Tag Archives: Danny Granger

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.



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

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.

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: Third Round

On to Round 3! I can’t say this round excites me too much. In fact, the fourth round contains many players of equal value. The third is when we start thinking about filling out our rosters based on positional and statistical needs, where your instincts lead you the rest of the way. Where people stop being polite, and start getting real.

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.



25. Team 1 (Greg) – Paul Millsap – Anyone who can’t appreciate the hard-nosed Sapper is no friend of mine. Millsap is a throwback type player and also pretty effective in fantasy circles. Firmly entrenched in the Utah lineup, Team 1 can expect 16-18 points, 7-8 rebounds, 1.0 blocks, 1.5 steals and a terrific field goal percentage out of him. With Durant and Rondo by his side, this team is shaping up fine. Continue reading

Moving Without the Ball (11/1)

via RotoExperts

What a great week it’s been. All seems right when I can open up my League Pass on Wednesday night and flip through eight early games. To be honest with you, it’s almost a bit overwhelming. Almost. Do I love this game or what? More than I can express in words. But I’m not here to wax poetic about the NBA. I’m here to talk Fantasy Hoops.

We have a few early trends happening and a number of players who are already outperforming our expectations for them. Some could be in for a legitimate rise, while many others are likely to fall back down to earth. This week I’ll give you my thoughts on a few players everyone seems to be talking about after their Week 1 performances. Continue reading

Damn Lies Fantasy Preview: Indiana Pacers


It's a tough economy, but I have a hard time believing Larry Bird can't find better work than this.


I really love Larry Bird. Like, irrationally. But I must say I scratch my dome at the way he is building these Indiana Pacers. I give him a pass for cleaning house after the Melee at Auburn Hills, but not so much of one that I can abide Josh McRoberts possibly receiving significant minutes in an NBA rotation. Either Bird knows something the rest of us don’t, or he remembers the games of Fred Roberts and Brad Lohaus fondly. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not accusing anyone of preferring white players. Bird has assembled plenty of perfectly bad black players as well. Recent draft picks have been curious choices at best, and certain positions are stocked at the expense of others. Is there anything to like here, particularly in fantasy? What gives, Legend?

Turns out there are a few things to get excited over, and for them you can thank the genius of one Larry Bird. Bird actually won the summer in some ways, extracting Darren Collison from New Orleans and earning a lifetime pass from fantasy owners who loved Collison’s potential and were sick of the black hole that has been the Indiana PG spot for a while. I don’t need to rehash the numbers. Collison was stupidly tremendous with a side of bacon last year. But we all knew Chris Paul would be back looking for his old job, and Indiana looks like the perfect landing for Collison. He will run this up-tempo system and should put up monster digits. Fourth round? Sure, and late third if you are feeling confident.

Didn’t I say there were a few things to get excited over? I did, didn’t I. Give me a minute… oh! Right. The Pacers have a first-round pick in Danny Granger! Of course, he’s the first-round pick who carries with him the biggest injury risk. When healthy, Granger is arguably the fourth-best fantasy hoopster out there. Anything approaching 75 games and you have a steal. I also like Roy Hibbert this year, and not just by default. Hibbert should be a big part of the Pacer offense. He’s a nice No. 2 center option in fantasy leagues this year, as the half-court offense should run through him and he approaches two blocks per game with more minutes. Hibbert needs to stay out of foul trouble and grab more rebounds to take that next step.

The rest of the roster is to be avoided in fantasy unless you play in a deep league. Tyler Hansbrough will have every opportunity to contribute, but until we see even one category that he can excel in at this level, don’t reach for him.  Brandon Rush is capable of some nice box score outbursts. He’s a late-round sleeper, but he has to earn playing time among a sea of wings and is suspended for the first five games of the year. Mike Dunleavy will also get drafted late, and he could grab his old role of complementary scorer to Granger if he is fully healthy. But Dahntay Jones is going to get his minutes, and the Pacers drafted a wing in Paul George and added another in James Posey. I used to think “stomach-churning” was a cliche, but I swear mine just churned. At least we know Collison is in little danger of losing his starting job to the eminently-disappointing T.J. Ford, the initially-similar A.J. Price, or the girlfriendingly-pushy Lance Stephenson.

PG – Darren Collison, T.J. Ford
SG – Mike Dunleavy, Dahntay Jones
SF – Danny Granger, Brandon Rush
PF – Tyler Hansbrough, Josh McRoberts
C – Roy Hibbert, Solomon Jones

Up Next: Portland Trail Blazers

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Daily Lies & Statistics: Flipping Out

Anyone playing in head-to-head leagues is likely in the playoffs, and likely surly as hell this morning if they are relying on Andray Blatche to lead them to a title. With one bone-headed show of immaturity, Blatche is going to go from the year’s waiver wire darling to saboteur of fantasy seasons from coast to coast.

