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NBA Fantasy League Week 8: Fantasy All Stars (And Name Calling)

You know you’re in a bad place with your NBA Fantasy League when the dorks who do the analysis are making fun of your team. That’s finally happened to me.

Just kidding Moe and Matt, you guys aren’t dorks (yes you are), I just suck. That’s cool, whatever. I’ll be busy talking to girls and building stuff.

Without further comment …

Matt and Moe are two of the co-founding fantasy experts of RotoAnalysis.com. You can follow them @KidCotti21 and@MoeProblems respectively, or their site @RotoAnalysis.

With the NBA’s All-Star Weekend in the rear-view mirror, we figured at RotoAnalysis.com that we should have our own “Fantasy All-Star” teams, containing the starters and bench in each league of players that have proved most valuable to their owners so far in the 2011-2012 season. Spike Eskin likely has none of these players (just kidding, by the mathematical law of averages he must have at least one!), which I’m sure will make the rest of you happy. Hope you enjoy.

Fantasy All Stars: West

Starting PG: Chris Paul

CP3 has missed a couple games, but he has ultimately lived up to his top draft status with his incredible assists, steals, and free throw shooting. His shooting percentages are some of the best among point guards, and he will make threes and limit turnovers. He’s the total package, and will anchor any fantasy backcourt.

Starting SG: Kobe Bryant

At the shallowest position in the league this season, Kobe has managed to stay in a league of his own at the top. While the league’s leading scorer has put together a nice 5.8 rebounds and 4.9 assists a game, several peripheral statistics will hurt any rotisserie lineup with Bryant. His high volume, low percentage shooting and high turnover count negate some of what still make him clearly the top SG in the West, but overall I still believe he’s earned the top spot.

Starting SF: Kevin Durant

Well this one wasn’t close. Durant is #1 overall on the ESPN player rater showing that he is far from a pure scorer—not only is he shooting at the best clip of his career (51.3%), but he has posted career highs in rebounds, assists, blocks and steals. His 8.2 rebounds/game make him the best rebounder at the SF position, and having more than a steal and a block per game is just absurd. He’s certainly the fantasy MVP at the season’s halfway mark, at least in my mind.

Starting PF: Kevin Love

Love is definitely a unique fantasy big man. He is far from offering the traditional package of high percentage shooting, high block counts, and low turnovers. Instead, he bolsters his monstrous amounts of points and rebounds with three pointers and free throw shooting. If you set up your team the right way (with a guy like Serge Ibaka or Tyson Chandler next to him) Love is fantasy gold, and most certainly the starting PF on the West’s all-fantasy squad.

Starting C: Marc Gasol

While part of his uptick in value is definitely due to Zach Randolph’s injury, Gasol has outperformed any conceivable expectations in 2012. While his FG% has gone down as his usage has gone up, Gasol’s double digit rebounds and 2.2 blocks are on par with any top center. His 1 steal and 3 assists a game put him over the edge as the best center in the West. He’s #4 in the league on the player rater for a reason.


–Kyle Lowry

Lowry has made the rare jump from underrated sleeper to overhyped sleeper to becoming a legitimate fantasy superstar this year. While his FG% is an obvious negative, he has been a monster as a rebounding point guard, with 5.3 per game. Lowry’s assists, steals, and free throw shooting make him a traditionally solid option and a guy worthy for my “all-star” selection.

–Russell Westbrook

He’s no Jeremy Lin – in terms of turnovers. Westbrook provides statistics more reminiscent of a shooting guard with 23.5 PPG and 4.8 RPG. His steals and shooting percentages are outstanding, making him the third best PG in the West from a fantasy perspective.

–James Harden

Harden has emerged with value across the board, not hurting your team in any category. His free throw shooting has been his best asset, providing the most value in the category of anybody in the league due to a ton of attempts at his 86% clip. With OKC’s incredible play so far this year, it should be no surprise that several of their guys will appear on the roster.

–Nicolas Batum

Batum has heated up in February, with 18.6 points per game, by far a career high in a month. He is kind of the classic example of a player who is better in fantasy than real life due to his versatility across blocks, steals, and his three point shooting. He has vastly outperformed his draft position to provide the performance of one of the best Small Forwards in the league not named LeFraud LeBron or Durant.

–LaMarcus Aldridge

His first appearance in the real All-Star Game will clearly be accompanied by also being the third best big man in the West. Aldridge provides quality with his 22.3 points per game, strong shooting from the field (51%) and the line (80%). While I’m not sure anybody would have predicted the Blazers to have two participants, the two have delivered in 2012 and deserve their slots.

–Serge Ibaka

Last Sunday, in a thrilling overtime win against the Nuggets, Durant dropped 50 points while Westbrook put up 40. The player I was most impressed with in the game, though, was Serge and his triple double (14 points, 15 rebounds, and 11 blocks). His 3.3 blocks per game are the highest player rater value of any player in any category. While the rest of his statistics pale in comparison, he will shoot and rebound at competitive margins, and is a top option in any category league for his blocks alone.

–Marcin Gortat

Always tabbed as a player who would be a top performer if given the playing time, Gortat has carried over his strong performance in the second half of last season to this season’s start. He is posting career highs across the board by limiting turnovers, blocking some shots, and shooting at one of the best rates in the league, 56%. The improvement is definitely sustainable, and has propelled him to a reserve role on my squad and a top 10 player rater performance.

Just Missed: Paul Millsap, Ricky Rubio, Danilo Gallinari

 Fantasy All Stars: East

Starting PG: Deron Williams
After starting off this season with more inertia than cerca-2010 Eddie Curry trying to run a 40 yard dash, Deron has absolutely exploded the last few weeks, making him an absolutely no-brainer for the starting point guard on the East’s fantasy all star squad. Williams is partially helped by the fact that Derrick Rose got hurt, and after Rose and Williams almost every other elite fantasy point guard is in the West, but that isn’t to belittle just how freaking awesome Williams has been this season. He’s managed over 22 points and 8 assists per game, and Deron has really become the prototypical scoring point guard thanks to the dearth of talent on his team. I expect Williams to maintain his current stats throughout the rest of the season, if not improve them.

Starting SG: Dwyane Wade

D-Wade has already missed 9 games this season, but his stats while he has played have been so good that it more than warrants a starting spot on the East’s fantasy all stars. Wade is currently averaging over 3 “Stocks” (steals + blocks, copyright Bill Simmons), which is preposterously good for a shooting guard, and shooting his highest percentage from the field for his career at over 50%. Wade has also finally stopped hoisting up so many 3’s, which has been really valuable for people in percentage leagues as he was just horrible from beyond the arc, so although he has dropped off slightly in assists and rebounds, Wade’s improvement in the percentage categories more than makes him the best fantasy shooting guard in the east so far this season.

Starting SF: Lebron James

He’s Lebron, and he’s gotten even better in 2012 than he was in 2011. Next.

Starting PF: Greg Monroe

Greg Monroe had a great rookie year, and he’s followed it up with an even more impressive Sophomore Campaign. Everyone knows about Monroe’s prototypical points and rebounds combination, but very few know about the two things that pushed him over the top of players like Dwight Howard: his incredible steals, and impeccable free throw percentage. Monroe two years in a row has managed fantastic steal totals (1.2 and 1.4 SPG respectively), with the only competitor among center-eligible players in the stat being Dwight Howard, with the two of them blowing away the competition. This season he’s managed a 77.4 FT%, which isn’t perfect, but when you can play Monroe at the same position as Blake Griffin, Deandre Jordan, or Dwight Howard, that FT% is a huge boon to your team’s success. Monroe is young, but he’s already a fantasy all-star.

Starting C: Tyson Chandler

Did I put Tyson Chandler as the East’s starting fantasy center over Dwight Howard because I had a bad experience at Disney World when I was 7 and have never forgiven the city of Orlando? Maybe, but Tyson Chandler has also straight up been better than Dwight this season, and he was drafted significantly lower. This season, Chandler has taken his biggest strength (FG%) and actually added to it, going from 65.4% from the field last season to a whopping 70.3% so far this year, while additionally scoring more points. There’s no stat that Chandler struggles at besides assists, and he’s way above average in FT% (72.2%) and rebounding (9.5 Rebounds Per Game), and as long as he pairs that with his absurd FG%, Chandler’s lack of total points is more than made up for, giving him the nod over Dwight Howard on the East’s starting fantasy squad.


