Basketball Roundtable

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Time for another fantasy basketball roundtable.
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I am once again responsible for this week’s question.

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This Week’s Topic:
Last week we looked at everybody’s most shameful draft pick? This week we’ll flip it around and ask who has been the most surprising jewel of our experts drafts, and whether they anticipate continued success the rest of the way?
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Justin Hasan
WinMyFantasyLeague.com

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Russell Westbrook
has to be the most surprising jewel of my draft.  First round picks Chris Paul, Stephen Curry, and Deron Williams may be ahead of Westbrook in the rankings, but the Oklahoma City point guard represents the top return on investment.
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I was able to snag Westbrook in the 4th round and he is currently ranked among the top 12 fantasy players (10th in the GMTR H2H Player Rater and 12th in the Yahoo rankings). Through the first 22 games of the season, the former UCLA Bruin has averaged 23.7 points, 8.6 assists, 5.5 rebounds, and 2.2 steals per game.  His 87% free throw shooting is a huge bonus considering that he gets to the line on average nine times per contest.
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Some would contend that Raymond Felton has been the more surprising jewel of the draft, but New York has had one of the most generous schedules in the NBA so far. Their west coast roadtrip was against the Warriors, Clippers, Kings, Nuggets, and Timberwolves. With the exception of the Nuggets, they faced the basement teams of the Western Conference.  I was a huge fan of Raymond Felton coming into the season, but with a tough schedule ahead (facing the top Eastern Conference teams in December and the top Western Conference teams in January), his production will take a hit.
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Russell Westbrook on the other hand, has proven his elite fantasy status against the top competition in the Western Conference. His game has shown massive improvements in each of his three years in the NBA and is a triple-double threat every time he steps on the floor. I anticipate continued success the rest of the way for him and expect him to be taken in the first round of fantasy drafts next year.
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Jason Hahn
fBasketballBlog

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D.J. Augustin has made me very proud so far this season. I was fortunate enough to draft him with picks No. 118 and 127 in two leagues of mine, and seeing as how he’s ranked in the top 65 based on averages through 21 games this season, I have an easy time calling him my fantasy “jewel.” I see no reason why he can’t continue his success for the remainder of 2010-11, mostly because his 35+ minutes per game are safe. Augustin will continue rolling with great, efficient stats from the point guard spot in Charlotte.
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Patrick Madden
Give Me The Rock
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I liked Dorell Wright as a sleeper going into the year, mostly because he was moving from the Miami Heat (where he never got an opportunity really play) to the Golden State Warriors, a team so magical for fantasy purposes that they turned Anthony Morrow and Cory Maggette into top 50 fantasy players last season. But I can’t say I expected him to explode into a player who current sits at #24 on our rater. Given an opportunity to start for the Warriors, Wright has turned into a roto beast, averaging over 2 threes, a steal and a block a game (along with 15 points and 6 rebounds). As long as he remains healthy, Wright will get nearly 40 minutes a game on one of the fastest paced teams in the league, and if that isn’t a recipe for fantasy success, then I don’t know what is.
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My Response:
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I was able to secure Paul Millsap in the sixth round of my fantasy draft. Some of the big men taken before him were Chris Bosh, Al Jefferson, David West, Nene, Antawn Jamison, Troy Murphy, and Chris Kaman. Getting a player averaging approximately 18.0 points, 8.0 rebounds, 2.5 assists, 1.3 steals, and 1.0 block while shooting 55 percent from the field and 76 percent from the line in the sixth round certainly constitutes a jewel in my book. He’s slowed a bit of late, but on November 9th he showed what he’s capable of when he dropped 46 points on the Heat.
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His numbers will likely dip a bit when Mehmet Okur returns, but I see no reason why he won’t continue to play above his draft slot.

Basketball Roundtable

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Time for another fantasy basketball roundtable.
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Jason of fBasketballBlog was responsible for this week’s question. Click here for the full article.

