Fantasy Preview: Centers
Everything you need to know about which big men you’ll need on your squad.
Tyler Zeller, Cavaliers: Zeller’s upside isn’t huge due to a lack of athleticism, but he can score, rebound, block a few shots and shot 80.8 percent from the stripe last year. If he can work his way into a starting role, he has top-10 roto potential.
Kevin Seraphin, Wizards: Seraphin really shined in his first significant action last year, averaging 15.5 ppg on 52.7 percent from the field, 7.0 rpg and 1.7 bpg as a starter in April. He should be pushing Emeka Okafor for a starting job by next season.
Enes Kanter, Jazz: Al Jefferson and Paul Millsap hit free agency after this year, and Kanter could be ready to step in as a starter. He had a solid rookie year despite not playing anywhere in 2010-11 and has 20-and-10 upside long-term.
Bismack Biyombo, Bobcats: Biyombo is a cornerstone in Charlotte and has big potential as a rebounder and shot-blocker. Only 20, there’s still time for him to develop on offense (though free throws might always be an issue).
Jonas Valanciunas, Raptors: If he came out this past year instead of 2011, Valanciunas would have been the clear No. 2 overall pick. He can rebound and block shots, and he’s very good scoring around the rim. Roll the dice on him as a No. 1 center.
Samuel Dalembert, Bucks: Dalembert never really established himself in Houston, but he’ll get a chance to play a lot of minutes for a Milwaukee team that needs his defensive presence. His per-minute rates never dropped last season.
Nikola Pekovic, Timberwolves: Pekovic is the best offensive rebounder in the NBA. As a starter last year, he averaged 15.4 ppg on 54.7 percent field goal shooting and 8.5 rpg. He doesn’t get a ton of defensive numbers, but he’s a safe investment as a roto starter.
Spencer Hawes, 76ers: Hawes moves to power forward full-time this year, where his midrange shooting makes him a good fit and he should mesh well with Andrew Bynum. He improved his per-minute rates in rebounds, assists and blocks last year.
Omer Asik, Rockets: Asik becomes a full-time player for the first time in his career. He will undoubtedly pile up rebounds and blocked shots, and he has promised to improve his offensive game. If he does, he could be a No. 1 fantasy center.
Robin Lopez, Hornets: Lopez has some flaws in his game—he’s mediocre at best offensively and isn’t a great rebounder—but he blocks a lot of shots and for the first time in his career could own a 30 mpg role come midseason.
DeAndre Jordan, Clippers: There are calls for Jordan to play more minutes, but he continues to struggle badly defending anywhere but at the basket. With Lamar Odom joining the Clips, Jordan is unlikely to get enough minutes to have starter value.
DeJuan Blair, Spurs: Blair can score and rebound when he plays, but he doesn’t fit into the Spurs’ screen-and-roll game and isn’t much of a defender. San Antonio will continue to use him for 20-plus minutes only in certain matchups.
Fab Melo, Celtics: Melo obviously isn’t a candidate for value this year. But he struggled so much in summer league play, and recent products of Syracuse’s 2-3 zone have such a horrific track record that we’re not sure Melo will ever make an impact.
Chris Kaman, Mavericks: Kaman is usually overrated in fantasy leagues because of his offensive skills. But he’s not an efficient scorer and he doesn’t bring the kind of defense the Mavs need in the middle, making his role in Dallas shaky.