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Fantasy Doctor, NBA / Oct 16, 2009 / 4:20 pm

Top 10 Fantasy Centers In 2009-10

Dwight Howard

After spending the past four days looking at the top 10 fantasy point guards, shooting guards, small forwards and power forwards, we’ve finally come to the projected top 10 fantasy centers for the 2009-10 NBA season. There’s a lot of room for discussion here, so don’t hold back your thoughts.

1. Dwight Howard: Even though Superman is at No. 1 here, I personally would try my best to avoid him in the first round. Still, I really have no problem with anyone who picks him early on, so long as they understand what they have to do after that. Howard’s atrocious free-throw shooting and turnovers are obvious, but he virtually guarantees that you’ll at least be competitive in rebounds and blocks each week. If you can build around him with players who shoot well from the line and don’t turn the ball over much, then Howard is a great foundation to start your fantasy team on. Also, if you are looking to build a team without regard for free-throw shooting and turnovers, Howard is also a logical first pick for your squad.

2. Al Jefferson: It took me a long time to finally decide to relegate Jefferson to this spot, but it basically came down to the fact that Jefferson is a much bigger health risk than Howard is. Nevertheless, when you draft Jefferson you get great numbers across the board and don’t have to fret much about drafting subsequent players that will make up for his flaws, which you have to do with Howard. Yes, he grabs fewer boards and blocks fewer shots, but his superior scoring, free-throw shooting and turnovers aren’t anything to scoff at. Jefferson gives you a better shot at winning every category each week than Howard does. He’s a sexy sports car that comes in automatic; Howard is an exotic sports car that only comes in manual. The choice is up to you.

3. Brook Lopez: There’s a good deal of hype surrounding this kid, and for good reason. He had a fantastic rookie season where he showed his ability to deliver all the stats you’d want from your starting fantasy center – solid rebounds, blocks, shooting percentages and low turnovers. Lopez is set to take a solid step forward this season and will see more than the 30 minutes he saw per game last year. His small-time name could allow you to nab him later than he should go in most drafts. Expect really good things from the Nets’ center this season.

4. Andrea Bargnani: The Raptor with a girl’s name finally asserted himself as a big man to be reckoned with last year, boosting his production in nearly every category. He’s a center who will hit almost two three-pointers each game, block shots and shoot a very high percentage from the line. Bargnani should benefit from Hedo Turkoglu‘s presence on the team, as he’ll spread the court more. He’ll get more minutes this year and with trade rumors swirling around Chris Bosh, Bargnani could be a real steal in your drafts.

5. Al Horford: The young Hawks center is set to get more touches this season, according to coach Mike Woodson, and with his health back, Horford looks ready to take a shot at averaging a double-double, along with a steal and a block or two per game. His solid shooting percentages make him even more appealing. If he can stay healthy, Horford should benefit from more minutes and improved production this season.

6. Andris Biedrins: He’s the white, mini-Dwight Howard. He’s great for rebounds, a high field goal percentage, steals, blocks and low turnovers, but his free-throw shooting is just as bad as Howard’s. His health is a bit of a concern, and with the blossoming of Anthony Randolph there may be competition for rebounds and blocks, but Biedrins remains a solid fantasy center.

7. David Lee: He’s a center who gives you great rebounds and shooting percentages along with a steal per game, but that’s just about what Zach Randolph gives you. While the love for Lee in fantasy circles is understandable, until he blocks more shots he won’t be as valuable as he seems. If you have a team that is set with blocks then Lee will be a great addition, but the lack of blocks from this center keeps him from being higher on this list.

8. Mehmet Okur: You know what you’re getting when you draft Okur – solid shooting percentages, 1+ threes, 7+ rebounds and 16+ points, along with low turnovers and less than a steal and block per night. With the continued development of Paul Millsap, Okur may have trouble maintaining his minutes, but his numbers shouldn’t be affected much. A Carlos Boozer trade would free him up to boost his production, but until that happens Okur’s ceiling is set.

9. Nene: He’d be higher on this list if it weren’t for his fragile health. He’s back after suffering a fractured left forearm and has played pretty well during the preseason. When healthy, Nene gives you great shooting percentages, solid rebounds, low turnovers, 1+ steals and 1+ blocks per game. If you’re confident about his health feel free to boost him up on this list, but I wouldn’t hold my breath.

10. Andrew Bynum: We know Bynum’s story by now – he’ll get you the type of stats you want from a fantasy center, but he has a body made of cracked glass. Whether he starts or comes off the bench Bynum is a valuable asset when healthy, but he’s as touch-and-go as they come.

On the cusp: Luis Scola, Emeka Okafor, Spencer Hawes, Marc Gasol, Greg Oden, Marcus Camby

What do you think?

Throughout the season, be sure to leave your questions, comments, concerns, trade offers, roster problems and more in the comments below.

Follow Jason on Twitter at @fbasketballblog.

Follow Dime on Twitter at @DIMEMag.

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  • The Real Tyrone

    Ain’t not doubt ya’ll that D-Ho be the shit yo. Cat be a glass eatin monsta who be dunkin and ballin. He be dishin dopey dimes too y’all. Ain’t nobody like him yo.

    True thugs NEVER lie.
    The Real Tyrone

  • vago

    you ain’t showing no love to Kevin Doc

  • scotsman

    I like this list a lot. Im really looking forward to brook lopez this year. as a nets fan im expecting a dismal season all around but its a young team with some chance to grow. Scola should be a monster in points and rebounds this year too but i agree he is on the cusp.

    still looking for a few members for my fantasy league (yahoo). Starting 5, big bench. League id #183447 and the password if you need one, is banana.

