Fantasy Basketball Draft Analysis: Red Hot Six

Welcome to the penultimate part, aka part six of what will eventually be a seven part article.  This is the analysis of a fantasy bball draft, based on what I thought at the time of the draft.  However, it happened so long ago that it no longer is about who made the best choices, but rather whether I was right or wrong in thinking they made solid choices.  Anyway, as a reminder again, those players with a (K) next to their names are keepers, thus making them pretty much all good choices so they won’t be analyzed.

Round 10

1. Stephen Curry Brad

2. Kendrick Perkins Ginny

3. Ronnie Brewer Michael C.

4. Marc Gasol Mike M.

5. Rodney Stuckey (K) Nick

6. Mike Miller Frankie

7. Andrea Bargnani (K) Mike K.

8. Nate Robinson (K) Rich

9. Ben Gordon (K) Greg

10. Tyson Chandler Shai

11. Marreese Speights Eyal

12. Courtney Lee Alex

Pick I Didn’t Like, But It Turned Out I Didn’t Like It For Completely Wrong Reasons: Frankie’s choice of Mike Miller.  I felt Miller would struggle to get consistent minutes at SG with Randy Foye, DeShawn Stevenson & Nick Young all there.  I was wrong on that count: none of ‘em have been able to be as good or consistent as Miller, so they haven’t taken away his minutes.  Why then is it a bad pick?  I hadn’t realized that over the summer Miller overheard two Eastern Conference scouts talking about players.  One of ‘em said, “That team’ll be good as long as Mike isn’t injured all the time like usual.”  Miller confronted them, but it turned out they were talking about the Pacers & Mike Dunleavy Jr.  Not to be outdone, Miller has worked hard this season to be known as THE “injured Mike” of the league.  With Dunleavy about to start getting more minutes, clearly Miller has shown that he is not a person to be messed with.

Pick I Wanted To Like & Which I Wanted To Be My Sneaky Good Pick But I Was, Well, Scared: Goes to Mike M with his choice of Marc Gasol.  Gasol had been ranked 96th for last season, so already he was a good pick with the 112th pick.  Even better though, he improved throughout the year and his last two months he was ranked 52nd and 76th.  He clearly had some serious potential.  However, with Zach Randolph now there stealing rebounds, plus him and Iverson taking away shots, I was worried that Gasol would have less chances to succeed.  Thabeet had not only been awful during the pre-season, but he also rarely got more than five minutes of playing time.  However, if this team sucked big-time (as they seemed primed to do), wouldn’t it eventually make sense to start giving Thabeet minutes?  And if they didn’t need their center to score with all these other options, but they need someone to play alongside Zach “We Don’t Need No Stinkin’ Defense” Randolph to compensate for ZBO’s deficiencies, wouldn’t Thabeet be a natural fit?  That said, there were enough pro’s that I would’ve taken Marc this round had he been available by my turn.

Pick Outta Nowhere: Eyal with Marrrrrreeeeessseee Speights.  Sorry, I don’t know how many r’s, e’s, and s’s he has in his name, so I threw in a few extra just to be safe.  Now Speights had actually had some decent pre-season games, however I figured there was no way he’d unseat Brand, and new coach Eddie Jordan had actually raved about how good Dalembert was.  I figured Speights’d definitely be on my watch list, and maybe, just maybe someone might take him in the last round.  Never would I have guessed he’d go here.  Clearly people are desperate for their centers.  I also was amazed that Shai took Tyson “Chicken-legs” Chandler.  Chandler’s been injured on and off for the last few years and was already missing the pre-season.  Last year his stats-per-game rank was 160th.  And that was with CP3 who was great at giving Chandler a couple easy alley-oops per game.  Now he had Ray Felton.  I know Ray Felton.  I kept Ray Felton.  Ray Felton is no CP3.

