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Friday, June 29, 2012
2012-13 fantasy hoops rankings

By Brian McKitish
Special to ESPN.com

The fantasy hoops season won't start for four months, but for many fantasy owners, the preparations began with Thursday's NBA draft. Four months might seem like a lifetime away right now, but the fantasy season will creep up on us quickly.

For those unfamiliar with the format of this column, we rank the top 150 fantasy players for the upcoming 2012-13 season. We will continue to update the rankings periodically throughout the offseason once trades and free-agent signings start to fall into place. Of course, much will change between now and the start of the season, so think of this as a baseline to begin your 2012-13 fantasy campaign.

The Top 150

Note: Brian McKitish's top 150 players are ranked for their fantasy value from this point forward in the 2012-13 NBA season. Previous rank is indicated in parentheses. (Note: Previous rankings from April 30 was only a top 100).

1. Kevin Durant, SF, OKC (1)
2. LeBron James, SF, MIA (2)
3. Chris Paul, PG, LAC (3)
4. Kevin Love, PF, MIN (4)
5. Russell Westbrook, PG, OKC (6)
6. Dwyane Wade, SG, MIA (5)
7. Deron Williams, PG, UFA (7)
8. Andrew Bynum, C, LAL (8)
9. Josh Smith, PF/SF, ATL (9)
10. Dwight Howard, C, ORL (13)
11. Al Jefferson, C/PF, UTAH (10)
12. Kobe Bryant, SG, LAL (12)
13. Paul Millsap, PF, UTAH (14)
14. Dirk Nowitzki, PF, DAL (15)
15. Pau Gasol, PF/C, LAL (16)
16. Kyrie Irving, PG, CLE (17)
17. DeMarcus Cousins, PF/C, SAC (11)
18. Marc Gasol, C, MEM (18)
19. LaMarcus Aldridge, PF/C, POR (19)
20. Rajon Rondo, PG, BOS (21)
21. Ty Lawson, PG/SG, DEN (22)
22. James Harden, SG, OKC (23)
23. Blake Griffin, PF, LAC (25)
24. Rudy Gay, SF, MEM (24)
25. Carmelo Anthony, SF/PF, NY (26)
26. Brandon Jennings, PG, MIL (27)
27. Serge Ibaka, C/PF, OKC (28)
28. Al Horford, C/PF, ATL (43)
29. John Wall, PG, WSH (29)
30. Monta Ellis, PG/SG, GS (31)
31. Marcin Gortat, C, PHO (32)
32. David Lee, PF/C, GS (34)
33. Ryan Anderson, PF, ORL (35)
34. Steve Nash, PG, UFA (33)
35. Danny Granger, SF, IND (36)
36. Greg Monroe, PF/C, DET (37)
37. Paul Pierce, SF/SG, BOS (30)
38. Kevin Garnett, PF/C, UFA (41)
39. Andre Iguodala, SF/SG, PHI (42)
40. Kyle Lowry, PG, HOU (39)
41. Mike Conley, PG, MEM (44)
42. Marcus Thornton, SG, SAC (45)
43. Tony Parker, PG, SA (38)
44. Stephen Curry, PG/SG, GS (46)
45. Roy Hibbert, C, IND (47)
46. Eric Gordon, SG, NO (48)
47. Goran Dragic, PG, UFA (49)
48. Chris Bosh, PF/C, MIA (50)
49. Gerald Wallace, SF/PF, UFA (51)
50. Paul George, SF/SG, IND (52)
51. Joe Johnson, SG/SF, ATL (54)
52. Joakim Noah, C/PF, CHI (55)
53. Tyreke Evans, PG/SG/SF, SAC (56)
54. Luol Deng, SF, CHI (57)
55. Manu Ginobili, SG, SA (58)
56. Anthony Davis, PF/C, NO (NR)
57. Nicolas Batum, SF/SG, POR (59)
58. Amare Stoudemire, C/PF, NY (53)
59. Danilo Gallinari, SF/PF, DEN (60)
60. Ersan Ilyasova, SF/PF, UFA (62)
61. Kris Humphries, PF, UFA (64)
62. Carlos Boozer, PF, CHI (65)
63. Tyson Chandler, C, NY (66)
64. Andrea Bargnani, C/PF, TOR (61)
65. Nene Hilario, C/PF, WSH (67)
66. Jose Calderon, PG, TOR (63)
67. Kenneth Faried, PF, DEN (70)
68. Zach Randolph, PF, MEM (68)
69. JaVale McGee, C, DEN (NR)
70. Ricky Rubio, PG, MIN (40)
71. Jrue Holiday, PG, PHI (69)
72. Jason Terry, SG, UFA (71)
