Fantasy basketball rankings: Top 150

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Dose: All You Need Is Love
There were only six games on Monday night, but the Sixers suffered another brutal defeat, while Kevin Love made his return
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I wish I could tap Isiah Thomas to pop up out of this article and say 'Welcome to Draft Week.'  And perhaps we could add the loud drums from Spaceballs to build up the anticipation.  Yes, the Bruski 150 is here and yes, it's bigger and bolder than ever.  You want sleepers?  They're everywhere.  As in, people are sleeping on enough guys for you to draft one in each round.  You want things to be able to laugh at me over?  I got you covered.  I ranked a pair of consensus Round 1-2 values right around No. 60. 

Yes, this is a fearless list.  It's also the same list I've taken into big money leagues for years, so if you decide to live and die with this list we'll be living and dying together all year.  For your piece of mind the same research took me to the unofficial NFBCK title during the lockout year, and last year I placed No. 6 overall at the National Fantasy Basketball Championship in what I thought was a down year. 

I've spent the last two months locked up in my war room watching film and running statistical analysis.  Every stat for every guy in the top 250 has been done by hand as its own mini-project.  The idea is to find the patterns and trends that reach some level of statistical significance, while running everything through a reality check of sorts -- including but not limited to coaching tendencies, development of new skills, erosion of old skills or physicality, regressions and the like.

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Be sure to check back often as news changes and I will note the date/time that the document has been updated.  

Last thing…enjoy.  Follow me on Twitter and good luck in your drafts!


***ADPs COMPILED ON: Wednesday, October 23 at 1:00 AM.

1.    Kevin Durant – (ADP: 1, 9-cat: 1) - Not since ‘less filling’ and ‘tastes great’ has there been such an important debate. LeBron vs. Durant went largely down the middle over the past few years, but the torch has officially been passed to KD now that the aging Heat have all but booked vacation plans for April.  LeBron says he’s focusing on free throws, his Achilles’ heel in this clash of the titans, but even if he does get on the right track he isn’t going to be relied upon like Durant will be in OKC.  

2.    LeBron James – (ADP: 2, 9-cat: 2) - As alluded to, in past years it was theoretically better to get the No. 2 pick in a snake draft (and a higher second round pick) because James and Durant were so closely matched.  For planning purposes, owners should know that Durant holds a notable edge over LeBron compared to prior seasons.

3.    James Harden – (ADP: 4, 9-cat: 5) - I’ve backed off a bit on Chris Paul’s minute outlook – nominally would be the right word – and the value lead Paul had over Harden in the early Draft Guide release of the 150 been has whittled down to practically nothing.  As I said then, I’m willing to tap Harden here for his durability and probable advantage late in the year.  Harden's projected 3.6 turnovers per game is enough to put him behind Paul and Stephen Curry in 9-cat.

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4.    Chris Paul – (ADP: 4, 9-cat: 3) - It’s becoming clear that Doc Rivers wants Paul to assert himself, which may have been the impetus for his 40-point outing the other day, and seeing just a hint of that causes me to wonder if we’re getting ready for a throwback season from CP3.  That wonder is enough for me to move him ahead of Curry, who has a famous ankle lingering in the back of our minds.  Again, I won’t argue with anybody switching the order of picks 3-5.  In 9-cat, Paul is a cut above the James Harden and Steph Curry so he gets the nod at No. 3. 

5.    Stephen Curry - (ADP: 5, 9-cat: 4) - There are few players in the league as entertaining to watch as Curry, whose assortment of stops and starts, smooth dribbling and in-the-gym range make for an explosive fantasy package.  He's the last player on this list with the 'stat set' to have even an outside shot of threatening the top-2, but then again nobody in the sub-elite tier truly has a shot at LeBrant.

6.    Serge Ibaka - (ADP: 15, 9-cat: 6) - Let's get weird right off the bat and bring into the fold a guy that inexplicably dropped to 23 in our 30 DEEP draft, aso needless to say it won't be surprising to hear some of you report that you stole Ibaka in Round 2. With the ability to go way over three blocks per game, it's actually his offensive contributions that will steal the show this year as Scott Brooks will finally get the memo about Ibaka's feathery jump shot.  Don't be worried about Brooks screwing this up -- the Thunder will be without Russell Westbrook, and the departures of Harden and Kevin Martin will force his hand.  A high percentage shot maker and plus rebounder, the days of being a one trick pony are over. 

In 9-cat, Ibaka has serious juice with a low 2.0 turnovers per game projection, which puts him in the discussion with the sub-elite guys but as a yet-to-be established player at that level he needs to prove himself to get into that club.

