Tuesday, August 08, 2006

See What Condition My Position Is In

One of the most frustrating things in fantasy basketball is the seemingly arbitrary ways that players are assigned positions. What dictates a SG versus a G versus a SF versus a F versus a GF … well, let’s just say it’s tough to figure out. And while we don’t always agree with Yahoo!’s decisions (Yahoo! is, by the way, the preferred provider of fantasy services for FBB), we have to live with them.

A players position is often a huge deal in terms of his overall value, especially for borderline guys. And rookies can always be borderline guys. So, while things are moving slowly in the NBA right now, I thought it would be a good idea to see which rooks have gained and lost value based on what position Yahoo! has determined that they play:

On Guard!
Apparently, Yahoo! has decided that nobody is just a point guard or just a shooting guard in their rookie season. So, in addition to pure point guards Rajon Rondo, Marcus Williams, and Jordan Farmar, the rookie “Point Guard-Eligible” class includes: Brandon Roy, Randy Foye, Ronnie Brewer, Thabo Sefolosha, Kyle Lowry, Shannon Brown, and Maurice Ager. All of these guys have “G” status, meaning they can be plugged in at PG or SG. With point guards always at a major premium, this means that draftable 2-guards like Roy and Foye become a touch more valuable. And it also means that guys who might possibly be draftable like Brewer or Brown become a little more tempting in the final rounds.

“Big” Losers
Remember how I was all pumped about Shelden Williams going to the Hawks? And I thought he’d have value as a C this year? Well, maybe it’s better that you don’t remember when I say stuff like that. Because not only has Williams sucked so bad in summer league that the Hawks had to sign Lorenzen Wright, but Shelden won’t even qualify at center to start the season. Yahoo! has pegged him as a F. Yeah, we’ll see how much he plays at the 3 this year.

Apparently, qualifying at center is a tough proposition in Yahoo!’s eyes, because Williams isn’t the only lottery pick to be relegated to “F” status. LaMarcus Aldridge has also been kicked out of the list of rookie centers, along with Mouhamed Saer Sene. Not that either of them should have much value this year, but this makes them both completely undraftable.

“Big” Winners
So who does qualify at C among the first-rounders? Two guys that you would expect – Patrick O’Bryant and Hilton Armstrong – as well as two that you wouldn’t. Josh Boone, though injured, as well as Cedric Simmons have both been awarded “FC” status for no apparent reason.

Remember, things can change during the year, and many of these guys could be GFs or FC by December. But things like roster flexibility are really important when looking for that one rookie sleeper. Good luck.

8 Comments:

Anonymous PMad said...

I've also noticed that Yahoo gets pretty stingy with the old "C" while throwing out "GF"s all over the place. According to Yahoo, there are only 49 centers in the league and 10 teams have only 1 center, which is totally ridiculous.

4:14 PM  
Blogger Jeremy said...

People thought I was crazy for drafting Brad Miller in the 2nd round last year, but they underestimated the value of a top center on the fantasy world....case in point, I ended up winning my league.

I think that in order to have a successful fantasy team, you need to have two QUALITY starting centers, as well as some other FC or C eligible players to fill in.

As far as C's are concerned, I'd include Amare, Diaw, Brad Miller, Bosh, Yao, Kaman, Okur, Boozer, D.Howard, Bogut, J.Oneal, Wallace^2, Big Z, Okafor, Camby, Duncan and Gasol as the best of the bunch.

Other potentially capable centers are K.Perkins, Krstic, Diogu, Dalembert and Pryzbilla/Magloire. Perkins needs to stay healthy, Dalembert needs to keep his head, Diogu just needs minutes, Krstic is solid, and is one of Pryz/Magloire gets hurt, then the value of the other goes up significantly.

Overall, I think that you need to have 2 or 3 of these guys to do well in fantasy league, but you need to take into account what each player gets you. Dalemembert, when at potential, gets like 5 blocks a night, wheras Boozer might get you a block in 5 games. Diogu and Bosh help your FT%, which is quite rare for a big man.


Overall, if you're going in to the 3rd round (and certainly the 4th/5th round) and don't have one center yet, you better start looking around, because you don't want to get pinched by scarcity.


