There are only a few beach weekends left, and to fit in that bathing suit you gotta lose a couple of pounds, if you don’t mind me saying. Well, friend, you’re in luck! It’s the Damn Lies & Statistics Biggest Loser! Competing for special prizes are these nine specimens of varying fantasy b-ball goodness, from the sublime and subhuman LeBron James to the kirky and hinrichy Kirk Hinrich, the Damn Lies panel has you covered in their zeal to um, suggest you don’t draft these guys too high and um, stuff. Oh, and BURN THOSE CALORIES!
The Biggest Loser panel is: Tom Lorenzo, Damn Lies & Statistics blogger/CFO/weekend janitor; Greg Fox, Damn Lies & Statistics blogger pending DL&S IT department figuring out a way to stop him from hacking into the article management software; and Jeff Andriesse, Damn Lies & Statistics blogger/founder/Biggest Loser.
See ya on the beach.
THE DAMN LIES ROUNDTABLE: OFFSEASON FANTASY LOSERS
John Salmons, SG/SF, MIL – It’s tough to see Salmons putting up 20 points, 4 boards and 4 assists this season. Not with the players the Bucks added. Filling out two wing positions will be Salmons, Michael Redd, Corey Maggette, Carlos Delfino, and Chris Douglas-Roberts. How is that going to work? Sure, you can factor in the likely season-ending injury to Redd, but there is still plenty of talent to compete with. Salmons should have a nice year, but don’t expect much more than 15 points, one 3-pointer, and a steal per game. Not exactly overwhelming stats, huh?
Kirk Hinrich, PG/SG, WAS – The thing about Hinrich is that for what it’s worth, he’s always been a nice fantasy option. That is, as long as he were able to stay healthy. But when he was healthy he was that go-to point guard option off the waiver wires for owners in need of help. In Washington, though, he’s the third guard behind John Wall and Gilbert Arenas. Unless the Wizards find a taker for Gil, I don’t think we’re going to be looking at Hinrich as a fantasy option this season. They have to play both Wall and Arenas, right? They have to play Wall because this is now his team, and Arenas because he’s making almost $18 million this season. Sorry, Hinrich, but you’re not looking so hot this season.
Brendan Haywood, C, DAL – I can’t believe I’m going to say this, but Tyson Chandler is actually starting to look like a real player this summer. Who would have thought? Not Jeff Andriesse, that’s for sure. For Jeff, Chandler is at the top of his “do-not-draft” list. He’s been known to make Jeff physically ill. But he just may end up making Haywood ill this season. Chandler is going to battle it out for minutes in Dallas. I can definitely see at the very least getting a time-share. Possibly winding up with the bulk of the minutes. When Haywood had Dampier to deal with life was a little easier. Now with Chandler he’s going to actually have to earn his minutes. Who would have thought!
LeBron James, SF, MIA – I know, I know, this is a really boring and obvious choice and my ears are bleeding from listening to everyone talk about him all summer, but it’s just that King James’ scoring numbers could fall off rather dramatically this year. Mind you, a potential 25, 7 and 8 doesn’t exactly make him chopped liver and the Heat’s new facilitator might be gung ho to average a triple-double. The biggest problem for him, and D-Wade for that matter, is that many of their nights will end early due to blowouts. James will spend much of the season proving to people how unselfish he is with the basketball and his points, threes and free throw attempts will suffer. And is there any way he surpasses a block per game again? I guess no one really knows how this triumvirate will shake out statistically, but James is no longer the unquestionable top pick.
Yi Jianlian, PF, WAS – Not that he was the next Fat Lever in New Jersey or anything, but now in a congested frontcourt situation in Washington, the Chairman could become fantasy irrelevant. It is a shame because the 7-footer does has some ability. He not only averaged 12.0 points, 7.2 rebounds and 1.0 blocks per game as a starter for the Nets last year, he also led the squad in attendance at season ticket holders’ childrens’ Bar Mitzvahs, a brilliant ploy by the Nets’ vaunted marketing machine to increase season subscriptions. I wouldn’t completely rule Yi out as a contributor as the hot combination of Andray Blatche and JaVale McGee could eventually get themselves arrested for beating the ever-selfish Gilbert Arenas about the face and neck, but he is better left undrafted.
Corey Maggette, SF, MIL – I’m one of the few who likes Corey Maggette’s game. He is a dynamic face-up offensive player who drives the ball and lives on the foul line, something very few small forwards in today’s NBA can do. The problem with Maggette at his new address in Milwaukee, is that for the first time since college, he is going to be demanded to play stifling defense. He is capable of this, but heading in to his 12th year in the league, I’m not sure he will be up to the challenge. One person who will be certainly be up to that challenge is defensive stopper Luc Richard Mbah a Moute, who happens to play the same position. Also seeing time at shooting guard and small forward will be 40-minute man John Salmons, newcomer Chris Douglas-Roberts, Michael Redd and the improving Carlos Delfino. The oft-injured Maggette will have to dial it up a notch if he’d like to log big minutes, but I wouldn’t bet the house on it.
Jason Thompson, PF/C, SAC – Fantasy basketball is all about opportunity. A solid, unspectacular player like Thompson needs playing time to average a 13 and 8, and won’t do much better than that, but once his minutes dip below 25-30 or so, you can cross him off your ‘want’ list. His minor improvements statistically from his rookie year to last aside, Thompson was a disappointment and showed limited upside from a fantasy perspective. Import Sam Dalembert and DeMarcus Cousins, and of course the addition of Carl Landry late last year, and Thompson is completely off my draft board in standard leagues. I’ll monitor him from a distance if he’s on the waiver wire, but no more than that.
Chris Bosh, PF, MIA – It is up to all decent, moral people to root like hell against the Heat this year, and I don’t have to go into why. But it is also up to all fantasy owners to knock Mr. Bosh down a few pegs on your draft board as well. Bosh’s monster 2009-10 – 24.0 PPG, 10.8 RPG – won’t be repeated unless one of LeWade gets hurt, and even then it is no guarantee he can hit a 20-10 every night. With his block numbers already hovering dangerously around 1.0 and his free throws attempted surely to plummet, Bosh is looking like a third-rounder at best. Let someone else see how he’s gonna do.
Terrence Williams, SG/SF, NJ – I get kinda attached to my sleepers, which is why I’m upset I have to cross Williams off the list this season. I’m not surprised that New Jersey made major roster moves, but I’m pretty bummed that they chose to shower Travis Outlaw and Anthony Morrow with cash while someone as multi-faceted as Williams is sitting right there. Now there’s too much interference for me to jump all over him. If I am looking for a final pick in a pretty deep league, I like him should injuries open up some playing time. It wouldn’t shock me, either, if he proved to be a better option than either Morrow or Outlaw and carve out 30+ minutes per night. But sadly, I won’t be stalking him with gusto like I did Will Bynum or the aforementioned Landry a year ago.