Points in the Paint

Fantasy Basketball Opinions, Strategy & Tips

The Butler Did It!

Posted by Erik on October 2, 2008

No not THAT Butler! The guy over at Washington who’s in the background making sure your drink is always fresh and that the silverware is always nice and shiny. Or maybe you just didn’t notice him as he prepared you a big fat juicy 14 oz. steak while vacuuming the study in an inexplicable dead silence. It’s amazing how the butler can seem to get so much done without anyone even noticing it. I feel rather guilty in that our butler is, I guess, quite under appreciated. Night in and night out he comes and goes, gets the dirty work done, leaves without any accolades or even a “You know what?, I think I’ll build my fantasy team around you this year.”

Fine, I think I’m not talking about THAT butler anymore as much as I am talking about THIS one:

I felt it was time to address the big elephant in the drafting room. Quietly over the last couple of years, Caron Butler has managed to perform at such an efficient and productive level that he has finally done it. – Found himself worthy of being a Fantasy Basketball 1st round draft option.

Caron who? …. BUTLER! or haven’t you been paying attention? or did you just ignore him like you’ve done in so many past drafts? Well guys this is the season that you finally SHOULD seriously consider him as a draft pick option in the late first round (10-12) or early second (1-4).

Now that it is a certainty that Gilbert Arenas will be joining the Washington Wizards much later than what is expectable from a “former” fantasy stud, it has now become imperative to set aside one’s biases and look at what Caron Butler can do for your fantasy team. This is what he managed to do last season in the wake of Agent Zero’s absence. We can look for Caron to either repeat or improve on this line for this season.

58 GP, 39 Min, 20.3 PPG, 6.7 RPG, 4.9 APG, 0.3 BPG, 2.2 SPG, 1.1 3PG, 2.6 TOs, at 46.6 FG% and 90.1 FT%

Since he isn’t that popular a fantasy basketball player to begin with, let’s start and focus on what we don’t like about that line; his games played (GP). He’s averaged about 20 DNPs over the course of the last 2 seasons. This makes him somewhat of an injury risk. But let’s take it into the context of who else he is up against in terms of draft options in his zone. Notable names would be the likes of Allen Iverson, who has a long history of missed games back when he was playing in Philly; Baron Davis, whose 82 game performance last season may blind people into overlooking that this is his first season above 67 GPs since the ’01-’02 season; Marcus Camby who already is easily acknowledgeable to be an equal injury risk as Caron. So as you can see, Caron is in good but equally unhealthy company in the zone where he should be targeted. It makes it an arguable wash in that area. It has come to the point where his contributions to your fantasy team mitigate the time he spends away from it while suffering from an injury, much like his above mentioned company.

How can I build around him?

Rotisserie – This is the easier format to build around a butler, especially this one. He has relatively low turnovers compared to other marquee studs. His percentages are more than respectable for a player playing in his position. He is effectively a multiple category contributor (points, 3s, steals, boards, assists). You can simply draft another well rounded guy and complement his categories, like Chris Bosh or Chauncey Billups in the succeeding rounds. In roto, as long as a player doesn’t kill you in either of the percentages or turnovers while chipping in the adding cats, then he is definitely in the stud category.

Head to Head – If you are drafting in H2H, you may want to play out a concrete strategy and focus on certain key categories that you want to isolate and be competitive in or dominate. Off the top, Caron is just a sick and mean pickpocket with his 2.2 steals per game. And don’t forget that steals are considered one of the “rarer” cats to hunt for in terms of solid contributors. Caron will give you a good head start in that category and this is an edge if you want to draft around the small guy numbers. You can follow up by drafting a guard like Allen Iverson or Chauncey Billups to improve from there.

His 46.6 FG% and his 6.7 rebounds per game are very good for an SF so he won’t hurt a big man strategy. His %s and TOs are manageable enough for you to consider an efficiency-based team build. So Picking say, Chris Bosh will add some improvements in your rebounds cat and inject a block dimension to your fantasy team.

Conclusion

Caron Butler is well rounded, solid, and VERY viable to pick in the first two rounds of this year’s draft. While I may be looking like his fantasy pimp at the moment, I am actually just asking guys out there to keep an open mind and give it some serious thought before you decide to pass up on him in your draft. You’ll never know… not being kind to your “Butler” may sneak up on you and bite you in the ass come fantasy playoffs.

Reminder for all GMTR fans who read PITP: Stay tuned! The post I mentioned that I am sure you will enjoy is coming VERY soon.

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One Response to “The Butler Did It!”

  1. Mainman Chay said

    Totally agree.

    I had Butler last year in my office league.
    For the time that he was healthy. He acted like a premium player.

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