StrategyAugust 8, 2006

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Rounding ‘Em Up, Issue #2
A look into the 2006-2007 season.

By jphanned

In my first issue I discussed the common first round dilemma of drafting in the 9-12 positions. This week I will start off by moving a little deeper into the draft, focusing on the second and third rounds. I will examine the Fantasy Basketball Cafe Octagon draft, which I am participating in right now. I will analyze the selections based on pure value alone, not taking into consideration the players each manager had already drafted.

Here’s this week’s version of Rounding ‘Em Up!

Round 2:
1) Chris Bosh – FC, TOR
2) Ray Allen – SG, SEA
3) Tracy McGrady – GF, HOU
4) Allen Iverson – PG, PHI
5) Jason Kidd – PG, NJN
6) Chris Paul – G, NO
7) Paul Pierce – GF, BOS
8) Chauncey Billups – PG, DET
9) Rashard Lewis – SF, SEA
10) Michael Redd – SG, MIL
11) Pau Gasol – FC, MEM
12) Tim Duncan – FC, SA

Best value: Chris Paul. Here’s a player being drafted 18th overall, who finished 13th in cumulative value last season in his rookie year. I could see an argument for Chris Bosh being taken before Paul because of the center eligibility, but the Allen Iverson and Jason Kidd selections were both bad choices with Paul still available. Allen Iverson is frequently banged up and a lock to miss some games, while an aging Jason Kidd will have his minutes cut by Marcus Williams.
Worst value: Tracy McGrady. You can revel in his 2002-2003 days all you want, but the fact of the matter is that he has chronic, nagging back problems and has regressed in pretty much every department. The differential I am speaking of is emphasized in his games played, points and 3PTM per game averages, and shooting percentages. The earliest I can see him being worth drafting is the late second to early third rounds.
My selection: Rashard Lewis. I felt like I got an excellent player here who wouldn’t put me into an early hole in any category. He brings consistency along with low injury risk to the table. His PPG, 3PTM, SPG, and FT% are all solid. Even with this being a H2H-scoring league, I’ll go with the balanced Rashard Lewis over a stat-stuffer like Michael Redd every time. I expect Redd’s value to decrease with the Bucks losing a pass-oriented TJ Ford, and gaining another perimeter threat in Charlie Villanueva this off-season. Rashard will retain his top 20 cumulative value as he has for the past three seasons.

Round 3:
1) Jermaine O’Neal – FC, IND
2) Joe Johnson – G, ATL
3) Marcus Camby – C, DEN
4) Rasheed Wallace – FC, DET
5) Vince Carter – GF, NJ
6) Ben Wallace – C, CHI
7) Dwight Howard – PF, ORL
8) Gerald Wallace – GF, CHA
9) Brad Miller – C, SAC
10) Lamar Odom – F, LAL
11) Caron Butler – SF, WAS
12) Boris Diaw – FC, PHO

Best value: Gerald Wallace. Definitely worth the mid-third round gamble here, especially if you are talking about risk vs. reward. The worst case scenario is that he plays 50 games and finishes around 45th in cumulative value. On the flip side though, if he plays a full season averaging nearly what he did last season, he will finish in the top 15. I’m expecting him to miss some games though, so I see him ranked around 25th at the season’s end.
Worst value: Jermaine O’Neal. Both Rasheed Wallace and Brad Miller would have been better selections here if the manager was looking to draft a center. Passing on those two centers in addition to Vince Carter, based upon the season O’Neal delivered in 2002-2003, was a mistake. Even during the second best season of his career (2003-2004), Jermaine finished ranked only 28th in cumulative value.
My selection: Rasheed Wallace. The center eligibility for Rasheed sweetened the deal. He may regress with the departure of Ben Wallace, but I still consider him an excellent pick here, coming off a great season where he finished 15th in cumulative value. I was strongly considering drafting Vince Carter here, but a large part of Carter’s 2004-2005 season value was based on playing without an injured Richard Jefferson. This explains the decline in his numbers last season when Jefferson returned and played 78 games.


Starting lineup situations:

Indiana Pacers
With the Al Harrington trade falling apart, the Pacers’ lineup becomes much less confusing. It looks as if Danny Granger will be a lock in the starting lineup now. It’s shaping out to be:

PG- Jamaal Tinsley, Sarunas Jasickevicius, Orien Greene, Darrell Armstrong
SG- Stephen Jackson, Marquis Daniels, James White
SF- Danny Granger, Shawne Williams, James White
PF- Jermaine O’Neal, Shawne Williams, Maceo Baston
C- Jeff Foster, David Harrison, Scot Pollard

• I’m expecting the Pacers to stick with their big lineup and keep Foster as the starting center. Marquis should challenge Stephen Jackson for the starting shooting guard job, but will not make a big enough impact to force O’Neal to center and Granger to power forward. I just don’t see both Stephen Jackson and Marquis Daniels starting.

Dallas Mavericks
The Mavericks have been a very busy team this off-season, and while they retained most of their core players, here is what their team will look like next season:

PG – Devin Harris, Anthony Johnson
SG – Jason Terry, Jerry Stackhouse, Greg Buckner, Maurice Ager
SF – Josh Howard, Devean George, Jerry Stackhouse
PF – Dirk Nowitzki, Austin Croshere, Pops Mensah-Bonsu
C – DeSagana Diop, Erick Dampier, DJ Mbenga

• George may make a small push at the starting shooting guard job, but I highly doubt he wins it and forces Devin Harris to the bench, especially after Harris’ brilliant NBA Finals performance. Croshere steps in and replaces Keith Van Horn, while George will fill in the spot of Marquis Daniels. Diop and Dampier will split time at center as they did last season. Expect another championship run from Dallas.

I hope you enjoyed my article. Catch up with me, Rounders Block, and many other great fantasy minds in the Cafe forums. I guarantee that you will improve your fantasy knowledge, and will rise to the cream of the crop! Until next week!
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