2014-15 NBA Fantasy Preview
POSTED: Oct 13, 2014 1:46 AM ET
The 2014-15 NBA season is right around the corner, which means it's time to start preparing for your Yahoo! NBA Fantasy draft!
Use our Fantasy Draft Kit to find out which players are the best in each statistical category and outsmart your competition. Make sure to check back to NBA.com/fantasy throughout the month as we reveal our NBA.com Fantasy Big Board, positional rankings and feature articles.
The biggest star in Ohio returns to the Cavaliers with a developed skill for putting the ball in the hoop.
13-14: 17.6 FGA on 56.7 FG% -- 12-13: 17.8 FGA on 56.5%
LeBron James' field goal percentage has risen every season for the last eight years, growing from 47.6 percent during the 2006-07 season to an absurd 56.7 percent last year in Miami. With a new cast of playmakers in Cleveland, there's no reason to believe this percentage won't continue to rise. And while others shoot higher percentages than LeBron, no one does it at such high volume.
13-14: 6.3 FGA on 67.6% -- 12-13: 6.0 FGA on 64.3%
DeAndre Jordan led the league in field goal percentage last season, thanks in large part to lobs from Chris Paul and a refusal to shoot outside of the paint. Jordan attempted 481 field goals within five feet last season and a grand total of 34 outside of that distance. Hard to imagine this will change.
13-14: 9.5 FGA on 62.3% -- 12-13: 5.7 FGA on 60.8%
Andre Drummond shot the highest field goal percentage for a player with nine or more field goal attempts last season and he's only 21 years old. He appears to be the new face of the franchise in Detroit and new coach Stan Van Gundy has a knack for developing big men (see Dwight Howard). Don't be surprised if Drummond finds himself at the top of this leaderboard by season's end.
13-14: 15.0 FGA on 51.9% -- 12-13: 10.6 FGA on 51.6%
The Anthony Davis revolution is upon us, folks. He upped his field goal attempts by five last season and saw no dip in his percentage. If he stays around the 15-field-goal-attempt area, it's safe to assume his field goal percentage will continue to grow as his game develops. With what he also provides in blocks, steals, rebounds and points, there's no reason to let him slip past the fifth pick in your draft.
13-14: 11.3 FGA on 59.1% -- 12-13: 10.7 FGA on 57.8%
One could easily place Howard higher on this list, especially after one of the best field goal percentage seasons of his career last year. However, it appears this season will be different in Houston as the departure of Chandler Parsons and Jeremy Lin will cause Howard to assume a greater role in the offense and see less effective pick-and-roll action. Both outcomes would likely point towards a dip in percentage.
13-14: 14.5 FGA on 56.7% -- 12-13: 14.4 FGA on 54.3%
The Hawks center was dominant early last season before being sidelined for the final 53 games with a torn pectoral muscle. Horford is reportedly healthy and ready to return to the form that saw him post career-highs in both field goal percentage and attempts. He will continue to benefit from the presence of frontcourt mate Paul Millsap and appears due to make his third All-Star team (his first since 2010-11) ... if he can stay healthy.
13-14: 17.0 FGA on 52.8% -- 12-13: 13.4 FGA on 53.8%
Like his teammate DeAndre Jordan, Blake Griffin has discovered that dunks go in at a pretty high rate. But unlike Jordan, Griffin's game has quickly evolved outside the paint, which caused his field goal percentage to dip over the last two seasons. Despite this evolution, Griffin knocked down shots at a great percentage last season at a very high volume and is still a huge FG% plus.
13-14: 13.5 FGA on 56.3% -- 12-13: 14.8 FGA on 52.1%
Brook Lopez didn't miss a game during his first three seasons in the league, but has found it difficult to stay healthy in two of his last three years, playing five games in 2011-12 and 17 last year. If he can stay healthy, he has the potential and pedigree to be a dominant force for the Nets and a top-five field percentage player this season.
13-14: 20.8 FGA on 50.3% -- 12-13: 17.7 FGA on 51.0%
Other players in this league certainly shoot better than Durant. But like LeBron and Griffin before him, few do it at such high volume, which offsets the lower percentage. The reigning MVP has also improved his game every season he's been in the league, so there's no doubting he will come out with something grander this year. Expect field goal percentage to be an area to improve even more. It's unfortunate for the Thunder and fantasy players that a player this special will miss at least the first six weeks of the season with a fractured foot.
