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 contributor; and David Klyce of (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.

Chris Kaman, LA Clippers - Round 4, Pick 1. This team already has Allen Iverson, Dwight Howard, and Kevin Martin. I dropped down a little to find a player whose strength was other than points. By getting a second center on the 4th pick the rest of the league will probably now start to feel some pressure to fill that position. This team hopes Kaman decided to stay in shape over the summer as when he did not two seasons ago he struggled. Look for this pick to shore up the rebound and block categories. (Klyce)

Al Jefferson, Minnesota FC - Round 4, Pick 2. This team already has Deron Williams, Josh Smith, and Carmelo Anthony. This pick gets this team a center and is the best player remaining on the depth chart. Jefferson should make the team competitive in rebounds as Jefferson averaged over 11 last season. He is also good in points, FG%, and can block around 1.5 per game. A weakness is FT% which when paired with Josh Smith is something that should make this team avoid other players that shoot less than 80% from the line in future rounds. (Klyce)

Joe Johnson, Atlanta G - Round 4, Pick 3. Johnson ended the season with a bang and put up his best numbers during the final 33 game stretch when Mike Bibby joined the Hawks. During that stretch Johnson put up top-20 production and improved upon seven of nine categories, particularly PTS (23.2), 3PTM (2.5), AST (6.6), STL (1.2), and FG% (.475 on 18.3 attempts). The category to highlight is FG% though, where Johnson improved significantly from a dismal 40.5% as a result of Bibby's much improved assist ratio. The icing on top of the cake is Johnson's near-pristine bill of health - he has played a full 82 game schedule in five of his past six seasons. (Phan)

David West, New Orleans PF - Round 4, Pick 4. West is finally starting to get the respect and recognition that he deserves, receiving his first All-Star Game selection last season. He made great strides in his game over the past two seasons and delivered big time last season, finishing 27th in per-game value. He has gone from averaging 16.4 PPG, 0.8 BPG, .458 FG%, and .766 FT% during the first half of the 2006-07 season to averaging 22.1 PPG, 1.2 BPG, .493 FG%, and .858 FT% during the second half of last season. What a difference two seasons has made. With fantasy-MVP Chris Paul locked up in New Orleans for another 4 seasons, things can only get better for West from here on out. (Phan)

Lamar Odom, LA Lakers F - Round 4, Pick 5. I'm still cracking up over Odom's "man-possessed" act from the fourth quarter of Game 6 of the NBA finals. Way to take over with the series already lost, Lamar. That display aside, I like Odom's versatility, both in terms of filling multiple forward positions and contributing across several categories. You don't consider him a banger, but only eight players grabbed more rebounds league-wide than Odom in 2007-08. He's also good for right around a steal, a block and four assists per game to go along with mid-double figures scoring. Odom joins Brand, Baron and Iguodala on Team Romig II. (Romig)

Rasheed Wallace, Detroit FC - Round 4, Pick 6. I'm going to rip this note off of Brandon Funston's Big Board, and point out that 'Sheed was the "only player with more blocks (1.7), threes (1.5) and steals (1.2) per game than turnovers (1.1)" during the 2007-08 season. In other words, he fills up a stat sheet. Wallace joins Dirk Nowitzki, Steve Nash and Paul Pierce. (Romig)

Jason Kidd, Dallas PG - Round 4, Pick 7. With Marion, Granger, and Yao already on board, this team needs some assists. Enter Jason Kidd, who will come at a heavy discount in 2008-09 drafts due to Dallas' real-life struggles after he joined the team. Ironically, Kidd's fantasy prospects improved greatly with the Mavs - his per-game rank was 41 in 80 games on the season but rose to 21 after he was traded (29 games). I don’t mind the lack of offense as long as Kidd can continue to dish, board, and steal the ball. Clearly he's on the downside of an illustrious career, but we're talking about a player who finished 12th and 11th in season rank prior to last season. Call me crazy but, at pick 43, I'm actually thinking this is something of a value pick. (Buser)

Antawn Jamison, Washington F - Round 4, Pick 8. Speaking of value picks… Jamison historically brings a steady return on investment at this point in the draft - you can usually snag him somewhere in the fourth round (ADP of 46.8 this past season), yet his average season rank over the past three seasons is 28. His combination of scoring (21.4 points in 2007-08), boards (10.2), and threes (1.5) is complemented by a miniscule turnover rate (1.4). This is more of a "best roto player available" pick than one that starts to address team needs, but that's typically how I approach things at this stage, anyway. This squad now consists of KG, Rashard Lewis, Gasol, and Jamison. (Buser)

Brandon Roy, Portland G - Round 4, Pick 9. In his first two seasons, Roy has established himself as a solid, across-the-board contributor. And his third season should his best yet as he'll be surrounded by more talent than ever before (LaMarcus Aldridge, Greg Oden, Jerryd Bayless, Rudy Fernandez). Roy is a consummate teammate and will take full advantage of the players around him. With LeBron, Bosh and Ellis on this squad already, Roy becomes the team's sandpaper, smoothing out the rough edges. (Funston)

Michael Beasley, Miami F - Round 4, Pick 10. Time to roll the dice. After this team selected Amare with the first pick, it followed with Jose Calderon and Jason Richardson. So it's time to circle back and give Amare some help in the big-man categories. Beasley averaged 26 points, 12 rebounds, 1.6 blocks and 1.3 steals in his freshman season at Kansas St. He was considered the most NBA-ready player in the draft. Unlike most teams with a top two pick, Miami is already stocked with a couple proven stars (Dwayne Wade and Shawn Marion). Beasley should fit in nicely, with personal expectations of 17-18 points, 8-9 boards, a block and a steal. And he'll come in with something to prove after being passed over for the top pick. (Funston)

Michael Redd, Milwaukee SG - Round 4, Pick 11. In the four seasons leading up to the 06-07 season Redd had posted only 9 total DNP's. Since then, in his last 2 seasons, Redd has registered a total of 39 DNP's. He has also posted back to back career highs in the TO column (2.3, 2.5) while seeing his FG% dip from .465 to .443. However, all is not lost in MIL as help is on its way in the form of Richard Jefferson and Joe Alexander. The presence of Jefferson should help relieve some of the defensive pressure that Redd has grown accustomed to seeing. Expect his PPG to stay roughly the same (22.7), but his FG% and TO's are sure to see modest improvements. If Redd can get back to his iron man ways (finished No. 14 in the Y! Game in 05-06), this pick could prove to be a major steal. Redd joins Bryant, Arenas and Boozer. (Tom)

Hedo Turkoglu, Orlando SF - Round 4, Pick 12. Who could have guessed Turkoglu's 8th NBA season would be his official 'breakout year'? After single handedly changing the fantasy landscape last season, Hedo will be back and better than ever in 2008-09 - expect nothing less than 20 points, 2 threes, 5 rebounds, 5 assists, and solid percentages. His TO's (3) are a drag, but hopefully it is something he will work on over the summer. Despite the high turnovers, he still finished with 3rd round value (No. 36 in the Y! game) last season, a ranking that is well ahead of several players already drafted in the 3rd and 4th rounds of this mock. Hedo joins the surreptitious threesome of Paul, Ginobili and Duncan. (Tom)

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