Forgot Log-in or  Password? |  Help  Not a member, Register Now!
      
Fantasy Football Today
Fantasy Football Today Blog
Gameday Inactives
2014 Draft Prep Guide
Downloadable Draft Kit
Mock Drafts
Get Your Draft Board
Player News
Stats
Players
Depth Charts
Roster Trends
Columns
Injury Report
Projections
Rankings
Schedules
Scores
Fantasy Games
Playoff Challenge
Commissioner
Prize Leagues
Free
Office Pool Manager
Game Pick'em
Player Challenge
Fantasy Baseball Today
Fantasy Baseball Today Blog
Downloadable Draft Kit
Mock Drafts
Player News
Stats
Players
Depth Charts
Roster Trends
Columns
Injury Report
Rankings
Projections
Schedules
Probable Pitchers
Scores
Standings
Fantasy Games
Commissioner
Free
Prize Leagues
Player News
Stats
Players
Columns
Injuries
Projections
Rankings
Schedules
Message Boards
Fantasy Games
Commissioner
Free
Player News
Stats
Players
Columns
Injury Report
Projections
Rankings
Schedules
Mock Drafts
Scores
Standings
Fantasy Games
Commissioner
Free
Prize Leagues
Downloadable Draft Kit
Player News
Stats
Players
Columns
Injury Report
Projections
Rankings
Schedules
Mock Drafts
Scores
Standings
Fantasy Games
Commissioner
Free
Prize Leagues
No Fantasy Teams Found
 
 
 

2013 Fantasy Basketball Draft Prep: Early positional tiers

Fantasy Writer
  •  

You want to go into your draft with a blueprint for how you want your team to look at the end. I'm not saying map out every step along the way along with each possible permutation, like a Choose-Your-Own-Adventure book. You lead a busy life, I know. And you'll only end up frustrated when your buddy, who grew up a UConn fan, grabs Kemba Walker two rounds too early and ruins everything, as your buddy is wont to do.

But you do need to have something resembling a plan for what kind of team you want to draft. A lot will depend on where you land in the draft order, as well as the individual foibles and idiosyncrasies of your fellow drafters, but you can put yourself ahead of the competition anyway.

And you can still draw up a vague road map for how you want your draft to go in pencil, and your best place to start is with the following tier rankings. Each position is broken down, helping give you a feel for where different players fall across the spectrum of positional value.

You'll also get an idea of which players should be grouped together, which can help you anticipate runs on certain positions and get ahead of the curve. Don't be the person who has to react to everything -- be the trendsetter.

Guard

Guard is easily the deepest position on Draft Day, so there's no reason to really reach on anyone here. The top four are essentially interchangeable at this point, though it should be noted that Stephen Curry's unprecedented three-point shooting is threatening to break our Rotisserie scoring calculator, so bump him up a bit in those formats.

There are a few big injury question marks at this spot, especially in that second tier, where more than half of the 11 options carry significant concerns based on their recent past. Still, every Fantasy owner can be happy ending up with at least two players from the top three tiers, and there isn't a huge drop along the way like at other positions. The only problem this season might be a relative lack of breakout options. Guard is deep in the NBA and there isn't a ton of playing time up for grabs for younger players.

The Elite
Russell Westbrook, Stephen Curry, James Harden, Chris Paul (4)

The Sub-Elite
Deron Williams, Brandon Jennings, Damian Lillard, Mike Conley, Kyrie Irving, Paul George, John Wall, Derrick Rose, Tony Parker, Dwyane Wade, Kobe Bryant (11)

The Next-best thing
Kemba Walker, Jeff Teague, Ty Lawson, Jrue Holiday, Monta Ellis, Ricky Rubio, Kyle Lowry, Rajon Rondo (8)

The Fallback options
Goran Dragic, O.J. Mayo, Evan Turner, Klay Thompson, Greivis Vasquez, Jeremy Lin, Raymond Felton, George Hill, Tyreke Evans, Bradley Beal, Steve Nash, Kevin Martin, Arron Afflalo (13)

The Low-End Starters
Eric Bledsoe, Jose Calderon, Michael Carter-Williams, Jameer Nelson, DeMar DeRozan, Joe Johnson, C.J. McCollum, Trey Burke, Victor Oladipo, Brandon Knight, Ramon Sessions, Jamal Crawford, Dion Waiters, Brandon Knight, Lou Williams, Eric Gordon (17)

The Late-Rounders
Vince Carter, Danny Green, Nate Robinson, J.J. Redick, Jared Dudley, Wesley Matthews, Kyle Korver, Mario Chalmers, Jarrett Jack, Thabo Sefolosha, Luke Ridnour, Gerald Henderson, Andre Miller, Marcus Thornton, Iman Shumpert, Tony Allen, Isaiah Thomas, Patrick Beverley, Manu Ginobili, Ray Allen, Mo Williams (21)

Forward

If I could, I would put another tier between the Elite and Sub-Elites and leave it totally empty, in order to adequately illustrate just how big the difference is between LeBron, Durant and everyone else. Forward is also surprisingly shallow, which is why you might want to focus there early. You can wait until Round 8 or 9 for a third guard and still end up with a Klay Thompson or Bradley Beal. Wait too long at forward and you're looking at having to rely on unproven guys like Tobias Harris or an injury-prone Amar'e Stoudemire.

