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Fantasy Fix: What's New At No. 1

Miami may have the "Three Kings," but none of them will be the king of this year's fantasy basketball draft. Without further delay, here's my fantasy hoops top 10:

1. Kevin Durant, SF, Oklahoma City.

Surprisingly little argument here for LeBron James or anyone else to be No. 1. Durant is still growing as a shooter, a scary thought for a guy who led the league in scoring last year. He's an impeccable free throw shooter, and plays enough defense to balance his stat sheet.

2. LeBron James, SF, Miami.

A strong case can be made to drop him to No. 3. He's still the all-around best player by a large margin, but the consensus is that going to Miami will not be as good for his fantasy production as it will be for his chance to win a title.

3. Chris Paul, PG, New Orleans.

Last season was marred by injury, so you have to trust that he's healthy and that the arrival of Trevor Ariza will keep him happy. I think at least one of those things is true.

4. Dirk Nowitzki, PF, Dallas.

I was ready to write him off as a fading star last season, but he did again what he does every year - score with amazing consistency. I'm now convinced he can keep doing it for another year or two.

5. Dwyane Wade, PG/SG, Miami.

Unlike the uncertainties surrounding LeBron's stats, I think Wade definitely will get a boost, probably in assists and overall scoring as defenses try to decide which one of the three kings is taking the ball to the hoop.

6. Kobe Bryant, SG, LA Lakers.

Seems shocking that he's at No. 6 until you look at the top five. Missed nine games last year, but his average stats remained consistent. His only enemy at this point is probably boredom.

7. Stephen Curry, PG, Golden State.

Probably the most upwardly mobile member of the top 10. This is where a lot of people had Durant in the 2009-10 draft, and Curry has almost the same potential to end up in the top five in scoring and free throws. Plus, he's a top three-point shooter.

8. Danny Granger, SF/PF, Indiana.

It probably would surprise no one if he ended up third or fourth in points this year, but injuries have stopped him from reaching full potential last year, and his free throw and three-point percentages have dipped.

9. Gerald Wallace, SF/PF, Charlotte.

The first of my top 10 surprises. He's underrated on an annual basis, and then people are surprised when he ends up as a top 10 player at the end of the year. His averaging of a double-double last year put him in elite company, and I think promised more good things.

10. David Lee, PF/C, Golden State.

My second surprise. What's more shocking - that I have two Golden State players in my top 10, or that I ranked both Wallace and Lee ahead of Pau Gasol? Lee is another double-double machine who some are writing off after his departure from a fast-paced New York offense. I think he'll prove a nice counter-balance to Curry.

Expert Wire
Here's more fodder as you fine-tune your fantasy hoops draft list:

* Yahoo!'s Ball Don't Lie is making its way through a long list of underrated players. Look, there's Gerald Wallace!

* Bleacher Report gathers a roundtable of fantasy experts to analyze how the move to Miami will affect LeBron James. I like the observation that Miami's game-pace isn't as fast as Cleveland's.

* FanHouse has a list of the top 150 fantasy players. It's enough to give a guy with just a top 10 an inferiority complex.

* ESPN looks at some of the fluke successes and disappoints of last season and what they portend for this season. Summary: A lot of guys got better by shooting fewer three-pointers, and one guy got better by shooting more of them.


Dan O'Shea's Fantasy Fix appears in this space every Wednesday. He welcomes your comments. You can also read his about his split sports fan personality at SwingsBothWays, a new addition to the Beachwood family.

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