Stat Stuffers: Mid And Late Round Guys To Draft For Blocks And Steals

by Will Overton

There are certain categories that can at times get overlooked, especially late in drafts. Two of the most overlooked stats are blocks and steals. I think at times there is a general assumption that all big men block shots and all guards and wingmen get steals. This is an assumption that’ll get you in trouble.

All categories in rotisserie and head to head are equal in the way they count in the standings. So overlooking a guy who can block shots or get steals in the middle rounds for someone flashier or more name recognizable because they score points is a mistake fantasy owners too often make.

The other mistake is too assume you need to reach for someone like Serge Ibaka and then not worry about shot blocking anymore. If you do grab Ibaka your off to a great start, but you still can’t ignore the category. You also don’t need to feel pressured to reach for him because there are shot blockers in the mid and late rounds who can anchor your team.

I have highlighted a few shot blockers, a few steals guys and a few guys who do a little of both that you can get in the middle or late rounds of your drafts this weekend: Read more

Preseason Quick Take: Don’t Sleep On Otto Porter Jr In Washington

by Will Overton

The preseason is meant for fringe guys to rise to the surface for fantasy owners and emerge as useful fantasy options. One guy who is doing just that this preseason is Otto Porter Jr in Washington. A year ago Porter was picked third overall in the NBA draft, but injuries limited him to just 37 games and he never really had a chance to be a contributor.

A year later Porter had become a bit of an afterthought only talked about in deep leagues, but his preseason numbers are piquing the interest of many fantasy owners. It doesn’t hurt that several members of the Wizards backcourt are dropping with injuries.

Porter has strung together a few nice games in a row, but he really blew up last night. Against the Knicks Porter played 31 minutes, scoring 22 points, including hitting four three-pointers and adding three steals. Porter is averaging 14.3 PPG in 27.6 MPG over his last seven games. He’s also averaging 4.8 RPG and in his last four games he has a total of 12 steals. Read more

Strategy Talk: Tips To Help You Dominate Your Auction Draft

by Ray Kuhn

I am biased. Give me a choice on draft type, and I’m taking auction every time.

When doing a draft against 9 or 11 other owners, there is no such thing as having a perfect draft. All it takes is one thing to completely change the direction of your team. But I feel that an auction gives you more control. This is not meant to be an argument as to what type of draft you should do, as auctions are not as common, but instead the hope is that it provides you some tips. Perhaps by the end of this article, you will be more prepared or be apt to trying an auction.

There is no such as having a plan when it comes to auction. Yes, I know that goes against everything you know about fantasy basketball and everything that we stand for. The statement may be harsh, but it is true.

Of course you are going to have a plan, you say. Your rankings are done, players are tiered, statistical targets noted, sleepers highlighted, and dollar values computed. You are asking for trouble if you do otherwise. Read more

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