Big Board: Curry, Thompson solid gold


The Big Board takes into consideration past returns, current performance and expected future gains in determining who should be included among the top 50 fantasy basketball players. Essentially, the Big Board is a cheat sheet designed for a fantasy owner who is planning to participate in a draft today. Yahoo! Sports Fantasy Basketball default scoring settings are used as the baseline for the Big Board, which is updated on a regular basis.

Big Board 50: Basketball
Player Pos. Stock Comment
1. Anthony Davis (NOR) F 0 He's established himself as easily the most valuable fantasy player this season. Davis is just 21 years old. His recent scary looking shoulder injury is supposedly minor.
2. Kevin Durant (OKC) F 0 Previously so durable, Durant has been banged up constantly in 2014/15 but given his track record, it’s hard not to consider him here.
3. Stephen Curry (GSW) G 0 To put Curry’s current value in perspective, he would’ve ranked as the No. 1 fantasy player in 2009/10, 2010/11 and 2011/12 by wide margins.
4. James Harden (HOU) G 0 If you remove turnovers, Harden has easily been the No. 1 fantasy player this year. He’s been pretty good in standard 9-cat leagues as well, as Houston sports the third highest PACE in the NBA while attempting an insane amount of threes. Among players who’ve seen more than 34.5 mpg, Harden’s Usage Rate is second in the NBA.
5. LeBron James (CLE) F 0 He has the highest Usage Rate in the NBA among all players with more than 34.5 mpg this season. But James’ Turnover Ratio (12.4) is a career high, while his Rebound Ratio (8.8) and PER (25.62) are his lowest marks since his rookie campaign.
6. Russell Westbrook (OKC) G +2 He has career highs in ppg (25.8), rpg (6.3), apg (7.6) and spg (2.2) while leading the NBA in Usage Rate (36.9). Westbrook has been a top-10 player over the past three months.
7. Chris Paul (LAC) G -1 On a per-game basis, Paul has been a top-three fantasy player since the 2007/08 season. CP3 has some work to do as the No. 5 player this year.
8. LaMarcus Aldridge (POR) F +2 He’s getting the highest ppg (23.6), 3pt (0.5) and PER (22.75) of his career. Aldridge should be a hero to his owners while playing through a major injury that would've ended the season for most others.
9. Damian Lillard (POR) G 0 He’s hit just 20.4 percent of his three-point attempts (20-for-103) over the past 14 games but will surely bounce back soon enough.
10. Kyrie Irving (CLE) G +3 Adding LeBron James and Kevin Love and their high Usage Rates as teammates has actually led to Irving’s best fantasy season of his career.
11. DeMarcus Cousins (SAC) F -4 Boogie has the fifth-highest Usage Rate in the NBA and only continues to improve. New coach George Karl would be a fool not to feature Cousins, who’s clearly emerged as one of the league’s premier big men.
12. Klay Thompson (GSW) G +6 He’s averaging career highs in ppg (22.1), apg (2.9), spg (1.2), bpg (0.9), 3pt (3.1), FG% (47.1) and FTA (3.6). Thompson is going to be owned on a lot of winning fantasy teams this year.
13. Jimmy Butler (CHI) G +4 There’s no question Butler’s breakout is legit, although there’s some worry he may wear down some after getting such heavy minutes.
14. Kawhi Leonard (SAS) G +14 He’s battled injuries as well as a recent shooting slump, but Leonard has been a top-10 player when on the court over the past two months. He’s still just 23 years old.
15. Al Horford (ATL) C +15 His slow start to the season is now a distant memory, as Horford has been the No. 5 player over the last month despite getting a modest 31.5 mpg.
16. John Wall (WAS) G -5 He leads the NBA with 10.1 apg, while his 1.9 spg is tied for fourth best. Wall still struggles shooting from long range, but the rest of his game continues to improve.
17. Marc Gasol (MEM) C -2 There’s simply no negative to his game. Gasol’s 3.7 apg is a career high and are second only to Blake Griffin among those center eligible.
