Tag Archives: Darren Collison

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


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


Damn Lies Midseason Report: Central Division

Call me lazy. Call me super lazy. But just don’t call me late for dinner. I happen to believe that no matter how hard I try, I won’t be able to do the intro to our awards any justice, which is why I am going to re-print Jeff’s intro from his Atlantic Division awards. Hey, deal with it.

Per Jeff..

We’re gonna mix it up a bit this week at Damn Lies. Now that the season is roughly halfway over (emphasis on ‘roughly’), we thought it would be fun to hand out grades to each player who has made an impact, positive or negative, on the fantasy landscape. Think of these as sort of the Golden Globes to our annual postseason awards, The Dammies, only with fewer scientology jokes. This isn’t very scientific, in the sense that the three of us were liberal arts majors and are much more comfortable making stuff up rather than postulating an actual theory, which I can rarely do without pulling a muscle. For each team, we’ll assign grades based on how players have lived up to fantasy expectations. If a guy has disappointed or has been hurt more than not, he could get a ‘D’ or ‘F’ even though his numbers aren’t totally awful. If someone went undrafted in every league but has come out of nowhere to offer solid value, he could get an ‘A’. Or not. It’s really up to us. Don’t think to much about it.

…Here now are my Central Division awards. Enjoy!

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


Moving And Shaking: Hold the O.J.

Looks like someone got Greg PhotoShop for the holidays... or did they give him a wish?

It’s shocking just how many fantasy owners have already given up on O.J. Mayo. Has he really been that bad? Well, yeah, sure he’s been downright awful. But to be fair, he’s getting downright better. After going four straight without hitting double figures in the scoring category he’s now scored at least 13 points in five of his last six games, and in three of his last four he’s scored at least 17 points. Not too shabby.

This past week alone I picked Mayo up in three different leagues. One was for garbage (see: Hakim Warrick), the other was for Drew Gooden (he was the worst player on my team!) and the third was for Thaddeus Young (again, the only dropable player I had). I’m a big believer in Mayo, even if he continues to come off the bench. Though with the way he’s been playing of late I don’t see him riding the pine much longer. He can hit threes, add a few steals, hit his free throws (he’s a better FT shooter than his numbers indicate this season) and he’s starting to improve his FG shooting.

My point is, it’s not worth dropping Mayo. I can see certain players getting the waiver wire treatment, but none as good as Mayo is. And trust me, I’m not trying to make him out to be a Top 25 player, or even a Top 50 fantasy contributor for that matter. I’m just not so sure that you dropping Mayo because Terrence Williams has potential is the right move. Thanks, though, to those of you who bailed on him. You’ve inspired me to get into the holiday season.

Continue reading


Fox Unbalanced: Ty-reek!

Every year I have that one guy who looks like a steal in the spot I picked him, but then ends up giving me not only Larry Demic-type numbers, but a bleeding ulcer as well. Ladies and gentlemen, allow me to introduce Tyreke Evans, who fell to me in the middle of the third round of the Damn Lies draft.

"You'll be under the media spotlight now, kid. My advice: try to ignore Greg Fox's screeds. He's never happy."

I really didn’t see much of Evans as a rookie. I knew he put up some pretty fancy numbers, and although I heard that he couldn’t shoot straight, he did manage 45 percent from the floor and 75 percent from the line; definitely livable. This was the third round, and despite some mild plantar fasciitis in training camp, I thought for sure he’d be gone.  I was licking my chops for either Monta Ellis or Derrick Rose, but they were both selected earlier in the round, Rose just two spots ahead of me. I’ve since left my chops alone. Continue reading


I’ll Be Damned: Not Done Yet

Richard Jefferson passed up big money with the Spurs to sign with the Spurs.

Last week we lamented the disappointing Chris Bosh for fantasy owners and Heat fans who need instructions as to what to do at a basketball game.

This week, I’ll Be Damned honors some old warhorses, off to great starts, who plummeted in drafts due to age or an earned lack of confidence on the part of fantasy players. If you have them, you are likely fielding trade offers. If you don’t, you (also known as: me) are really jealous.

