2013 Fantasy Basketball: Re-Drafting the First Three Rounds
Re-Drafting The First Three Rounds
The 2012-13 fantasy basketball season has certainly had its surprises. Players like Amar’e Stoudemire have completely disappeared from the fantasy map and have burned any fantasy owner that drafted the former All-Star inside of the first three rounds. This tends to happen each season and it constantly leaves fantasy owners filled with regret.
The Los Angeles Lakers are currently one of the worst teams in the Western Conference and despite all their high priced off-season acquisitions; the team has completely lacked chemistry. This has taken an unimaginable toll on the fantasy value of every player on the Lakers and has no doubt kept several fantasy owners up at night thinking about the other players they could have drafted instead.
Each year it is normal to have a couple players that were free agent pickups or late rounds picks take the fantasy world by storm. However, this year has completely broken the mold, as dozens of players have become daily starters out of literally nowhere.
Players like Greivis Vasquez and Damain Lillard weren’t on many owners radars heading into the fantasy season, but they have emerged as elite fantasy options this season. In each passing game, they are making their case why they should have been taken in the first three rounds.
Most leagues have at least ten owners in them, so you figure the first three rounds would likely be comprised of 30 total players. So here is a look at the top 30 fantasy basketball players that should have been taken in this season’s draft:
THIRD ROUND 30. SG Monta Ellis, Milwaukee Bucks
SG Monta Ellis, Milwaukee Bucks - Ellis may not be averaging 20-plus points a game like he did a couple years ago, but his 18.8 points a game is good enough for fantasy owners.
THIRD ROUND: 29. C Greg Monroe, Detroit Pistons
C Greg Monroe, Detroit Pistons - Monroe has become the face of the Pistons low post. He is scoring a respectable 15.3 points, but more importantly is adding 9.1 rebounds per contest.
THIRD ROUND: 28. PG Tony Parker, San Antonio Spurs
PG Tony Parker, San Antonio Spurs - Parker continues to defy the odds, as the 30-year-old is averaging 19.8 points and 7.4 assists a game. He was drafted outside of the top-10 point guards in most leagues, and TP has made every owner who passed on him regret it each game.
THIRD ROUND: 27. PG Greivis Vasquez, New Orleans Hornets
PG Greivis Vasquez, New Orleans Hornets - Vasquez has been one of the biggest surprises of the 2013 fantasy season. Many owners would have drafted him if they knew he was going to average 14.3 points and 9.2 assists a game.
THIRD ROUND: 26. C Joakim Noah, Chicago Bulls
C Joakim Noah, Chicago Bulls - Noah is recording a career-high 12.2 points, 10.9 rebounds, and 2.1 blocks this season. He has taken the team over with Derrick Rose out, and Noah has become an amazing starting fantasy center this year.
THIRD ROUND: 25. PG Damian Lillard, Portland Trial Blazers
PG Damian Lillard, Portland Trail Blazers - The rookie shocked the fantasy world by dropping 23 points with 11 assists in his first NBA game. He has settled down, but is still posting 18.3 points with 6.6 assists a game and should have been drafted inside the first three rounds.
THIRD ROUND: 24. C Brook Lopez, Brooklyn Nets
C Brook Lopez, Brooklyn Nets - Many fantasy owners thought Lopez would have been a risky pick this year. However, looking back at it, most of them would have drafted a center in the first three rounds who averages 18.6 points, 7.4 boards, and 2.1 blocks a game.
THIRD ROUND: 23. PG Kemba Walker, Charlotte Bobcats
PG Kemba Walker, Charlotte Bobcats - Walker has had nine games this season with over 25 points and has to the potential explode on any given night. He may be posting 17.7 points, 5.7 assists, and 3.4 rebounds per game on the year, but his potential to go nuts in any game is too hard to ignore.
THIRD ROUND: 22. PG Brandon Jennings, Milwaukee Bucks
PG Brandon Jennings, Milwaukee Bucks - Jennings was on the verge of being a third or fourth round pick this year, but has since proven that he is an amazing fantasy point guard. Jennings has really picked it up for fantasy owners recently, as he has averaged 21.8 points a game through the month of January.
THIRD ROUND: 21. C Omer Asik, Houston Rockets
C Omer Asik, Houston Rockets - Asik is posting 10.2 points with 11.0 rebounds per game and was one of the best value picks of all the big men. He went undrafted in a majority of leagues, but his amazing ability to grab rebounds should have made him a much earlier pick.
SECOND ROUND: 20. SG O. J. Mayo, Dallas Mavericks
SG O. J. Mayo, Dallas Mavericks - When the Mavericks lost Dirk Nowitzki for a couple months of the season, Mayo carried the team on his back. Mayo is scoring 18.2 points per game and has been one of the year’s most accomplished scorers.
SECOND ROUND: 19. C Tyson Chandler, New York Knicks
C Tyson Chandler, New York Knicks - Chandler’s 12.1 points and 10.9 rebounds a game has made the decision to bench Amar’e Stoudemire much easier for the Knicks. Chandler has once again played like a top-5 center in the game and should have easily have been drafted inside the top-30 selections this year
SECOND ROUND: 18. SF Paul Pierce, Boston Celtics
SF Paul Pierce, Boston Celtics - Pierce has averaged 18.9 points, 5.7 rebounds, and 3.8 assists per game and continues to be a strong fantasy option at the three-spot. Even in his 14th season, the veteran is still putting up respectable fantasy numbers on a nightly basis.
