It's that time of the year again: Fantasy Basketball owners are scurrying around looking for any kind of advice and information that they can get their hands on and today I'll be answering some of your Fantasy Basketball questions.
I will draft as 13th pick in our 14 man highly competitive H2H fantasy league. I plan to do a Paul George plus Melo (Carmelo Anthony) combo. What do you think about this? Or a Paul George + Rudy Gobert/Kyle Lowry?
Thanks for the question.
Being 13th in a 14 team Draft is a tough spot to be in. I don't envy you. I think the most important thing here is to get 2 high quality players that will fill up every scoring category and then work from there.
Kyle Lowry is a nice player for sure but is he a better choice than let's say Chris Paul, Russell Westbrook or Steph Curry? Those three names might be gone by the time you make your first or second pick but maybe someone like Damian Lillard, John Wall or even Ty Lawson will be there and I guess my question would then be is Lowry going to win more categories than any of those other point guards? I could be wrong here but I don't think Lowry is worthy of a second round pick in any format. If it's a point guard you are considering with one of your two early picks, unless there is a run on point guards surely there is going to be someone more suitable than Lowry.
We talked about Rudy Gobert on this week's Phil's Fantasy Sports so you can tune in to that discussion at the bottom of this posting but I wouldn't draft Rudy Gobert in the second round of any league. Outside of blocks I can use the waiver wire and run a stream and get what he gives me on a nightly basis. That doesn't mean I wouldn't draft him because I would but I wouldn't want to use a 1st or 2nd round pick on him.
Most pre-season draft rankings I've read like this one have Anthony in your target range so if Carmelo Anthony is still around at pick 13 then by all means go for it. As long as he's healthy he won't hurt you in any category and he's most definitely a player you can build a championship Fantasy Basketball team around. If someone grabs him before the 13th pick and you still want to build your roster around a small forward/power forward who also shoots threes then maybe if Kawhi Leonard is available you choose him and a point guard?
At the end of the day there is going to be someone at either the 13th or 16th pick that is going to help you win every category. Serge Ibaka will contribute in every category but assists but the big question about him is health. Kevin Love is another one flying under the radar; the biggest question for me is how they are going to use him offensively. I'm sure with Kyrie Irving out until at least January he's going to be a big part of the offense but when Irving returns? That's still unclear and maybe Love isn't worth a second round pick to you.
Where you will either win or lose your draft is at your third (41st) and fourth round (44th) picks. Depending on how your draft is going you should have plenty of solid four-category options such as guards Isaiah Thomas, Jeff Teague, Monta Ellis, Reggie Jackson and Mike Conley and forwards like Al Horford, Al Jefferson, Derek Favors and Andrew Wiggins to choose from. Depending on how your draft is taking shape there could quite possibly be better options than those to choose from so draft wisely and find players who will win as many categories as possible and use the rest of your draft to fill in the low spots and you should be all set!
I stream starting pitchers during the Fantasy Baseball season but have never done so for basketball. Do you think this is a good idea?
Thanks for the question!
I'm a fellow streamer and to simply answer your question depending on the size of your league and of course your league rules involving player and acquisition limits I think it's a great idea!
For those unaware of a Fantasy Sports strategy called streaming; streaming is a concept where you draft with the idea of leaving an open spot on your roster and using the waiver wire to fill it daily with someone who you think will help you win a category (s) that you are having difficulties with. This strategy does involve a bit of work and should be used in leagues where there aren't any position game limits or weekly acquisition limitations of less than 7 per week and in leagues of 12 or less teams.
If you don't have any game limits or acquisition restrictions and have an extra 20-30 minutes per day then by all means give streaming a try. The best way to do this is to target a couple of teams that you think aren't going to do so well and use their best players. Last season I targeted the Philadelphia 76ers and New York Knicks and used players like Robert Covington, Tony Wroten and Langston Galloway and won my league.
This season in leagues of 12 teams or less I would look to target the Portland Trail Blazers and players like CJ McCollum and Ed Davis as they will more than likely be easily attainable. You might even watch a player like Ed Davis as he might not get drafted in a 10 team league. Another team that you can probably target is the Detroit Pistons; pay careful attention to Ersan Ilyasova, Marcus Morris and maybe even Kentavious Caldwell-Pope as they will be playing key roles and might not get drafted.
I need some ideas as to who might be sleepers at Point Guard this season. Any Ideas?
Thanks for the question.
Here is a list of five point guards that I think will outdo their pre-season projections.
