Essay: Placing A Fantasy Basketball Draft Under The Microscope
On Saturday afternoon, I participated in a fantasy basketball draft with some friends, friends of friends, and a few people I’ve never met who are willing to give me their money. There were 12 of us, ranging from the super knowledgeable, to the guy who INSISTS Brandon Roy is a lock for the All-NBA second team.
The season is scheduled for a head-to-head format, and we drafted on the basis of 11 relatively standard statistical categories (FG%, FTA, FT%, 3PTM, PTS, ORB, DRB, AST, ST, BLK, and A/T Ratio) that are all equally weighted.
For no particular reason apart from my finding the activity to be enjoyable (and maybe even a little beneficial) I’ve decided to detail each round of the draft with a brief, unbiased review. Each team will be listed anonymously—including my own—and each selection will be listed in order. Every team’s starting lineup was constructed with one PG, SG, G, SF, PF, F, C, and three wild card utility players who can be designated from any position. There are three bench spots.
Each day I’ll try and cover one round until we’re finished at 13.
Without further delay, here’s Round 1.
Team A: LeBron James
Team B: Kevin Durant
Team C: Kevin Love
Team D: Chris Paul
Team E: Dwyane Wade
Team F: Dwight Howard
Team G: Derrick Rose
Team H: Pau Gasol
Team I: Dirk Nowitzki
Team J: Stephen Curry
Team K: Amar’e Stoudemire
Team L: Blake Griffin
Best Value: LeBron James. Ready to devour an NBA regular season for the seventh straight year, LeBron James is now more motivated than he’s ever been. He takes care of just about every statistical category, barring A/T ratio, with ease, and of these years he’s going to either average a triple double or come tantalizingly close. With a wind sprint of a season ahead of him, this could be the year we see it. Also, with the development of a dominant post game on the horizon, James should increase his FG% with an increase in easier shots near the basket.
Worst Value: Amar’e Stoudemire. Stoudemire is a talented scorer, yes. But what else does he do well? With Tyson Chandler onboard, look for his blocks, offensive, and defensive rebounds to slim down, and with a full season of Carmelo Anthony jacking up shots and Baron Davis’ inflated ego eventual taking over the backcourt, the shot attempts should dwindle, too. All that and we’ve yet to discuss the disintegration taking place in his knees.
Overall Reaction: The top two were expected to go where they did, but then things got very interesting. Kevin Love—a player who last year nearly dragged my sorry squad to a league title—was taken ahead of every single available option not named Kevin Durant or LeBron James. A bit surprising, but not necessarily a season killing pick. Love takes care of ORB, DRB and does his fair share of chipping in with PTS and 3PTM. It’ll be interesting to see how he reacts to Ricky Rubio, Derrick Williams, and a newfound resemblance to Ichabod Crane. Apart from Stephen Curry’s appearance in the first round (over Deron Williams), everything else looks typical.