–Brandon Jennings

I guess SAT Scores don’t correlate to fantasy all star appearances (although I don’t see Lamar Odom here…) because Jennings has been an absolute monster this season, and had the Knicks intelligently selected Brandon Jennings over perennial-scrub Jordan Hill in the 2009 draft, we could be having Jennings mania right now. The fact that he’s in Milwaukee has given Jennings less media coverage than he probably deserves, as Jennings has done something very few players do: become more efficient while simultaneously increasing his volume. For the first time in his career, Jennings is shooting more than 40% from the field, and although he still does hurt you in that category, the fact that he’s solid across the board in almost every other category, especially 3 Pointers Made, Steals, and Points, has given him great value this season.

–Jose Calderon

The fantasy community as a whole wrote off Jose Calderon going into this season in a fashion similar to how it wrote off Lance Berkman coming into the 2011 season, and in a fashion mirroring Berkman, Calderon has proven that his one down year was the one that was a fluke rather than actually declining. The best part about Calderon is that every one of his statistics appears to be completely sustainable, as he’s rebounded in FG%, is back up to over 10 in points per game (currently at 11.0 PPG) and is still great in assists (8.9 APG). Calderon is more an across the board, good in all categories type of guy than a stud in one, but he is capable of posting a FT% well over 90, and he’s currently sitting at 89.1 which isn’t too shabby. Calderon has returned phenomenal value to his fantasy owners this season, and is helping to prove an old fantasy adage that the older, unsexy pick is often a better one than the younger sexy one.

–Andre Iguodala

Did I put Andre Iguodala as a fantasy all star solely to appease Spike Eskin, even after insinuating that he didn’t deserve to be a real all star while talking to Spike on last week’s episode of the RotoAnalysis Fantasy Sports Podcast?  In this case, nope, I genuinely believe In Iguodala. What Iggy has lost in points, he’s made up for across the board, helping fantasy owners at least slightly in every single stat besides FT% or FG%, and he doesn’t even kill you in either of those stats. Additionally, Iguodala has somehow increased his 3P% up to 37% so far this year, up from a career average of 32.6%, which has really boosted his value. While that jump may not be sustainable, Iguodala has to be considered an all stare while he maintains that percentage and there is some possibility that he does sustain somewhere close to that.

–Dwight Howard

He’s Dwight Howard, I outlined why he wasn’t higher earlier, and he’s still a superstar, and almost certainly this team’s sixth man. Moving on.

–Paul George

Every one of our writers at RotoAnalysis loves Paul George, and we all agree that Roy Hibbert making the real-life All Star team over him should be deemed theft. George is only 21, but he’s already nearing fantasy stud status as he’s shooting a preposterous 40.1% from 3 on 2.4 attempts per game, has a 78.8 free throw percentage, and doesn’t kill you from the field at 43.6%. The counting stats aren’t totally at “stud” level yet, but 5.5 boards, 1.4 steals and 12.1 points are nothing to scoff at, and if he can get those assists up, by his age 24 or so season I truly believe Paul George could contend with Lebron James as he declines for the title of best small forward in the NBA. I’m looking forward to having George on this list for years to come, although it may take a little longer to oust Dwight Howard from the “Best Player with Two First Names” slot.

–Chris Bosh

Chris Bosh is certainly one of the most hated players in the NBA, but that has also made him one of the most underrated. In leagues that count turnovers, Bosh is currently 18th overall on the player rater, despite being drafted 32nd overall. Bosh is especially good in the big-man prototypical points and rebounds categories, with 18.4 and 8.3 respectively. He’s also got great percents, especially from the line, and gets his fair share of assists due to the talent around him. Bosh is no longer the scoring stud he was in Toronto, but if he can stay over 18 and keep those percentages where they are, he’ll be a top 20 player at season’s end and there’s really no question Bosh is a fantasy all star this year.

–Josh Smith

Josh Smiff Smith is one of the most unique players in fantasy this season, because coming into the year he lost an inordinate amount of weight and is now listed at 6’9”, 225 Pounds. Despite being significantly skinnier, Smith’s rebounding totals have actually increased to a career high of 9.5 per game, and his scoring hasn’t really suffered while he’s still maintaining his unique combination of steals and blocks. Smith’s issues due to weight have been way worse for real life than fantasy, as his defense hasn’t been great, which we don’t care at all about for fantasy. Smith’s extreme fluctuations in FT% have continued this year as he’s down to 55.4%, but I expect that to rebound and for his rebounding upgrades, I think this year Smith is deserving of the last fantasy all star spot, although I do worry how his personality will alter this hypothetical team’s chemistry.

Just Missed: Derrick Rose, Joakim Noah, Kevin Garnett, Danny Granger

You can follow along and watch league standings all year of the league HERE.

I’ve created a Twitter list of everyone in the league, you can follow that list HERE. 

And once again, please check out the fine folks over at RotoAnalysis.com for great fantasy advice for all sports, in written and podcast form.

Posted in Fantasy Sports, Fun StuffComments (0)

The NBA Fantasy League Week 4: Let’s Get Dealing

Oh man, my team stinks. It really stinks. Team Free Boosie ranks dead last in the entire league in rebounds, assists and steals, and second to last in blocks and points. My team is the fantasy version of the Washington Wizards. When you look at the team, it seems like it has some good pieces, but it’s a terrible combination and managed the wrong way. I need to put the guys in a better position. I’m sorry, fanatasy Chris Paul. This one’s on me.

In other news, The Verticoli are running away with this thing. I’ve seen some shifts from week to week, but they’ve got an 18 point lead over the second place team. I’m going to give you some inside scoop on this though. Three letters, PED. The team is being investigated currently. I can’t say much more, but it all comes from a source very close to the situation.

If you’re looking for a team to make a move at some point, I’m going to go with the Delco Dirtbags. They’re laying in the weeds a bit, but I’ve heard from my sources that there’s a method here, and there might be a second half run in them.

Finally, everyone still hates Rick Penguino and his ZWR Penguins.

Now on to the real analysis.

Matt and Moe are two of the co-founding fantasy experts of RotoAnalysis.com. You can follow them @KidCotti21 and@MoeProblems respectively, or their site @RotoAnalysis.

Trades That Should Happen

The SpikeEskin.com Fantasy Hoops league is unusual in a myriad of aspects, starting with the fact that very few of the members of the league knew each other before the draft, the league’s irregular scoring, and the 14-team format (10? Sure. 12? Common. 16? Yeah, I’ve been in a few. 14? I’ve seen very few). The league is certainly not average. But in my opinion, the most inexplicable thing about the SpikeEskin.com league is its extreme dearth of trades. Through four and a half weeks (about 37.5% of the fantasy regular season) the entire league has made a total of one trade. To give that some perspective, RotoAnalysis.com writer Moe Koltun is in a league that has had 22 trades made to this date, and that’s in a league that includes a salary cap making trades more difficult to work. In the RotoAnalysis.com “Experts” league, there have been 8, with only 8 teams in the league (albeit with 22 man rosters). So, due to this lack of trades, we have decided to come up with some hypothetical trades for the league.

Get Rid of Pinky trades Andrea Bargnani & Tony Allen to Narcoleptic E Snow Experience for DeAndre Jordan & Derrick Favors

This might be one of the most logical trades of all time. “Get Rid of Pinky” really needs rebounds; “Narcoleptic E Snow Experience” really needs free throw %. “Narcoleptic E Snow Experience” really needs 3 pointers made; “Get Rid of Pinky” really needs FG%. The Bargnani for Jordan swap in itself would also be fair and logical, but I think the extra pieces benefit both sides (Favors has huge rebound + FG% upside, Tony Allen is a solid FT% guy and okay at everything else). Overall, this trade is nearly perfect, and if the trade negotiations in this league weren’t as extinct as the velociraptor, it surely would have been made by now.

Please Advise… trades Jodie Meeks & Brandon Rush to Narcoleptic E Snow Experience for Anderson Varejao

I mean the team name is “Please Advise…” so i figured we should help a brother out. Sitting in 7th place, a perfect trade partner sits right beneath you in 8th; another option for “Narcoleptic E Snow Experience” as he tries to balance out his squad. His team ranks dead last in three pointers, while sitting in first in rebounds and blocks. “Please Advise…” is average in three pointers, while near the bottom of the league in rebounds, blocks, and points. It would be logical for the two of them to flip a shooter for a big man. “Please Advise…” still has D.J. White hanging around the roster, and decent enough guards sitting in his utility spots to hold the squad over until Manu is back (absolute fantasy stud. he was killing it before he got injured this year). As for “Narcoleptic E Snow Experience,” they have one player who has made more than 15 threes this season. While John Wall has a lot of upside, he hasn’t drained a three all season. Jodie Meeks and Brandon Rush have combined to hit 60 threes so far this year. It’s time to get Wesley Johnson out of that starting lineup, and use your depth at power forward and center to minimize the loss of Varejao, who has been a double-double machine, but is far from irreplaceable. Big Baby, Favors, Perkins, Hansborough, and Hawes (once he’s back) are more than enough to hold down your big man spots with the stud shot blockers you already have, and Greg Monroe who is on his way up the ladder to becoming a star fantasy player.

