Where to take ‘Moped Monta’
I will post some mock draft results here at some point in the next few weeks, but I have already participated in two and thought I'd share some trends. The full results for both drafts are currently available in the Draft Guide, which you can purchase here.
One of these drafts was a true "Industry Draft," organized by Rotoworld, with familiar fantasy hoops names like Karabell, Buser, Gonzalez, McKitish, Klyce, etc. The other one was comprised mostly of hoops bloggers and several good guys from fantasybasketball.com, including Jamaal Gilbert, who organized it.
Here are some trends I found interesting from each draft, both of which were Roto format. One was standard eight categories, not counting TOs, while the other was nine cats, penalizing for TOs.
Despite free throw percentage counting in both leagues and turnovers counting in one of them, Dwight Howard still managed to be taken in Round 1 (#5 & #9) in both drafts. I think I'm fine with punting free throw percentage in those leagues and taking him early. But by taking him in the first round in nine-cat leagues, you're basically giving up in TOs and FTP within the first five minutes of your season. I just don't think it's the smartest move to make and is a good example of how fantasy and reality differ.
And while Steve Nash is taking a hit from fantasy analysts everywhere right now, he's still gone pretty high in both drafts. He was taken with the 12th pick in one and the 16th in the other. His turnovers are high, he doesn't shoot many free throws and his scoring has fallen over the last few seasons. In addition, the Suns are going to cut his minutes. But he's still going to hand out a ton of assists and be a fantasy asset. Just don't assume you'll be able to snag him in the third round of your draft this year. His name is still Steve Nash, after all.
Both drafts started out the same way - LeBron, Chris Paul, Kobe, and Amare. I would have taken Paul with the first pick in the nine-cat league, and you should do the same.
Dwyane Wade and Shawn Marion are also consistently going in Round 1, while Caron Butler went No. 5 in one and No. 22 in the other. I am not all that high on him because of his injuries the last couple years, but with Gilbert Arenas out indefinitely, he's going be 'the man' if healthy.
Unanimous Round 2 selections include Baron Davis, Marcus Camby, Al Jefferson, Tim Duncan, Josh Smith and Allen Iverson. Baron was very close to a Round 1 selection in both, while Camby went at the top and bottom of the round. Deron Williams was taken in the 1st and 2nd round, while Danny Granger, Yao Ming, Paul Pierce, Chris Bosh and Rudy Gay were taken in the 2nd and 3rd rounds.
I'm surprised Camby isn't an automatic first-rounder, but his new surroundings and scary injury history are scaring folks away. For some reason, I'm not scared and took him in both drafts. I've got Granger being worth a late first-round pick, but it's becoming obvious that you can easily get him in the second round. I felt like I had committed a crime by getting him in the third round.
I have somehow managed to not land Josh Smith in either draft thus far, but the truth is he was gone before my second-round pick rolled around in both of them.
Manu Ginobili (ankle surgery) went in Round 3 in one draft, which is a bad move. He's going to be treated with kid gloves when he does return, and of bigger concern, we still don't know when that is. Manu went in Round 5 in the other draft, which is better.
Round 3 is when the steals and value picks start happening. Guys like Carmelo Anthony, Rashard Lewis, Kevin Martin, Chauncey Billups, Antawn Jamison, Rudy Gay, Granger, David West, Joe Johnson and Pau Gasol are all popular Round 3 targets.
Jose Calderon went in Round 3 in one and early in Round 4 in the other. If you want him, make plans for spending your third-round pick on him. And if your league counts turnovers, he's money.
Andrew Bynum and Andrew Bogut both went in Round 3 and Round 5, but I like them much better in Round 5. Strangely, they went in Round 5 in the league that required two centers, but in the third round in the league that only required starting one center. Go figure.
Jason Richardson, Jason Kidd, Richard Jefferson and Tracy McGrady were unanimous fourth-rounders. Kevin Durant went here in one, but went at the end of the second round in the league that penalizes for turnovers.which was a little baffling. Gerald Wallace went at No. 38 and 50, which is basically the fourth round as well.
