Tag Archives: Al Jefferson

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.



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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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.



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

Moving And Shaking: Melo’s Yellow

Believe it or not, I’m pretty tired of hearing about the trade deadline and the pending Carmelo Anthony deals out there. True, I expect him to be traded by the deadline (Feb. 24). Yes, he is the biggest name in the rumor-mill, which naturally intrigues NBA fans. But I swear to god if I have to hear about Melo going to (insert team here) one more time, I am turning this blog around and NONE OF YOU, that’s right, NONE OF YOU are getting dessert.

With that, let’s talk about what happens if Melo gets traded. I’m kidding! Let’s talk about some of the other deals I’ve seen go down in my many leagues. I may not have made many moves this past week, but that doesn’t mean my league-mates haven’t gotten in the game. Here are the best and most notable moves I’ve seen over the past week.

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Damn Lies Midseason Report: Northwest Division

Just change the name of this division already, Stern, you cruel bastard. There aren't too many states Oklahoma is northwest of.

We now move our midseason reports into the Western Conference, specifically the Northwest Division, home to some of the top fantasy talent in the game. Durant. Love. Carmelo. Williams. Aldridge. Milicic. These names ring out on every corner of the fantasy world, and while this strangely-named division may be a bit geographically “all over the map” as they say, it will be fun to grade.

It’s the Northwest Division Midseason Report. Pencils down! Continue reading

Moving And Shaking: General-Lee Happy.

"David, I would like to insert a camera into your elbow to document the surgery. Big ups?"

Maybe it’s because the RotoExperts In-House league is the only one of my 175 leagues in which I am completely bombing in, but I made a big trade this week in which I am already having some buyer’s remorse. I know, I know, it’s still early and I am freaking out over a team which on paper is one of the three or four best in the league, despite my last place standing. I have Kevin Durant, Steve Nash, Al Jefferson, Elton Brand, John Wall, Serge Ibaka, Danilo Gallinari, Kevin Love, Trevor Ariza, AK-47, Eric Gordon, Antawn Jamison, and Drew Gooden. It’s a H2H league, so don’t come at me with “where’s the balance, Lorenzo?” Winning at least five categories is the key — for now.

Now, though, I have to update my roster to exclude two players. Two players who I like and who are liked amongst most fantasy ballers out there.

I’ll be the first to admit that less than a month into the season I may have jumped the shark. But, then again, the real implications of my deal won’t be known for some time. Right now I do have a bit of remorse, but I believe that I will generally be happy with the deal 2-3 weeks from now. Assuming that my target returns to the court within that time-frame.


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Damn Lies Fantasy Preview: Minnesota Timberwolves

So long, Al Jefferson. Welcome back, Darko Milicic. This is the year that Darko breaks out and joins the ranks of his fellow draft-mates: LeBron-Wade-Melo-Bosh. He’s been nothing short of a bust during his first seven seasons in the league. He’s been crabby, angry, and downright “stupid” since leaving Detroit. On the plus, Darko is a quality defender in the paint and a sufficient rebounder. Last season he averaged 1.4 blocks and 5.5 rebounds in 25 minutes with the T-Wolves. He also took a career-best 7.8 shots per game, but made just 49.2% of his attempts. This season with the departure of Jefferson, Darko is going to step in and get some serious minutes in the middle. Can he break out? Not likely. But as a category filler (boards and blocks) he’s a  deep option. Just don’t expect anyone to pat themselves on the back for drafting Darko. Chad Ford, Darko is still moving in. Sorry.


I have Kevin Love targeted in the 4th round in any and all formats. Why? Because he’s capable of leading the league in rebounds. Seriously. He averaged 11 per game last season in just 28 minutes of action. His per-36 boards average sat at 13.8 per game. His scoring average (14.0 ppg) jumped up to 17.8 points per 36 (look it up!). Without Jefferson in the middle, Love is going to get plenty of opportunities to do his best David Lee impression. He can steal a ball per game, hit over 80% of his free throws, and even nail the occasional 3-pointer. Love to love you, Love.

With Jonny Flynn not scheduled to return to the basketball court until sometime in mid- to late-November, newly acquired Luke Ridnour will be running the point for the Wolves. The thing about Ridnour is that he is always underrated as a fantasy performer. In the last two seasons he’s only missed 10 games, while averaging about 25 minutes per. He can hit a 3-pointer, steal over one ball, shoot near 90% from the line, and dish about 5.0 assists per game. He’s a low turnover guy, which helps those 9-cat players out there, and even improved on his FG% to a respectable 47% last year. He’s a fantastic late-round option, and if you’re worried about what impact Flynn will have on Ridnour once he returns, draft them both! (Editor’s disclosure: Tom and Jeff did that very thing in the Yahoo! Friends and Family League, a genius move if you ask Tom and Jeff.)