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This Week’s Topic:
Who has turned out to be your most shameful draft pick?
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My Response:
Without a question, J.R. Smith has been my most shameful draft pick. I figured if Carmelo Anthony was dealt, Smith would be in line for a big scoring boost. If nothing else, he’d be good for around 15 points a game, along with a couple of three-pointers. I did not anticipate a swan dive in minutes and virtually every category. Aside from his recent 30-point outbreak, Smith has been held to 13 or fewer points every game this season. Not exactly what I was expecting from a guy who averaged 15.3 points over the past two seasons. The 2.2 three-pointers per game he averaged over the past four seasons was down to 1.3 as of 11/30 with only one game with more than two treys.

Basketball Roundtable

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Time for another fantasy basketball roundtable.
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William of Rotoprofessor was responsible for this week’s question. Click here for the full article.

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This Week’s Topic:
Looking at the owned percentages on different popular fantasy basketball sites, who is one player you feel is still being overlooked and should be added in more leagues?
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My Response:
One player that I feel is being overlooked is Cleveland’s Daniel Gibson. As of Monday he was owned in just 57 percent of Yahoo! And 61.1 percent of ESPN leagues. This is a guy averaging 14.1 points, 3.3 rebounds, 4.1 assists, 0.9 steals, and 1.9 three-pointers per game. His 1.3 turnovers per game and 43.6% field goal percentage won’t set you back too much, while his 81.1% free throw percentage should help. Even though Mo Williams is back in the lineup, Gibson should continue to produce off the bench for the Cavs.

Basketball Roundtable

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Time for another fantasy basketball roundtable.
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Justin of Life is Just a Fantasy…Basketball Blog got us back on track. Click here for the full article.

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This Week’s Topic:
Who do you recommend selling high on, and who are some possible targets?
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My Response:
A player that I would look to sell high is Monta Ellis. As of 11/16 he’s averaging 26.5 points, 4.1 rebounds, 4.8 assists, 2.5 steals, and 1.2 three-pointers. It’s not that I don’t think he’s a terrific player, but I just don’t trust him to stay healthy.If you can move him for Derrick Rose, and perhaps another piece, I would jump on that.

Basketball Roundtable

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Time for another fantasy basketball roundtable.
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This week’s roundtable didn’t get off the ground. I answered it though, so I might as well post it.

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This Week’s Topic:
Among “expert” drafts, which player seems to be going higher than anticipated and which, in turn, seems to be getting drafted especially late?
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My Response:
This may seem redundant based on last week’s question, but I think Stephen Curry is going to early. The Warriors have a new coach, that will slow it down some. Part of his success can be attributed to the lack of depth last year when the Warriors were playing six or seven players some games. Too much risk here, when big guys like Pau Gasol and Dwight Howard are coming off the board after him.
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On the flip side, I think Derrick Rose is going to late. Yahoo has him ranked #42 just before Mo Williams. Rose worked tirelessly on his game, and I’m anticipating him to take a major jump this season.

Basketball Roundtable

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Time for another fantasy basketball roundtable.
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Nels of GiveMeTheRock.com is responsible for this week’s Fantasy Hoops Roundtable debate topic.
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Click here to see the full article.
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This Week’s Topic:
What do you think of Stephen Curry going at an average of 7.9 in Yahoo drafts? That’s above Danny Granger, Deron Williams, Dwight Howard, Pau Gasol, Amar’e Stoudemire, and David Lee… What do you think of Curry’s prospects compared to those other potential first round picks?
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My Response:
That seems a bit high for my tastes. If Don Nelson was returning I could maybe stomach taking him that high, but I can’t imagine Keith Smart will run an offense that is quite as high-tempo.
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I expect his scoring to increase in his second season to around the 22 ppg mark to go along with 7 assists a night. He’ll get a decent rebound total for a PG, shoot at a solid clip from the field, knock down a bunch of treys, rarely miss from the line, and pick up a couple of steals per game. He will also turn the ball over a bit.
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One of the reasons for the bloated stats at the end of the year was Golden State’s injury situation. It would hard for them to not be healthier this season, and the increased depth will keep him from putting up the April numbers that are worthy of a top seven pick.
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Would I take him over Granger? Possibly because of health issues the past couple of seasons. However, I would rather get the likes of Dwight Howard, Pau Gasol, and Amar’e Stoudemire to start my foundation. Maybe grab a Jrue Holiday, Rajon Rondo, Steve Nash, Tyreke Evans, etc. on the way back. The big men that will be available if you take Curry that early won’t be nearly as talented.

