Author Archives: Tom Lorenzo

Outrageous Claims: Jeremy Lin

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.

Jeremy Lin(PG, NYK)
After posting a huge 25-point, five-rebound, seven-assist, two-steal line on Saturday, all everyone wanted to talk about this morning was Jeremy Lin. Oh, and some NFL game being played later today. The big question, though, is whether or not one game makes Lin a must-own in standard leagues. Well, does it? Let’s find out…

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Moving Without: Is Kyle Lowry The Fantasy Hoops MVP?

We’re just about one month into the NBA season, so it’s time for us to get an jump naming an early front-runner for the Most Valuable Fantasy baller. Of course it’s no real surprise to see that Kevin Durant, Kobe Bryant, Kevin Love and LeBron James are among the top four players in the game, as we approach the one-month mark of the season. But there are also some less than familiar names in the Top 10, including Danilo Gallinari, Ryan Anderson and, yes, Kyle Lowry. Of course you can make the case that anyone of the top four superstars are in fact all MVP-worthy, but I think the case has to be made that it’s Lowry, who was drafted in the 4th or 5th round in most cases, is the early favorite for the Fantasy Hoops MVP.

The case for Lowry takes a hit in 9-category leagues, thanks to his coughing up 3.4 turnovers per game. You also have a legitimate beef in complaining about his 42.9 FG%. But, outside of those two deficiencies, you have to consider what Lowry has done to place himself among the top five players in the game, 15 games into the season.

First, you love the fact that he’s third in the league in FT shooting (90.2%), among those taking at least 4.0 attempts per game. He’s 7th in the NBA in threes made (2.1 per), first among all guards in rebounds per game (6.6), third in the league in assists (8.7), fifth in steals (2.2) and he’s scoring a career-best 17.3 points per game. Those are fantastic numbers. Again, you can make the case that Kobe, LeBron, K-Love and Durant have all been more valuable, but relative to where Lowry was drafted, it’s hard not to give him the nod here. And the best part is, there’s no reason to believe that he’s going to slow down anytime soon. So, don’t “sell high” on him. Just sit back and enjoy the ride!

Let’s take a look at some other pressing NBA news, shall we?
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Outrageous Claims: Marreese Speights

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.

Marreese Speights (PF, MEM)

Initially, the plan was for the Memphis Grizzlies to trade for Speights and have him back up Zach Randolph and Marc Gasol. Unfortunately, for the Grizzlies, Speights’ current role is to replace Randolph. Pretty funny how that works out, right? Well, it’s not funny to me, as someone who owns Randolph and Manu Ginobili on one team. Now I’m pretty much stuck with… Marreese Speights.

To be honest, I actually like Speights as a fantasy contributor now that he’s in Memphis. I feel like the 76ers never really utilized him properly. At least now with the Grizzlies, you know that he’s going to get minutes. He has to. They aren’t simply going to lean on Dante Cunningham to play 25-plus minutes. They have to let Speights play. And I believe that with the extra minutes and touches he can turn into a must-own player in 10-team leagues. Maybe not now, but eventually.

Just look at the numbers. Over his first three seasons in the league, Speights has only averaged about 14 minutes per game. Pretty pedestrian. But, when you consider what he’s been able to accomplish in limited action, he starts to look more appealing. If you stretch his numbers out to ‘per 36,’ you’ll see that Speights has posted 17.7 points, 9.0 rebounds, 1.2 assists, 0.8 steals and 1.3 blocks… per 36 minutes. Now, I’m not going to claim that he’ll step in and start playing 36 minutes each night for the Grizz, but his minutes should certainly approach about 25-28 per game. That doesn’t seem so outrageous to me. I can see him getting to the point where he’s comfortable enough in the system, getting touches and sets run through him, to post about 15 and 6 each night. Not great, but for someone who is now only owned in about 2% of leagues, that’s not too shabby.

Tom’s Claim: It’s going to take a game or two, but Speights will be the lead power forward for the Grizzlies until Randolph returns. I think on a good night he can come close to posting a double-double, but on an average night he might look more like Carl Landry. Again, that’s not bad for someone available in well over 90% of leagues.


Outrageous Claims: MarShon Brooks


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.

