2013-14 Love/Hate list

Updated: October 22, 2013, 4:38 PM ET
By Brian McKitish | Special to ESPN.com

With the NBA season just a week away and fantasy drafts in full swing, it's time for another edition of Love/Hate, fantasy-hoops style.

For the uninitiated, here's how the whole Love/Hate thing works: It's all about perceptions, expectations and reputation. Those players who I think will outperform our expectations end up on my "Love" list, while those who I think will fail to live up to their billing end up on the "Hate" side. I also consider this my personal list of targets and do-not-draft players. It's a simple premise, but don't confuse these lists for something they aren't.

[+] EnlargePau Gasol
Noah Graham/NBAE/Getty ImagesPau Gasol is in prime position to repeat his statistical heroics now that Dwight Howard is out of town.

You'll find Dwight Howard on my "Hate" list below, but that doesn't mean I wouldn't welcome him on my squad with open arms if the price was right. The problem is, based on his going rate in fantasy drafts, for me the price almost certainly will not be right.

Similarly, you'll find Pau Gasol on my "Love" list below. Does that mean I'm taking him over someone such as LaMarcus Aldridge, who is not on the list? Of course not. I love Gasol for a variety of reasons, but I love him mostly because he's a potential third-round value who can be found in the fifth round. I consider Aldridge to be fairly valued, and therefore, you won't find him on either list.

This premise also works for those so-called sleepers, or breakout players who aren't exactly sleepers anymore. You'll likely find Jonas Valanciunas on every sleeper list available on the Internet, and more than a few people are calling Derrick Favors and Bradley Beal breakout candidates. Problem is, everyone is talking about them, and absolutely no one is sleeping on them. Still, you'll see that they are guys I love. Why? Well, I think they'll live up to the hype, despite the lofty expectations that have been placed upon them this season.

The Top 130

Note: Brian McKitish's Top 130 players are ranked for their fantasy value for the 2013-14 NBA season.