Round 11

1. Tyrus Thomas (K) Alex

2. Shane Battier Eyal

3. Charlie Villanueva (K) Shai

4. Brandon Jennings Greg

5. Brook Lopez (K) Rich

6. Andres Nocioni Mike K.

7. Andrei Kirilenko Frankie

8. Jeff Green (K) Nick

9. Al Thornton Mike M.

10. Kenyon Martin Michael C.

11. Jarrett Jack Ginny

12. Tayshaun Prince Brad

Favorite Pick: Eyal with Battier.  As mentioned in a previous post, I had doubts that Ariza would take nearly 20 shots a game, so I figured Shane was due for a little uptick.  He was ranked 111 last year, but he started the season injured.  In his second to last month he was ranked 59.  Now I wasn’t expecting that, but I figured Shane should go from his 10pts/gm to say 14 and throw in an extra three for added value.  Plus I knew Shane was too smart a player to force dumb shots, so I didn’t think his percentages would be hurt by the extra shots.  However, those extra shots did indeed end up going to Ariza.  Plus some for Aaron Brooks.  And Luis Scola.  And even Carl Landry off the bench.  Shane, he seems so determined to keep his shot count down that I bet he’d even defer to a ball boy.

Other Picks I Liked: Basically mostly the front half of the round.  Greg chose Brandon Jennings, who’d been getting serious minutes in the pre-season and was starting.  I was worried Scott Skiles would pull a Ramon-Sessions on Jennings (meaning he’d toss him to the bench and give him limited minutes behind the steady but limited & unathletic Luke Ridnour).  But in the eleventh round, you go for gambles that have upside.  Thus I also liked Mike K’s choice of Andres Nocioni ‘cuz with Francisco Garcia out, it seemed like Noci would have free reign at SF.  And Noc always showed potential in Chicago whenever he got the minutes, but he was always behind Luol Deng.  I also liked Frankie’s gamble on AK-47.  The issue with AK for the last few years has been both health and minutes.  However, he still ended up averaging being ranked 83 last season without doing anything spectacular.  If he could remain healthier this year, he’d be even better.  Sure, betting on AK’s health is as risky as betting on TMac’s health, or Yao’s, or Camby or Bynum.  But if you can snag him in the 11th round, there’s minimal downside.  Similarly, I thought Michael C’s pick of the real KMart was the same.  Kenyon was only ranked 114 last year, but a healthy K can sometimes get you more than a block and a steal per game.

Picks I Hated: The remainders.  As I said, for me these last few rounds are all about gambling and going for potential, not for mildly safe picks.  Mike M. chose Al Thornton who’d been given free reign with the ball last season ‘cuz everyone else was injured.  He ended up being ranked 117.  Since only 120 players are roster each week in our fantasy league that meant if he played his best he’d just barely be rosterable.  However, not only had Thornton looked awful during the pre-season (&got very few touches), but everyone else on the Clippers looked much better.  Kaman seemed like a force who would demand his shots.  Baron was healthy and would need the rock.  Eric Gordon was lighting it up.  Plus Blake Griffin needed to learn how to post-up.  That put Thornton as the fifth option, and someone who was losing out on minutes to Rasual Butler.  Little did I realize that ten games into the season Thornton would completely reinvent his game, getting the ball closer to the basket for much higher percentage shots and enabling him to get more offensive rebounds.  Sorry, ya shouldn’t’ve got me started on the Clippers.  Where was I?  Oh, yeah, other picks I thought were bad ‘cuz they had little upside.  Ginny’s choice of Jarret Jack, who was barely rosterable last season when he split minutes with TJ Ford, and would now be coming off the bench behind the far better and healthier Jose Calderon.  And lastly, Brad’s choice of Tayshaun Prince.  Ranked #120 last year, he is the definition of no upside.  The things that make him great in real-life (his consistency and his willingness to do the dirty work rather than shoot much) is what makes him a fairly useless fantasy player who’s gotten nearly identical the last seventeen years.

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