I love a good big man. That works in both a gay disco and a basketball court, which is basically on par for the amount of sweaty men grunting in close proximity to each other. As we continue our 2012-2013 fantasy basketball rankings, I am happy to hit the tallest of the tall. I grew up watching the New York Knicks of the early 90s, a team built around the towering frame of Patrick Ewing. That era was a great time for dominating centers, from the hated (to me) Hakeem Olajuwon to the smooth David Robinson to everyone’s beloved Shaq Attack. It’s been written that if you forget the past you are doomed to repeat it, but even though we didn’t forget that period, we are getting a new generation of centers emerging in the paint, so that was probably a poor reference but it’s already written and we need to move on. You don’t necessarily need a center in the first round, but because the position is deep, you want to make sure you have a top quality center. I wouldn’t leave the first three rounds without one.

1. Dwight Howard – See top 10 for 2012 fantasy basketball for Dwight Howard’s projections.

2. Al Jefferson – See top 10 for 2012 fantasy basketball for Al Jefferson’s projections.

3. DeMarcus Cousins – See top 20 for 2012 fantasy basketball for DeMarcus Cousins’ projections.

4. Andrew Bynum – See top 20 for 2012 fantasy basketball for Andrew Bynum’s projections. This ends our first tier, which I call “Any one of these guys can and will finish as the top overall center.”

5. Al Horford – See top 20 for 2012 fantasy basketball for Al Horford’s projections. This begins a new tier. This goes from here until Greg Monroe. I call this tier “I want these guys on my team.”

6. Marc Gasol – See top 20 for 2012 fantasy basketball for Marc Gasol’s projections.

7. Greg Monroe –  Monroe is the first center that didn’t make my top twenty, but I wouldn’t sweat that. People get a little too hung up on rounds. What’s the difference between a 19th pick or a 21st pick? Part of having a good draft is flexibility. If everyone in your league starts pouncing on a certain position, you may have to grab that earlier than you wanted, even if the guy you take is ranked lower “overall” than some other dudes in other positions. That’s life. Speaking of life, Monroe is living the good kind. His numbers are trending handsomely upward, and it looks like that should continue, both in terms of minutes and production. Projections: .535 fg/.742 ft/0.0 3pt/16.7 pts/11.2 rbd/2.1 ast/1.2 stl/0.9 blk/3.1 tov

8. Brook Lopez – I wouldn’t say Lopez is overlooked, but he has been on the Nets, and who really notices them? Anyway, Lopez starts the new tier, dubbed “Last call for attractive centers.” It runs to Kevin Garnett. So, Lopez, what do we like about him? He averaged the second most PPG among centers behind Dwight Howard. He doesn’t rebound as much as he should, but his assists and blocks are respectable. He will have more scorers on his team this season, which could hurt his overall points and which would therefore hurt his overall value.  Projections: .491 fg/.779 ft/0.0 3pt/19.4 pts/7.1 rbd/1.8 ast/0.5 stl/1.6 blk/2.1 tov

9. Roy Hibbert – Some people rank Dr. Hibbert higher, and I can’t blame them. He offers generous rebounds, assists and blocks, although he isn’t much of a scorer. If he plays 35 minutes per game, we might see him average PPG creep up above 15.0, which would make him very attractive.  I’m not sure how likely that is, but I am optimistic he can build off of his career highs in blocks and rebounds. Projections: .499 fg/.748 ft/0.0 3pt/13.2 pts/9.3 rbd/2.1 ast/0.4 stl/2.1 blk/2.5 tov

10. Marcin Gortat – Here’s the deal with Gortat. If last year was a sign of things to come, Gortat is going to finish ranked around 7th. If last year was his peak, then he fits in around here, maybe even lower. Well, not too much lower, considering what falls after him. If he actually is available as the 10th overall center, I have no problem grabbing him, and not in the sexual way. Projections: .565 fg/.680 ft/0.0 3pt/14.9 pts/9.6 rbd/1.1 ast/0.6 stl/1.4 blk/1.7 tov

