Posted by Erik on January 16, 2009
My buddies from my original fantasy basketball league and I have always believed in the old adage:
Threes are the easiest stat to scrounge for in the free agent pool. You’ll almost always be able to find a three point shooter somehow.
While this is not a universal truth by any means, I found it to be a decently reliable generality as far as my experiences in fantasy basketball are concerned.
We’ve recently seen some chuckers put together at least a 3-game swing of consistency. If your fantasy team is in dire need of threes then, perhaps you might be able to find these guys lying around in your league’s FA pool.
At this stage in the season it should be clear to you, what your team needs to win, whether it be in Rotisserie or Head to Head. Fine these guys are basically specialists at what they do, but they’ve recently shown that they can be relied upon for some stable performances. Sometimes all you need to go up in your league’s roto rankings is several tree point shots more per game from your roster.
This guy's on FIRE!
Here are some guys who are recently on fire and may be overlooked in your Yahoo! Leagues:
Daequan Cook PG/SG, Miami Heat (15% Owned) – For a guy who is currently 6th in the NBA in total three point shots made and 5th at average 3PM (2.4/G), he can simply fill up that category for your team in a jiffy! Specialist, you say? Well this specialist just came off a 24-point performance (7-11 from the field and 6-8 from beyond the arc) against the Bucks. He should be the first guy you look for in the pool if your team needs some treys.
Daniel Gibson PG/SG, Cleveland Cavaliers (22% Owned) – With the recent development of Delonte West injuring his wrist, expect Boobie Gibson to get some more playing time. He’s averaging 1.5 treys a game for the season and he also should begin to score a bit more now that he is due for some extra time on the court. He’s got some solid upside coming his way and as Fantasy Basketball Jedi put it best, “It’s time for Boobie!”
Bobby Simmons SG/SF, New Jersey Nets (21% Owned) – He’s making the most of Yi Jianlian’s absence due to injury and he’s actually the team’s secondary outside threat after Vince Carter. Over the last week he’s averaging 2.3 treys a game at a more than decent 56% percent overall from the field.
Nick Young SG/SF, Washington Wizards (23% Owned) – He’s been on fire lately! 28, 12, 30, 33 those are the numbers of what he’s been scoring over the last four games and at 2.0 treys per game over the last week, he may just be able to boost your points and your 3PM. Caron Butler’s been in an erratic slump for awhile now which you can possibly attribute to Nick’s stepping up of his offensive game. So keep an eye on them both.
J.J. Reddick PG/SG, Orlando Magic (3% Owned) – Don’t laugh! Seriously… JJ’s averaging 4 threes per game over his last 3 games. With Mikael Pietrus being out indefinitely due to a busted wrist, the Magic are looking for an alternate kick-out target for Dwight when he’s double/triple/quadruple teamed in the low block. JJ’s been able to steal some of Courtney Lee’s (current starting SG) thunder. Over the last 4 games, JJ’s been scoring in double figures and more than 20 minutes on the floor. He probably won’t be able to steal away the starting SG job from Courtney due to his being a defensive liability but expect him to keep his minutes up as long as he can keep on landing those long bombs!
Rodney Carney SG/SF, Minnesota Timberwolves (3% Owned) – Sebastian Telfair may have stolen Mike Millers starting role, but its Rodney’s recent offensive effectivity that has really kept Mike’s butt glued to the Wolves’ bench. Rodney’s put together a respectable 3-game string of double digit performances off the bench. Put together his 3.5 treys, 0.5 steals and 1.0 block averages over the last fantasy week and you’ve got yourself a reasonable candidate to fill the spot that the now ineffective Larry Hughes should very well vacate. Keep an eye on him!
Posted in Fantasy Basketball, Upside | Tagged: Bobby Simmons, Cleveland Cavaliers, Daequan Cook, Daniel Gibson, Delonte West, Delonte West Injury, J.J. Reddick, Miami Heat, Mikael Pietrus, Mike Miller, Minnesota Timberwolves, New Jersey Nets, Nick Young, Orlando Magic, Rodney Carney, Three Point Shooters, Waiver Watch, Washington Wizards, Yi Jianlian | 4 Comments »
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).
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Posted in Draft Resource, Fantasy Basketball | Tagged: Caron Butler, Caron Butler Draft Pick, Gilbert Arenas, Washington Wizards | 1 Comment »
Posted by Erik on September 17, 2008
Fantasy Basketball is a stock picking and trading game. Fine we don’t deal in companies, stocks, and futures but instead we deal in the annual performances (statistical productions) of NBA players. We value, rate, and rank them based on past production – their track record if you will. When we draft players, we are investing in what we perceive to be their potential contributions to our fantasy team’s success over other managers’ portfolios.
In the market we play in, our stocks (players) go through the financial concept of volatility as our players’ values go up and down based on their performances, lack thereof, and/or injuries. That’s why a lot of people in the fantasy blog world borrow the financial strategy concepts of “buy low” and “sell high”. Yes it applies. Yes it works. These concepts and their application are already widely accepted by the people who understand the depth and intricacies involved in playing the game.
I now want to discuss another financial strategy and explore its applications in fantasy basketball. It’s called Hedging. What is hedging? How does it apply to me and my fantasy basketball game?
