Sunday, December 18, 2011

In News Even Fewer Of You Care About Than Usual: The NBA Fantasy Auction Draft

Last year's team won it all, as a fell-into-it pick fo Derrick Rose worked like gangbusters, and early season health translated into a lead where I was able to move Manu Ginobili and Stephen Jackson for Steve Nash and Monta Ellis. (The joy of keeper leagues.) Combined with all-year goodness from Dwyane Wade, Al Jefferson and Nene, I had enough to take down by second league championship in nine years. Fantasy basketball is actually my favorite roto sport of all, because you actually have to know about the won-loss record of various teams, since minutes will change if a team tanks. So here's the starting lineup; asterisk players were keepers. (12 players, 8 categories with the usual pieces but no turnovers, roto scoring, full year.)

PG Derrick Rose $25 *
SG Dwyane Wade $50 *
G Devin Harris $8 *
SF Michael Beasley $6 *
PF Al Jefferson $31 *
F Elton Brand $14
C Nene Hilario $7 *
U Kobe Bryant $48
U Caron Butler $5
B1 Nick Young $1
B2 Kenneth Faried $1
B3 John Salmons $1

I sort of fell into Kobe at $48. I'm not a huge fan of his this year; divorce and a lot of miles on the tires with a clearly worse team is not going to do good things for his ratios, and if the team struggles to make the playoffs, there's no telling what he might do (mostly, take a ton of time to come back from an injury). But at $48 for a potential top 10 player, as well as a guy who might just go on a four-month bender of stat-tastic hate, it's a gamble I had to take. (Besides, I was out of position on Dirk Nowitzki.)

Elton Brand is my first Sixer of note for years and years. He's a pretty steady presence by now, and just might be far enough past the injuries to show a little more growth. There's also something appealing about a possible 16/10 guy who doesn't kill your ratio numbers.

Caron Butler at $5 made me really happy, in that I kept getting aced out of the guys I wanted, and was really worried that I wasn't going to get a credible starter to fill my roster. On a Clippers team that has actual breakout potential, he could deliver a lot more value. And if he has issues, John Salmons does a lot of everything, and the percentages should be taken care of by the others.

Threes could be a problem, which is why Nick Young is on the roster. He's pretty strong empty calories, but I hold out hope that he can add a little more to his game with minutes and experience. It's the rare NBA player who can't fall into a few assists, boards and steals if he's on the floor for 30+ minutes a game. Finally, Kenneth Faried just seems like a reasomable hope for the kind of multi-category fantasy goodness that only comes from a guy who makes the NBA on energey and athleticism. It's a long shot, but I could see him being a poor man's Shawn Marion type.

I'm probably going to struggle in threes and free thow percentages, do well in points, asissts and boards, and generally contend. So long, of course, as we stay healthy. That's the secret truth of sports in general, and fantasy sports in particular; you aren't winning if you aren't lucky and healthy.

We now return you to your regularly scheduled blog.

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