Tuesday, March 14, 2006

New! Updated! Top 20!

After having my top 20 column yanked from under me in a hostile takeover by DM last month, I’m taking back the reins this time around.

1. Shawn Marion – He finally won me over with his 90% from the stripe over the last month. The real question is, how will Amare’s return (either this year or next) affect his value? My guess: not much.

2. LeBron James – His FG%, 3’s, and steals have all been in steady decline since December and January, and I’m getting a little worried he might hit the wall. On a side note, how horrendously disappointing has Donyell Marshall been as a Cavalier?

3. Dirk Nowitzki – DM had his at number 6 last time, which is, frankly, ridiculous. My favorite Dirk stat is his FT%, which is right around 90% for the year. Other guys might rank higher on the player rater, but the fact that Dirk does it from the PF spot makes him the most valuable FT guy in the league.

4. Kevin Garnett – Poor KG. He’s really angry, but it hasn’t affected his play yet. His March numbers have been spectacular, though we’ll see if that keeps up.

5. Kobe Bryant – Kobe could be number two on this list, but I worry that his FG% could plummet. 42% over the past month isn’t encouraging. But still, his owners have to be thrilled with the Lakers’ position in the standings. They’re in the playoffs, but it’s not a sure thing, and if they continue to play well they could avoid facing SA or Dallas in round 1.

6. Gilbert Arenas – Here’s something you might not know about us here at FBB: we love Gilbert Arenas. The East Coast Assassin has been on a tear after the All-Star break – 32.8 ppg, 49.8% from the field, 3.0 3’s and 2.7 steals. So, we’ll put him here at six and hope that he keeps it up.

7. Paul Pierce – He’s on fire. I might not love him as much as the Sports Guy, but I’ll admit to being impressed. In next year’s draft, how big will the gap be between Pierce, T-Mac, Kobe and Ray Allen? The general thought this year was that Kobe and T-Mac were on a higher plane, but maybe not anymore.

8. Elton Brand – I might be the only one pushing Brand for MVP, but I’m still convinced. As for fantasy, he’s been better at being Tim Duncan than Tim Duncan has this year, without the FT% woes. He’s a nice mid-first round pick next year.

9. Ray Allen – He’s just solid. At this point, what I’d like to see more than anything from Ray over the rest of the year is to not miss time with injury. I still worry about Ray’s durability, and seeing him top 75 games for a second consecutive year would be nice.

10. Dwyane Wade – I’ve got this idea. If you’re in a head-to-head league next year, I think you could draft Wade, and proceed to punt threes and win your league in a landslide with some smart drafting. With him and Brevin Knight at the point? I dunno, just a thought.

11. Rasheed Wallace – Along with Chauncey Billups, he’s been the best mid-round pick this year. Flip’s presence has really allowed him to flourish, and he’s a potential second round pick next year.

12. Allen Iverson – His ankle is a shame, because I thought he’d use the Team USA debacle as some serious inspiration, and it seemed like he was. Still, I’m hoping that AI’s short absence will allow guys like Stephen Hunter and Andre Iguodala to have a bigger role in the Sixers’ offense.

13. Chauncey Billups – Here’s something that’s got me worried, as a Billups owner – Tony Delk. In the 2 games since Delk decided to be a scorer on his new squad, Billups has taken only 8 shots in each game. Let’s hope this doesn’t become a trend. Still, Chauncey’s 8.8 apg has been one of the nicest surprises in fantasy this year.

14. Joe Johnson – He’s been fifth in the league in assists over the past month with 9.3 per game. What’s more, the Hawks have really been getting better over the past month or two. He might end up being the long term answer at the point for Atlanta.

15. Yao Ming – Hey, do you guys remember when I traded Samuel Dalembert and Jason Terry to DM for Yao Ming and Brevin Knight? Yeah, that was sweet. Yao has been on an absolute tear lately, and so he gets a nice spot in the Top 20.

16. Jason Kidd – He’s been flat-out spectacular since the All-Star break. It’s been like Kidd circa 1999. I wouldn’t count on him keeping it up, but it’s been nice to see.

17. Andrei Kirilenko – I’ll admit it – I’m a huge AK fan, but I am very worried about this year’s output. The FT% is way down, the threes have been next to nil over the last month … I’m just not happy about it.

18. Chris Paul – Here’s a question – what do you expect Paul to do next year? Where do you draft him? How much improvement will there be from year one to year two?

19. Jason Richardson – If he could learn to shoot free-throws … he’d be a second round pick next year. It’s one of the most confounding stats in basketball. Let’s hope he spends a LOT of time working from the stripe this summer.

20. Chris Webber – Admittedly, his stats aren’t as good as some other candidates for this spot, but you’ve got to give props to Webber for staying healthy for so long and turning in a nice season when no one thought he would. So, he gets the 20 spot this time around.


Anonymous LL said...

Speaking of CP..

This guy is an absolute hero. I drafted him early in the 6th round this year and have been loving his production.

The question of where to draft him next year made me think of my own dilemma. I'm in a keeper league without round-value adjustments. Basically you just keep your best 3 players.

What makes it difficult is that my team is stacked with young studs and new.