7.    Anthony Davis - (ADP: 20, 9-cat: 7) - Want to hear the scary part?  I have him this high and projected for just 34.5 minutes per game, as Monty Williams is a bit of a card when it comes to putting his best players on the floor.  That of course is a reference to not using Davis (enought) alongside Ryan Anderson, who was inexplicably signed to a big money deal two summers ago to force a timeshare last season.  Aside from the Brow's ability to change the complexion of a game, Williams is going to have a hard time not playing these guys together with just injury prone Jason Smith and foul prone Greg Stiemsma as depth in the frontcourt.  Davis is already showing off an ever-improving offensive game during exhibition season, and we know what he's capable of in the dirty work categories.  Paul George is right on his heels in terms of projected value, but unlike Davis I have George maxed out in terms of usage and expected improvements.  For Davis, anything he can do on top of 34.5 mpg is all gravy. 

Editor's Note 2: To get access to a boatload of articles, projections, and strategy discussion, click here to check out our award winning draft guide.

8.    Paul George - (ADP: 12, 9-cat: 11) - Some might find this rank disappointing for George, but it's worth pointing out how much he's going to be asked to do lately.  Until he gets helps in the shot creator and lockdown defender departments, expect categories such as his defensive numbers to remain near their current plateau.  To that end, Danny Granger isn't going to carry any gravity in the Pacers offense and as alluded to the rest of the team struggles to get their own shot.  George's expected increase in field goal attempts is going to make him a high volume, low percentage shooter and that's just about the only thing for owners to complain about.  A projected 2.9 turnovers per game is a drag to his 9-cat value.

9.    Kevin Love - (ADP: 6, 9-cat: 8) - Love kicks off the next tier of players and he also presents owners with the safest upside play at this stage of the draft.  That said, I have Love maxed in plenty of projections with numbers of 26 points, 1.9 threes, and 13.1 rebounds to go with a 44.6 percent mark from the line.  If you're looking to spend big in an auction draft, with all due respect to Love and what he brings to the table, I'd stick with the aforementioned eight.  Being so tightly bunched with the guys you see directly below, I'm sure some of you have thought about taking Kyrie instead, and for me it came down to Irving's injury history being more sordid than Love's.

10.    Kawhi Leonard - (ADP: 39, 9-cat: 10) - Now for my next departure from what you're likely seeing elsewhere, Leonard could very well be a season-long project for the Spurs this year, and not in the way that the word 'project' usually entails.  Gregg Popovich has been laying down heavy pressure on Leonard to shoot the ball more, and though Leonard is not a shy player, when playing with three future Hall of Famers it's usually wise to defer.  Not anymore.  The old guys know that they're not getting any more competitive than they were last season, and they need the uber-talented and supremely athletic Leonard to be a difference-maker in the playoffs.  In what could be an 82-game exercise in making him the team's No. 2 scoring option, the mpg and usage jump has skyrocketed Leonard to the first round in my list and he can currently be found available in the second and third rounds. 

11.    Kyrie Irving - (ADP: 8, 9-cat: 14) - Irving, styled similarly to Stephen Curry, is one of the few players in the league whose stat set gives them a shot at an elite ranking.  While his scoring number (23.2 ppg projected) jumps off the screen, it's the strong and steady contributions across all categories that make him a no brainer first round pick, and the next step for him will be to bring his dimes up to an elite level (6.2 projected).  With newfound talent surrounding him, perhaps he can improve on his already solid efficiency and turn hard shots into easy helpers.  The elephant in the room is his propensity for getting hurt, which is why I'm targeting this super stud later in the first round. 

12.    Mike Conley - (ADP: 33, 9-cat: 12) - Part of the all-boring fantasy studs squad, Conley is one of the most consistent year-to-year fantasy plays in the NBA.  While there has been talk of Memphis trying to get out and run this season, and there is almost always talk about getting Conley to shoot more, I don't see much changing there except for another year's worth of incremental improvement.  Unlike Irving, however, he does not have the stat set to vault himself into the penthouse suite.  But with an ADP like the one he was sporting as of Tuesday, owners are going to be able to turn a tidy profit taking him in Round 2.

13.    John Wall - (ADP: 20, 9-cat: 20) - Wall has in many ways become the forgotten treasure of the NBA.  Knee issues slowed down his ascent to super stardom and in this day and age of short-term memory loss folks have forgotten how explosive he is.  Paired in perhaps the league's most dynamic backcourt and with a year under his belt following that injury, he will have space to operate and there will be few defenders that will be able to stop him from getting to the rack.  His dirty work numbers are excellent for a point guard (projected 4.7 rebounds, 1.56 steals, 0.94 blocks).  Once he can add a 3-point element to his game, folks will say Wall's name with the reverence they had when he was a consensus No. 1 draft pick a full year before he came out of school.  I don't think this is the year for that however, which is the difference between Round 1 and Round 2 value in this 8-cat list. 

