a little low on Jefferson.  It’s probably because I’m annoyed with Centers that can’t make 50% of their shots.

18.   Eric Gordon – Yep, I drafted him last year and was SO excited when he lit up the two teams he played in the first two weeks of the season.  The kid is a star, just needs the health.  Snag him in the middle rounds to mitigate the risk.

19.  Deron Williams – I’d take him higher in the draft due to the lack of elite fantasy pg’s (Paul, Westbrook, Williams… Rondo doesn’t count as an elite fantasy pg for me) but he’ll probably finish around 20 or so overall.

20.  Kyrie Irving –  F*ck Duke.  Now that I have that outta the way… some people won’t think this bold, some will.  He’s going to be a top 10 pick at some point but I do have some worries about a sophomore slump this year.  Is he going to shoot 47% again this year or will teams clamp down on him?  Might be helpful if the rest of the roster wasn’t vomit inducing.  That being said, I think the talent wins out.

21.  Goran Dragic – Sexy pick part deux.  Less sexy than Ty, but once he took over the starting role in Houston?  Wow.  Now he’s over in Phoenix as the starter since Steve Nash sold his soul to the devil.

22.  Pau Gasol – Man he’s soft.  Just kidding Lakers fans.  Another guy I’d draft higher because I think he’s pretty safe but with Dwight Howard there I do expect some reduction in his numbers.  If Dwight’s back is hampering him, then I’d move him higher.

23.  Marc Gasol – Another pretty safe guy.

24.  John Wall – Did not make the expected leap last year.  Also, I really like getting 3’s outta my pg’s but somehow he doesn’t shoot them and still has a terrible FG% (42%).  Let’s just say I’m counting on a post-hype leap.

BONUS: 25.  Kobe Bryant – Steve Nash, Dwight Howard, Pau Gasol, and Metta World Peace.  OK, so the last one doesn’t really factor but with the new pieces in Laker land I wouldn’t be surprised to see Kobe have less counting stats (points, boards, assists).  He’s competitive as hell but also pretty damn smart so I think he’ll put less a toll on his body during the regular season and save up for the playoffs.  He can’t go 38 minutes a game again right?!

Notable Omissions:  Dwight Howard (Kinda scared of that back surgery), Brandon Jennings and Monta Ellis (played well together last year but 2 volume shooters on the same team?), Dwyane Wade (Man he’s scary to own because 1.  He’s getting older and so is that knee, and 2. They have LeBron James so he can sit more often to rest up.), DeMarcus Cousins (What a headcase.  No way I’m buying him in the first 2 rounds.  Could he be top 10?  Could he punch a teammate/coach?  The answer to both is yes.), LaMarcus Aldridge (very very safe), Blake Griffin (3 category stud (FG, pts, rbs), 1 category killer (FT), and disappointing defensive stats).

  1. Dan Pants

    Blairtch says:

    Bold selections, and I like the Bynum and Irving picks for sure! Definitely feeling Dirkish in the top 10 too. And Goran Dragic top 25!!? Bwah? Bold fer sure, but I like it! GO big or don’t go at all right?

    • James Redacted

      James Redacted says:

      @Blairtch, Glad I’m not the only one with that feeling on Dirk.

  2. Tony says:

    @ James R- nice write up, i appreciate the mild cursing, not too much, not too little, just the right amount. Love seeing basketball posts at razzball, i’m always on the baseball side been following basketball now too for a couple years…. Here’s my thoughts:

    Bynum at 5, I don’t care what surgery that kid has he scares me, those knees are an issue, always, i’d be very afraid to take him there, i’d much rather go with Westbrook. I did read it’s your BOLD picks, but i’m not that bold lol.

    I’m with you and Blair about Dirk. We all need to remember Dirk had knee issues last year and they played that slammed together, no downtime between games, shitfest of a schedule. For old vets like Dirk Diggler who could play like top 10 guys it was not conducive. I think he bounces back with a summer of rest/training and some fresh new faces around him. He knows his time is coming to hang up the shoes, he’ll be geeked up and ready to go….

    He’s going back into my 18 team Auction league. Probably the best available guy getting tossed back, i think i’m going to bid pretty agressively at him. How much would you shell out? $200 budget to draft 4 players, with 4 keepers, i have $127 towards my 4 i buy at auction. Durant went back because we contracted a team last year and WOW he went for $90, lol…. go big or go home i guess.

    I wanna ask are you really that high on Milsap? I ask because with all those bigs around him you think he’s worth a 9th rank? Do you think he’s moved or someone else? Please elaborate. Again I know its your bold picks, just seeing….

    The KOBE at 25, i hate to say it but I dont believe the mans done, until someone shoves a bar of cryptonite up his you know what that guys a machine, with the line up around him he might get a little more rest here and there and STILL put up the #’s we’ve seen, or better with Nash dishing it…. I think he’s top 10, maybe top 6! Just my opinion, he’s kind of the Derek Jeter/Mariano Rivera guy in baseball, you’re just waiting for the rug to get pulled out but these dudes are robots. I wouldn’t bet against KOBE being a top 10 player….