Right now, my potential keepers are:
Chris Paul
Jason Kidd
Dwight Howard
Tim Duncan

and with borderline candidates
Andre Iguodala

At this point, I want to keep Paul and Howard, and try packaging Kidd and Duncan for say.. Marion? Any comments? What strategy would you pursue?

12:03 PM  
Blogger DM said...

That wasn't awesome. But it was all part of my plan to give you a huge advantage in a deal so I can brag even more when I still beat you at the end of the season.

Mo Cheeks sucks. The sad thing is he isn't even one of the 6 or 7 most clueless coaches in the league.

12:33 PM  
Anonymous bublitchki said...

RE: Chris Paul

I believe that what we've seen of Paul this season represents, more or less, the limits of his potential fantasy-wise (not that there's anything wrong with that).

I remember reading in the preseason that the Hornet management - desperate to drum up fan interest in their exiled, moribund franchise -wanted to try and showcase Paul for the Rookie of the Year award. So they gave him mega-minutes and put the team in his hands. Yes, he's more than delivered but I don't think one should expect him to improve greatly on the numbers he's put up in what's clearly been an ideal situation for him.

All in all, I'm thinking he'll probably wind up as a Baron Davis-type PG (albeit a much-healthier one: good rebounds, assists and steals, mediocre FG%. A solid second or third rounder.

2:55 PM  
Blogger JM said...

RE: Pierce v. Kobe,Tmac,Allen.
I'd say Kobe has demonstrated himself to be the best of the group going into next year.

I'd put Pierce slightly above Allen due to Pierce's durability.

I think TMac's value has officially dropped out of the upper-echelon Shooting Guards due to his fragility.
I'd put TMac down in the next tier of SG's with his cousin Vince Carter (another injury prone gu), J.Richardson, Joe Johnson, and M.Redd.

5:04 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

has mccgrady dropped so much that you'd trade him for rashard and iguodala in a keeper league?

6:03 PM  
Anonymous Andy said...

I still think Chris Bosh should be in there somewhere, especially because he is C-eligible in most leagues.
He's a solid scorer and rebounder and he is huge in the percentages.

In fact, if you look at the YTD averages, Bosh's stats are remarkably close to Yao's (and Bosh has been healthy all year).

6:11 PM  
Blogger JM said...

I'm not familiar enough with the specifics of keeper leagues to answer the Magrady vs. Rashard&Iguodala question. (i.e. the # of players you're allowed to keep & if its a "round-value" leeague affects whether Iguodala is worthy of "keeper" status).

If it were a regular league I'd rather have Rashard and Iguodala than TMac and a late round/waiver wire guy.

Rashard is a very underrated/ versatile player and Iguodola is an improving youngster.

6:14 PM  
Blogger Jeremy said...

Here's a question.

At the end of my lineup, I have Jumaine Jones, Nedad Krstic and Josh Howard.

I picked up Jones hoping that Okafor is done for the season and that Jones will provide solid game for the rest of the season. My league is H2H and at this point I'm attempting to maximize total production.

Krstic has been playing good recently (nearly 16/8 over the last 5). Howard concerns me, however...will he be back for the playoffs in 1 1/2 weeks (Yahoo game)?

Or should I drop him for one of these guys:

Joel Pryzbilla
Leandro Barbosa
Nazr Mohammed
Kendrick Perkins
Anthony Johnson
Antonio Daniels
Tim Thomas

Daniels has been playing suprisingly well lately, but I think I need a bigger push in rebounds (orebs in a cat in my league too)...which Perkins or Pryzbilla might be better at.

Thomas, Johnson and Barbosa could all help too...Anyways, does anyone have any suggestions?

I have a couple of spots I'd consider dropping (Josh Howard and Jumaine Jones)...should I drop either or both of these guys for the people named above? Thanks.

2:09 AM  
Anonymous MM said...

I'm in a similar situation as you - HH League, with Howard and J. Jones on my roster, and also have a need to strengthen my rebounding for the playoff push.
I'm planning on sticking with Jones, as his production hasn't taken a hit since Wallace came back, and he's good for 16 and 6 in the last month, plus shoots the three (my idiotic league counts 3pt attempts and made, so it shifts the calculus a bit)
I was reading that Avery Johnson said J. Howard was shut down until he was certain that the hamstring was completely healed - however, this sounds more like a precautionary measure to make sure he's healthy in time for the playoffs. But, I'd guess Howard would come back if the Mavs haven't fallen too far back of the Spurs and still have a shot at the #1 seed in the West going into the final playoff run. It's a gamble
On another note, should I hold on to T-Mac and hope his injury is less severe than expected? The Rockets are three back of the Lakers for the 8 spot, and I wonder if T-Mac would push himself to get back in the lineup if they thought they could make a push. Thoughts?

9:13 AM  
Anonymous Netsfan said...

If the Hornets can get better pieces, I can see Paul averaging 17/11/6 next year. Right now he is pretty banged-up. I think one area he will definitely improve in is 3-point %. He was a sharpshooter in college, shooting above 45% from there, and this season he is just adjusting to the new line I think. Recently that number has gone up.

5:05 PM  

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