I’ll be damned that…

…Richard Jefferson’s got pride.
We knew he was a terrific athlete. We should have known he was going to bounce back this year after he was universally ridiculed for leaving $15.2 million on the table this summer and opting out of his contract (only to re-sign for four years/$39 million). At 30 years old and coming off a nightmare season in San Antonio, he made owners skittish and they held off on him until the very late rounds on draft day. Two years ago he averaged 19.6 points for Milwaukee in 82 games, so his 17.6 PPG this season isn’t too shocking. True, Tim Duncan has gotten off to a quiet start offensively, but Jefferson’s numbers are no fluke. I expect some inconsistency because he plays with stars, but his 2.0 threes are a huge help thus far. All of what he does is essentially gravy because everyone outside of his immediate family drafted him to be a reserve. 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?

LIES
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.

DAMN LIES
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.

STATISTICS
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.

DEPTH CHART
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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Damn Lies Roundtable: Offseason Fantasy Winners

What an offseason. I mean seriously. If drama’s your thing, we had it. If comedy’s your thing, we had that too. If overthinking fantasy rankings is your thing, we have that in spades. The Damn Lies & Statistics bloggers have been a little incognito lately, but that doesn’t mean we aren’t assuming The Thinker position and contemplating the new landscape before us. Finally, I cornered Greg Fox and Tom Lorenzo and demanded answers to some burning questions. They recommended I see a doctor. So you can see why we haven’t posted much.

Ahem.

Instead of rambling, why not get on with it? The first of many roundtables coming your way this preseason will be the query: Who were the biggest offseason winners in fantasy? We each picked three, and blurbed from there. The envelopes please…

Darren Collison must handle the pressure of being picked by Tom, Greg AND Jeff as an offseason winner. Many others have failed before him.

TOM LORENZO:
Darren Collison, PG, NO – This one is a no-brainer. Collison goes from being the back-up point guard behind Chris Paul — the best in the game — to the starting point guard for a team who was in desperate need of his services. We know what Collison can do when he’s gets starter’s minutes (37 starts, 18.8 points, 9.1 assists, 3.5 rebounds, 1.4 steals, 1.0 treys, 48.5 FG%, 85.2 FT%). Running alongside Danny Granger should help him stay near the top of the leader board in assists. His trade to Indiana moves him from a late-round pick to a possible 5th rounder. Not bad.

Raymond Felton, PG, NYK – It’s hard not to love the starting point guard in Mike D’Antoni’s system. We know what Steve Nash did under D’Antoni, but there’s also something to be said about Chris Duhon dishing 7.1 assists in their first season together. He also, at times, had Nate Robinson looking like anything but selfish. I think Felton will fit perfectly into this up-tempo system. Having played in Charlotte over the first five years of his career, where Coach Larry Brown slowed the tempo, the change of scenery should benefit Felton in a major way.

Al Jefferson, PF/C, UTA – How about going from playing with the Minnesota Timberwolves to being the starting center for the Utah Jazz where Deron Williams will be looking to distribute the ball some 10-11 times per game. Not a bad deal for Jefferson. There’s something to be said about playing inspired ball. The Jazz are going to contend and that should make for a happier Jefferson, which should translate into a more effective Jefferson. This may be the season we actually see Jefferson provide his owners with a nice return on their investment.

GREG FOX:
Darren Collison, PG, Pacers – The trade to Indiana should undoubtedly thrust Collison into a starting role at point guard in an up-tempo offense. As a long-suffering T.J. Ford owner last year, it became painfully clear that Jim O’Brien wanted nothing to do with him as he was sat in favor of the highly inconsistent Earl of Watson. O’Brien should display a higher tolerance for the hard-working Collison, who put on a show in Chris Paul’s absence for much of the final two-and-a-half months of the 2009-10 season. I wouldn’t say that Collison would be buried if he remained in New Orleans, but this new situation appears pretty tasty. If you’re looking for sublime assists (8.8 apg over final 36) and steals numbers with a chock full ‘o threes to boot, look no further.

Luke Ridnour signed with Minnesota after responding to David Kahn's ad on Craigslist looking for a point guard.