18. Jeff Teague (ATL) G +1 He wasn’t even a top-75 player last year, but Teague has become a legitimate fantasy star in 2014/15, running an Atlanta team that ranks top five in Offensive Efficiency.
19. Paul Millsap (ATL) F +10 He’s just so dependable. Millsap marks the third Hawks player in the top 20, highlighting just how special Atlanta’s season has been so far.
20. Pau Gasol (CHI) F +6 Barely a top 50 player last year while battling injuries each of the past two seasons, 34-year-old Gasol has been a top-12 player in 2014/15.
21. Nikola Vucevic (ORL) F +2 He has the third-most double-doubles in the NBA. Vucevic is still just 24 years old with room for more growth.
22. Kyle Lowry (TOR) G -10 He’s shot just 38.2 percent from the floor over the past month but has remained a top-25 player on the year despite it.
23. Serge Ibaka (OKC) F -7 His bpg has dropped for the third straight season, but Ibaka has countered that with a career-high 83.5 FT% to go along with already making 29 more threes this season than he had over his previous career combined.
24. Kevin Love (CLE) F -10 His Usage Rate (20.8) is way down, as the move to Cleveland has taken a toll on Love’s fantasy value. Still, he can be a top-25 player moving forward.
25. Dirk Nowitzki (DAL) F -1 Age and all that mileage are catching up to Nowitzki, who’s getting the lowest mpg (29:47) and rpg (6.0) since his rookie campaign way back in 1998/99. And yet, he still holds plenty of fantasy value.
26. Hassan Whiteside (MIA) C  -- He’s easily the biggest out-of-nowhere breakout star of the 2014/15 season. Whiteside has averaged 13.5 points, 11.7 rebounds, 0.7 steals and 1.9 blocks while shooting 60.8 percent from the field as a starter. He looks like the real deal.
27. Eric Bledsoe (PHO) G +6 Despite sharing backcourt duties with both Goran Dragic and Isaiah Thomas, Bledsoe is having easily the best fantasy season of his career. He’s been a top-20 player over the past two months, and Dragic might get traded.
28. Gordon Hayward (UTH) G +9 He’s improved his ppg during every season he’s been in the league. Hayward should be viewed as a top-30 fantasy player moving forward.
29. Tim Duncan (SAS) F +5 Continues to be so reliable despite an odometer that features 1,500+ career games played (including the playoffs but not including a four year collegiate career as well).
30. Rudy Gay (SAC) F +1 His 3.9 apg is a career high, as Gay’s fantasy value remains high in Sacramento. New coach George Karl may increase the Kings’ PACE down the stretch as well.
31. Al Jefferson (CHA) F -- He’s disappointed relative to preseason expectations, but Jefferson’s boards and blocks have jumped in a big way over the past month.
32. DeAndre Jordan (LAC) C -11 He leads the NBA in rpg (13.8) and ranks second in bpg (2.4) but continues to struggle at the line (41.4%). After averaging just 3.0 FTA during his career, Jordan has seen 7.0 over the past month, so his poor FT shooting could become an even bigger issue to fantasy owners moving forward.
33. Mike Conley (MEM) G -6 He’s shooting just 41.2 percent from the floor over the past month, when his numbers have been down across the board, but there’s too long of a track record to bump Conley down much more than this.
34. Kyle Korver (ATL) G +6 Korver has a real chance at turning in the first ever 50-50-90 season (minimum 6.0 FGA), which would go down as the best shooting year of all time.
35. Danny Green (SAS) G +6 He’s the only player in the NBA to average at least 2.0 3pt, 1.0 spg and 1.0 bpg. Green has been a top-20 fantasy player over the past three months.
36. Jrue Holiday (NOR) G -4 There’s some risk here since Holiday hasn’t played in more than a month, but he’s expected to return from his leg injury soon and has been the No. 28 player on a per-game basis this season.
37. Draymond Green (GSW) F -1 His outside shooting remains a work in progress, but Green has entrenched himself in Golden State’s starting lineup. He’s the only player in the league to average at least 1.4 3pt, 1.4 spg and 1.4 bpg.
