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

Injury Fallout: What Does Kevin Durant’s Injury Mean For Fantasy Owners?

by Will Overton

After missing just a total of 16 games combined in his first eight seasons, Kevin Durant has been hit with the first major injury of his career, possibly sidelining for at least as many games as he has missed all of his career.

The news of Kevin Durant’s fractured foot broke yesterday and shook up the fantasy basketball world. Durant was in my mind the number one overall pick, hands down, no doubt about it. Now fantasy players with drafts upcoming are left wondering where they should take Durant now and who might benefit from his loss in Oklahoma City.

Let’s tackle the first question that comes out of this because that might be the most important question to ask right now. Out for six to eight weeks after surgery, the best case scenario seems to be a late November return for KD. If Durant misses all of November that would be 17 missed games for him, that’s a little over a fifth of the season, and that’s best case scenario. Read more

2014 – 2015 Position Breakdown: Top 25 Center Rankings

by Will Overton

Historically the Center position has been the weakest of all positions with a small top tier, a less than ideal middle tier and a bunch of fliers and over the hill veterans to round things out. As the game changes though so too changes the fantasy basketball game, including the Center position.

With athleticism across the league improving the Centers in the league are becoming better stat stuffers. Also positional flexibility is a big boost too as many guys who would have been power forwards are playing Center now.

Here is my breakdown of the position for this season with my top 25, my sleeper, deep sleeper and bust:

  1. DeMarcus Cousins – Sacramento Kings
  2. Joakim Noah – Chicago Bulls
  3. Chris Bosh – Miami Heat
  4. Al Jefferson – Charlotte Hornets
  5. Marc Gasol – Memphis Grizzlies
  6. Al Horford – Atlanta Hawks
  7. Dwight Howard – Houston Rockets
  8. Andre Drummond – Detroit Pistons Read more

Is The Hype On Giannis Antentokounmpo Legitimate Or Overblown?

by Will Overton
Last season Giannis Antetokounmpo was just 18 when the season started and expectations were he was a year or two away from contributing significantly. I personally expected to see him schooling people in the D-League for part of the year. At the end of the day the Bucks were so bad and Giannis was so talented that he forced his way into the rotation.

Now we have the “Greek Freak” on our hands and a 19 year old who is likely going to start and play big minutes as part of the team’s starting unit. Let’s look at what the Freak did last year before we break down what to expect from him this season:

24.6 Minutes Per Game
41.4% Field Goal Percentage
68.3% Free Throw Percentage
6.8 Points Per Game
4.4 Rebounds Per Game
1.9 Assists Per Game Read more

Is There Sleeper Value In Solomon Hill Replacing Paul George?

by Ray Kuhn

Next man up. One player’s injury is another’s opportunity. It may sound cruel or heartless, but that is how it goes in the NBA.

Paul George suffered a gruesome injury this summer, and he needs to be replaced. Whether it is your fantasy team or the Indiana Pacers, George will not be replaced by someone of equal value. Without question, there will be a pronounced drop off.  I wouldn’t look to who Indiana replaces George with as a direct substitution on your fantasy team, but that doesn’t mean there isn’t sleeper value to be had.

Now unless you play in a keeper or dynasty format, you don’t have to replace George. Just take him off your draft list, mark his potential replacements down as sleepers, and move on. But this strategy applies to any injury once you have drafted your team. In most cases you can find better value on your bench or waiver wire, but the new recipient of minutes is at least worth a look. Read more

2014 – 2015 Position Breakdown: Top 25 Power Forward Rankings

by Will Overton

Continuing on with our look at each position to help prepare for fantasy drafts that are certainly upcoming, today we look at power forwards. This is a position with some depth as I have seven of these guys in my top 30 overall rankings.

After that top tier we have a nice mix of veterans who we know what we’re getting from, the David Lee, Zach Randolph and Tim Duncan group, as well as some young guys with upside like Terrence Jones, Derrick Favors and John Henson. There’s a little bit of everything in this bunch.

Here is how I have the top 25 shaking out as well as my personal sleeper, bust and deep sleeper for the position:

  1. Anthony Davis – New Orleans Pelicans
  2. Kevin Love – Cleveland Cavaliers
  3. LaMarcus Aldridge – Portland Trail Blazers
  4. Blake Griffin – Los Angeles Clippers
  5. Paul Millsap – Atlanta Hawks
  6. Serge Ibaka – Oklahoma City Thunder
  7. Dirk Nowitzki – Dallas Mavericks
  8. Kenneth Faried – Denver Nuggets Read more

Purchase The 2014 RotoProfessor Fantasy Basketball Draft Guide!

This years fantasy basketball draft guide is officially for sale as of right now. The cost is just $5.00 and purchase is easy just by clicking the link below and following the instructions through PayPal. The guide is done in a spreadsheet format so it is customizable and sortable. Included in the guide you will receive…

  • Top 50 Rankings for every position
  • Top 200 Rankings for 8-Category and 9-Category Leagues
  • Over 250 Player Projections and analysis
  • Top 200 Keeper League Rankings
  • Sleeper and Deep Sleeper Lists

Unlike other draft guides that you purchase in the store, ours will feature updates as things change and new features are added to the guide.

When you purchase the guide notice will be sent to me and you will receive the draft guide in your e-mail within 24 hours of purchase.