NBA Experts Draft Analysis

NBA Experts Draft Analysis
By Matt Buser
October 31, 2005

Matt Buser
Yahoo Sports
Also see: Y! Friends and Family League experts Q&A | Y! Friends and Family League draft results

Here is a review of the recent Y! Friends and Family League experts draft, complete with my choice for the best and worst pick of each round, and a comment on the player I decided to draft in each round.

ROUND 1
Liked it: SF LeBron James – first overall is the place to be this season.
Didn't like it: C Yao Ming – too much of a reach here. He wasn't the best player available, which is what you have to go for at No. 10 overall.
My pick: PG Gilbert Arenas – he was ranked ninth on my draft board, behind the eight players that were already drafted, so I guess you can say this is who I anticipated taking here.

ROUND 2
Liked it: PF Elton Brand – he should have been off the board earlier, and you can't ask for a better pair of big men than Brand and Dirk.
Didn't like it: PF Jermaine O'Neal – a solid power forward, but again I think Lago reached, especially taking him over Brand if he wanted another big man. If O'Neal gains center-eligibility at some point, this pick suddenly looks much better.
My pick: SG Ray Allen – I can no longer say I've never had Allen on one of my fantasy teams.

ROUND 3
Liked it: SF Peja Stojakovic – the last time he played without Webber for the majority of a season, he was a top-5 player (2003).
Didn't like it: C Marcus Camby – there aren't a lot of elite centers out there, but with Kirilenko already on Pelton's roster providing blocks, Camby wasn't a gamble that needed to be taken here.
My pick: PG Mike Bibby – I'm a huge Bibby fan, and just couldn't pass up rounding out my backcourt with this stud.

ROUND 4
Liked it: PG Chauncey Billups – this pick gives TMR's top four picks great balance among all fantasy categories.
Didn't like it: PF Zach Randolph – I'm not a fan of his game even when he is completely healthy and not at odds with his coach, particularly because of his defensive deficiencies, but the fact that Bosh was still on the board made this that much less appealing.
My pick: C Ben Wallace – I obviously needed to start thinking about some big men, and Wallace was a great place to start.

ROUND 5
Liked it: PF Chris Bosh – even in a 10-team league, Bosh anywhere in the fifth round is a steal.
Didn't like it: PF Kenyon Martin – I can't condone drafting both members of the Nuggets' frontcourt, especially with Martin already ailing.
My pick: GF Andre Iguodala – I didn't really need a scorer here, and I love his versatility and defensive numbers. Oh yeah, and I expect him to improve across the board, as well.

ROUND 6
Liked it: PF Tyson Chandler – he should gain center eligibility very soon, and is primed for a monster season.
Didn't like it: PG Jamaal Tinsley – he's missed roughly half of the past two seasons, and I have no reason to believe this year will be any different.
My pick: GF Josh Howard – although Howard is a fine player and was a decent fit for my team, I instantly regretted not taking Josh Smith here.

ROUND 7
Liked it: C Joel Przybilla – this gave 82games.com two solid centers and Przybilla could be a monster this year.
Didn't like it: C Eddy Curry – anyone that knows me knows that Curry is among my least favorite fantasy players. That may change if doesn't average twice as many turnovers as blocks, steals, and assists combined like he did last year.
My pick: FC Stromile Swift – I've discovered that I can't not draft Swift this season. If he actually pans out, I'm going to do well in most of my leagues.

ROUND 8
Liked it: C Mehmet Okur – pairs what should turn out to be the "poor man's Brad Miller" with the real deal.
Didn't like it: G Ben Gordon – Peter's team is already loaded with scorers, so Gordon's only contributions aren't what this team needs.
My pick: PG Rafer Alston – Alston is another guy who, like Swift, I've been targeting in pretty much every draft. I love having three solid point guards.

ROUND 9
Liked it: Cuttino Mobley – he is consistently underrated in fantasy drafts and a steal in the ninth round for Funston, as he lacked a pure shooting guard entering the round.
Didn't like it: PG Shaun Livingston – if Sam Cassell plays well while Livingston sits out the season's first few weeks, Livingston may struggle for playing time all season.
My pick: FC Raef LaFrentz – I wanted to grab a third center as soon as possible, and was pleasantly surprised when the roto-friendly lefty was still available.

ROUND 10
Liked it: GF Bobby Simmons – if he puts up similar numbers to last season's, then he is a steal in the tenth round.
Didn't like it: C Mark Blount – he shouldn't be counted on as a starting center under just about any circumstances.
My pick: F Antawn Jamison – His scoring prowess should complement what Swift and LaFrentz, my other power forwards to this point, bring to the table.

ROUND 11
Liked it: GF Jalen Rose – he was huge in fantasy once Vince Carter was traded, and should be counted on pretty heavily from the outset this season.
Didn't like it: C Channing Frye – rookies typically struggle for minutes on Larry Brown's teams, and the Knicks have plenty of veterans in the frontcourt.
My pick: GF Stephen Jackson – I'm not completely sure what kind of season to expect from Jackson, but he is too talented to pass on at this point.

ROUND 12
Liked it: SF Caron Butler – it appears that he will start the season as a reserve, but Butler will play a lot and prove to be worth more than a twelfth-round pick.
Didn't like it: C Theo Ratliff – even if he somehow regains a starting job, his blocks won't make up for zero contributions in every other area if you were to plug him into your lineup.
My pick: G Deron Williams – I couldn't pass on taking another starting point guard here. I think Williams will be solid but not spectacular.

ROUND 13
Liked it: SF James Jones – if the preseason is any indication, this might be the steal of the draft.
Didn't like it: GF Michael Finley – I don't see how he gets enough minutes to warrant a roster spot.
My pick: C Brendan Haywood – rebounds and blocks are my team's weakest areas, so I am happy to get Haywood here as a fourth center-eligible player.

Matt Buser is a Yahoo! Sports fantasy expert. Follow him on Twitter. Send Matt a question or comment for potential use in a future column or webcast.

Updated on Monday, Oct 31, 2005 3:08 pm, EST

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