11. Kevin Garnett – He’s listed on ESPN, Yahoo! and CBS as a center, so I don’t care where he actually plays, he’s a center for our purposes. This will be Garnett’s 18th season, which means it is now legal to have sex with his career.  You know exactly what you’re getting with him. Dependable, but not exciting. Projections: .498 fg/.861 ft/0.0 3pt/14.8 pts/7.9 rbd/2.7 ast/0.8 stl/0.9 blk/3.2 tov

12. Joakim Noah – This tier goes from Noah to Bogut. It’s called “Ankles.” Noah suffered an ankle injury during the Bulls devastating playoff disaster and missed the Olympics because of it. He’ll probably be fine, but he was also disappointing last season, too. Like the Riddler, he’s covered in question marks, but he can still carry an episode of Batman. Projections: .520 fg/.749 ft/0.0 3pt/11.0 pts/10.8 rbd/2.2 ast/0.7 stl/1.5 blk/2.0 tov

13. Andrew Bogut – I could have swapped Noah with Bogut. Bogut has better counting stats but worse ratios. Bogut also is recovering from ankle problems. If you are in a friendly office league, someone may accidentally draft Andrew Bogut thinking it is Andrew Bynum. Okay, probably not. Projections: .475 fg/.613 ft/0.0 3pt/12.3 pts/10.2 rbd/2.3 ast/0.8 stl/2.2 blk/2.2 tov

14. Tyson Chandler – This tier is named “Beards” and includes Chandler and Chris Kaman. It’s called “Beards” because they both have beards, and also because beards mask some fact – that you’re gay (wife = beard), that you have a double chin (beard = mask), that your center position isn’t as great as you’d like (beard = basketball player). I wouldn’t be sad if I wound up with Chandler. He has a ridiculously high FG% with decent rebounds and blocks, but he’s not overwhelming and you never know what the hell the Knicks are doing with starting rosters. The Knicks have reclaimed Marcus Camby, but the most he can do is steal minutes from Chandler, which could hurt Chandler’s overall counting stats, which weren’t that impressive to begin with. Projections: .670 fg/.725 ft/0.0 3pt/13.0 pts/10.2 rbd/0.9 ast/0.7 stl/1.5 blk/1.6 tov

15. Chris Kaman – With the starting job, Kaman has the ability to put up some of the best numbers of his career, but while that may boost his PPG, I wonder if he will be able to crack 10 boards per game. If he could produce 16/12, he could sniff the top ten. Why, he may be worthy of sleeper status, or he may just put you to sleep. Projections: .470 fg/.753 ft/0.0 3pt/14.1 pts/7.5 rbd/1.9 ast/0.5 stl/1.5 blk/2.9 tov

16. Anderson Varejao – This is our second to last tier. This tier is called “Every team is contractually required to have a center.” Varejao is, you know, a big guy that can score a few points, rebound, maybe block a little here and there. Like all good centers, he can’t score free throws, but I can overlook that. He’s never started more than 42 games, he is prone to injury, and he has an ugly jheri curl. Projections: .530 fg/.667 ft/0.0 3pt/10.2 pts/11.8 rbd/1.6 ast/1.2 stl/1.0 blk/2.0 tov

17. Nikola Pekovic – He has a starting gig and has good ratios. He don’t offer inspiring counting stats, but if he gives you 14.5/8.4 like I’m projecting, that’s actually pretty good considering where he is ranked. He will probably bounce around the waiver wire like Dick Grayson’s parents. Projections: .570 fg/.753 ft/0.0 3pt/14.5 pts/8.4 rbd/0.8 ast/0.7 stl/1.0 blk/2.3 tov

18. JaVale McGee – He’s a great source for blocks, and if he could average double-doubles, he is not a bad pick in the last couple of rounds. He can’t score free throws and he doesn’t offer much in terms of ancillary stats. This is probably a make or break season for him. If he does poorly, is he at risk to lose the starting job? This is a deep position, who has time to waste on a guy wasting his talent? Projections: .544 fg/.512 ft/0.0 3pt/11.4 pts/8.2 rbd/0.5 ast/0.5 stl/2.2 blk/1.9 tov