14.    Al Horford - (ADP: 20, 9-cat: 9) - If Mike Conley is the starting point guard for the all-boring fantasy studs squad, then Al Horford is the CEO and president.  Constantly overlooked for that fact, he is finally unteathered from ball-and-chain Josh Smith which shouldn't have as much of a direct impact on Horford as it will on the entire team.  With willing passers at all five starting positions and a lineup that can get out and run a little bit, look for the quality and quantity of Horford's touches to increase as he builds off of last year's No. 18 rank. 

15.    Nicolas Batum - (ADP: 21, 9-cat: 15) - Beware the shooting wrist is something I say a lot around here, and that was the story of Batum's second half last year as he stopped shooting the ball to the tune of about 2-3 attempts per game.  The good news is that he didn't have the type of fantasy sizzle that would find him flying off the shelves this season.  Sitting with a late second round ADP, Batum is poised to turn a nice little profit for owners. 

16.    Derrick Rose - (ADP: 13, 9-cat: 22) - So many folks want to push Rose into the first round based on his high-flying preseason, but owners have to remember that in his MVP year when he played 37.3 minutes per game he was still only the No. 6 player on a per-game basis in 8-cat formats.  Coming off an injury plagued year two seasons ago that concluded with his torn ACL, and a full year off after that, asking him to meet those lofty numbers is asking too much.  I have him slated at about 36 mpg, a high number for anybody returning from that type of injury regardless of all that time off.  Factoring in the likely precautionary days off he will get, this is the year to let somebody else get all worked up about the additional five inches of vertical leap he's talking about.

17.    Ricky Rubio - (ADP: 29, 9-cat: 28) - Like John Wall's lack of threes and Kyrie Irving's low assist totals, Rubio's poor shooting and sparse scoring are the only thing from keeping him out of elite territory.  He boasts an absurd 2.91 steals per game projection from me, which would be the best mark the NBA has seen since the 2.89 steals per game campaign Larry Hughes put together in 2004-05.  Think he can't do it?  He was guilty of stealing the ball 2.2 times per game (34.2 mpg) in his rookie campaign and 2.4 times per game (29.7 mpg) last year -- again, coming off knee surgery.  Above average basketball players in their third NBA season are typically still improving, and in the case of a cerebral player like Rubio the game is going to continue to slow down.  I know this is a bold list but I don't hand out outliers like this, well, I can't remember the last time I pegged a guy to put up a decade-best type number.  Owners shouldn't pick up Rubio thinking that he's going to get the shooting figured out, but everything else is in place for a top-20 season.

18.    Paul Millsap - (ADP: 37, 9-cat: 13) - In one of the most underrated signings of the offseason, the Hawks got rid of their albatross in Josh Smith and added Millsap for a cool two years at just $19 million -- a steal for a big man of his caliber.  Aside from improving the cohesion on the floor, this will mark the first time in Millsap's career that he will truly be free to do his thing.  In shades of the Blazers last year, the Hawks starters are a talented bunch but they lack depth in the rotation -- which means you want all of them on your fantasy squad, of course.  Jeff Teague, Kyle Korver, DeMarre Carroll and Al Horford are all willing to pass the ball, and given the lack of overall firepower Millsap is going to be relied upon to score.  Just two years removed from a top 4-6 fantasy campaign (in just 32.8 mpg), he's a near lock to beat his third round ADP.

19.    Jeff Teague - (ADP: 57, 9-cat: 34) - How Teague is sliding this far is beyond me.  Even if we don't look at his expected improvements, he's the Hawks' only reliable playmaker off the dribble right now and that's a recipe for big time usage.  With modest productivity goals to acheive this lofty ranking and a big workload ahead of him, this is the type of player that owners can do damage with if they're scooping him up in Rounds 3-5. 

20.    Kemba Walker - (ADP: 37, 9-cat: 19) - Last year's top 16-17 play is getting no respect in fantasy leagues, probably because most folks think the gravitational pull of Al Jefferson is going to cause every basketball in Charlotte to simultaneously go flat (more on that later). The reality is that while Jefferson is going to get significant touches, they won't come at the expense of the team's young, promising point guard.  Yes, there is a good chance that Jefferson bogs down the offense like he did in Utah, but we'll see how never passing and not playing defense plays in a new city in which Big Al isn't already entrenched as the team leader. 

