Tuesday, December 27, 2005

On Artest

I’ve been waiting at least a week now to write about Ron Artest. The idea would be to wait until he got moved, and then go over the plusses and minuses for each player involved and a couple of ancillary guys as well. Then last week came and went with no deal. Now it looks like we’re still a little bit away from a deal. And while Artest isn’t on any NBA courts near you, he’s still filling up a precious roster spot for an owner in your fantasy league. And the longer that Donnie Walsh waits to move him, the longer Artest will contribute nothing to your fantasy squad. However, just because Artest isn’t playing doesn’t mean that he can’t have value for your fantasy team – even if he’s not on it.

Let’s get back to the basics for a second: when you’re playing fantasy sports, you’re gambling (like I needed to remind you). Even if you’re not in a pay league, you’re still gambling. You’re betting that over the course of the season, the players on your roster will combine to play better than everyone else’s players. And the way to do that is to accumulate the best talent – based on YOUR analysis - over the course of the year. What that means is that a certain player can have vastly different value according to each owner in your league.

Now, most of the time, a player’s value will be perceived pretty similarly across the board. No one is going to mistake Dirk Nowitzki for a second-round value, and no one would consider, say, Eddy Curry as a third-round-value kinda guy. So every time you see trades involving those players, both owners involved in the trade are pretty aware of what the other guy is thinking.

Still, there are some players where one owner will vastly disagree with another. You see this a lot on draft day, as you see owners reaching high for picks that they clearly value higher than other owners. But usually after the first couple of weeks shake out, everyone is pretty much on the same page.

However, every once in awhile, in the middle of a season, a player’s value will come into question, and we’ll see that disparity in owners’ opinions that is usually reserved only for draft time. That’s what’s happening right now with Artest. We’re getting plenty of questions about him, meaning that his perceived value is all over the table.

With all that in mind, let’s get back to how to handle Artest. The first thing you need to do is figure out how YOU value Artest. For me, I’d say he’s about a fifth round pick, with the following reasoning: He’s generally a late second/early third round value. However, because we don’t know when he’ll actually return to the court, or what sort of situation he’ll be in, I’m going to dock him 2-3 rounds of value. But that doesn’t mean that you or other owners in your league don’t see him as still having 2nd round value, or that others don’t believe he’s worth more than a 7th rounder right now.

Now, it’s time to take that opinion and put it to work. If you’ve got Artest, and have a relatively low value for him (i.e. 4th rd or lower) you should be offering him around the league right now to as many people as possible. If another owner in your league is valuing Artest as a third rounder, you’ll get him to bite.

If you don’t have Artest, and you have him valued relatively high, then by all means make an offer for the guy. You’ve got to gauge how his owner values the troubled star, and the only way to find out is to go after him. And if you get him – well, you know what you’re in for. Good luck.


Blogger Jeremy said...

Damn Bots...

Anyways, I have a spot on my team right now that is pretty much open. I had Raef LaFrentz and Sarunas, whom I dropped on Christmas for a few more games on the last day of the week. I picked up Nocioni on waivers for one of the spots, but have one more, and I think I'm probably weakest at 3PM.

Right now I'm using the spot as a daily rotation of players to combat the fact that Artest still isn't playing (he's on my team). But, at the same time I'm uncovering some of my current sleepers like Kevin Martin, Melvin Ely, and others.

Well, I picked up Earl Watson for tomorrows game and am considering keeping him. I've heard trade rumors that Artest will go to Denver, which seems to be the place he'll go. I've heard a 3-team trade may send Watson to Atlanta. First off, what impact would this have for Artest's value being with Anthony, Miller, Kenyon Martin and Camby? Will it be at the level it was in Indy?

My team plays 12-cats: minutes, fg%, ft%, 3pm, oreb, reb, pts, turnovers, steals, assist, blocks, and technical fouls.

There are currently players in FA:

Kevin Martin
Earl Watson (I currently have)
Devin Harris
Raja Bell
Luther Head

Raja has been starting all year, but I wonder if he will once Amare comes back and if they'll continue to start a lineup of something like Nash/Barbosa/Marion/Diaw/Amare. Raja definately gets minutes, and I'm as high on them as you guys are.

Luther Head played well when Tmac was out, and is getting near 40 minutes per again...he's not shooting well, and it's temporary at best.

...aw screw it, I guess I'm really down to Martin and Watson. Martin won't have value when Bonzi comes back, but that will be a month. Watson could have value all year.

Or, should I continue to do a daily rotation of that single roster spot, giving up all my hard-earned "sleepers", but getting more production out of that spot. I'd have to say that I have been rough getting three pointers lately, as I have a lot of guys who make a modest amount of threes.

So, I guess the real question is are there anyone you can see coming up that will have a lot of value...based on trades or injuries?

Eh...I shouldn't post late at night. Thanks for any input...I'll probably hold onto Watson for at least a few days to see if a trade does in fact go down...I have Andre Miller and Joe Johnson so I would be severely impacted, but it might turn out okay.


6:42 AM  
Blogger DM said...

Once James Jones returned to the bench the other night I picked up Kevin Martin, and he's probably the best bet of the guys you mentioned. Sacramento is without Peja, SAR and Bonzi right now, so not only will Martin get lots of minutes (41 last night), but it looks like he might actually be the team's #3 option as long as those three guys above are out. It's clear that Bibby and Brad Miller will be picking up a lot of the slack, but Martin was clearly the next guy in line last night. He may not be anything all that special, but if he's going to be seeing that much PT and be that high up on the pecking order, he deserves consideration. It looks like Bonzi will miss at least two more weeks and it might be more, as it's hard to see anyone wanting to rush back to play for the Kings right now, despite their win last night.

As for Watson ... if he went to Atlanta you'd think he'd have lots of value, but it's just a rumor and then he'd have to adapt to a new team. You saw how long it took him to adapt to a new team in Denver. And the way Tyronn Lue is playing lately, it's not like he will just be ignored. So yeah, I'd definitely go with Martin.

11:59 AM  

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