Damn Lies Fantasy Preview: Golden State Warriors


When Stephen Curry is averaging 14 points a game come January, we're all going to wish we had Nellie back.


I don’t know where to begin with the revamped Warriors other than to say that the last few years Don Nelson has caused antacid sales to skyrocket among fantasy basketball owners. God bless him, Nellie was one of a kind.  He’d reel you in by starting Kelenna Azubuike for a week straight with Azubuike going off, and then inexplicably bench him after owners trampled each other like Wal-Mart shoppers en route to the waiver wire to pick him up.  With team management and Warriors fans on the verge of a collective nervous breakdown, Nellie stepped aside so his apprentice, Keith Smart, could take the reins.

I’m not sure about this choice as head coach.  Smart is credited with being Golden State’s defensive mastermind the past few years, which is the equivalent of calling Mel Gibson open-minded.  To be fair, the Warriors create chaos on both ends of the floor and there are many more possessions during their games, but I suspect that four mannequins and a lanky ventriloquist would have done a better job defending their basket.

It will be interesting to see if it will be more of the same under Smart or more of a controlled system.  Either way, second-year point guard Stephen Curry is flying off draft boards in the first round, in some drafts as high as the #4 pick. Curry was just ridiculous from the middle of January on last season, averaging 20.8 points, 7.0 assists, 1.9 steals and an absurd 3.3 3-pointers with terrific shooting percentages over his final 35 appearances.  Was it a mirage?  A product of Nellie’s free-for-all? We’ll soon find out.

New addition David Lee has been providing second or third-round value as a member of the Knicks the past two years, and unless Smart pulls a Nellie, his production should continue. Last year’s 20.2 points, 11.7 rebounds, a whopping 3.6 assists, 1.1 steals, 55 percent from the floor and 81 percent from the line had him challenging for the title of best fantasy center in many formats.  While the Knicks had absolutely no one to take minutes or rebounds away from Lee, the Warriors have Andris Biedrins, fellow newcomer Louis Amundson and a healthy Brandan Wright. Biedrins is coming off of a lousy ’09-10, and even in the best of times, remains one of the worst free-throw shooters in league history. I’d take a shot with him around the 11th round, but no sooner. Amundson will provide relief up front and should see 20 minutes or so per game. This was a great pickup by the Warriors as they certainly need his rebounding and toughness, but it will take an injury for him to be considered for your fantasy team.  The disappointing Wright is still the disappointing Wright, and it will take good health and a monumental start for him to garner any kind of serious consideration.

There’s an old joke that two wrongs don’t make a right, but two Wrights make an airplane.  Under the cloak of secrecy, Warriors GM Larry Riley got Dorell Wright out of Miami and will have first crack to build airplanes in the Golden State starting five.  This guy can do a little bit of everything, including knocking down threes and I will take a serious look at him in the middle rounds.  If Wright doesn’t pan out, look for Rodney Carney or possibly Brandan Wright to use his versatility and grab some minutes at small forward.

I’m not sure people realize the kind of monster statistical season Monta Ellis delivered in ’09-10.  He is a hall-of-fame ball hog, but as his owner, would you really care?  I’ll take the 25.5 points, 5.3 assists and 2.2 steals gleefully.  And, he added 3-point shooting to his arsenal, knocking down 1.2 per game last season, quadrupling his career norm in the category.  His numbers will likely come down a bit this year, but I’m pouncing on him in the third round if he’s available.  Reggie Williams, who was working a hot dog stand in Oracle Arena last season when Nellie summoned him to the floor, is likely his backup.  Though he is probably not draftable, keep a watchful eye for any Golden State player who is an injury away from some serious run.  Unless of course Smart slows them down.

PG: Stephen Curry, Charlie Bell
SG: Monta Ellis, Reggie Williams
SF: Dorell Wright, Rodney Carney
PF: David Lee, Brandan Wright
C: Andris Biedrins, Louis Amundson

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7 responses to “Damn Lies Fantasy Preview: Golden State Warriors

  • bubbly

    I moved all warriors down my list because of the coaching change. Bob knight. His shadow is long and cruel. 85pt games. Remember, bubbly warned you!…….. If you are thinking that monta ellis’ TO numbers will get better with nelly gone, you are smoking that greene county kind. He will lead the league again. It matters more in roto. The words ‘aggressive punt strategy’ from you h2h montebanks is PAST grating! Strange that sports fans would be willing participants in the continual degrading of a football play that is unique and critical to the nature of the game. Have you seen ray guy drunk and mad? You will if you keep talking that way! I do hope you win your h2h league with your aggression-concession strategy.

    • Greg Fox

      you’re cruel and calculated Bub-man, but you’re right on about the aggression-concession theme. I’m like that in all facets of life.
      Nellie being gone will likely hurt Curry and Ellis’ value, but with Maxwell Smart in charge, maybe if a guy is producing, he’ll stick in the lineup for more than a few hours. If he has any sense, Lee will still play 35+ a night and will give D. Wright a chance to open up his game.
      Love the Ray Guy reference… best punter of all time, with all due respect to the late Reggie Roby.

  • bubbly

    I hasten to add that Curry, Lee and Ellis beiong in the rounds Greg has indicated but a few slots lower. Yes. The exclusion of Ray Guy from the hall of fame is laughable and disgraceful. I tried to think of a punter in his class-Gardocki’s record is impressive and Shane Lechler has been great for years. But Guy is still the standard.

  • Jeremy Lin

    What am I? Chopped liver? Which I guess is a delicacy for the Jews, but still not that tasty by Chinese/Taiwanese standards.

  • bubbly

    Well jeremy, undrafted point guards who back up the back up of a top 10 fantasy player need to wait for love in fantasy ball. I dont care what the golden state season ticket sales office has told you. I do you think you could move ahead of charle bell(so could sebastian telfair on peyote, though) and a bright fantasy future awaits you!

    • Greg Fox

      Jeremy, if this is indeed you, no disrespect intended. Never thought you were chopped liver… maybe just kasha varnishkes. Too many mouths to feed on the Warriors at this point, but we hope you earn your minutes. My advice: take a few charges in the first exhibition game and pump your fist upon arising from the floor.

      Anyway, shouldn’t you be busy splitting the atom or something?

  • Harmanator

    Lee is going to score fewer points this year because the warriors have other offensive weapons. Somebody had to score in New York and so Lee scored. Now he wont command as many touches thus bringing his scoring down. Rebounding is a similar scenario…

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