MarShon Brooks (SG, NJN)

Everyone is talking about Brooks this morning, after he posted back-toback 17-point performances, with his latest coming last night against the Magic. Of course everyone now wants to know whether or not they should rush to the waiver wires to add Brooks. As far as I’m concerned, there’s no reason why you wouldn’t add Brooks. It’s just a matter of putting his game and value into perspective. Know that he’s a rookie, which ultimately will mean he’s going to be relatively streaky, with the occasional “off” night. Don’t get me wrong, this guy can absolutely score. But the problem is, he’s shown early on a tendency to force his shot, which won’t sit well over time with Avery Johnson. That said, he’s probably a better option than Jordan Crawford and close in value to what Nick Young gives you. It’s all about the points (with some threes) with Brooks. He’s not going to compile a ton of rebounds, assists or defensive numbers. But, with all that said, yes, you should pick him up. But be careful in slotting him in as a weekly starter, at least early on. He’ll have his moments where he looks like, well, a rookie.

Outrageous Claim: Brooks will finish the season averaging 17 points per game, and we’ll be talking about him much like we do Young (and did Crawford). I think that over time, once he gets more NBA run, he’ll finish the season as a Top 60 players.


Moving Without The Ball: Is It Ricky Rubio Time?

The NBA has finally returned from its near-six-month hiatus. And for that, I am so very thankful. I couldn’t have asked for a better holiday gift this year than getting a five-game slate like we had on Christmas Day. Not even a Lexus wrapped in an over-sized bow could have outdone the NBA’s opening day. With that said, it’s time to get back to business. We have a Fantasy league (or leagues) to win.

Let’s run down some of the top newsmakers from early on and talk about their Fantasy impact. Starting with, yes, the most dreamy Spaniard to ever take to the basketball court since… Pau Gasol?

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RotoExperts Draft Kit: Top 25 Power Forwards

Who's more slimmed down this year?

From the RotoExperts 2011-12 NBA Draft Kit

The following rankings are based on a nine-category, head-to-head league format (PTS, REB, AST, STL, BLK, 3FG, FG%, FT%, TO). We break down players into tiers as well to help you organize them within your overall cheat sheets. These rankings take into account not just stat projections, but injury risk, competition for minutes and other intangibles.

ROTOEXPERTS.COM POWER FORWARD RANKINGS

TIER 1

1. Kevin Love, MIN

Projected Stats: 20.9 PPG, 15.3 RPG, 2.6 APG, 1.2 3FG, 0.7 SPG, 0.5 BPG, 2.0 TO, 46.7 FG%, 85.2 FT%

Yes, believe it or not, Love is the top power forward in the NBA. Not only will he most likely lead the league in rebounding, but he’ll score north of 20 points per game, hit over one 3-pointer and make 85 percent of his free throws. You’d like to see him put up better numbers on the defensive side of the ball, but if he were a big-time defender we’d be talking about him as the No. 1 overall pick, not just the top power forward. Continue reading


RotoExperts Draft Kit: Top 25 Shooting Guards

"Women, Dwyane, amirite?"

From the RotoExperts 2011-12 NBA Draft Kit

These rankings were written on Dec. 15 and published a day later. Stephen Jackson should probably be dropped as he’s dealing with a troublesome back issue. O.J. Mayo should be a few spots lower as well until his role is more clear. Feel free to reach a little higher for Tony Allen as long as he remains the starting shooting guard in Memphis. 

The following rankings are based on a nine-category, head-to-head league format (PTS, REB, AST, STL, BLK, 3FG, FG%, FT%, TO), using Yahoo!’s positional eligibility. We break down players into tiers as well to help you organize them within your overall cheat sheets. Finally: this is a list of true shooting guards expected to play the majority of their minutes at the position this season. There are several combo guards, such as Dwyane Wade, who are eligible at point guard in some leagues but ranked on the shooting guard list for our purposes.

These rankings take into account not just stat projections, but injury risk, competition for minutes and other intangibles.

ROTOEXPERTS.COM SHOOTING GUARDS

TIER 1

1. Dwyane Wade, MIA

Projected Stats: 24.3 PPG, 5.8 RPG, 4.7 APG, 0.8 3FG, 1.6 SPG, 1.2 BPG, 3.2 TO, 49.6 FG%, 75.0 FT%

Yes, Wade is in a tier all by himself. In fact, of all the shooting guards on this list, he’s the only one worthy of a first-round draft pick. Sure, there’s always the injury concern when it comes to Wade, but when he’s healthy he’s all but a lock to be among the top 5-7 players in the game. Continue reading


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