1. Kevin Durant, OKC
2. LeBron James, MIA
3. James Harden, HOU
4. Chris Paul, LAC
5. Stephen Curry, GS
6. Kyrie Irving, CLE
7. Kevin Love, MIN
8. Marc Gasol, MEM
9. Paul George, IND
10. Derrick Rose, CHI
11. Serge Ibaka, OKC
12. Carmelo Anthony, NY
13. Deron Williams, BKN
14. Anthony Davis, NO
15. Al Jefferson, CHA
16. Nicolas Batum, POR
17. John Wall, WSH
18. Ricky Rubio, MIN
19. LaMarcus Aldridge, POR
20. Dwyane Wade, MIA
21. Dirk Nowitzki, DAL
22. Damian Lillard, POR
23. Al Horford, ATL
24. Tony Parker, SA
25. Ty Lawson, DEN
26. Joakim Noah, CHI
27. Josh Smith, DET
28. Jrue Holiday, NO
29. Larry Sanders, MIL
30. Mike Conley, MEM
31. David Lee, GS
32. Blake Griffin, LAC
33. Brandon Jennings, DET
34. Paul Millsap, ATL
35. Dwight Howard, HOU
36. DeMarcus Cousins, SAC
37. Kemba Walker, CHA
38. Klay Thompson, GS
39. Chris Bosh, MIA
40. Brook Lopez, BKN
41. Pau Gasol, LAL
42. Rudy Gay, TOR
43. Derrick Favors, UTAH
44. Ersan Ilyasova, MIL
45. Roy Hibbert, IND
46. Jeff Teague, ATL
47. Nikola Vucevic, ORL
48. Kawhi Leonard, SA
49. Jeff Green, BOS
50. Kobe Bryant, LAL
51. Thaddeus Young, PHI
52. Monta Ellis, DAL
53. Bradley Beal, WSH
54. Tim Duncan, SA
55. J.R. Smith, NY
56. Paul Pierce, BKN
57. Tyreke Evans, NO
58. JaVale McGee, DEN
59. Greg Monroe, DET
60. Ryan Anderson, NO
61. Russell Westbrook, OKC
62. Tobias Harris, ORL
63. Kyle Lowry, TOR
64. David West, IND
65. Kenneth Faried, DEN
66. Andre Drummond, DET
67. Jose Calderon, DAL
68. Goran Dragic, PHO
69. George Hill, IND
70. Victor Oladipo, ORL
71. Andre Iguodala, GS
72. Zach Randolph, MEM
73. Steve Nash, LAL (73)
74. Nikola Pekovic, MIN (74)
75. Jonas Valanciunas, TOR (75)
76. Gordon Hayward, UTAH (76)
77. Eric Bledsoe, PHO (77)
78. Wesley Matthews, POR (78)
79. Daniel Green, SA (79)
80. Luol Deng, CHI (80)
81. Chandler Parsons, HOU (81)
82. Enes Kanter, UTAH (82)
83. O.J. Mayo, MIL (83)
84. Danny Granger, IND (84)
85. Andrew Bogut, GS (85)
86. Rajon Rondo, BOS (86)
87. Jimmy Butler, CHI (88)
88. Greivis Vasquez, SAC (89)
89. Brandon Knight, MIL (90)
90. Gerald Wallace, BOS (91)
91. Jameer Nelson, ORL (92)
92. Kevin Martin, MIN (93)
93. Jeremy Lin, HOU (87)
94. J.J. Hickson, DEN (94)
95. Evan Turner, PHI (104)
96. Moe Harkless, ORL (95)
97. Wilson Chandler, DEN (108)
98. Isaiah Thomas, SAC (96)
99. Joe Johnson, BKN (97)
100. Raymond Felton, NY (98)
101. Tyson Chandler, NY (99)
102. Anderson Varejao, CLE (100)
103. Amir Johnson, TOR (101)
104. Kevin Garnett, BKN (102)
105. Eric Gordon, NO (103)
106. DeMar DeRozan, TOR (105)
107. Ben McLemore, SAC (106)
108. Marcin Gortat, PHO (107)
109. Jamal Crawford, LAC (109)
110. Cody Zeller, CHA (110)
111. Carlos Boozer, CHI (111)
112. Gerald Henderson, CHA (112)
113. Anthony Bennett, CLE (113)
114. Trey Burke, UTAH (114)
115. Harrison Barnes, GS (115)
116. Andrei Kirilenko, BKN (116)
117. Nene Hilario, WSH (117)
118. Jarrett Jack, CLE (118)
119. Tristan Thompson, CLE (119)
120. Michael Carter-Williams, PHI (129)
121. Omer Asik, HOU (120)
122. Shawn Marion, DAL (121)
123. Amare Stoudemire, NY (122)
124. Andrew Bynum, CLE (123)
125. Markieff Morris, PHO (125)
126. J.J. Redick, LAC (124)
127. Spencer Hawes, PHI (126)
128. Reggie Jackson, OKC (126)
129. Iman Shumpert, NY (127)
130. Chris Kaman, LAL (NR)

Players I Love

Al Jefferson, C, Charlotte Bobcats (ADP results, as of Oct. 22: 22.7, My Rank: 15): Can Big Al return to his 20-point/10-rebound/1.5-block ways in Charlotte? I certainly think so. A preseason ankle injury will keep his ADP fairly low, making him a terrific value if he can return for the season opener.

Anthony Davis, C/PF, New Orleans Pelicans (ADP: 25.3, My Rank: 14): This just might be the last season you'll be able to get Davis outside of the first round in fantasy leagues. Davis, who is dominating preseason action after averaging 15.3 points, 9.3 rebounds, 1.2 steals and 1.5 blocks with terrific percentages in the second half last year, is primed to make "the leap" into the fantasy elite this season.

Mike Conley, PG, Memphis Grizzlies (ADP 39.7, My Rank 30): Massively underrated in fantasy leagues, Conley finished 13th on our Player Rater in 2012-13, but is being drafted in the late third/early fourth round this season. Not only is he as well-rounded as they come, he's also finished in the top-5 in steals in each of the past three seasons.

Larry Sanders, C/PF, Milwaukee Bucks (ADP 41.7: My Rank: 29): Boards and blocks, boards and blocks. Sanders was a revelation last season with 9.5 rebounds and 2.8 blocks in just 27.3 minutes per game. With more minutes likely on the way in 2013-14, he should be able to duplicate, or improve, on those numbers.

Pau Gasol, PF/C, Los Angeles Lakers (ADP 54.4: My Rank: 41) Sure, Gasol was a major disappointment last season, but he is just one year removed from posting 17.4 points, 10.4 rebounds and 1.4 blocks in 2011-12. With Dwight Howard in Houston and Kobe Bryant questionable to start the season, Gasol should bounce back in a big way in 2013-14.