Flip Saunders leaves the premises before a horde of angry fantasy owners can overtake him.

Taken out of the Wizards’ game vs. Charlotte Tuesday night seven-and-a-half minutes in by Flip Saunders, Blatche refused to listen to Flip’s defensive criticisms and then refused to go back into the game. He sat the rest of the way, and could be benched for the foreseeable future.

Saunders was not happy:

“Yeah I guess, just because of everything,” Saunders said when asked if this incident was the low point in a season filled with forgettable moments. “This team, we’ve lost a lot of close games, you know, and you’ve got a chance, and when you have coaches go up and ask a player that’s supposedly your quote-unquote key player to play, and he just says he doesn’t want to play. I don’t care. You can be upset with me, but don’t leave your teammates hanging out to dry like that. You don’t do that…”

Blatche’s magical run might be over, and if he is permanently moved to the doghouse then JaVale McGee and James Singleton will be the beneficiaries. McGee played 46 minutes last night and finished with 14 points, 12 boards and two blocks. Singleton saw 37 minutes of action and totaled a 9 & 7 with no blocks, but he has shown he can amass those. A Blatche demotion will almost certainly mean more plays run for Al Thornton and Mike Miller as well. Regardless, this is a big mess at a time of the year when fantasy owners can least afford it.

There were several other noteworthy performances in last night’s four-game slate, some of which can make or break a playoff week. Let’s take a look at some.

Drew Gooden (26 pts, 20 reb, 10-10 ft, 2 stl, 1 blk): Wow. Raise your hand if you started Gooden this week. Congrats. He went off against the Mavs, one of his many former teams, in a 106-96 loss. He remains a strong play Thursday at Houston and Sunday vs. Golden State.

Danny Granger (32 pts, 6 reb, 4 ast, 5 threes): For all the grief Granger has caused his owners this season, a game like this when it matters can go a long way towards healing past wounds. While we’d hesitate to take him in the first round again next year, he is one of the more high-ceiling fantasy guys out there when healthy.

Danilo Gallinari (28 pts, 5 reb, 5 threes, 9-10 FT): The Knicks upended a scuffling Denver team in New York last night, and Gallinari is regaining his fantasy awesomeness just in time. He is averaging 26.3 points over his last three games.

Dirk Nowitzki (18 pts, 2 reb in 19 minutes): Ejected after picking up two technicals, Nowitzki’s night could have been a lot worse. This is little solace to his owners who need him to produce a monster week.

Gerald Wallace (17 pts, 19 reb, 3 stl, 1 three, 5-17 FG): All hail Crash’s ’09-10 season, but this line could actually come back to bite you if you end up losing the FG% category and winning rebounds or steals handily.

J.R. Smith (11 pts, 4-16 FG, 2 threes): Since Smith’s owners were probably salivating at a game against the Knicks, this 23-minute dud of a game can only be labeled a disappointment.

Jason Kidd (26 pts, 6 reb, 12 ast, 6 threes): Kidd carried Dallas to the win sans-Dirk with a virtuoso fantasy performance that will put his owners in the driver’s seat in any playoff battle.

Of course, we’re still very early in the week. I expect crazy things happening to everyone out there, especially if I own them. Good luck to everyone who is still in contention.

Daily Lies & Statistics: T-Mac Dons Blowfish Costume

Is it just me or is Tracy McGrady suffering from the same swollen jaw that afflicted Sammy Sosa and Barry Bonds late in their careers? Remember the young, svelte McGrady who used to block everything within a 10-mile radius of Air Canada Centre? That young man is gone and the beefier version with a jawline the size of a Chevy Tahoe has replaced him.

We might as well rename our blog Damn Lies & Statistics & Tracy McGrady.

With all due respect, McGrady is attempting to come back from microfracture surgery and has looked ok in his two games as a Knick. But selfishness always prevails, and he is way too trigger happy for a guy who fires up line drives like he’s Wade Boggs, and who has played little the past two seasons. Opponents haven’t feared him in a while and he needs to start to blend in. Last week I debated who I should pick up between McGrady and Spanish Chocolate. On par with all of my basketball decisions this season I went with T-Mac.

Have I mentioned my team is absolutely hideous in the Damn Lies League? It doesn’t matter that Amar’e Stoudemire and Devin Harris are playing better and could wind up with similar stats to last year. If you get off to a lousy start in fantasy, there is no way to make up ground.

If you’re one of those fancy owners who still has a shot this season, we’re getting to the time of year where the men are separated from the tots. Be on the lookout for teams playing for next year, and there are many, that will look to give more playing to their young guys (see: Brandon Rush, Will Bynum, Jonas Jerebko, Anthony Morrow, Marcus Thornton). They are worth a speculative pickup. Other coaches, once the playoffs are out of reach, will throw some bizarre lineups out there to shake things up (see: Chris Crawford and triple-double machine Bob Sura of the ’03-04 Atlanta Hawks and Greg Fox’s Unhappy Hairstons).