Basketball Roundtable

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We are bringing back the fantasy basketball roundtable. I am hosting the discussion.
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This week’s question is:
How will LeBron’s taking his talents to South Beach affect his fantasy production?
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Ryan Lester from LestersLegends.com
When LeBron James decided to join forces with Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh I cringed a bit. Because it was tacky? Yes, that certainly was part of it. I don’t blame him for leaving, but he could have taken a more subtle approach. Mainly I cringed because I have him as a keeper on my fantasy team.
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While I think he still puts up monster numbers, I think his production takes a hit. With other capable scorers on his team, I don’t expect him to score 27+ points a night. I think 25 is a more likely number. He won’t touch the ball nearly as much with Dwyane Wade on the floor with him, so look for the assists to drop down closer to the 7.0 per night range. With Bosh, Udonis Haslem, and company I expect him to grab about 7.0 boards a night.
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It won’t be all bad though. Wade and Bosh should take some pressure off LeBron, freeing him up to take better shots. I expect his field goal percentage to increase. Also, having the ball less will mean fewer turnovers.
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I would still take LeBron number two overall because he is so good in so many categories, but his sharing of the limelight allowed Kevin Durant to surpass him as fantasy basketball’s number one player. continue reading »

Basketball Roundtable

Time for another fantasy basketball roundtable.

Tommy of HoopsWorld.com asked the final topic for the  Fantasy Hoops Roundtable debate topic.

This Week’s Topic:

Which undrafted player was the most significant/productive/effective waiver-wire pick up of the season?

My Response:

It has to be Darren Collison. When Chris Paul went down, Collison basically matched Chris Paul’s production. His February numbers (21.6 ppg, 3.9 rpg, 8.3 apg, 1.8 spg, 1.1 3pg, 49.6 fg%, 82.7 ft%) either kept CP3 owners afloat or gave a crafty owner a major boost if you were able to steal Paul’s handcuff.

Even when Chris Paul returned before shutting down again, Collison continued to produced. you basically got first round product from Collison when he was running the show. Hard to ask for anything more.

Some other great waiver wire finds:
Andray Blatche – After getting rid of their big three, Blatche has been a beast for the Wizards.
Channing Frye – He faded down the stretch, but was great in the first half.
Carl Landry – Rockets or Kings. Doesn’t matter. He’s been highly productive.
Beno Udrih – Dominating the Kings’ reshuffled lineup.
Anderson Varejao – Never monster numbers, but quietly effective.
Anthony Morrow, C.J. Watson, Reggie Williams, Anthony Tolliver – All had their moments.
Rasual Butler – Solid bench option.
Jarrett Jack – Nice run while Jose Calderon was out.
George Hill – Injuries turned him into a fantasy force.
Marcus Thornton – Also stepped it up when CP3 went down.
Drew Gooden – Has been a monster for the Clippers.
Ersan Ilyasova, Carlos Delfino, Luke Ridnour – All had their moments.

Panelists
Brian of EmptyTheBench.com
Ryan Lester of LestersLegends.com
Nels of GiveMeTheRock.com
Tommy of HoopsWorld.com
Jeff/Tom of Damn Lies & Statistics

Basketball Roundtable

Time for another fantasy basketball roundtable.

Jeff/Tom of Damn Lies & Statistics are responsible for this week’s Fantasy Hoops Roundtable debate topic.

Click here to see the full article.

This Week’s Topic:
How are your fantasy teams doing this year? What has been your best move? Biggest mistake?

My Response:
I am in two leagues. Fortunately I made the playoffs in both. One of them is a keeper league and the other is an annual league. I’ll start with the keeper league.

Last year I began making a power play before the season even started. I traded my 2nd, 3rd, and 4th round picks for the #2 overall pick to pair with the #1 I held from winning a pre-draft contest. With the top two picks I secured LeBron James and Chris Paul. I continued my aggressive approach by mortgaging this year’s draft picks in an effort to take home the title. It paid off. This year, however, I was handicapped in the draft with a stockpile of late round picks.

