SleepersSeptember 14, 2010


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Sleeper Watch - 7 comments

By kooljae88

Fantasy Basketball season is back, and everybody is anxious to start managing their team. However, after every season, every fantasy player must have some players that surprised them, and some players that disappointed them. This article will ignore the obvious stars and focus more on players who will open some eyes by overcoming expectations.

Because of all the player movement this offseason, the fantasy point guard rankings changed dramatically heading into the season. Last season, most managers would agree that they were utterly disappointed by Chris Duhon, Mike Conley, T.J. Ford, Mario Chalmers, Jose Calderon, Randy Foye, and Mike Bibby to say the least. However, for this season, you can expect a lot from your point guards. So with that in mind, let’s take a look at those point guards I expect to exceed expectations this season.

Darren Collison(IND): Collison is remembered by many managers for helping their teams down the stretch when Chris Paul was injured. This offseason, Darren Collison was traded to a Pacers team in desperate need of a floor general. The team used Earl Watson as their starting point guard last season because T.J. Ford just wasn’t effective. In Paul’s absence, Collison showcased his skills as a distributor, averaging 9.1 assists per game as a starter, and he will be the starting point guard for the Pacers. Besides up-and-coming center Roy Hibbert and All-Star forward Danny Granger, the Pacers also have Mike Dunleavy, James Posey, and Brandon Rush that can knock down open shots. Also, Jim O’Brien’s offensive system is fast-paced, which should suit Collison well. If Earl Watson can average seven assists per game while he was starting, it’s scary to imagine what Collison can do in a full season with the Pacers. If you pass on all the elite PGs, you must get this guy. You won’t regret drafting him.

2009-2010 season: 12.4 pts, 2.5 reb, 5.7 ast

2010-2011 season projections: 15 pts, 2.5 reb, 8.5 ast

Jrue Holiday(PHI): Holiday was another youngster who also got better as the season progressed. As a rookie from UCLA, he didn’t get a chance to play until Louis Williams (another breakout stud) got hurt. With all the drama that went on with the Sixers, Holiday was the lone bright spot. Only 18-years old, he showed he can play at NBA level. Although Holiday didn’t score much, he posted decent assists and rebounding totals regardless of playing time. What was more impressive was his ability to steal like a proven NBA player, averaging 1.4 steals per game as a starter. I am more optimistic this year because the Sixers have a new coach and Holiday has a year of NBA experience under his belt. I expect Doug Collins to let Holiday develop and run the team. Holiday needs to get off to a good start, as he has Louis Williams breathing down his neck for playing time. If for some reason Collins starts Louis Williams at PG and Evan Turner as SG, this will not bode well for his fantasy perspective. However, that seems unlikely as Holiday showed enough last season to claim the point guard spot.

2009-2010 season: 8 pts, 2.6 reb, 3.6 ast

2010-2011 season projections: 13 pts, 3.5 reb, 6.7 ast

Raymond Felton(NYK): Here’s a player that has always been in the shadows of Deron Williams and Chris Paul ever since all three were in the same draft class. While Paul and Williams were in systems that fit their skill sets, Felton struggled to shine in Charlotte’s half-court dominated offense. Felton needed to be in a system which gives more freedom to the point guard. By signing with the Knicks, he will get that freedom. You shouldn’t expect a massive increase in points or rebounds, but he should see an improvement in assists.

2009-2010 season: 12.1 pts, 3.6 reb, 5.6 ast

2010-2011 season projections: 13 pts, 3.5 reb, 7.6 ast

Shaun Livingston(CHA): Last season, Livingston got a chance to showcase his skills again after a nasty injury to his legs. As a starter with the Wizards, he averaged 11.2 points, 4.9 assists and 2.8 rebounds, along with .4 blocks and .6 steals per game. In my opinion, Livingston should already be on a couple of all-star teams if it wasn’t for that nasty leg injury. He always had the potential to average a triple double every night. At 6′7″, he is a mismatch at the position. All he needed was an opportunity, and he got one this summer with the Bobcats. If Livingston can beat out D.J. Augustin for a starting position, he has the potential to be one of the bigger surprises of this season. Don’t forget him when you are drafting.

