Dynasty leagues require a different fantasy muscle out of owners. We can’t just think about next season, we have to think about three, four and five seasons down the line. That means age, health and raw talent are the most important factors. Immediate role is not.
Below is how I would draft if I was starting a Dynasty league today. It’s for eight-category roto style, but my rankings for eight-category head-to-head would be very similar. I’d just move guys up and down based on which category I’m punting.
Also note that position/category scarcity is reflected. Point guard is insanely deep, while the quest for big men and blocks never ends.
1. Kevin Durant – Insane dominance in free throws allows unique roster flexibility.
2. LeBron James –Somehow still just 28 years old. Field-goal percentage has risen seven straight years.
3. James Harden – Rare talent playing in the league’s most fast-paced scheme.
4. Kyrie Irving – A lot of injuries going back to Duke, but all are minor. 21 years old.
5. Russell Westbrook – Played in 394 straight regular season games. Meniscus repair very minor.
6. Stephen Curry – Would be No. 3 if not for obvious ankle concerns.
7. Chris Paul – Been a top-5 fantasy player in six straight seasons, but three years older than Westbrook.
8. Paul George – Fantasy’s No. 11 player at age 22. Plenty of room to grow.
9. Kevin Love – Fractured bones almost always heal to 100 percent, even on shooting hands.
10. Serge Ibaka – Rapidly improving jumper means 16ppg in the very near future.
11. Deron Williams – Incredible post All-Star break, but ankle issues are chronic.
12. Nicolas Batum – Only player in NBA to averaged two 3s, one block and one steal.
13. Marc Gasol – Raised free-throw percentage by 10 points in 2012/13.
14. Carmelo Anthony – Like many great scorers, 3-point shot improving with age.
15. Anthony Davis – Averaged 1.8 blocks, 8.2 boards as a 220-pound rook. Will fill out.
16. Derrick Rose – Freakish athleticism was key to dominance. Will it return after ACL tear?
17. DeMarcus Cousins – Petulant, immature at 22 years old. But top-5 overall skill.
18. Damian Lillard – Went from Weber State to Rookie of the Year. Upside monstrous.
19. LaMarcus Aldridge – At least 21/8 with plus percentages in three straight years.
20. John Wall – The next Derrick Rose. Has the work ethic to develop a 3-point shot.
21. Brook Lopez – Only three players got 2+ blocks and shot 75 percent free throws. Lopez was one.
22. Ty Lawson – Unlike other top point guards, Lawson is a career 48.6% shooter.
23. Derrick Favors – New cornerstone of the Jazz with Millsap, Big Al in free agency.
24. Al Horford – Shot 54+ percent with 1+ blocks in five straight years.
25. Ricky Rubio – Even if jumper never improves, steals and assists are dominant.
26. Kawhi Leonard -- Tim Duncan is 37, Manu Ginobili is 35. Spurs will be Kawhi’s team soon.
27. Andre Drummond – Per-36 minute numbers as a 19-year-old rookie: 2.8 blks, 1.7 stls, 13.2 rebs.
28. Greg Monroe – Underrated thanks to steals, but free-throws a big concern (a la Drummond).
29. Josh Smith – Entering 10th NBA season and free-throw shooting somehow getting worse.
30. Dwyane Wade – Second fiddle and chronic knee issues. Missed 30 games over last two years.
31. Mike Conley Jr. – Quietly turned in a top-20 roto season despite just 14.6 ppg.
32. Jeff Green – Proved to be a top-20 player when Pierce and KG were out. Celts will be rebuilding soon.
33. Larry Sanders – Breakout season came in just 27.3 minutes a night. Will soon push for 32.
34. Dwight Howard – Averaged 2+ blocks, 1+ steals yet again despite back, shoulder woes.
35. Jrue Holiday – New Sixers GM Sam Hinkie will implement more up-tempo offense.
36. Joakim Noah – Would be in the top-15 if not for worries surrounding plantar fasciitis.
37. Jonas Valanciunas – After All-Star break, shot 58.8% from field and 85.2% from line. Will be special.
38. Al Jefferson – Unrestricted free agent. Will he still be a No. 1 option where he lands?
39. David Lee – Hip procedure, reduced role based on Warriors’ playoff run without him are concerns.
40. Chris Bosh – If he’s ever the No. 1 or 2 option again, lock for top-20 fantasy value.
41. Kemba Walker – Turned in a top-20 fantasy season at age 22.
42. Eric Bledsoe – Will be an unrestricted free agent after 2013/14. Look out.
43. Klay Thompson – The Reggie Miller clone is just wrapping up his second NBA season.
44. Roy Hibbert – Durable 7-footers that block 2.6 shots a night just don’t come around often.
45. JaVale McGee – Obvious warts, but led league in blocks per 36. He’ll start in 2013/14.
46. Rajon Rondo – Coming off ACL tear, playing at fantasy’s deepest position, shot never improved.
47. Paul Millsap – Doesn’t need plays run for him to succeed, so FA landing spot not a big worry.
48. Kenneth Faried – Offensive game, touch around hoop can only get better.
49. Tyreke Evans – Supremely talented player, still just 23. Needs change of scenery.
50. Brad Beal – Injuries slowed what otherwise would have been an eye-opening rookie season.
51. Nikola Vucevic – Not a great shot-blocker and offensive chances will sink as Magic get better.
52. Kyle Lowry – When confidence is there, few have a more roto-friendly game.
53. Brandon Jennings – Through four NBA seasons, he’s shooting 39.4% from the field. Painful.
54. Enes Kanter – If Jazz are willing to roll with a Kanter/Favors front line, it’s party time.
55. Monta Ellis – Going to eventually end up in a sixth man role. Coaches can’t win with him as centerpiece.
56. Tobias Harris – Will be overdrafted in 2013-14. May not even be a starter for Magic.
57. Tony Parker -- On wrong side of 30 and doesn’t steal or hit 3s.
58. Blake Griffin – Still only 24, but will he ever make up for free-throw woes with blocks?
59. Gordon Hayward – Took major leap forward in Year 3, now a building block in Jazz makeover.
60. Ersan Ilyasova – Final 24 games: 17.2 points, 1.7 treys, 9.0 rebs, 86.5% free throws.
61. Pau Gasol – Clashes with D’Antoni system, will turn 33 in July. Not good.
62. Chandler Parsons – Athletic shooters that play for the Rockets are gold.
63. Thaddeus Young – Was 2012/13’s monster year the ceiling? Very possible.
64. Goran Dragic – Being the best player on an awful team goes a long way.
65. Eric Gordon – Will the knees ever be totally right? Smart money is on no.
66. Andre Iguodala – An unrestricted free agent. Bump him up if he lands on a bad team.
67. Andrew Bynum – Worth a flier just in case the year off yields 3-4 seasons of health.
68. Kobe Bryant – Be realistic. Turns 35 in August and coming off Achilles’ tendon tear.
69. Ryan Anderson – In a league of stretch fours, Anderson will always have a big role.
70. Anderson Varejao – Body just can’t hold up to reckless style of play. Missed 149 games over last three years.
Just missed: Moe Harkless, Rudy Gay, J.R. Smith, Greivis Vasquez, Isaiah Thomas, Danilo Gallinari, Jeff Teague, George Hill, Nikola Pekovic, Amir Johnson, Jose Calderon.
Weren’t close: Tim Duncan, Paul Pierce, Jameer Nelson, David West, Kevin Garnett, Andrei Kirilenko, Jeremy Lin, O.J. Mayo, Dirk Nowitzki, Shawn Marion, Luol Deng, Omer Asik.