I managed to select a few multi-category goes with my only early picks (Stephen Jackson & Boris Diaw) to pair with my trio of keepers (LBJ, CP3, and Iggy). The rest of the players became interchangeable. I worked the waiver wire almost to perfection landing Darren Collison and Carl Landry among others. I managed to finish with the second best record, but thanks to our divisional format I was stuck in the 4th seed.

Instead of getting a bye in the first round I got to square off with a team in which we both had advantages in four categories. It was going to come down to field goal percentage. Iggy’s 5 for 22 performance on March 15ht set the tone. I was playing catch-up the rest of the way. Ultimately I fell short in my quest to defend my title.

It wasn’t a perfect year though. Early on I told myself that I didn’t have the horses to defend the title, and I should just try to get by with the my guys and the available free agents. Unfortunately I veered from the path a bit with some minor draft pick trades. Most of those deals ended up blowing up in my face thanks to a bit of bad luck. I dealt a 5th and 7th rounder to make up for my rebounding deficiency with Marcus Camby and Joakim Noah. I dealt a 10th rounder right before our trade deadline for Luol Deng, who subsequently went down with a calf injury. I traded an 8th and a 14th rounder for Eric Gordon and a 10th and 11th rounder, which I may have done straight up without getting Gordon. He also missed time.

I didn’t quite mortgage my future as bad as last season, but if I had just stuck to my guns and let this season play out, I would have been in much better shape. In fact, I could have gone the opposite route and secured some early draft picks for myself. However, if the players I dealt for didn’t all go down with injuries I could have possibly taken home the crown so I have no regrets.

In my other league I secured the #2 seed and a first round bye. The first round of the playoffs are going on this week (3/22-3/28). My biggest mistakes in this league were in the waiver wire. While I excelled in my other league out of necessity, I missed out on Andray Blatche and Darren Collison. I ended up cutting Marcus Thornton before his second stretch of monster numbers. That league is still ongoing so time will tell if my mistakes were costly.

How has your season gone?

Panelists
Brian of EmptyTheBench.com
Ryan Lester of LestersLegends.com
Nels of GiveMeTheRock.com
Tommy of HoopsWorld.com
Jeff/Tom of Damn Lies & Statistics

Basketball Roundtable

Time for another fantasy basketball roundtable.

Nels of GiveMeTheRock.com is responsible for this week’s Fantasy Hoops Roundtable debate topic.

Click here to see the full article.

This Week’s Topic:
With team schedules over the last four weeks of the season in mind, what likely free agent player would you recommend fantasy owners pick up for a playoff run?

My Response:
Over four weeks schedules will balance out so I wouldn’t really factor that in. I’d simply roll with guys who could get opportunities down the stretch.

Jrue Holiday, Philadelphia 76ers
The Sixers are toast. Holiday is getting the experience he needs as the Sixers build for the future. He’ll have his ups and downs, but is a decent option going forward.

Anthony Morrow, C.J. Watson, & Reggie Williams, Golden State Warriors
Marrow and Williams have been huge for the last few weeks. As long as they are healthy and in the rotation, they will produce. In deeper leagues Reggie Williams could be a nice find down the stretch.

Darren Collison & Marcus Thornton, New Orleans Hornets
The longer Chris Paul remains out, the likelihood of his return decreases. If there are only a handful of games left and the Hornets are out of it, why risk further injury. If that’s the case Collison and Thornton will continue their furious finish. Even if CP3 does come back, the talented duo should still be fantasy factors down the stretch.

Drew Gooden, Los Angeles Clippers
The Clippers are a sorry bunch. Fortunately, those who were able to gobble up Drew Gooden should get solid scoring and rebounding down the stretch.

Panelists
Brian of EmptyTheBench.com
Ryan Lester of LestersLegends.com
Nels of GiveMeTheRock.com
Tommy of HoopsWorld.com
Jeff/Tom of Damn Lies & Statistics


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