Roto Arcade - Fantasy

Ludicrously early mock drafting is a time-honored tradition here at Roto Arcade, and it continues this week. We're taking a look at the early rounds of '09 fantasy drafts, assuming standard rotisserie settings. Your drafters are Matt Romig, Matt Buser, Justin Phan, Brandon Funston, Dalton Del Don and Andy Behrens.

For earlier results, follow the links: Round 1, Round 2, Round 3.

Stephen Jackson(notes), Golden State Warriors GF – Round 4, Pick 1. There’s a give and take here. Captain Jack is good for 20 points, six boards and seven assists per game, and he’ll also get his hand in an occasional passing lane (career 1.3 steals per game). He’s also an erratic volume shooter and a high-dribbler, which makes him a triple threat on every possession – he can score, he can take an ill-advised shot in early offense or he can turn it over (career-worst 3.9 per game in 2008-09). The last two picks on this team (Garnett, Rondo) don’t shoot the three, so we’ll take some of the negative here to inherit Jackson’s 5-6 trey attempts per game. (Romig)

Manu Ginobili(notes), San Antonio Spurs SG – Round 4, Pick 1. Ginobili was a top-30 player in per-game averages last year in a season cut short by injuries that delayed the start and forced an early end to his campaign. The Spurs got better as a team with the acquisition of Richard Jefferson(notes) and if there’s a guy who won’t skip a beat with a new sheriff in town it’s Ginobili, who does a little bit of everything and earns his buckets through hard work. He may never be a 19-point scorer again, but there’s a comfortable floor here and the steals and 3s aren’t likely going anywhere. (Mig)

Monta Ellis(notes), Golden State Warriors G - Round 4, Pick 3. I wanted nothing to do with Ellis this past season, but he deserves credit for gutting out 25 games on his ankle, with reasonable production to boot (per-game rank of 85). Another six months of rest and rehab should do wonders for him in 2009-10, and Ellis is one of the few players on the Warriors' roster who you don't have to worry about "the Genius" suddenly pulling from the rotation on a whim. Ellis' season rank was 23 in 2007-08, and I'm using pick 39 on him here. (Buser)

David West(notes), New Orleans Hornets PF - Round 4, Pick 4. There's not a lot to dislike when it comes to West - he's consistently productive, efficient, and plays with the best point guard in the world. The Hornets are a two-man show these days - and, given their salary situation, for the foreseeable future - so West is going to continue to get as many touches as he can handle. West's respective season ranks over the past two seasons were 26 and 29, and I'm grabbing him with pick 40. (MB)

Rashard Lewis(notes), Orlando Magic F - Round 4, Pick 5. I must be missing something here, but why is a player who has finished in the top 25 in each of the past four seasons still on the board in the mid-fourth? Things should be business as usual in Orlando heading into next season as the team won't miss a beat with Vince Carter(notes) sliding into Hedo Turkoglu's(notes) spot at small forward. There's been talk about the Magic pursuing Brandon Bass(notes) in free agency, but it shouldn't have a significant effect on Shard's production as he has proven to be adept at playing both the 3 and the 4. (Phan)

Al Horford(notes), Atlanta Hawks FC - Round 4, Pick 6. After taking Durant, Calderon, and JRich in the Rounds 1-3, I needed to grab a big man who would beef up my boards, blocks, and FG percentage. Horford was huge after the break last season, putting up top-30 production: 13.0 PPG, 10.6 REB, 1.3 BPG, 1.0 SPG, and 53.2 percent from the field. Although the Hawks still have plenty of questions to answer during free agency, Horford's status as a double-double threat with upside is unaffected. (JP)

Paul Pierce(notes), Boston Celtics GF - Round 4, Pick 7. You know what you get with Pierce, and I was pretty happy to get it with the No. 43 pick. This team needed another big-time scorer after it took Jason Kidd(notes) and Brook Lopez(notes) with the previous two picks, and Pierce has done no worse than 19.6 points per game in any of the past 10 seasons. If he can keep his FG percentage above 46, his game has proven top 25 worthy. (Funston)

Mo Williams(notes), Cleveland Cavaliers PG - Round 4, Pick 8. Continuing the quest to deemphasize Dwight Howard’s(notes) FT percentage impact on the team, I went with Williams, who knocked down freebies at a 91.2 rate last season. This squad also needed a point guard and some assists, and my hope is that, while LBJ will still start (and finish) offensive possessions a lot of the time, Williams will boost his assists mark back towards 6.0 because of the addition of Shaq and, perhaps, a free agent signee with some offensive skills. (BF)

Elton Brand(notes), Philadelphia 76ers FC - Round 4, Pick 9. Brand was a big disappointment even before going down with a season-ending shoulder injury last year, averaging the fewest points (13.8), rebounds (8.8), assists (1.3) and blocks (1.6) of his career. Still, some explosiveness should return now two years removed from the Achilles’ injury, and his shoulder should be fully healed as well. There’s some risk with a player on the wrong side of 30 who has missed 127 games over the past two seasons, but Brand was typically a first-round pick last year, is center-eligible and has averaged 20.0 points, 10.1 rebounds and 2.1 blocks during his career. He’ll be motivated for a bounce back, and playing in the Eastern Conference now comfortable in Philly, he could be a steal at this stage of the draft. (Del Don)

Derrick Rose(notes), Chicago Bulls PG - Round 4, Pick 10. Rose is already one of the best point guards in the NBA, and while more threes and steals would be nice, there aren’t too many weaknesses in his game. With Ben Gordon(notes) gone and Kirk Hinrich(notes) likely to follow, this backcourt belongs to Rose, and he has the talent to take full advantage of it. Don’t be surprised if he’s a first-round pick in 2010. (DDD)

* BEHRENS PAUSES DRAFT *

That Rose pick was devastating, even in a mock. That's your steal right there. He nearly went in Round 3 instead of 'Melo. To quote Mr. Funston from an earlier write-up, "The biggest jump in value in a player’s career is most often from his rookie campaign to his second season." D-Rose is still just 20, and he's about to become the latest in a line of players (all sports) who've burned our commenting friend, MDS.

* BEHRENS RESTARTS DRAFT *

Carlos Boozer(notes), Utah Jazz FC - Round 4, Pick 11. This team was locked in on Rose, but Boozer will have to do. You know what you're getting here, no matter who employs Carlos next year: Double-digit rebounds, no fewer than 16 points per game, and a stellar field-goal percentage. It helps a little that I was glued to Game 3 of the Lakers-Jazz series, when Boozer went for 23 and 22. (Behrens)

David Lee(notes), New York Knicks FC - Round 4, Pick 12. No, we can't say with perfect clarity where Lee will land, not on July 2. I'm hoping it's New York, where the points and boards will be plentiful (16.0 and 11.7 last year). There's a reason why you don't draft fantasy teams in mid-summer. Wherever Lee finds himself, he'll bring along his outstanding shooting percentages (56.4 career FG percentage). This squad needed rebounds, and they'll pick up a few more with the first pick in Round 5. (AB) 

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