LeBron leads the way in NBA Fantasy Rankings

Scott Cullen

10/24/2012 4:22:32 PM

LeBron James, not surprisingly, is the top-ranked player in the Preseason NBA Projections.

No player can fill the stat sheet like LeBron so, love him or hate him, he's the only viable choice for the first pick in fantasy drafts. For evidence, consider that LeBron averaged 27.1 points, 7.9 rebounds and 6.2 assists per game last season. In each of the last five seasons, he has surpassed 25.0 points, 5.0 rebounds and 5.0 assists per game, while those thresholds have been crossed only three times by all other NBA players (Kobe Bryant twice and Dwyane Wade once).

So, fine, he has an NBA title and is the clearcut No. 1 pick in Fantasy. LeBron is the King.

Who's next?

Kevin Durant, Kobe Bryant, Russell Westbrook and Dwight Howard -- four players representing the anticipated top two teams in the Western Conference -- follow James before Blake Griffin, Carmelo Anthony, Dwyane Wade and an injured Kevin Love before point guards Deron Williams and Chris Paul.

Some young players rising due to higher expectations, include Andrew Bynum at 14 and Kyrie Irving at 17.

It's a difficult season to project for injured stars, with the likes of Love, Derrick Rose, Ricky Rubio and Dirk Nowitzki starting the season the sidelines. In Rose's case, he may be out for most, if not all, of the 2012-2013 season.

The top-ranked Toronto Raptor is a presumably-healthy Andrea Bargnani, at 31, just behind former Raptor Chris Bosh.

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