Posted: Friday October 26, 2012 7:28PM ; Updated: Saturday October 27, 2012 7:08PM
Eric Mack

NBA Fantasy Draft Prep: Breakouts, busts and sleepers; plus top 150

Story Highlights

The Suns will allow Michael Beasley to shoot at will, increasing his fantasy value

The addition of Dwight Howard in L.A. will allow Kobe to rest, dropping his stats

The Bobcats' Kemba Walker has a chance to be their leading scoring threat

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Chris Paul, in his second year with the Clippers, is poised for a big season.
Chris Paul, in his second year with the Clippers, is poised for a big season.
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The Heat get the attention on the heels of the first championship of their burgeoning dynasty, while the Lakers stole headlines for their move for Superman Dwight Howard. Last year, it was the L.A. Clippers everyone was talking about.

But this is the year you get the value in fantasy. Many seem to be down on Blake Griffin, perhaps for the same reason DeAndre Jordan doesn't get much love (free-throw shooting). And,

no matter the sport, fantasy always tends to forget players in Year 2 in their new home.

That's where Chris Paul comes in and can help win fantasy championships.

Year 1 tends to bring a lot of hype, amped-up expectations and fantasy frustration. Year 2 tends to pay you back.

Remember, the 2011-12 beast that was LeBron James? He was in his second year with his new team. He also was 27 years old, by the way, the same age Paul is now.

Getting the No. 3 pick in your fantasy basketball draft might be a blessing in disguise. Paul and the cast of the Clippers are primed for a big year.

To get you primed for a big year, we present you our preseason breakouts, busts, sleepers and the Top 150 players to target in your fantasy basketball drafts:


These guys are going to be underrated at their position in drafts:

Guard: Evan Turner, 76ers (ADP: 79)

If Year 2 for a new face in a new place is a popular fantasy rule of thumb, so are new starters and third-year players. Turner, a former No. 2 overall pick, takes over for departed veterans Lou Williams (ATL) and Andre Iguodala (DEN) on a 76ers team that is steadily improving. In Year 3, Turner can get his numbers up to 15 points per game, six rebounds and four assists. That makes him a great pick relative to his modest draft position.

Forward: Michael Beasley, Suns (ADP: 64)

Two teams have given up on Beasley in four seasons. One team will finally allow him to grow -- the rebuilding Suns are telling Beasley to light it up. The Suns need someone to step forward and the talented but mercurial Beasley is in the ideal situation for his talents. "[Coach Alvin Gentry] really encourages me to shoot. Everybody does, even the team," Beasley told The Arizona Republic. "This is the first time I've really been encouraged to shoot even more than I already do, and we all know that I shoot a lot. My last two teams, I've been asked to try to be a passer/playmaker." We might finally see some video scoring totals from Beasley.

Center: Greg Monroe, Pistons (ADP: 22)

He already made a significant jump in Year 2, but as we said with Turner, Year 3 promises to be even better in fantasy terms. Monroe is one of the rare centers who is his team's No. 1 scoring option. If he continues to improve at the rate he improved a year ago, we can see Monroe threatening to become a 20-10 beast. You will have to pick him in Round 2, but in terms of the talent at his position, it is worth the premium selection.


These guys figure to be overrated at their position in drafts:

Guard: Kobe Bryant, Lakers (ADP: 8)

At 34, Bryant is getting his best supporting cast since the Shaquille O'Neal era. It stands to reason it should boost his numbers, right? Just the opposite. The addition of Howard has seemingly cut into Howard's fantasy value, but it actually will cut into Bryant's, we say. The future Hall of Famer is past his prime, dealing with myriad injuries in recent years and now able to take some nights off. The Lakers are going to coast through the regular season and they have a legit supporting cast that can allow Bryant to take nights off, either entirely or just in terms of reliance. Look away when Bryant is atop your best available during drafts.