Rookie Wesley Johnson has looked good off the bench this preseason. In their game against the Nuggets, Johnson shot 5-of-9 from the floor and 3-of-5 from beyond the arc. The dude can shoot. Problem is, he hasn’t shown much else in his game. Still, I think he’s a great late-round scoring option, even if he is coming off the bench behind Corey Brewer or Michael Beasley. Speaking of Brewer, he has a few flaws in his game, namely his percentages, but remains a nice option for steals and threes. Beasley joined the Wolves this offseason and hopes to turn himself into a productive small forward. Best of luck to you, Mr. Beasley. For him it all comes down to motivation. He has it in him to score 20 points per game, believe it or not, but he’s yet to realize his potential. He also can add a steal, hit about 0.5 threes, pull in over 6 rebounds, and provide solid percentages from the floor and the line. I just have a hard time reaching on him and waiting to find out if this is the year that he plays up to his potential. Martell Webster will be vying for minutes at the small forward and shooting guard position. The category he provides the most help at is with 3-pointers. His poor FG% can be a drain and his defense is simply so-so. The deep sleepers on this team are Wayne Ellington, who is a scoring deep threat, and Nikola Pekovic, who has good size but is still raw.

PG: Luke Ridnour, Jonny Flynn (injured), Sebastian Telfair
SG: Corey Brewer, Martell Webster, Wayne Ellington
SF: Michael Beasley, Wesley Johnson
PF: Kevin Love, Kosta Koufos
C: Dako Milicic, Nikola Pekovic

UP NEXT: New Jersey Nets

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Damn Lies Fantasy Preview: Utah Jazz

Let’s talk Deron Williams for a second. Best point guard in the NBA? There are plenty nipping at his heels, but for my money, yes. I’d start a team with him in reality. But fantasy? Williams settles in clearly behind Chris Paul in our little game here, and it could be argued Deron’s value is a little overrated. There won’t be many players with more assists, but do you really want to burn a first-round pick on someone who isn’t outstanding in any other category? Wouldn’t you rather wait until the third or fourth to take Russell Westbrook or Darren Collison? It’s a tough call when you are staring down a pick anywhere from seven to 11, so here’s some tough advice: do it. Williams has essentially treaded water statistically for three years, but with a tweaked roster (Al Jefferson in, Carlos Boozer out; Mehmet Okur hurt) I think you’ll see a more aggressive Williams, at least offensively. He’ll score 20+ points this season, increase his threes slightly and take that next step. He still won’t catch Paul, but you can build your geek squad around him.


Magnet Hands. Coming October 2010. Rated PG-13.


Williams welcomes Jefferson this season to his arsenal of weapons, an intriguing move that should keep Utah at least competing for a spot in the top half of the West. Jefferson is one of the few pure back-to-the-basket big men in the game and he’ll command shots in the paint. Hopefully statisticians continue to award Williams with dimes even if Al holds onto the ball a little longer than Boozer did before shooting. Since this is Utah, we shouldn’t be too worried, right John Stockton? Jefferson should man the center position with the injury to Okur, who could miss a few months after rupturing an achilles. This means Paul Millsap is going to get starters minutes, and fantasy owners should be ecstatic. Millsap is a nightly double-double threat who could render Okur a bench option when he finally returns. He’s that good.

The rest of Utah’s lineup gives us some pause. Andrei Kirilenko is entering a contract year, but I’m not sure you should use an early pick on him. He’ll start at small forward, most likely, but the guy who averaged three blocks and two steals is not walking through that door. Kirilenko also hasn’t played more than 72 games in a season since 2004. The Jazz lost Kyle Korver and Wes Matthews in free agency, and in their place signed Raja Bell and will have to play rookie Gordon Hayward. I don’t see how this is a positive. I’ve also never been a huge fan of swingman C.J. Miles, likely the sixth man at this point. Ronnie Price is Williams’ backup and not a fantasy factor. The team is hoping to re-sign Kyrylo Fesenko before camp and recently added Francisco Elson, perhaps via reanimation. There’s not a lot of quality depth here, especially offensively; another reason I see Williams trying to make more happen.

D-Will should be secretly licking his chops that Okur is sidelined. This team needs a shot in the arm and a full-time Millsap could be the difference. From a fantasy standpoint, dorks like us can’t wait to watch Millsap and Jefferson team with Williams to form a three-headed statistical monster every night. This is going to be fun. I’m targeting Jefferson at the end of the second round; he should be over his knee injury and thrilled to be on a contender. He could easily average 20-23 points but Millsap and his magnet hands will make sure his rebounding average hovers around nine. Somebody get me Marvel on the line, I just thought of something cool.

PG – Deron Williams, Ronnie Price
SG – Raja Bell, Gordon Hayward
SF – Andrei Kirilenko, C.J. Miles
PF – Paul Millsap, Jeremy Evans
C – Al Jefferson, Mehmet Okur (injured), Francisco Elson

Up Next: Washington Wizards

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