StrategyFebruary 9, 2009

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Post-All Star Break Studs and Duds

By Phil Londen

With trade deadlines approaching in many fantasy leagues, now is the time to start thinking about which players to target in trades and which players to get rid of. While there are a multitude of factors at work, past performance is one factor to consider when trying to determine which players will be post-All Star break studs and which players will be duds.

One method of trying to determine who the post-All Star break studs and duds are is to compare a player’s season average to to his average over the last two months of the season using Basketball Monster’s Player Rankings. The final two months of the season correlates fairly closely to the post-All Star break period in the NBA, so it should be an acceptable measure of post-All Star break production. Using average stats, we can compare a player’s overall season average with his averages over the final two months of the season. By finding the difference between the two averages, we can come up with a way of ranking players and comparing them against each other.

Before turning to the charts, there are a couple of things that should be noted. First of all, the rankings are based on Yahoo! standard nine category settings from the 2007-08 season. Second, a positive number in the DIFF category represents a gain in the rankings and a negative number denotes a fall in the rankings. Third, only the top one hundred players are considered here, as these are the players that are likely to have the most fantasy relevance. Finally, the twenty players with the highest positive differential in their rankings and the twenty-one players with the largest decrease in their rankings are shown. Twenty-one players were selected in the latter case due to a three way tie.

2007-08 Post-All Star Break Studs

NameSeason2 MonthsDIFF
Noah, Joakim1647292
Nesterovic, Rasho1527379
Gooden, Drew1407862
Pietrus, Mickael1276661
Evans, Maurice1539459
Young, Thaddeus1389048
Okur, Mehmet601743
Davis, Ricky1086543
Nelson, Jameer1036340
Miller, Andre743737
Watson, Earl1299237
Odom, Lamar45936
Garcia, Francisco865234
Smith, J.R.1218833
Johnson, Joe481632
Lee, David784632
Gomes, Ryan996831
Arenas, Gilbert1138231
Bogut, Andrew855530
Horford, Al916229

2007-08 Post-All Star Break Duds

NameSeason2 MonthsDIFF
Redd, Michael57143-86
Howard, Dwight87158-71
Hamilton, Richard66129-63
Calderon, Jose4095-55
Wade, Dwyane64115-51
Okafor, Emeka96147-51
Maggette, Corey69111-42
Bell, Raja77118-41
Fisher, Derek92133-41
Barbosa, Leandro67107-40
Marion, Shawn443-39
Howard, Josh5593-38
Kirilenko, Andrei5085-35
Ming, Yao1548-33
Williams, Marvin93124-31
Butler, Caron534-29
Miller, Mike5986-27
Harrington, Al80104-24
Billups, Chauncey1129-18
Roy, Brandon5876-18
Hinrich, Kirk98116-18

In order to understand each player’s individual gain or loss, their situation last season needs to be examined. For example, take a look at Shawn Marion last season. Marion was traded from the fantasy friendly offensive system of the D’Antoni-Nash Suns to the Miami Heat, where he still has not fully adjusted to the new system. This explains his negative differential of thirty-nine between his season ranking and his ranking over the final two months last year.

On a more positive note, take the case of Lamar Odom last season. Odom had a positive differential of thirty-six between his season average and his ranking over the final two months. Odom’s jump in his rankings was due to the injury of emerging center Andrew Bynum. Bynum’s injury opened up increased minutes and an increased role for Odom last season, which appears to be occurring this season with another serious injury to Bynum.

When making decisions about trade deadline roster adjustments this season, use history as a guide to make educated guesses about which players will be post-All Star break studs and duds. A couple of well-planned trades can transform a fantasy team from post-season pretender to championship contender.

Phil Londen is one of a growing number of fantasy experts who write for the Cafe. You can catch up with Phil in the Cafe's forums where he posts under the name of plonden.
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