Ugh, things are drying up faster than Tom Selleck’s avocado farm, that’s for sure!
Maybe it’s the shallower draft class… Maybe it’s a really long list of aging vets… Or maybe it’s just that all the guys I like could only fill up my top 65 of so… But eesh, I really don’t want any of the guys ranked 65 and beyond, and rounding out the top 100 was like trying to sit through True Detective season 2. Hah, still haven’t seen it, I’m just applying some groupthink there… Here’s to hoping ESPN and Yahoo botch their pre-ranks and skew some nasty ADPs! And just throwing it out there to astute re-draft commishes – ESPN and Yahoo’s initial ranks always look pretty poopy before a massive re-adjust closer to the season. Maybe you can con your league to draft earlier and dominate the ill-informed, non-Razzball reading scrubbos… Here’s the Top 100 for the 2015-16 Fantasy Basketball Season:
76. Karl-Anthony Towns, Minnesota Timberwolves – Well, I wouldn’t be too opposed to getting KAT though, that’s for sure! Although he seems to have some of that #1 overall pick buzz that could make him overdrafted on draft day. Slim and I had a lengthy debate of Towns vs. Myles Turner on yesterday’s Podcast, WHICH I OF COURSE WON! Even though Slim sees the Pacers’ big man depth more imposing than I do, I don’t think you can argue it’s more of a challenge to get minutes vs. the mix of Gorgui, Nikola Pekovic, Anthony Bennett, Kevin Garnett (at least for a few mins here and there) and Adreian Payne. Plus I don’t see him playing 82 games at 28 minutes, after only playing 21.1 MPG in his 39 freshman Kentucky games. It’s not necessarily his fault he played so little as the Wildcats crushed everyone until the end there, but I do have some concerns with that rookie wall. Long-term – he’s a massive big who will get tons of boards and swats and is a great FT shooter. Upside is immense – I just don’t see the Wolves wholly unleashing him this year.
77. Marcin Gortat, Washington Wizards – In one of the oddest stat calculations you’ll ever fathom, Gortat was 12th – yes 12th – in per-game value in the second half last year. Not 12th on the Wizards… Or even 12th in the East! 12th in the NBA! A lot of that had to do with making 6.2-10.0 from the field at 61.8%, but he also got up to 0.8 steals per. Alongside a block and a half and nearly a dubdub a night, Gortat should be fine in a low-upside way. I think he gets back over 30 minutes, especially since the Wiz really don’t have any other centers. I don’t think they Valanciunas him.
78. Jrue Holiday, New Orleans Pelicans – Man, this feels riskier than Mel Gibson’s first post-Anti-Semitic movie being called The Beaver with him talking to a hand puppet the whole time! Back-to-back seasons ending with stress fracture issues in his leg, he had a screw placed in there this last time and is still rehabbing as of early August. Of pure talent and upside, Holiday is easily the best guy left at this point, but the risk on those legs – especially since he’s still rehabbing and not playing yet – doesn’t warrant a higher selection.
79. Gorgui Dieng, Minnesota Timberwolves – Give me a chance, coach! After some gawdy numbers to wrap up 13-14, Dieng only got 49 starts with 24 off the bench in 14-15. I was actually a little surprised he got over 30 MPG last year (by 2 seconds – hah!), but a 33:31 MPG second half put him over the edge. As a starter last year, The Gorgui Apparatus was 10.8/8.8/2.3/1.1/2.0 hitting 50.8% from the field and 78.1% from the line, and on virtually any other team with a clear starting PF role, I would be pushing him towards the top 50. But KG is going to start and play 10 or 15 minutes or whatever when he can, then there’s that mix of bigs Flip will flip in as mentioned with Towns. Love the player, hate the situation.
80. Deron Williams, Dallas Mavericks – While I’m really scared of Jrue, I guess I’m only medium-scared of Senor Kankles over here… Kinda like Alien vs. Alien Resurrection. Scared vs. a little freaked out by the French might be a more apt metaphor… Anyway, Monsieur Deron actually made it through 68 games last year on his Gruyere ankles, and in the 55 as a starter he was really solid for 14.3/3.6/7.1/1.0/0.3 with 1.4 treys and only 2.4 TO. Downside was a sub 40% FG%, but I think that goes up with the better talent around him in Dallas. Also, in those 55 starts he played 32:53 MPG, so there’s a glimmer of hope he can be productive and stay healthy in the big D. Injury risk and regressing skills I think are built in for what could be a mid-round valuable PG.
