Fantasy Basketball Top 50 For 2014

by Will Overton

There has been some shakeup in these rankings since the preseason started due to some injuries, including an injury to what used to be my number one guy. Sleepers are important to pinpoint, but there is an importance in nailing your first few picks as well if you’re going to excel in your league. With that in mind I have my top 50 rankings for standard roto leagues using eight categories (FG%, FT%, PTS, REBS, ASTS, STLS, BLKS, 3PM).

  1. LeBron James – SF, Cleveland Cavaliers
  2. Stephen Curry – PG, Golden State Warriors
  3. Anthony Davis – PF/C, New Orleans Pelicans
  4. James Harden – SG, Houston Rockets
  5. Chris Paul – PG, Los Angeles Clippers
  6. Russell Westbrook – PG, Oklahoma City Thunder
  7. DeMarcus Cousins – PF/C, Sacramento Kings
  8. Carmelo Anthony – SF, New York Knicks
  9. John Wall – PG, Washington Wizards
  10. Kevin Love – PF, Cleveland Cavaliers
  11. LaMarcus Aldridge – PF, Portland Trail Blazers
  12. Kevin Durant – SF, Oklahoma City Thunder Read more

Preseason Quick Take: What Have We Learned From Derrick Rose Preseason Performance?

by Will Overton

I don’t take away too much from the preseason when it comes to the big name stars. The same way I don’t take away too much from team performances. The Spurs and Clippers are a combined 2 – 7 so far this preseason, it means nothing to me.

There is an exception to this rule for me this preseason, and that exception is Derrick Rose. The former MVP played 10 games last season and has played a combined 49 in the last two seasons. Rose’s comeback last seasons was a big deal and it ended up being a huge flop for fantasy owners. So I am taking in all the information on him that I can.

So far this preseason Rose is already looking better than he did last season when in the 10 games he did play he looked rusty and just off his game. The 10 games Rose did play left more questions in owner’s minds about whether he could return to his old self again or if his days of fantasy stardom were over. Read more

Recipe For Success: Tips To Make Sure Your Prepared On Draft Day

by Ray Kuhn

This is it. We are now in the home stretch. After an off-season of preparation, the most important day of your fantasy season is here. It is Draft Day.

So what do you need to do prior to your draft to give yourself the best chance at success?

There are two facets of your draft and each have equal importance; everything you do prior to the draft starting, and then the actual execution during the draft. Your fortunes, either for success or failure, will not be entirely dictated by your performance during the draft, but it certainly determines how your season begins and whether you are in a position of strength or weakness. And the direction in which your draft goes is dependent upon your preparation. In draft strategy will be covered in a separate article.

We will operate under the assumption here that you general knowledge of the player pool. Let’s take that as a given, and then also keep in mind that every league is different. That is where your preparation should begin. Read more

Preseason Quick Take: Has D.J. Augustin Overtaken Brandon Jennings In Detroit?

by Will Overton

It’s not always easy to keep up on all the preseason action and also determine what’s important and what’s not. So we at RotoProfessor are here to try and help you sort through it by hitting briefly on some of the important things that are happening.

Today we’re going to be looking at D.J. Augustin, backup point guard for the Detroit Pistons. The Pistons signed Augustin in the offseason to add depth to their backcourt and have a veteran, proven backup to Brandon Jennings. After what’s happened this preseason though you almost wonder if there might not be more happening here.

We were told this offseason by Stan Van Gundy that Brandon Jennings was not a lock to start at point guard and that Augustin would be in the mix. If he was telling the truth you have to wonder what’s going to happen because Augustin is playing circles around Jennings this preseason. Read more

Under The Radar: Four Rookies Who Could Make Nice Late Round Fliers

by Will Overton

It’s one thing to predict a big rookie season from Jabari Parker or Andrew Wiggins, or even Elfrid Peyton. It’s another thing all together to predict who the lesser known rookie standouts are going to be. Trying to identify those guys is a lot of looking at opportunity and also skill level, whether that be all-around skill or a specific NBA ready skill.

This year’s rookie class was hyped for being top heavy, but also for being deep and it really is a deep class full of potential standouts. Throw in some international guys who are finally making the trek overseas and you’re looking at a really strong rookie class for fantasy players.

I have a few guys I have pegged as high upside late round fliers for fantasy leagues:

Rodney Hood. SG/SF – Utah Jazz: At first it sounded like Rodney Hood was going to be just a backup to Gordon Hayward, but since starting to take the court this preseason it looks like he might take on a bigger role. It helps his case that Alec Burks is banged up right now and Dante Exum might not be as fantasy ready as Hood is. Because of those factors Hood could not only see minutes at shooting guard, but actually be the starter to begin the season. Read more

What Would Harrison Barnes Starting Mean To Fantasy Basketball Players?

by Ray Kuhn

Could it be possible that a bench player has more value than a starter?

In Golden State that might be the case this season as Andre Iguodala appears primed to come off the bench for the first time in his career.

“Kerr throughout the offseason has mentioned Iguodala as a probable starter and in the preseason has found success using him in rotations with guard Leandro Barbosa.

“I thought Andre was brilliant, and I don’t know that (coming off the bench is) the route we’re going to go, but he solidified that unit, and our lead went up when we subbed in, which was encouraging,” Kerr said.

It is hard to believe that the Warriors are planning to have Iguodala, who is entering his 11th year in the league and is in the 2nd year of a $48 million contract, come off the bench but it makes sense. You have to remember that it is not who starts the game, but who finishes the game. Read more

Preseason Story Watch: Breaking Down The Jazz Backcourt

by Will Overton

As the preseason carries on there are certain storylines developing that call for the attention of fantasy owners. One of the stories owners need to be watching is the way things are unfolding in Utah’s backcourt.

