An Exceedingly Optimistic 2011-12 Fantasy Basketball Top 100

I finally made it to the fifth stage. First, there was denial, which naturally turned to anger. Bargaining was next. Then I got a sandwich. It was tasty. From there, I hit depression. They skimped on the pickles. Finally – and here it is September by gosh – I’m all about acceptance. Acceptance that The Game, on which this web site is predicated, could conceivably shutter for a long time. I have to realize there might not be a season, which means no fantasy season, which means… I don’t want to think about it. Yep, I’m already over acceptance. I’m coming full circle. Back to denial! It’s time for my Exceedingly Optimistic 2011-12 Fantasy Basketball Top 100. It cannot be denied.

Let’s set the scene: Rankings are based on a standard 9-category rotisserie league; Special attention paid to the Top 15 (the first tier); 82-game regular season beginning on Nov. 1, 2011; David Stern and Billy Hunter spooning. Good enough? Let’s begin.

TOP 15: THE STUDS
1. LeBron James, MIA – Ignore his odd performance in the Finals and expect an 82-game season for the ages.
2. Kevin Durant, OKC – If he’s to go No. 1 in any format, it is this one (to repeat, a 9-cat roto league that begins on Nov. 1, 2011, natch), thanks to his amazing free throw shooting and sub-3.0 turnovers.
3. Chris Paul, NOR – He’s still the No. 3 pick even though David West is a free agent and likely to sign with a new team before the season definitely starts on Nov. 1. If it means Paul will have to take more shots, we are looking at some filthy numbers.
4. Derrick Rose, CHI – He’s just 22, and hungry to prove himself the best guard in the game, especially over the course of an entire NBA season that starts no later than Nov. 1.
5. Kevin Love, MIN – Love at five could be considered a reach by some, but since this is an optimistic list, I’m going optimistic with this choice.
6. Deron Williams, NJN – With his health no longer a factor in the upcoming 82-game season, he will provide monster numbers from the point guard position in a contract year.
7. Amare Stoudemire, NYK – Stoudemire gives you everything you could want in a fantasy center (although we’d like a little more than the 8.1 boards he averaged in 2010-11) and should mesh better with Melo after the two have a complete training camp together so they can hit the ground running on Nov. 1.
8. Pau Gasol, LAL – Haters will pass on him because he was the scapegoat for the Lakers’ early playoff exit, but that nonsense is certainly no reason not to grab him in the first round of drafts that you will hold in late October in anticipation of a Nov. 1 start date for the season.
9. Dwyane Wade, MIA – I’m feeling a Wade injury coming this year, as he went to the Finals and won’t get as much time to recover as he’d like since the season is going to start on Nov. 1.
10. Stephen Curry, GSW – The depth and breadth of his statistical goodness is Top 10-worthy, so here he is. Needs to earn trust of Mark Jackson, but should have time to do so leading up to Nov. 1 start date.
11. Dwight Howard, ORL – You all know the pros and cons of Howard. Bonus – he’s played in 82 games in five of his seven seasons, and I don’t see that changing at all.
12. Russell Westbrook, OKC – Still learning, still growing, and still just tapping into his awesome potential. Has a great four-game Week 1 schedule (Nov. 1-6).
13. Carmelo Anthony, NYK – I see lots of shots and stats in his future, and you better believe he’ll be firing away in the Knicks’ season opener Nov. 2 at home vs. the Heat.
14. Dirk Nowitzki, DAL – So good in the playoffs; will he rest more in the sure-to-be-grueling upcoming 82-game slate?
15. Kobe Bryant, LAL – Unmatched in drive, focus and douchebaggery. He may get dinged up a lot but I wouldn’t bet against him playing a full 82-game season and hardly tailing off at all.

THE SECOND TIER
16. Monta Ellis, GSW
17. LaMarcus Aldridge, POR
18. Josh Smith, ATL
19. Al Horford, ATL
20. Brook Lopez, NJN
21. Steve Nash, PHO
22. Rajon Rondo, BOS
23. Blake Griffin, LAC
24. Al Jefferson, UTA
25. Danny Granger, IND