2009-2010 season: 6.9 pts, 2.2 reb, 3.6 ast

2010-2011 season projections: 11pts, 5 reb, 6 ast

Steve Blake(LAL): One of the surprise signings of the offseason, the move to Los Angeles basically makes Blake an assist machine. Blake averaged 5.7 assists as a starter last season and he accomplished that without the Lakers talent around him. Steve Blake is a very good passer and assuming he can adapt to the triangle offense right away, should rack up a lot of assists. With defenses focused on stopping Bryant and Gasol, all Blake has to do is pass them the ball and hit open threes. Therefore, Blake will see his efficiency rise and his assists rise.

2009-2010 season: 7.3 pts, 2.3 reb, 4.8 ast

2010-2011 season projections: 11pts, 2 reb, 7.8 ast

Gilbert Arenas (WAS): Okay, now before you condemn me for recommending him as a sleeper, listen to me for a second. Yes, I know Arenas hurt your team with his stupidity. I also know he is injury prone. However, I believe Arenas knows his career is over if he makes another dumb move. If you take a look at his statistics from last season, they are pretty amazing. We can only wonder what his production would have been if he played the whole season. I think he will be very focused this season and will have a bounce-back season. The only thing stopping him is the number one pick in the June Rookie Draft, John Wall. Wall could make or break Arenas’ season as the best case scenario would be to move Arenas to shooting guard and make Wall the starting point guard. If that happens, Arenas should score more at the expense of his assist numbers. Remember, Arenas was drafted over Kobe Bryant heading into the 07-08 season. It wasn’t long ago when he averaged over 25 points a game for three straight seasons. Let’s bank on him one last time, hoping he will prove us wrong.

2009-2010 season: 22.6 pts, 4.2 reb, 7.2 ast

2010-2011 season projections: 24 pts, 3 reb, 6 ast

Mo Williams (CLE): I’m just mentioning Williams so people don’t forget the fact that he is most likely the best scorer in Cleveland. He is not a sleeper, but he was overshadowed by Lebron James as a Cavalier. Therefore, he might be slipping on many draft boards. However, Byron Scott has said that Williams will be bigger part of the offense this season. Without James, Williams will have to do more this season. That should lead to an increase in points and rebounds, with a decrease in his assist totals.

2009-2010 season: 15.8 pts, 3 reb, 5.3 ast

2010-2011 season projections: 19pts, 4 reb, 4 ast

Mario Chalmers (MIA): After a fantastic rookie season, Chalmers struggled mightily last year. Despite multiple chances to take control of the point guard position, he couldn’t seize the opportunity. Therefore, the Heat gave the reigns to Carlos Arroyo. However, with the “Big Three” teaming up in Miami, Chalmers’ ability to make three point shots might give him a leg up on Arroyo. If Chalmers wants to take the starting spot for good, now is the time. As a rookie, Chalmers showed he can steal (2.0 per game), shoot threes (1.4 per game), and distribute the ball as well(4.9 assists per game). However, he regressed across the board last year. In my opinion, Chalmers definitely has the ability to start in Miami, he just needs some confidence. Chalmers only has to fight off Arroyo to win the starting position, and if he can’t seize this chance, he never will. Chalmers won’t rack up assists like Steve Blake, but he will take on a similar role, running the floor and shooting open threes. With not a lot of viable point guard options in Miami, I expect Chalmers to step up.

2009-2010 season: 7.1 pts, 1.8 reb, 3.4 ast

2010-2011 season projections: 12 pts, 2.3 reb, 5.6 ast

If you think of a sleeper or two that wasn’t mentioned here, send me an email to kooljae88@yahoo.com or make a post in the forum. Thanks for reading my article, and I will be back next week with more sleepers at other positions.