81. Bradley Beal, Washington Wizards – Last year was a pretty big letdown for Beal, as he suffered another rash of injuries and lost nearly 2 PPG. I know he’s a shooter and not a facilitator, but I love AST:TO as a quick-n-dirty look at how a [usually] younger player is progressing and Beal regressed from 3.3:1.8 to 3.1:2.0 last year. I really wish we saw an expanded 3-pt game as well, with that constantly-compared-to-Ray-Allen-gorgeous-best-form-in-basketball stroke. I keed of course, I just think his shooting form is a little over-hyped. It was good to see the steals up to 1.2 and he’ll have a little more freedom in the O, but the injury concerns negate the upside I see.
82. Alec Burks, Utah Jazz – Here’s a sleeper I’m starting to like! Tough to find guys I really “like” in this range, and no – Slim didn’t brainwash me! The Dante Exum injury has opened up a huge hole at PG, mainly because Trey Burke is awful. Shoulder surgery ended Burks’ 14-15 pretty early, but he said it’s been aching him since high school and there’s some optimism he can further improve on the perimeter game. I don’t see any way he doesn’t crush his former high in dimes (3.0 last year), and with the Jazz turning into a defensive juggernaut, I think we see a best in steals as well. With minutes at both the 1 and 2, there’s some solid upside here.
83. Robin Lopez, New York Knicks – Don’t worry, I still think Rolo is terrible. He’s an awful real-life player, all Sideshow Bobbing around like a giant inflatable fishing bobber. But that’s a perfect fit for the misfits on the Poppycockers! The minutes took a hit last year down to 27:45, but the Knicks threw him the money and for a while there in 14-15, Chris Kaman was playing some great ball off the bench. Of course there’s that threat with [one of my picks for most underrated in the NBA] Kevin Seraphin and some minutes to Kristaps Porzingis, but I think Rolo gets back up to 30 mins. I see right at 8-9 boards for maybe a career-best, 1.5-2.0 blocks, and all with good % and low TO. Boring, but usuable.
84. Jonas Valanciunas, Toronto Raptors – The Luminescent Lithuanian is dimming faster than Bill Cosby’s cache! Actually, I should compare my low JV rank with Bill Cosby – it’s causing nothing but uproar in the comments! All I can say is, eat this candy real quick, you might fall asleep for a while, and then check JV’s stats when you wake up in April. The per-36s are going to look fantastic, but the 26:11 MPG last year was pure maddening, especially since he was making 57.2% from the field and vastly improved in REB & BLK rates per-36. I just don’t really see the minutes getting up into the 30s; JV is deserving, but coach Dwane Casey hates him and has already hinted the Luminescent Lithuanian will sit late in games. We can all hope Casey comes to his senses and lets the talented big get the run, but I’m not banking on it.
85. Ty Lawson, Houston Rockets – Damn, I had no intention of getting the Lindsay Lohan of the NBA into my top-100, but there’s just no players left! And honestly, what is the biggest risk? I think it’s yet another DUI, and with all signs optimistic in his rehab, I think the Rox either start him or let him run a bit with Harden along with all the 2nd unit minutes. He’s just off a 15.2/3.1/9.6 season with only 2.5 TO, so the upside is still there – and he did all of that while drunk! Imagine how much better he’ll be able to see the court when sober! Obviously he won’t get to Denver numbers, but there’s enough room for the numbers to be mid-range-ish.
86. DeMar DeRozan, Toronto Raptors – For scoring late, here’s your pick! Otherwise, ummmmmm… One of my better calls of 13-14, DeRozan regressed mightily last year. Using that quick-n-dirty AST:TO comp (a stat that rose for him considerably through his career through 13-14), it dropped from 4.0:2.2 to 3.5:2.3 last year. And boy oh boy, the developing perimeter game disappeared as well, dropping from 0.8 3PTM in 13-14 to 0.4. Really the only step up was the steal rate, and while some regression can be blamed on that bad groin injury he suffered in late November, I don’t think there’s enough multi-cat upside to go higher.
87. Thaddeus Young, Brooklyn Nets – Another yawn, amiright?! Thad the Impaler saw his stats getting Impaled in Minnesota. Then to make matters worse, got benched in Brooklyn. He finally came on again late, but it looks like his perimeter game is stifled and set to be stuck under 1.0 3PTM per, and he had a bad dropoff in FT%. The only reason I’m going here is for the out-of-position steals and the durability. Not too bad of a downside.
