Wednesday, January 11, 2006

Please Mr. Postman

Here we go, another mailbag. A couple interesting questions, so let’s get to it …

Q: Excluding injuries, your pick for the player who has most underperformed this year based on his average draft position?

A: Here at FBB, one of the things we put a lot of emphasis on going in to the draft is consistency. We’re not alone in this – most of the highest-drafted players are drafted where they are because of their proven track record. Looking at ESPN’s average draft picks, all of the first rounders, other than those who’ve been suffering from injuries, are performing at or near their historic levels. In the second round, though, we do have a couple of disappointing point guards in Stephon Marbury and Steve Francis, who are both really struggling this year. Marbury as taken hits across the board, though the biggest drop has been in 3 pointers, where he’s dropped from a career average of 1.2 to a near-useless 0.3, shooting only 20% from the arc. Francis, meanwhile, is posting career-lows in threes, rebounds and assists, and will have to really improve in the second half of the year in order to be picked before the third round next October.

Another problem pick has been Larry Hughes, who was really underperforming even before he went down with his broken finger. We knew his scoring and assists would be down, but the drop in boards was unexpected, and the steals – where he really got the majority of his value last year – were cut nearly in half. He’s no better than a fifth or sixth rounder next year, while he was typically drafted in the third or fourth round this year.

Q: Which one of these injured players do you guys think will be the mostworth owning in the long run this year: Larry Hughes, Bonzi Wells, Carlos Boozer or Darius Miles?

A: An interesting question. Without an IL, many fantasy players are struggling with how to handle long-term injuries like those belonging to these guys. It’s new to us, too, and so much of this depends on how you’ve managed your roster – do you have room on your bench to stash one of these guys or not? That’s what really determines their value to your team. So I’m going to approach this as though you’ve got all four of these guys sitting on your waiver wire (not gonna happen, I know) and you’ve only got room to pick up one of ‘em. Here’s how I’d rank them:

1. Carlos Boozer: He’s rumored to be back in the two weeks, and while we don’t believe that’s really the case, it’s significantly shorter than any of these other guys. We really dislike Boozer, and not just because he’s a Dukie – he’s a 3-category contributor and appears to be allergic to blocking shots. Still, if he’s playing, he’ll have more value than the others.

2. Larry Hughes – He’s got the longest stated return time (eight weeks), but is also probably the best fantasy player out of this group. Plus, a broken finger isn’t something likely to suffer a setback.

3. Darius Miles – Miles was 15 games into a career year before being sidelined by knee surgery. Miles derives most of his value – both in real life and in fantasy – from his athleticism, and knee surgery is not a good sign. Still, he could be back in late February, and you can’t count him out yet.

4. Bonzi Wells – He tore his groin. That can’t be pleasant. He hasn’t run since the injury, and his return date keeps getting set back, and none of this sounds very good. I think Sacramento isn’t giving any news because there isn’t any good news to give. I’d avoid Bonzi until you hear something promising.

Q: How are YOUR fantasy squads doing?

A: Thanks for asking! We play in a very competitive 12-team rotisserie league. As you may recall, we reviewed our drafts back at the end of October. Neither of us have made very substantial moves yet (nor very many – we each have under 10 transactions), but here’s how we stand.

My team is languishing in fourth place, with my biggest problems being the PG categories – FT%, assists, and steals. This is despite the fact that I’m starting three point guards (Marbury, Chauncey Billups and Jason Terry) every night! Still, I’m very solid at C with Tim Duncan and Sam Dalembert, and I’ve been pretty pleased with my Warriors, Jason Richardson and Troy Murphy. I’ve got a couple of guys who are tough to play – Kenyon Martin and Charlie Villanueva – but I’m still holding out hope for them.

DM, meanwhile, has managed to cheat his way into second place. He got one of the nicest surprises of the year in Rasheed Wallace, and has gotten great contributions from late round picks like Eddie Jones and Brevin Knight. Oh yeah, and he’s got Dirk Nowitzki, too, which doesn’t hurt. He’s held his position well despite the injury to Yao Ming, and if our league leader didn’t commit highway robbery on a trade and waive pickup earlier, DM would be right on his tail.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

hey guys, great page

i was recently offered kobe and raja bell for brad miller and jason richardson

do you think this is a good trade? my main concern is that i'll be pretty weak at center because i only have tim duncan and sro swift at that position...

i'm stuck at 6th place in my roto league and i think a trade might be necessary to shake things up...

11:34 AM  
Anonymous Andy said...

Thanks for the mailbag! One question: where would Shareef Abdur-Rahim fit into the injured player list?

anonymous: no way I'd make that trade for several reasons, #1 of which would be the fact that because Duncan's having foot problems and if he goes down you're screwed. Stromile Swift as your #1 center would be a nightmare from which it would be difficult to recover.

12:23 PM  
Anonymous Rich said...

IMHO, I would make do that trade. Kobe is a top 10 player and pairing him and Duncan together would give you a ridiculously strong nucleus. Duncan hasn't missed a game all year and his alleged bad foot didnt stop him from dropping 27 and 12 laast night. Sure you're taking a risk that TD might go down but if you can languish in 6th place with him, you can languish in 6th place without him...

2:42 PM  
Blogger Jeremy said...

Well Kobe is obviously the best player in the deal so at least you'd be getting that. I would be hesitant to do this deal though, as Richardson and Miller are about 4th and 3rd round (respectively) you're trading those picks for a 1st rounder and a guy on the waiver wire. It really depends on whether or not your head to head, but I probably wouldn't do it unless you're really desperate for scoring (which is the position it's easiest to get help at). You'll benefit from three-pointers in that trade, but lose in just about every other category, as neither Kobe or Bell are good defensive players on paper (by meaning they don't rack in steals/blocks/rebounds).

All-in-all...I wouldn't do it in either H2H and especially not in Roto.

3:05 AM  

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