Forward: Danny Granger, Pacers (ADP: 53)

Fantasy loves Granger, mostly because he fills the stat sheet and doesn't carry a name that fantasy neophytes jump on early. Still, Granger is turning the dreaded 30 this season and is dealing with a knee issue that might never have him at 100 percent again. "I'll always have soreness," he told the Indianapolis Star. It should be reminded, too, Granger's points per game have declined each of the past four seasons to 18.7 a season ago, while his rebounds and assists have fallen each of the past three. He should be viewed as a fallback option in fantasy, even though he won't be in drafts.

Center: Andrew Bynum, 76ers (ADP: 17)

The Lakers' key piece to the Howard deal is seemingly entering his prime at age 26 and coming off a breakout year of 18.7-11.8. Well, Bynum might be the oldest-looking 26-year-old that isn't named Greg Oden. Bynum has needed knee injections and was supposed to head into this season as the 76ers go-to monster. With expectations tend to come disappointment, so we should have no faith Bynum comes through away from the bright lights of L.A.


These guys shouldn't be forgotten about at their position in drafts:

Guard: Kemba Walker, Bobcats (ADP: 48)

Walker is coming off an inconsistent rookie season and might not be completely capable of putting Ramon Sessions on the bench as a point guard. But, with experience should come better shot selection for Walker, particularly beyond the 3-point arc (just 30.5 percent last year). Walker has a chance to become the Bobcats' leading scoring threat, especially if rookie Michael Kidd-Gilchrist sends Gerald Henderson to the bench more often this season. Walker has the makings of a potential 20-point scorer, even if he never becomes a big contributor in assists.

Forward: Harrison Barnes, Warriors (ADP: 143)

Rookies rarely make immediate impacts, especially at a ripe, young age of 20, but Barnes isn't your average rookie talent. He is a potential game-changer. Brandon Rush might look like the Warriors starter at small forward right now, but Barnes will play the majority of minutes and the important minutes. The seventh-overall pick is the Warriors' hope for a superstar as David Lee and Andrew Bogut do the dirty work down low. Barnes stands to be one of the best late-round picks in fantasy this year.

Center: DeAndre Jordan, Clippers (ADP: 119)

Jordan, like his running mate Griffin, is undervalued in fantasy because of his poor free throw shooting. Jordan was also supposed to significantly improve with the addition of Paul in Lob City, but any strides he made were marginal in fantasy. At 24, the bet here is the improvement is more exponential this season, along with Paul and Griffin. The Clippers can really start to gel if Jordan lives up to his potential as we think he will.

And now for a complete look at how your draft might unfold ...

2012-13 top 150 players

RK Player POS TM

1 LeBron James F MIA
2 Kevin Durant F OKC
3 Chris Paul G LAC
4 Russell Westbrook G OKC
5 Deron Williams G BKN
6 Josh Smith F ATL
7 Dwight Howard C LAL
8 Al Jefferson F UTA
9 Kyrie Irving G CLE
10 LaMarcus Aldridge F POR

11 Dwyane Wade G MIA
12 Kobe Bryant G LAL
13 Rajon Rondo G BOS
14 Kevin Love F MIN
15 Andrew Bynum C PHI
16 Blake Griffin F LAC
17 Carmelo Anthony F NYK
18 DeMarcus Cousins F SAC
19 Serge Ibaka F OKC
20 Ty Lawson G DEN

21 Marc Gasol C MEM
22 Stephen Curry G GSW
23 Paul Millsap F UTA
24 Brandon Jennings G MIL
25 Paul Pierce F BOS
26 James Harden G OKC
27 Greg Monroe C DET
28 Pau Gasol F LAL
29 Dirk Nowitzki F DAL
30 Al Horford C ATL

31 Rudy Gay F MEM
32 Monta Ellis G MIL
33 Joe Johnson G BKN
34 Chris Bosh F MIA
35 Amar'e Stoudemire F NYK
36 Eric Gordon G NOR
37 David Lee F GSW
38 Tyreke Evans G SAC
39 Kevin Garnett F BOS
40 Andre Iguodala G DEN

41 Danny Granger F IND
42 Marcin Gortat C PHO
43 Goran Dragic G PHO
44 Anthony Davis F NOR
45 Steve Nash G LAL
46 Paul George F IND
47 Brook Lopez C BKN
48 Roy Hibbert C IND
49 John Wall G WAS
50 Kyle Lowry G TOR

