Sunday, November 4, 2012

NBA 2012-13 Fantasy Preview: THE GOODS

Felipe M

(The following are just quick thoughts about the upcoming NBA season based on fantasy basketball projections.  That is not to say that this is a fantasy basketball preview as I like to discuss the subject matter interchangeably and effortlessly with what's "really" going on in the NBA.  Also worth noting, my opinions are based on fantasy point, head-to-head leagues.  Sorry Roto-fans).

  • Bedrock Players--If you want to have a successful season, the following players are prime players to build your squad around for this upcoming season (and if you're in a keeper league, for seasons to come):
    • The list gets pretty obvious with LeBron James, Kevin Durant, Chris Paul, Dwight Howard, and Kevin Love getting top billing, but one player does not make a team (real or fantasy). Rounding out the top 12 is as follows:
      • Josh Smith
      • Deron Williams
      • Rajon Rondo
      • John Wall
      • Russell Westbrook
      • Carmelo Anthony
      • Blake Griffin
    • As mentioned having great support for your superstar player is key in determining whether your team will contend or struggle for this season.  The following players are borderline "franchise" players/2nd bananas on any fantasy team:
      • Kobe Bryant--he's due for a dip in production, but Kobe is still Kobe and determination alone makes him a force to be reckoned with.
      • Pau Gasol--In most leagues, he qualifies at both forward (power) and center and that versatility makes him a coveted player.
      • Jeremy Lin--yes, Linsanity is alive and well in Houston.  You can't deny the great opportunity that has presented itself for the polarizing guard.
      • LaMarcus Aldridge--Same peripherals as Gasol. 
      • Kyrie Irving--If he keeps producing like he's projected to, he is a prime keeper for years to come and is ready to rack up the points this year as well. 
      • Al Jefferson--Despite not being good at any particular thing, he can rack up the stats and makes a great complement player for any fantasy team.
      • Dirk Nowitzki--The Godfather of the perimeter big men, he can still produce in Dallas.
    • Other top players come with questions and issues (both on and off the court):
      • Andrew Bynum--Arguably, the best offensive player at the center position, also comes with lots of baggage and injury concerns.  If he can overcome both issues, he can be a scoring machine. 
      • DeMarcus Cousins--Quickly becoming this generation's version of Rasheed Wallace, if he can control his anger and stop with the bad attitude, his NBA stock can absolutely sky-rocket into galactic proportions.  He's athletic, highly talented, and a machine in the middle. 
      • Dwyane Wade--From fantasy point superstar to descending into 2nd banana status, Wade is quickly aging.  He's a solid pick for this season, but in keeper leagues, you might want to trade him now and save yourself the headache for next season.
      • Stephen Curry and Eric Gordon--Great shooters and scorers, but seem to always be hurt and have reputations of being fragile.
      • Tony Parker and Tim Duncan--Highly talented players, but their team's priority is not for them to pad their stats, but to be ready for the playoffs and that hinders their production.
      • Brandon Jennings and Monta Ellis--As former owner of both of these players, they certainly can leave you frustrated, but when they get on fire, they're almost unstoppable.
    • Other players worth mentioning:
      • Ty Lawson and Jeff Teague-- Both quick point guards who can explode around the basket, but higher upside goes to Lawson
      • Marc Gasol--Skill big man like his brother Pau, but not as explosive. 
      • David Lee--Some "experts" think he's due for a drop-off, but somebody needs to get rebounds and points in the paint for Golden State.
      • Rudy Gay--Memphis' best perimeter player.
      • Brook Lopez--According to Shaq O'neal, he's the best big, true center in the NBA... on some days.
      • Paul Millsap, Greg Monroe, and Joakim Noah--Solid big men who are very consistent safe to have on any roster: you know exactly what you're getting from all of these players.
      • Andre Iguodala--Not the franchise player that he was supposed to be, but is playing for the right team in Denver. 
      • Al Horford and Chris Bosh--Highly-skilled players who can leave many owners frustrated because they seem to always be playing out of position, but can rack up the points and rebounds. 
And that is a quick summary of my top 40 players coming into this NBA season. 

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