Welcome to Outrageous Claims, where the Damn Lies writers examine players that fantasy basketball owners might want to add to their teams. If you agree or disagree, or just want to vent, leave a message in the comments.
James Johnson (SF, TOR)
The Raptors are probably the toughest team in the NBA to figure out from a fantasy standpoint. Andrea Bargnani was the only guy we knew would go in the top 70 and be serviceable. Beyond him, this squad is loaded with sleepers and borderline free agent claimees, including Amir Johnson, Ed Davis, Jerryd Bayless and James Johnson. Through two games, we can make pretty strong cases for the first three as Amir is rebounding and blocking shots as the starting power forward, Davis is rebounding and blocking shots in a key bench role, and Bayless knows that there is a hospital gurney with Jose Calderon’s name on it. James Johnson has also carved out a nice role on this squad and through two games has averaged 32.5 minutes, 5.5 points, 7.0 rebounds, 3.5 assists, 4.0 steals and 2.5 blocks. The steals and blocks are jaw-dropping, but the sample is too small to try to convince even a boob like David Kahn that this is the second coming of Scottie Pippen. But when taking into account that starting small forward Rasual Butler stinks on ice and that Johnson averaged 9.2 points, 4.7 rebounds, 3.0 assists, 1.1 blocks and 1.0 steals in 28 minutes a night with Toronto last season, he should be scooped up in all deep leagues.
Greg’s Claim: If you can take a small hit in scoring, add Johnson in all leagues of 12 or more teams. He’ll serve as a nice source of blocks and steals and won’t destroy you in any other category.