73. Arron Afflalo, SG, DEN (72)
74. Gordon Hayward, SG/SF, UTAH (74)
75. Wesley Matthews, SG/SF, POR (76)
76. Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, SF, CHA (NR)
77. Nikola Pekovic, C, MIN (77)
78. Derrick Rose, PG, CHI (20)
79. Jeff Teague, PG, ATL (79)
80. Ramon Sessions, PG, UFA (75)
81. Kevin Martin, SG, HOU (80)
82. Ray Allen, SG, UFA (73)
83. Rodney Stuckey, PG/SG, DET (81)
84. Klay Thompson, SG, GS (82)
85. Isaiah Thomas, PG, SAC (84)
86. Tim Duncan, PF/C, UFA (85)
87. Andrew Bogut, C, GS (86)
88. Evan Turner, SG, PHI (87)
89. Antawn Jamison, PF, UFA (83)
90. Anderson Varejao, PF/C, CLE (88)
91. Derrick Favors, PF, UTAH (98)
92. Brook Lopez, C, NJ (89)
93. Luis Scola, PF, HOU (90)
94. Chris Kaman, C, UFA (91)
95. Elton Brand, PF, PHI (92)
96. Raymond Felton, PG, UFA (93)
97. Thomas Robinson, PF, SAC (NR)
98. Channing Frye, PF/C, PHO (94)
99. Jeremy Lin, PG, NY (95)
100. DeMar DeRozan, SG/SF, TOR (97)
101. Brandon Knight, PG/SG, DET (NR)
102. Lou Williams, PG/SG, UFA (99)
103. Chauncey Billups, PG/SG, UFA (100)
104. David West, PF, IND (NR)
105. Kemba Walker, PG, CHA (NR)
106. Harrison Barnes, SF, GS (NR)
107. Caron Butler, SF, LAC (NR)
108. Mario Chalmers, PG, MIA (NR)
109. George Hill, PG/SG, IND (NR)
110. Jarrett Jack, PG/SG, NO (96)
111. Darren Collison, PG, IND (NR)
112. Brandon Bass, PF, UFA (NR)
113. James Johnson, SF/PF, TOR (NR)
114. Jamal Crawford, SG/PG, UFA (NR)
115. Avery Bradley, SG, BOS (NR)
116. Tristan Thompson, PF, CLE (NR)
117. Dion Waiters, SG, CLE (NR)
118. Jordan Crawford, SG, WSH (78)
119. Devin Harris, PG, UTAH (NR)
120. Samuel Dalembert, C, MIL (NR)
121. Damian Lillard, PG, POR (NR)
122. Emeka Okafor, C, WSH (NR)
123. Gerald Henderson, SG, CHA (NR)
124. Thaddeus Young, SF/PF, PHI (NR)
125. Wilson Chandler, SF/SG, DEN (NR)
126. Derrick Williams, PF, MIN (NR)
127. Jameer Nelson, PG, UFA (NR)
128. Jose Juan Barea, PG, MIN (NR)
129. Bradley Beal, SG, WAS (NR)
130. Luke Ridnour, PG, MIN (NR)
131. MarShon Brooks, SG, NJ (NR)
132. Al Harrington, PF, DEN (NR)
133. Bismack Biyombo, PF/C, CHA (NR)
134. Jason Richardson, SG, ORL (NR)
135. Jared Dudley, SF/SG, PHO (NR)
136. Drew Gooden, PF, MIL (NR)
137. Mike Dunleavy, SG/SF, MIL (NR)
138. Kawhi Leonard, SF/SG, SA (NR)
139. Steve Novak, SF, UFA (NR)
140. Glen Davis, PF, ORL (NR)
141. Tony Allen, SG, MEM (NR)
142. Jason Kidd, PG, UFA (NR)
143. O.J. Mayo, SG, MEM (NR)
144. DeAndre Jordan, C, LAC (NR)
145. Spencer Hawes, C, UFA (NR)
146. D.J. Augustin, PG, CHA (NR)
147. Shawn Marion, SF/PF, DAL (NR)
148. Trevor Ariza, SF/SG, WSH (NR)
149. Andre Miller, PG, UFA (NR)
150. J.R. Smith, SG/SF, UFA (NR)

Moving up

Al Horford, C/PF, Atlanta Hawks: Although a torn pectoral muscle caused him to miss all but 11 games of the 2011-12 season, Horford reminded us why he's so highly regarded in fantasy circles when he returned to post 15.3 points, 8.3 rebounds and 1.3 blocks in three hard-fought playoff games against the Boston Celtics. That he returned for playoff action was impressive enough, let alone that he was able to make such a big impact with meaningful minutes. Don't make the mistake of labeling him injury-prone after one freak injury. Remember, Horford was a borderline top-25 fantasy player who was known for his consistency and durability before last season.

