Thursday, November 8, 2007

Fantasy basketball draft review

I have a problem. I'm addicted to fantasy sports.

I've been playing fantasy baseball since third grade, but since the fall of 2005 — not coincidentally my first semester in college — I've gone off the deep end. I had four fantasy baseball teams this season in 12-team Yahoo! leagues, two each in head-to-head (1st, 6th) and rotisserie (2nd, 8th). I have two fantasy football teams right now, and, as of Tuesday, two fantasy basketball teams. I'll admit, though I don't know as much about the "sport," I'm seriously tempted to do Fantasy Auto Racing, just to see what it's like. I'm questioning my belief in NASCAR not being a sport just so I can participate in a fantasy version.

This season, I'm doing two different fantasy leagues, one drafted by Yahoo! and one drafted by me. Last season I drafted two teams — one finished 2nd out of 12, the other one 3rd out of 12. The third place team would have won the league (I was destroying teams head to head before the playoffs) before Gilbert Arenas and Paul Pierce both went down and I was forced to start Devin Harris and Luol Deng in their respective places. This season, I signed up for a public league only to miss the draft due to work. So, partly annoyed that I hadn't been able to draft my own team, and partly wanting the challenge of out-drafting Yahoo!, I signed up for another team. Both teams are in the same public league, head-to-head format. I'll post my team today, the Yahoo! team tomorrow, and do weekly updates for both.

Anywho, here is the jamoros-drafted squad — Team Onyxxx. Onyxxx plays in a Yahoo! public head-to-head league, categories are FG%, FT%, 3PTM, Pts, Reb, Ast, St, Blk, TO. I picked 8th in a 12-team snake draft. Here is Onyxxx, in draft order:

1) Gilbert Arenas — I had him fourth on my "Big Board."
2) Chris Bosh — Could not believe the fool drafting No. 9 who went Vince Carter/Rashard Lewis in the snake.
3) Jermaine O'Neal — A sensible pick I didn't really enjoy making.
4) Jason Richardson — Here's to hoping MJ doesn't ruin his career.
5) Danny Granger — Favorite pick
6) Monta Ellis — Get ready for a breakout year starting in the Nellie Ball system!
7) Al Harrington —I got a little too caught up in Nellie Ball.
8) Nenad Krstic — As a Knick fan, a piece of me died picking Krstic with Curry available. But really, he has no other paint options challenging him, and his point guard didn't have sex with an MSG intern in an SUV outside of a strip club. Yet.
9) Raja Bell — He plays for the Suns! Steve Nash is his point guard! Plus, I hear Yahoo! is making "Hustle plays" and "Number of times player pissed off Kobe" into stat categories.
10) Devin Harris — it'll either be a breakout year or he'll be back on the bench by Jan. 1.
11) Marvin Williams — Jury is still out on this one, but he has a lot of upside if he gets a good amount of burn.
12) Jose Calderon — Just a savvy pick. Good work, jamoros. Good, solid work.
13) Al Thornton — Last round flier on the guy who might be No. 2 in ROTY balloting this year. As a side note, Durant got taken with the 10th pick of the 4th round. I was astounded. Granted, he's the best offensive weapon on his team. But still, I thought it was a little high.

Post draft update: I dropped Bell and picked up Boobie Gibson, who has been lights out and will continue to be wide open from beyond the arc as long as Lebron is wearing a Cavs uniform. He's got more upside and, at worst, will give me around the same numbers as Bell, who has a low ceiling as long as he is the fourth or fifth option on the court.

Picks I liked:
Chris Bosh in the 2nd round: Yeah, I know, you really can't make a bad pick in the first two rounds (unless you pick Vince Carter at the No. 9 overall pick). But Bosh gives me great numbers across the board, and he emphasizes my strategy — corner the market on guys with PF/C eligibility. There aren't too many good players who are dual eligible, which is why I went big with four of my first eight picks.

Granger in the 5th round: A little bit of a reach, but he's an insane athlete in a system where, even though he isn't the focal point, he'll probably score 15-17 per game. Bump that up to 20 a game if O'Neal goes anywhere.

Calderon in the 12th round: Here's an interesting one. T.J. Ford has been tearing it up the first few games, but he's a major injury waiting to happen. If he does, Calderon — a smooth, pass-first player — starts at the point in an above-average offense, where he could reasonably expected to pick up 14 points and 10 assists per game. Even if he stays as backup for the entire season, he'll still be good for about 5 assists and ten points a game.

Picks I didn't like
Al Harrington in the 7th round: He posted solid numbers for G.S. last season, when I had him on two fantasy teams. That being said, 7th round may have been a little high, plus it leaves me with two Pacers and two Warriors in my top-seven picks, not a good spread in terms of alleviating pressure from under-performing teams.

Raja Bell in the 9th round: See above.

Marvin Williams in the 11th round: I got caught up in the idea that this could be his breakout year before remembering the ridiculous glut of forward, especially wing, talent on the Atlanta roster. This will have to be a wait-and-see pick.

Check back tomorrow for the roster of Team Onyx, the Yahoo! drafted team.

And now, since you've been patient:

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