For the uninitiated, ESPN.com along with its vertical Truehoop Network have been ranking all 500 NBA players for three years now. That’s right, from No. 500 to 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 they come to that score.
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 started with numbers 201-225. This post takes a look at those ranked 181-200. The following players should be considered for deep leagues.
Caron Butler – The former Clipper remains a crafty veteran whose starting position in Milwaukee is his to lose. Carlos Delfino and Khris Middleton behind him will keep his minutes in the low 30s, high 20s range. That would be higher than what he was getting in L.A. and there he was putting up 10.4 PPG, 2.9 RPG, 1.0 APG, 1.6 three-pointers per game (3PM), and 0.7 STLPG. Therefore, Butler could be a nice player to keep on the bench as you monitor his output throughout the early season.
John Henson – The Bucks have quite the number of baby-faced, long-armed youths on their squad. As one of them, Henson has the ability to put up big numbers if given the time on the floor (and if he bulked up 20-30 pounds). It will be tough for him to steal the starting spot from Ersan Ilyasova, who can be deadly in a variety of ways when on. But he’s got enough talent, scoring ability and capacity to defend to be a good No.2 option for Milwaukee at PF. He’ll have some big games in 2013-14.
Chris Copeland – Former Knick, Chris Copeland, is a very one-dimensional player. Though he’s only been in the league one year, he’s already 29 and probably won’t develop much beyond his 1D powers. Still, he’ll be playing with a solid Pacers second unit that will play to his abilities to hit spot-up threes, work off the pick-and-roll with C.J. Watson, abuse the sidelines, and occasionally create havoc on the defensive end.
Metta World Peace – With Melo and Bargnani ahead of him, depending on the lineup, Peace won’t average the 33 minutes he was used to in L.A. So, he won’t quite get the 12/5/1.5/1.5 line of past year either. Still, the reduced minutes should help his efficiency some and the forward has enough gas left in the tank to land somewhere in the 10/3.5/1.2/1.5 vicinity.
Darren Collison – Chris Paul won’t be the only benefactor of an improved Clippers roster. Despite some struggles in Dallas, Collison remains a reliable second option at point and will have vastly more players to drive the ball to than he did on the Mavs. At any one moment, he’ll be flanked by an arrangement of Matt Barnes, Reggie Bullock, Jamal Crawford, Willie Green, Byron Mullens, Antawn Jamison and, at times, J.J. Redick, Jared Dudley, Blake Griffin, DeAndre Jordan and even Chris Paul.
Andrew Nicholson – Nicholson won’t quite be the forward option that Tobias Harris will for the Magic but he can certainly be a nice steal for fantasy owners. As a rookie, he put up a quietly great campaign while posting 7.8 PPG, 3.4 RPG, 0.6 APG in just 16 minutes of court time. The Orlando organization seems intent on developing the surplus of young talent in their store and Nicholson will be one of them. In all likelihood, he’ll see 20-25 minutes per game this season.
Jared Sullinger – The young man’s recent bout with police isn’t going to help his case in winning a starting spot. But once that incident subsides and he can continue to put up near-double double or double double stats in limited playing time, it will be a matter of weeks before Brandon Bass becomes a bench player for Boston. Of course, if Boston is truly embracing the spirit of tanking, Sullinger might be kept on the bench to limit his work.
If available, keep him on your bench, as he’ll still produce on the Celtics second unit. If he can win the right to start games, he’ll be a very nice pickup for any owner in any league.