88. Joe Johnson, Brooklyn Nets – Sticking with the boring ol’ Nets vets (seriously, are there any Brooklyn fans that are actually EXCITED for this season?!), if this yet another yawnstipating option is on the board and I guess I would have to take him. The treys took a dip, but JJ had a big increase in rebounds and dimes while keeping his TO low. With D-Will now gone and Jack helming the Brooklyn Yawnstipators, I could see another good year in AST. Nothing is very sexy, but he’s only missed 5 games the past two years, and even at age 34 I don’t see a big dropoff. I don’t buy Rondae Hollis-Jefferson putting up too much pressure to take his starting role either…
89. Jarrett Jack, Brooklyn Nets – Ya know, I had these guys close and thought it was weird, then just kept dropping the sandwich in between em ending up with three straight Nets… Sue me! Your new starting PG for the “Life Support Needed on the Court” (ya know, like “Fastest Show on Turf…” No…?), Jack was solid starter for 15.9/3.8/6.6/1.2/0.3 in 27 starting nods. Unfortunately, it came with sub-1 treys (0.7) while still shooting only 45.8% – no bueno with no treys. Jack’s never been a big 3s or steals guy, as even 1.2 STL over a season would be a career-best. This is as high as I could go, even with Jack reading this and saying, “I should be higher, wahhhhhhhhhhh!!! I’m Jarrett Jack!”
90. P.J. Tucker, Phoenix Suns – Almost as super extreme as his DUI, Tucker had a super extreme second half, putting up 11.3/7.4/1.5/1.4/0.3 with 1.1 treys. The boards really make him interesting as a sneaky top-100 wing, and with Markieff Morris continuing his crusade to get off the Suns, there might even be a little more upside for a few more shots. The upside isn’t huge, but I bet Tucker’s ADP is well into the 100s.
91. Arron Afflalo, New York Knicks – Things must be REALLY thin to get A-R-Ron(!) into the top 100! The numbers took a steep decline last year, even with his initial stint with the Magic before evaporating with the Blazers. Now heading to the Poppycockers, even alongside Melo there’s a big need for O in the triangle. They have absolutely no other scorers, and Afflalo will enter the season at still only 29-years-old. I don’t think we see a repeat of that 13-14 season, but treys/FT%/a couple of dimes/low TO/upside for maybe 16 PPG could be had. I just wish he could friggin’ steal a basketball…
92. Kobe Bryant, Los Angeles Lakers – Man, five years ago, did you ever think there’d be a rankings with Afflalo AHEAD of Kobe?! There’s just no reason to take the risk of Bryant – both with the injuries or with the apocalyptic FG%. We all know he’s barely played – only gotten through 41 games the past two years – but then there’s that albatross 37.3% FG% on 7.6-20.4 shots last year! Plus on 3.7 TO… I guess at 92nd maybe you take a shot that he can play 60 games, let’s others take shots, and protects the ball a little better. But damn I ain’t touching this any higher.
93. Darren Collison, Sacramento Kings – Yup, ahead of Rajon Rondo – who in 9-cat is borderline unownable if he doesn’t make drastic improvements. Colly was fantastic last year before getting hurt, turning in great value on our bold ranking. But with Rondo brought in, Collison will be relegated to a 6th man swing guard although George Karl has said the two will play some together. With how the NBA is progressing to more combo guard sets, that could be more often than not. What pushed Colly into the top-100 for me is I see a good chance the Kings move that Rondo 1-year deal at the deadline for a first rounder, which of course depends on Rondo being decent at basketball again. If that happens, Collison could be a 2nd-half monster.
94. Joakim Noah, Chicago Bulls – Ya know, I really thought I would have Noah a little higher envisioning a resurgent year. But now there’s reports that Noah could be coming off the bench, after already seeing his minutes limited to the 30 MPG range. And for some reason last year, as I begin all my sentences with bad structure (it’s easy – Mkay!), Noah saw his %s plummet with a career-worst 44.5 FG% and 60.3 FT%. Both of those seem a little fluky low to me, and even with Rose playing some of the time, Noah kept his dimes up to 4.7. There’s some warts – Noah isn’t known for his pretty face – but there’s enough value and smidgen of upside to snag him here.
