October 5, 2010

Fantasy Basketball ADP Battles

One of the comparisons I like to draw when it comes to fantasy drafts is grocery shopping. I know what you're thinking and no, its not the fact that grocery stores are said to be a great place to meet women. (And if thats the case, what fantasy leagues are you in?) But i digress. Fantasy drafts are like visits to the grocery store because its all about value. We have a limit for how much money we want to spend, and the goal is to get as much value as possible without going over budget. This analogy is pretty much literal for people in auction drafts, but it also works the same way for us, traditional snake drafters.

Say you walk down the cereal aisle and you know you need some fruity loops of some kind (sorry, the last thing I need is a copyright lawsuit). There are two choices that confront you, the generic or the name brand. The generic stuff tastes like cardboard, but is usually a buck cheaper, and you're all about value. Well today is your lucky day! You see that for some reason, the name brand stuff has dropped their price down to match the generic. That's the sort of situation I'm talking about in this post. With the current ADPs listed from MockDraftCentral, I have pointed out a few players who are going in nearly identical spots in the draft, despite one player tasting like cardboard.

(Sidenote: RotoTimes has a great tool to compare fantasy players. Just check it out here to see the stats comparisons that I make in this article in front of your own eyes.)

Al Jefferson (35.22) vs David West (36.67)

Both of these big guys are coming off of injury plagued seasons after high fantasy expectations in 2009-10. Wests' future looks bright with the return of CP3. Having the All-World point guard dishing him the ball, look for DWest's stats to make a generous jump. West might be on the way up, but Jeffersons' ceiling is higher. Not only is Big Al's autograph incredible, but he was an undisputed first round talent in most drafts last year. Throw in the fact, that he just moved into a much better situation with a much better point guard, in Utah. As long as he is able to play 90-95% of his games this year, he should get back into the 20/10 range, something West couldn't reach even in his younger days.

Aaron Brooks (64.33) vs Brandon Jennings (64.33)

If you're looking for a turnover prone point guard, boy do I have some guys for you. Both Brooks and Jennings managed to accumulate over 200 TOs. Each have their tradeoffs, Brooks scored more, Jennings stole more. Brandon slightly rebounded better, while Aaron knocked down 65 more 3s. Each are great players for fantasy, but its Jennings' inefficiency that makes him a toxic asset in my mind. In roto, Brandon can put a real damper on your shooting percentage no matter how many big men you stock up on. With two guys who have comparable statistics (even though I think Brooks outperforms Jennings overall), when one guy has such terrible efficeincy, I can't help but take the safer pick to not ruin my team. In other words, don't get lured in by the 51 point game.

Luis Scola (105.11) vs J.J. Hickson (105.11)

Comparing these two players on their 09-10 stats would be a huge mistake. This matchup is all about speculation. Hickson only amassed an underwhelming 8.5 PPG to go along with 4.9 rebounds. Of course this is all in the post-LeBron era. Take away all of the points, assists and rebounds from James and they have to be divided up amongst the players who actually stayed in a Cavs uniform. Hickson will not be the sole beneficiary of these stats, but I look for him to be a much bigger factor as he moves into what should be a starting spot. On the other hand is Scola, who needs no speculation. There is not much change going on in the frontcourt of Houston, with the exception of the semi-return of Yao. I look for Scola to put up similar numbers to those of last year, while Hickson jumps on the opportunity in Cleveland and becomes a mainstay in their lineup. This late in the draft, go with the upside, take Hickson and hope for the best.

Greg Oden (141.78) vs Roy Hibbert (142.56) vs Spencer Hawes (143.78)

Here's 3 centers who all have varying storylines heading into this year. One (Oden) is as injury prone as they come, the next (Hibbert) is just waiting to bust out of his shell, and the last (Hawes) is enjoying a change of scenery in Philadelphia. However, with each of these storylines comes a bit of risk. Hibbert seems like a breakout target to most, but he might only play as well as last year. Hawes will adjust to a new starting position in the 76ers offense, which could mean big things if he meshes well. The presence of both Elton Brand and Marrese Speights makes me a little weary of how many minutes he can get in the Philadelphia offense. Of course, last but not least, the biggest downside perhaps in all of the NBA, Greg Oden has yet to play anywhere close to a full season of basketball. Even if Oden comes back around Christmas time, he will still only play around a half season or so.
With all of that said, I would order the three players like this: Hibbert, Oden, Hawes. I believe in Hibbert, and worst case scenario, you end up with a 10/10 guy who blocks a lot of shots. If you can afford a bench spot for Oden, you might as well take the risk. He was one of the best centers in all of fantasy basketball last year before the injury, and 2.3 blocks per game is too high a number to pass up on if you can get it. That leaves us with Hawes, who is talented in his own right, but I don't see as much from him as the other two.

Well there you are. You can now shop, errr draft safely!

And remember: If you ever have fantasy questions, leave a comment below or feel free to e-mail me at bglewis@fantasysportscircle.com !