Cheesesteaks. The Liberty Bell. Booing Santa Claus. These things are required by law to be mentioned when anyone writes about a Philadelphia sports team so you just have to accept that listing them represents a clever, brilliant way to kick off the 2010-11 Damn Lies & Statistics 76ers Fantasy Preview. The Sixers are an annual fantasy headache, and 2010-11 should be no different. At least we won’t have to watch Allen Iverson anymore. Even Philly fans, who loved the little guy’s heart for so long, don’t want him anywhere near the franchise. He might as well show up to games in a Santa suit.
Just because the Philly backcourt is rid of Iverson’s painfully annoying routine doesn’t mean you won’t hate owning any of these guards. Jrue Holiday and Evan Turner are expected to start in the backcourt, but Lou Williams looms as a vulture of minutes and shots, Jason Kapono is the designated shooter and Willie Green is still on the team to the surprise of even the front office. Holiday and Turner would be a very young backcourt and could struggle at times. Williams is the proven scorer of this bunch and may play crunch time minutes. On top of it all, starting ‘3’ man Andre Iguodala can easily shift to the shooting guard spot, with Thaddeus Young or Andres Nocioni at SF. Yes, Andres Nocioni is on this team. I told you it was a headache.
I can’t just tell you to take a couple of aspirin, as it gets worse. Elton Brand hasn’t been relevant in fantasy for three years and is a shell of his former self. He’ll warrant a draft pick but could very easily come off the bench. You’ll probably see him at center now that Sam Dalembert is a King and Spencer Hawes is a Sixer. Spencer Hawes is a Sixer. Say it with me. The young, talented big man should progress nicely playing in front of these patient fans and alongside Marreese Speights, by all accounts a terrific teammate who is by no means trying to win a starting job himself or take a shot every time someone passes him the ball by mistake. By the way, everything in that last sentence was really a damn lie.
Iguodala is going in the second round of drafts and he should have a strong season after starting for Team USA at the Worlds. He’s a fantasy stud but those percentages (43.3 FG, 73.3 FT last year) scare me off a bit. The next Sixer being taken is Holiday, around the sixth or seventh round. I would wait a round or two later on him, where you know the value will be good, as I fear Williams and this crowded backcourt could stunt Jrue’s growth. It’s quite possible he could give you Mike Conley numbers, and I’m not sure that’s a good thing. Brand is actually looking like a value pick this year if he can stay healthy and log 30+ minutes. I’m skeptical and envision Young taking off instead. Folks are also probably taking Turner too high. An injury in the frontcourt makes Speights a must-own, and he’s a nice late-round sleeper pick.
PG – Jrue Holiday, Lou Williams
SG – Evan Turner, Jason Kapono
SF – Andre Iguodala, Andres Nocioni
PF – Thaddeus Young, Marreese Speights
C – Elton Brand, Spencer Hawes
Next Preview: Toronto Raptors