Free Boosie trades Stephen Jackson & Hedo Turkoglu to The Personal Fouls for Jameer Nelson & Mo Williams

This trade was a little bit tougher to develop than the first, but I thought that we needed to get Spike any help he could get after his abysmal start in the league, currently in 14th (better known as “Last”) place. After looking through the smorgasbord of categories “Free Boosie” is inept in, I came to the conclusion that the main problem was assists. In this trade, Free Boosie gains two players who are good in that category, while giving away one of his only categories with depth: 3 Pointers Made. I know on the surface it looks like a great deal for Spike, but Hedo Turkoglu has actually been by far the best player in this trade (6.23 Points on the “Spike League” Player Rater) where as Jameer Nelson has actually been the worst (0.86 Points on the “Spike League” Player Rater). It is a little bit of a buy low / sell high, but The Personal Fouls desperately needs 3 Pointers Made, and there’s always the possibility that Jameer Nelson’s continual injury issues once again resurface. However, for Spike, it’s more than worth it to take that chance because, what, worst case he finishes further in last? There’s nowhere to go but up.

Dino Radja trades Josh Smith to Delco Dirtbags for James Harden

One on one trades are always hard. I’m sure each of these respective owners loves the guy they own here—but with a swap, both teams could improve. Delco Dirtbags is sitting at 4th in the league, but has several teams nipping at its heels. Its two weakest categories are steals and blocks. Josh “Smitty” Smith contributes 3.2 “stocks” (steals+blocks), and his rebounds will surely help “Delco Dirtbags” get above average in that category. As for Harden, while he has been incredibly efficient, he provides only 1.0 “stocks” a game. His free throw shooting would be huge for Dino Radja, who rank 13th in the league in FT%, and 12th in the league in 3Pt, while being above average in steals and blocks. This is like the definition of a win-win trade. You’re both welcome.

You can follow along and watch league standings all year of the league HERE.

I’ve created a Twitter list of everyone in the league, you can follow that list HERE. 

And once again, please check out the fine folks over at RotoAnalysis.com for great fantasy advice for all sports, in written and podcast form.

Posted in Fantasy Sports, Fun Stuff, SixersComments (0)

The NBA Fantasy League Week 2 Wrap-Up: The First Blockbuster Trade

Before we get to the breakdown from the Roto Analysis guys, some news and rumors to get you caught up on.

First, here are the standings as of January 11th:

I traded for Zach Randolph.

Yes, in an NBA fantasy league, in a shortened season where every week means a lot more, I traded for a guy who is out for the next six weeks with a knee injury. Not to mention that guy who is out for six weeks with a knee injury is 6’10” and 275 pounds with a history of putting on some extra weight, which is not typically good for the knees.

Yes, I included Carmelo Anthony in this deal, which is pretty much the only productive player I have on Team Free Boosie.

You ask why?

Because I’m in 13th place out of 14 teams, it was worth a shot. I figure I can make things a little interesting in the last month or two of the season. Either that, or my team is so bad that I got bored and decided to make a blockbuster trade. Leave me alone.

Also going on in the league this week:

Anthony Mason Haircut is making moves. Up to first place in the league with a sizable margin, AMH really screwed Please Advise by picking up Richard Jefferson just minutes after Manu Ginobli’s injury. AMH also got my friend Smoke and I to thinking, “has there ever been another player like Anthony Mason?”

Mason, a power forward, was solid as a rock, just a physically enormous man, handled the ball like a point guard, and shaved ridiculous messages into the side of his head. He was like some kind of insane combination of Tim Hardaway, Brian Bosworth and a huge power forward with crazy eyes, I don’t know, take your pick.

The ZWR Penguins continue their free fall, as early season behind the scenes haggling and rumor mongering may have finally caught up with their GM. He’s like the Scott Boras of fantasy basketball. Leaking rumors, trying to make deals with several teams at once, all unfair.

Biggest jump of the week was from Metta World Domination, who was undoubtedly helped by the return of Andrew Bynum. Check back in three weeks when Bynum, while out for three weeks with a knee injury, gets caught for speeding again.

Finally, Team Reese is under official league inquiry, having not been to their league offices once this season.

Now for the good stuff. I can’t thank these guys enough. For any fantasy football, basketball or baseball information, please check out their site and podcast.

Matt and Moe are two of the co-founding fantasy experts of RotoAnalysis.com. You can follow them @KidCotti21 and@MoeProblems respectively, or their site @RotoAnalysis.

The Trade, Regression, and Sleepers

The Trade:

Big Hair Little Shorts traded Zach Randolph*, Mem to Free Boosie

Big Hair Little Shorts  traded Danny Granger, Ind to Free Boosie

Big Hair Little Shorts  traded Chris Paul, LAC to Free Boosie

Free Boosie traded Jrue Holiday, Phi to Big Hair Little Shorts

Free Boosie traded Carmelo Anthony, NY to Big Hair Little Shorts

Free Boosie traded Nicolas Batum, Por to Big Hair Little Shorts

Matt’s Take: I love trades like this. It’s got a lot of different factors on both sides, and there’s a lot to digest. It all starts with the X-factor in the trade, Zach Randolph. His injury is a tough one; in fact, I had a very similar injury just this past year. With a torn MCL, you will be able to run and jog relatively soon afterwards. Side-to-side motion, however, takes much longer. This isn’t an injury that will be 100% when he comes back, but one that will probably nag him for the rest of his season. Once he does come back (at least 8 weeks, so around march 1), he will probably play fewer minutes than usual, hurting him in every category. And who knows what he’ll be up to in the meantime (http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/08/23/zach-randolph-drug-dealer-marijuana-party_n_934138.html). The bottom line is if he can come back strong for Spike down the stretch, this trade could work out really well for him.

But enough medical analysis, lets get back to the roto analysis. Obviously, Chris Paul is a stud, and should quickly become the new leader in the “Free Boosie” clubhouse. Elite in steals and assists, CP3 is solid in points and rebounds, with great percentages across the board. To acquire him, though, took Spike’s first and second rounders. What happened with Jrue?!  He has picked up the assist totals lately, but will never be on cp3’s level in any category but 3s. Consider that a huge step up at the point guard position. The balancing act comes with the step down at SF for Spike, shipping Batum and Carmelo for Danny Granger. While many say that points are an overrated category, it’s hard not to call Melo a stud. In this league, however, he is much less of a “stud.” The addition of the A/TO category makes it much harder to swallow his 3.2 TOPG. Danny Granger has had a rough start to the year, shooting only 31% from the field. I think as that reverts to his career rate of 44%, his fantasy value will be back to its normal high rate. In fact, he is picking up steals and blocks at a career-high rate, and will take an advantage over Melo in those categories. Batum is an underrated piece in the trade; in a league this deep, he is a viable starter. Like Granger, he is off to a slow start from the field, but has done several things well. He will not turn the ball over much, and is picking up a solid amount of boards and blocks, while still contributing from 3.

Looking at where Spike rests in, he’s only really doing well in 3PM and TO. There’s not much downside to shaking things up, and while his points should continue to be near the lowest in the league, his assists and A/TO should move up over time. Hopefully, his percentages can start to creep up as well. As for “Get Rid of Pinky,” he sits last in FG% but is doing solidly in every other category. With the blow to Randolph, he had a gaping whole in the frontcourt and filled it. Rebounding will suck on this team, but he has a number of solid players to keep him going strong in other categories.

In the end, in this format, it’s more important to have a stud PG than a stud SF, and in effect this is what you did, Spike. I’m not sure what the strategy is with four spots open in your starting lineup, but after this trade, I do think you helped your team’s ability to move up in the standings, even if it limits your team’s upside in the meantime.

Moe’s Take: Being as I’m the one who told Spike to make this trade, logically I should like the trade for Spike, and I do. However, I actually like it for Get Rid of Pinky as well. I’m going to break this thing down into two parts: Part I: Chris Paul and Danny Granger for Jrue Holliday and Carmelo Anthony, and Part II: Nicolas Batum for Zach Randolph.

