Instant Impact: Is Elfrid Payton This Year’s Michael Carter-Williams

by Will Overton

Finding rookies that can contribute in their first year can be a bit of a guessing game and there’s not always a science to it. There are certain factors that we can consider though to try and predict positive outcomes.

Last year Michael Carter-Williams wasn’t really predicted by anyone to win rookie of the year or be the most impactful rookie in fantasy basketball. Maybe we should have seen it coming though and maybe we can learn from the success of Carter-Williams. The Sixers point guard was labeled as having a lot of upside, but being very raw.

So what did Carter-Williams have going for him that led to his success. Even though his overall game might not have been what scouts considered “NBA ready,” he possessed certain skills that were. Carter-Williams was long and had a natural instinct on defense that led to him being a steals machine all season. He also had incredible court vision allowing him to find holes on defense to penetrate the lane and find the open man on offense. Read more

Fantasy Basketball Is Back!

by Will Overton

After one wild offseason in the NBA we are finally closing in on the start of another season. That means we are nearing the start of fantasy basketball season and we are kicking the season off today here at RotoProfessor!

I am very excited about another season of covering fantasy basketball at RotoProfessor and hopefully helping to make all of you better fantasy basketball players. A big part of that for me is being able to give you what you want/need to be the best. If there are certain topics you want to see covered, please leave a comment and let me know. If there are certain players you would like to see discussed, again please leave a comment and I will make sure I get to them. Read more

Early 2014 – 2015 Fantasy Basketball Top 25

by Will Overton

Tonight is the last night of regular season action and there is no better way to end this season than to start looking towards next season now. It’s been a fun season with a lot of turnover in the top part of the rankings, which means next year will be all the more interesting.

This offseason has the makings of a crazy road and so these rankings will probably change multiple times during the process. It’s going to be a fun ride though and I can’t wait to watch it unfold. In the meantime this is how I see next year’s top 25 shaking out as of right now. I do hold the right to change my mind and change it often though:

  1. Kevin Durant – SF, Oklahoma City Thunder
  2. LeBron James – SF, Miami Heat
  3. Stephen Curry – PG, Golden State Warriors
  4. Kevin Love – PF, Minnesota Timberwolves
  5. Anthony Davis – PF/C, New Orleans Pelicans
  6. James Harden – SG, Houston Rockets
  7. Chris Paul – PG, Los Angeles Clippers
  8. DeMarcus Cousins – PF/C, Sacramento Kings Read more

Immediate Impact: Four Under The Radar Guys Likely To Have A Big Weekend

by Will Overton

Time is ticking and we have a big weekend full of basketball lying ahead of us. With 13 games tonight and several more over the course of Saturday and Sunday a lot of work can be done this weekend. It’s all about knowing who is playing well and who isn’t playing at all in some cases.

As we have been doing we are going to take a look at a few guys who stand out to me as strong plays this weekend. I will avoid the obvious ones such as Kevin Durant, but look more at the guys who you have to debate on playing or possibly add off from the waiver wire.

Here are some of the guys that I like this weekend:

Roy Hibbert – C, Indiana Pacers: I am bringing up Hibbert because I think there are a lot of owners out there who have no idea what to do with him. Hibbert has been off of his game lately including being benched two games ago and “rested” in the last game. All indications are that Hibbert will be back in action this weekend though for two games against the Heat and Thunder. Time is ticking for Hibbert to get back into his groove before the playoffs and the Pacers need that to happen. Hibbert loves playing the Heat and plays well against them. I think he gets back on track and despite recent events I would be keeping him on my team and in my lineup. Read more

Immediate Impact: Four Under The Radar Guys Likely To Have A Big Day: 4/9/14

by Will Overton

Once again we are going to be looking at some under the radar players who I think can make a big difference for contending fantasy basketball teams in today’s slate of games. There is a lot of uncertainty on a lot of teams with the playoffs right around the corner, so some of these guys might be better options than someone you don’t really know is going to play or how much they’re going to play.

This edition is a bit guard heavy as there are several guards in a good spot tonight, but I did make sure to highlight one big man as well who could be a primetime option.

Here are four guys to grab or start today:

Rodney Stuckey – SG, Detroit Pistons @ Cleveland: The knee injury that Josh Smith is dealing with has elevated Stuckey from a heavy minute sixth man to an even heavier minute starter. Stuckey has played 35.5 MPG the last two games for the Pistons. In those games he has 55 points combined. He also has four rebounds and four assists in each game along with a steal. Stuckey is the focal point of the offense with Smith out and it shows. The other underrated aspect of Stuckey’s game is his free throw shooting. Stuckey is 22 – 26 from the line in the last two games and is shooting 84% from the line for the year. Stuckey gets to the line often and makes most of them which can be a big boost in a head to head championship. Read more

Immediate Impact: Four Under The Radar Guys Likely To Have A Big Day

by Will Overton

At this point in the season what you need to do is make sure you have the best possible lineups on the court every day. You can’t afford to lose any statistical edge out there by not having quality guys in your lineup and having the highest quantity possible without dropping your big names.