Walker is going to be the antithesis to Jefferson's plodding ways, and it would be logical for new coach Steve Clifford to use more discretion than Ty Corbin did when distributing the touches.  At a minimum, Walker is the last guy in line to lose touches as the team's second best player and above all he's still improving in his third season.  A projected 2.5 turnovers per game translates to the 9-cat game very well.

21.    Damian Lillard - (ADP: 32, 9-cat: 24)

22.    Carmelo Anthony - (ADP: 12, 9-cat: 21) - Last season's No. 22 and 21 play in 8- and 9-cat leagues, respectively, Anthony looks to post numbers more or less in line with last year.

23.    Marc Gasol - (ADP: 12, 9-cat: 17)

24.    Kobe Bryant - (ADP: 36, 9-cat: 32) - One of the tougher players to rank, he is also a guy that I missed bad on last year.  I thought for sure he was due to see his effectiveness decline and I bought into the whole idea of Steve Nash running the show.  And that's the story of Kobe in a nutshell.  You think he's going to miss a game, he plays.  Years of experience tell us that a player takes 'x' amount of time to return from an injury, or in the case of his ruptured Achilles, that it could be career ending -- and Kobe beats the timetable. 

Either nobody knows or nobody is saying when he will return, and therefore his ranking is wobby just on the account of missed games, but a rank on Kobe Bryant is a vote on whether or not he'll finally lose his effectiveness.  That we're having that conversation about a player with his mileage is something special, but the fact that we're having it as he comes off this type of injury is unprecedented.  And it's in this very situation that he has proven us wrong time and time again. 

It should also be noted that Kobe has a flair for the dramatic when it comes to to returning from injury.  He likes to play things up, and we don't have to look too far back to recall that reports on his wrist injury from 2011 were overstated.  While recent reports have made him seem doubtful for the opener, it wouldn't surprise me at all for him to have an 11th hour miracle return on that night.  With current projections of 25 points with a normal stat line and nine missed games on the year, this is where he lands in the rankings today in terms of value.  Knowing what (we don't know) right now, I'd be looking at him in the early third round with the hopes he pulls off the unthinkable.  Again. 

25.    Ty Lawson - (ADP: 32, 9-cat: 26)

26.    DeMarcus Cousins - (ADP: 38, 9-cat: 47)

27.    Derrick Favors - (ADP: 59, 9-cat: 36)

28.    Rudy Gay - (ADP: 39, 9-cat: 41)

29.    Larry Sanders - (ADP: 34, 9-cat: 16)

30.    Roy Hibbert - (ADP: 43, 9-cat: 35)

31.    Eric Bledsoe - (ADP: 59, 9-cat: 33) - Folks are having a hard time pegging Bledsoe's value because they don't quite know what to make of the pairing with Goran Dragic, but here's the answer for you.  They're going to run, run, run and run some more.  Now I don't like to shift rankings or projections for pace on a whim, but in the case of Bledsoe with the Suns it has been easy to give more credibility to his stellar production in limited minutes last year.  And going from a team with many options to a team in Phoenix lacking options where he is a primary threat, projecting improvements isn't a stretch.  It all adds up to the value you see here and I wouldn't get caught up with which guard gets the 'PG' label in the box score.   

32.    Goran Dragic - (ADP: 59, 9-cat: 37) - Ironically he holds the same ADP as his partner in the Suns' double-PG attack, and getting the ankle business right out of the way I haven't adjusted him downward in terms of MPG and I'm hesitating to drop him below the 78 games played I have him slated for. I'll adjust the latter if this moves beyond the spectre of an everyday ankle sprain, and once we get beyond the ankle issue we see a player whose profile has actually improved with the addition of Eric Bledsoe.  Under Alvin Gentry and Lindsay Hunter, he was frustrated all season as the team desperately wanted to make the Michael Beasley contract pay off.  Dragic eventually got his feet underneath him but the subpar play and chaos surrounding him kept him from gaining ground coming off of a promising late-season push the year before in Houston.  Now we won't know if new coach Jeff Hornacek will push all the right buttons, but at least the players know what is expected of them in terms of getting out and running.  That plays to both Dragic and Bledsoe's strengths, and in open spaces both guys should be able to get in the lane and also get free for 3-point chances. 

33.    Thaddeus Young - (ADP: 54, 9-cat: 18) - Like Evan Turner, Thad is a threat to play 40 minutes per game this season and as one of the only good players on a potentially historic bad team he's going to get as many touches as he can handle. 

