Call me lazy. Call me super lazy. But just don’t call me late for dinner. I happen to believe that no matter how hard I try, I won’t be able to do the intro to our awards any justice, which is why I am going to re-print Jeff’s intro from his Atlantic Division awards. Hey, deal with it.
We’re gonna mix it up a bit this week at Damn Lies. Now that the season is roughly halfway over (emphasis on ‘roughly’), we thought it would be fun to hand out grades to each player who has made an impact, positive or negative, on the fantasy landscape. Think of these as sort of the Golden Globes to our annual postseason awards, The Dammies, only with fewer scientology jokes. This isn’t very scientific, in the sense that the three of us were liberal arts majors and are much more comfortable making stuff up rather than postulating an actual theory, which I can rarely do without pulling a muscle. For each team, we’ll assign grades based on how players have lived up to fantasy expectations. If a guy has disappointed or has been hurt more than not, he could get a ‘D’ or ‘F’ even though his numbers aren’t totally awful. If someone went undrafted in every league but has come out of nowhere to offer solid value, he could get an ‘A’. Or not. It’s really up to us. Don’t think to much about it.
…Here now are my Central Division awards. Enjoy!
Average Draft Position and Rankings are based on Yahoo! standard leagues (the ranking is for season total).
Derrick Rose (ADP: 31; Rank: 16 )
This was a simple one for me. Rose easily gets an ‘A+’ and I think there is no disputing that grade. I know I’m supposed to leave you in suspense, but when Rose is already averaging close to five points and two assists more than he was last season, and having already made 70 threes this season, 54 more than he had all of last season, Rose has proven to be one of the top fantasy players in the first half of the season. Great value pick here.
Carlos Boozer (ADP: 54; Rank: 149)
Considering that Boozer has only played 27 games this season, you can see why he would get a low grade. However, I’m going to be kind to Booz who is having a highly productive season. Considering that we knew Boozer was going to miss the first 15 games of the season on draft night, we can’t kill the guy for only playing in 27 games. He’s been great when on the court, which is the reason why I’ve going to be generous.
Joakim Noah (ADP: 44; Rank: 120)
Now this is a different type of injury. You can never assume a player will get injured, but in the case of Noah v. Boozer we at least knew that Boozer was going to miss time and drafted accordingly, which is why it hurt a little less. Noah, on the other hand is probably the award winner in the most harmful injury of the season (maybe Brandon Roy would dispute?).
Luol Deng (ADP: 89; Rank: 68)
I almost want to give Deng an ‘A’ since I would not touch him in any of my leagues. He’s one of those guys who you draft No. 89 over all and finishes the season as the 89th most valuable player. This season, however, he’s playing better ball. Believe that! Still, I’m no big fan and I think he’ll come back and meet his ADP when the season is said and done. That said…
The Entire Team (ADP: Too High; Rank: Too Low)
Again, we do things our own way around here. That’s why I’m lumping the entire team together. Not one Cavalier has returned value on your investment. Not one. Daniel Gibson and Mo Williams had shown signs, but both have battled injuries and fatigue of the dome. J.J. Hickson was supposed to be a stud this season. Nope. Antawn Jamison had a nice game or two this season, but he too has been underwhelming. Ramon Sessions? Yeah, he’s played well of late, but I can’t give him a good grade based on a successful week. Plain and simple, there is a reason why reader Bubs is homeless, and I happen to believe that he being a Cavs fan has a lot to do with it.
Really? I have to go from the Cavs to the Pistons? Ugh. Well, here goes…
Rodney Stuckey (ADP: 107; Rank: 93)
He’s not terrible. But he’s bad. His points, assists, rebounds and steals are down this season. He still can’t shoot. He’s, how do I put it, a bad fantasy player.
Charlie Villanueva (ADP: Who Cares; Rank: Worse)
He’s averaging 12.7 points per game. He’s barely playing 25 minutes, and is dealing with a knee injury. Sorry.
Ben Gordon (ADP: Blech; Rank: Ugh)
Awful. Gordon went from coming off the bench for limited minutes, then became a starter, then back to the bench… OK, he’s ranked 133rd. I can’t defend you owning Gordon. Period.
Richard Hamilton (ADP: 100+; Rank: 189)
His coach won’t even play him!! Period!
Greg Monroe (ADP: N/A; Ranks: 196)
OK, maybe there is one Piston worth owning. Though I can’t imagine that John Kuester would want you to take any pleasure in owning a successful Piston. Still, his double-doubles and steals numbers are looking good right now. Heck, for better or for worse right now he’s probably the 3rd best rookie.
Grade: D+ (or incomplete)
Tracy McGrady (ADP: N/A; Rank: Ha)
All right, this is getting ridiculous! I have to grade a team coached by Jim O’Brien?
Danny Granger (ADP: 10; Rank: 34)
Granger almost deserves an ‘A’ for missing just one game all season long. Really, Granger is only scoring three points per game fewer than he did last season. Other than that, he’s right on track to hit his career numbers. It’s hard to argue against Granger, especially since he’s been healthy this season. But I can’t quite give him an ‘A’ since he has regressed slightly from last season.
Darren Collison (ADP: 43; Rank: 106)
Blame O’Brien, blame Collison, blame me… We need to blame someone here for Collison’s disappointing season. I place the blame on the head coach. First, he hasn’t coached to Collison’s strengths. Collison would be better suited if he were able to open up his offense much like Raymond Felton is now able to do in New York. Well, I don’t think O’Brien is going to bite. The other problem with Collison is that he’s probably not as good as he was rated heading into the season. He’s not terrible, but I think most of his owners would have liked a re-do on drafting him
Roy Hibbert (ADP: 79; Rank: 140)
This one you have to blame on the head coach. there is no reason why Hibbert’s head needs to be messed with. And there is no reason why Hibbert isn’t playing a significant role with this team. But, what can you do? All you can say is that Hibbert has been a bust — and O’Bien , Bird, Hibbert and Greg Fox are to blame. The blocks are there, so too are the rebounds, but the effort isn’t there at all.
Andrew Bogut (ADP: 62; Rank: 135)
It’s nice to know that Bogut has only missed a handful of games this season, but it’s a bit disappointing to see him fail to elevate his game coming off a career-year. His scoring is down, his FT% is at 40 percent, his FG% is below 50 percent and his blocks are below two per game. It looks like Bogut may end up playing 70 games this season, which is good news. But his FT% is really starting to hurt.
Brandon Jennings (ADP: 64; Rank: 180)
Incomplete. Jennings, who has been out since Dec. 20 with a broken foot. He’s expected to return this weekend, so we might see Jennings’ value return to a sub-100 ranking. Early on he was actually playing well, leading the team in scoring and assists, but he does have continue to find a way to be more efficient from the floor.
Corey Maggette (ADP: 102; Rank: 249)
Ha. I love that he’s the best player on the Bucks right now. But, that’s not to say that you already aren’t getting good return on your investment. He’s only playing 22 minutes per game, and his shooting percentage is down to 42 percent. Maggette is really saving this team right now, but we’ve been here and done this before. Over a full season, he’s been a disappointment.