Tag Archives: Anderson Varejao

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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Fantasy & Free Agent Fest: Central 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. Here’s a look at the Central Division squads.

CHICAGO BULLS
Fantasy-Worthy Players Under Contract (H2H Draft Round in Parentheses): G Derrick Rose (1), C Joakim Noah (4), F Carlos Boozer (6/7), F Luol Deng (7)
Key Unrestricted Free Agents: None
Key Restricted Free Agents: None
What to Look For: Chicago is close, very close. They will try to add a shooting guard who can be an upgrade over Keith Bogans. Jason Richardson or Caron Butler are options. Boozer is a risky pick in fantasy as he just can’t stay on the court, so Taj Gibson is a necessary handcuff. Rose can make a case for the No. 4 pick in drafts. While his minutes might be more in check during a 66-game slate, he remains an unstoppable offensive player who is young and eager to win a championship, not to mention try like heck to get the No. 1 seed in the East over Miami.
The Damn Lies Bold Recipe: Richardson and Butler are decent but aging options who aren’t built for the kind of schedule we have coming up. They might be a little pricey. If the Bulls miss out on them or decide to go a cheaper route, they should make an offer for Golden State’s Reggie Williams – he’s restricted, but the Warriors might not have him in their plans. He could really stretch the floor and spot up to receive kickouts from Rose. Continue reading


2011-12 Damn Mock I: Seventh Round

I suppose we went on a bit of a point guard run in this round. Nearly half the picks were point guards, not including the combo guards who were also selected. The two picks which interested me the most in this round were the James Harden and Marcus Thornton ones. I went ahead and picked Harden, who still might end up coming off the bench for the Thunder, as talented as he is, while Greg went for Thornton. What interests me about Thornton is that he has tons of talent, but there’s still a bit of a logjam at the guard position in Sacramento. You have Tryeke Evans and Beno Udrih slotted to start, right? Not that room won’t be made for Thornton, but I would feel more comfortable if he had more playing time lined up. Should be interesting, though.

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.

FIRST ROUND | SECOND ROUND | THIRD ROUND | FOURTH ROUND | FIFTH ROUND | SIXTH ROUND  

DAMN MOCK I SEVENTH ROUND

73. Team 1 (Greg) – Ray Allen – Like fine Manischewitz, Ray Allen just keeps getting better with age. Well, not really, but he is still damn effective, particularly from a fantasy perspective. In his age 35 season, Mr. Shuttlesworth managed to shoot a career best 49 percent from the field, knocked down 2.1 threes per game, and turned it over only 1.5 times. His free throw shooting did fall off to only 88 percent, his poorest percentage in a decade, but it was still good enough to rank among league leaders. The ageless wonder remains fantasy gold and is a nice get for Team 1, which is in need of 3-point shooting. Continue reading


Damn Lies Fantasy Preview: Cleveland Cavaliers

There’s nothing much to say about these Cavaliers that will cheer them up. They are the team that stopped showering, won’t leave the house and is binging on Mocha Almond Fudge every night. It was a rough summer. Can they heal from The Incision in time for the season? Fantasy owners want to know; specifically, we want to know where we should draft these fragile wrecks.

 

We are all witnesses to a very public breakup.

 

LIES
The Heartless Bastard’s departure actually opens up some intriguing fantasy possibilities. Mo Williams has been a little weepy lately but if his feelings don’t get in the way he could be a tremendous value. Williams could either lift his game to another level or wilt into a puddle this year. If he gives you 18 points, a couple of threes and five assists while shooting close to 90 percent from the line, it isn’t crazy to consider him in the fourth round. Antawn Jamison is back in his comfort zone as a top offensive option on a team that isn’t very good. Jamison is a defensive liability but he could definitely put up 20 points a game. He’ll challenge Williams for leading scorer, perhaps at small forward as Cleveland wants to see what they have in J.J. Hickson.

DAMN LIES
Hickson is a nice sleeper this year if he secures the starting power forward spot. He averaged 8.5 points and 4.9 boards last year in 21 minutes per contest, and in a full-time role we’re thinking he’ll max out at about 14-15 points and 7-9 boards. If he can block one shot a game that would be nice, but he isn’t the most dynamic fantasy performer. Consider him as one of your first reserves at forward. Anderson Varejao will also have every chance to star this year. Varejao is a perfect complementary player but the Cavs will need a little more from him in every area. He can certainly approach a double-double every game, along with a block, a steal and a solid field goal percentage. Consider him a No. 2 center, a poor man’s Joakim Noah who should be targeted around the ninth or tenth round.

STATISTICS
The Cavs only added one impact player in the offseason, old fantasy friend Ramon Sessions. Sessions is a pretty good pickup for them as they clearly need players who can create their own shots. Sessions could conceivably share the backcourt with Williams, so watch this carefully. If he plays 30 or more minutes he’s a decent fantasy guard. What we’ll probably see is the underwhelming Anthony Parker at shooting guard and either Jamario Moon or Jamison starting at the ‘3’. I wouldn’t draft Parker or Moon until late, and would much rather prefer to make them prove they have a role and taking either on the waiver wire if need be. Joey Graham will also battle for playing time. If you are looking for a deep flier, keep an eye on Ryan Hollins, the backup center. Varejao has been dinged up this summer, and Hollins has some length and a decent motor.

