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The Numbers Game

Ryan's Ranks: 8-cat & 9-cat

by Ryan Knaus
Updated On: October 4, 2018, 4:04 pm ET

You can never have enough pre-draft rankings. Even when you disagree, sometimes vehemently, it gives you a better idea where other people might be targeting a given player. The rankings below are not my suggestions about where you should draft every player in every draft -- they are my personal rankings, based upon my own projections, and should be viewed as nothing more than a potential guideline for cumulative values.

 

*UPDATED Oct. 25*


Even I won't draft this exact top-200 like an automaton. Early round picks necessarily determine how to build your team in the middle and late rounds. League depth, personal strategy, the preferences of opposing GMs, league settings (e.g. injury-reserve spots, caps on waiver wire moves) -- it all has a huge impact on how to value players.

 

NOTE: These are explicitly roto rankings, weighted by projected games played. Owners in head-to-head leagues can use this as a road map to value, but (as mentioned above) your own draft-day strategy is a massive and unquantifiable X-factor. For instance, plenty of readers will be outraged to see DeAndre Jordan, Andre Drummond and other awful FT shooters ranked so low. And yet DeAndre is the No. 3 player in my projections (9-cat) when you exclude FT%, behind only Anthony Davis and Stephen Curry. With FT% tossed out, Rudy Gobert jumps to No. 4, Andre Drummond is No. 11, and Dwight Howard...well, he's still only No. 30. I won't apologize for that.

 

For simplicity's sake I am also including 'punt FT%' ranks for both 8-cat and 9-cat. Context is king.

 

Long-time readers know that I take a skeptical view toward rookies, for fantasy purposes. They often have spurts of excellent value, but the frequent peaks and valleys are detrimental for roto purposes. Karl-Anthony Towns is the first rookie to appear in 8-cat or 9-cat, ranking in the early 40s in both formats. Jahlil Okafor crept onto the list at No. 153 in 8-cat leagues, though he plummets to No. 200 in 9-cat. I won't be touching him in any formats this year -- in deeper leagues where I might consider Okafor, I'm positive that another GM will take him multiple rounds earlier than I'd target him.

 

The games-played weighting also takes a heavy toll on many players' values, mostly injury-prone veterans. Derrick Rose is a poster-boy for this, having played 100 games over the past four seasons. His preseason injury (fractured orbital bone) isn't a huge deal but it's another check in the 'against' column.

 

My top-200 rankings for 8-cat and 9-cat are included below, but my full stat projections for the top-200 players are only available in the Rotoworld Draft Guide. Click here for access!

 

Finally, before launching straight to the rankings, here is a quick summary of how I compiled them.

 

Methodology

1) Aggregate every player's 2014-15 stats on a per-36-minute basis (via NBA.com and the ever-impressive BasketballMonster.com)

2) Eliminate most, but not all, of those players who averaged fewer than 15 minutes and/or appeared in fewer than 10 games (aka 'scrubs')

3) Project the remaining players' games played and minutes per game for the 2015-16 season, while adding in this year's rookie class

4) Weight last season's per-36-minute stats by the projected minutes-played for 2015-16

5) Individually tweak projections for every player especially those with shifting roles, more experience, etc. (e.g. Damian Lillard, already projected to average huge minutes, saw his points and 3s go up with a dip in FG%; I tacked on a marginal amount of 3-pointers for Anthony Davis, etc. etc.)

6) Determine the top-200 players' means and standard deviations for every category (I ran both 8-cat and 9-cat), then use the means and standard deviations to assign z-scores to individual players in every category

7) Tally the z-scores and eliminate all players below the top-200 in 8-cat leagues

8) Weight the 'raw' z-scores by projected games-played for 2015-16

9) Tweak some projections to correct for preseason injuries and role changes

10) Rank the remaining 200 players by weighted/adjusted z-scores

 

You can follow me on Twitter @Knaus_RW.

 

*8-cat (weighted by games-played) = adjusted z-scores

*8-cat Ranks = exactly that

*8-cat (punt-FT%) = 8-cat ranks without FT% included...so essentially 7-cat

The same formulas hold true for 9-cat on the following page.