The Jazz aren’t a “flashy team” necessarily and don’t often get much attention. However, there are plenty of reasons for fantasy owners to be paying attention to this team during the preseason. Is Derrick Favors going to emerge into a star this season? Does Rudy Gobert have sleeper value and the ability to unseat Enes Kanter as the starting center? And then the question we’re looking at, who in the Jazz backcourt do fantasy owners want to own?

There are four key pieces to the Jazz backcourt picture right now and we are going to take a close look at each of those four guys and what their potential value might be for fantasy players: Read more

Injury Impact: How Bradley Beal and Jodie Meeks Injuries Created Potential Sleepers

by Will Overton

Fantasy sports are a constant cycle with injuries. They will always be a big part of the game and they will always do the same thing. One man goes down and others step up in their place. One fantasy owner takes a hit and whoever has their replacement gets a bump.

With many drafts coming up still you still have time to adjust your draft strategy and know going in who is hurt and how to adjust your rankings and who to take a flier on in hopes of early season boosts. In this article I am going to take a look at a couple of the big injuries in the league and what they mean.

We discussed the Kevin Durant injury earlier this week, and that was the one that took the league by storm over the weekend. In the shadows of that injury though were a couple more injuries that happened to a pair of shooting guards, Bradley Beal and Jodie Meeks. Let’s take a look at those injuries and how they have created opportunity for a pair of potentially solid late round fliers.

Bradley Beal Breaks His Wrist

This one saddened me quite a bit, not just because I had recently traded for Beal in a keeper league, but because I really thought he was going to break out in a big way. Beal is likely going to miss the first month of the season recovering.

When he does return you have to expect a couple weeks of him getting back into the swing of things. This is a broken wrist on a guy who makes his living with his jumpshot. Once he gets his stroke back he’ll still be close to a top 50 guy for the remainder of the season, but with the injury you have to knock him down to the bottom part of the top 100 in the Kevin Martin kind of range.

The absence of Beal creates a golden opportunity for another shooter though, Glen Rice Jr. With Martell Webster out Rice was already going to get a nice look, but now he’s likely going to start. Rice was a Summer League MVP this offseason and seems primed to be a nice flier at the end of drafts. He’s been streaky so far this preseason with his jumper, but when he is on he has huge potential as a three point specialist.

Jodie Meeks To Miss 8 Weeks

A stress reaction in his lower back has the Pistons big offseason acquisition, Jodie Meeks, sidelined for the first couple months of the season. Meeks was supposed to be the guy to step in and fix the Pistons three point shooting woes that really bogged them down so much last season. He’ll likely step into a big role when he returns, but with him slated to miss two months you really can’t draft him in standard leagues unless you have an IR spot, and even then a more pressing injury could come along and bump him eventually.

In Meeks place will likely be sophomore Kentavious Caldwell-Pope. KCP is dealing with an injury of his own, a knee strain, but all signs point to him being fine and ready to do sooner rather than later. KCP struggled with his shot last season and never could get into a rhythm. He had a huge summer league though and through the first three preseason games of the season he was averaging 16.6 PPG and 2.3 3PG. With his size and wingspan KCP has a chance to be a solid rebounder and steals contributor to pair with his three point shooting given enough playing time. KCP is no sure thing, but he is definitely worth a lottery pick kind of grab at the end of your draft.

This also means a slight boost for Kyle Singler, Caron Butler and D.J. Augustin. I expect Singler and Butler to spend most of their time at small forward, but they will now likely see shooting guard minutes too. Meanwhile D.J. Augustin will be called upon for three point shooting and offense off the bench, not just at the point, but also at shooting guard now too. I would actually consider grabbing Augustin at the end of your draft too.

What are you doing with these injuries? Do you see value in Rice or Caldwell-Pope?

What Should Fantasy Owners Make Of Andre Roberson In Oklahoma City?

by Ray Kuhn

Entering his second NBA season, Andre Roberson has an opportunity. This opportunity was present prior to Kevin Durant’s foot injury, but the recent news certainly has brought Roberson more into focus.

But are we overreacting here? Or should Roberson be highlighted at the top of your sleeper lists?

I thought Roberson was an option worth considering in the late rounds even with a healthy Durant, so with the star forward slated to miss at least the first month of the season, his value certainly does increase.

To answer the above questions, let’s start with Roberson’s college career and work forward.

Generally there are pros and cons to players that stay in college for the majority of their eligibility. The pro is that they join the NBA as a more polished asset, but in most cases there is a reason why the player spent multiple years in college. Read more

ADP Report: Who Is Going Too High And Too Low

by Will Overton

It still feels a little bit early in the process, but with the season starting in just over two weeks fantasy drafts are happening left and right and we’re constantly getting a better glimpse of what players average draft positions are.

Looking at average draft positions does two things for you. It gives you an idea of who is being over drafted and who is being under drafted. It also gives you an idea of where the guys you like are being drafted. That doesn’t mean that if you really like Nerlens Noel you have to wait until the 70th pick to get him, but where you might take him at say 50th, you can maybe wait until 60th, knowing what his average slot is. You take chances, but part of this game is calculated risk taking.

Here are some of the guys I think are being over drafted and some who are being under drafted to give you an idea who I think are steals and who I think you should avoid at their current price. All ADP’s come from ESPN.com: Read more