Big Board: Basketball

Dalton Del Don
Yahoo Sports
The Big Board takes into consideration past returns, current performance and expected future gains in determining who should be included among the top 50 fantasy basketball players. Essentially, the Big Board is a cheat sheet designed for a fantasy owner who is planning to participate in a draft today. Yahoo! Sports Fantasy Basketball default scoring settings are used as the baseline for the Big Board, which is updated on a regular basis.

Big Board 50: Basketball
  Player Stock
1 Kevin Durant, OKC, SF In the midst of what might turn out to be the most valuable fantasy season ever. The league’s premier scorer
2 LeBron James, Mia, SF Having a better fantasy season this year compared to last but no match for historic Durant campaign. Still, LBJ and KD belong in own tier
3 James Harden, Hou, GF Gets bumped ahead of Chris Paul thanks to durability. Shooting has been a bit up-and-down from the field but leads the NBA with 10.0 FTA
4 Kyrie Irving, Cle, PG Has been the fourth most valuable fantasy player since the calendar flipped to 2013, and there’s no reason to think he can’t continue to be
5 Russell Westbrook, OKC, PG Shooting should continue to improve over rest of year. Second in NBA in Usage Rate despite sharing court with Kevin Durant
6 Carmelo Anthony, NYK, F Return of Amar’e Stoudemire hasn’t hurt at all, as he continues to lead the NBA in Usage Rate (34.20) and FGA (21.9). PER also a career high
7 Stephen Curry, GSW, PG Trying to become first player in NBA history to average 3+ three-pointers and 6+ assists per game. Ankle only reason he’s not even higher
8 Kobe Bryant, LAL, SG Scoring was down last month but assists way up. In fact, he’s averaged 9.3 apg over last seven games, as he’s become more of a distributor
9 Chris Paul, LAC, PG Has been third most valuable on a per-game basis, but there’s just no telling how much his knee injury will hamper him from here on out
10 Paul George, Ind, GF The breakout many expected came to fruition. Just averaged 19.4-9.1-3.9-2.5-2.5 in January. A Danny Granger return isn’t slowing this train
11 Marc Gasol, Mem, C We now enter a tier of center-eligible players with similar value. Gasol’s big impact in FT% and ability to pass make him rarest of group
12 Serge Ibaka, OKC, FC Second in league in bpg with an offensive game that continues to evolve. Still just 23 years old
13 Al Jefferson, Uta, FC Remarkably consistent while shooting a career best 83.2 percent from the line. Is even more valuable in 9-cat leagues
14 LaMarcus Aldridge, Por, FC Averaging career highs in rpg (9.0), apg (2.6) and bpg (1.3). Thus ends the tier of the aforementioned similarly valued C-eligible players
15 Dwyane Wade, Mia, G After ranking fifth overall last year, he’s just 30th this season, despite being healthier. Expect improvement down the stretch
16 Nicolas Batum, Por, GF Wrist injury a concern, but it’s hard to argue with his production. He’s made the most of his increased opportunities 
17 Jrue Holiday, Phi, PG League worst 4.0 tpg hurts his season-long rank but has been 17th most valuable over past month and looks like a monster in the making
18 Brandon Jennings, Mil, PG Shooting improved in January while attempting 17.1 FGA. One of only two point guards in the league to average at least 2.0 3pt and 1.8 spg 
19 Ryan Anderson, NO, FC Back to bench role but highest Usage Rate since 2010. Second in NBA with 3.0 3pt as he clearly doesn’t miss playing with Dwight Howard 
20 Rudy Gay, Tor, F Playing with inferior teammates in Toronto but should also be looking at a big increase in Usage Rate. Banking on the James Harden effect
21 Deron Williams, BKN, PG Continues to disappoint but has been a top-20 value over the last month. Still, his 7.7 apg and 0.9 spg are lowest since his rookie season
22 Paul Pierce, Bos, GF Over his four games since Rajon Rondo went down, he’s averaged 17.3 ppg, 7.5 rpg and 6.3 apg, as it appears the injury helps his value
23 Kemba Walker, Cha, PG Has been 18th most valuable player over past month as the 22-yr-old continues to improve. Huge increase in FG% and spg. Only getting better
24 David Lee, GSW, FC He’s averaged 17.0 ppg, 13.2 rpg and 6.3 apg over last six games, so maybe Andrew Bogut’s return helps. Leads NBA with 31 double-doubles
25 Tim Duncan, SA, FC Has been 5th most valuable player despite accruing 1,343 career games played w/ the best FT% of his career. How bad are his recent injuries?
