2014-15 NBA Fantasy Preview
POSTED: Oct 6, 2014 12:09 PM 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.
A fresh crop of young big men find themselves atop the fantasy rebound rankings, with two 21 year olds in the top five.
*Rebound percent = percentage of available rebounds grabbed while player was on the floor
13-14: 13.2 RPG on 22.6 rebound % -- 12-13: 7.6 RPG on 20.9%
Andre Drummond grabbed a league-leading 22.6 percent of the available rebounds while he was on the floor last season, an astounding rate for anyone and especially for a 20-year-old. He was also second in the league in double-doubles at 57, behind only Kevin Love. With the guidance of coach Stan Van Gundy, it's hard to imagine he won't continue to improve on his league-leading rate.
13-14: 13.6 RPG on 21.5% -- 12-13: 7.2 RPG on 18.1%
DeAndre wasn't far behind Drummond in the rebound percent department and bested him in rebounds per game at a solid 13.6 per game. Jordan also tied for the league lead in rebound chances per game at 19.3 and grabbed 70.4 percent of his rebound opportunities, good for third in the league behind some guys named LeBron James and Kevin Durant. Expect similar results this season from Jordan as he firmly controls the starting center minutes for the Clippers.
13-14: 11.8 RPG on 20.8% -- 12-13: 9.9 RPG on 19.0%
Other players nabbed more rebounds than Cousins last year, but after his strong performance with Team USA this summer, expect a more motivated and consistent Boogie on the glass. He was hardly bad last season, grabbing 11.8 boards per contest on 17.3 opportunities per game.
13-14: 12.2 RPG on 20.4% -- 12-13: 12.4 RPG on 19.3%
Dwight Howard's last two seasons have produced his two lowest rebound totals since his rookie year. But this drop in production speaks more to how dominant he was in Orlando, as he's still an elite contributor in this category. If you're fine with him killing your free throw percentage, then draft away and know you will be a contender for rebounds every week.
13-14: 10.0 RPG on 16.7% -- 12-13: 8.2 RPG on 17.0%
Anthony Davis grabbed fewer rebounds per game than many others on this list and did so at a significantly lower percentage. But these numbers should improve this season as he's become much stronger over the last two years, allowing him to be a bigger force while boxing out. With his length, athleticism and added strength, it wouldn't be surprising to see him lead the league in rebounding at some point in the next couple years.
13-14: 12.5 RPG on 18.9% -- 12-13: 14.0 RPG on 21.9%
"Kevin Love should be higher on this list," you say. Maybe. However, it's unknown how he will be used in Cleveland and will likely be stationed further away from the basket, diminishing his 2.9 offensive rebounds per game last season (and career average of 3.7 per game). It's hard to imagine he won't still dominate on the defensive glass, though, and that aspect alone will make him a top rebound contributor.
13-14: 11.3 RPG on 18.2% -- 12-13: 11.1 RPG on 17.2%
Noah may suffer a dip in rebound production due to the presence of Pau Gasol. But it's not like former running-mate Carlos Boozer was a slouch on the boards. Noah had a career-best season in 2013-14 to make the All-NBA First Team and one would expect him to build off that consistently strong effort.
13-14: 11.0 RPG on 19.3% -- 12-13: 11.9 RPG on 20.3%
Orlando's young big man's production dipped some last season after an incredibly strong 2012-13 when he finished third in the league in double-doubles. It didn't dip much, though, and he's still a very strong rebound contributor with huge upside.
13-14: 9.7 RPG on 19.8% -- 12-13: 14.4 RPG on 23.2%
It's easy to forget how dominant Anderson Varejao was on the boards during the 2012-13 season. He started the year at a torrid pace grabbing 14.4 boards per game in the first 25 games before missing the rest of the campaign due to injury. He was not as dominant last season and now has rebound-machine Kevin Love beside him to diminish opportunities. Despite that, he still has the potential to be elite on the glass and could fall far enough in the draft to be a great value.