    • Tony says:

      @Tony, ha what a booK! enjoy!

      • James Redacted

        James Redacted says:

        @Tony, Thanks for the kind words! Bynum will definitely be top 10 this year if he remains healthy (and the healthy part is why putting him 5 is bold). As for your auction league…I’d pay $30-40 for Dirk, leaving room for a couple sleepers you can spend on. Be wary of spending more than that because in an 18 team league you might leave yourself a bit too thin (i’m assuming 13 spots). It’s really hard to judge that though because you know your league a whole lot better than I do.

        Millsap – He’s improved his FT% dramatically the past 2 years (up to 79%) which cannot be undersold for big men. Yea the blocks are a downer (0.8 per game) but the rest of the stats are great (16.6/8.8/2.3/1.8). He’s also averaged over 32 minutes per game the past 2 years so I don’t see any reason for this to stop.

        Kobe – Yea…I just can’t believe a guy with his mileage can play 38 minutes a game again, especially after playing in the Olympics as well. I just think the new additions will allow Kobe to get more rest (he wants another championship, saving up for playoffs).

        • Tony says:

          @James Redacted, a little more info, very complex league, 18 teams, cbs pts, so assts are worth like 4.4, etc etc…. blocks are worth 6, but as we know blocks aren’t easily come by…. we roster 13, you can keep up to 4, you subtract their salaries from $200 to get your money you have for the draft to buy 4 players with auction style then we do a 5 round snake…… we start GGG,FFF,C, UTL…. There’s more money out there than there are good players, players values/prices are inflated somewhat due to this…. I assume dirk goes for $60 in this format, i saw durant go for $90 last year when he was tossed back in, and Melo went for $80 ish, It’s either spend it on a guy like that or throw $30-40 at someone like Kirelenko or harden went for $50 last year…. If someone wants a guy they pay, because you MIGHT only get one guy you really want. I could potentially buy Dirk at $60 and still have a chunk for a SOLID 2nd player, as long as I have $2 left I can then buy my last two players at the end for $1 each. It’s semi-confusing but like you said it’s hard for you to judge. There’s a bargain here and there, but a hurt brooke lopez went for $24 of someones draft dollars…. just for a “keeper of the future”. I expect Anthony Davis to go for $50+ and MKD 30-40 ish?

          Knowing my league I wanna go after Melo or Dirk which I believe both are going back in, spend like $60 ish on one of them, then see what happens, what do you think?

          My keeps as of now are: Monta $36, Javale $22, Paul George $16 and Evan Turner $9…… thoughts now?

          Thanks in advance!

          • James Redacted

            James Redacted says:

            @Tony, Ah I think I misread before and thought you were spending $127 on keepers. Given this new information, yes I would definitely spend 60 on Dirk or Melo. Go higher if necessary.

            • Tony says:

              @James Redacted, haha thanks, i’m spending $73 on keeps plus i have an extra $10 thru trading, so that’s how i have $127, probably the most or top 2 with money going in….i need some big names that can put up big stats. Thanks.

    • Moe says:

      @Tony, Milsap – Utah Jazz radio broadcaster David Locke believes Paul Millsap could see 12 minutes per game at small forward
      Locke suggests Millsap will also get 14 minutes at power forward, Derrick
      Decent mins and if he’s rocking, the coach is staying with him, D00d is versatile! quick yet still not a #@… pretty tough! and if he gets traded, I would think it could , prob would help his fantasy case( but who really knows)

  3. Moe says:

    Hey guys
    need some help again

    Would you trade Bynum/wall for Westbrook/Millsap?

    I’m thinking I might do it, I know bynum is a beast but westbrook is a for sure thing at PG( as much as any good PG) bynum could be the next best C but… who knows…. he would also trade bosh instead of millsap but I rather have milly I think yet I think bosh is decent and has good trade value for some reason… thoughts? thc

    • James Redacted

      James Redacted says:

      @Moe, I’d want Westbrook/Millsap.

  4. JP says:

    Nice list. Dirk is completely underrated. The guy is top 10 every year. Glad you didn’t get too bold and miss this like all the other experts.

    I guess Milsap at #9 is bold in that you don’t think the deep Jazz front court (Al Jeff, Favors & Kanter) are not all going to eat too much into each others minutes. I’m staying away from this team for fantasy.

    Jennings belongs in the top 25. He’s a young and still emerging stud PG. He was top 20 last season and even better with Monta (top 10 over the last month of the season).

    Also, I don’t think Wall’s game translates well for fantasy. No 3PM, bad FG%, really high TO, negligible FT% impact. Too many negatives to outweigh the positives (AST, STL, REB, BLK).

    • James Redacted

      James Redacted says:

      @JP, I can’t stand Jennings and his killer FG%. I’ll let someone else draft him. As for Wall… I just think he’s too talented to remain this “bad” in fantasy. Expect him to figure it out and take a leap this year (yea still no 3PM, which keeps him outta top 20, but an increase in FG%).

  5. Tim S says:

    Millsap top 10? What are you applying for the orlando GM position

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