The Elite
LeBron James, Kevin Durant (2)

The Sub-Elite
Blake Griffin, Josh Smith, Carmelo Anthony, Kevin Love (4)

The Next-best thing
Serge Ibaka, Tim Duncan, Paul Millsap, Rudy Gay, LaMarcus Aldridge, Chandler Parsons, Ryan Anderson, Chris Bosh, Nicolas Batum, Pau Gasol, Andre Iguodala, Thaddeus Young, Dirk Nowitzki, David Lee, Zach Randolph (13)

The Fallback options
Derrick Favors, Ersan Ilyasova, Kawhi Leonard, Jeff Green, Luol Deng, Amir Johnson, Paul Pierce, David West, Kenneth Faried, Carlos Boozer, Tobias Harris, Maurice Harkless, Danny Granger, Shawn Marion, Amar'e Stoudemire (14)

The Low-End Starters
Wilson Chandler, J.J. Hickson, Gerald Wallace, Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, Andrei Kirilenko, Trevor Ariza, Jason Thompson, Otto Porter, Martell Webster, Jimmy Butler, Anthony Bennett, John Henson, Brandon Bass, Carl Landry, Derrick Williams, Luis Scola, Carlos Delfino, Harrison Barnes (17)

The Late-Rounders
Taj Gibson, Danilo Gallinari, Josh McRoberts, Jared Sullinger, Elton Brand, Otto Porter, Thomas Robinson, Al-Farouq Aminu, Markieff Morris, Alonzo Gee, Matt Barnes, Bismack Biyombo, Brandon Rush, C.J. Miles, Dorell Wright, Michael Beasley, Patrick Patterson, Ed Davis, Chase Budinger, Metta World Peace (20)

Center

This is actually a position of relative strength -- at least at the top. The league has moved away from the hulking, back-to-the-basket scorers of the 1990s and early aughts, but the new brand of quick, rangy pivot men has made big men easier to find. There's a lot of young talent here that you can bank on for breakouts, though the position becomes a bit scary once you start looking for that No. 2 guy in the middle rounds.

The Elite
Dwight Howard, Marc Gasol, Al Jefferson, Al Horford (4)

The Sub-Elite
Greg Monroe, DeMarcus Cousins, Roy Hibbert, Anthony Davis, Brook Lopez, Nikola Vucevic, Larry Sanders (7)

The Next-best thing
Nikola Pekovic, Tyson Chandler, Kevin Garnett, Joakim Noah (4)

The Fallback options
Marcin Gortat, Anderson Varejao, Andrew Bynum, Jonas Valanciunas, Tiago Splitter, Nene, Tristan Thompson (7)

The Low-End Starters
Enes, Kanter, Andre Drummond, JaVale McGee, DeAndre Jordan, Spencer Hawes, Kelly Olynyk, Emeka Okafor, Robin Lopez, Glen Davis, Cody Zeller, Andrea Bargnani (9)

The Late-Rounders
Tyler Zeller, Kevin Seraphin, Nick Collison, Kendrick Perkins, Andray Blatche, Chris Kaman, Andrew Bogut, Kosta Koufos, Jordan Hill, Timofey Mozgov, Samuel Dalembert, Meyers Leonard (12)

Get player news notifications, manage your team and check scores
- all updated in real time. Download the CBS Fantasy App.

  •  
 
CBSSports Facebook Google Plus
COMMENTS
Conversation powered by Livefyre
 
 
Player News
Rockets' Patrick Beverley returns to practice Thursday
by R.J. White | CBSSports.com
(11:36 pm ET) Rockets point guard Patrick Beverley (illness) returned to practice Thursday, the Houston Chronicle reports.

"Pat feels better," coach Kevin McHale said. "He was not throwing up anymore. We didn’t do much. We went through our sets and got system shots up."

Beverley has missed the last two games due to flu-like symptoms. He's averaged 10.4 points, 4.4 rebounds and 3.3 assists in 43 games.

The Rockets are 9-point favorites at home against the Nets Friday.


Rockets SG James Harden held out of practice Thursday
by R.J. White | CBSSports.com
(11:31 pm ET) Rockets shooting guard James Harden sat out Thursday's practice due to a sprained left ankle, the Houston Chronicle reports.

"He’s swollen today and he’s sore today," coach Kevin McHale said. "I’ll see how he feels. He didn’t do anything today. He just iced it. We’ll see what 24 hours does."

Harden, who injured the ankle while stepping on an opposing player's foot in the fourth quarter of Wednesday's game, is listed as questionable to play Friday. He has averaged 27.2 points, 6.9 assists, 5.8 rebounds and 1.9 steals in 57 games.