Jeff Green, SF, Boston Celtics (ADP: 57.5, My Rank: 49): Good players on bad teams typically result in fantasy gold, and Green should reap the benefits of being the No. 1 offensive option on a team with limited talent on the offensive end.

Thaddeus Young, SF, Philadelphia 76ers (ADP: 58.1, My Rank: 51): See: Green, Jeff. Thaddeus should put up big numbers for the offensively-challenged Sixers in 2013-14.

Bradley Beal, SG, Washington Wizards (ADP: 57.4, My Rank: 53): Man crush alert. Beal is actually being drafted appropriately at the moment, but his upside is absolutely off the charts. For a guy who could average 20 points and 2 3-pointers with a steal per game as a sophomore, I'd gladly take a shot at him in the 50-60 range in fantasy drafts.

Derrick Favors, PF/C, Utah Jazz (ADP: 61.5, My Rank: 43): I'd be absolutely shocked if Favors didn't come out and post 13-14 points, 10 rebounds and two blocks in his first season as a full-time starter. Anyone who has seen this kid play can tell he's a superstar in the making. Of all the potential breakout players on this list, I'm most confident about Favors taking the next step.

Victor Oladipo, SG/PG, Orlando Magic (ADP: 75.4, My Rank 70): Talented rookies have offered some serious value in fantasy leagues over the past few years, and Oladipo is looking more and more like a player who can do some major damage (particularly as a steal artist) in his first season.

JaVale McGee, C, Denver Nuggets (ADP: 78.4, My Rank: 58): If McGee can average 9.1 points, 4.8 rebounds and 2.0 blocks in just 18.1 minutes, what can he do in 28-30 minutes per game? I know we've heard this story before, but the Nuggets actually seem serious about getting McGee his minutes this year. And for all of McGee's faults on the court, he's actually pretty darn productive in fantasy leagues when he gets enough playing time.

Jose Calderon, PG, Dallas Mavericks (ADP 78.7, My Rank: 67): An ADP around 80 seems to be a little low for a guy who could average 9-10 assists and 1.5 3-pointers per game, doesn't it? With scorers such as Dirk Nowitzki and Monta Ellis at his disposal, Calderon should quietly be a top-5 assist man in 2013-14.

Jonas Valanciunas, C, Toronto Raptors (ADP 80.1, My Rank: 75): One of my favorite targets in rounds 7-8. Jonas is for real.

Gordon Hayward, SG/SF, Jazz (ADP: 87.5, My Rank 76): See: Green, Jeff and Young, Thaddeus.

Jimmy Butler, SG, Chicago Bulls (ADP: 102.9, My Rank: 87): I mean, did you see this kid in the second half last season? Granted, Derrick Rose and Luol Deng are back and healthy, but Butler has proven he has a bright future ahead of him. Expect the 24-year-old to see 30-plus minutes per game where he'll provide plenty of steals and 3-pointers.

Wilson Chandler, SF/SG, Denver Nuggets (ADP: 106.9, My Rank: 97): Chandler is only two years removed from averaging 16.4 points, 5.9 rebounds, 0.8 steals, 1.4 blocks and 1.7 3-pointers with the New York Knicks, and he'll have plenty of opportunities to put up big numbers for the Nuggets with Danilo Gallinari expected to be out for much of the season.

Gerald Wallace, SF, Boston Celtics (ADP: 107.4, My Rank: 90): See: Green, Jeff.

Enes Kanter, C, Utah Jazz (ADP 108.9, My Rank: 82): Did I mention that both Al Jefferson and Paul Millsap are no longer in the Jazz frontcourt? Kanter was extremely productive on a per-minute basis last year and could average a double-double with a block per game in his second season.

Brandon Knight, PG, Milwaukee Bucks (ADP: 109.7, My Rank: 89): I don't know if Knight is the answer at point guard, but I do know that the Bucks will give him every opportunity to prove himself this season. Knight has shown flashes of brilliance in his two-year career, and while I have some questions as to whether he'll take the next step this season, I still think he's a steal where he's currently being drafted.

