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InsideHoops NBA [HOME] Oct 25, 2003

Fantasy Basketball Season Preview




The Answerman is the unauthorized, unofficial, uncomprimising, unpaid though highly succesful fantasy advice columnist at - he also dabbles in romance advice. He is here to Answer all your questions.

Figured I'd round out my pre-season trilogy by doing what I do best, Answer questions from the loyal fans.


Hoya writes:

...and could you send me a draft guide to follow?

Dear Hoya:

I don't do draft guides. Ever hear the proverb, "Give a man a fish he eats for a day, teach a man to fish, he eats forever?"

Those writers who give lists are just giving you a fish for this year's draft, allowing you to make a successful team for this season and needing to read them every season thereafter. My purpose is to give you tools to analyze players yourself, make your own lists and be successful for years to come. I even do one better than the proverb, by taking my advice, you won't smell like fish.


Kasey writes:

I have 3rd pick in a 12 team H2H league. I was thinking Tmac but after you article I am thinking Dirk. I am the only woman in the league and want to show them I can play too. So who would you pick?

Dear Kasey:

Going to have to start giving the ladies love advice as well.

She asks a great question, who is the third pick? These are your candidates (last season stats):

Pierce .416fg% .302 3pt % .802ft% 7.30rpg 4.4apg 1.76spg .78bpg 3.65to 25.9ppg
Nowitzki .463fg% .379 3pt% .881ft% 9.90rpg 3.0apg 1.39spg 1.03bpg 1.90to 25ppg.
Allen .439fg% .3773pt .916ft 5.00rpg 4.4apg 1.36spg .18bpg 2.61to 22.5ppg
Iverson .414fg% .277 3pt% .774ft% 4.20rpg 5.5apg 2.74spg .16bpg 3.49to 27.6ppg

Any one of them would do fine as long as you continue to build your team around them. If Nowitzki qualifies as a Center, he is likely the best pick. Be aware, though, even though he fills that annoying little "c" on your roster, he doesn't really.

We rely on centers to rebound, shoot a high fg% and block shots. Nowitzki is a good rebounder but only fair in the other center categories. If you pick him, you've got to get an A.Kirilenko or A.Foyle later on in the draft.


Chris writes:

This is my fantasy team. There are 9 categories. Who do you reckon I should keep? Who should I trade? What players should I target?

Dear Chris:

You ever meet a girl or go on a first date and feel so anxious about it that you want to call right away. There is no more powerful, exciting or incorrect feeling in the world. Chris you never call right away. You let it simmer. Give yourself a chance to plan the next move. Make her wait a little (sorry Kasey).

Same goes for your fantasy team. Give the season a month to simmer. See where you stand amongst the other teams. Nothing happens during the first month that cannot be overcome in the next five.

Watch your team, switch starters and bench players to see what works. See patterns develop and make an informed decision. If you miss an opportunity, another will shortly arise.


Urmas writes:

I liked very much your story "How to draft"! Im from Estonia and tryin to be in the swim with NBA fantasy news.

Dear Urmas:

Some of the Answerman's biggest fans come from foreign lands, probably because they don't speak the language.


Steve writes:

I'm a champion in my fantasy league for two years running. It seems that the other members of my league are gunning for me, and in some times, teaming up against me to beat me.

Dear Steve:


As I've already written, you are allowed two sleeper picks. Steve, you should use one of those wasted picks on a known bust. Pick a guy who just went on the injured list or remains unsigned. A.Mason is a good choice, V.Baker, or S.Kemp. The guys will mock you, they will think you are stupid - good.

Now when you make them a trade offer midway through the season, they will not be afraid of it. They will actually believe that you are uninformed and the deal favors them. Suckers.


Little Big Man writes:

Everyone is laughing at me when I say Jumaine Jones is a big time sleeper. Jumaine Jones can grow in this system. What do you think about Jumaine Jones and about the pick?

Dear Little:

I wouldn't pick Jones until the last round, but more importantly...

You ever notice on sitcoms, the main character (lets call him Jack) tells some awful lie, then gets all wrapped up in it and hijinx ensue. Eventually Jack tells his co-stars (lets call them Janet & Chrissy) everything and it all turns out in the end.

It teaches us that lies and secrets are bad and its good to tell everyone all our business.

This is awful terrible advice.

Listen to me, Little, don't tell your friends anything. You think Jones is a sleeper, keep it to yourself.

Its nobody's damn business what you are thinking. Its why I write this article under a psuedonym.


Finally, my first really great piece of "you are an idiot" mail (shortened):

I've got to wonder what planet you are on and how much of a novice you (or your leaguemates really are)??!!

Your article suggests: You can draft non first-rounders like J.O'Neal, S.Marion, and P.Pierce. My question for you is this. What experienced fantasy player truly believes S.Marion, P.Pierce, and J.O'Neal are "non first-rounders"?

To dole out a draft tip that one should grab Pierce or Marion after the first round will be about as helpful as suggesting... in 1988,"try to take 'non-first rounder' Michael Jordan"...your "advice" is none at all.

Dear Angry Reader:

I love how emotional people get about columns (another reason to write under a pseudonym). I used to do the same. I admit - I messed up. The sentence started differently as just a list of reliable players. I felt it was too obvious to list Garnett and Duncan but remiss to leave them out. So I changed it to "non first rounders" but didn't make the other appropriate edits. J.O'Neal and Marion can fall to the 2nd round, though Pierce will not.

I apologize for any pain this has caused, but as the expression goes, you get what you pay for.

Good luck everybody. If you have any questions or aggravation, write the

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