34.    Deron Williams - (ADP: 15, 9-cat: 53) - With an ensemble cast of legitimate scoring and playmaking options, I don't even have to look to the ankle injury for reasons to drop Williams down in the rankings.  And with numbers that were already on the downswing because of declines in athleticism and trouble shooting the ball, this is a perfect time for Williams to take a step back and let the game come to him a little bit more.  While that might be the best way for Williams to right the ship and contribute to the greater goal of a championship, it's not going to propel him to a fantasy valuation made by most sites on the basis of past returns.

35.    Gordon Hayward - (ADP: 79, 9-cat: 44)

36.    Blake Griffin - (ADP: 38, 9-cat: 45)

37.    Jrue Holiday - (ADP: 45, 9-cat: 62)

38.    Monta Ellis - (ADP: 38, 9-cat: 59)

39.    Nikola Vucevic - (ADP: 42, 9-cat: 25)

40.    Jeff Green - (ADP: 57, 9-cat: 43)

41.    Tobias Harris - (ADP: 76, 9-cat: 27)

42.    Dirk Nowitzki - (ADP: 24, 9-cat: 23)

43.    Russell Westbrook - (ADP: 39, 9-cat: 74) - ADP data is a bit flimsy on Westbrook right now and details about his timetable are pretty scarce.  I'd say no news is good news but I think it's the opposite in Westbrook's case, though I haven't made any judgments one way or another about his return date.  Given that the injury was on the milder side of what knee injuries usually entail, I'm not so much concerned about his effectiveness upon return as I am that Reggie Jackson can help keep Westy's workload from heading in the direction that Kevin Durant and Serge Ibaka's is heading.  And just like my take on his return, I'm not rendering any judgment about whether or not Jackson will impact his value.  As of this writing my position is that Westbrook will return and be the same stud he always is.  With 20 missed games currently projected, his year-long value is more in the top-60 range and if you consider replacement value it climbs up a handful of spots.  This ranking represents where I'm comfortable drafting him with the hopes that he can beat his timetable and improve over last year's numbers, whereas this ranking is based off of 33.5 minutes per game and no improvements while in the prime of his career. 

44.    Dwyane Wade - (ADP: 20, 9-cat: 69) - As you can see the general populace has greater faith in Wade than I do, as a projected 17 games off and declines in most categories offset a still dynamic fantasy game.  Just in case you forgot, Wade was able to shake off a rough start to post top 5-10 value throughout February and March before he disappeared as expected in April.  Watching him shrink in the playoffs was cringeworthy, and knowing that he's clearly in maintenance mode for his knees it's hard to see him having a Kobe Bryant-like turn back the clock experience.  

45.    Dwight Howard - (ADP: 22, 9-cat: 71)

46.    Greg Monroe - (ADP: 59, 9-cat: 67)

47.    Brook Lopez - (ADP: 40, 9-cat: 29)

48.    Andre Drummond - (ADP: 72, 9-cat: 30)

49.    Danny Green - (ADP: 83, 9-cat: 38)

50.    JaVale McGee - (ADP: 78, 9-cat: 56)

51.    Josh Smith - (ADP: 36, 9-cat: 70)

52.    O.J. Mayo - (ADP: 77, 9-cat: 72)

53.    Jonas Valanciunas - (ADP: 65, 9-cat: 46)

54.    Kyle Lowry - (ADP: 79, 9-cat: 63)

55.    Bradley Beal - (ADP: 65, 9-cat: 54)

56.    David Lee - (ADP: 36, 9-cat: 58)

57.    LaMarcus Aldridge - (ADP: 14, 9-cat: 42) - How does one fall from a first and second round rating by many analysts all the way down to No. 57?  Let's take a look.  First off, Aldridge wasn't a first round talent last year, finishing as the No. 21 play in 8-cat formats (No. 14, 9-cat) despite having a pair of outlier categories (9.1 rebounds, 1.2 blocks) in his favor.  Part of the trouble was a high volume decrease of about three percent in FG% and yet another dip in attempts (0.3) from the line.  The extreme lack of depth in Portland is why Aldridge bucked trend lines for blocks and rebounds and also why he shot the ball so much and so ineffeciently. 

So what about this year?  Well, for starters, the Blazers big man crew is much better off and Aldridge has a direct backup that's a second year lottery pick in Thomas Robinson.  Unlike J.J. Hickson (now in DEN), Robin Lopez will plant a foot in the paint and second year center Meyers Leonard will see more minutes than he got last year.  Aldridge has only exceeded last year's 37.7 minutes in one season (10-11, 39.6), and with knee and quad injuries already this season and two straight injury-shortened years under his belt I've pegged him for 35 mpg, a near three-minute drop over last year. 

