This is a guest post by my buddy Julian, who writes the blog Comedy Landfill. Like me, he’s a huge NBA fan and a fantasy basketball aficionado. We thought that in addition to giving you know some potentially awesome fantasy picks, we should list some guys to stay away from. Anyway, enjoy. And follow him on twitter.
Bad Fantasy Fits
Richard Jefferson: There is no doubt in my mind that Richard Jefferson is going to improve the Spurs this coming season. However, this is fantasy basketball, not real basketball, and hard questions must be asked. How is Jefferson going to behave when slotted next to other scorers that are going to require a large amount of touches? Duncan, Ginobili and Parker all like to take a fair amount of shots, and Jefferson might get squeezed a bit in this respect. I expect his shooting percentage to rise, but his PPG to go down, and his rebounds to stay around the same.
Andre Miller: Many people questioned this decision by Portland GM Prichard in the offseason, myself being one of them. It might work a bit better in practice than it does on paper, but that doesn’t mean that Miller’s stats won’t suffer. Never the long bomber, Andre doesn’t figure to benefit too much from Roy’s ability to draw double teams. However, his number of three point shots made should go up marginally. Even with Portland’s high powered offense, I don’t expect Miller’s assist numbers are going to change much – they may even dip slightly because he’s just not going to have the ball in his hands as much and, unless he’s traded, Blake will be competing with him for minutes. His PPG should take a much bigger drop than his assists, though. He simply does not have to score as much, or create offense for himself with so many other, more versatile scoring options on the floor.
Allen Iverson: No, no, no. I know what you’re thinking. It’s Allen Iverson! Former MVP! Shining light to all those little basketball players who dreamed of making it in the NBA! Yeah, those days are mostly behind him, if last season was any indication, and guess where he’s headed? Memphis. A team that has the very similar OJ Mayo, the shot happy Rudy Gay and infamous black hole Zach Randolph. Expect his stats to take a dip, with perhaps a slight increase in efficiency.
Jermaine O’Neal: Don’t be fooled by the positive injury reports coming out of Miami, O’Neal is likely not worth it. His rebounding over the past couple of years, even when healthy, has been suspect, his FG% is too low for a big, and obviously, he is a big question mark when it comes to injuries. Don’t pick him too early, but be open to picking him up later on, when he might be worth it as a value pick.
Shaquille O’Neal: The Big Galactus may be tempting for people, seeing as he had what appeared to be a bounce-back season in Pheonix last year. However, what many people do not realize is that Pheonix has probably the best medical and training staff in the NBA. They have prolonged the careers and peaks of many an aging player over the years, and it’s no surprise that Shaq went from being an injury-prone malcontent in Miami, to a revitalized Diesel in Pheonix. I expect him to miss a substantial number of games next season, but contribute well when he does play.
Tyson Chandler: He’s not with Chris Paul any more, so a lot of his scoring opportunities are going to dry up, and with it, his fantastic FG% and his somewhat decent ppg averages for a center. It also looks like his injury problems may be a bit more serious than first imagined.
Lou Williams: Andre Miller is gone, so surely Lou Williams is going to step up and get a lot of minutes and help your team out, right? I wouldn’t bet on it. Last year he shot worse than 40% in terms of FG%, had a poor assist rate, and turned the ball over a lot. He contributes threes and steals, but I would only pick him up very late.
Yi Jianlian: Oh my! I’ve heard far to much about a guy who is legitimately terrible just because he flexed his muscles in the offseason and someone took a picture of it. Don’t count on any miraculous improvements.