“In finance, a HEDGE is an investment taken out specifically to reduce or cancel out risks in another investment.”
Hedge (finance), Wikipedia
Hedging in Fantasy Basketball
Without some of you knowing it, you probably already practice the concept.
NBA player’s productions are not absolutely consistent. They go through “off nights” or even slumps. When this happens, normally another player on the same NBA team steps up and compensates. A way to reduce the risk of a player’s production slipping for your fantasy basketball team is to pick players on the same NBA team.
Here’s an example. Let’s say you picked Danny Granger somewhere in the 2nd or 3rd round of this year’s draft. You can hedge his expected nightly production by targeting Mike Dunleavy in the 4th or 5th round. Mike now has additional value for YOUR fantasy team that’s not on paper compared to other manager’s teams. Because if either Mike or Danny has an off night, you can expect or hope the other guy will compensate by increasing his contributions. You will odds are feel the hedging benefit more on the categories of points and treys. This hedging move is still a good investment as it does not necessarily sacrifice player draft value since Mike is a reasonable target at the above mentioned rounds.
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Posted in Draft Resource, Fantasy Basketball, Strategy | Tagged: Antawn Jamison, Caron Butler, Chris Bosh, Danny Granger, Draft Strategy, Gilbert Arenas, Hedge Picks, Jermaine O'Neal, Mike Dunleavy, Toronto Raptors, Washington Wizards | 4 Comments »
Posted by Erik on September 8, 2008
You’re in the tail end of the 1st round or somewhere early in the second and you feel like picking up a high scoring PG. Dwyane Wade and Allen Iverson have been picked ahead of you so your left with the choice of picking either B-diddy or Agent Zero. Who would you pick?
Gilbert Arenas was a former 1st round shoe-in, an elite scorer who loved to light it up from beyond the arc. He’s was a point or two shy of averaging 30 PPG through the 04-06 seasons, while averaging at least 2.5 treys and 6 assists a night; factor in 1.95 SPG and you had an elite PG to say the least. Unfortunately, he was sidelined for most of last season due injury. He played injured and his stats took a dive like you wouldn’t believe. In spite of last year’s performance, or lack there of, for that matter; the Washington Wizards signed him to the biggest deal in the NBA over the off season – $111M over 6 years. Is he healthy enough now to return to his old form? He’s had the summer to hopefully recuperate to 100%, but he doesn’t have Dwyane Wade’s Olympic stint to prove that he’s past last season’s injuries. Until training camp actually begins, we still have no clear and definitive picture of Gil’s recovery. He says he’s healthy, but his late season attempted comback only ended in more damage to his body and production. Well he’s coming back to pretty much the same team he left early last season so he shouldn’t have any problems gelling with his old teammates.
Baron Davis, on the other hand, has never really been 1st round material but he ended last season’s performance like monster of a first rounder. He averaged 21.8 PPG, 7.6 APG, 2.3 SPG and 2.1 treys a game, thriving under coach Don Nelson’s up-tempo, run-and-gun offense. Sweet line? Well the stat of all stats for the new Baron of LA is that he played in all 82 games last season, his first above 70 games since his junior NBA year way, way back in the 01-02 season. He stated before last season started that he was in the best health of his career and his 82 GPs must have been a juicy meal his doubters had to eat along with huge serving of STFU sauce. This former (?) injury-prone PG left the Golden State Warriors and signed with the L.A. Clippers to be its new centerpiece. So it’s a new team, new coach, and a fresh start for Baron to prove that he’s worth the fat contract he signed. He obviously won’t be quarterbacking a small ball offense anymore with Marcus Camby and Chris Kaman (Both Centers) being the 2nd and 3rd best players, respectively, on his new team. He’s definitely got more to prove than Arenas but there are more changed variables in his status. Can his skills, motivation and competitive spirit carry him to another awesome fantasy performance this year?
OK so both of these guys roughly shoot just as terribly from the feild, pretty much in the low 40s. Gil’s got the sweeter FT% at 80+ (8 attempts) vs 75+ (5 attempts), but Baron’s got the better passing ability and playmaking skills – by a margin of at least 2 more dishes a game. They both turn the ball over at least 2.5-3 times a night and look to average arounfd 2 treys and 2 steals an outing. Gil’s the superior scorer and has the overall better health track record, but as I said Baron’s been recently in the BEST health of his career and is in a new team where he can arguably up his PPG to about 24-26 a night.
Hmm…. this is a tough one, isn’t it? I would generally want to stay away from both of these guys from this year’s draft altogether due to that dreaded injury risk hanging over both of their heads. But if there was a gun to my head and I really had to take an early risk on one of these guys on this year’s draft, I guess I would personally have to pick Arenas. I have him edging Baron out ever so slightly based on his superior FT%, the stability of his team, finally his performance and health 2 years running prior to his injury. But that’s my pick, who’s yours?
Posted in Draft Resource, Fantasy Basketball | Tagged: Baron Davis, Chris Kaman, Dwyane Wade, Gilbert Arenas, LA Clippers, Marcus Camby, Quality PG, Washington Wizards | 6 Comments »