THE REST
26. David Lee, GSW
27. Paul Pierce, BOS
28. Tyreke Evans, SAC
29. Andre Iguodala, PHI
30. Paul Millsap, UTA
31. Kevin Martin, HOU
32. Joakim Noah, CHI
33. Eric Gordon, LAC
34. Zach Randolph, MEM
35. Rudy Gay, MEM
36. John Wall, WAS
37. Andrew Bogut, MIL
38. Chris Bosh, MIA
39. Joe Johnson, ATL
40. Nene, TBA
41. Gerald Wallace, POR
42. Serge Ibaka, OKC
43. Marcin Gortat, PHO
44. Manu Ginobili, SAS
45. David West, TBA
46. Ty Lawson, DEN
47. Carlos Boozer, CHI
48. Marc Gasol, MEM
49. Jrue Holiday, PHI
50. Chauncey Billups, NYK
51. Ray Felton, POR
52. Kyle Lowry, HOU
53. Luis Scola, HOU
54. Danilo Gallinari, DEN
55. Stephen Jackson, MIL
56. Elton Brand, PHI
57. Kevin Garnett, BOS
58. Andrew Bynum, LAL
59. Andrea Bargnani, TOR
60. Dorell Wright, GSW
61. Luol Deng, CHI
62. Tim Duncan, SAS
63. James Harden, OKC
64. Brandon Jennings, MIL
65. Roy Hibbert, IND
66. Greg Monroe, DET
67. Ray Allen, BOS
68. Tony Parker, SAS
69. JaVale McGee, WAS
70. DeMarcus Cousins, SAC
71. D.J. Augustin, CHA
72. Corey Maggette, CHA
73. DeMar DeRozan, TOR
74. Jason Kidd, DAL
75. Devin Harris, UTA
76. Channing Frye, PHO
77. Mike Conley, MEM
78. Andray Blatche, WAS
79. Mo Williams, LAC
80. Kris Humphries, NJN
81. Michael Beasley, MIN
82. Lamar Odom, LAL
83. Jason Richardson, ORL
84. Wesley Matthews, POR
85. Darren Collison, IND
86. Anderson Varejao, CLE
87. Marcus Camby, POR
88. Kyrie Irving, CLE
89. Gerald Henderson, CHA
90. Emeka Okafor, NOH
91. Sam Dalembert, TBA
92. Tyson Chandler, DAL
93. DeAndre Jordan, LAC
94. Trevor Ariza, NOH
95. Rodney Stuckey, DET
96. Jason Terry, DAL
97. J.J. Hickson, SAC
98. Jose Calderon, TOR
99. Antawn Jamison, CLE
100. Carlos Delfino, MIL

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6 responses to “An Exceedingly Optimistic 2011-12 Fantasy Basketball Top 100

  • bubbly

    FRED SANFORD!! YOU MANGY DOG!!

  • bubbly

    If I get weed tonight I will post more than that.

  • bubbly

    Solid list. No one who knows ball could say otherwise. Your faith in David Lee is just that. Faith. I also dont have Deron Williams so high. He brings us back to the lockout. I was going to ask my elders for a list of who is gone and who is gone with the opt out. No reason to bother when things are still so fluid. I had that damn shark Dorell Wright and Greg Monroe higher as well. There are many strengths to Jrue Holiday but getting to the line is not one of them. I dont understand how Andrew Bogut and Dwight Howard can be ranked so high if this is a roto league. FT% anchors! My vid of me and Jonas Jerebko snorting belushis off the stripper’s belly was declined by TMZ. Acceptance.

  • Jeff Andriesse

    Bubbs, you are always good for a laugh but I guffawed outwardly at the Jerebko comment. Listen, after the “Top 4” things get really tough. You could make a case for several people at #5, including Wade (full season, yes), Howard (if you have the cajones), even Dirk. D-Will too. Remember, he was hurt all year and joined a new team. Contract year and all that. He’s primed. Love could go anywhere from 5 to 12. I might have ranked Amare a bit high because Carmelo will hog the rock. Pau’s ceiling is limited as long as Kobe plays with him. As far as the Dwight/Bogut comments – blocks my man. Blocks. THE premium fantasy stat, and don’t let anyone tell you different. Afraid of a low FT%? Maybe this isn’t the fantasy game for you! (And maybe it isn’t the fantasy game for anyone if these guys can’t get their shit together).

  • Fenris-77

    I’ll take Wade at 4 this year, even for Roto. Maybe he gets hurt, but the pool at SG is pretty thin and the Ast there are pure gold. I have Rose at 6 or 7 depending on format. I also have Pau a little lower than you, but based on Bynum, rather than Kobe. I have Amare lower too because of Melo. I don’t mind ranking Dwight pretty high for roto this year, but 11’s a little high for my taste. I have him in the mid second, and I’m really hoping to pair him up with Wade on at least one team this year. Looking a little farther down, I wouldn’t have Beasley anywhere near the top 100, even with ahealthy does of optimism. Overall I like your approach though. It’s not cookie cutter rankings, which is a good thing.

  • Matt

    I’d bet against Kobe playing a full 82 games this year…

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