Fantasy Basketball

Fantasy Basketball Midseason Rankings


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Fantasy Basketball is one of my favorite hobbies. I've been playing in my own custom leagues and ESPN standards for years and annually win at least 75% of my leagues. I love drafting (and love joking with my friends about the guys who always delay the rest of the draft), putting together a great roster, and watching it grow while making all the necessary tweaks.

In some cases that means plumbing the waiver wire which, though frustrating at times, is also quite fun. So, with that, I will try to share a bit of my fantasy wisdom with all of you. Below are my base midseason rankings. As a bonus I've BOLDED the players that everyone tends to overrate and UNDERLINED my underrated favorites. I will follow these up with a discussion of my favorite fantasy strategies, the best players overall, a list of my favorite fantasy players, some deep and late season sleepers, and a look at the best keepers. Of course, fantasy sports is an opinion-based endeavor and I love sharing opinions and ideas so please weigh in with your thoughts on these rankings and let everyone in the community know about your favorite players and sleepers. After all, if you're not competing in a fantasy league, why not collaborate right?

  1. Chris Paul, PG
  2. Kevin Durant, SF
  3. LeBron James, SF
  4. Deron Williams, PG
  5. Amare Stoudemire, PF/C
  6. Dirk Nowitzki, PF
  7. Dwight Howard, C
  8. Kobe Bryant, SG
  9. Pau Gasol, PF/C
  10. Stephen Curry, PG/SG
  11. Dwayne Wade, SG
  12. Danny Granger, SF
  13. Derrick Rose, PG
  14. Josh Smith, SF/PF
  15. Russell Westbrook, PG
  16. Carmelo Anthony, SF
  17. Kevin Love, PF
  18. Steve Nash, PG
  19. Raymond Felton, PG
  20. David West, PF
  21. Blake Griffin, PF
  22. Al Horford, PF/C
  23. Monta Ellis, PG/SG
  24. Rajon Rondo, PG
  25. Chris Bosh, PF/C
  26. Joe Johnson, SG/SF
  27. Carlos Boozer, PF
  28. David Lee, PF
  29. Brook Lopez, C
  30. Rudy Gay, SF
  31. Tim Duncan, C
  32. Gerald Wallace, SF/PF
  33. Manu Ginobli, SG
  34. Al Jefferson, PF/C
  35. Eric Gordon, SG
  36. Jason Kidd, PG
  37. Chauncey Billups, PG
  38. Zach Randolph, PF
  39. Kevin Martin, SG
  40. Wesley Matthews, SG/SF
  41. Wilson Chandler, SG/SF
  42. Tyreke Evans, SG
  43. Roy Hibbert, C
  44. LaMarcus Aldridge, PF
  45. Marc Gasol, C
  46. Aaron Brooks, PG
  47. Danilo Gallinari, SF/PF
  48. Nene Hilario, C
  49. Dorell Wright, SF
  50. Ray Allen, SG
Dwayne Wade

Thanks to Keith Allison at flickr.com for Dwayne Wade's picture.




Danny Granger & Rudy Gay

Thanks to Jeremy Andrews at flickr.com for Danny Granger & Rudy Gay photo.

Top NBA Fantasy Basketball Waiver Wire Pickups

I hope you've checked out my Top 50 Rankings. I will update those periodically throughout the remainder of the Fantasy season. However, if you did not manage to snag many of those top 50 players and you are currently struggling in your league, here is my list of players I look for when I'm checking out the waiver wire. The very best players on this list could prove difference makers for the stretch run while some of the others could spell your injured players or, for a contending key, push your squad just over the hump. Ultimately, waiver wire hunting is a lot like dumpster diving (don't ask how I know that because what happens in college stays in college)-you take what you can get but sometimes you find a diamond in the rough. So, here is my list of potential diamonds:

The Diamonds in the Rough:

These players are probably not available in your league unless it is an eight team league, shallow ten-teamer, or you play with a bunch of idiots (if so all power to you). But, if they are available, don't hesitate to snag these guys because they could prove to be true difference makers in the fantasy playoffs.