Luke Ridnour, PG, T’Wolves – Go figure that a team that drafted two point guards in the lottery in 2009 and then signed Ramon Sessions would be desperate for a floor leader. Such is life for the Minnesota Timberwolves. The underrated Ridnour went from being a backup on an up-and-coming playoff threat in Milwaukee to a starter on perhaps the worst franchise in all organized professional sports. But from a fantasy perspective, how can we not love lil’ Luke this year? His main competition for minutes, Jonny Flynn, is out for at least the first three months of the season following hip surgery, and even when Flynn does return, those three or four T’Wolf backers will recognize that Ridnour right now is the more solid player. In just over 21 minutes per game last season, he averaged 10.4 points, 4.0 assists, 0.7 steals and 0.8 threes, while knocking down 48 percent from the floor and 38 percent from 3-point range. If we prorate those to starter’s minutes, we’re looking at some pretty fancy totals. And did I mention who his main competition is until Flynn returns? You guessed it, none other than Bassy Telfair. Nuff said.

Travis Outlaw, SF, Nets – Since Devin Harris evacuated on my frontal lobe as my second-round pick last year, I liken drafting Nets to an evening at the Bates Motel. However, Outlaw is worthy of mid-round consideration. He is a talented and athletic player who has exhibited glimpses of his ability as a reserve the last six years in Portland. Still only 25 years old, this is his chance to play big minutes and shine. He can do it all – from stealing the ball, to blocking shots, to knocking down the three – a poor man’s Danny Granger, if you will. Avery Johnson will do plenty of experimenting with his lineups and for him to commit to Outlaw for 30+ minutes a night, he’ll have to do it on both ends of the floor. Mikhail Prokhorov is not paying his new small forward $35 million over five years to sit on the bench, so the leash on him could be a little longer.

JEFF ANDRIESSE:
Amir Johnson, PF, TOR – When searching for winners, my eyes naturally took their retinal talents to South Beach, where the gathering of divas sent ripples throughout the NBA. If you follow the bloody trail of destruction, it takes you to Toronto, where Chris Bosh is out and Amir Johnson is in. Seems fair. Okay, forget that the Raptors are going to challenge for the designation of worst team in the NBA. Somebody’s gotta do something here, and by signing Johnson to an unseemly $34 million contract, the Raps are saying: here, person with barely any significant NBA experience, you play a lot. Johnson is a very athletic player who can rebound, block shots and shoot a high percentage. Unless rookie Ed Davis is the steal of the draft, Johnson will see a lot of minutes. He’s on this list because his numbers are going to skyrocket from what we’re accustomed to.

Four of the new New York Knicks, or alternately, The Bachelor: Carmelo Anthony.

Anthony Randolph, PF, NY – Randolph. Name sounds familiar. Oh yeah, he’s the cat who every fantasy analyst blubbered about in glowing terms last year ’round this time, and with good reason. Randolph is capable of being a multi-category beast, and now that he’s free from Don Nelson’s shackles, and presumably healthy, we have our eye on him again. Call it Blubberfest ’10, but we’re back on board with Randolph now that he’s in New York and playing for Mike D’Antoni. There isn’t much competition in the frontcourt for him and his fantasy forecast is off the charts as a result. Playing with Amar’e Stoudemire, he’ll have ample opportunity to grab rebounds and play defense, and no, that’s not a compliment, Amar’e. Sorry. Back to Randolph: in a lost year, he averaged 11.6 points, 6.5 boards and 1.6 blocks in under 23 minutes a game for the Warriors. If he can just stay healthy, he’ll clean up for the Knicks.

Darren Collison, PG, IND – No self-respecting Offseason Winners List would be complete without Collison. I can’t say much that my esteemed colleagues haven’t said above. Here’s a player who proved without a doubt that he belongs in the NBA, and Indiana is the perfect place for him to put up monster meaningless fantasy numbers for geeks like me who have suffered under the T.J. Ford/Earl Watson/Jamaal Tinsley/Travis Diener reign of error. Is it crazy to consider Collison as high as the fourth round? One thing’s for sure: he’s back on the fantasy map, and with his monster numbers in Chris Paul’s absence fresh on fantasy owners’ minds, you are going to have to pay to get him.

Coming soon: The Offseason Losers


Daily Lies & Statistics: Paging Mr. Paul, Paging Mr. Chris Paul

Monday night we witnessed the much anticipated return of Chris Paul, who had been out of the lineup since January 29 — we are all a witness (what up Nike!). CP3 was slotted into the starting lineup, however he played just eight minutes in the first half. Paul returned to the game late in third quarter, taking the place of Marcus Thornton as the two-guard, and it wasn’t until the 4th quarter that he scored his first bucket. He

Will the real Chris Paul please stand up?

finished the night with 11 points, three 3-pointers, three assists, and one steal in 21 minutes. Jeff Bower said he was going to hold him to 20 minutes and did just that. But boy did he look good in limited action. Nice to see one of the three best fantasy ballers back in action.

