Last week we lamented the disappointing Chris Bosh for fantasy owners and Heat fans who need instructions as to what to do at a basketball game.
This week, I’ll Be Damned honors some old warhorses, off to great starts, who plummeted in drafts due to age or an earned lack of confidence on the part of fantasy players. If you have them, you are likely fielding trade offers. If you don’t, you (also known as: me) are really jealous.
I’ll be damned that…
…Richard Jefferson’s got pride.
We knew he was a terrific athlete. We should have known he was going to bounce back this year after he was universally ridiculed for leaving $15.2 million on the table this summer and opting out of his contract (only to re-sign for four years/$39 million). At 30 years old and coming off a nightmare season in San Antonio, he made owners skittish and they held off on him until the very late rounds on draft day. Two years ago he averaged 19.6 points for Milwaukee in 82 games, so his 17.6 PPG this season isn’t too shocking. True, Tim Duncan has gotten off to a quiet start offensively, but Jefferson’s numbers are no fluke. I expect some inconsistency because he plays with stars, but his 2.0 threes are a huge help thus far. All of what he does is essentially gravy because everyone outside of his immediate family drafted him to be a reserve.
…Tony Parker is the No. 24-ranked player by Yahoo!.
Parker was drafted on average around 92nd, and so far he has rewarded owners with 18.3 points, 7.7 assists, 2.2 steals, 51.1 field goal shooting and 86.1 free throw shooting. Wow. The assists and steals jump out at me, as his career averages are just 5.7 and 1.0, respectively, but it shouldn’t shock anyone that Parker, still just 29, is producing when healthy. My verdict is to sell high, however, based on his injury history and inflated steals.
…Jason Terry isn’t slowing down either.
I didn’t know any fantasy analyst who was excited about Terry coming into the year. He was taken around 73rd in Yahoo! drafts and is currently the No. 26-ranked player. I was concerned the 34-year-old Terry would lose minutes to upstart Rodrigue Beaubois. Well, Beaubois hasn’t played and Terry has excelled to the tune of 19.7 points, 4.3 assists, 2.1 threes and 1.3 steals in 35 minutes a game. You should be trying hard to move him right now as well.
…we probably should have put more faith in Tyson Chandler.
Yeah, I know. We’ve all been burned before. Plus, he was going to be in a time-share with Brendan Haywood. No wonder he was drafted around 133rd overall on average in Yahoo! leagues. So, much to our surprise, Chandler has taken over at center for the Mavs, averaging 8.0 points, 8.2 boards and 1.3 blocks while shooting a stupid 74.2 percent from the floor and perhaps an even more shocking 83.9 percent from the line on 3.4 attempts. I know he had a good summer with Team USA, but I never dreamed he’d be a solid No. 2 fantasy center this quickly.
…those are two Spurs and two Mavs.
Let’s branch out, shall we?
…I doubted Walter Ray Allen once again.
Quick backstory: I broke Ray Allen big-time. Yep. As a cub reporter for the UConn Daily Campus in 1993, I wrote a preseason feature story on him prior to his freshman year. The rest is history. His repayment? Continually out-producing my preseason valuation of him, especially this year, his 16th in the NBA. The 35-year-old Allen is an annual bust candidate in my mind, playing among too many options on a Celtics team that shouldn’t need him. Well, he’s having a hell of a season, ranked 36th in Yahoo!’s average ranks and pouring in 18.8 points and 2.8 threes per game. Okay, Ray. The poorly-written feature story buried beneath the cross country results on page 16 wasn’t enough? I have to take you in the fourth round of every draft? Done.
…speaking of UConn grads, Emeka Okafor ain’t dead yet.
Okafor resembled an extra in The Walking Dead at times last year and was on his way to being labeled a bust for the Hornets. But he’s off to a nice fantasy start this year: 11.7 points, 9.2 boards, 2.3 blocks and 61.5 percent shooting. The Hornets are rolling so owners who took Okafor around the 90th pick or later are doing cartwheels. He is ranked No. 41 in Yahoo!, and would be a lot higher if his free throw percentage (64.9) wasn’t dragging him a bit.
…the two best Knicks this year have been… Ray Felton and Wilson Chandler?
Yup. Chandler’s ranked 21st and Felton 39th according to Yahoo’s supercomputer, which spits out Danilo Gallinari at 80 and Amar’e Stoudemire at 86. It just told me to open the pod bay doors. Chandler is averaging 2.3 blocks, which gets me all tingly, while shooting a sublime 56.7 percent from the floor. Felton is scoring (15.5 PPG), dishing (7.4 APG), stealing (1.5 SPG), hitting threes (1.6 3FG) and hitting free throws (93.9 FT%). Dang, those are some numbers.
…Darren Collison has kinda been a bust.
It’s those assists: just 4.1 per game, way too low for a fourth-round pick. He also cedes too much court time to T.J. Ford, averaging just 29.4 minutes. You’d like to think these things will correct themselves as Collison gets acclimated. Until then, he’s been a major disappointment.
…I’m writing this on Christmas Eve.
Not the literal Christmas Eve. I’m not so lost in fantasy basketball that I don’t know we’re still a few months away from that. I’m talking about the figurative one, Nov. 15, 2010; known in certain circles as the night before The Promise. Bruce Springsteen’s box set, featuring my favorite record of his, remastered (Darkness on the Edge of Town), 22 unreleased retouched outtakes from the sessions for that album, an entire 1978 three-hour concert DVD, a documentary on the making of the album, a 2009 live version of the album, and a dozen more song videos from the vaults, is the mother lode for Springsteen fanatics. And we are fanatics. If you aren’t you can’t possibly understand how nuts we are. So if you try to contact me on Tuesday for any reason and I don’t respond, you now know why. It’s not because you ain’t good enough for me.
I’ll Be Damned, appearing every Tuesday here at Damn Lies & Statistics, is the weekly rantings of Jeff Andriesse about surprising and/or interesting developments in fantasy hoops. Contact Jeff by using the Contact Us form at the top of the page if there’s something you’re damned about that you think he should mention. You can follow Jeff on Twitter at @JeffAndriesse.