Tag Archives: Al Horford

Start, Drop & Roll: Week 4 Advice

We’re less three weeks into the 2011-12 season and the carnage is sickening. It seems as if half the league has a sore shoulder and the other half a torn pec. But there’s always that 1 percent, and to that end, I’d like you all to know that Stephen Curry remains sidelined with a sprained ankle; Just thought you should be made aware.

The loss of Al Horford for the season will have a dramatic effect on all fantasy leagues. The reaction of Horford’s owners was eerily reminiscent to that of the North Korean people at Kim Jong Il’s funeral. While it is impossible to equate Dear Leader’s popularity, I would imagine that the owners of Josh Smith, Joe Johnson and Jeff Teague are purchasing bouquets as we speak. This triumvirate should post terrific fantasy numbers the rest of the way, and I’m also starting to think that this is the perfect opportunity to take a flyer on Marvin Williams. He returned to the Atlanta rotation on Saturday, and if he is ever going to live up to his hype, after being selected No. 2 in the draft ahead of Deron Williams and Chris Paul, this will be his chance. As for the Hawks’ new starting center, Zaza Pachulia, I think I’d rather pick up Zsa Zsa Gabor.

On to the selections for Week 4.

Continue reading

Advertisements

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.

Continue reading


Fantasy & Free Agent Fest: Southeast Division

In the days leading up to the start of free agency on Dec. 9, Damn Lies & Statistics will be taking a look at each team’s potential moves, top fantasy players and more. Jeff tackles the Southeast Division.

ATLANTA HAWKS
Fantasy-Worthy Players Under Contract (H2H Draft Round in Parentheses): F/C Al Horford (2/3), F Josh Smith (2/3), G Joe Johnson (4/5), G Jeff Teague (10/11), F Marvin Williams (13/14)
Key Unrestricted Free Agents: G Jamal Crawford
Key Restricted Free Agents: None
What to Look For: Is this the most boring team in the league or what? Smith was shopped at the draft and could conceivably be moved before the season. As a H2H shot-blocking forward, he still has a ton of value. Horford is a nice pick for those who don’t like to gamble. He’s simply as solid as they come. Johnson, however, has the kind of contract future lockouts are made of. He’ll be serviceable in fantasy and perhaps even a tick better than last year with Crawford likely to sign elsewhere. Hinrich is still around to hold back Jeff Teague, but Teague seems poised to be the starting point guard. It makes the most sense, as he injects needed energy into this yawn of a unit.
The Damn Lies Bold Recipe: Atlanta seems ready to declare Josh Smith “available”, and it is certainly worth seeing what they can get for him. A true center who allows them to play Horford at power forward would be nice, and Smith could snatch someone like, say, Andrew Bynum or Brook Lopez as part of a multi-team deal. The Hawks should certainly stay active regarding one of their top assets. Continue reading


2011-12 Damn Mock I: Second Round

The Damn Lies & Statistics 2011-12 Mock Draft continues with round two. You know you love it.

The rules: Jeff, Tom and Greg are taking four teams each in this 12-team league, which is a nine-category rotisserie league (FG%, FT%, PTS, REB, AST, STL, BLK, 3FG, TO) that will draft the following: 1 PG, 1 SG, 1 SF, 1 PF, 2 C, 1 F, 1 G, 2 U. We’ll be building each team ourselves based on this format. Hope you enjoy, and feel free to mock us in the Comments.

CLICK HERE FOR THE FIRST ROUND

DAMN MOCK I: SECOND ROUND

13. Team 12 (Tom) – Josh Smith – After taking Dirk in the first round, I have a little FT% wiggle room and a need for some defense, assists and more rebounds. I’ll opt to kill two birds with one stone here and pick up one of the league’s best all-around defenders and someone who can pull in 8-plus boards per game. As a plus, Smith did shoot a career-best 72.5% from the free-throw line and actually made 0.7 threes per game last season, so it’s not as if he’s completely deficient in those categories. I now have my Franklin and Bash. Continue reading


Damn Lies Midseason Report: Southeast Division

On Wednesday I had the craziest nightmare. In my dream, I sat down at my computer to assess the Southeast Division and realized that I hadn’t watched a single game the entire year… then my teeth fell out.

It was a bizarre first half for the five teams in this division, as it seemed as if the three juggernauts – Miami, Orlando and Atlanta – were mediocre at best, but they combined to go a solid 90-46. The Bobcats, at 19-25, have fallen below expectations, but have played better and more exciting basketball since the coaching change from Larry Brown to Paul Silas. As for the Wizards and their legendary play away from the Verizon Center, I think Dorothy said it best.

The dirty, dirty moment when the Southeast Division changed forever.