The big question surrounding Paul’s return mainly had to do with the value of the two rookie guards, Darren Collison and Thornton. Well, Thornton started alongside Paul and picked up his 17th 20-point performance of the season, going for a team-high 28 points in 37 minutes. Collison came off the bench to lead the Hornets on a 23-0 run in the second quarter. He finished the night with 16 points, eight assists, and two steals in 34 minutes. I think you can’t read into these lines because you expect to see Paul’s minutes increase over time, but as I suggested earlier, you need to hold onto both Thornton and Collison. They still have better value right now than anything you’ll likely find on the wires. Unless of course Chris Paul is on your wires.

Who else did what? Let’s have us a look-see!

Kevin Durant did his best to keep his team in Monday’s game against the Spurs. He scored nearly half of his team’s 96 points, dropping 45 all by himself on 14-of-25 shooting. Ladies and gentlemen, the second overall pick in next year’s draft.

Derrick Rose seems to be back at 100%. He nearly triple-doubled against the Rockets, going for 27 points, two 3-pointers, seven rebounds and eight assists in nearly 47 minutes. Somebody on that team has to do something right… right?

Beno Udrih continues to excel with Tyreke Evans out of the lineup — 18 points on 9-of-15 shooting, seven rebounds, 10 assists, and two steals in 43 minutes. Do yourself a favor and pick him up!

Elton Brand had one of his finest games of the season against the Magic on Monday (no, not on ESPN Classics). He scored 18 points in the first 15 minutes of this one, finishing the night with 23 points on 9-of-15 shooting, six rebounds, three assists, and three blocks in 38 minutes. Nothing like following up a two-point performance with a strong inside game against the game’s best defensive big man.

Rashard Lewis is making up for lost time. He had his second straight 24-point performance on Monday night. He also has 11 3-pointers over his last three games, which is essentially why you own Lewis.

Brook Lopez had a strange line, going for 26 points on 8-of-16 shooting with only one rebound. Credit Jermaine O’Neil and his tough inside play — 25 points and nine rebounds in 34 minutes. He made him look like Broke Lopez.

Taj Gibson is a much better option than Joakim Noah right now, for those of you wondering. Noah is still limited in his minutes, while Gibson continues to be a nice interior presence — 10 points, 12 rebounds, and five blocks in 33 minutes. Noah went for four points, six rebounds, and one block in 11 minutes.

The Jarrett Jack and Jose Calderon timeshare continues to frustrate fantasy hoops owners. Calderon and Jack split time at the point with each playing 24 minutes. Neither had notable lines. Too bad you can’t combine the two as one player. That would be… scientific.

Terrence Williams contributed a little to each category with his nine points, eight rebounds, seven assists, one 3-pointer and one steal in 23 minutes. That was before he left the game with an ankle sprain. Sigh. He was on pace to post a triple-double. You should give Chris Douglas-Roberts a peak if Williams is out.

Carlos Delfino is back to providing great value lines. He went for 23 points, three treys, nine rebounds, five assists and two steals in 43 minutes against the Hawks. The Bucks have three more games this week and eight over the next two weeks. Not a bad waiver add down the stretch. Fear the deer!

George Hill had an outstanding game from the field, scoring a team-high 27 points on 9-of-14 shooting. Interestingly enough, Richard Jefferson — who’s had the hot hand of late — scored just five points. It seems that it’s either one or the other. It’s been a rare occasion over the past three or four weeks to see both get into rhythm in the same game. Just something worth thinking about.

Anthony Tolliver had yet another fantastic game on Monday — 25 points on 8-of-14 shooting, two 3-pointers, 12 rebounds, five assists, two steals and three blocks. I said this three two weeks ago, but you need to add Tolliver. There’s only one player in this league who can match him in blocks and threes made — Andrea Bargnani.

Reggie Williams dropped a career-high 29 points on 10-of-16 shooting in 33 minutes. He’s definitely worth a flier. He’s essentially the new Anthony Morrow. Meaning, I have a new man-crush.


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