Fantasy Basketball: wait on these 5 guys and you’ll lose!

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Hey everyone, my name is Brian Jodoin (@brianjodoin), and I’m the newest member here at FakeRoundball.  After months and months of Ricky begging me to join, I finally caved in and joined the team (don’t try to confirm that with him, he will deny it until he’s blue in the face).  I’m happy to be here, and thanks to everyone here for granting me the opportunity.

For my very first article at FakeRoundball, I am going to do what I do best: piggyback off other people’s work!  No, I’m kidding, but I will be using a (little too) early mock draft held by www.thefantasyfix.com with some of fantasy basketball’s best minds.  I looked over the draft and read the great insight from all involved to give myself some tips for the upcoming season, which I am going to pass on to you (you can read the events of the draft and some insight from Zack Rewis, here at The Fantasy Fix).

After looking over the results of the mock, I thought most of it was right in line with how most drafts will go this year.  However, there were a few guys that dropped in the draft that confused me a little bit.  I’m not going to sit here and say that they were all wrong with their choices (except Ricky), but their are things I would do differently.

So here are the are my observations that caught my attention.  Obviously, a lot of this would depend on the early makeup of my fantasy basketball team, but I still think these five players should have gone a bit earlier.

*note: in parenthesis is where players were drafted, along with a couple guys that were selected before that player, whom that I disagree with.

1. Michael Carter-Williams: PG, Philadelphia 76ers (61st pick; Mike Conley, Kemba Walker, Monta Ellis)

With the Sixers dead set on being terrible for roughly the next 17 years, the only option on offense they have is MCW.  The 2013-2014 ROTY went off the board as the first pick of the sixth round.  The assists may not be there, but I don’t expect a big drop from the 6.3 per game he averaged last year.  His scoring should increase if Thaddeus Young does indeed get traded, and his rebounding will surely have to increase because of this as well.

I fully expect Carter-Williams to take a huge leap this year.  He already averaged more APG, RPG, BPG, and SPG than the three guys listed.  His FG% was right in line with all of them.  The increase that I expect to see in his scoring should propel him forward to have more of a fantasy impact.

Remember, MCW was a guy who went from barely playing at Syracuse, to being the NBA ROTY in under two years.  The potential and the talent are there for him.  With a year under his belt, playing in the NBA will only help his game.  His length at the PG position is an automatic advantage. He is going to be a stat sheet stuffer, and those are the kinds of guys I love to have on my fantasy teams, especially in root leagues.

2. Lance Stephenson: SG, Charlotte Hornets (65th pick; Klay Thompson, Bradley Beal, Victor Oladipo)

Much like MCW, Stephenson does a little bit of everything.  He proved that last season by being a triple-double threat on a nightly basis.  Guys like Thompson and Beal get you scoring and three-pointers – Stephenson wasn’t too far behind in either category – but he also gave you rebounds and assists.  This is one of the other things I like about him:   he handles the ball a lot more than your average shooting guard.

This year, Stephenson has a new team and has a new chip on his shoulder to prove he was the main man in Indiana.  Also, the greatest player of all-time, Michael Jordan, will be watching his every move.  All of this is coupled with the fact that the All-Star snub  from a year ago is still fresh in his mind.  I firmly believe he is going to be a man on a mission this year.  I may be crazy, but I am super high on Stephenson this year, and will probably have him in every league that I am in this year.

3. DeAndre Jordan: C, Los Angeles Clippers (67th pick; Roy Hibbert, Brook Lopez, Nikola Vucevic).

Somebody needs to explain to me how Jordan fell to 67th pick in this draft.  I know his FT% is horrible, but this is one of the few guys in the league that can not only win you one, but two categories on any given night.  He had the most RPG last year, highest FG% in the league (if you take out the guys who barely took more than 1 shot all season), and was third in BPG.

His value should also be higher because Blake Griffin is hurt.  While I believe Griffin is supposed to be ready for the season, it would not surprise me if Doc Rivers limits Griffin a bit and allows Jordan to feast on opposing defenses.  Not to mention there’s also that Chris Paul guy at guard, so he’s still going to set up and feed Jordan all night in Lob City.  Not to mention that Andre Drummond was selected well before him?  Really?  Come on!

You know what?  Screw it.  Let’s fight and settle this now.

Why take Drummond so early, when you can get Jordan in the sixth round?  Honestly, they both have the same crappy free throw shooting, as well as similar points, rebounds,  and FG%.  Not to mention, Jordan averaged a full block more than Drummond last season.  I just find it odd that you would use a higher draft pick on a guy that is virtually the same as someone else four rounds later.  So unless you’re banking on Stan Van Gundy turning Drummond into Howard in the blink of an eye, take Jordan later.

4. Giannis Antetokounmpo: ???, Milwaukee Bucks (71st pick; ????)

The Alphabet is a weird case to me.  From reports I have read, it sounds like this kid is going to play all over the place.  Word is that he’s grown to about 6’11”, and he was playing PG during the Summer League.  This just makes it harder to decide exactly where to put him on the court, thus making it even more difficult in fantasy.

But I will say this kid is right up my alley.  I love guys that have a little bit of everything.  I fully expect all of his numbers to increase from last season.  Also, some of the pressure will be taken off of him with the arrival of Jabari Parker.  When you’re picking this guy, it’s in the middle rounds where you can take the chance on upside.  He might not be the safest of picks, but I think his ceiling is too sky high to turn down.

5. Joe Johnson: SG, Brooklyn Nets (92nd pick; Dwayne Wade, Wesley Matthews, Tyreke Evans)

Ugh, I hate Joe Johnson.  By that, I literally mean that I physically hate this guy.  I’ve always thought he is one of the most overrated players in the league.  With that said though, this has to be Johnsons’ team this year.  I can’t deny that with Paul Pierce leaving, both Deron Williams and Kevin Garnett being awful, and Brook Lopez coming back from injury, he will have to produce this year.  This offense has to go through Johnson until Lopez proves otherwise, and he is fully back to his pre-injury self.

Johnson may not be a guy that will light up any one category, but he’s not going to lose you any either (except maybe blocks because he doesn’t block anything). Of course, there’s two to five games a year that he goes bonkers and scores 40+ points, which is always nice to have from a late rounder. The upside and consistency make Johnson a great late-round value that will pay off big time.

 

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