I've almost thought about trying to punt 3's this year and load up on big guys on PG's (who can shoot). Big guys help you out with rebounds, Offensive Rebounds, Blocks, and FG%...and they don't usually get TO's either. If you pair that with some guards who rack up the steals and assists, then you can run the tables on almost every category except for 3ptsm.


Aight...enough rambling on...but I think my point is clear. It's hard to acquire quality C talent...especially off the waiver wire for more than a few games. It's much easier to find someone who plays SG/SF who can come in and score some points, hit a three and grab a steal for you. Take this in mind near the late rounds of your draft if you think you can get more value out of some potential steals.

...and above all else MINUTES ARE THE BEST PREDICTOR OF FANTASY SUCCESS (unless your name is DeShawn Stevenson).

1:39 AM  
Blogger Smooth said...

I was reading Give Me The Rock this morning and I noticed they were wondering where the position eligibility was coming from (I was curious as well); I assume you guys are looking at this page?

1:32 PM  
Blogger bv said...

Smooth,

I'm basing this off of Yahoo!'s rosters ... for example, here is where Lamarcus Aldridge lost his C potential, and where Brandon Roy picked up PG eligibility: http://sports.yahoo.com/nba/teams/por/roster

Pmad, i agree that that's a real small amount of C's ... are you counting guys that are "FC's" as well?

Jeremy,
You wont see me calling you crazy for drafting brad miller in the 2nd round last year. In fact, during our mock draft last year, he was our first player taken in the second round! but yes, as much as we preach PG's here, centers are the RB's of fantasy basketball. Scarce, yet necessary.

Finally, we won't speak badly of deshawn stevenson here at FBB HQ. anyone that contributes to jared jeffries getting the hell out of washington is ok with us.

2:03 PM  
Anonymous PMad said...

BV,

I meant to throw out the link to the page at in my first comment, but it slipped my mind until after I submitted. I was going off the the Yahoo player page, which included both C's and FC's. I'm not sure when the last time this page was updated, but if those are all the centers in the league, then I can see why there is a need to bump up the value of players who qualify.

8:49 AM  
Anonymous Rook said...

Okay, I fully agree with the need for good centers, but I’m having trouble with the position scarcity topic lately. I won my hoops league last year with excellent centers, and fully appreciate that other teams suffered for having the likes of Przybilla in there instead. But I think it’s definitely possible to overdo it, and to leave a lot of statistical production on the table in a panicked attempt to get a center, or even a second center. (I noticed this after a disastrous fantasy baseball draft going after catchers and shortstops, actually, but I won’t get into those details.) I don’t think people would tend to make this mistake in the first round; people recognize that Dwyane Wade is more valuable than Yao Ming. But I can see it happening in the third round or so, and I’m worried I’ll make the same mistake. I think it can be easy to go into a draft with a mantra of “don’t end up with a bad center!!!” and then make the mistake of taking an overvalued C, whose statistical equivalent will be available in the sixth or seventh round, over a real stud PF or SG. In a draft, under time pressure, don’t forget that just being a center doesn’t increase a player’s value by more than several picks. It doesn’t make an eighth round guy into a fourth round guy. Are there good rules of thumb the FBB authors and commenters have for much of a bump a C should get in predraft ranking by virtue of being a C?

12:03 PM  
Blogger bv said...

PMad,

I _thought_ there was something funny about that list. And then I realized - it's totally incomplete! Where's Shaq? Yao Ming? Brad Miller? i dunno why they have a page like that or what's going on that makes it so incomplete, but i think it's safe to say there are more centers in the league than there are on that list.

Rook - here's the thing with position scarcity. For me, i don't stress it for the first 3 or 4 rounds other than "big" vs "small," i.e. i don't wanna get stuck with my top 4 players being guards. But the best way to not end up in that situation in round three is to have done your homework - know who's worth taking in the third round, the sixth round, even the eigth round. Not having a good center after 5 rounds isn't a bad situation as long as you've got some mid-late round targets still up on your board, y'know? and so you won't feel the urge to stretch for that marginal center in round 3.

4:17 PM  
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