19. DeAndre Jordan – There is a lot of upside here, by which I mean you can always tell people you had Jordan on your fantasy team. I wanna be like Mike! DeAndre is not like Mike. Not even baseball Michael Jordan. You can pretty much copy and paste what I typed for McGee, or just lift your eyeballs half an inch. Projections: 648 fg/.538 ft/0.0 3pt/7.9 pts/9.0 rbd/0.4 ast/0.4 stl/2.3 blk/1.3 tov

20. Omer Asik – If you are in your final round and looking to grab someone with potential upside, Asik is your man. He has a starting gig in Houston and has the ability to deliver filling amounts of rebounds and blocks. As your last pick, you could do much worse. Projections: .509 fg/.522 ft/0.0 3pt/7.1 pts/9.5 rbd/0.9 ast/0.8 stl/2.1 blk/2.2 tov

After the top twenty, there’s one name I want to point out if for no other reason than I don’t want his mom thinking I forgot him.

Samuel Dalembert – He could have cracked the list but I would rather have the potential upside. The Dalembert Report is the usual, projections: .498 fg/.735 ft/0.0 3pt/8.2 pts/8.3 rbd/0.6 ast/0.5 stl/1.6 blk/1.6 tov

  1. Shawn says:

    Ive liked the last 2 or so blogs but this one is lacking again is many different ways, not even going to point them out this time.

    now, every time i see that little gay robot chris’s tag…im skipping it all together..

    shit is a waste of time
    see other comment with gay robot for more

    • James Redacted

      James Redacted says:

      @Shawn, You’re entitled to your opinion but let’s try to be constructive in the criticism and not just throw out slurs.

    • ChrisV

      ChrisV says:

      @Shawn, I’m sorry high school has been tough for you and you feel the need to lash out at more interesting people than yourself, but I do appreciate the page views.

    • ChrisV

      ChrisV says:

      @Shawn, I have also received some complaints from the other staff members concerning your homosexual slurs. I couldn’t care less what you say about my articles, but if you are going to bash any ethnic, sexual, gender, etc. group, we’re going to remove your comments.

  2. Zebo says:

    Got a question, which two of the three would you pick to keep? Jennings, Brooke Lopez, Jrue? Thanks.

    • ChrisV

      ChrisV says:

      @Zebo, Jennings. He should be a top 5 PG, or right outside (like, say, 6th).

      • Zebo says:

        @ChrisV, Thanks. What about choosing between Jrue and Lopez?

        • Fenris-77 says:

          @Zebo, I’d take Jrue there, mostly because I have very little faith in Lopez this year. Lopez’s great strength is his scoring and there are enough weapons on the Nets this year that he may not see enough usage to be really useful in that regard, and he doesn’t rebound or block shots well enough to make up the difference. At least with Jrue you have the upside of no Iggy and the potential for a little more ball handling and PG goodness.

  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

    • ChrisV

      ChrisV says:

      @Moe, I like Westbrook, too, and my thoughts on Bynum are well documented. My first reaction was to say no, but thinking on it a few moments, I might make that trade. Understand that Millsap may have reached his ceiling and may be competing for minutes this season. I may rather have Bosh, even though a lot of folks on this blog think he is overrated. Bynum’s name value has never been higher, and you should attempt to capitalize on that if you really want Westbrook and don’t mind moving Bynum. Who would you have in your center position(s)? Also, Wall has large upside, and you would be losing that as well.

      Again, if you really want Westbrook, I would trade Bynum, but I would tighten up the swap for Wall.

  4. I can only keep five players and I’m keeping Kevin Love, Dwight Howard, Rajon Rondo and Dirk Nowitzki. I have to choose between Marc Gasol or Nicholas Batum (who I traded David Lee striaght up for). Which one is the best to Keep?

    • ChrisV

      ChrisV says:

      @LittleBigfela, I’d rather have Gasol. Batum can have a big year, but I don’t think he’ll touch Gasol. While Batum is younger, I haven’t been as impressed with his progress.

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