 

8-cat (weighted by games-played)

Name

8-cat Ranks

8-cat (punt FT%)

16.2

Stephen Curry

1

1

15.7

James Harden

2

3

14.7

Anthony Davis

3

2

14.4

Kevin Durant

4

4

12.9

Russell Westbrook

5

8

11.7

DeMarcus Cousins

6

7

11.3

Chris Paul

7

10

10.6

Damian Lillard

8

13

10.4

LeBron James

9

5

10.2

John Wall

10

11

9.3

Jimmy Butler

11

22

9.2

Klay Thompson

12

20

8.8

Kawhi Leonard

13

18

8.5

Paul George

14

25

8.3

Blake Griffin

15

12

8.3

Carmelo Anthony

16

34

8.2

Paul Millsap

17

19

8.1

Eric Bledsoe

18

27

8.0

Rudy Gobert

19

9

7.9

Gordon Hayward

20

32

7.8

Victor Oladipo

21

29

7.8

Draymond Green

22

17

7.8

Nicolas Batum

23

28

7.6

Kyle Lowry

24

30

7.5

Marc Gasol

25

31

7.5

Nikola Vucevic

26

23

7.3

Jeff Teague

27

42

7.2

Chris Bosh

28

38

7.2

Serge Ibaka

29

33

7.2

Kyrie Irving

30

47

7.1

Nerlens Noel

31

15

7.1

Greg Monroe

32

26

7.1

Rudy Gay

33

56

7.0

Reggie Jackson

34

37

6.9

Pau Gasol

35

36

6.8

Brandon Knight

36

45

6.7

Al Horford

37

35

6.5

LaMarcus Aldridge

38

48

6.3

Goran Dragic

39

41

6.3

Derrick Favors

40

21

6.3

Brook Lopez

41

49

6.3

Mike Conley

42

57

6.2

Karl-Anthony Towns

43

43

6.2

Kevin Love

44

50

6.0

Giannis Antetokounmpo

45

39

5.8

Danny Green

46

58

5.7

Trevor Ariza

47

59

5.7

Tobias Harris

48

61

5.6

Khris Middleton

49

62

5.6

Hassan Whiteside

50

16

5.3

Monta Ellis

51

54

5.3

Kemba Walker

52

73

5.2

Isaiah Thomas

53

93

5.2

Ricky Rubio

54

66

5.2

Jonas Valanciunas

55

64

5.1

Danilo Gallinari

56

94

5.1

Tyson Chandler

57

51

5.0

Al Jefferson

58

53

4.9

Michael Carter-Williams

59

44

4.9

DeMarre Carroll

60

55

4.8

Kenneth Faried

61

40

4.8

Kyle Korver

62

75

4.8

George Hill

63

74

4.8

Gorgui Dieng

64

68

4.8

Marcin Gortat

65

60

4.7

DeAndre Jordan

66

6

4.6

DeMar DeRozan

67

104

4.6

Andrew Wiggins

68

72

4.5

Nikola Mirotic

69

83

4.4

Deron Williams

70

89

4.3

Robin Lopez

71

76

4.3

Tim Duncan

72

69

4.2

Kobe Bryant

73

100

4.2

Zach Randolph

74

80

4.2

J.R. Smith

75

78

4.2

Jarrett Jack

76

106

4.2

Terrence Jones

77

46

4.2

Dwyane Wade

78

82

4.0

C.J. McCollum

79

70

4.0

Chandler Parsons

80

71

4.0

Markieff Morris

81

85

4.0

Darren Collison

82

87

3.9

Elfrid Payton

83

52

3.9

Roy Hibbert

84

88

3.9

Thaddeus Young

85

65

3.9

D'Angelo Russell

86

81

3.8

Bradley Beal

87

91

3.6

Derrick Rose

88

107

3.5

Tyreke Evans

89

84

3.4

Dirk Nowitzki

90

131

3.4

J.J. Redick

91

122

3.4

Andre Drummond

92

14

3.4

Meyers Leonard

93

130

3.4

Otto Porter Jr.

94

103

3.3

Robert Covington

95

111

3.2

Ty Lawson

96

90

3.1

Ryan Anderson

97

127

3.0

Jeremy Lin

98

114

3.0

Emmanuel Mudiay

99

77

3.0

Marcus Smart

100

86

3.0

Jordan Clarkson

101

125

3.0

Luol Deng

102

105

2.9

P.J. Tucker

103

97

2.9

Enes Kanter

104

113

2.8

Al-Farouq Aminu

105

95

2.8

Zach LaVine

106

133

2.8

Rajon Rondo

107

79

2.8

Kyle O'Quinn

108

108

2.7

Aaron Gordon

109

117

2.7

Eric Gordon

110

121

2.7

Wilson Chandler

111

115

2.7

Joakim Noah

112

102

2.7

Ben McLemore

113

123

2.7

Brandan Wright

114

101

2.6

Rodney Hood

115

128

2.6

Harrison Barnes

116

110

2.5

Dwight Howard

117

24

2.4

Kevin Martin

118

171

2.4

Kelly Olynyk

119

99

2.4

Patrick Patterson

120

126

2.3

Joe Johnson

121

132

2.3

Stanley Johnson

122

118

2.3

Ersan Ilyasova

123

98

2.2

Andrew Bogut

124

116

2.1

Lou Williams

125

169

2.1

Will Barton

126

140

2.1

Jusuf Nurkic

127

96

2.0

Jae Crowder

128

134

2.0

John Henson

129

92

2.0

Gerald Green

130

150

2.0

Jrue Holiday

131

152

2.0

Jamal Crawford

132

187

2.0

Timofey Mozgov

133

124

1.9

Avery Bradley

134

139

1.9

Tony Parker

135

145

1.9

Jeff Green

136

162

1.8

Dennis Schroder

137

157

1.8

Kentavious Caldwell-Pope

138

129

1.8

Myles Turner

139

120

1.8

Nemanja Bjelica

140

135

1.8

Wesley Matthews

141

138

1.7

Evan Turner

142

142

1.7

Tony Allen

143

119

1.7

Courtney Lee

144

161

1.7

Tiago Splitter

145

143

1.6

Mo Williams

146

177

1.6

Alec Burks

147

181

1.5

Spencer Hawes

148

147

1.5

Tyler Zeller

149

166

1.5

Will Barton

150

156

1.4

Kristaps Porzingis

151

155

1.3

Arron Afflalo

152

182

1.3

Trey Burke

153

154

1.3

Manu Ginobili

154

146

1.3

Jahlil Okafor

155

67

1.3

Marcus Morris

156

136

1.2

Devin Harris

157

175

1.2

Paul Pierce

158

164

1.1

Andre Iguodala

159

137

1.1

David Lee

160

163

1.1

Corey Brewer

161

158

1.1

Jerian Grant

162

170

1.1

Jodie Meeks

163

198

1.1

Jordan Hill

164

159

1.0

Amir Johnson

165

141

1.0

Thabo Sefolosha

166

168

1.0

Josh Smith

167

112

1.0

Jabari Parker

168

151

1.0

Kosta Koufos

169

148

1.0

Willie Cauley-Stein

170

153

1.0

Julius Randle

171

149

1.0

Patrick Beverley

172

167

0.9

Brandon Jennings

173

189

0.9

Ed Davis

174

109

0.8

C.J. Miles

175

185

0.8

Brandon Bass

176

184

0.8

Jared Sullinger

177

174

0.8

Nick Young

178

200

0.8

Matt Barnes

179

179

0.7

Jose Calderon

180

188

0.7

Mason Plumlee

181

63

0.6

Rodney Stuckey

182

191

0.6

Frank Kaminsky

183

183

0.6

Iman Shumpert

184

173

0.6

Taj Gibson

185

172

0.4

Tony Wroten

186

144

0.4

Alex Len

187

180

0.3

Jared Dudley

188

186

0.3

Chase Budinger

189

196

0.3

Mike Dunleavy

190

194

0.3

Dion Waiters

191

176

0.3

Donatas Motiejunas

192

160

0.2

Joffrey Lauvergne

193

178

0.2

Zaza Pachulia

194

195

0.2

Greivis Vasquez

195

190

0.2

Patty Mills

196

197

0.0

Anderson Varejao

197

193

0.0

Bojan Bogdanovic

198

199

0.0

Tristan Thompson

199

165

-0.1

Hollis Thompson

200

192

Values sometimes shift dramatically between 8-cat and 9-cat. Don't forget that Draft Guide members can check out the underlying statistical assumptions by clicking here -- if you copy my projections into your own spreadsheet, while preserving the formulas, you should be able to alter any players' stats you disagree with and the new results/ranks should pop up automatically.
 
Continue for 9-cat rankings.  


The 9-cat rankings below are actually the top-200 8-cat players, sorted by overall value for 9-cat. It therefore includes some low-end guys who wouldn't have made a strict 9-cat list, but it's a handful of marginal players and I didn't judge it worthy of a completely separate analysis.

 

9-cat (weighted by games-played)

Name

9-cat Ranks

9-cat (punt FT%)

15.4

Anthony Davis

1

1

15.1

Stephen Curry

2

2

13.6

James Harden

3

6

13.5

Kevin Durant

4

5

11.5

Chris Paul

5

8

10.3

Russell Westbrook

6

25

10.0

Jimmy Butler

7

16

10.0

Damian Lillard

8

19

9.7

Kawhi Leonard

9

12

9.6

Klay Thompson

10

17

9.2

DeMarcus Cousins

11

15

8.8

John Wall

12

21

8.7

Rudy Gobert

13

4

8.7

LeBron James

14

9

8.5

Draymond Green

15

11

8.2

Paul Millsap

16

20

8.2

Serge Ibaka

17

23

8.1

Paul George

18

28

8.1

Blake Griffin

19

14

8.1

Carmelo Anthony

20

36

7.9

Al Horford

21

22

7.8

Nikola Vucevic

22

24

7.8

Marc Gasol

23

27

7.5

Nerlens Noel

24

13

7.5

Nicolas Batum

25

34

7.4

Kyle Lowry

26

33

7.4

Gordon Hayward

27

42

7.4

Danny Green

28

30

7.4

Pau Gasol

29

32

7.3

Chris Bosh

30

46

7.2

Brook Lopez

31

41

7.1

Victor Oladipo

32

44

7.1

LaMarcus Aldridge

33

45

7.1

Kyrie Irving

34

58

7.1

Greg Monroe

35

26

7.0

Kevin Love

36

43

6.9

Derrick Favors

37

18

6.8

Rudy Gay

38

71

6.7

Eric Bledsoe

39

50

6.6

Trevor Ariza

40

47

6.5

Jeff Teague

41

70

6.5

Khris Middleton

42

53

6.5

Karl-Anthony Towns

43

48

6.4

Mike Conley

44

59

6.4

Tobias Harris

45

55

6.4

Hassan Whiteside

46

10

6.4

Goran Dragic

47

52

6.2

Danilo Gallinari

48

81

6.2

Jonas Valanciunas

49

51

6.2

Marcin Gortat

50

39

6.2

DeMarre Carroll

51

35

6.2

Kemba Walker

52

67

6.1

Tyson Chandler

53

40

6.1

Al Jefferson

54

37

6.1

Reggie Jackson

55

63

6.0

Kyle Korver

56

61

5.9

Giannis Antetokounmpo

57

49

5.9

George Hill

58

62

5.8

Brandon Knight

59

76

5.8

DeAndre Jordan

60

3

5.6

Gorgui Dieng

61

64

5.6

Kenneth Faried

62

38

5.6

Tim Duncan

63

54

5.5

J.R. Smith

64

60

5.3

Terrence Jones

65

31

5.2

Monta Ellis

66

65

5.2

Nikola Mirotic

67

77

5.2

Robin Lopez

68

69

5.1

Dirk Nowitzki

69

101

4.8

J.J. Redick

70

98

4.8

Thaddeus Young

71

56

4.8

Chandler Parsons

72

66

4.7

Ricky Rubio

73

89

4.7

DeMar DeRozan

74

126

4.7

Ryan Anderson

75

100

4.7

Isaiah Thomas

76

135

4.6

Andrew Wiggins

77

82

4.6

C.J. McCollum

78

72

4.5

Meyers Leonard

79

117

4.5

Brandan Wright

80

75

4.5

Otto Porter Jr.

81

90

4.5

Andre Drummond

82

7

4.4

Zach Randolph

83

83

4.4

Roy Hibbert

84

88

4.4

Markieff Morris

85

87

4.3

Deron Williams

86

110

4.3

Harrison Barnes

87

78

4.3

Darren Collison

88

92

4.2

P.J. Tucker

89

80

4.2

Bradley Beal

90

93

4.1

Marcus Smart

91

74

4.1

Jae Crowder

92

94

4.0

Patrick Patterson

93

95

3.9

Al-Farouq Aminu

94

85

3.9

Wilson Chandler

95

97

3.9

Rodney Hood

96

108

3.9

Luol Deng

97

96

3.8

Ersan Ilyasova

98

79

3.8

Kyle O'Quinn

99

99

3.7

Robert Covington

100

121

3.7

Jarrett Jack

101

149

3.6

Myles Turner

102

86

3.6

Lou Williams

103

147

3.6

Jordan Clarkson

104

133

3.6

Aaron Gordon

105

113

3.5

Jeremy Lin

106

123

3.5

Elfrid Payton

107

68

3.5

Kobe Bryant

108

158

3.5

Ben McLemore

109

124

3.4

Enes Kanter

110

122

3.4

Ty Lawson

111

102

3.3

Kentavious Caldwell-Pope

112

104

3.3

Courtney Lee

113

140

3.3

Dwyane Wade

114

125

3.3

Jeff Green

115

144

3.3

Joe Johnson

116

130

3.3

Joakim Noah

117

111

3.2

Kevin Martin

118

179

3.2

Tyler Zeller

119

142

3.2

Timofey Mozgov

120

112

3.2

Michael Carter-Williams

121

91

3.1

Jamal Crawford

122

180

3.1

Eric Gordon

123

137

3.1

Avery Bradley

124

128

3.1

Andrew Bogut

125

109

3.1

Tyreke Evans

126

114

3.1

Will Barton

127

139

3.0

Jrue Holiday

128

146

3.0

Gerald Green

129

145

3.0

Willie Cauley-Stein

130

115

3.0

Kelly Olynyk

131

106

3.0

Marcus Morris

132

107

3.0

Ed Davis

133

73

2.9

Wesley Matthews

134

132

2.9

Nemanja Bjelica

135

131

2.9

Tony Allen

136

105

2.8

John Henson

137

84

2.8

Tiago Splitter

138

136

2.8

Stanley Johnson

139

127

2.7

Devin Harris

140

153

2.7

Spencer Hawes

141

138

2.7

Jodie Meeks

142

186

2.7

Jusuf Nurkic

143

103

2.6

Derrick Rose

144

176

2.6

Paul Pierce

145

152

2.6

Andre Iguodala

146

118

2.5

Brandon Bass

147

157

2.5

Matt Barnes

148

148

2.5

Thabo Sefolosha

149

150

2.4

Kosta Koufos

150

134

2.4

Will Barton

151

160

2.4

C.J. Miles

152

165

2.4

Kristaps Porzingis

153

156

2.4

Patrick Beverley

154

151

2.3

Mo Williams

155

185

2.3

Nick Young

156

199

2.3

Amir Johnson

157

129

2.2

Arron Afflalo

158

182

2.2

Corey Brewer

159

155

2.2

Trey Burke

160

161

2.1

Tony Parker

161

172

2.1

Jared Sullinger

162

162

2.1

Zach LaVine

163

189

2.1

Alec Burks

164

197

2.0

Jordan Hill

165

164

2.0

Alex Len

166

159

1.9

Evan Turner

167

170

1.9

Frank Kaminsky

168

174

1.9

D'Angelo Russell

169

167

1.9

Dennis Schroder

170

188

1.9

Rajon Rondo

171

120

1.9

Dwight Howard

172

29

1.9

Chase Budinger

173

181

1.9

Jared Dudley

174

169

1.9

David Lee

175

178

1.9

Taj Gibson

176

163

1.8

Patty Mills

177

183

1.7

Hollis Thompson

178

173

1.7

Rodney Stuckey

179

194

1.7

Tristan Thompson

180

141

1.7

Jabari Parker

181

166

1.6

Josh Smith

182

116

1.6

Manu Ginobili

183

175

1.6

Joffrey Lauvergne

184

168

1.6

Bojan Bogdanovic

185

190

1.6

Jose Calderon

186

193

1.5

Mason Plumlee

187

57

1.5

Greivis Vasquez

188

184

1.4

Jerian Grant

189

191

1.4

Donatas Motiejunas

190

154

1.4

Dion Waiters

191

171

1.4

Emmanuel Mudiay

192

143

1.3

Julius Randle

193

177

1.3

Brandon Jennings

194

200

1.3

Mike Dunleavy

195

196

1.2

Zaza Pachulia

196

198

1.2

Iman Shumpert

197

187

1.1

Anderson Varejao

198

195

0.0

Tony Wroten

199

192

-0.1

Jahlil Okafor

200

119

Attention all auction-league owners: I will post an auction-value column next Friday, attempting to pin down 'realistic' values for the league's top-200 players. They'll be based upon my ranks/projections, which I'll adjust as needed throughout the week. (UPDATE: Here is the auction-value column.)  

 

Don't forget that this year's Draft Guide has customizable rankings, essential for anyone who isn't in a strict 8-cat or 9-cat league, as well as Rotoworld's official projections, player tiers, 300+ player outlooks, dozens of columns and mock drafts, and tons more. Don't miss out.

Ryan Knaus

Despite residing in Portland, Maine, Ryan Knaus remains a heartbroken Sonics fan who longs for the days of Shawn Kemp and Xavier McDaniel. He has written for NBC Sports Edge since 2007. You can follow him on Twitter.