Fantasy Basketball

Fantasy Basketball 2013-14 Center Preview

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By: Justin Ramlochan

The Center position is always one of, if not the, shallowest positions in fantasy basketball. With that in mind, this is the position that I am targeting early in the draft. Point guards are a dime a dozen this year and there is not much drop off from a Tony Parker to a Jeff Teague. I am waiting on point guards in particular unless the guys available are named Chris Paul, Russell Westbrook, Stephen Curry or Kyrie Irving. In this article I will be evaluating who I think will be a nice value pick, the player that will contribute the most to fantasy owners in their rookie season, sleepers, and busts. All of my assumptions are based on a 14 player roto/head to head league.

1. Can Dwight Howard rebound from a disappointing 2012 in LA?


With Kevin McHale involved with the Houston Rockets you can bet that Dwight Howard will get his fair share of the offense. With willing passers in Harden and Lin, Dwight is in for an uptick in production. I do not, however, see him returning to his MVP form that when he was with the Orlando Magic, but he will be better than last year. Draft him and surround him with solid free throw shooters that can combat his free throw percentage (Kevin Durant, James Harden) and you have a solid mix. That’s if he can slide to late second round. I won’t take him before that.


2. With a boosted supporting cast, what can we expect from Anthony Davis this year and where will he provide the most value? 
Anthony Davis, depending on where you can get him I like Anthony Davis for value in the middle of the second round. If you are really keen go ahead and grab him earlier. If Anthony Davis can stay away from the injury bug that plagued him for a substantial portion of last year I can see him returning first round value. After all, in the second half of last year this is exactly what he returned. Anthony Davis has tremendous upside and can fill the stat sheet with more than efficient percentages. His FG% will be over 50% and his FT% will not hurt you and he should be in the mid 70% come season end. He kind of reminds me of a Marc Gasol without the assist numbers. This is the stat line I have Anthony Davis pegged at over a 75 games played season: .520 field goal percentage, .760 free throw percentage, 15 point, 10 rebounds, 1 assist, 1.3 steals and 2 blocks. Draft him mid second round and enjoy the ride.

3. Which Rookie Center will be relevant this year?
I have Kelly Olynyk pegged as the starting center on opening day for the Boston Celtics. On a depleted team that just traded away Paul Peirce and Kevin Garnett to the Brooklyn Nets in exchange for spare parts, this is a rebuilding year for the Celtics who will sulk in the basement of the Eastern conferences Atlantic division. Rajon Rondo is not due back until Christmas and by that time it may be too late for the Celtics to regroup from the walloping they are going to receive from the other teams in the Atlantic, besides the Sixers, that have gotten better. All signs point to the Celtic developing Kelly Olynyk as much as they can. That means a lot of playing time which we fantasy manager’s love. Taken as the 13th overall pick in the draft from Gonzaga, Olynyk has the pedigree and deserves the extended playing time and should not be challenged for the position by undersized big men in Kris Humphries and Brandon Bass. Olynyk makes for a nice late round grab and should provide nice rebounding and big man stats in the later rounds of the draft.

Sleepers

Russ Isabella-USA TODAY Sports

Derrick Favors (UTA) – I have him as sleeper but he really shouldn’t be. Utah Jazz traded away Paul Milsap and Al Jefferson and have cleared the way for Favors. He has breakout candidate written all over him. If he is around in the middle 5th round of your draft, take him and don’t look back. He will have great blocked shot totals and score a fair amount.

Enes Kanter (UTA) – See Favors notes above.

JaVale Mcgee (DEN) – New coach in town and will likely be the starter. If JaVale can keep his head in the game he can be in for a BIG year. With the large contract the Nuggets gave him and George Karl out, he should be given a fairly long leash. I think JaVale is in for 30+ minutes a game, providing he can stay out of foul trouble. His value comes from the fact that he will challenge for the NBA shot blocking title and shoot over 55% from the field. Couple him with some good FT% shooters and you have a nice center to clog the middle.

Busts
Andrew Bogut (GS) – He is healthy to start the year but I have no confidence it can stay that way. I Peg him for 50 games played and a headache for fantasy owners. There are better options. With the addition of Andre Iguodala I can see the Warriors going with a lot of small ball this year bringing Harrison Barnes in at Power Forward and sliding David Lee to the Center spot in an effort to preserve the brittle Bogut. Buyers beware.

Anderson Varejao (CLE) – 82 combined games played in the past three seasons. That’s a bust for me. If you happen to draft Anderson V, trade him while his stock is high. Last year a manager in my league managed to trade Jrue Holiday and Anderson V for Kevin Durant. Said manager won the league. If this is your plan, knock yourself out.

You can follow me on Twitter @JUSCOOL22 for more fantasy basketball news and advice. Also be sure to like us on Facebook, and Google+ for all updates from FantasySixPack.

About Joe Bond

Not just another "Average Joe" when it comes to Fantasy Sports, he is the fantasy brain trust behind the FantasySixPack.net website. Joe is one of the Experts included in the FantasyPros Consensus Rankings for Football, Baseball and Basketball and finished well each year. You can find him on Twitter, @F6P_Joe, where he is waiting by the keyboard for your question.

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