If Part I were a trade on its own, it would strike me as shockingly fair. The difference in value between Chris Paul and Jrue Holliday is pretty closely equivalent to the difference in value between Danny Granger and Carmelo Anthony. On ESPN’s 2011 season player rater (which, admittedly, is 4 categories short of the Spike Eskin league scoring) the difference between Paul and Jrue was 5.31 Roto Points over a full season, whereas the difference between Carmelo and Granger was only 0.52 Roto Points over a full season, or a net-gain of 4.79 points in the Roto standings over a full season for Free Boosie. Obviously this season that hasn’t been the case. So far in 2012, Jrue Holiday has actually outperformed Chris Paul by .37 Roto Points, and Carmelo has outperformed Granger by an absolutely preposterous 7.3 Roto Points, or 7.67 Roto points gained in the standings so far this season for Get Rid Of Pinky.

Part I of this trade really comes down to how much you value recency. Personally, I put a lot more stock in the entirety of last season’s stats as true indicators for these players’ talents rather than just a small portion of this season. As is later outlined in my Regression Candidates section, I think that Granger is going to get better and start to close the gap with Melo. Additionally, as I wrote about on RotoAnalysis.com in my “Ten Lockout Commandments” article, players who switched teams this season were likely going to be at giant disadvantages due to the lockout to start the season, and that has absolutely held true for Chris Paul. However, as Paul gains more comfort in the system, I expect him to finish strong as the no. 1 PG and look more like his old self. On Jrue Holiday, I think it’s reasonable to think he’ll progress in many the categories compared to what he did last season because he’s a talented young player, which does make this trade closer. But, overall, I think personally of the two sides of Part I, I would have preferred the Granger / Paul side by just a hair.

Now we get into the grit of the trade, or as I so cleverly labeled it, “Part II”, Zack Randolph for Nicolas Batum. This is a conflicting trade for me for a couple of reasons, and I kind of like this part of the trade for both teams. Spike gets one of the only true 20/10 candidates in basketball (20 points 10 boards a night) with the hitch that (via RotoWorld.com) he will miss up to 8 weeks of basketball due to a “slight tear of the MCL in his right knee.” Get Rid of Pinky gets a guy who I just traded for in one of my keeper leagues, Nicolas Batum, who I’m actually a huge fan of. The issue with Batum for Spike’s team is that in order for this team to make a huge push in the standings, he needs a really impactful player, and Zebo can be that whereas Batum, as much as I love him, cannot. Batum is currently coming off the bench for Portland and averaging 23.8 minutes per night. If he gets that up to the 31.5 he averaged last year, Batum could be an impact fantasy player due to his great per-minute production and the Blazer’s new up-tempo offense. However, I like Batum more for the long-term rather than for this season because a lot of his playing time last season is now being dispersed to Gerald Wallace (who is essentially just Batum but better) and new-addition Jamaal Crawford so far this season. For Get Rid of Pinky, Part II of the trade makes sense because he’s at least within striking distance of finishing near the top of the league and could use some helps in the blocks category, something Batum is particularly keen in. So, overall, I like this trade for both sides, with maybe a slight edge toward Spike just due to the regression of Chris Paul and Danny Granger to hopefully become like their old selves. The safer side of the trade is most certainly what Get Rid of Pinky received, but the upside that Spike got makes it more than worth it for his team as well. This was a well put together trade overall and made sense for both sides, many NBA GM’s could learn a thing or two from this.

Regression Candidates

I know it feels like the NBA Season just started, but in actuality almost 1/6th of the fantasy hoops season has already passed. Now, we’re at the point in the season where short sample sizes give way to history, and statistics begin to normalize. That means that you need to strike while the iron is hot, and hit up “That Guy In Your League Who Only Looks At This Year’s Stats” with more trade offers than Isaiah Thomas received as the Knicks GM on a daily basis. Without further adieu, here are the top regression candidates so far this season, both of the positive and negative variety.

Negative Regression Candidate: Ray Allen (SG, Celtics) Team Reese

I love Ray Allen as a human being; he epitomizes the regimented and disciplined way that I wish I lived my life. However, my love for him can’t make him sustain his current stats, because he’s averaging 20.4 Points Per Game on 57.5% shooting from the field with a whopping 63.4% from the 3 point line. You better hope that the guy you’re trading Ray Allen to doesn’t have access to google, because even a preliminary look at Allen’s stats shows that he’s probably going to come down by around 20% from 3 and 10% from the field by the end of the season. Team Reese doesn’t pay enough attention to the league to change his team name, but if you pay any attention to your league, trade Ray Allen ASAP.

Positive Regression Candidate: Danny Granger (SF, Pacers) Free Boosie

As much as we make fun of Spike on twitter for currently being 2nd to last in his own fantasy basketball league, maybe his spot in the standings isn’t totally his fault (then again, it probably is considering he just traded for Granger). Of the 113 players who qualify for the “Field Goal %” stat on NBA.com, Danny Granger is literally dead last, shooting 30.7% on the season. He’s also shooting by far the worst on 2-pointers, with an abysmal 29.1%; nobody else is under 31%. Just a couple of seasons ago, Granger was an easy 1st round pick and although his stats have worsened since then, by no means is Granger the worst shooter in the league. He’ll most likely end the season around 40% shooting from the field, and probably somewhere near his previous career-low of 42.5%. Hypothetically, if Granger had been shooting his previous career-low of 42.5% rather than 30.7% solely on 2-point shots, he’d add 3.75 additional points per game to what he’s averaging right now, and that’s to say nothing of his 3PT%, which should also come up. Additionally, Granger has been an absolute monster in blocks and steals, so aesthetically his stats haven’t been all that good, but when you dig a little bit deeper and take into consideration every category, Granger hasn’t been all that bad. Right now due to a combination of bad luck and rustiness, Danny Granger is the number 1 positive regression candidate in the game, and that means you should all bombard Spike with trade offers for him………………. NOW!

Negative Regression Candidate: Mario Chalmers (PG, Heat) Free Boosie

I have nothing against Mario Chalmers and even saw the kid in action when I attended the Final Four in San Antonio the year Kansas won the national championship, but his stats just really don’t match up to his talent level. The case against Mario Chalmers is threefold: 1) he’s a mediocre talent who plays on a team that (usually) features Lebron James, Dwayne Wade and Chris Bosh to do the heavy lifting, at least on the scoring front. However, Wade and Lebron missing time has opened up a slight void in the team’s scoring as well as in other statistics, which Chalmers has filled. But, once the team is healthy, Chalmers’ statistics will normalize. 2) Norris Cole has emerged as a legitimate talent, and somebody who fits the push-the-ball, up-tempo system the Heat are now running much better than Chalmers does. Again, when the team is 100% healthy, this should also cut into Chalmers’ playing time but hasn’t so far due to the injuries. 3) Chalmers is performing either slightly better, or, as is more often the case, significantly better in every single category of his stat line besides FT% than his career averages. Yes, I mean in every single category. Most significantly, he’s shooting 57.6% from the field and 48.4% from 3. For comparisons sake, he never averaged higher than 51.6% from the field or 46.8% from 3 in COLLEGE, and he was an absolute superstar at Kansas in his senior year on the best team in the country. Also, he’s back up to averaging 1.9 steals per game, closer to his rookie average than what he’s done the past two seasons, as well as having higher than normal assist and rebounding totals. Yeah, the higher-tempo offense should help Chalmers, but when those % numbers come down I believe that he will ultimately lose his playing time to the more talented and better fit for the system Norris Cole. Be wary of Mario Chalmers, and look to trade him away if possible.

Positive Regression Candidate: David Lee (PF, Warriors) Fire Millen

Lee, for once, isn’t a percentages-based regression candidate, although those are low as well. The real issues with David Lee so far this season have been in the assists, blocks, steals, and turnovers categories, which are all significantly worse than his career norms. Lee has always been a 2-3 assists per game player, and right now he’s averaging 0.9 APG. Additionally, Lee is up to 3.0 Turnovers Per Game, his previous career high being 2.3 TO/G. This general lack of good offensive production can mostly be attributed to Stephen Curry missing time, because Curry’s passing ability makes everyone else on the Warriors better offensively, but it doesn’t explain Lee’s lack of defensive stats. He’s down to 0.6 Steals Per Game after averaging 1.0 for 3 straight seasons leading up to this year. While that doesn’t sound like a lot, losing 40% of a player’s production in one category is extremely significant. Across the board, I’d expect Lee’s stats to improve most certainly offensively once Stephan Curry comes back, and more likely than not, defensively as well just due to his career averages. It’s important not to read too much into high-variance (frequently changing) statistics this early in the season like steals, blocks or turnovers, especially in players who already average low amounts in those stats. Look for Lee to rebound in more ways then one.


