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InsideHoops NBA [Fantasy Basketball]

Fantasy Basketball Advice





/ Sept 27, 2004

The Answerman is the first and only fantasy basketball and romance advice columnist on the net. He is here at Inside Hoops to answer all your questions (or at least the interesting ones).

And, we’re back. Excited for another season of alternative fantasy basketball and questionable relationship advice from the Answerman? We’re about a month away from most basketball drafts. It's time to start getting ready.

Last season I wrote brilliant articles on getting ready for fantasy basketball and how to draft. I recommend reading both of these articles before proceeding.

This was one of the more active summers in recent memory. A player’s fantasy value is intrinsically tied to his team’s situation. Even if I don’t address a specific player you are wondering about, see if any of these categories apply.


Good Fantasy Player Replacing Good Fantasy Player: Steve Nash is a better NBA point guard than Jason Terry. However, for fantasy purposes, Terry outscores, outrebounds, and outsteals Nash. Nash has the percentages and assists.

Go ahead and plug Terry’s quick hands on defense and speed to rebounds into Nash’s old team and watch for Terry’s assists to climb to the high 7’s. He will get better shots moving his percentages into the .450 range. He will take a hit on the points – but points are overrated anyway.

(Another candidate is Nash (essentially) replacing Stephon Marbury, who replaced Kidd.)

Good Player Gets Minutes on a Bad Team: Antoine Walker will be a good player in Atlanta. Due to the lack of talent in Atlanta he will get the shots and ball domination that he requires to be effective.

It's more accurate that he will get the minutes that he (and every player) needs to be effective. He lost 7 minutes last year, naturally his scoring and steals took a dip. He should get back into the 40 mpg range next year. His percentages will still hurt, but expect 18, 8, & 5 plus a block and a steal.

(Another candidate is Danny Fortson.)

Team is Counting on Him: Quick - name every inside player on the Suns not named Amare Stoudemire. Anyone? Anyone? That’s right - there isn’t another guy. It's only Amare Stoudemire. Sure there is Clark, Voskhl, and Carbaka – but c’mon, Amare is responsible for every rebound, he controls the entire paint, he gets every block.

Amare is the only guy living at an all-girls school. Its like fantasy basketball porn.

(Another candidate is Drew Gooden.)

Freedom: Steve Francis will be unleashed from the pressure and control of Jeff Van Gundy. Francis is a good scorer, fine passer, terrific rebounder and stealer. He will be able to freelance and get his stats in Orlando. 21, 6, 6, and 1.7 steals is very reasonable. That’s a late 1st rounder to me.

It's like dumping your controlling girlfriend. You can go out with friends. Meet other girls. Watch a game. Enjoy your life a little. Meet other girls.

(Mobley applies here as well.)

The Bad:

Sharing: Sharing is poison in fantasy basketball. Sharing in Denver will hurt Kenyon Martin. He was the lone post presence in New Jersey. In Denver, he has to share the inside with Carmelo, share the boards with Camby and share minutes with Nene.

(Another candidate is anyone in Memphis.)

Too Much of a Good (more like average) Thing: There is some kind of mess going on in Phoenix. Quentin Richardson, Shawn Marion, and Joe Johnson – not to mention Casey Jacobson and Marcej Lampe are all vying for minutes at the same two positions. At the end of the day they will all get them and no one will be on the court long enough to have a big fantasy impact.

(Same stuff in New York – Jamal Crawford, Stephon Marbury, Allan Houston, Penny Hardaway, Shandon Anderson.)

Wrong Guy – Wrong Team: I really wanted to like Erick Dampier in Dallas. He is the exact player they needed. He can enforce the inside, rebound and they won’t ask too much of him.

But this is Dallas. Every player is required to do everything. Everyone has to pass, rebound and shoot from all over. Erick Dampier – and his limited range, health and desire – will work his way out of minutes, shots and the rotation.

(Similar situation with Glen Robinson in Philly.)

Wrong Coach – Wrong Player: As a basketball fan, I love Tracy McGrady in Houston. As a fantasy player, I won’t touch it. Guys do not put up big stats in a Jeff Van Gundy system. The games moves too slow, too much defense, too much control.

I think McGrady will be good – just not the level of greatness (stat wise) that he’s seen recently. The good news is that I expect good health from him.

If this was romance, it's like McGrady just started dating Francis’ ex. He doesn’t know what he’s gotten himself into.

(If Okur could not get along with Brown, Sloan is going to hate him.)

Not Part of Our Plans: You never want a guy who was “thrown in” on a deal or who doesn’t want to be there. Teams are always building for the future. A guy who is not part of the plans just won’t get the minutes. Guys who demand a trade lack desire and usually get hurt. Guys to avoid: Jerry Stackhouse, Vince Carter, Baron Davis, Shareef Abdur Rahim.

The Anomaly: There is always an exception which proves the rule. One would think Richard Jefferson would fit into one of the good categories – Good Player Gets Minutes, Team Relying on Him, Freedom. I think he has big problems this year.

I believe there is a general détente between NBA big men. “If you hurt my pretty boy wing-player, I’ll hurt your pretty boy wing player.” When Vince Carter was one of the best players in the game he had Charles Oakley protecting him. After Oakley left, suddenly, Carter got banged in the knee by Horace Grant and never recovered.

Martin protected Jefferson. Jefferson is going to get pounded around the basket this year until he is either injured or just starts shooting from the outside. Either way, his stats will suffer.

The Ugly:

Currently the ugliest player situation in the NBA is Gary Payton’s trade to Boston. Who knows if he is even going to show up? I hope he does; he put up solid 4th-6th round numbers last year. I would not draft Payton until he shows up in Boston and makes some canned statement like “I love Boston and the Celtics.”

Meanwhile, its too risky.

Ramifications of Shaq in Miami: Shaq will be great in Miami. However, he is older and his body is breaking down. You will not get 82 games. You will get the best center in the game with a solid 20/10 with a handful of blocks and assists for 70ish games. I still think he is a first rounder but proceed with caution and get a decent backup (think LaFrentz).

Kobe Bryant will be great in LA. I’m not sure we will see 30, 6 & 7 from him again. I think last year’s semi-decline had less to do with sharing the ball and more to do with a young player’s first major surgery - but it hardly matters. He is a first rounder. If you doubt his ability to duplicate prior stats, then he’ll be gone before you have to worry about it.

Dwyane Wade may struggle. Guy missed 20+ games in his rookie season. I worry about all of the players who made the Olympic trek this year and question his jump shot. He will go early in your draft based on last year’s playoffs. Don’t be the guy with him on your IR.

Eddie Jones will have a good season. Eddie always has a good – 6th round – season. Shaq can only help him. More 3’s, more steals, less scoring, same rebounds.

That's all for now. Next week we’ll discuss drafting the middle. 10 to pick and 10 to avoid.

If you have any questions, please write the

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