51 Mike Conley G MEM
52 Nicolas Batum G POR
53 Marcus Thornton G SAC
54 Joakim Noah C CHI
55 Gerald Wallace F BKN
56 Ryan Anderson F NOR
57 Tony Parker G SA
58 Manu Ginobili G SA
59 Luol Deng F CHI

60 Jeremy Lin G HOU
61 Andrea Bargnani C TOR
62 Danilo Gallinari F DEN
63 Zach Randolph F MEM
64 Carlos Boozer F CHI
65 Tim Duncan F SA
66 Kris Humphries F BKN
67 JaVale McGee C DEN
68 Tyson Chandler C NYK
69 Klay Thompson G GSW
70 Jrue Holiday G PHI

71 Ersan Ilyasova F MIL
72 Andrew Bogut C GSW
73 Raymond Felton G NYK
74 Kevin Martin G HOU
75 Isaiah Thomas G SAC
76 Nene Hilario F WAS
77 Wesley Matthews G POR
78 Damian Lillard G POR
79 Arron Afflalo G ORL
80 Kenneth Faried F DEN

81 Jason Terry G BOS
82 Kemba Walker G CHA
83 Jeff Teague G ATL
84 Brandon Knight G DET
85 Ray Allen G MIA
86 Evan Turner G PHI
87 Mo Williams G UTA
88 Derrick Favors F UTA
89 Glen Davis F ORL
90 Luis Scola F PHO

91 Gordon Hayward G UTA
92 Louis Williams G ATL
93 Darren Collison G DAL
94 Kawhi Leonard G SA
95 DeAndre Jordan C LAC
96 Nikola Pekovic C MIN
97 Rodney Stuckey G DET
98 Jameer Nelson G ORL
99 Ricky Rubio G MIN
100 Michael Beasley F PHO

101 Anderson Varejao C CLE
102 David West F IND
103 Michael Kidd-Gilchrist F CHA
104 Andrei Kirilenko F MIN
105 O.J. Mayo G DAL
106 DeMar DeRozan G TOR
107 Chris Kaman C DAL
108 George Hill G IND
109 Derrick Rose G CHI
110 Ben Gordon G CHA

111 Al Harrington F ORL
112 J.J. Hickson F POR
113 J.R. Smith F NYK
114 Harrison Barnes F GSW
115 Thaddeus Young F PHI
116 Bradley Beal G WAS
117 Elton Brand F DAL
118 Thomas Robinson F SAC
119 Tristan Thompson F CLE
120 Jared Dudley G PHO

121 Samuel Dalembert C MIL
122 Greivis Vasquez G NOR
123 Jonas Valanciunas C TOR
124 Dion Waiters G CLE
125 Gerald Henderson G CHA
126 Luke Ridnour G MIN
127 Caron Butler F LAC
128 Jarrett Jack G GSW
129 Jose Calderon G TOR
130 Tony Allen G MEM

131 Hedo Turkoglu F ORL
132 Jason Kidd G NYK
133 Emeka Okafor C WAS
134 Derrick Williams F MIN
135 Trevor Ariza G WAS
136 Nick Young G PHI
137 Spencer Hawes C PHI
138 Mike Dunleavy G MIL
139 Jordan Crawford G WAS
140 Brandon Bass F BOS

141 Jason Richardson G PHI
142 Devin Harris G ATL
143 Ramon Sessions G CHA
144 Omer Asik C HOU
145 Marvin Williams F UTA
146 Wilson Chandler G DEN
147 Kirk Hinrich G CHI
148 Mario Chalmers G MIA
149 MarShon Brooks G BKN
150 Gustavo Ayon F ORL

Eric Mack writes fantasy for Track his weekly starts and sits every Thursday, his last-minute Cheat Sheet on Sunday mornings and his Fantasy Fast Forward on Sunday nights. You find also him on Twitter, where you can mock him, rip him and (doubtful) praise him before asking him for fantasy advice or challenging him to a head-to-head fantasy game @EricMackFantasy. He reads all the messages there (guaranteed) and takes them very, very personally (not really).
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