Early Bargain Hunting
Posted by Erik on September 4, 2008
Here’s something to keep your appetite tingling while I am working on my version of my big board, 08-09 Top Tier Player Guide, and some other juicy tidbit posts.
Now these guys are not sleepers per se, but if you can snag them at just the right round, they just might provide quality fantasy value for your team. A lot of experienced fantasy basketball players know that drafting is all about timing and getting optimum value from your picks at the round you get to snag ’em. So here’s a list of guys of whom you want to keep your eye on so you don’t catch yourself sleeping behind the wheel as other managers pick them before you do at their appropriate rounds.
Devin Harris – I really like Devin for this year’s draft. A few months back I had him and Mo Williams as the best valued non-tier 1 PGs to provide good numbers. Mo got traded to the Cavs, getting the spotlight on him so he might end up getting overvalued due to the change. Rich Jeff gets traded away for Yi Jianlian and Bobby Simmons. Some people feel that Bobby may get a chance to rejuvenate his career over at NJ, this is probably true to certain degree; but I will be drafting (or not) him with a grain of salt as his recent history has been riddled with injuries. I’m going to put my money on Devin stepping up his game to another level and end up being the member of Vince Carter’s supporting cast with the most impact – thus making him the superior value pick between the two. Depending on how deep your league is, he may end up being a prime candidate as the top 2nd PG for you roster.
Ricky Davis – I actually pegged him as a sleeper when I thought he’d be the lead guy over at Minnesota. Ricky D then gets traded to the Miami and ends up with a grossly disappointing season to say the least. Call me stubborn and slap me silly, but I feel that he can be a real contributor in the Clippers new look franchise. Last season’s poor showing will provide a good slam on Ricky’s ranking, potentially enough for you to pick him up at a very late round this year.
Charlie Villanueva – The Bucks have really cleaned house this off season and are trying to put together a playoff-run-worthy package. Yi’s exodus has opened the door for Charlie V to take a crack at a full time run at the Bucks’ starting PF slot. He’s a potential multi-cat filler that will more likely than not give you decent numbers, especially for a late round pick.
Hakim Warrick – Here’s another PF I like for this year. Memphis has offloaded all but one of their key fantasy contributors – Rudy Gay. They’ve said bye bye to Pau Gasol last season and now Mike Miller this off season. Clearly rebuilding and trying to clear up cap space for the long term, the Grizzlies will more than likely end up looking to Hakim and Mike (Conley) step up in the short term. While Darko and Hamed Haddadi jostle for playing time at the C spot, Hakim’s pretty much got guaranteed quality (?) minutes over at the PF position. He’s not really been known for his scoring in the past, but if he can work on his offensive game over at training camp we may be able to see a potential Chris Wilcox-lite or better this year.
Luol Deng – Here’s an interesting and arguably debatable choice for this list. He’s the best player on the Bull’s roster, so how in hell can he possibly be a bargain player in this year’s draft? Well here’s the logic behind it. Basically Luol ‘s garnered a lot of characteristics that would normally merit a downgrade in value by some other managers. (1) His numbers slipped last year from his previous “break out” year (2) He played only 63 games last season due to injury (3) He just signed a big fat contract – making him considered as one of the more overpayed players in the league today. All of these scream rank downgrade to the average fantasy manager. I, on the other hand, am not completely on that boat. This year is chance for Deng to prove those pundits wrong and if you can take advantage of everyone else’s downgrade and grab him at just that one round later then he may provide you with some good efficient numbers with quality %s at an arguably late round. Let’s face it the Bulls back court is more crowded than ever, even with Chris Duhon’s departure. So its guards’ values will be too volatile to really rely on. Luol’s got the stranlge hold on the SF slot and with very few, if any predtors for his playing time. He’s the most solid pick on that team, bar none.
John Salmons / Fransisco Garcia – It all depends on who you figure to benefit the most from Ron Artest’s departure from the Kings. Fransisco fills the SF position more naturally but John has the overall more well rounded game. I don’t think the choice for who will fill the starting position void has been carved in stone as far as the Kings coaching staff is concerned. I personally would like to see John land thestarting SF gig as I see Fransisco as a better choice for that off-the-bench instant offense type of contributor. Everyone on the Kings roster will pretty much get some upward bumps as they will be expected to step up in Artest’s absence. Even though the greatest focus will be on who will be filling the position, I’d like to go out on a limb and say that Brad Miller will end up being the best catch in terms of improved fantasy value, so keep an eye on him as well.