26 Anthony Davis, NO, PF Generally regarded as a disappointment during his rookie season, he still ranks 27th overall and has a ton of room for improvement
27 Larry Sanders, Mil, FC Currently on pace to lead the league in bpg in fewest mpg in NBA history. Hopefully his recent back injury isn’t serious
28 Chris Bosh, Mia, FC The move to center continues to benefit his fantasy value, as he’s been a top-20 commodity while shooting a career-high 54.6% from the field
29 Tony Parker, SA, PG Leads all point guards with a 53.4 FG% thanks to a career best mark from downtown while attempting second most shots at rim (among PGs)
30 Joakim Noah, Chi, FC Has been a monster contributor across the board (4.2 apg leads all C-eligible players) but no telling how much foot injury will affect him
31 Brook Lopez, BKN, C More rebounds would be nice, but he’s improved his shot blocking (and defense in general) in a big way, leading to borderline top-20 value
32 Mike Conley, Mem, PG Second in NBA with 2.3 spg and should see an increase in Usage Rate with Rudy Gay out of town
33 Kyle Lowry, Tor, PG Has avg'd 14.8 ppg, 5.7 rpg, 5.7 apg, 1.6 spg, 0.6 bpg, 1.6 3pt as a starter, a role he'll regain with Calderon traded. Can he stay healthy?
34 Blake Griffin, LAC, PF Continues to improve in fantasy terms despite decreased playing time. Safe to expect better rebound production moving forward too
35 Nikola Vucevic, Orl, FC Has averaged 14.7 rpg over past 18 games while not killing your free throw percentage. Quietly tied for third in NBA in double-doubles
36 Paul Millsap, Uta, PF Hasn’t matched last year’s production but has been 13th most valuable fantasy player over past month
37 Damian Lillard, Por, PG Still has plenty of work to do on defense but is a pure scorer. Is the clear favorite to win Rookie of the Year. Sky’s the limit
38 Al Horford, Atl, FC Has bounced back nicely returning from injury, but a big drop in FT% has hurt value. Expect that to approach his career norm moving forward
39 Jose Calderon, Det, PG The trade to Detroit is big news, as it ensures he’ll remain in the starting lineup from here on out. Second in NBA in assist:turnover ratio
40 DeMarcus Cousins, Sac, FC Talent has yet to match production but continued improvement at the line good news for his future fantasy value. Plenty of upside remains
41 Kevin Garnett, Bos, FC Age hasn’t slowed him down at all as he’s been 12th most valuable player over past month. Usage Rate should increase with Rondo out for year
42 O.J. Mayo, Dal, SG Return of Dirk Nowitzki has actually helped his value, as his assists have increased while his improved scoring has remained intact
43 Ersan Ilyasova, Mil, F Has been 21st ranked player over the past month, which is no coincidence it’s coincided with Scott Skiles leaving as head coach
44 Ty Lawson, Den, PG Barely comes in as a top-100 player after ranking 24th last year but has been top-five over past two weeks. Buy-low opportunity has passed
45 Klay Thompson, GSW, GF Early season shooting slump is officially over. Makes one of the biggest impacts in 3pt and continues to improve his game
46 Andrei Kirilenko, F, Min Has actually been the 25th most valuable player, so this ranking is conservative. Another Kevin Love injury helps him moving forward
47 David West, Ind, PF Has been a top-10 player over the past month as he returns to form the further he’s removed from knee surgery. Danny Granger’s return looms
48 Tyson Chandler, NYK, C Amar’e Stoudemire's return has hurt his value, but he leads the NBA in True Shooting Percentage. Has grabbed 60 boards over last three games
49 Marcin Gortat, Pho, C Scoring has been down, as are his shots at the rim and points off assists, so the loss of Steve Nash has been felt
50 Dwight Howard, LAL, C Mentioning him simply to acknowledge those who play in different formats. But he’s been the 220th ranked player in nine-cat leagues so far

ON THE BUBBLE: Josh Smith, Atl, F; Dirk Nowitzki, Dal, PF; Zach Randolph, Mem, FC; Kyle Korver, Atl, GF; Kawhi Leonard, SA, GF; Danilo Gallinari, Den, SF; Chandler Parsons, Hou, F; Jameer Nelson, Orl, PG; Wesley Matthews, Por, GF; Kevin Martin, OKC, SG; George Hill, Ind, G; Manu Ginobili, SA, GF; Luol Deng, Chi, SF; JR Smith, NYK, GF; Jeff Teague, Atl, PG; Steve Nash, LAL, PG; Monta Ellis, Mil, G; Jeremy Lin, Hou, PG; Goran Dragic, Pho, PG; Joe Johnson, BKN, GF; Greivis Vasquez, NO, G

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