Because it's unlikely that he continues along the trajectory of last year's aforementioned outlier numbers, I regress them a small amount.  But mostly maintain the same type of production he gave owners last season (with expected improvements in field goal shooting).  The result is the drop you see here, which can be summed up as a playing time decrease, but I'd be lying if I didn't tell you that I'm concerned about his athleticism and state of mind following a tumultuous offseason with the team.  They're not on the same page with regards to his role and his contract, so I'd expect both parties to be looking out for ol' No. 1 season.  The off-court stuff doesn't figure into my numbers, but it didn't exactly make me want to hold a first or second round valuation being found in the majority of fantasy sites. 

58.    George Hill - (ADP: 68, 9-cat: 40)

59.    Al Jefferson  - (ADP: 17, 9-cat: 31) - Opinions certainly differ around here as some of our guys think he's a top center option this season, but I'm diametrically opposed to that assessment given his declining numbers and athleticism over the past few years. Looking at last year alone (Bruski 150 rank: 22, final rank: 24), a year in which Ty Corbin continued to pound the rock no matter how much it bogged down the offense, Jefferson saw declines in FGAs (1.4), rebounds (0.4), blocks (0.6), scoring (1.4) and minutes (0.9 to 33.1).  The No. 31 player on a per-game basis last season in 8-cat leagues, he was saved by somehow playing through plenty of pain in 78 games -- with only 15 missed games in four years. 

The problem for Jefferson is that his situation is only getting worse in Charlotte.  For all the talk of playing in a crowded frontcourt his touches weren't impacted by the presence of Derrick Favors or Enes Kanter in their minimal minutes, and he'll be hard pressed in Charlotte to find that Steve Clifford can meet or beat Corbin's unwavering committment to him. 

In terms of supporting cast, in Utah Jefferson played for stretches with pass-only PGs Jamaal Tinsley (66 games, 19 mpg) and Earl Watson (48 games, 17 mpg) running the show, while offensively challenged Marvin Williams played 24 mpg and one-trick spot-up shooter Randy Foye was custom built to attract defenders out of the lane. 

The cast in Charlotte is by no means an offensive juggernaut, but they hardly resemble a team looking to spread the floor around their interior post presence and they aren't such a downgrade from the Utah group that we should be projecting increases in FGAs for Big Al because of their ineptitude. Kemba Walker is an emerging point guard that lives in the lane, not beyond the arc (32.2 3P%), and what good is that with Jefferson backing down the defense all day? Gerald Henderson?  He's another guy the Bobcats just re-signed that doesn't fit the mold of ground and pound hitting just 33.0% of his triples.  Michael Kidd-Gilchrist?  You get the point. 

Cody Zeller and Josh McRoberts aren't plus players in the frontcourt this year, nor is Bismack Biyombo, but they're serviceable bodies that can help Jefferson limit his minutes as he starts to break down, even if he continues to play through pain as he did last year.  My prediction is that Charlotte limits Jefferson's minutes and goes to him a little bit more than they normally would if he played a full slate, keeping Jefferson happy while allowing the other players to continue to develop.  As for his projections of 16.6 points, 8.56 boards, 1.1 blocks, 50.1 percent FGs and six missed games, they're very consistent with last year's numbers and in the case of FGs and BLKs they represent an increase. 

The bottom line is that it doesn't take much to move a guy from No. 24 to No. 59 once you get past the sticker shock of it. 

60.    Chris Bosh - (ADP: 40, 9-cat: 50)

61.    Victor Oladipo - (ADP: 91, 9-cat: 99) - While this may seem high I can and probably will move him up higher throughout the next week, but for now I'm making him prove himself on an everyday basis.  The concern is that these 15-5-5 popcorn lines aren't representative of the type of defense he'll face when the games count, and I'd like to see him take strides to make more shots as he's hitting just 40.6 percent from the field in the preseason. Still, Oladipo is real and he's going to be spectacular. 

62.    Tim Duncan - (ADP: 36, 9-cat: 48)

63.    Pau Gasol - (ADP: 45, 9-cat: 66)

64.    Ryan Anderson - (ADP: 55, 9-cat: 39)

65.    Enes Kanter - (ADP: 90, 9-cat: 89)

66.    Kenneth Faried - (ADP: 78, 9-cat: 49)

67.    Kevin Martin - (ADP: 91, 9-cat: 51)

68.    Joakim Noah - (ADP: 28, 9-cat: 57) - Will be sliding the 8-cat ranking down few spots down in the next update due to the conditioning issues. 9-cat already updated.