95. Enes Kanter, Oklahoma City Thunder – One of the best trades to benefit both teams in the deal in the history of the NBA happened last year, as Gobert was unleashed for the Jazz, and Kanter was a monster for the Thunder with Ibaka and Durant hurt. And while piling up the O in their absence, it got Kanter PAID! 4 years at $70 mil paid! THAT’S A LOT MORE THAN MONTA ELLIS! Anyway, Kanter was a beastly 18.7/11.0 at 56.6% from the field, with a decent volume 77.6% from the stripe. That’s where the good ends, as his AST+STL+BLK combined for an even 2.0 in the second half, after combining for 1.3 in 49 games for the Jazz. He might fit certain builds a couple spots earlier, but in a vacuum, it’s a dubdub threat with decent percents – and by dubdub I mean 11/10 as the Pts will come crashing down with the Thunder healthy.
96. Wilson Chandler, Denver Nuggets – WILLLLLSSSSSOONNN!!! Ok, ok, I know he’s not great, but there’s nothing else good left! Chandler also GOT PAID and should see solid minutes at the 2/3. On a 4-year $46 mil deal ($3 MIL MORE THAN MONTA, YOU CAN’T TELL ME A TEAM SHOULD VALUE CHANDLER MORE!!!!), the Nugs didn’t pay him to take a back seat to rebuilding rookies, and he was pretty durable last year playing 78 games at 31:40 MPG. I wish he could get over 0.7 STL like we’ve seen the past two years, but he marginally drops in a block or two, hits his treys, had a career-best 6.1 boards last year, and doesn’t turn it over. I don’t think anyone can dispute he won’t repeat last year’s numbers, and he was 85th in per-game.
97. J.J. Redick, Los Angeles Clippers – Back-to-back [almost] ThrAGNOFS! Well, Chandler gets a few extra boards, Redick, ummmm, yeah… Combined AST+STL+BLK last year was 2.4, BELOW his 2.6 treys a game! Hah – awesome. A big driver of Redick’s value was a career-best 43.7% from deep, which I’m not sure he’s able to replicate. While he will contend with Jamal Crawford for minutes, the addition of Paul Pierce certainly helps with his lower run vs. all the minutes Matt Barnes played. Redick should once again get 31ish mins, but his overall 47.7 FG% should drop back to 45% in a solid, albeit underwhelming year.
98. Zach Randolph, Memphis Grizzlies – Ugh, do I REALLY have to rank T-Dog in the top 100?! That’s me reprimanding myself, and continuing to beat the dead horse that the pool of players I like dries up faster than I can ever remember. Per-game Randolph was still solid at 65th, and while it’s hard to get excited about anything he does, there were some interesting nuggets in his stats. 1.0 STL was his highest since 09-10 and 48.7 FG% highest since 10-11. Neither of those things represent any upside to me, but it does indicate – in my mind – he’s not content to deteriorate as the same player getting incrementally worse every aging season. But be sure to read those previous 3 sentences as “I hope I don’t ACTUALLY have to draft Zach Randolph this year”…
99. Wesley Matthews, Dallas Mavericks – If I don’t want Randolph, I really don’t want Matthews, but I’m hoping this rank has me well priced out. The Mavs are going to be EXTREMELY cautious with their investment, but I guess if Matthews slipped this far, I would be cautious with my low-risk investment as well. I think it’s going to be a really rough start, but there’s enough upside for a big second half run to like him as a stash. Coming off an Achilles tear is no spring picnic (or is it summer picnic?), so there’s no guarantee he’s even close to his old self in the second half either.
100. Emmanuel Mudiay, Denver Nuggets – Mmmmmm, love me some Mudiay! Mmmmm, hate me some “this could be another MCW” comps! Never again, MCW, never again! Mudiay is still as raw as gas station sushi, likely going to hurt both %s, and turn it over more than Kobe Bryant in 13-14 (6 games of 5.7 TO in under 30 minutes is near impossible to repeat!). I jest with that last one, but like MCW coming into his rookie year, no one had any top-100 expectations and his counting stats were enough to justify top-100 value even if his metrics looked poopier and bloodier than the bathroom of Saw. I’m just at a loss for anyone else to crack the top-100, so I’m hoping for a little upside, survivable %s, and the dimes this late.
Lord help me getting through ranks 101-200, because it gettin’ ugly! If you haven’t heard yet, I am getting married this weekend then out on my honeymoon, so the ranks will continue the final week of August. Tomorrow morning we’ll have the master standings updated, and of course keep your comments going as I will be responding on an island beach somewhere. Hope you’re having a good summer, Razzball Nation!