For three years now, ESPN.com and its vertical Truehoop Network have been ranking all 500 NBA players from the tail end 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 the details beyond that are a bit blurry.
It’s fun and, in turn, provides XN Sports an opportunity to run its own predictive analysis. Here you will find what players from its rankings will give you an edge in your fantasy league this season.
Vince Carter – His days as TV analyst are closer to Carter’s current reality than those when he was Toronto’s main man, but he remains an effective veteran shooting guard. He could score a little more but can be a legit second or third option in modestly deep leagues or beyond. Carter provides a nice number of three-pointers made per game (2.0.), can pass (2.4), rebound (4.1) and still brings havoc on the defensive end (steals per:0.9; blocks per: 0.5).
Nate Robinson – Even if he operates at an 80 percent capacity of how he did in Chicago, Robinson can see himself putting up 11-3.5-1.8-0.8 in Denver. Those are nice numbers. He’ll have to prove himself behind a deep backcourt that includes Ty Lawson, Andre Miller, Randy Foye, and Evan Fournier, but Nate has never been one to underperform as an underdog. In fact, he counts on it.
Jerryd Bayless – His name doesn’t get mentioned much, but Bayless could be one of the 25-or-under guys who is due for a breakout season this year. He’s looked more comfortable alongside Grizzlies teammates, can disrupt defenses from inside or outside the arc, gives Memphis options at the 2, and is now, like Mike Conley, flanked by more shooters.
Evan Turner – Even on teams like Milwaukee and Minnesota, Turner would have a hard time winning a starting role as shooting guard. His 12.16 PER shows why. Still, on the 76ers he makes for a fantasy gold mine as he can score, assist, rebound and steal at worthy rates.
Corey Brewer – Brewer is his native team’s family pet. Any stat the team needs cleaned off the dinner plate that is the nightly stat sheet, Brewer is more than happy to lap it up for them. He can rebound, run the floor, defend, steal, score, shoot (well, sometimes), and anything else that needs attention at any given moment. That should yield good numbers on a Minnesota team that has a lot of cracks in its makeup.
Ed Davis – If the roster spots in Memphis align just right, Ed Davis can be an unsung double-double hero. At 24, he can really mold his game to the inside scoring, glass pounding style the Grizz value and has Zach Randolph, Marc Gasol and Kosta Koufus to do that under. If Randolph regresses some this year, which he was already doing in the playoffs, expect Davis to be a nightly 10-10-1.5 (steals) guy.
Ben McLemore – McLemore looks to become something like a Jimmy Butler with an improved stroke (and without the defensive grit): he can space the floor, has crafty hands and rebounds very well for his position. It would be great to see him develop under the lead of a veteran shooter like Ray Allen or Mike Miller. He’ll have to settle for Marcus Thorton, however.
Reggie Jackson – OKC are as good at landing draft talent as they are at squandering it away. (See: James Harden). You’d hope that Reggie Jackson can be one of the prospects they decide to keep as he’s a driven point who is as athletic as your point guards are required to be nowadays. He’s not the outside threat he could be to function as shooting guard (for a quarter or two) upon Westbrook’s return but his all-around game will impress on any given night.