Fantasy Basketball is quickly approaching, I know I have a draft coming this weekend, so it's only appropriate to do a little something, something for the bball draft season. We will be revealing the Fantasy Basketball Corporate Ladder very soon, but for now, we have an illuminating Q&A with The Fantasy Dudes. Their blog site recently debuted on the Bloguin network and were recent additions to the Million Dollar Blogroll. André, Michael and Mark (aka Mookie) cover Fantasy Basketball and Fantasy Football at their place and can be found on Facebook here and Twitter here. Make the jump to see their favorite breakout players, sleepers, busts and overall strategy when assembling a championship caliber team.
Do you have a general strategy for drafting your fantasy basketball teams? Do you punt any stats in head-to-head leagues?
This is certainly an interesting question. Whilst in the FNFL there is a lot of debate as to whether you select a RB or QB first, with the FNBA, a lot comes down to where you're selecting in the draft, combined with fantasy experience. For example, Dwight Howard stands out as an interesting selection. Whilst in the real life game he is huge, putting up big stats left, right and centre (excuse the pun), however his free throw shooting is woeful, hence if in a head-to head league, essentially means you're giving away that category before the match-up has even been played... of course, if you do select him, either you can agree that you will lose that stat, or you could build around him with good FT shooters like Nash, Billups etc. For a brief list of category killers, see article: Is It Worth Drafting Category Killers. Having played numerous fantasy seasons, we are of the belief that you need to give your team the best chance of winning each week, as such, in a head-to-head league, we would steer clear of those 'category killers' so as to ensure you aren't punting any stats.
It seems like we had a lot of player movement during the off-season. Which players have gained and lost the most value with the changing landscape?
For an in depth review, see article: NBA Player Movements - Fantasy Impact
Gains: Darren Collison, Anthony Randolph, Hedo Turkoglu, Al Jefferson, Troy Murphy, Anthony Morrow and Kyle Korver.
Losses: LBJ, Chris Bosh and Luol Deng (Although he did not move, with the addition of Boozer, and the emergence of Noah and Rose, look for his stats to take a hit).
Who are some of your favorite breakout targets? Do you have any deep league sleepers?
Reggie Williams: as a starter last season, had 16.1 points, 5.6 rebs, 4.3 ass, and 1.3 stls per game, and with Corey Maggette skipping town, will get plenty of time on the court to shine this season. Jrue Holiday: Take a look at his stats at the end of last season. The Answer, just without the points. Gilbert Arenas: Yes, he already is a star, but expect him to get back to putting up solid stats. Martell Webster: Has a chance to shine at Minny. Strong pre-season thus far. Goran Dragic: Should anything happen to Nash, this guy could certainly step right in straight away. DeMarcus Cousins: WIth uncertainty with Dalmerbert, expect Cousins to start sooner rather than later. Kevin Love: Not really a sleeper as such, but expect his stats to improve with the departure of Jefferson. Linas Kleiza: Strong international campaign. Has a chance to show his stuff as a starter in Toronto. James Harden: With Durant and Westbrook getting a lot of defensive pressure, Harden stands out as someone who could benefit from open looks. Tiago Splitter: Not much depth at Spurs, and an aging TImmy D could result in a lot of minutes for Splitter.
Are there any rookies who can make a big impact? Anything similar to what Stephen Curry did in 2009-2010?
John Wall will start straight away, and will be a valuable fantasy player in Washington. Wesley Johnson should see big minutes at SF for Minny. Evan Turner should start in Philly, and will be Iggy-lite. Greg Monroe should see plenty of minutes in Detroit’s frontcourt due to their lack of depth, and should be ready to produce immediately. DeMarcus Cousins - see above
Are there any players whom you will avoid in your drafts (overrated, overdrafted, busts)?
Besides the category killers, Rashard Lewis, Vince Carter, Jason Kidd (age has to kick in at some point), Okur. Also need to consider those teams who might be wrapping up their seedings early, hence resting some of their (and your) star players given that falls smack bang on fantasy playoffs. Such teams include Lakers, Miami and Orlando. Be cautious of both injured and aging players full stop.
Should we be aware of any coaching or style changes that may affect a team's production?
Tom Thibodeau is a defensive specialist coming from the Celtics, so expect Chicago to be even stingier on D this season. Vinny del Negro didn’t endear himself to too many Chicago fans, and it’s difficult to know how his style of coaching will play out in La La Land.
I have to give many thanks to The Fantasy Dudes for coming through with the Answers to my Questions and providing all the useful nuggets of Fantasy Basketball goodness. Muchos gracias amigos!