Time for some guys who we like going forward to step up their game, and to target in potential trades:

Caron Butler: Sleepers usually fall into two categories: a young player who is just getting his shot, or an older player who has been overlooked. Butler fits perfectly into the latter category as a true league average SF. What has been the most encouraging sign for fantasy is his role in the offense as more of a shooter and less of a slasher–he is putting up the same amount of the points, but with more 3s and less turnovers. While he won’t provide many boards or assists, Butler certainly has the pedigree and the opportunity to be of value at a shallow SF position right now.

Jeff Teague: There’s still room left on the bandwagon. While Teague teased potential owners in the playoffs last year, he has really turned it up to start the season. With the starting point guard job in his hand, Teague has been a star in the steals department, while getting pretty pedestrian point and assist numbers. His free throw shooting will improve to its career level, and he will be a solid, startable PG who won’t hurt you in any category for his position, something that is of value to any team with studs around him.

Markeiff Morris: While overshadowed by his twin Marcus at Kansas at times, it has been Markieff who scouts knew would translate to the NBA better. Suns head coach Alvin Gentry has quickly worked him into the rotation, and his versatile game is reaping fantasy owners the benefits. While eligible at PF, he provides many of the stats of a SG or a SF by dropping more than a 3 per game, sprinkling in some steals, and sitll rebounding at a strong rate. If his minutes continue to go up, or he works his way into the starting lineup, his fantasy value will continue to rise.

Marreese Speights: He’s no star, but with Zach Randolph out, Speights will have the opportunity to play a big role in Memphis’ offense. He has always been a solid per-minute player, shooting close to 50% from the field, not killing you in free throws like so many big men do, and getting the points and boards you need. He is a league-renowned ball hog, and passes the ball at one of the lowest rates in the league. As long as he keeps his job, though, he will be a startable player in leagues this deep. Also if you’re league has a “Free Boosie” category, Speights is one of the most valuable players in the game.

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The NBA Fantasy League Week 1 Wrap-Up: Big Hair, Small Points

#1 Dud Of The Week, Monta Ellis

Before we get to the breakdown from the Roto Analysis guys, some news and rumors to get you caught up on.

First, here are the standings after a full week of games:

That’s right, I’m in 12th place in my own league. Leave me alone about it. If I was winning my own league everyone would hate me anyway. After my free-agent pickup of Markieff Morris, the sky’s the limit. At least Josh McRoberts lasted a full week.

It’s unclear so far weather Zoo With Roy, GM and owner of the ZWR Penguins, is the Mark Cuban of the leave, a maverick who will change how the game is played and eventually win it all, or the Daniel Snyder of the league, out there to annoy the bejesus out of everyone. His current pursuit of Kyle Lowry is the talk of SE Fantasy. He’s also most likely to be the first owner that’s fined by the league.

Please Advise is said to be scouring the market for a shooting guard/small forward, with Manu Ginobli out for a month. I’m hearing talks of a deal with Anthony Mason Haircut, who grabbed Richard Jefferson off the waiver wire within seconds of Ginobli’s injury.

The Delco Dirtbags though publicly very supportive of Jimmer Fredette, have reportedly been quietly shopping the former BYU star. League sources say they’re looking for a “scrappy” guy who “plays the right way” and “hustles.”

Team Reese has yet to adjust their roster once this season. Inside sources say GM Ike Reese is “playing possum” with the rest of the league. Not too sure what that accomplishes.

And now for the real analysis. I can’t thank these guys enough. For any fantasy football, basketball or baseball information, please check out their site and podcast.

Matt and Moe are two of the co-founding fantasy experts of RotoAnalysis.com. You can follow them @KidCotti21 and@MoeProblems respectively, or their site @RotoAnalysis.

Standings: Looking Back and Looking Up

1st Place

“The Verticoli” got off to a great start behind who else but Kyle Lowry. Lowry has been an absolute stud to start the year; an underrated part to his game comprised mostly of assists is his FT%, which currently sits over 90% and has been a big reason why The Verticoli leads the league in that category. The Verticoli is also first in the league in 3 Pointers Made and Points, something Ryan Anderson has been a huge part of with 22 three pointers. The Magic big man ranks 4th overall on the ESPN player rater, and at this point stands ahead of his frontcourt-mate, Dwight Howard. While the standings will be changing every day, it is pretty impressive for this squad to be above the league average in nine of ten categories.

14th Place

“BIG HAIR little shorts” has been struggling with a couple of injuries, which will really set any team back in a sample size as small as the first week of the season. But with Paul Pierce back now and Eric Gordon coming back soon, it’s time for this team to get going. It’s also time to get Corey Maggette way out of that lineup. He’s killing this team, as well as any other he’s currently on, with his 28% FG, and is so low on the player rater that ESPN measures that he has hurt his owners’ teams by more than 4 points in the standings. Ranking as low as you do in assists, steals, A/TO, and FT%, this team absolutely must work on its guard play, and target a point guard via trade or free agency. Having Kemba Walker and Sundiata Gaines as your only PGs on the roster simply isn’t going to cut it with PG as deep as it is.

Studs Of The Week

Honorable Mention: Rajon Rondo, Jose Calderon, James Harden, Hedo Turkoglu, Tyson Chandler, Paul George, Spencer Hawes, Marcus Thornton, Boris Diaw, Markieff Morris, Mario Chalmers, Jason Terry, Andre Miller, Ben Gordon, MarShon Brooks, Norris Cole,

3. Ty Lawson (PG, Denver Nuggets) Narcoleptic E Snow Experience

Ty Lawson has clearly won the starting job over veteran Andre Miller in Denver by starting the year with a bang and being at least average in every skill the perfect point guard is supposed to have. Lawson scores, gets assists, shoots 3’s, and adds a few rebounds, all at an efficient rate. However, the skill that is really putting Lawson on the elite level is his game-changing speed, leading him to average 2.5 steals per game so far this season. I don’t think we can expect 2.5 steals per game, but upwards of 2 certainly seems possible with Lawson’s electric style of play.

2. Manu Ginobli (SG, San Antonio Spurs) Please Advise…

Manu must have heard about being ridiculously underdrafted in the SpikeEskin.com fantasy hoops league, because he started the season off playing with a chip on his shoulder, producing way above average numbers in every category besides blocks in a shockingly low 23.2 minutes per game. The best part about Manu’s season so far was his efficiency, shooting 59.2% from the field, 93.8% from the line, and a whopping 51.9% from 3. Manu would have obviously been a sell high candidate right now because every one of those percentages is going to come down, but unfortunately he broke his hand and will be out more than a month. At least for this week, Manu Ginobli looked well worth the draft pick. (James Anderson and Gary Neal would be the guys to target in his absence if desperate

1.Ryan Anderson (PF, Orlando Magic) The Verticoli

Ryan Anderson has always been a very good 3-point shooter, and a great per-minute player throughout his career, averaging 10.6 points and 5.5 rebounds in 22.3 minutes last season. However, before this season Anderson had never gotten the chance to really start because of blockages on the Magic by players ahead of him on the depth chart like Hedo Turkoglu and Brandon Bass. Before the start of this season, the Magic foolishly traded Brandon Bass for supposedly Dwight Howard’s friend Glen “Big Baby” Davis and gave him a relatively large contract in what is seemingly a vain effort to re-sign Dwight Howard. This trade left the door open for Anderson to start because he is blatantly a far superior player to Davis, and he’s flourished since game 1. Anderson will regress from the field and from beyond the arc (especially from beyond the arc, you can’t take 8.3 3-pointers per game), but for right now Ryan Anderson was the best value in any fantasy basketball league so far this season.

Duds Of The Week

Honorable Mention: Kyrie Irving, Andray Blatche, Marcin Gortat, Al Jefferson, Anderson Varejao, David Lee, Ed Davis, Aaron Afflalo, Richard Hamilton, Jameer Nelson, Stephen Jackson, Luis Scola, Demarcus Cousins, Zach Randolph, Wesley Johnson, Thaddeus Young

3. Tyreke Evans (PG, SG, Sacramento Kings) Anthony Mason Haircut

I really don’t like Tyreke Evans, and it’s not because he hates puppies or is mean to homeless people. I’m sure he’s a really nice guy, I just think he’s pretty bad at basketball. Evans is currently sitting on ESPN’s player rater as the 47th best point guard, and finished last season as the 34th best. There’s a reason I declared Tyreke the most overdrafted player in this league, as well as in most leagues, and that’s because he’s dreadfully overrated due to his rookie season. Sure, he’s got talent but Evans is always going to disappoint owners unless he goes in the 7th round or later rather than 4th or, god forbid, the 3rd round–like in this draft.

2. Josh Smith (PF, SF, Atlanta Hawks) Dino Radja

Josh Smith, or as I like to call him, “Josh Smiff”, had a horrific start to the season. He has shot 36.5% from the field, which is legitimately hard to do from the power forward position, and also converted only 54.5% of his opportunities at the charity stripe. Smith has even regressed in the rebounding category, averaging 1.5 less boards than last season and only managing to score 10 points per game. I expect Smith’s percentages to trend upwardly, and some of his awful performance can be attributed to some inflammation in his knee, but these stats are unacceptable for a guy who was taken as a 2nd round pick in this league.

1. Monta Ellis (PG, SG, Golden State Warriors) The Personal Fouls

Monta Ellis has been shockingly bad to start the season after being a somewhat surprising first round pick in the SpikeEskin.com fantasy basketball league. A lot of his issues, though, have come off the court. Ellis’ grandmother, to whom he was very close, passed away on Christmas Day, and on that same week that he received this sad news, Ellis was accused in a sexual harassment lawsuit. All of that is a lot to handle, and when that’s added on to the fact that Stephen Curry already missed time, putting more pressure on Ellis to carry the team, things just haven’t lined up for him so far. Ellis is a definite buy-low candidate and I expect him to vastly improve from his Week 1 performance.

Free Agents to Target

4. Tracy McGrady

Much like LT in football becoming a third down back, T-Mac has found his niche in a totally different position than what he played at the beginning of his career. The Hawks’ bench is as tin as Anthony Randolph, so McGrady will get plenty of minutes while being relatively efficient at rates that are worth owning in a league as deep as this one.

3. Shannon Brown

This is a pure upside pick, as he has not really looked in sync in the new Suns’ offense. I do think, however, that a lot of players that switched teams this off-season will be slow to adjust to their new teams, but will improve over the course of the season. Brown will definitely have his ups and downs, but should eventually be a good supplier of steals and 3PM, to go along with being a serviceable source in bot points and rebounds.

2. Josh Howard

While the younger, up-and-coming players are always the sexier picks near the end of drafts, it is often the underrated and forgotten veterans who can pick up the slack and truly bring in value. Josh Howard is a guy who has shown some energy early this season, and could be cracking the Jazz’s starting lineup for Raja Bell at any moment. Howard has gotten to the line at a phenomenal rate, and should provide a solid amount of steals, while struggling in FG% and 3PT shooting.

1. Robin Lopez

Yes, he’s done nothing since the first game of the season, but I think Robin Lopez can be a decent contributor in a 14-team league. He has always shot free throws well for a big man, and should be at least an average shot-blocker while getting his points and rebounds up. Lopez might not be the sexiest pickup, but he’s worth a look in leagues this deep.

You can follow along and watch league standings all year of the league HERE.

I’ve created a Twitter list of everyone in the league, you can follow that list HERE. 

And once again, please check out the fine folks over at RotoAnalysis.com for great fantasy advice for all sports, in written and podcast form.


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Analysis Of The First Ever Spike Eskin Dot Com NBA Fantasy Draft

The Actual #SEFantasy League Trophy

All week, I was scared to death. I’d been getting private messages from Zoo With Roy suggesting there was no way he’d allow me to draft Jrue Holiday. Since he wouldn’t be around for the draft itself, he told me he had Jrue pre-ranked at #9.

I didn’t even know why, but this bothered me. Zoo got in my head. Was it even that important that I got Jrue Holiday? Was Zoo manipulating me?

So when he ended up with the second pick the draft, I was interested to see what he’d do. He didn’t take Holiday. I ended up with the 13th pick, and because it was a snake draft, I also had the 16th. I knew if I wanted Holiday, it’d have to be one of those picks. I reached, I admit it. I just needed to explain.

So, we’re lucky enough to have some Fantasy Basketball experts who will be with us all season long to do some analysis of our league.

Matt and Moe are two of the co-founding fantasy experts of RotoAnalysis.com. You can follow them @KidCotti21 and @MoeProblems respectively, or their site @RotoAnalysis.

Roto Analysis NBA Draft Wrap-Up

When it comes down to it, the draft is easily half of the season. In a league as deep as this one, there often won’t be a game-changing waiver-wire pickup to propel any team to victory, and hopefully there won’t be a one-sided traded that changes the playing field. Therefore, the add/drops and the roster moves can only account for so much of your success. Probably more than half of the season is already over; so let’s see how you guys have set yourselves up:

The Peak: Top 3 Pre-Season Teams

Fire Millen

Nothing crazy, just this team is filled with guys I like. Steph Curry is a stud in this format, shooting for great percentages, especially at the free throw line, only holding you back at turnovers. Paul George is in for a breakout year, and when analysts say players grow in the offseason, they don’t usually mean it like this; Paul George grew from 6’8 to 6’11 during the offseason reportedly. He and Collison will be part of a much-improved Pacer team that Fire Millen can ride to the glory land. Not to mention Blake, Gallinari, D-Lee, or Tyson Chandler. Plug Bogut into that UTIL spot and this is the team to beat.

Get Rid of Pinky

This is a really interesting team, because whether you meant to or not, you punted Rebounds and Blocks; literally, Zach Randolph is your only guy in the starting lineup who grabs more than 6.7 rebounds a game. With Channing Frye and Andrea Bargnani at the Center spots, that will help you dominate Points and 3Pt. By using both of your UTIL spots on guards to go with CP3 and the ridiculously under-drafted Tony Parker, this team should dominate the other 10 (of 12) categories.

Narcoleptic E Snow Experience

I think this team is far from perfect, but in a league with categories like these, it will be a pretty guard-driven league. Quite simply, this team just has the best guards. Deron Williams and John Wall are already stars, and I think Ty Lawson has a great shot to join them in an up-tempo Nuggets system this season. Greg Monroe is another of my favorite breakout candidates at your Center spot. The issue here is your forwards; I would look to trade one of the 5 Centers you have on your roster for help there, and this team should be very solid in a league as deep as this one.

No-Man’s Land

Free Boosie (Spike)

Since you didn’t fit quite into the bottom or the top, I figured I’d give you your own little section in the middle, Spike. While the Jrue Holiday pick was definitely questionable as to how early it was, there’s no denying that he’s a very good PG. This team has great balance, with no real holes other than 3 point shooting, and will put you in a solid position to win each week with Melo leading a bunch of underrated and often overlooked guys. Nicolas Batum, for example, is really underrated in this format; he’ll help out a little in every category. If Jrue continues to improve, and both Derrick Williams and Evan Turner warrant their #2 draft pick status, this could be a championship-caliber squad. However, if those average guys like Afflalo, Wesley Matthews, and Batum regress, and Stephen Jackson goes legitimately crazy, this team could suffer some bad defeats.

The Dregs: Bottom 3 Pre-Season Teams

Metta World Domination

This could have been a great, great team, no doubt about it. That is, if we rewound the clock to 2006. Sure, Andrew Bynum would just be in high school, but look at the rest of this squad: Camby, Kobe, Billups, Dirk, Elton Brand, Vince Carter, J-Rich. These guys used to be absolute studs. (Key word: Used.) Now most of them are aging vets with knee troubles. Don’t see much upside for this team in 2011.

Team Reese

First and foremost, don’t be that guy whose team name is “team [insert name].” You and “Team Sweeney” have gotta get on that ASAP. Second, sorry about Brook Lopez. Always frustrating to draft a guy and have him get injured before the season even starts; stuff happens. I like the Amar’e/Gasol picks to start things off, but your draft was quickly derailed with no impact guards (The Mavs’ backcourt should take a step back this year, and while Ray Allen is solid, he’s no more than an above average 3rd guard in this league format.)

ZWR Penguins

Not gonna lie man, your logo is pretty cool. Starting Troy Murphy and Samuel Dalembert in your Center spots? Not as cool. In any 2 C league (especially a 14-teamer), I try to lock in at least one good big early; that’s where the downfall of your team began. Then, I think you just looked too young on the draft board. Klay Thompson, Kyrie Irving, Bismack Biyombo and Tristan Thompson will all be good NBA players, but it might not be for a couple of years. While Durant is obviously incredible, I don’t really see the frontcourt pieces for this team to compete.

5 Best Picks

5. Paul Millsap (PF, Jazz) 56th overall

Paul Millsap is a shockingly well-rounded player. Discarding his stats from beyond the arc, Millsap is at least serviceable in every category, and is even one of the top PFs in steals and FG% every year, two stats that are often overlooked in comparison to the “sexier” points and rebounds. Millsap should have gone 10-15 picks higher and this early in the draft, that is extremely significant.

4. Tyler Hansbrough (PF, Pacers) 132nd overall
This pains me to say as a die-hard Duke fan, but Tyler Hansbrough seems poised for a break-out season this year. On a per-minute basis, Hansbrough was great in 2010-2011 (5.2 rebounds and 11 points in 21.9 minutes per game), and if he can get himself up to 25-30 minutes, Hansbrough could easily be a top 15 power forward this season.

3. Tony Parker (PG, Spurs) 88th overall

Tony Parker is often associated with the word “Sexy” but that’s certainly not because of his skill set. Parker frequently becomes underrated because of the boredom associated with the type of style he plays. In the mind of some fantasy owners, it’s way more fun to take a shot on Ricky Rubio (or in this case Jarrett Jack and Rodney Stuckey) than to get the same old stats from Tony Parker. However, 9 times out of 10 at the end of the season, Parker will finish with the same amazing shooting percentage he always does, the same great assists, the same above average steals and the same solid amount of points. Taking Tony Parker isn’t the sexiest thing in the world, but it will pay big dividends for your fantasy team in the end and he probably should have gone a full round or so higher than this.

2. Manu Ginobli (SG, Spurs) 57th overall

Maybe people in this draft just really hate the Spurs, but I literally can’t find something not to like about Manu Ginobli. I mean, what’s more loveable than a short balding guy who’s competing against glorified Adonis-es, c’mon people, it’s always fun to root for the underdog. From a statistical perspective, Manu brings everything you would want and more, draining 3’s, shooting great from the line and finishing 16th overall on ESPN’s player rater last season. Yeah, he should decline a little, but Manu is still deserving of a top 30 pick; getting him at 57 was an absolute steal.

1. Ray Allen (SG, Celtics) 95th overall

I know Ray Allen is old, but it makes NO sense for him to fall so far in this draft. Ray Allen is as well-rounded as Manu Ginobli–he has a good field goal percentage, is a great free throw shooter, is one of the best 3 point shooters overall in the league, and gets an above average amount of assists, steals and points. His only below average stat is blocks, and he’s still not awful at that for a shooting guard. Allen finished 28th on ESPN’s player rater last season (one spot behind Deron Williams, who was taken 86 spots ahead of him) and although there should be a slight decline in Allen’s skills, he’ll likely still be a top 40 to 45 player this season. Taking players like Mike Conley, Darren Collison, Jarret Jack and Rodney Stuckey to play at the same “Guard” spot over Ray Allen is tantamount to fantasy hoops blasphemy. May Jesus Stuttlesworth bring forgiveness onto all of you for this insane under-draft.

5 Worst Picks

5. Jrue Holliday (PG, 76ers) 16th overall

Many writers would have disliked this pick more, but I happen to be a gigantic Jrue Holliday fan so it is only a mild travesty to have taken him this high. Sure, Holliday is physically talented and has high upside, but taking him over John Wall, Pau Gasol, and Blake Griffin is still pretty insane, even for the giant 76ers fan as I know Spike is.

4. Chauncey Billups (PG, Clippers) 42nd overall

Chauncey Billups is on a team with Chris Paul, Mo Williams, and Eric Bledsoe. Yeah, he will probably play the 2 guard a decent amount but I would bet he plays around 25 minutes a game. His assists will drop in that role, leaving him mainly as a 3 point threat. Taking him in the 3rd round when he is probably behind even the Tony Parker / Ricky Rubio tier (both of whom were taken more than 40 picks later in the draft) is pretty absurd.

3. Andrea Bargnani (C, PF, Raptors) 53rd overall

Andrea Bargnani shoots for a horrible percentage for a center, is an awful rebounder, gets very few blocks and steals, but is good at the most overrated stat in fantasy: scoring. Sure, he makes some treys, and is a high-volume scorer, but he is at such a disadvantage in so many other categories that taking him over players like Paul Millsap, Manu Ginobli, or Luol Deng makes no sense. Even if “Get Rid of Pinky” wanted a center, Roy Hibbert, JaVale McGee, and Tyson Chandler were all still available and all 3 of those are significantly better options than Bargnani for a well-rounded squad.

2. Jarrett Jack (PG, Hornets) 87th overall

I know Jarrett Jack is the Hornets’ starting point guard now that CP3 is gone, but last year in 20.7 minutes he averaged 0.4 3 Pointers Made, 2.1 Rebounds, 2.9 Assists, 0.7 Steals and 8.9 Points per game. If those are extrapolated over a 35 minute per game pace that’s .7 3 Pointers Made, 3.7 Rebounds, 5.1 Assists, 1.2 Steals and 15.5 points per game. So, in a best-case scenario assuming Jack’s weaknesses don’t get exposed due to more playing time, he’ll still have worse stats than Tony Parker who went one pick after him and shot over 15% better from the floor. Jack probably should have gone in the 130-140 pick range, around where the similarly skilled guard George Hill was drafted.

1. Tyreke Evans (PG, SG, Kings) 31st overall

Tyreke Evans holds a name cache far greater than the skills he actually possesses. Last year, Evans finished 34th on the ESPN player rater among point guards, and in this draft he was taken 31st overall! Evans’ problems are twofold: 1) His shooting percentage is godawful, shooting under 41% from the field. That’s not the worst part though; Tyreke Evans actually shot 29.4 percent on 2-pointers outside of 3 feet last season. So, outside of easy layups Evans shot under 30% from the field. That’s legitimately hard to do. 2) He’s not elite at one category. Swallowing an awful shooting percentage would be okay if he had Rajon Rondo-like assists ability, but the truth is he’s really sub par at almost every category. Additionally, the caliber of point guard, not to mention other positions, was through the roof at that point in the draft with significantly more talented players Kyle Lowry and Ty Lawson both being taken directly after Tyreke. I don’t want to be rude to Anthony Mason Haircut (great name, by the way) but I probably would have taken Tyreke Evans somewhere in the 80-90 pick range at best, and that’s solely on his physical talent and upside. I hope Anthony Mason’s haircut proves me wrong. It has many times before.

Good luck this season guys!

You can follow along and watch league standings all year of the league HERE.

I’ve created a Twitter list of everyone in the league, you can follow that list HERE. 

And once again, please check out the fine folks over at RotoAnalysis.com for great fantasy advice for all sports, in written and podcast form.

The prize package is going to be pretty sweet, in addition to the trophy above. We’ll announce that in the next couple of weeks.


Round: 1
(1) Please Advise… – LeBron James SF
(2) ZWR Penguins – Kevin Durant SF
(3) Anthony Mason  Haircut – Derrick Rose PG
(4) Get Rid of Pinky – Chris Paul PG
(5) Dino Radja – Dwyane Wade SG
(6) Delco Dirtbags – Kevin Love PF
(7) Team sweeney – Dwight Howard C
(8) The  Verticoli – Russell Westbrook PG
(9) Narcoleptic E Snow Experience – Deron Williams PG
(10) Fire  Millen – Stephen Curry PG
(11) Team Reese – Amare Stoudemire C
(12) The Personal  Fouls – Monta Ellis PG
(13) Free Boosie – Carmelo Anthony SF
(14) Metta World Domination – Dirk Nowitzki PF

Round: 2
(15) Metta World Domination – Kobe Bryant SG
(16) Free Boosie – Jrue Holiday PG
(17) The Personal  Fouls – Al Jefferson C
(18) Team Reese – Pau Gasol PF
(19) Fire  Millen – Blake Griffin PF
(20) Narcoleptic E Snow Experience – John Wall PG
(21) The  Verticoli – Andre Iguodala SF
(22) Team sweeney – Eric Gordon SG
(23) Delco Dirtbags – LaMarcus Aldridge PF
(24) Dino Radja – Josh Smith PF
(25) Get Rid of Pinky – Zach Randolph PF
(26) Anthony Mason  Haircut – Al Horford C
(27) ZWR Penguins – Rudy Gay SF
(28) Please Advise… – Joakim Noah C

Round: 3
(29) Please Advise… – Steve Nash PG
(30) ZWR Penguins – Rajon Rondo PG
(31) Anthony Mason  Haircut – Tyreke Evans PG
(32) Get Rid of Pinky – Danny Granger SF
(33) Dino Radja – Chris Bosh PF
(34) Delco Dirtbags – Kevin Martin SG
(35) Team sweeney – Paul Pierce SF
(36) The  Verticoli – Kyle Lowry PG
(37) Narcoleptic E Snow Experience – Ty Lawson PG
(38) Fire  Millen – David Lee PF
(39) Team Reese – Gerald Wallace SF
(40) The Personal  Fouls – Joe Johnson SG
(41) Free Boosie – Stephen Jackson SG
(42) Metta World Domination – Chauncey Billups PG

Round: 4
(43) Metta World Domination – Andrew Bynum C
(44) Free Boosie – Nene C
(45) The Personal  Fouls – Marcin Gortat C
(46) Team Reese – Dorell Wright SF
(47) Fire  Millen – Andrew Bogut C
(48) Narcoleptic E Snow Experience – Greg Monroe PF
(49) The  Verticoli – Marc Gasol C
(50) Team sweeney – Andray Blatche PF
(51) Delco Dirtbags – Serge Ibaka C
(52) Dino Radja – DeMarcus Cousins PF
(53) Get Rid of Pinky – Andrea Bargnani C
(54) Anthony Mason  Haircut – Raymond Felton PG
(55) ZWR Penguins – Kyrie Irving PG
(56) Please Advise… – Paul Millsap PF

Round: 5
(57) Please Advise… – Manu Ginobili SG
(58) ZWR Penguins – David West PF
(59) Anthony Mason  Haircut – Roy Hibbert C
(60) Get Rid of Pinky – Luol Deng SF
(61) Dino Radja – Brandon Jennings PG
(62) Delco Dirtbags – James Harden SG
(63) Team sweeney – DeMar DeRozan SG
(64) The  Verticoli – Carlos Boozer PF
(65) Narcoleptic E Snow Experience – JaVale McGee C
(66) Fire  Millen – Danilo Gallinari SF
(67) Team Reese – Brook Lopez C
(68) The Personal  Fouls – Luis Scola PF
(69) Free Boosie – Wesley Matthews SG
(70) Metta World Domination – Mike Conley PG

Round: 6
(71) Metta World Domination – Elton Brand PF
(72) Free Boosie – Derrick Williams PF
(73) The Personal  Fouls – Jameer Nelson PG
(74) Team Reese – Jason Kidd PG
(75) Fire  Millen – Tyson Chandler C
(76) Narcoleptic E Snow Experience – DeAndre Jordan C
(77) The  Verticoli – Chris Kaman C
(78) Team sweeney – Tim Duncan PF
(79) Delco Dirtbags – Jose Calderon PG
(80) Dino Radja – Michael Beasley SF
(81) Get Rid of Pinky – Channing Frye PF
(82) Anthony Mason  Haircut – Thaddeus Young SF
(83) ZWR Penguins – Devin Harris PG
(84) Please Advise… – Rodney Stuckey PG

Round: 7
(85) Please Advise… – Ed Davis PF
(86) ZWR Penguins – Kevin Garnett PF
(87) Anthony Mason  Haircut – Jarrett Jack PG
(88) Get Rid of Pinky – Tony Parker PG
(89) Dino Radja – Emeka Okafor C
(90) Delco Dirtbags – Caron Butler SF
(91) Team sweeney – Antawn Jamison PF
(92) The  Verticoli – Ricky Rubio PG
(93) Narcoleptic E Snow Experience – Anderson Varejao PF
(94) Fire  Millen – Darren Collison PG
(95) Team Reese – Ray Allen SG
(96) The Personal  Fouls – Kris Humphries PF
(97) Free Boosie – J.J. Hickson PF
(98) Metta World Domination – Jason Richardson SG

Round: 8
(99) Metta World Domination – Nick Young SG
(100) Free Boosie – Nicolas Batum SF
(101) The Personal  Fouls – Tyrus Thomas PF
(102) Team Reese – Jason Terry SG
(103) Fire  Millen – Amir Johnson PF
(104) Narcoleptic E Snow Experience – Wesley Johnson SF
(105) The  Verticoli – Marcus Thornton SG
(106) Team sweeney – Corey Maggette SF
(107) Delco Dirtbags – Lamar Odom PF
(108) Dino Radja – Andre Miller PG
(109) Get Rid of Pinky – D.J. Augustin PG
(110) Anthony Mason  Haircut – Jamal Crawford SG
(111) ZWR Penguins – Boris Diaw PF
(112) Please Advise… – John Salmons SF

Round: 9
(113) Please Advise… – Chase Budinger SF
(114) ZWR Penguins – Samuel Dalembert C
(115) Anthony Mason  Haircut – Shawn Marion SF
(116) Get Rid of Pinky – Richard Hamilton SG
(117) Dino Radja – Jared Dudley SF
(118) Delco Dirtbags – Jimmer Fredette SG
(119) Team sweeney – Kemba Walker PG
(120) The  Verticoli – Ryan Anderson PF
(121) Narcoleptic E Snow Experience – Derrick Favors PF
(122) Fire  Millen – Paul George SF
(123) Team Reese – Toney Douglas PG
(124) The Personal  Fouls – Brandon Bass PF
(125) Free Boosie – Arron Afflalo SG
(126) Metta World Domination – Marcus Camby C

Round: 10
(127) Metta World Domination – Ramon Sessions PG
(128) Free Boosie – Evan Turner SG
(129) The Personal  Fouls – DeJuan Blair C
(130) Team Reese – Trevor Ariza SF
(131) Fire  Millen – O.J. Mayo SG
(132) Narcoleptic E Snow Experience – Tyler Hansbrough PF
(133) The  Verticoli – Anthony Morrow SG
(134) Team sweeney – Carl Landry PF
(135) Delco Dirtbags – Carlos Delfino SF
(136) Dino Radja – George Hill PG
(137) Get Rid of Pinky – Tony Allen SG
(138) Anthony Mason  Haircut – Chuck Hayes PF
(139) ZWR Penguins – Jordan Crawford SG
(140) Please Advise… – Lou Williams PG

Round: 11
(141) Please Advise… – Landry Fields SG
(142) ZWR Penguins – Troy Murphy PF
(143) Anthony Mason  Haircut – C.J. Miles SF
(144) Get Rid of Pinky – Grant Hill SF
(145) Dino Radja – Eric Bledsoe PG
(146) Delco Dirtbags – Enes Kanter C
(147) Team sweeney – Jerryd Bayless PG
(148) The  Verticoli – Mehmet Okur C
(149) Narcoleptic E Snow Experience – Jeff Teague PG
(150) Fire  Millen – Andrei Kirilenko SF
(151) Team Reese – Brandon Knight PG
(152) The Personal  Fouls – Mo Williams PG
(153) Free Boosie – Tayshaun Prince SF
(154) Metta World Domination – Vince Carter SG

Round: 12
(155) Metta World Domination – Drew Gooden PF
(156) Free Boosie – Hedo Turkoglu SF
(157) The Personal  Fouls – Austin Daye SF
(158) Team Reese – Jose Juan Barea PG
(159) Fire  Millen – Baron Davis PG
(160) Narcoleptic E Snow Experience – Kendrick Perkins C
(161) The  Verticoli – Ben Gordon SG
(162) Team sweeney – J.J. Redick SG
(163) Delco Dirtbags – Gerald Henderson SG
(164) Dino Radja – Gilbert Arenas PG
(165) Get Rid of Pinky – Leandro Barbosa SG
(166) Anthony Mason  Haircut – Jodie Meeks SG
(167) ZWR Penguins – Brendan Haywood C
(168) Please Advise… – Beno Udrih PG

Round: 13
(169) Please Advise… – Rudy Fernandez SG
(170) ZWR Penguins – Jeff Green SF
(171) Anthony Mason  Haircut – Timofey Mozgov C
(172) Get Rid of Pinky – Darko Milicic C
(173) Dino Radja – Al-Farouq Aminu SF
(174) Delco Dirtbags – Shane Battier SF
(175) Team sweeney – Omri Casspi SF
(176) The  Verticoli – Gordon Hayward SG
(177) Narcoleptic E Snow Experience – Glen Davis PF
(178) Fire  Millen – Andris Biedrins C
(179) Team Reese – Rashard Lewis PF
(180) The Personal  Fouls – Omer Asik C
(181) Free Boosie – Josh McRoberts PF
(182) Metta World Domination – Udonis Haslem PF

Round: 14
(183) Metta World Domination – Al Harrington PF
(184) Free Boosie – Xavier Silas SG
(185) The Personal  Fouls – Corey Brewer SF
(186) Team Reese – Marvin Williams SF
(187) Fire  Millen – Ekpe Udoh C
(188) Narcoleptic E Snow Experience – Spencer Hawes C
(189) The  Verticoli – Kenneth Faried PF
(190) Team sweeney – Jermaine O’Neal C
(191) Delco Dirtbags – Taj Gibson PF
(192) Dino Radja – Metta World Peace SF
(193) Get Rid of Pinky – James Johnson SF
(194) Anthony Mason  Haircut – Jason Thompson PF
(195) ZWR Penguins – Randy Foye SG
(196) Please Advise… – Luke Ridnour PG

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