Category Archives: RotoExperts Content

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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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 Centers

If only free throws were this easy for Dwight...

From the RotoExperts 2011-12 NBA Draft Kit

These rankings were written on Dec. 17 and published Dec. 20. I’ve done several drafts in the last few days and have noticed that you are going to have to reach for Greg Monroe, JaVale McGee and DeAndre Jordan if you want them. Joakim Noah is falling and offering great value.  

For years, the center position has been the most important one in Fantasy Basketball. These days, with so many power fowards manning the middle often enough to earn eligibility at the position, it isn’t as crucial to burn early picks on true centers. Pau GasolAmar’e StoudemireKevin Love and David Lee are just a few examples of players who are power forwards most of the time but pick up center eligibility in most leagues.

For the purposes of these rankings, we have including only the players who are expected to play the majority of their minutes at the true center position this year. As always, it is important to examine your own league’s positional eligibility rules prior to drafting. 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 CENTER RANKINGS

TIER 1

1. Dwight Howard, ORL

Projected Stats: 22.7 PPG, 13.9 RPG, 1.5 APG, 0.0 3FG, 1.3 SPG, 2.5 BPG, 3.5 TO, 59.1 FG%, 59.8 FT%

To the casual player, Howard is the No. 1 center in the league by a mile. In Fantasy, it certainly depends on the format. He’s more of a second or third-round value in rotisserie leagues. In a head-to-head or points-based format, he challenges Chris Paul for the No. 3 overall selection. Howard’s dominance in rebounds, blocks and field goal percentage sets your team up perfectly in H2H leagues, as you can punt free throws and surround him with complementary pieces in the other categories. Howard also averaged 1.4 steals last year, an underrated part of his game and an amazing number for a center.

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RotoExperts Draft Kit: Top 25 Small Forwards

Durant edges LeBron as the NBA's top flag football player

From the RotoExperts 2011-12 NBA Draft Kit

These rankings were written on Dec. 16 and published a day later. Derrick Williams is flying up draft boards, while Corey Maggette has been available late. Andrei Kirilenko’s future remains cloudy; rumors persist that he will sign with New Jersey but nothing is official yet. Austin Daye looked strong in the Pistons’ first exhibition game and has more upside than Tayshaun Prince. Watch that situation closely. 

Positional eligibility is important to consider when building your Fantasy basketball team. The top sites usually vary in terms of positional leniency, and the games played at a position is much foggier than in, say, Fantasy Baseball. For the purposes of the RotoExperts Top 25 positional rankings, we limited players to one list only; namely, the position they play most of the time. Under these circumstances, the small forward position is very top-heavy, with stars like LeBron James and Kevin Durant heading the list. The talent drops off significantly, so it is crucial that, depending on your league’s positional rules, you check to see what shooting guards and power forwards could also slot into your SF spot.

In general, drafting based on positional depth is a solid strategy, and true small forwards and true centers are in shorter supply this season than the three other positions. It’s just something to keep in mind while you are drafting; it might be a good idea to get one of the top SFs on this list before it’s too late.

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

ROTOEXPERTS.COM SMALL FORWARD RANKINGS

TIER 1

1. Kevin Durant, OKC

Projected Stats: 28.6 PPG, 7.0 RPG, 2.7 APG, 2.0 3FG, 1.1 SPG, 1.0 BPG, 2.9 TO, 46.5 FG%, 89.6 FT%

He’s Fantasy Basketball’s 1A to LeBron’s 1B. Who you choose comes down to, perhaps, personal preference (do you dislike rooting for LeBron because of “The Decision”?) or, if you are a cold and calculating Fantasy player, or league format. In rotisserie scoring, Durant is the clear No. 1 overall pick because of his incredible free throw percentage at such a high volume. In H2H formats, it is more of a toss-up. Durant turns it over less than LeBron, has that better free throw percentage, and even bests him in blocks. He’s also easier to root for. There’s your tiebreaker! 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


RotoExperts Draft Kit: Top 25 Point Guards

"That's where I'm going to jump. Just throw it to me."

From the RotoExperts 2011-12 NBA Draft Kit

These rankings were written on Dec. 15 and published a day later. If written today I would jump Kyrie Irving into the fourth tier, have Jarrett Jack in the sixth tier (since the Hornets haven’t procured another point guard), drop Toney Douglas a few spots (thanks to Baron Davis signing in New York) and take D.J. Augustin down a few notches in fear of a Kemba Walker coup d’etat. 

In the midst of a wild NBA offseason and uncertainty as far as the eye can see, Fantasy owners need the steady hand of a point guard to guide their team. The best NBA point guards are also some of the best Fantasy players, and no championship team is complete without at least a few of the top options on this list. The top Fantasy point guards anchor your team in assists and are often positive contributors in several other categories.

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 point guards expected to play the majority of their minutes at this 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.In tumultuous times like these, it is best to write your own cheat sheets in pencil and be prepared to move things around as needed based on roles changing and injuries sprouting up. The Chris Paul trade is a great example of this. Luckily, CP3 doesn’t move much as he’s the top Fantasy point guard in the game.

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

ROTOEXPERTS.COM POINT GUARD RANKINGS

TIER 1

1. Chris Paul, LAC

Projected Stats: 17.8 PPG,  4.1 RPG, 10.9 APG, 1.0 3FG, 2.3 SPG, 0.1 BPG, 2.7 TO, 46.9 FG%, 85.5 FT%

Paul has finally been traded, and visions of CP3 setting up Blake Griffin for breathtaking alley-oops are dancing in the heads of everyone who is now claiming they’ve been a diehard Clippers fan all along. Paul should be thrilled to land in this spot where he has a pair of top-notch finishers underneath in Griffin and DeAndre Jordan, and talent at other positions as well. In all the drama over where he was going to get traded, it’s easy to forget that he carries with him some risk due to his questionable knees. If he plays a full season at close to 100 percent, Paul is the top point guard and easy No. 3 pick in all formats. Continue reading


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