69.    Spencer Hawes - (ADP: 103, 9-cat: 77) - Hawes truly is the last man standing in Philly, where the Sixers might not win eight games this season.  I have him pegged at 34 mpg, which would easily be a career high for Hawes, whose best year in terms of playing time was in 2008-09 when he saw 29.3 mpg.  With Nerlens Noel now out for the year, Lavoy Allen dealing with a knee and also having problems waking up on time, and the Sixers having just recently acquired Daniel Orton beyond that -- it's pretty simple for Hawes -- he's going to play as much as his sometimes brittle body can handle.  Right now I can't bring myself to push him up further, but owners should know that there is upside beyond these ranks. 

70.    Chandler Parsons - (ADP: 69, 9-cat: 68)

71.    Tyreke Evans - (ADP: 69, 9-cat: 86)

72.    Amir Johnson - (ADP: 85, 9-cat: 52)

73.    Tony Parker - (ADP: 35, 9-cat: 87)

74.    Brandon Jennings - (ADP: 43, 9-cat: 82)

75.    Ersan Ilyasova - (ADP: 38, 9-cat: 61) - The ankle issue opens the door for John Henson to cut into his workload, which right now has me targeting 29 mpg for him on the year and puts him on par with last season's top-80 finish.  It's possible I move him up more than I normally would if he can beat expectations on his return, since Milwaukee lacks scoring and a hot start would have put him closer to 31-33 mpg.  With a fantasy friendly game he has been productive with less minutes and in the second half of last season we saw what he would have been capable off without the Skiles treatment early on.

76.    Tiago Splitter - (ADP: 109, 9-cat: 60)

77.    Wesley Matthews - (ADP: 76, 9-cat: 65)

78.    Jimmy Butler - (ADP: 98, 9-cat: 55)

79.    Evan Turner - (ADP: 101, 9-cat: 119)

80.    Wilson Chandler - (ADP: 96, 9-cat: 83) - 8-cat ranking to slide down a few slots at next update for hamstring troubles. 9-cat already adjusted.

81.    Jose Calderon - (ADP: 68, 9-cat: 106)

82.    Kyle Korver - (ADP: 99, 9-cat: 64)

83.    Nikola Pekovic - (ADP: 77, 9-cat: 105)

84.    Mario Chalmers - (ADP: 103, 9-cat: 79) - Modest improvements take last season's No. 96 play and moves him up.  With the band getting older the Heat will rely on him just a little bit more.

85.    Paul Pierce - (ADP: 61, 9-cat: 76)

86.    Isaiah Thomas - (ADP: 120, 9-cat: 85) - Not a representation of his place in the position battle (still undecided). He just has a fantasy friendly game and can climb the rankings fairly quickly.

87.    DeAndre Jordan - (ADP: 117, 9-cat: 73) - Rivers seems intent on making him an every-down player so to speak. 

88.    David West - (ADP: 58, 9-cat: 86)

89.    Gerald Henderson - (ADP: 112, 9-cat: 92)

90.    Brandon Knight - (ADP: 109, 9-cat: 125)

91.    Anderson Varejao - (ADP: 102, 9-cat: 111)

92.    Klay Thompson - (ADP: 50, 9-cat: 95) - Love Klay's offensive game and if there were more than one basketball in Golden State I would like him a lot more following his No. 43 ranked season. 

93.    Andre Iguodala - (ADP: 65, 9-cat: 109)

94.    Luol Deng - (ADP: 77, 9-cat: 93)

95.    Marcin Gortat - (ADP: 92, 9-cat: 84)

96.    Patrick Beverley - (ADP: 151, 9-cat: 85)

97.    Tyson Chandler - (ADP: 82, 9-cat: 78)

98.    Zach Randolph - (ADP: 71, 9-cat: 96) - When players that aren't multi-dimensional start to decline it impacts their ranks rather quickly. 

99.    Jeremy Lin - (ADP: 84, 9-cat: 115)

100.    Rajon Rondo  - (ADP: 77, 9-cat: late round stash) -

101.    DeMar DeRozan - (ADP: 99, 9-cat: 94)

102.    Thabo Sefolosha - (ADP: 138, 9-cat: 75)

103.    Michael Carter-Williams - (ADP: 129, 9-cat: 146)

104.    Reggie Jackson - (ADP: 136, 9-cat: 103)

105.    Carlos Boozer - (ADP: 94, 9-cat: 116)

106.    Markieff Morris - (ADP: 124, 9-cat: 113)

107.    Dion Waiters - (ADP: 127, 9-cat: 121)

108.    Moe Harkless - (ADP: 116, 9-cat: 91)

109.    Lance Stephenson - (ADP: 165, 9-cat: 147)

110.    Samuel Dalembert - (ADP: 133, 9-cat: 102)

111.    James Anderson - (ADP: 204, 9-cat: 128) - Anderson has been going undrafted in competitive leagues despite being the only real shooting guard on the roster.  A near lock for late round value this year under the current roster configuration. 

