Commentary

2011-12 fantasy basketball rankings

Updated: April 11, 2011, 3:02 PM ET
By Brian McKitish | Special to ESPN.com

In just a few days, another fantasy season will be in the books, and it'll be time to start looking ahead to the 2011-12 season. And what better way to do that than to take a preliminary look at the top 100 for next season. Since much will change between now and September, these rankings will evolve throughout what promises to be an action-packed summer.

Top 100 for 2011-12

1. Kevin Durant, SF, OKC
2. Chris Paul, PG, NO
3. LeBron James, SF, MIA
4. Derrick Rose, PG, CHI
5. Russell Westbrook, PG, OKC
6. Deron Williams, PG, NJ
7. Dwyane Wade, SG, MIA
8. Dwight Howard, C, ORL
9. Kevin Love, PF, MIN
10. Amare Stoudemire, C/PF, NY
11. Pau Gasol, PF/C, LAL
12. Monta Ellis, PG/SG, GS
13. Stephen Curry, PG/SG, GS
14. Dirk Nowitzki, PF, DAL
15. Josh Smith, PF/SF, ATL
16. Kobe Bryant, SG, LAL
17. Carmelo Anthony, SF, NY
18. Al Jefferson, C/PF, UTA
19. John Wall, PG, WAS
20. Al Horford, C/PF, ATL
21. LaMarcus Aldridge, PF/C, POR
22. Rudy Gay, SF, MEM
23. Blake Griffin, PF, LAC
24. Eric Gordon, SG, LAC
25. Steve Nash, PG, PHO
26. Rajon Rondo, PG, BOS
27. Andre Iguodala, SG/SF, PHI
28. Tyreke Evans, PG/SG, SAC
29. Zach Randolph, PF, MEM
30. Kevin Martin, SG, HOU
31. Paul Pierce, SF/SG, BOS
32. Danny Granger, SF, IND
33. Kyle Lowry, PG, HOU
34. Manu Ginobili, SG, SA
35. Dorell Wright, SF, GS
36. Andrew Bogut, C, MIL
37. DeMarcus Cousins, PF/C, SAC
38. Stephen Jackson, SG/SF, CHA
39. Carlos Boozer, PF, CHI
40. Andrew Bynum, C, LAL
41. Chauncey Billups, PG, NY
42. Joe Johnson, SG/SF, ATL
43. Chris Bosh, PF/C, MIA
44. Nene, C/PF, DEN
45. Gerald Wallace, SF/PF, POR
46. David Lee, PF/C, GS
47. Luis Scola, PF/C, HOU
48. Paul Millsap, PF, UTA
49. Marcin Gortat, C, PHO
50. Andray Blatche, PF/C, WAS
51. Serge Ibaka, C/PF, OKC
52. Brook Lopez, C, NJ
53. Andrea Bargnani, C/PF, TOR
54. Joakim Noah, C/PF, CHI
55. Luol Deng, SF, CHI
56. Brandon Jennings, PG, MIL
57. David West, PF, NO
58. Marc Gasol, C, MEM
59. Tim Duncan, C/PF, SA
60. Jrue Holiday, PG, PHI
61. JaVale McGee, C/PF, WAS
62. Devin Harris, PG, UTA
63. J.J. Hickson, PF/C, CLE
64. Jason Kidd, PG, DAL
65. Kevin Garnett, PF, BOS
66. Greg Monroe, PF/C, DET
67. Ty Lawson, PG/SG, DEN
68. Kris Humphries, PF, NJ
69. Channing Frye, PF/C, PHO
70. Tony Parker, PG, SA
71. Elton Brand, PF, PHI
72. Michael Beasley, SF/PF, MIN
73. Danilo Gallinari, SF/PF, DEN
74. D.J. Augustin, PG, CHA
75. Ray Allen, SG, BOS
76. James Harden, SG, OKC
77. Andre Miller, PG, POR
78. Raymond Felton, PG/SG, DEN
79. Marcus Thornton, SG, SAC
80. Mo Williams, PG, LAC
81. Wesley Matthews, SG/SF, POR
82. Emeka Okafor, C, NO
83. Darren Collison, PG, IND
84. Mike Conley, PG, MEM
85. Chris Kaman, C, LAC
86. Roy Hibbert, C, IND
87. Rodney Stuckey, PG/SG, DET
88. Beno Udrih, PG/SG, SAC
89. Lamar Odom, PF/SF, LAL
90. Amir Johnson, PF, TOR
91. Antawn Jamison, PF, CLE
92. Jason Terry, SG, DAL
93. Ed Davis, PF, TOR
94. Jose Calderon, PG, TOR
95. Tyson Chandler, C, DAL
96. Brandon Roy, SG/SF, POR
97. Hedo Turkoglu, SF/PF, ORL
98. Baron Davis, PG, CLE
99. DeMar DeRozan, SG, TOR
100. Jason Richardson, SG, ORL

To complement the ranks, here's a very early look at some potential undervalued and overvalued players for the 2011-12 season:

Undervalued

John Wall, PG, Washington Wizards: I spoke about this a few weeks back, but Wall's rookie season has given us plenty to get excited about for his future fantasy potential. Wall is a big name, but I'm not sure the fantasy community knows just yet how special this kid is going to be as a fantasy player. Averaging 18.6 points, 5.1 rebounds, 7.8 assists, 1.8 steals, 0.6 blocks and 0.3 3-pointers since the All-Star break, Wall is already a dominant point guard in four categories. Given his pure freakish athleticism, I don't think anyone would be surprised if he made a Derrick Rose-like leap, either next season or the the one after. Expect him to be at or near the top of the league in assists and steals, and one of the better point guard contributors in points, rebounds and blocks. If he can progress even just a little in his shot selection and outside shooting -- and I'm betting he will -- he'll be a top-20 fantasy contributor next season.

Serge Ibaka, C/PF, Oklahoma City Thunder: People have certainly noticed Ibaka's progression this season, particularly once the Thunder traded Jeff Green for Kendrick Perkins, but for some reason I still get the feeling that big Serge is underrated in the fantasy community. How often can we find players that can be so dominant in the shot-blocking category, but also keep a respectable free throw percentage? Among the top-5 shot-blockers this season (Andrew Bogut, JaVale McGee, Dwight Howard, Darko Milicic and Ibaka), Serge is the only one to shoot better than 70 percent from the line. Through the years, we've learned to deal with poor free throw shooting in order to get our blocks, and that's exactly why you'll also notice high rankings for players like Pau Gasol, Amare Stoudemire and Al Jefferson. Ibaka doesn't have the same offensive talent as the aforementioned players, but his defense is already just as good if not better. Given his age (21 years old) and how quickly he's seemed to progress, I wouldn't be at all surprised if Ibaka becomes a 13-15 point, 10-11 rebound, 2.5-3.0 block per game type of player in the future.

Tyreke Evans, PG/SG, Sacramento Kings: Evans ruined plenty of fantasy seasons this season (including most of mine), and that's exactly why he'll be undervalued heading into next season. Some will swear him off for good after he struggled for much of the season with injuries and posted just 17.8 points, 4.8 rebounds, 5.6 assists and 1.5 steals per game. Those aren't terrible numbers, but he's played in just 56 games, and those who expected a repeat of his rookie season were sorely disappointed. Here's what I liked about Tyreke's season: he played hurt through most of it and still managed to post respectable numbers while he was on the court. He was still getting to the basket whenever he wanted, and that will do him well as he matures as a player. He'll still be a risky investment heading into next season, but you have to like being able to get a potential second-round talent in the fourth or fifth rounds in fantasy drafts.

Marcin Gortat, C, Phoenix Suns: Like Ibaka, people have definitely noticed what Gortat has done since joining the Suns, but how many have noticed that he ranks 24th on our Player Rater over the past 30 days? Averaging 15.0 points, 10.7 rebounds and 1.6 blocks, while shooting 56.0 percent from the floor and 73.3 percent from the line since the All-Star break, Gortat has been one of fantasy's best big men during that time. It's always risky to predict a breakout based on one half of a season, but when looking at Gortat's per-minute numbers from Orlando, everything he did leading up to this point suggested that he had this type of potential once he earned himself a starting gig. Now that he has clearly separated himself as the center of the future in Phoenix, we can expect big things from the 27-year-old going forward.

Overvalued

Rajon Rondo, PG, Boston Celtics: Don't get me wrong, Rondo is one of the league's best point guards, and he's still a fantastic fantasy option, but with the number of point guards that are able to contribute in multiple categories these days, I just can't justify his poor free throw shooting and lack of 3-point shooting and scoring. Granted, Rondo is as dominant as they come in steals and assists, but it's becoming increasingly difficult to consider him an elite fantasy point guard when we have players like Chris Paul, Derrick Rose, Russell Westbrook, Deron Williams, Monta Ellis, Stephen Curry and John Wall all providing more well-rounded stats. At the moment, I have Rondo ranked at the bottom of the elites thanks to his averages of 10.7 points, 0.1 3-pointers and 56.9 percent shooting from the line.

Joakim Noah, C/PF, Chicago Bulls: Noah has always been a favorite of mine due to his defensive prowess and ability to put up big numbers in rebounds and blocks, but I'm starting to lose trust in his ability to stay healthy for a full season. Noah has averaged a double-double with at least 1.5 blocks in two straight years now, but he's also missed a ton of time with injuries during that span. In 2009-10, he suited up for 64 games and suffered a noticeable decline in stats once returning from injury near the end of the season. History has repeated itself this season, as Noah came out of the gates on fire with 14.0 points, 11.7 rebounds and 1.6 blocks before getting injured and returning to post just 9.4 points, 9.5 rebounds and 1.3 blocks since the All-Star break. When healthy, Noah is one of fantasy's best big men, but it's time fantasy owners start to consider the injury risk before selecting him on draft day.

Dorell Wright, SF, Golden State Warriors: In just his first year as a full-time starter, Wright figures to finish the season as a top-30 player according to our Player Rater. Averaging 16.2 points, 5.3 rebounds, 1.4 steals, 0.8 blocks and 2.3 3-pointers on the season, Wright offered fantasy owners a rare combination of statistics, particularly with his steals, blocks and 3-pointers. Typically I love players that can offer that type of statistical diversity, but if owners head into next season expecting a repeat, they may come away disappointed. It's not so much the steals and blocks that worry me; it's his scoring and 3-point shooting. Wright was a streaky shooter for much of the season, and he undoubtedly benefited from playing alongside two of the league's best guards in Monta Ellis and Stephen Curry. It was almost like a perfect storm for Wright and if anything changes in the offseason, Wright could take a major hit in the shooting and scoring categories.

Brian McKitish is a fantasy basketball analyst for ESPN.com, and was recently named the Fantasy Basketball Writer of the Year by the Fantasy Sports Writers Association. He can be reached at bmckitish@yahoo.com or follow him on Twitter @bmckitish.

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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