DEPTH CHART
PG – Mo Williams, Ramon Sessions
SG – Anthony Parker, Daniel Gibson
SF – Antawn Jamison, Jamario Moon
PF – J.J. Hickson, Leon Powe
C – Anderson Varejao, Ryan Hollins

Up Next: San Antonio Spurs

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Daily Lies & Statistics: Nobody Puts J.J. in the Corner

The Cavaliers made it 1-0 without their effervescent big man last night, embarrassing the Knicks 124-93. The final score wasn’t even indicative of the hideousness of the New York effort. If the teams were wearing generic jerseys and I said that it was the ’92 Dream Team against Liechtenstein, it would have been believable.

Earlier in the year, I predicted that Boston would squeak by the Cavs on its way to the NBA Finals. With Shaq out for the rest of the regular season and hopefully limited in the playoffs I can again root for Cleveland to go the distance. And go the distance it will with the rugged Anderson Varejao (14 pts, 10 reb, 2 bk, 16 min last night) and the young and improving J.J. Hickson (17 pts, 9 reb, 6-7 fg, 2 bk) sharing the pivot. They remind me of the Davis boys in Indiana in the mid-90s and are both worthy of being picked up in fantasy leagues… Hickson and Varejao that is as the Davises are probably in their mid-40s.

"Put me in, Coach, I'm ready to play."

Why this organization thought Shaq was the answer in the offseason is beyond me. This team is winning with chemistry and defense, and they happen to be very well-coached by their 25-year old small forward.

I, for one, will be pulling for the Cadavers to win the whole enchilada. Though as a Knicks fan I know it will take every ounce of restraint from LeBron to not tell a throng of 1.5 million at their victory parade that they will be back next season to repeat.

Lately, I’ve been singing the praises of the upstart Milwaukee Bucks to anyone within earshot. This team has about as much talent as the Pittsburgh Pythons, but they are getting it done with toughness and defense and won’t be an easy out in the playoffs. Andrew Bogut has been a top 5 center both in fantasy and real-life this season and he is being supported by defensive stalwarts Luc Richard-whatever and Ersan Ilyasova. This team has not felt the effects of the crooked-shooting Brandon Jennings, nor the loss of the chucking Michael Redd.

Ok, enough preaching. On to the Damn performances:

Bill Walker (21 pts, 5 reb, 9-14 fg, 2-5 3-pt fg) – I just love this guy’s name. There were 37 Bills in the league in the 80s, but since Medical Bill Cartwright announced his retirement from swinging ‘bows, I believe Mr. Walker is the first to carry the Bill torch. Regardless, he’s got pretty good skills and could see a decent amount of run the rest of the way. An injury to, let’s say Damn Lies favorite Tracy McGrady, could open the door for Walker to help steal a few championships for his owners.

Jrue Holiday (23 pts, 6 ast, 9-13 fg, 5-6 3-pt fg, 2 st) – The intriguing Holiday has shared the spotlight with the equally intriguing Lou Wiliams (13 pts, 5 reb, 7 ast) of late and could be a fine addition for the final six weeks of the season. Holiday is more of a true point guard and should put up some decent assist numbers. With Allen Iverson done for the year, don’t forget about the Philly backcourt.

George Hill (23 pts, 9-13 fg, 3-4 3-pt fg, 2 bk) – Even with Tony Parker‘s perpetual day-to-day status, this blogger has been pushing owners to nab the talented Hill for weeks. Over his last five contests, he has averaged 18.2 points and 1.8 threes in nearly 40 minutes per game. He can play both the one and the two and Parker’s return shouldn’t affect him too much.

Marcus Thornton (30 pts, 7 reb, 12-19 fg, 6-7 3-pt fg) – I debated picking up Thornton or C.J. Watson yesterday and decided on the guy who didn’t erupt for 30 points and six threes. Thornton has been silly of late, averaging 26.2 points and 2.8 threes over his last five. He still comes off the bench but plays starter’s minutes. He should no longer be available.

Taj Gibson (11 pts, 13 reb, 3 ast, 1 bk) – Here’s another young player who should have been scooped up a few weeks ago. Gibson is as tough as they come and has made the most of Joakim Noah‘s absence. Noah will remain out or at least limited for a while, but regardless, Gibson seems to have solidified his position in the Bulls frontcourt. Solid rebounding and blocks digits await.

Nicolas Batum (21 pts, 7-11 fg, 4-7 3-pt fg, 1 bk) – Dare I even say that we have to keep a good eye on Batum? He tallied 31 points with five threes on Saturday and followed it up with a 21-point, four 3-pointer effort in last night’s win over the fading Grizzlies. He has stolen all of Martell Webster‘s minutes and may be worth a flyer.

Rasual Butler (13 pts, 3 reb, 2 ast) – Butler stunk up the clip joint last night, but he is starting and for some unknown reason is playing big minutes for the Clips, while the more talented Travis Outlaw languishes on the bench. For the time being, Butler is worth a look, but he should peak in the rearview mirror.

Drew Gooden (19 pts, 11 reb, 6-9 fg, 1 bk) – Gooden’s city-to-city tour can rival Madonna’s as he continues to get it done on the glass, regardless of his situation. He has found his way into the starting unit and will continue to post decent scoring and blocks totals along with big-time boards.

Only four games on the board tonight, including Warriors at Heat. These are two teams heading nowhere, but I’m excited to see what the combination of Stephen Curry and Watson will accomplish with four games this week. Considering the fact that I have Watson and Jeff has Curry, probably very little.


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