Roto Arcade - Fantasy

The overwhelming success of our fantasy football mock left us little choice but to follow suit for fantasy hoops now that the NBA Draft has come and gone. And let's face it - it's never too early to mock draft. The plan is to have four rounds done by Thursday, and then we'll pick things up again after the July 4 weekend. The participants: Jonathan Tom, esteemed Fantasy Basketball Cafe contributor and winner of the 2007-08 Y! Friends and Family League; a Yahoo! Sports triumvirate of Brandon Funston, Matt Buser, and Matt Romig; Justin Phan, an FBC and fantasybasketball.com contributor; and David Klyce of HoopsKlyce.com (and 2006-07 F&F league champ).

For settings, assume the standard nine categories (FG%, FT%, 3PTM, PTS, REB, AST, STL, BLK, TO) and roto scoring format. Individual draft rounds can be found at the following links: 1, 2, 3, and 4.

Dwight Howard, Orlando C - Round 2, Pick 1. He has played four seasons and has not missed an NBA game so you know you will get your money's worth from him - at least in the categories of rebounds and blocks. He can score also, despite not being able to hit free throws. Although he had many game opportunities to improve (nearly 11 attempts per game last season), he has not been able to crack the 60% mark the past three seasons. With Allen Iverson as the first for this team, hopefully some of the damage can be corrected as AI goes to the line a lot and usually makes them. The pick also helps to fill the center position for the team. (Klyce)

Josh Smith, FA F - Round 2, Pick 2. At this moment Smith is a free agent and he may have a little downside if he relaxes after getting a big new contract. His value comes from packing the stat sheet full of blocks, steals, and rebounds. It is real handy to get the block production (count on three per game) out of your small forward position. I was very tempted to select Wade but I got burned by Wade in last years Yahoo! Friends and Family league and Smith is a better compliment to the first round selection Deron Williams. (Klyce)

Dwyane Wade, Miami G - Round 2, Pick 3. I definitely have my doubts about Wade staying healthy for the duration of next season, but there simply isn't another player here with as high a ceiling in terms of per-game production. The reports have been favorable thus far with Wade saying that his surgically repaired left knee feels good and he no longer has any physical restrictions. He'll be back with a vengeance after Tankapalooza 2008, and playing alongside Shawn Marion and super rookie Michael Beasley should be conducive to fantasy-friendly production. For the sake of his health we were all hoping that Wade wouldn't decide to put his body through a grueling six weeks of basketball during the summer, but that didn't turn out to be the case. Keep a watchful eye on Wade's health during the offseason and make sure he is in tiptop shape before using one of your first picks on him. (Phan)

Chauncey Billups, Detroit PG - Round 2, Pick 4. Certainly not the most exciting and 'sexy' pick here, but you really know what you're going to get when you draft Billups. Despite 3.6 less minutes per game, Chauncey managed to improve upon his value even further and finished 11th in per-game and cumulative value last season. The future of the Pistons is up in the air at this point, but no matter where he ends up, his categorical strengths (3PTM, AST, FT%) should not be affected significantly. Over the past three seasons, Billups has finished 11th, 20th, and 11th in cumulative value, respectively. Knowing that I'm more than likely getting a sure-fire top 20 player here is a very comforting feeling. (Phan)

Baron Davis, LA Clippers PG - Round 2, Pick 5. Healthy, content and surrounded by some legitimate talent, Davis soared to seventh overall in Yahoo! rankings for leagues using default settings. The numbers – 21.8 points, 7.6 assists, 2.1 3s and 2.3 steals per game – can be considered a baseline, not an upside, if he remains healthy. And assuming he makes it through training camp and the preseason schedule unscathed, we’re looking at a streak of 100 straight games played. As for his mental health, well perhaps you can call that into question after leaving $17 million on the table for 2008-09. Value-wise I would have preferred to see Baron re-sign with the Warriors, but I’m not all that concerned if he signs with the Clippers to establish a potent inside-outside attack with Elton Brand (assuming he re-signs, who coincidently would be his teammate on Team Romig II. (Romig)

Steve Nash, Phoenix PG - Round 2, Pick 6. Nash has some miles on those treads, but his only noticeable decline from a season ago was in scoring, where he dipped from 18.6 to 16.9 points per game. Otherwise it was his most durable season since his Dallas days, he shot over 50 percent for the fourth straight year (unheard of for a point guard) and was Top 2 in assists once again. Maybe it’s the old age, but he set a career best for 3-pointers made per game (2.2) while dipping to an eight-year low in free throws attempted per game (3.0). Hey, whatever self preservation techniques are necessary are fine with me. This was close to a no-brainer for me at this stage of Round 2, with the only reservations being the availability of guys like Chris Bosh and Pau Gasol, but I’m pretty firm at PF with Nowitzki. (Romig)