JaVale McGee, C, unrestricted free agent: Those who hoped to see McGee refine his raw talents with experience have been fairly disappointed to date. Now 24 and entering his fifth NBA season, McGee is still criticized for his basketball IQ far too often for my liking, but that doesn't mean that he's not a dynamic fantasy player when given ample playing time. McGee's minutes were sliced once he joined George Karl's team in Denver, as he averaged just 10.3 points, 5.8 rebounds and 1.6 blocks in 20.5 minutes in 20 regular-season games for the Nuggets. But he turned in some dominant performances in a seven-game playoff series against the Los Angeles Lakers with 8.6 points, 9.6 rebounds and 3.1 blocks in 25.9 minutes per game. McGee might be somewhat underrated thanks to the various YouTube clips documenting his boneheaded plays, but his stock is trending up thanks to his playoff performance, particularly if he re-signs with the Nuggets, where he'll be able to mature under Karl.

Kenneth Faried, PF, Denver Nuggets: If you weren't a Faried fan before the playoffs, I sure hope you are now. The "Manimal" was up to his usual tricks but with extended minutes, posting 10.4 points, 10 rebounds, 0.7 steals and 1.1 blocks in 27.4 minutes in seven playoff games against the Lakers. With his high energy and athleticism, Faried will do big things in the league for years to come, and he's a near lock as a breakout candidate with more minutes on the way in 2012-13.

Derrick Favors, PF, Utah Jazz: Utah fans who watched the San Antonio Spurs dismantle the Jazz in a four-game sweep can take solace in the fact that they have a legitimate stud in the making in Favors, who's 20. In the playoff sweep, Favors was a game-changing force in the paint, posting 11.8 points, 9.6 rebounds, 1.3 steals and 1.5 blocks in 29.0 minutes per game. This coming after a productive second half in which he averaged 9.4 points, 7.9 rebounds, 0.7 steals and 1.1 blocks in just 22.8 minutes in 34 games after the All-Star break. The Jazz are loaded in the frontcourt at the moment, but there has to be a way to get him on the court, and I'm betting that he'll play his way into 30 minutes per game in 2012-13.

Moving down

Paul Pierce, SF, Boston Celtics: I know he was playing with a sprained MCL, and admittedly this might be an overreaction to an underwhelming postseason, when he shot just 38.6 percent from the floor, but Pierce actually looked like a 34-year-old with 14 years of NBA mileage on him during the Celtics' playoff run. Don't get me wrong, Pierce still has a few years left in the tank and he'll still be a multicategory contributor, but his age has to be a concern for fantasy owners at this point. Of course, the experts said the same thing about guys like Steve Nash, Jason Kidd and Kevin Garnett at one point, but will Pierce be able to prove the doubters wrong like they did?

Dorell Wright, SF, Golden State Warriors: Wright was already on thin ice with the fantasy crowd after last season's debacle, but things just got worse now that the Warriors selected Harrison Barnes with the seventh overall pick. Barnes is talented enough to win the starting small forward job outright from the start, leaving Wright in a bad position unless he is moved in an offseason deal.

Jordan Crawford, SG, Washington Wizards: Crawford really came into his own as John Wall's wingman in the backcourt in the second half last season, averaging 17.0 points, 1.2 steals and 1.5 3-pointers in 31 games after the All-Star break. Despite Crawford's emergence, the Wizards selected another ultra talented shooting guard in Bradley Beal to pair with Wall in what promises to be a dynamic backcourt for years to come. Crawford likely will get the nod as the starter to begin the season, but Beal certainly will cut into his minutes and production.

Draft night instant reactions

• Anthony Davis will be a fantasy favorite for quite some time given his elite shot-blocking skills. I have him ranked 56th overall to start on my Top 150 for 2012-13, but he could move higher than that if he develops as quickly as I think he will. He's as can't-miss a prospect in the fantasy game as he is in real life.

• I may be in the minority with this opinion, but I think Dion Waiters will surprise some folks now that he's paired with Kyrie Irving in the Cleveland Cavaliers' backcourt. I had a chance to see Waiters play extensively at Syracuse last season and came away impressed with his explosiveness and ability to get to the basket. He should start immediately as a rookie and will be a solid fantasy selection as a scorer and steal artist in his first season.

• Thomas Robinson was one of my favorite players in this draft, and the Sacramento Kings had to be ecstatic to see him on the board with the fifth overall pick. He'll join a fairly crowded Kings frontcourt, but he's as NBA-ready as anyone else in the draft, and he should be able to beat out Jason Thompson for the starting power forward spot as a rookie. A big-time rebounder, Robinson should be targeted in the late rounds come October.

• Rookie fantasy value is heavily tied to playing time, and the No. 2 overall pick, Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, figures to see plenty of minutes as a rookie at small forward in Charlotte. MKG has elite defensive skills, which ensures that he'll see plenty of run, particularly now that Corey Maggette is out of town.