Well, gentlemen of the Southeast Division, school is out and it is time to pay the piper as your parents will be receiving the following grades any day now. Continue reading


I’ll Be Damned: Got MLK?

Unsurprisingly, Darren Collison has thrived since Jeff traded him to Tom a month ago.

Martin Luther King Day is typically a wonderful day in the NBA and Monday was no exception, featuring games all afternoon and into the night, several of them excellent or at the very least interesting. This feels like a good time to ponder where we stand in mid-January.

It’s typically time to take stock of your team and make some bold moves to get in position for the stretch run of the season. In fact, this next month will be one of the craziest of the season, leading up to the Feb. 24 NBA trade deadline. I guarantee you have dropped someone or will drop someone who will end up being amazing in the final two months. I usually have about three or four of those guys a year. Keep your eyes on the prize and don’t be afraid to be bold. In fact, it is perfectly acceptable to lose a trade if you have to. By that I mean giving up a little bit more than you get back to secure some categories. As long as you trade your good players to teams that can’t hurt you down the road, pull the trigger. It’s a harder strategy to follow in head-to-head formats, where the goal is to sneak into the playoffs somehow and hope to have a healthy team that gets lucky. Reminds me of fantasy football. That’s why I’m a rotisserie league guy. May the best team win, I say.

Let’s pore over the box scores from Monday and take a look at some of my favorite stat lines as well as the more bizarre or interesting ones from the 13-game slate. Continue reading


Damn Lies Fantasy Preview: Atlanta Hawks

 

The Hawks could definitely use some frontcourt depth.

 

Until a few years ago, the only person following the Hawks was Borat Sagdiyev.  With an arsenal consisting of all-stars at shooting guard, power forward and center, Borat could have some company in Phillips Arena in 2010-11.  GM Rick Sund spent the offseason wooing Joe Johnson back to Atlanta with a max contract. My guess is that Sund awoke the day after the signing with a peptic ulcer, wondering what he had just done.  Johnson (21.3 ppg, 4.6 rpg, 4.9 apg, 1.7 3-pt fg) has been nothing short of solid in leading his team to its best results since Dominique Wilkins roamed the Omni, but by no means is he a franchise player, nor will he lead it past the second round of the playoffs.  This is a team in need of a new point guard and better depth, but now with limited funds it will rely on the three-headed monster of Johnson, Josh Smith and Al Horford.

LIES
We know that we’re going to get about a 22-4-5 with some threes and a strong free throw percentage out of Johnson and that makes him a solid third-round choice.  If you really want to get crazy and look at some fun box scores (and isn’t fantasy basketball about looking at fun box scores?),  take a gander at Smith a round earlier. J-Smoove is a blocks and steals fool and good luck finding another power forward who can get you better than four assists per game.  As it is, this is a late second round selection.  If he improves his atrocious free throw shooting (.618 in ’09-10), we could get late first/early second round value out of the 24-year old.  Horford has been a bit of a disappointment the past two seasons after a solid rookie campaign had us all believing we were going to be seeing the next Tree Rollins, at least without the finger-biting, from a rebounding and blocks perspective. Still, Horford can get you 14 and 10 with better than a block a game with solid peripherals (55% fg, 79% FT).

DAMN LIES
Stay far, far away from the point guard situation with this team as a fading Mike Bibby (9.1 ppg, 3.9 apg, 1.6 3-pt fg) will likely handle these chores once again. Second-year man Jeff Teague showed little during his limited opportunities last season, but he could easily supplant the veteran in the second half of the year. The better bet for value will come from disgruntled Sixth Man of the Year Jamal Crawford. I say disgruntled because like Johnson, Crawford was looking to get paid over the summer but didn’t.  He did average 18.0 points and 2.1 threes as instant offense off the Atlanta bench, but his career has been marred by inconsistency and don’t be shocked if his field goal percentage hovers around the basketball version of the Mendoza Line.

STATISTICS
I see no other draftable commodities on this team and that includes former #2 pick Marvin Williams, who should probably think about re-inventing himself by shaving his head, growing a thick beard, getting a nasty attitude, and changing his name a la Marvin Hagler to Marvelous Marvin Williams. Perhaps first-round pick Jordan Crawford, ye of the ridiculous dunk over LeBron James at the King’s own summer camp, will have something to say at some point.  Maybe they should consider signing Korki Butchiek.

DEPTH CHART
PG – Mike Bibby, Jeff Teague
SG – Joe Johnson, Jamal Crawford
SF – Marvin Williams, Maurice Evans
PF – Josh Smith, Josh Powell
C – Al Horford, Zaza Pachulia

Up Next: Milwaukee Bucks

Full Schedule


%d bloggers like this: