Points in the Paint

Fantasy Basketball Opinions, Strategy & Tips

Stinky Tee’s Expert’s League (Roto Format)

Posted by Erik on October 19, 2008

I was invited to join the Stinky Tee’s Expert’s League. I was pretty honored when I read the email in my inbox asking if I was interested, as I don’t really see myself as much of an expert at all. Just an avid fantasy-head, really.

The league was set-up over at Yahoo! It’s a 12-man roto format, with 9-cat array, and 13 roster spots (PG, SG, G, SF, PF, F, C x2, Util x2, Bench x 3). We just finished our live draft several of hours ago.

The Rotisserie format is all about building a BALANCED team. For roto, I wanted to have a team with reasonably good percentages because those 2 cats are generally injury resistant. I also didn’t want to ignore TOs. So I thought of patterning my draft close to 2RR’s H2H draft over at the GMTR mock, but without punting treys. As I formulated this game plan, I suddenly realized – or more like remembered – how challenging roto drafting can be!

This is my first roto draft for the season and I considered myself pretty rusty as I have been preparing mostly for H2H leagues recently. Yes both formats are THAT much different!

All 12 managers made it to the live draft! This was nice, but at the same time I found myself missing the reliable O-rank auto-pick predictability of the absentee drafter. So this was definitely more challenging than your garden variety public league. That’s for sure.

I was a bag of nerves as I had just woken up and didn’t have any coffee in my system yet. – I know it’s not a convenient excuse to draft poorly – So sue me!

I found myself with 2nd drafting position. Here’s how my draft went.

1. (2) Amare Stoudemire – You can’t really go wrong with the “Best Center” in fantasy hoops to start off your team. Other people might have preferred to pick Kobe or LeBron at this spot, but I figure Man-beast is of comparable quality and has the added bonus of being C eligible.

I generally like picking a PG and a C in my first 2 picks so I had my eye on Chauncey Billups and Jose Calderon. But I also was thinking of grabbing David West like Brendan (of 2RR) did at the mock or even Kevin Martin who I am really high on for this year. In hindsight I should have picked either of them instead of getting locked on the best O-ranked player available which was…

2. (23) Jose Calderon – I know that he would probably been available in the 3rd and would be good to put up efficient guard stats (projections of: 9.4 APG, 1.2 3PG, 1.4 SPG 1.5 TOs) at 50% FG and 90 FT%. After CP3 I rate him as the 2nd best model of efficiency at the PG position. I am higher on his upside than on Chauncey’s expected downside. If I went for KevMart or David West at this spot and committed to grab JC in the 3rd I probably wouldn’t have been tempted to grab…

3. (26) Marcus Camby – I know the “experts” are not too hot about him this year – then again when were they ever?. Camby in the 3rd is a fair downgrade to match all the worries. And I said to myself, “This is ROTO! GPs aren’t as critical here as in H2H.” As long as Camby gives me 11.5 boards while swatting 2.8 balls a night (notice I projected a downgrade from last year), over 60+ games then his totals are pretty decent. Plus his 1.5 TOs were just too sexy to resist! Ha Ha Ha!

So my laughter subsided, when I realized I just bounced 2 effective “non-scorers” in Jose and Marcus. With low TOs come low point contributions… Oh well, it’s been 3 rounds and I think I can still salvage this. At this point I want some Treys to balance my big man + assists numbers. I had Hedo on queue, coz his 5 dimes are just sexy like that. Unfortunately he got picked before my turn came, so I chose a reasonable alternative in…

4. (47) Mike Dunleavy – Just the right three point shooter that the doctor ordered for my team, Ultra-efficient. Fantastic FT% (83.4) and how many guys can toss the ball from behind the arc twice per game and still maintain 47.6 FG%? I like this pick. At this point I was looking to bounce to another worthwhile scorer to improve on that cat. I had Michael Redd on target but I changed my mind at the last minute and chose to go with;

5. (50) Andre Miller – Yes I know he’s NOT a scorer and his scoring will go down even further now that Elton Brand’s in town. His 49 FG% from the guard position was just so tasty to pass up in the fifth. Mo-will and Devin Harris were taken in the 4th; and Dre was the last guy from my tier 4 PG list who was available. It’s too bad he can’t shoot treys. No worries though, as I was able to grab

6. (71) Mike Miller – Another solid 3-point shooter who has great FG% (50.2 last season). He’s a solid rebounder and a decent passer. I like my Mikes. This one, I expect to do well in Minny. I expect him to get a lot of kick-out passes as the opposing defense collapses on Al-Jeff. On the flipside, he’s got a good enough court sense to find Big Al when he’s open and drop him a couple of dimes every now and then. I feel my treys are more solid now. It’s just that I feel that I’ve ignored points a bit too much.

7. (74) Manu Ginobili – I got slammed in the draft chat by someone who said he’s been taking Manu in the 8th and that 7th was too early. I’m not too ashamed of taking Manu at this point. Especially after reading THIS while waiting for the live draft to start. Manu will be back and hopefully ahead of schedule. I broke my “stay away from injured blokes” rule for him. I’m crossing my fingers that this pick will work out. A 7th round pick for a guy of his caliber is still good value. I’m counting on the fact that he will get comfy on my bench while I wait on his recovery. This is roto after all.

8. (95) Richard Hamilton – Yes he’s a vanilla player. Yes Rip’s primarily just a scorer. But heck, points are what I’m looking for at this point and he was the best scorer available in the pool. I know his numbers have dropped over the last 3 seasons but he’s got good percentages and low TOs for a guy that shoots at his volume. He actually fit well with my team – well at least based on what t needed. Rip’s not purely vanilla, since he’s got drizzles of 1 trey and 1 steal per game to add to my roto squad.

I was mucking around with my player queue and shuffling players left and right when I failed to realize that my turn was up and I accidentally drafted;

9. (98) Nick Collison – I know! Too early. Like I said, it was an accident. Well I now have a back-up center for those games that Camby desides to take his injury breaks in the sidelines. Not the best spot to grab him. I know I probably could have gotten better, but its ok. One can’t live on Amare and Camby alone. He also doesn’t turn the ball over that much (1.5) so he still fits with the theme and is capable of adding 9+ boards to my rebounding totals.

10. (119) Ricky Davis – This was who I really wanted in the 9th. Somehow, people passed him over and he wound up coming back to me. So I suppose he was serendipitously meant to find a home in my squad. I suppose the other drafters are not as high on Ricky D as I am, but I practice what I preach. I’ve pimped him on my blog, and this is the 2nd time I’ve drafted him out of 3 drafts. 10th round is a decent round to grab him considering his upside potential.

11. (122) Drew Gooden – Oh NO! A Chicago Bull! It’s a bitter pill to swallow, but he’s 124th on the GMTR Big Board, so this isn’t too much of a reach. He’s arguably the best and most experienced player in the post for the Bulls, so I figure he’ll get some playing time. Add him to my 3 bigs and my boards are now at least league competitive. His 81.3 FT%, 1.3 BPG, less than 2 TO averages with the Bulls were like Christmas morning presents as far as I was concerned.

12. (143) Linas Kleiza – Midball! Yup he is and off the bench too. But he’s shown some flashes of brilliance last season and I expect him to breach the 25 min per game mark this season. He’s on my squad to chip in some extra treys here and there while we are waiting on Manu’s hopefully speedy recovery. My targets for this round, Matt Barnes and Grant Hill were taken a few picks before my turn so Linas will have to suffice. I also like his 47.2 FG% for a three point shooter.

13. (146) Marc Gasol – It’s the last round and so I decided to appease my speculative appetite and at the same time make a decent upside investment. He’s rookie as far as most people are concerned (well mainly the NBA) but we’re not talking about some kid who’s coming straight out of his freshman collegiate basketball career. I have classified players into 3 tiers (in terms of basketball experience). You’ve got your vets and rookies of course, but I’ve given the Euro players their own shelf as their maturity and experience is concerned. So in my book Marc’s not a true rookie by its context in say 10 years ago. I expect him to start for the Grizzlies; and if basketball I.Q. is genetic and runs in the family, then I’ve made a pretty decent choice right here. Upside!

Well there you have it. My team and my drafting thought process – well as close to it as I could put down on paper/blog.

Am I happy with the team? I’d say yes. Aside from my 2nd round do-over wish, I’m pretty contented with the way I built my team. I wish I didn’t ignore points as much as I did – you can’t win ’em all, I just hope I’m not last – but overall I liked my commitment to efficiency and balance.

I’ve gotten a good feel for where most players get picked (roto-wise, that is), except of course for your blindsiding picks like Dwight Howard in the 2nd round – In roto? C’mon! – or an early 4th round Tyson Chandler. You really can’t underestimate the randomness of some people’s player preferences.

Fantasy Basketball Fanatic or Just Plain Insane?

I feel I’m now much better prepared for my next 12-man roto draft this coming saturday. Saturday night (my time) will be hell as I have 3 drafts that begin within a 3-hour time span. First one (12-man roto) starts at 9 P.M., second one (18-man H2H) begins at 10 P.M., and finally the third (20-man H2H) kicks off at 11 P.M. My fantasy basketball know-how, preparation, and fanaticism will truly be put to the test.

I’m either going to look pretty impressive at the DRAFT PARTY I’m attending, or like a complete idiot for not being able to handle all that multi-tasking. I’m not even sure if I can run more than one Java drafting applet at once! Can I?

If you’re not drafting against me in any of those leagues, please wish me luck! – I’m going to need it.


2 Responses to “Stinky Tee’s Expert’s League (Roto Format)”

  1. Brendan K. said

    I’m far from a roto expert (or even a roto fan- I just think H2H is way more interesting) but this seems an acceptable draft, Erik. Yes, you probably could have played for West in the 3rd with 2nd overall pick, and yes, Stoudemire-to-West-to-Calderon probably would have been even more killer in roto. But I think Camby in the 3rd is acceptable value. Maybe not ideal, but acceptable.

    Is trading/free agency active in this draft?

  2. Erik said

    Thanks. The David West / KevMart miss was a boo-boo. I am for Kevin > David in roto by the way.

    Yes trading and free agency is active. It’s got the standard Yahoo! roto league settings.

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