These rankings are based on a 12-team, head-to-head league with nine categories (FG%, FT%, 3PTM, points, rebounds, assists, steals, blocks, turnovers).
Kevin Martin: The star shooting guard on the Sacramento Kings can put up points in huge bunches with ease, but his streaky health is what pushes his value to the third round.
- Josh Smith: His last season was bad, by his standards, but expect him to return to form this year. Smith’s steals and blocks per game are what give him so much value. If his free throw shooting improves, he’ll be a steal here.
- Devin Harris: His last season was a breakout party, though it was hampered by injuries. Harris is the unquestioned top dog in New Jersey now. As the leader of a motley crew of unproven players, Harris is in for big stats, along with lots of turnovers.
- Gerald Wallace: Crash played well last year, bringing his field goal and free throw percentages up to admirable levels. He’s always a stat monster, akin to Smith, but he’s a surefire bet to miss at least a handful of games every season, this one included.
- Brook Lopez: Lopez will also benefit from the lack of proven talent on the Nets roster, and after turning in a stellar rookie campaign he’s sure to build on those stats. He probably won’t be having double-doubles every night, but with high shooting percentages and a couple blocks per game, you shouldn’t let Lopez fly under your radar.
- Shawn Marion: This might be a bit hopeful for Marion, who has had a pretty mediocre fantasy season last year. But a bounce back to fantasy eliteness isn’t too far off with the likes of Jason Kidd running the point in Dallas. Don’t feel bad if you pass on him until the fourth or fifth round, but don’t forget about this former fantasy stud.
- Carlos Boozer: Boozer had a rough season in 2008-09, due to a knee injury that forced him to miss 45 games. His career has been riddled with injuries, minor and major, but if he’s healthy, Boozer is a nearly-guaranteed 20/10 guy. There are still rumors about him being traded, in which case his value may be slightly affected.
- David West: His 20/9, along with solid shooting percentages, makes West a steadying force on fantasy rosters. His game should be affected positively by Emeka Okafor’s presence on the court, since he’s more of a back-to-the-basket player than Tyson Chandler was. Okafor could draw enough defensive attention to give West a bit more room to hit those mid-range jumpers that he’s mastered.
- Jameer Nelson: He was an absolute beast before his shoulder injury last season. With Rafer Alston out of town, Nelson won’t have to worry much about playing time. It’s likely that he’ll be fine for the season opener, which means he’ll continue to put up great all around numbers, along with fantastic shooting percentages. With a deeper team this year, Nelson’s assists have the potential to rise as well.
- Rashard Lewis: He’ll miss the first 10 games of the season, and his ability to gel with a revamped roster is questionable, but Lewis remains one of the most efficient fantasy players in the league. He’s a huge help in three-pointers, and though none of his other numbers are breathtaking, Lewis always manages to sneak into the list of the top fantasy players after each season.
- Paul Pierce: Hopefully, Pierce took the summer to recoup from a long and tolling playoffs and regular season last year. With Kevin Garnett looking good to return, along with the addition of Rasheed Wallace to the roster, Pierce won’t have as much of the offensive or defensive load to shoulder, which should do wonders to preserve his energy as the season progresses. He’ll continue to be a strong all-around player, but his points will likely decline a bit.
- LaMarcus Aldridge: Another efficient big man who won’t stun you with his game-to-game numbers. With low turnovers, good shooting percentages and steady stream of a steal and a block per game, Aldridge could easily go higher than this.