 
Just a another Fantasy lover who just wants to share some of his knowledge. I love to hear opinions, and arguments. If any of you has anything to say about my articles don't hesitate to fire away. I particularly love fantasy baseball and basketball. I hope more people get to know this great hobby!
 
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• Other articles by kooljae88
Shooting Guard/Small Forward Sleepers by kooljae88 (posted on 10/04/2010 in Sleepers)
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7 Responses to “Point Guard Sleepers”

  1. User avatar the one says:

    Nice all around list especially your Holiday write up. There is one thing that stands out that I think has no chance of coming true and that is Blake getting 7.8 assists. Now I agree Blake will see efficiancy gains but he will see nowhere near 7.8 assists. First, he is in a timeshare with Fish. Second, he is in a triangle non PG dominant system with Kobe a ball dominant SG. I think you really need to revise that number to about 5 if that. Even in Portland playing 30 minutes a game Blake only saw 5 assists. That was in part due to a ball dominant SG Roy. Now add Kobe and the triangle offense and being in a timeshare. To be honest I doubt he even sees 5.

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  2. kooljae881 says:

    Hey! thanks for a great input. i totally could agree with you. since you agreed with me on the efficiency factor, such as higher FG% or more open shots, ill just talk about his assist number since that seems to be the issue here. I could say my point being that blake getting 7.8 assist was fairly optimistic. i have no doubt he averages somewhat 6-7 assist. my reason behind that is Blake is a pass first point guard. so he is no louis williams, or derrick rose. you could say triangle system is suited for pau, lamar, and kobe rather than a pg like blake. however, only reason fisher didn’t average or play as much was because he was getting beat on defense, and he was more of a shoot first pg than pass first pg. Kobe does not need to dominate the ball, if he has a established PG. yeah you could blame on a system. But a system could always changed a bit for a player adaptation. Same with Lebron, why did he average 7 assist, and why did he dominate the ball? not because he was selfish or the system had whole lot to do with it, it’s because MO wiliams was more of a shooting guard than a pass first point guard. I really think Blake is just coming into his senses. Blake is 30 years old, which is not old, and just in the midst of Prime age group. This year should be his breakout year if he ever has one. Blake averaged (despite playing 26 minutes per game while just filling in for injured baron davis) 6.1 assists. and if you take a look at split stats, for last 9 games (minus the game he played 18 and 19 minutes, ) when he did play over 30 minutes, he averaged 9.3 assists. that’s pretty impressive for a fairly unknown average point guard. also, my point adds up when you add in the fact that LAkers just traded away farmar to NJ during the summer, 2 legit point guards. (blake, and Fisher) now, yes, you need to give minutes to shasha, and shannon brown, and fisher, and also odom eating up minutes, can you say Phil jackson won’t play Blake at least 30 minutes? that is the question. my friend. His ability to dish the ball has never been the question, as he was a dishing machine while filling in for Denver. It was a matter of stable environment, and starting guarantee. Last year, he was never able to tap his full potential, because he had to play combo PG/SG which he was not specializing in, because andre miller was playing point, and the situation in portland was very.. very unclear, and with roy keep sitting in and out of the games due to injury, blake really didn’t have alot of offensive options to pass to. (who are you gonna pass the ball to, that can finish shots? Aldridge? batum? miller? who else”) but,. Lakers? it’s a whole differnt story. With Fisher the only one waiting as a backup. It’s really up to Blake to make up for his chance. i can analyze 15 pages about his potential. IF phil jackson doesn’t give him 30 minutes most nights, he won’t average more than 6 assists. i’ll tell you that. IF Blake misses time with injury, he will be a major dissapointment. because fitting in the new system and team is going to seriously take a whole season. IF Blake sucks during the spring training, that’s gonna mess up his confidence, and will take time to get the starting gig back, which means he will have a lower assist number or overall number than expected. So, if my IF factors all work out for him. TRUST me, he will have no problem averaging 6-7 assists per night.