Danny Granger, Indiana F - Round 2, Pick 7. Granger came into his own in Jim O'Brien's offense last season, particularly while Jermaine O'Neal spent half of the season on the bench. Granger was the fifth-ranked player in the Y! game over the final three months - his per-game averages included 22.3 points, 2.6 threes, 6.3 boards, 2.3 assists, 1.3 steals, and 1.1 blocks. The 25-year-old finished with a season rank of 12th overall and was the only player in the league to average 2+ threes, 1+ steals, and 1+ blocks. He will have every opportunity to expand on those numbers now that O'Neal has been swapped out for T.J. Ford, completing the Pacers' transition to an up-tempo team. This team is looking like a roto dream after two rounds, with a pair of stat-stuffing standouts in Marion and Granger - assists are the only thing lacking at this point. (Buser)

Rashard Lewis, Orlando F - Round 2, Pick 8. Drafting Rashard Lewis in a roto league gives you an instant feeling of satisfaction and contentment. He's money, and that's comforting. He's averaged a per-game rank of 20 over the past five seasons (13, 23, 17, 23, and 24) and he's generally in good health (75 G over the past nine seasons) - when the low 20's is your downside, you're doing something right. There's no mystery as to where you'll get the biggest contributions, either - efficiency (83.9 FT%, 1.7 TO last season) and diversity (2.8 threes, 1.2 steals, 0.5 blocks) are strong points. He doesn't have quite the same impact in H2H leagues, but Shard is a roto juggernaut and an ideal foil for KG. (Buser)

Chris Bosh, Toronto FC - Round 2, Pick 9. In addition to his 20/10 skills, Bosh jibes well with this team's first pick, LeBron James. Bosh satisfies a Center need, and he brings a free throw percentage impact from last season (8.3 FTA per game at 84.4%) that was the fifth-most positive in fantasy. That will help offset LBJ's deficiencies at the charity stripe. Bosh is also a solid caretaker of the rock, as his 2.2 TO average for his career suggests - again, this provides a Band-Aid for where LBJ's roto game will cause you to bleed. (Funston)

Jose Calderon, Toronto PG - Round 2, Pick 10. When T.J. Ford was out of the Toronto lineup last season with his neck injury, Calderon was truly outstanding. As a starter, the Spaniard averaged 13 points, 9 assists, 1.2 steals, 1.2 treys and shot an ultra-efficient .531 from the field and .911 from the line. Now that the Raptors have passed Ford along to Indiana for Jermaine O'Neal, Calderon has full reign in the backcourt. If he just matches what he did as a starter last season, he'll have justified this No. 22 selection. But, heading into his fourth NBA season, there's a chance he can be even better. (Funston)

Gilbert Arenas, Washington PG - Round 2, Pick 11. Oh what a difference a season can make. Going into the 2007-08 season Arenas was a sure-fire top 6 pick. Now, one season and multiple knee surgeries later Agent-Zero can apparently be had at a heavily discounted price. While I understand the reason why my fellow drafters passed on Arenas- I must say that if you are able to acquire him at this point of your draft you simply must do so. Before last seasons' debacle Gilbert was a relatively durable player. In the three seasons leading up to the 08 season he had posted a total of only 12 DNP's. He was also a one man wrecking crew during that time as he finished No. 7 in the Y! game in 05-06 and No. 5 in 06-07. Assuming the knee is healed and Gilbert is 100% at the start of the season then this pick will become an absolute steal. It is not often you can come out of the 2nd round with two potential top 10 players. By taking Arenas here, I have certainly secured that potential pairing him with Kobe Bryant. (Tom)

Manu Ginobili, San Antonio SG - Round 2, Pick 12. I'll end the second round the same way I started the first, sexy names don't always win fantasy championships. Manu Ginobili may very well be the most under appreciated name in fantasy basketball. In the past two seasons he has finished No. 17 and No. 16 in the Y! game. He is a solid 8 cat contributor who has an insanely high per-minute efficiency rating (Chris Paul and Amare Stoudemire are actually the only 2 players who bested him in per-min value). Last season Ginobili saw nearly a 4 minute increase in mpg (from 27:30 to 31:06) resulting in a plethora of career highs: PTS (19.5), BLKS (.5), ASTS, (4.5), RBS (4.8), 3PTM (2.1) 3PT% (.400), FGA (13.3) FTA (6), FT% (.860) and unfortunately TO'S (2.7). He also still shot the ball at a decent clip (FG% .460) and maintained his reputation as a thief with 1.5 swipes per game. The trend seems to be that as the Spurs get older (particularly Tim Duncan), they may need Manu to shoulder more of the regular season load. It's a proposition that can only make Ginobili's fantasy owners feel all warm and fuzzy inside. (Tom)

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