On to last night’s stars:

Danny Granger: He made a triumphant return to the Indiana lineup yesterday, but the Pacers didn’t triumph, losing in Chicago 120-110. Granger, who missed a little time due to personal reasons, posted 20 points, seven rebounds, five assists, three steals and knocked down four 3-pointers. He has killed his owners with various issues and ailments this season and owes it to them to stay on the court for the final 25 games.

Brandon Rush: Rush has been showing signs of life lately and last night he registered 21 points, drained five 3-pointers and rejected two shots for good measure. He has cemented himself in the starting five and should be claimed if available. 

Flip Murray: This scoring machine is absorbing the minutes left behind by the departed John Salmons and is making the most of it. He can be a solid source of points, threes and steals the rest of the way and should no longer be available.

Marc Gasol: Pau‘s baby bro continues to make it seem as if he is playing Super Puff Basketball  in his bedroom as he converted 10-of-11 from the field last night in the Grizzlies’ 99-94 win in the nation’s capitol. For the season, he is averaging 14.9 points, 9.4 rebounds and 1.6 blocks, but is somehow only shooting .584 from the field. I actually thought his FG percentage went down after yesterday’s contest.

Andray Blatche: The Andray Blatche menace continues to scare the dickens out of small children everywhere as he recorded 24 points, eight boards and five assists in last night’s loss to the Grizz. Blatche, who let’s just say is doing his best Hakeem Olajuwon impersonation of late, is officially a top 10 center.

Al Thornton: How did the Wiz go from the law firm of Arenas, Jamison and Butler to Blatche, Thornton and Miller? With newly acquired Josh Howard done for the year, expect the former Yankee Clipper to play big minutes and produce solid numbers as last night’s 16 and 11 will attest.

Hedo Turkoglu: With Chris Bosh still on the mend, Turkoglu has more of an opportunity to put on his disco outfit and boogie on down the court for additional shots. He knocked down 8-of-9 from the floor last night (3-for-3 from 3-point range), but it wasn’t enough as the Raptors lost at home (101-87) to the Blazers.

Darren Collison/Marcus Thornton: Who cares that the Hornets got crushed (115-95) in Milwaukee last night? All that matters is that Collison (22 pts, 9 ast) and Thornton (25 pts, 3-5 3-pt fg) continued to squire each other around the court to dazzling numbers. Unless you’re playing in a league on Mars, Collison is gone… Thornton could still be available.

Andrew Bogut: We all know that the big Aussie is having a fabulous season, but he is also capable of putting up a 100-point, 50-rebound, 12-block week thanks to the Bucks’ five-game slate… Chamberlainesque numbers to say the least. Now if he could only match the Big Dipper’s prolific totals in the romance department we could have something here.

Dwight Howard: The Magic big man scoffed at Gasol’s shooting numbers and went a perfect 11-for-11 from the floor and finished with 30 points and 16 caroms in a 110-92 win in Houston. Vince Carter even converted 6-of-9 from the field to raised his field goal percentage to double figures.

Manu Ginobili: Let’s not forget that this is one of the top two guards of the past 10 years and there is still some life left in his Pro Keds. Last night he carried the hometown Spurs to a 95-87 win over a red-hot Oklahoma City team with 26 points, nine rebounds, four assists, two steals and a block. If you can still make trades, the Argentinean is a decent guy to target.

Brendan Haywood: I don’t know why Haywood’s incredible numbers continue to annoy me. Maybe it’s because he does this every time I don’t have him… I don’t know. Eleven points, nine boards, five blocks and a win over the Lakers is a nice night for the veteran.

Lou Williams: The diminutive point guard is averaging a whopping 22.5 points, 7.0 rebounds, 5.0 assists and 3.5 3-pointers over his last two and will continue to log big minutes while Allen Iverson cares for his daughter. He did turn an ankle last night so make sure to check for updates.

Tyrus Thomas: This has to be the most fun guy in the league to open up a box score to when you already know he has played 30+ minutes. Last night he played 31 and was kind of disappointing (20 pts, 6-8 fg, 8-9 ft, 3 reb, 3 st, 1 bk) despite the fact that he enjoyed a great night of percentages. That’s probably unfair of me… my bad Ty (Fox gives chest tap for universal my fault signal, just for effect).

Drew Gooden: And in the big one last night, the Clips came from behind to defeat the Pistons, 97-91, thanks to the 20-point, 13-rebound effort from Gooden. The frontcourt situation in Clipperland is a mess, but Gooden officially has a leg up on Craig Smith and DeAndre Jordan. We’ll see what happens at small forward once Travis Outlaw has his legs back under him. He played 19 minutes, while Rasual Butler started at small forward and played 41.

Three games tonight including Cavs at Celtics. This could mark the return of unsung Leon Powe to Boston. Celtic fans should sing his praises.

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