Rashard Lewis, SF

Lewis is not the same player he was in 2008 when he averaged nearly 18ppg, over 2 three pointers, and was a dominant scorer for the Magic. That season, he finished in the Top 20 on the ESPN Player Rater. However, he is still a double digit scorer, a lethal threat from deep, and money from the line. Not only that, he should be starting soon for the Wizards at his natural position of small forward and, if he experiences any kind of a career renaissance in Washington, he could have a huge impact on your team.

Rashard Lewis

Rashard Lewis at the Washington Wizards v/s Orlando Magic game. Thanks to Keith Allison at flickr.com for this photo.

Landry Fields, SG

Fields is available in 41% of ESPN fantasy leagues which is shocking for two reasons: he plays for Mike D'Antoni and he has had an excellent rookie season thus far. Some have argued that his recent slump indicates he has hit the rookie wall but I am not so sure. Even if it is, his numbers won't dip too much because any decent players getting a solid run of minutes in D'Antoni's offense will put up relevant fantasy stats. Do you remember when Chris Duhon averaged over eight assists for nearly a full season? That's the D'Antoni effect and it should continue to work for Fields. Combined with his production in non-scoring categories on a nightly basis-including the highest percentage rebound rate for a guard in the entire NBA, it should ensure decent production for the rest of the season. He should be owned in all leagues.

Ben Gordon, SG

Gordon has been a massive disappointment this season. However, a lot of that has been his inexplicable inability to get consistent minutes this season. I still cannot understand why that is because the Pistons are terrible, Rip Hamilton is a reanimated corpse, and Gordon remains a solidly productive per minute player who is making so much money that Detroit should feel like they have to play him (as a side note, I still don't know why the Magic didn't trade Lewis for Gordon and Charlie Villenueva because the Pistons can't get rid of them fast enough and they would actually help the Magic quite a bit). As such, I remain convinced that he will eventually get minutes and become a difference making player. With over 30 minutes per game, Gordon's averages might tick up to 15ppg, 2 three pointers, and 1.5spg, which would make him a must own in all leagues.

Ben Gordon

Thanks to Keith Allison at flickr.com for Ben Gordon's picture.

Players Who Might Be Available:

Arron Affalo, SG

Affalo was forgotten in Detroit (ironically Detroit now has three overpaid guards and Affalo is better than any of them) but he has found his niche in Denver. He can score at a decent clip (about 12ppg when getting over 30 minutes

Linas Klieza, SF/PF

Klieza is a career bench player-which is usually a fantasy desert-but he has begun to produce in Toronto. The team is terrible but it fits Klieza's style and, with a dearth of options, Toronto's coaching staff has begun to turn to him more and more. Pick him up while he remains available.

Kyle Lowry, PG

Many fantasy rooks will drop Lowry the second that Brooks starts stealing back all his minutes. However, the Rockets didn't pay him five million per year to warm the bench. Lowry is a very useful player and he will continue to get enough minutes to be relatively productive in points, steals, and assists.

Likely Available:

Shane Battier, SF

Battier is a hot and cold player. He is currently on a hit streak but eventually he will go cold. That said, he is getting over 30 minutes per game with all the Rockets injuries and produces an across the board stat line that is very rare. He makes a great 13th man on most fantasy teams.

James Harden, SG

Harden is still locked in a time share with Thabo Sefolosha. This still limits his upside but, as he learns to play strong defense, this former top pick will get a lot of run. He is already producing decent numbers right now so, if you have an unproductive player to drop, pick him up while you can because he will be owned in most leagues by the end of the season.

Shane Battier

Thanks to Keith Allison at flickr.com for Shane Battier's picture.

Mehmet Okur, C

When Okur is healthy he is an excellent center because he gets a decent amount of rebounds (usually about 7 per game) and points (13). But he is underrated because he also gets a steal and a block per game. Okur won't be as effective as in previous years because Jefferson will steal some of his minutes but he could be a very effective player when he gets healthy for the stretch run.

Rudy Fernandez, SG

There are two reasons that you should pick up Fernandez. Brandon Roy will be shut down for a while (if not the rest of the season) and he should average 30 plus ppg as a sixth man. Plus, if that doesn't happen, he will be traded to the Chicago Bulls, become their starting shooting guard, and produce there.

Well there you have it. That's my list of the best wire gets out there right now. If there's anyone I missed, let everyone know in the forum. Happy dumpster diving!

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