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  3. watrmeln says:

    Thanks for the article. You’ve got me think about Jrue now.

    I think you might be reaching on Blake & Chalmers, though. Blake is solid backup PG but won’t benefit fantasy-wise on the Lakers. The PG might initiate the Triangle offense but its success depends on the 2nd & 3rd passes (e.g. Blake to Gasol at the high post, to a cutting Odom). Plus, Fisher will remain the top PG for now. He played 27 mpg last year; I suspect Jackson will reduce his minutes to ~24, leaving Blake w/ 20-22 (w/ Brown getting the rest as PG/SG). Something around 9 pts, 1.5 3’s, and 5.5-6 ast might be more reasonable.

    Chalmers couldn’t produce as the #3 option on a bad team – what makes you think he’ll do better surrounded with 3 all-stars and rent-a-vets? LBJ/Wade/Bosh will get you 65-70 pts/night, with the remaining 30 to be split between Haslem, Ilgauskas, Miller, House, and Chalmers. We’re talking 8 pts – tops – with 5 asts.

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  4. Skippyoz says:

    @ kooljae

    First, great article.

    Second, I also disagree with Steve Blake and the 7.8 assists. His career high was 5.1 in 2007-08. In 299 games as a starter, he’s only averaged 5.3 a game. Finally, even on a per-36 minute basis, he’s never approached 7 APG in a season. I just don’t see how it will happen this year. You’re really predicting a super career-year for Blake.

    Third, I think Mo Williams could average more than 4 assists per game. In the three years that he was mostly a starter the the Bucks, he was pretty much a 6 assist per game type of guy. That includes two years where he averaged over 17 PPG.

    Basically, I would just switch the assist predictions for Mo and Blake. Other than that, a nice read.

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  5. kooljae881 says:

    Thanks guys for a great input. Although i did play fantasy for quite a while, this is my first time writing an actual article. so if you disagree, just fire away. Like i said, I am a human being, I am not going to say I’m correct on everything. I do make mistakes, and possibly too optimistic predictions. Everything depends on training camp, and there’s so much variables to my predictions. Hey, If I’m wrong, i’ll just have to do more research and be more objective? haha.

    i guess i do have a man-crush on Blake. But if FIsher starts, then you can ignore my predictions, as Blake needs to start and needs to play more than 30 minutes at least to average 6-7 assists. I wouldn’t downgrade Blake that much though, maybe 7.8 was optimistic. more like 6-7 is accurate.

    For chalmers, i do think he has chance to start, and i do think if he can control the tempo, and if he matured more, he can handle the duty like rondo did. yes, chalmers did have chance to prove before. but DID you know rondo could dish like that before the big 3 came along? I don’t know. it’s all up in the air. However, Chalmers certainly have the potential. that’s all I’m noting.

    For Mo, I don’t think he’s gonna average that much assists since…he’s going to look to score more. But, I actually think he could average more than 4.4 assists. I’ll change it to more like, 6.5 assists. I forgot that they have hickson and jamison who could actually score.

    THANKS ALOT GUYS FOR READING MY ARTICLES THOUGH. Don’t just read the predictions. Cause it’s ONLY a prediction. haha.
    I seriously appreciate all the interest and the attention!

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  6. plonden says:

    Nice work, kooljae881. I look forward to your next articles.

    And for the record, I fully agree with the collective criticism about Blake’s assist projections but don’t really want to pile on further. I highly doubt he will have more than 5 APG next season based upon the role of the PG in the triangle alone.

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  7. User avatar Nene says:

    Great article. It’s hard to call Collison a sleeper with how high he has been going in early drafts, and we received a very strong indication last season that he already has the tools necessary to play at an all star level.

    ReplyReply

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