  • Ian

    doc
    players like bosh td and gasol can play center and i rather have any of them over howard who is a third or at best late second round pick. howard late first round?? hell no.

  • hector

    No love for Roy Hibbert? this guy is ripping it.

  • http://heckler@aol.com Heckler

    this is the saddest list of fantasy centers i’ve ever seen.

  • http://uoregon.edu sans

    Shaq doesn’t even get on the cusp love?

  • http://inspiredworlds.com inspiredworlds

    what about shaq and k-love?

    i could have taken d-ho in the 2nd round but went against it, because he was going to lose me in two categories (FT and TO) , so i opted for Duncan instead because he can play both PF and C, and FT% is slightly higher.

  • http://dimemag.com/category/fantasy-basketball/ The Fantasy Doctor

    @Ian: I completely agree with Bosh and Gasol, not sure about TD. As I wrote, I wouldn’t draft D-Ho in the first round either.

  • http://dimemag.com/category/fantasy-basketball/ The Fantasy Doctor

    @hector: You’re right, he is, and he could’ve been included as on the cusp. I just think he’s a half-step below the guys listed right now. Hibbert and Dalembert are two guys that shouldn’t be forgotten.

  • http://dimemag.com/category/fantasy-basketball/ The Fantasy Doctor

    @inspiredworlds: I think late second round is reasonable for Duncan, but I agree that Howard is really a drag in those two cats, which is why I try to avoid him early on. I would trade Duncan before the All-Star break, as he’ll get some unannounced DNPs in preparation for the playoffs.

  • vince

    noah is on the cusp

  • sh!tfaced

    Almost feels like Bynum just made the top 10 by default…

  • Sacto_J

    I think that there’s potential for young Spencer Hawes to crack this list, though probably not yet. Last year before Spence was injured he was producing nearly the same stat lines (slightly higher pts., slightly lower blks) as Bynum while adding a few threes at a high %. Conditioning seems to be a small issue for the big man, but if he can put it together, he has the potential to be a lock on this list in the future….

  • Sacto_J

    Oh, and my sleeper center for the season – Krstic. He isn’t even being drafted (logically so,) but I think his numbers will be decent his first full year back….

  • http://fourpointplay.weebly.com Henry

    No-one even mentions ANdrew Bogut. I know he’s got an injury history, but if you check his 07-08 numbers, he can be a beast. All the talk about Centers, if you want someone real late, look for him to bounce back now that RJ and Charlie V are gone. Should post 16+, 10+, 1.5 blocks this year and is no more of an injury than Bynum, Oden, Jefferson etc.

    Apart from missing Bogut, Nice column F.D

  • gilford22

    Andrew Bogut? Solid points and Rebs along with 3+ assists and 1.5blocks a game?? And He will get more touches on the ball this season because of the departure of their 3 top scorers last season.

  • Ric_Hardwood

    ^13 I agree… Bynum will probably only play half the season…

  • BENNYHILL

    Spencer Hawes is a great fantasy pick-up if he can play an entire season as a starter.

    Durability could be a worry, but I’m pretty high on him

    Love a big man who can shoot the 3

  • futurestar

    this is a pretty good list doc.. couldnt agree with u more..

  • JCARR

    Hey doc troy murphy or David lee?

  • http://dimemag.com/category/fantasy-basketball/ The Fantasy Doctor

    @JCARR: I’d go with Troy.

  • ab_40

    fantasy basketball is GAMBLING on real people. therefore gay

  • Josh

    Concerning Brook Lopez”
    “His small-time name could allow you to nab him later than he should go in most drafts”

    I think we can safely say that most fantasy players know who he is by now. :( I haven’t seen him go later than early third round, and mostly by the second in fact.

  • http://dimemag.com/category/fantasy-basketball/ The Fantasy Doctor

    @ab_40: Not everyone plays for money…

  • http://www.in-n-outnba.blogspot.com Lucas

    In my opinion, you guys got this all right… good job.

  • JCARR

    Yea doc can’t argue with that list … Good job!

  • http://www.petsocietyhelp.com Paborito

    What? No Polish Hammer?

  • spirow

    I actually see bargs as number two on the list . . . the mans killing it and i mean killing it in the pre season. . . if his average on rebounds goes up 8 – 10 then he’ll forsure be up at number two . . . Dime should re evaluate the centres one month into the season or so . . .

  • jheck

    Where is Shaq???

  • mememememe

    wanted to see if you could rate my squad. im on a default yahoo fantasy, head to head. regular default stats. the league is kinda shallow too, 10 players so quite a few higher level players still available like chris duhon and jamal crawford.

    Deron Williams
    Ben Gordon
    Tony Parker
    Josh Smith
    Al Jefferson
    Brook Lopez
    David Lee
    Al Horford
    Luol Deng
    Andrei Kirilenko
    Nate Robinson
    Raymond Felton
    Aaron Brooks

  • http://dimemag.com/category/fantasy-basketball/ The Fantasy Doctor

    @mememememe: Looks like a strong squad. Your backcourt is solid, but probably a bit weaker than your frontcourt, which is fine. Your big men are awesome…I don’t know how you nabbed them all in a draft. I’m not too optimistic about Felton this year, but he is the starter as of today. I think you can benefit from dropping one of your guards and picking up a good big man off the bench during the first few games of the season. I think you’re weak on threes, but other than that you should be fine. Nice work.