The Rockets are 9-point favorites at home against the Nets Friday.


Cavaliers PG Kyrie Irving scores 24 vs. Warriors
by R.J. White | CBSSports.com
(11:04 pm ET) Cavaliers point guard Kyrie Irving scored 24 points on 6 of 17 shooting, incluidng 2 of 8 shooting from behind the arc, in his team's 110-99 win over the Warriors Thursday.

Irving also dealt with a shoulder issue in the game but was able to quickly return, playing a team-high 38 minutes in the win. However, he said after the game that the shoulder was a little sore, the Cleveland Plain Dealer reports.

He also chipped in three rebounds, two steals and one assist Thursday. The Cavaliers will square off with the Pacers Friday.


Cavaliers SF LeBron James scores season-high 42 vs. Warriors
by R.J. White | CBSSports.com
(10:55 pm ET) Cavaliers small forward LeBron James put on a show Thursday, scoring a season-high 42 points on 15 of 25 shooting, including 4 of 9 shooting from behind the arc, in his team's 110-99 win over the Warriors.

James had managed just 37 points in his previous two games combined before Thursday's outburst, which bested his two 41-point efforts from earlier in the season. He also delivered his fifth double-double of the month by grabbing 11 rebounds, and he added five assists, three steals and one block in 36 minutes in the statement win over the team with the best record in the NBA.

The Cavaliers bring a four-game winning streak into Friday's matchup with the Pacers.


Warriors PF David Lee scores team-high 19 vs. Cavaliers
by R.J. White | CBSSports.com
(10:51 pm ET) Warriors power forward David Lee scored a team-high 19 points on 8 of 11 shooting in his team's 110-99 loss to the Cavaliers Thursday.

Lee took more than 10 shots in a game for the first time in nearly a month and delivered his highest scoring total in that same span with his efficient performance, but it wasn't nearly enough to counter a massive effort by Cavaliers SF LeBron James, who scored more points by himself (42) than any two Warriors players combined.

Lee also racked up four rebounds, two assists and one block in 21 minutes off the bench in the loss, his team's second in its last three games. The Warriors will look to get back on track Friday against the Raptors in Toronto.


Pelicans' Monty Williams: Norris Cole 'a bright spot'
by R.J. White | CBSSports.com
(9:39 pm ET) Pelicans coach Monty Williams said Thursday that newly-acquired point guard Norris Cole has been a bright spot for the team, which has won all three games since Cole came on board, NBA.com reports.

"Norris has been a bright spot for us because he brings some intangibles to the table," Williams said after practice Thursday. "He's played in really big games. Nothing fazes him. We're glad to have him."

The Pelicans valued Cole due to his reputation as a defender but have been surprised by his offensive capacity as well.

"I've always been able to play offense," Cole said. "It's just that with certain dynamics with teams, you're asked to play a certain way and I'm a team player, but I work on my (offense) a lot. I can put the ball in the hole."

Cole has averaged 12.7 points, 4.0 assists and 3.0 rebounds in his three games with the Pelicans while shooting 55.6 percent from the field.


Thunder's Kevin Durant begins light shooting Thursday
by Sean d'Oliveira | CBSSports.com
(8:50 pm ET) Thunder forward Kevin Durant was able to do some light shooting before Thursday's game against the Suns, reports Suns.com.

Durant has been sidelined with a foot injury since Feb. 19 and he is expected to be reevaluated at the end of the month to determine when he can return to the court.


Knicks' Jose Calderon (Achilles) not thinking about ending season
by Sean d'Oliveira | CBSSports.com
(7:45 pm ET) Despite being bothered by a sore Achilles, Knicks guard Jose Calderon plans to finish the season, reports ESPN.com.

Calderon said he tweaked his Achilles during Wednesday's game, but didn't say it was serious. He added that he has no plans to end his season prematurely.

"I want to be with my team," Calderon said. "[It's] why after yesterday when it happened I wanted to keep playing... I want to be with my team until the end of the season."


Knicks hoping Shane Larkin can return Friday
by Sean d'Oliveira | CBSSports.com
(7:21 pm ET) Knicks coach Derek Fisher said Thursday he is hopeful guard Shane Larkin will be available to play in Friday's game at Detroit, reports the team's official website.

Larkin is suffering from an illness, which has caused him to miss the last three games. Larkin has been trying to regain his conditioning. In 50 games, Larkin is averaging 5.4 points and 2.5 assists.


Kings' DeMarcus Cousins (ankle) doubtful to play Friday vs. Spurs
by Sean d'Oliveira | CBSSports.com
(7:12 pm ET) Kings center DeMarcus Cousins is listed as doubtful for Friday's game against the Spurs, the team announced.

Cousins was not able to practice Thursday because of a left ankle sprain and left hip contusion. Forward Reggie Evans should see an increase in minutes if Cousins cannot play.


 
 
 
Top Videos
Rankings