For the uninitiated, ESPN.com along with its vertical Truehoop Network have been ranking all 500 NBA players for the past three years now. That’s right, from No. 500 to lucky guy No. 1.
Using the Twitter hashtag, #NBArank, they run through the league roster one at a time, based on predictive rankings. Each player is given an overall score out of 10 though not much is known on how exactly they come about to that number.
It’s far from an exact science but it’s fun enough and provides XN Sports an opportunity to run its own predictive analysis. Here you will find what players from its rankings can give you an edge in your fantasy league.
We’ll be starting with 201-225. So at this stage only very deep leagues should take note.
Samuel Dalembert – Mavs coach Rick Carlisle wants Dalembert to improve his conditioning. He knows that for Dalembert to be a blocking and rebounding factor for Dallas he’s going to have to be a marathon man. The backcourt of Jose Calderon and Monta Ellis are going to let through plenty of drives to the basket. He’ll be the last line of their defense and can pile up quiet but nice stats that way.
Otto Porter – Expect Porter to have a year similar to what Damian Lillard had in his rookie campaign. It might not match up fully but both would be talented rookies on a team primed for a low playoff spot. They won’t be the first defensive assignment on any given night but also are given the ball enough to put up respectable numbers.
Devin Harris – The real question for Dallas — other than if Dirk can stay healthy all year — is if they’ll be able to muster any defense at all. They should have no problem scoring and Harris will be a great backup point to help them in that regard. If he remains healthy, Harris can put up one of the better years for backup points.
Quincy Pondexter – Pondexter can easily nab the starting job at the 3 for Memphis this season. He proved he shoots very well under pressure, spaces the floor for them (which they desperately need), and isn’t a complete liability on defense. Might be a nice sleeper in 2013-14.
Mike Miller – It’s appropriate that the Grizzlies and Bulls played recently in the preseason. Both are known primarily as defensive teams but have now armed themselves with considerable outside shooting. Miller might not start at small forward but he’ll see 20-25 minutes a night and will sink plenty of mortars. He has always rebounded well and can find himself averaging low double-digit points this year.
Earl Clark – Until Anthony Bennett comes back and can also prove he deserves the minutes, Earl Clark is a lanky forward-hybrid who should get plenty of time at the 3 and some at the 4 when Tristan Thompson is resting. He’s only 25, won’t be weighed down by quite the pressure he was facing in the L.A. Divas locker room and has a game that fits well with that of coach Mike Brown. In a 15-plus team league, he can be quite a nice second string SF.
MarShon Brooks – Brooks has plenty of the skillset needed to flourish in a semi-rebuilding, semi-tanking squad. From the looks of it, Courtney Lee will be taking the starting spot but Lee doesn’t quite have the scoring ability that Brooks does. Quickly, the Celtics will see that their offense isn’t quite cutting it. At that point, they may turn to Brooks.
Luke Ridnour – Ridnour punches in his time card and punches it out without much fanfare. At 32, he can still be a combo-guard who will have to help squeeze some offense out of the Bucks lineup. His minutes should be similar to what they were last year when he posted 11.5 PPG, 3.8 APG, 2.5 RPG, and 1.0 STLPG. Those are solid numbers for a second or third string point depending on the market.