LaMarcus Aldridge went high in both drafts, once in Round 4 and once in Round 5, but I'm thinking he's more of a sixth-round guy. Nothing really shocking in either Round 4, but it's obvious that Round 4 is Jason Kidd's destiny this year. And my prediction is that he ends up being an absolute steal for his owners.
I also took Stephen Jackson late in Round 4 in one, but he fell to Round 6 in the other. I think he's setting up for a huge season, but it looks like you can wait for him until the fifth or sixth round. And if you decide you like him, be prepared to take the hit in FGP and TOs. I built the rest of my team around low TOs and solid shooting, so I thought I could handle S-Jax.
Vince Carter went in Round 3 and Round 5, so Round 4 should be about right. That said, you won't find him on my teams since I am one of the naysayers predicting a meltdown this season.
Mo Williams went with the first pick in Round 5 in one draft (before Andre Miller, Mike Bibby, etc.) but lasted until the latter part of Round 6 in the other. The center run was on in the two-center league here, as Bynum, Bogut, Biedrins, Chandler, Kaman, Rasheed Wallace, Dalembert and Okafor all went in Round 5.
Al Horford and Ray Allen were unanimous Round 6 picks. Other players taken (appropriately) in the sixth were Corey Maggette, Michael Beasley, Jamal Crawford, Mo Williams, Andris Biedrins, Andre Miller, Mike Miller, Devin Harris, Brad Miller, Lamar Odom, Ray Allen and John Salmons. I took Salmons, and love the risk vs. reward element he offers. Maybe I could have gotten him later, but I didn't feel like waiting.
Point guards Randy Foye, Mike Bibby and Rajon Rondo were all unanimous Round 7 players and I like them quite a bit this season (especially Foye and Bibby). Monta Ellis went here in one league (Round 8 in the other) and that's pretty high for a guy not guaranteed to play this season after his little moped accident.
My Round 7 picks were Foye and Salmons, and it's quite possible I could have gotten either player a round later, but I'm comfortable with them in the seventh.
There were no players taken in the eighth round of both drafts. Marvin Williams, Greg Oden, O.J. Mayo, Al Harrington, Leandro Barbosa, Al Thornton, Zydrunas Ilgauskas, Jeff Green and Charlie Villanueva were all taken in this round, and I like all of them. Andrei Kirilenko was also taken in Round 7 or 8, which should make for some solid value.
Mike Conley, Rodney Stuckey, Ben Gordon and Troy Murphy were all ninth-round selections in both leagues. As I said, I love my Stuckey pick, but some people hated it. I'm not crazy about Conley because of the potential timeshare, but Gordon and Murphy are rock-solid ninth-round picks.
Point guard Marcus Williams, Shaquille O'Neal and Thaddeus Young were all taken in Round 10 of both leagues. I love Williams as a sleeper and wouldn't have a problem burning a ninth-rounder on him, and Young looks right here. I would avoid Shaq at all costs, but that's just me.
Danilo Gallinari was taken in this round in one league, and in Round 12 in the other. As I've stated many times, that is a wasted pick in my book.
Jeff Green lasted until the first pick of the 11th in one league, but went in the eighth round in the other one. I would plan on getting him in the eighth in most leagues if you want him.
Brendan Haywood and Rudy Fernandez were both unanimous 11th-round picks and both should offer solid value from that deep. I got Rafer Alston here in one draft as well, which I thought was a steal. Jameer Nelson also went in the 11th in one of these leagues, which is also excellent value. I took Duhon in the 11th in one league, which is probably not my best work. But we'll have to see what happens in New York, where Duhon appears to be Mike D'Antoni's starting point guard.
Andres Nocioni, Andrea Bargnani and Yi Jianlian were all unanimous 12th-round picks. I am not feeling any of them, but you can't really hurt yourself taking them this late. Marc Gasol and Nick Collison both were selected here in one draft, which is interesting. I think Collison is an excellent late-round value pick and Gasol is intriguing because he could win the starting gig in Memphis.
Michael Finley wasn't selected in either draft, but I think he might be one of the first guys picked up off the waiver wires with Manu sidelined indefinitely. And if Finley doesn't emerge with some value in San Antonio, Ime Udoka will.