13-14: 7.9 RPG on 21.2% -- 12-13: 11.7 RPG on 21.9%
Omer Asik pulls down boards at an elite percentage, he just was not provided the opportunities last season behind Dwight Howard in Houston. He now has Anthony Davis in front of him in New Orleans. But he may start next to Davis and should see a lot more minutes than last year to push his rebounds back up to his 2012-13 rate of 11.7 per game.
13-14: 9.6 RPG on 18.5% -- 12-13: 10.7 RPG on 19.0%
Tyson Chandler is back in Dallas where he helped the Mavericks win the 2010 NBA Championship and he's bringing his strong rebounding skills with him. Expect his production to remain around his career average of 9.1 per game.
13-14: 8.7 RPG on 15.4% -- 12-13: 8.8 RPG on 15.9%
Nikola Pekovic has never been dominant on the boards. Even when Kevin Love missed 64 games during the 2012-13 season, Pekovic's rebound percentage didn't rise by much. But now as the new face of the Timberwolves' frontline and on a team that should struggle to put the ball in the basket, he should have some easy cleanup opportunities throughout the year.
13-14: 10.8 RPG on 17.6% -- 12-13: 9.2 RPG on 16.5%
Al Jefferson had a career-year last season during his first run in Charlotte and his rebounding-rate was one of the many areas that saw an uptick. Some may forget that he averaged 11.0 per game between stints in Boston and Minnesota from 2006-2009 and it wouldn't be a surprise to see him continue at that rate as a Hornet.
13-14: 11.1 RPG on 16.5% -- 12-13: 9.1 RPG on 13.9%
LaMarcus Aldridge took his game to another level last season to set his career-high for rebounds. With free agency looming next summer, it's hard to imagine he won't set that career mark a little higher during the 2014-15 season.
13-14: 10.1 RPG on 17.5% -- 12-13: 11.2 RPG on 19.4%
Zach Randolph has been one of the best rebounders in the game for the last eight seasons. But last year marked one of the first dips in his production in a long time. At 33 years old, Randolph appears to be on the decline of his career, especially for a player who plays as physically as he does. This shouldn't scare you away from Z-Bo, though, as even on a decline, he still has the potential for huge rebounding nights and was tied for fourth in the league in double-doubles last season with 47.
13-14: 8.8 RPG on 18.4% -- 12-13: 6.0 RPG on 15.1%
The Raptors big man was a surprisingly dominant force last season as he grabbed 8.8 rebounds in just 28.2 minutes per game. As he becomes more comfortable in the NBA, expect his minutes, and subsequently his rebounds, to increase during 2014-15. Especially after he looks to have added a great deal of muscle over the offseason.
13-14: 9.3 RPG on 15.5% -- 12-13: 9.6 RPG on 16.7%
Greg Monroe signed Detroit's qualifying offer this summer after no team bit on him as a restricted free agent. This makes 2014-15 a contract year for Monroe who will hit the free agency market as an unrestricted free agent this summer. Expect big things from the 24-year-old big man who averages 9.0 rebounds per game for his career.
13-14: 9.5 RPG on 14.9% -- 12-13: 8.3 RPG on 15.6%
Blake Griffin grabbed 12.1 rebounds per game during his rookie year and since that point his rate decreased every subsequent season. Until last year, when it rose to 9.5 per game as he played the best overall season of his career. He seems extremely motivated under coach Doc Rivers and it wouldn't be a surprise to see his rebounds per game grow to above 10.0 per game, even with DeAndre Jordan on his team.
13-14: 9.5 RPG on 16.3% -- 12-13: 8.5 RPG on 15.8%
Marcin Gortat set a career-high for minutes last season with 32.8 per game and it was the first season he played all 81 contests since the 2009-10 season. This resulted in increased rebounding numbers for the 30-year-old center, who will be a key piece on the much-improved Wizards. Expect these increased rebounding numbers to continue.
13-14: 9.2 RPG on 16.4% -- 12-13: 9.4 RPG on 17.3%
Tristan Thompson was tied with Nikola Vucevic and Anthony Davis for 13th on the double-doubles list with 36 last season. His role will be reduced with the presence of Kevin Love in Cleveland. But he should still provide high volume rebounding numbers for a player who will be available late in drafts.
Extra 10 (no order)