When you reach this point in the season and your still in the hunt you are pulling all the punches to get over the hump and get that title. My job is to try and help you do just that. The way in which I am going to do that is look at the slate of games on tap today and try to pinpoint who might be good plays off your bench and who might be worth adding to your team.

Here are some of the guys I like to put up solid numbers in todays games:

Patty Mills – PG, San Antonio Spurs @ Minnesota: We don’t really know just how bad this injury to Tony Parker is, but we do know that he’s going to miss a couple games at least it would seem. With Parker out the minutes likely go to Mills and Cory Joseph, but Mills is the more proven player this season. Mills has scored a very under the radar 10.1 PPG this season. In February when Mills was playing more than normal, 23.1 MPG, he averaged 16.3 PPG. Minnesota is a struggling defense right now and is susceptible to the three-pointer which is one of Mills specialties. This is a big spot for Mills and I expect good things from him here. Read more

2013-2014 Seasons Biggest Overachievers and Underachievers

by Ray Lin

They say that hindsight is 20:20. In the pre-season, we use educated planning (and guessing) to best prepare for drafts. How players are expected to finish and how they actually end up finishing can vary a ton.

I wanted to see how actual performance this season compared with our preseason expectations. So, I cross-referenced actual Top-100 season player rankings (according to the ESPN Player Rater) with the pre-season rankings for those players from our RotoProfessor Basketball Draft Guide.

The values in parenthesis refer to the difference between their projected performance ranking and their actual season ranking as of today (the higher the number, the more spots by which they outperformed their projected rankings).

Underachievers

Josh Smith (-70)
Deron Williams (-53)
Tony Parker (-50)
Jeff Green (-43) Read more

Injury Watch: Patrick Beverley Out, Jeremy Lin In and More

by Will Overton

With this little amount of time left in the season fantasy owners need to be getting every edge they possibly can on their league mates. One of those edges can come in the way of watching the injury reports like a hawk.

Knowing what is happening in the trainer’s room helps you stay on top of who to keep out of your lineup and who might be worth picking up for your lineup. With just a couple more weeks left to go in the season we are going to start seeing more guys get shut down for the season which is going to open more doors for the guys behind them.

Here are some of the injury notes that stand out to me and the implications that come with them:

Nikola Pekovic – C, Minnesota Timberwolves: Pekovic made his return from an ankle injury on Friday after missing six games. Pekovic played two full games, and last night seven minutes into a game against the Clippers he left with pain in that same ankle. Pekovic didn’t return to action last night and it is unclear how long this could keep him out this time, but my guess is it’ll be at least a couple games. Read more

Crunch Time: Looking Ahead At The Upcoming Week

by Will Overton

We’re headed into the final weeks of the season now. That means championships are about to be won or lost in the next little while. There is no room for error when it comes to setting your lineup. You need to know who has the favorable matchups, who doesn’t and who you should and shouldn’t be playing.

Just like the rest of the year you don’t really want to overthink things and get too cute. Your stars are still your stars and you have to expect them to play like stars. You still have to give it some thought though and consider all angles.

Obviously if you play in a weekly league you have big decisions to make, but even in daily leagues you may. Two times this week the schedule is full with games meaning you will have to choose who to bench and who not to on those nights.

Here are some of the guys I like this week: Read more

3 Up, 3 Down: Trends In Ownership Percentages Examined

by Ray Lin

This late into the basketball season, it’s hard to find any game-changers off the waiver wire that will have enough time to make an impact.

Still, there are players to keep an eye on, whether it’s for immediate impact or momentum leading into the 2014-15 season. Here’s a 3-up, 3-down look at players who have changed ownership value (according to ESPN) the most over the past 15 days.

3 Up

Gorgui Dieng, MIN C (+41.1% ownership, past 15 days: 25.1 mpg, 9.0 ppg, 10.1 rpg, 0.9 spg, 0.9 bpg, .533 FG%)

As defending NCAA champion Louisville heads into the Sweet 16 this week, the Cardinals’ former center and reigning Big East Defensive Player of the Year continues to go on a tear in Minnesota. Dieng has been taking on major minutes with Ronny Turiaf and Nikola Pekovic both hurt, logging over 25 mpg in five straight contests. Read more