Emanuel Mudiay PG Denver Nuggets: Mudiay skipped college and went to China to play pro ball and did well enough to convince the Nuggets to draft him with the 7th pick in the 2015 NBA Draft. Denver then gave Mudiay the keys to the kingdom when they shipped Ty Lawson to Houston. At 6'5 and 200 lbs. Mudiay is a big point guard with a so-so jumper and with Jameer Nelson and Randy Foye behind him on the depth chart Mudiay should see over 30 minutes per night. What he does with those minutes is anyone's guess at this point but if he can average 13-15 points, 6-7 assists, 3-4 rebounds and a steal per game and shoot somewhere around 40 percent from the floor Mudiay will be a great addition to any roster.
C.J. McCollum PG SG Portland Trail Blazers: At this point it is unclear if McCollum is going to be named the starting shooting guard but we do know this; McCollum is going to get plenty of minutes now that the Trail Blazers seemed destined for the lottery. McCollum is a scoring threat as we saw at the tail end of last season when he went for 33 points in the playoffs against the Memphis Grizzlies. He also played 39 minutes in that game and if he can average 30 minutes per night with the very limited offensive options the Trail Blazers have, numbers like 13-15 points, 2-3 triples, 2 assists, 3-4 rebounds and maybe a steal per night certainly aren't out of the question.
Trey Burke PG Utah Jazz: Burke has had an interesting NBA career going from the Jazz point guard of the future to getting benched for Dante Exum halfway through his sophomore season. Exum is now out for all of 2015-16 with a knee injury and the Jazz are looking for Burke to handle the starting point guard duties and unless the Jazz make a trade he will be their floor general in 2016. It's now or never for Burke in Utah and I have a funny feeling Burke is going to have a breakout year for the Jazz. He'll certainly get close to 30 minutes and we should expect to see 14-15 points per night, 3-4 assists, 1-2 triples, 3-4 rebounds and maybe 2 steals. Hopefully he can shoot around 40 percent from the floor and above 75 percent from the line and if he's able to do all of those things than you just found yourself a late round sleeper in this season's draft.
Deron Williams PG Dallas Mavericks: Just a couple of seasons ago the big debate was who the better PG was; Chris Paul or Deron Williams. It's hard to believe but now we are talking about Williams being a sleeper and after 4 injury-filled years and less than spectacular production that's exactly what Williams is. He's now in Dallas and listed as the starting PG and this might be his last chance to return to elite status. The biggest hurdle in his way is a potential injury to his much talked about weak ankles but when he's healthy Williams can still play. He'll be surrounded by Dirk Nowitzki and Chandler Parsons as well as sharp shooter Wesley Matthews so look for many nights of double digit assists from Williams. A healthy Deron Williams will also knock down a couple of triples per night and grab 3-5 rebounds and shoot over 80 percent from the line. Health is the issue here but if Williams can somehow manage to remain healthy and if you are able to take Williams in the late rounds you will be smiling all season long.
Mo Williams PG Cleveland Cavaliers: Every season Williams finds his way into my sleeper column and every season he will go through his ups and downs, play for multiple teams, start, come off the bench or whatever and produce. Sometimes those productions are awesome and sometimes not but Williams is a perfect backup Fantasy Basketball PG and this season playing for the Cleveland Cavaliers Williams is a perfect sleeper. Kyrie Irving is out until at least January so Williams is going to start at least the first 25 games of the season, he's surrounded by sharpshooters and he has Lebron James as well. I can see double digit scoring and assists in Williams' future and even when Irving returns Mo is going to play as the Cavs will certainly be careful with their star PG Irving. He'll more than likely be available in the late rounds of your draft so grab him and look like the smartest owner in your draft by doing so.
If you would like to have your Fantasy Sports question answered in this column please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
On this edition of Phil's Fantasy Sports Phil is giving away a 25 dollar pre-paid Visa card to one lucky listener per week for signing up at his new Daily Fantasy Sports site Draft Dragons. Rotowire NHL writer Brian Rutherford and Phil discuss Fantasy Hockey mid-tier forwards, Fake Teams Ray Guilfoyle joins Phil and the guys try and figure out who will be the #1 Fantasy Baseball player taken in next seasons draft as well as several Cubs players and pitchers and their possible 2016 values. Draft Kings Playbook writer Jason Walker joins Phil and the guys share their FanDuel and Draft Kings Fantasy Football picks and Rotowire NBA writer Alex Rikleen and Phil discuss Fantasy Basketball sleepers and busts at the Center position. You can download the show from my site or listen below.