SECOND ROUND: 17. PF David Lee, Golden State Warriors
PF David Lee, Golden State Warriors – Lee is undervalued year after year, but 2013 will be another season in which he averages well over a double-double. Lee is posting 19.6 points and 10.8 rebounds a game this year and the power forward deserves to be an All-Star.
SECOND ROUND: 16. PF Blake Griffin, Los Angeles Clippers
PF Blake Griffin, Los Angeles Clippers - The only thing limiting Blake to 18.1 points and 8.5 rebounds a game is the fact that the Clippers have been demolishing teams this year and the Blake Show has been parked on the bench in the fourth quarter. Griffin is still putting up amazing fantasy numbers and has certainly justified himself being drafted inside the first couple rounds.
SECOND ROUND: 15. PG Stephen Curry, Golden State Warriors
PG Stephen Curry, Golden State Warriors - Curry is scoring 20.9 points a game this year, but his 3.2 3-pointers and 1.7 steals give him a huge advantage over most other point guards.
SECOND ROUND: 14. PF Zach Randolph, Memphis Grizzlies
PF Zach Randolph, Memphis Grizzlies - Randolph is grabbing 11.6 rebounds a game in Memphis and has proven to be a great value pick this past season.
SECOND ROUND: 13. PG Jrue Holiday, Philadelphia 76ers
PG Jrue Holiday, Philadelphia 76ers - Holiday has quietly emerged as one of the most consistent fantasy options at the point. He is scoring 19.0 points, 9.0 assists, and 4.2 rebounds a game.
SECOND ROUND: 12. C DeMarcus Cousins, Sacramento Kings
C DeMarcus Cousins, Sacramento Kings - Cousins plays a physical, gritty style of basketball that fantasy owners absolutely love. He is scoring 18.1 points and grabbing 10.6 boards a game in his career season.
SECOND ROUND: 11. SG Dwayne Wade, Miami Heat
SG Dwayne Wade, Miami Heat - Wade will always miss the occasional game with injuries, but his 20.5 points, 4.5 assists, and 4.7 rebounds is worth the inherited risk. Wade will continue to be a starting two-guard down the stretch.
FIRST ROUND: 10. PG Chris Paul, Los Angeles Clippers
PG Chris Paul, Los Angeles Clippers - CP3 has posted 16.6 points, and 9.7 assists a game and has looked like the elite player he was drafted to be. Paul is back as a top-tier point guard and fantasy owners are certainly thankful.
FIRST ROUND: 9. C Dwight Howard, Los Angeles Lakers
C Dwight Howard, Los Angeles Lakers - Howard was once again the guaranteed first overall fantasy selection, but his recent struggles from the line, coupled with the team’s struggles, have made him a late first round fantasy pick.
FIRST ROUND: 8. PF LaMarcus Aldridge, Portland Trail Blazers
PF LaMarcus Aldridge, Portland Trail Blazers - Aldridge has matured into one of the best scoring options from the power forward position. He is scoring 20.7 points a game and will always give fantasy owners a strong source of field goals and boards.
FIRST ROUND: 7. PG Russell Westbrook, Oklahoma City Thunder
PG Russell Westbrook, Oklahoma City Thunder - Westbrook has scored 22.7 points a game, while also averaging 8.1 assists, 1.9 steals, and 5.3 rebounds. He is also shooting the ball 18.9 times a game, which only allows him more chances to bring his scoring average up. Westbrook is one of the most valuable fantasy options in the game and is proving it once again in 2013.
FIRST ROUND: 6. PG Rajon Rondo, Boston Celtics
PG Rajon Rondo, Boston Celtics - Rondo is the assist master in fantasy basketball. He is leading the entire NBA with 11.1 dimes per game, but is also adding 13.7 points, 5.5 rebounds, and 1.9 steals. Rondo easily should have been a first-round pick this past season, because assists are simply too valuable of a category in fantasy.
FIRST ROUND: 5. SF Carmelo Anthony, New York Knicks
SF Carmelo Anthony, New York Knicks - Melo has been explosive for fantasy owners this season and is averaging a career-high 29.1 points per contest. He may have been a mid-second round in drafts this past winter, but you can bet he will be a guaranteed first-rounder in the 2013 drafts.
FIRST ROUND: 4. SG James Harden, Houston Rockets
SF LeBron James, Miami Heat - Harden has become a fantasy monster since heading to Houston. He is averaging an insane 25.8 points, 5.4 assists, 4.5 rebounds, 2.1 steals, and 1.9 three-pointers a game. Harden should have certainly been a top-five pick this winter.
FIRST ROUND: 3. SG Kobe Bryant, Los Angeles Lakers
SG Kobe Bryant, Los Angeles Lakers - Most rankings around the web actually had Bryant outside of the top-10 fantasy shooting guards, but he has continues to leave everything on the court each game amidst the Lakers collapse. Bryant is currently second in the NBA with 29.2 points per game and has once again proven why he is one of the best in the game.
FIRST ROUND: 2. SF Kevin Durant, Oklahoma City Thunder
SF Kevin Durant, Oklahoma City Thunder - Durant is leading the entire NBA with 29.6 points a game. However, only his lack of assists and dimes keep him from the number one fantasy spot. For now, the Durantula will have to settle for being the second best player in fantasy basketball.
FIRST ROUND: 1. SF LeBron James, Miami Heat
SF LeBron James, Miami Heat - Many people ranked Durant ahead of James this off-season, but I was one of the few to rank King James as the number one fantasy player this year. His 26.5 points, 7.1 assists, and 8.2 rebounds are utterly dominating from a fantasy standpoint and make him the most valuable player in the sport.