If you’re into multiple fantasy sports, you’re probably neglected a lot of friends, family and work right now. This weekend is one of the biggest fantasy football draft weekends of the year, fantasy baseball head-to-head playoffs are underway, and most of all, Yahoo! opened up their fantasy basketball section! Score!
Before we talk hoops, let me just get some shameless plugs out of the way: I did a recap of a PPR auction on our Rotoworld Football Draft Guide, so check that out if you’re in an auction. Also, we’re almost done with the NBA Draft Guide and it should be out in less than two weeks.
Our Adam Levitan does a really cool article about which guys are ranked too high or too low on Yahoo!, CBS and ESPN for football. He’s in all-out football mode when you guys will be drafting, so I’ll be bringing that column to you guys in a month or so for NBA. I don’t want to reveal the entire list yet, but I’ll say Markieff Morris and Terrence Jones not being in the top 130 makes no sense to me. I think both guys have an extremely good chance for top-50 value. For what it’s worth, but Jones and Markieff were ranked in the top 42 in the second half of the season. They’re top-60 picks for me right now.
I’m all about mock drafts to get ready for your draft and I’ve already done eight in the first day Yahoo! opened up their mock draft lobby. Go do them! Also, I’ll randomly be looking for fellow mock draft fiends on Twitter @MikeSGallagher, so follow me and look out for some links if you want to get in a mock that isn’t a run-of-the-mill public mock.
I think we all know Rose and Kobe are capable of putting up big stat lines, but that’s not why they’re going to slide in your draft — or at least they should slide in your draft. It’s all a matter of games played and I think Rose is far too risky to take in the first two rounds. Kobe has been going in the 25-36 range in the mocks I’ve done, which will likely start to increase as more good news comes out of Kobe camp.
To answer your question, I think Rose will be somewhere in the middle of his MVP 2011-12 season and his 10-game dud in 2013-14. I’d say he’s looking at around 20 points, seven dimes, three assists, one steal and 1.5 triples. That’s definitely first- or second-round value, but it’s just a risk factor.
It’s the same with Kobe. He was awesome in 2012-13 and even had a career-high effective field goal percentage. However, he was horrific in his six games last season. I’d say he’s looking at 23 points, five boards, five dimes, 1.2 steals and 1.6 triples. Again, that’s top-20 value, but it’s all a matter of risk. Their risks are similar and they offer similar upside, but Kobe will likely be going a lot later in drafts. I have them rated almost equally in my rankings.
It’s still a little tough for me to tell considering I haven’t done enough prep with mock drafts. However, we’re looking at a solid group of point guards and I’ve always found myself stacked at big men in drafts. Although, I love drafting bigs for their field goal percentage help and because of the stat scarcity of blocks.
At this early juncture, I’d say small forward is the thinnest. I don’t think it’s thin enough to change your strategy in the early going or anything. It’s more of just a tiebreaker right now. I also have a lot of power forward sleepers, so I might be leaning a bit more to shooting guards and maybe even point guards if the time is right.
In general, I've maintained that you should just draft pure value in the first half of your draft, then upgrade your desire for filling a need in the second half. If you want to have a "perfect draft" you'll be drafting the best player every time and just have your needs fall into the exact right place.
I’ll keep this in mind the more I do some mocks. Also, I love auction drafts and I'll be doing more of those heading into the season. If your league is hardcore, I'd consider trying to make the switch.
I really like Jabari Parker here. I think the Bucks want him to succeed quickly and he’ll also get plenty of minutes since they want him to play the three and the four. Parker showed a lot of discipline at summer league and he is a much better fit for the Bucks considering their offensive woes in the front court. Ersan Ilyasova was a joke and he was so bad (HOW BAD WAS HE??), he was so bad I think he has to be bumped to the second unit. He was one of the worst offensive players in the entire league, and clearly his strong finish in the 2012-13 season was a fluke.
I do like Andrew Wiggins and it would appear he’s shaping up for minutes in the high 20s right off the bat. Basically, it’s all about field goal percentage for Wiggins. If he can keep it above 44 percent, he’s going to be a must-start guy. That probably won't happen if Vega's mid-range jumper fest was any indication. I don’t see him hitting his ceiling as fast as Parker, which means he’s a tough bet for ROY. Although, the move to Minnesota makes him the second pick for ROY over Noel now.
To take it a step further, I like Parker in the early-sixth round, Wiggins and Noel in the seventh.
The Celtics reportedly told Thornton he’d get a chance for minutes, so I think he could be one of the first guys off the bench. I think we all know that he’s not going to start after Boston just gave Avery Bradley a fat contract, and Bradley also could get major minutes if he's healthy. Plus, don’t forget general manager Danny Ainge said he wants to play Marcus Smart at the shooting guard spot.
The Celtics do really need a shooter in their second unit, which means MT shouldn’t see an empty minute total. Get it? Anyway, he’s not someone you’ll want to target in even a 16-team league. If Rondo is dealt, I think Thornton does make it on the radar, though.
Hey, more Celtics questions! Yeah, I think Smart absolutely has to get minutes at point guard to matter in fantasy. He really couldn’t even score on his own in summer league, so just imagine what kind of trouble he’ll have in the NBA. I don’t think he’s going to shoot above 41 percent this season.
Besides that and maybe a lack of treys, Smart could be solid. He may have a chance of five-plus dimes without Rondo and he should be very good in steals. I still don’t think he’ll be a must-start guy in most formats, though.
I'd expect Bradley to see a minor bump with a higher usage rate. He was better in isolation as the year went on and he can handle the ball a little bit. Phil Pressey would become a deep-league pick-and-play guy and I mentioned Thornton above.
Jeff Green would be an interesting case. He was horrible without Rondo last season, but he was great without Rondo in 2012-13. I'd split the difference and say he'll hold value with or without Rajon.
The Fantasy Hipster is tweeting questions about Love and Wiggins on the day the trade became official. That's so non-hipster that it's kind of hipster if you think about it. I don't even know what I'm talking about anymore.
No and no.