Al Jefferson leads the pack as far as centers go and he’s undoubtedly going to have to lead the Jazz if they want to make the playoffs again this season.
Marcin Gortat will have to adjust to life without Steve Nash but career numbers last year should give fantasy owners some peace of mind. Marc Gasol looked really good leading Spain to a gold medal game appearance at the Olympics, though a healthy Zach Randolph could cut into his fantasy value.
Players to watch include Brooke Lopez in Brooklyn, who could really produce now that he'll be on a playoff contender. This season could very well mark the long awaited arrival of JaVale McGee, who appears to be on the brink of a breakout season now that he's found a home in Denver. Don't forget Andrew Bynum, who will have to prove he's worth all of that money the Lakers have given him as the new franchise player in Philadelphia.
Here are the top 25 centers going into the 2012-13 fantasy basketball season:
- Al Jefferson, UTA
Averaged just over 19 points a game this season and led the Jazz to the playoffs. He shoots over 77% from the charity stripe, which is really good for a big man. No doubt he'll be counted on to lead the scoring and rebounding on a regular basis in Utah as has been the story in the past.
- Andrew Bynum, PHI
It's been quite a long time since a new arrival received as much fanfare as Bynum has in Philly. This is the year he gets to prove himself and show that he's a star and the Sixers need him to do so.
- Dwight Howard, LAL
He got his wish and forced his way out of Orlando and he's the only center in the NBA that could legitimately averaged 25 points and 15 rebounds a game. He'll be part of a Lakers team that is expected to compete for the NBA championship and he's got a lot to prove considering how much attention he has drawn to himself over the past year.
- Marc Gasol, MEM
He was Spain's MVP at the London Olympics and he's the leader in Memphis hands down. He's a prototypical European smooth shooting center who has range that most guys his size would kill for. His numbers dipped when Zach Randolph was in the line up, but he's still a top play at center.
- Al Horford, ATL
Played in only 11 contests last year, but when he is healthy he's a strong center. He consistently shoots over 55% from the field and will be leading a re-building Hawks franchise.
- DeMarcus Cousins, SAC
Really coming into his own on the court but still needs to mature as a leader. As long as he can stay focused and keep building on what he did last year, Cousins could very well average over 20 points and 12 rebounds a game this season.
- Marcin Gortat, PHO
Posted career-highs in points (15.4) and rebounds (10) per game in his second season with the Suns. Although the departure of Steve Nash leaves a considerable hole in the back-court, Goran Dragic should help Gortat maintain his production levels.
- Greg Monroe, DET
Averaged nearly a double-double per game last year and still has room to get better. He should play even more minutes this season so expect his numbers to increase accordingly.
- JaVale McGee, DEN
Seems to have found a home in Denver after being traded out of Washington. He has all the tools of a star but it remains to be seen if he can really put it all together on an annual basis.
- Andrea Bargnani, TOR
Had an All-Star campaign going last season until a calf injury derailed it. He'll continued to be the best player on a team that is going to finish near the bottom of the league this season, and if he plays a full schedule he should be in line for his first All-Star appearance.
- Joakim Noah, CHI
Dipped below 10 rebounds a game last year but he's known for boards and his defensive presence. With Derrick Rose out, everyone in Chicago is going to have to pick up the slack, Noah included.
- Roy Hibbert, IND
The Pacers matched an offer sheet from Portland to keep their big man in Indiana for the long-term. He'll be the center-piece (literally) in anything that the Pacers accomplish as they look to prove their playoff appearance last season was no fluke.
- Tyson Chandler, NY
One of the best defensive players at his position. He's a solid rebounder with championship experience. Always a threat for a double-double.
- Amar'e Stoudemire, NY
Scored less than 20 points a game for the first time in six years last season as he appeared in 47 of the team's 66 games. He attempted just under 14 shots a game on average which is the second lowest of his career. One may think Carmelo Anthony is responsible for this decreased production, but Stoudemire is still a top talent and should bounce back this year.
- Nene Hilario, WAS
With the Wizards trying to change the team's culture and start fresh, Nene could very well post career numbers on a team that is not going to be any good for a long time.
- Brook Lopez, BRO
He appeared in just five games last year and rumors were swirling for what seemed like an eternity that he wouldn't be with the Nets organization going into the season. Now that Dwight Howard is in Los Angeles and the ink is dry on a new contract for Lopez, he can continue to thrive on a Nets team that is completely revamped and playoff bound this year.
- DeAndre Jordan, LAC
Made noise around the league and put fans on notice that Blake Griffin isn't the only player on the team who can dunk. He's part of the Clippers' regular rotation up front now and shoots over 60% from the field.
- Anderson Varejao, CLE
Appeared in just 25 games last season but averaged a career-high 11.5 rebounds. The Cavs are a young and rapidly improving squad and Varejao should continue to lead the charge on the glass.
- Andrew Bogut, GS
Has not played a full season in the NBA since his rookie year and hasn't played more than 69 games since the 2008-2009 season. He can put up 15 points and 10 rebounds on a consistent basis when healthy, but buyer beware if you're drafting him thinking he's going to be able to play a full season without getting hurt.
- Samuel Dalembert, MIL
He'll be able to provide consistent effort off the bench and maybe squeeze in the occasional start. He can rebound and should be good for about seven points and seven rebounds a game.
- Nikola Pekovic, MIN
Averaged just under 14 points a game and saw his playing time double last season. He has missed time with injuries in both his NBA seasons but should continue to grow during the 2012-13 campaign.
- Spencer Hawes, PHI
Appeared in 37 games last year that averaged just over nine points and seven rebounds a game. With Andrew Bynum leading the team as their star player, Hawes should be able to compliment him nicely.
- Nikola Vucevic, ORL
Acquired in the blockbuster trade that sent Dwight Howard to the Los Angeles Lakers, Vucevic appeared in 51 games for the 76ers last season averaging over five points a game. He'll be groomed as the replacement for Howard in Orlando, but how long it takes for him to become a proven commodity is uncertain.
- Chris Kaman, DAL
He's injury prone but whenever he is playing he can be very effective. He probably won't get close to averaging 18 points and 10 rebounds the way he once did with the Clippers, but being on a playoff bound team like the Mavs should help him improve on last year's output.
- Tiago Splitter, SAN
It looks like Splitter's minutes will continue to increase as the core of the Spurs continues to age. However Splitter is probably still a year or two away from a starting spot with the team.
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