13-14: 18.8 FGA on 50.9% -- 12-13: 15.8 FGA on 49.4%
Al Jefferson put it all together last season in his first year in Charlotte to be named to the All-NBA third team. But while his elite post moves allow him to find easy opportunities around the rim, his lack of athleticism and tendency to drift away from the basket may cause his percentage to never break above his career average of 50.1 percent. This percentage is nothing to scoff at, especially at the volume he shoots, and he's a clear plus in the percentage department.
Extra 10 (no order)
Bottom Field Goal %
Just as an elite shooter can help you win the field goal category, a player who's poor from the field can make sure you lose it every week. With that in mind, here are the ten most detrimental players to your field goal percentage category.
13-14: 14.2 FGA on 37.3% -- 12-13: 15.6 FGA on 39.9%
Simply, if you want to win the field goal percentage category, don't have Brandon Jennings on your team. The Pistons point guard has shot below 40 percent in four of his five seasons in the league and nearly matched his career low last year at 37.3 percent. To make matters worse, he is averaging 15.2 field goal attempts per game for his career and shot an astounding 27.1 percent on jump shots last season. He says he added weight this offseason, which should help his abysmal finishing at the rim. But it doesn't change the fact that you should stay away.
13-14: 15.1 FGA on 40.5% -- 12-13: N/A
Michael Carter-Williams nabbed the Rookie of the Year award last season despite shooting a putrid percentage from the floor. The Sixers have even less talent running with him this year, so don't expect this percentage to change much as he will need to continue to shoot even if his shot is off.
13-14: 15.7 FGA on 39.3% -- 12-13: 15.2 on 42.3%
Although Kemba Walker will likely have a reduced role in the Hornets offense this season with the addition of Lance Stephenson, it's hard to imagine his percentage will soar much higher than his career 39.8 percentage average. He joins Jennings in the awkward club of players to shoot more than 14 field goal attempts per game at less than 40 percent last season.
13-14: 10.6 on 40.7% -- 12-13: 12.5 FGA on 44.9%
After a promising 2012-13 campaign in Dallas, O.J. Mayo struggled in his first year of a three-year deal in Milwaukee. He lacked motivation, gained weight and appeared to not give the Bucks his full effort. Things may change under new coach Jason Kidd, and he looks to be in good shape, but don't expect much improvement in the percentage department.
13-14: 12.9 FGA on 41.5% -- 12-13: 15.6 FGA on 42.2%
Even when he won the Sixth Man of the Year Award in 2013, J.R. Smith was not much better than a 42 percent shooter. And with 42.5 percent being his career average, it's hard to imagine he will ever put together an efficient shooting season.
13-14: 12.8 FGA on 38.0% -- 12-13: N/A
The second-year point guard out of Michigan experienced a tough rookie year, connecting on just 38.0 percent of his field goals. This is due in large part to his inability to connect on jump shots, making them at a 31.4 percent clip. It's hard to imagine he won't improve that percentage this season. It's harder to imagine he'll improve it to a level that won't still be a negative on your team.
13-14: 10.8 FGA on 41.3% -- 12-13: 9.0 FGA on 39.7%
Randy Foye likes shooting 3-pointers. A lot. So much so that they've accounted for more than half of his field goal attempts each of the last three seasons, attempting 6.1 per game last season (14th most in the league). It's unlikely he will stop shooting the three, so expect his field goal percentage to continue to suffer.
13-14: 10.1 FGA on 41.5% -- 12-13: 3.9 FGA on 35.0%
It appears that D.J. Augustin will be the primary backup point guard to Brandon Jennings in Detroit this season, so it's only fitting that both players are on this undesirable list. Augustin has not shot above 43 percent since his rookie season and is a career 40.4 percent shooter.
13-14: N/A -- 12-13: 12.3 FGA on 41.8%
Danilo Gallinari missed all of last season after suffering a torn ACL in April of 2013. He was a leading scorer for the Nuggets during 2012-13, but the points never came at a high percentage. He's a career 41.9 percent shooter and expects to assume an even larger role in the Nuggets offense this year. All signs point towards more poor percentages.
13-14: 14.7 FGA on 41.6% -- 12-13: 13.4 FGA on 43.8%
The reigning Sixth Man of the Year is entering his 16th season in the league and is still a major contributor for the Clippers, averaging 18.6 points per game last season. But he collects these points at very high volume and low percentages, making him a tough blow to a team's percentage department. His volume could go down this season if J.J. Redick can stay healthy. However, it's tough to expect his percentage to rise much above his career average of 41.1 percent.
Extra 10 (no order)