Fantasy Basketball Advice
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
(Another candidate is Nash (essentially) replacing Stephon Marbury, who
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
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
(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.)
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
(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.
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 Answerman@insidehoops.net.