Amir Johnson, PF, Toronto Raptors (ADP 112.5, My Rank 103): Perhaps overshadowed by Valanciunas, Johnson shouldn't be overlooked in fantasy leagues. After averaging 10.6 points, 8.3 rebounds and 1.7 blocks in the second half last season, Johnson makes for a quality late-round selection in standard fantasy leagues this season.

Patrick Beverley, PG, Rockets (ADP: 140, My Rank 131): It might not happen right away, but Beverley has the talent and defensive energy to make a serious run at taking the starting point guard job from Jeremy Lin in Houston. More of a deep sleeper to stash, Beverley would have some nice value for steals and 3-point shooting if he can cut into Lin's playing time as the season progresses.

Others I like (but don't love): Chris Kaman, Michael Carter-Williams, Alec Burks, Nick Young, Kelly Olynyk

Players I Hate

Any power forward or center who does not block shots (excluding Kevin Love, of course): I'll just go ahead and throw this out there as a blanket statement: Blocks are still the rarest fantasy category and owners put themselves in a big hole when they take a power forward or center who doesn't block shots. When I'm looking for big men in the middle of the draft, I'm almost always going to go with guys who can block shots, such as Favors, Valanciunas or McGee, over players who can't, such as Greg Monroe or David West.

[+] EnlargeDwyane Wade
Brendan Maloney/USA TODAY SportsDwyane Wade is still a top player, but there are warning signs he could be due for a downfall sooner than later.

Dwyane Wade, SG, Miami Heat (ADP: 15.5, My Rank: 20): Wade's stats haven't shown any signs of decline (yet), but he sure looked like a guy who was showing signs of the wear and tear associated with 10 years in the league during last season's playoffs. Given his balky knees, he's a high-risk/high-reward selection in the second round, so make sure you back him up with some safer investments in your drafts.

Dwight Howard, C, Houston Rockets (ADP: 18.7, My Rank: 35): Fantasy owners used to tolerate Howard's poor free-throw shooting in the past because of his dominance in scoring, rebounding and field goal percentage, but is it still worth punting the free throw category now that we have more quality big men in the league? Howard simply doesn't dominate boards and blocks enough to take the hit in free throw percentage anymore.

Tim Duncan, PF/C, San Antonio Spurs (ADP: 43.7, My Rank: 54): While it is clear that Duncan still has a lot left in the tank, fantasy owners should still have some concerns about his lack of playing time in regular-season action. Duncan isn't getting any younger, so be aware that Gregg Popovich will continue to limit his minutes throughout the regular season in an effort to keep him fresh for the playoffs.

Greg Monroe, PF/C, Detroit Pistons (ADP: 46.6, My Rank: 59): For many reasons, but most notably the presence of Josh Smith and emergence of Andre Drummond in the Pistons frontcourt. Monroe is no longer the best player on a bad team, so his minutes and production will suffer as a result.

Paul Pierce, SF, Brooklyn Nets (ADP: 49.7, My Rank: 56): I'm not exactly going out on a limb here to suggest that Pierce may see a decline in minutes (and thus production) in Brooklyn this season. The Nets are absolutely loaded, and it wouldn't be surprising to see Jason Kidd employing the Gregg Popovich strategy of resting his aging stars to keep them fresh for the playoffs. Pierce will still be a nice fantasy investment, but be prepared for a decline in production across the board in his 16th professional season.

Zach Randolph, PF, Memphis Grizzlies (ADP: 55.7, My Rank: 72): Since Z-Bo doesn't block shots, and is only mediocre from an efficiency perspective, he really needs to score and rebound in bunches to be considered a top fantasy player. That said, his 15.4 points per game last season simply weren't enough, given his deficiencies elsewhere.

Andre Iguodala, SF/SG, Golden State Warriors (ADP: 55.9, My Rank: 71): I loved this addition for the Warriors, but I hated it for Iggy's fantasy prospects. Sure, Jarrett Jack was able to produce solid numbers in a similar role last year, but is there enough ball to go around now that Harrison Barnes has emerged? Look for Iguodala to provide solid numbers in boards, assists and steals, while leaving a lot to be desired everywhere else.

Jeremy Lin, PG, Rockets (ADP:84.2, My Rank: 93): See: Beverley, Patrick. I must admit, however, that you can't really consider anyone a "bust" when you get this deep into your drafts.

Brian McKitish is a fantasy basketball analyst for ESPN.com and is a two-time Fantasy Basketball Writer of the Year, as named by the Fantasy Sports Writers Association.

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