112.    Matt Barnes - (ADP: 147, 9-cat: 88)

113.    Vince Carter - (ADP: 145, 9-cat: 101)

114.    DeMarre Carroll  - (ADP: 170, 9-cat: 90)

115.    Robin Lopez - (ADP: 124, 9-cat: 104)

116.    Shawn Marion - (ADP: 110, 9-cat: 97)

117.    Kevin Garnett - (ADP: 84, 9-cat: 98)

118.    John Henson - (ADP: 138, 9-cat: 118) - He'll be making his case for a substantial, ongoing role in the first week or so while Ersan Ilyasova's ankle heals up.  It would be ideal if he can come through so he can maintain low-end value/lottery ticket status.

119.    Jamal Crawford - (ADP: 101, 9-cat: 120)

120.    Metta World Peace - (ADP: 160, 9-cat: 107) - Look for Metta to play solid minutes as the backup swing forward behind Melo and a deteriorating power forward crew.

121.    Jameer Nelson - (ADP: 102, 9-cat: 127)

122.    Jared Sullinger - (ADP: 153, 9-cat: 100) - Could possibly be the No. 1 scorer on the team in terms of ability, but injury concerns and the glut of power forwards limit his upside.

123.    Cody Zeller - (ADP: 121, 9-cat: 112)

124.    Alec Burks - (ADP: 157, 9-cat: 150+)

125.    Steve Nash - (ADP: 78, 9-cat: 133) - It's been a nice run, but this is where the risk/reward equation plays out.

126.    Marcus Thornton - (ADP: 120, 9-cat: 108)

127.    Raymond Felton - (ADP: 97, 9-cat: 132) - Veteran backup point guards Beno Udrih and Pablo Prigioni will keep Felton's minutes down.

128.    Jared Dudley - (ADP: 134, 9-cat: 114)

129.    J.R. Smith - (ADP: 84, 9-cat: 117)

130.    Patrick Patterson - (ADP: 186, 9-cat: 110) - He could climb if things click for him now that Carl Landry is out for a while.  He has looked good during his time in Sacramento. 

131.    Manu Ginobili (ADP: 118, 9-cat: 141)

132.    Tony Allen - (ADP: 151, 9-cat: 122)

133.    Jarrett Jack (ADP: 128, 9-cat: 139)

134.    Tristan Thompson - (ADP: 120, 9-cat: 129)

135.    J.J. Hickson - (ADP: 126, 9-cat: 126)

136.    Andrei Kirilenko - (ADP: 120, 9-cat: 123)

137.    Greivis Vasquez - (ADP: 94, 9-cat: 150+)

138.    Kelly Olynyk - (ADP: 138, 9-cat: 138)

139.    Arron Afflalo - (ADP: 131, 9-cat: 145)

140.    Caron Butler - (ADP: 135, 9-cat: 143)

141.    Brandan Wright - (ADP: 115, 9-cat: 142)

142.    Kevin Seraphin - (ADP: 180, 9-cat: 144)

143.    Anthony Bennett - (ADP: 141, 9-cat: 150+)

144.    Ben McLemore - (ADP: 126, 9-cat: 150+)

145.    Jordan Crawford  - (ADP: 176, 9-cat: 150+)

146.    Nene - (ADP: 115, 9-cat: 150+)

147.    Nick Young - (ADP: 129, 9-cat: 150+)

148.    Taj Gibson  - (ADP: 153, 9-cat: 136)

149.    Chris Kaman - (ADP: 124, 9-cat: 148)

150.    Harrison Barnes - (ADP: 136, 9-cat: 150)

Honorable Mention: Corey Brewer (9-cat: 137), Andrew Bogut (9-cat: 140), Jason Thompson (9-cat: 124), Mo Williams, Luis Scola, Iman Shumpert (9-cat: 130), Omer Asik,  Michael Kidd-Gilchrist (9-cat: 134), Ray Allen (9-cat: 149), Elton Brand (9-cat: 135), Dennis Schroder, Jerryd Bayless, Joe Johnson, Mike Dunleavy, Avery Bradley, Terrence Jones (9-cat: 131), Randy Foye, Brandon Bass, Steve Blake, Earl Clark, Luke Ridnour, Josh McRoberts, Brandon Rush, Trevor Ariza, Channing Frye, Ed Davis, Trevor Booker, Gerald Wallace, J.J. Redick, Carlos Delfino, Tyler Hansbrough, Glen Davis, Martell Webster, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, Jordan Hill