38. Tyson Chandler (DAL) C +4 He’s 32 years old and about to surpass 900 games played yet his FG% (68.4), FT% (73.7) and apg (1.3) are all career highs. Chandler’s 11.8 rpg is also the second best mark of his career.
39. Darren Collison (SAC) G +4 Given a starting job in Sacramento, Collison’s fantasy value has never been higher. It will be nice now that Sacramento finally has some coaching stability as well.
40. Derrick Favors (UTH) F -2 Favors’ fantasy value has improved every year he’s been in the league, including this season when he’s ranked as a top-50 player for the first time in his career.
41. Wesley Matthews (POR) G +5 He’s tied for the most made three-pointers (161) in the NBA this season, as Matthews is sneaky valuable in 9-cat leagues with just 1.4 tpg.
42. Ty Lawson (DEN) G -3 He’s tied for the league-lead with 10.1 apg, and Lawson’s been the No. 12 ranked player over the past two weeks.
43. Chris Bosh (MIA) F -23 After a terrific start to the year, Bosh has really disappointed, ranking as the No. 92 player over the past two months, when he’s somehow managed just 5.8 rpg despite a new role on a Heat team sans LeBron James. Still, it’s safe to expect improvement down the stretch.
44. Brandon Knight (MIL) G +4 He’s averaging career bests in rpg (4.3), apg (5.4), spg (1.6), 3pt (2.0), FG% (43.5) and FT% (88.1), as Knight has helped lead the Bucks to a surprising record that’s just two games behind the Cavs at the All-Star break.
45. Trevor Ariza (HOU) G -- Despite shooting just 41.5 percent from the field, Ariza has been a top-30 player over the past month. His Usage Rate should continue to be high with Dwight Howard sidelined.
46. Brook Lopez (BKN) C -- He hasn’t come close to matching his per-game production over the previous two seasons, but Lopez has been seeing more minutes of late and is back being a top-50 asset.
47. Monta Ellis (DAL) G -- Despite a Usage Rate (27.0) that’s tied for the second highest of his career, Ellis’ Turnover Ratio (9.7) is his second lowest mark ever, as he’s helped lead Dallas to the third-best Offensive Efficiency in the NBA.
48. Zach Randolph (MEM) F +1 He has the fourth-most double-doubles in the league this season, and while Randolph typically hasn’t been an elite fantasy option, he’s been a top-50 player over the past two months.
49. George Hill (IND) G -- His Usage Rate (24.8) is by far a career high (next best was 18.6), as Hill could explode once his minutes restriction is lifted and with Paul George sidelined.
50. Blake Griffin (LAC) F -28 His ranking depends on your format, as Griffin likely won’t return to the court for at least another month. But he was the No. 21 ranked player over the previous month before suffering the injury, bouncing back after a rough start. So he could be a major factor down the stretch.

DROPPED OUT:  Kemba Walker, PG, Charlotte; Gorgui Dieng, FC, Minnesota; Nicolas Batum, GF, Portland; Goran Dragic, G, Phoenix; Kenneth Faried, PF, Denver; Brandon Jennings, PG, Detroit

ON THE BUBBLE:  Giannis Antetokounmpo, F, Milwaukee; Greg Monroe, FC, Detroit; Chandler Parsons, F, Dallas; Khris Middleton, GF, Milwaukee; Kemba Walker, PG, Charlotte; Tobias Harris, F, Orlando; David West, PF, Indiana; Jared Sullinger, FC, Boston; Goran Dragic, G, Phoenix; Rudy Gobert, C, Utah; Thaddeus Young, F, Minnesota; Gorgui Dieng, FC, Minnesota; Kevin Martin, GF, Minnesota; Ricky Rubio, PG, Minnesota; D.J. Augustin, PG, Detroit; Victor Oladipo, G, Orlando; Jonas Valanciunas, C, Toronto; Joakim Noah, FC, Chicago; DeMarre Carroll, F, Atlanta; Robert Covington, GF, Philadelphia