Tag Archives: John Salmons

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


2011-12 Damn Mock I: Eighth Round

Welcome to Round 8 of the Damn Lies & Statistics Damn Mock I, a silly little exercise that allows the three of us picking to distract us now that the season is over. And don’t even get us started on the lockout. We refuse to believe it will happen, and plan on mocking all preseason as if everything were fine. Everything is fine, right? RIGHT? Enjoy the eighth round. Only two more to go.

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.



85. Team 12 (Tom) – Tyson Chandler – This pick may be a reactionary one, after watching Chandler dominate in these NBA Playoffs, but considering he averaged 10.1 points, 9.4 rebounds and 1.1 blocks in under 28 minutes this season I think I’m getting a good bargain here. If he shows up and plays as “2010-11 regular season Chandler,” I got good value. If he shows up as “NBA Playoffs Chandler,” I got a steal.  Continue reading

Fox Unbalanced: Studs and Duds

We’re nine days in to the season and I’m already trying to figure out how I’m going to make it through the final 165.  In his column last week, Jeff implored us to chill out as it was very early and stats are amplified or de-amplified at this stage.  The questions I have for Mr. Andriesse are as follows:  Do you sir, in any of your 37 leagues, own Stephen Curry? Do you have rights to Zach Randolph?  Did you start Austin Daye in week one?  Did you start the putrid Danny Granger (2-14 fg) in a two-game week two?  Did you insert Nene this period?  If you answered yes to any of these, then by all means, join me at the foot of the George Washington Bridge. As the fateful owner of all five, I envision several more nights sleeping in the dumbwaiter, clear of my wife’s airborne needlepoint tools.

John Wall's fantasy owners getting a little too arrogant? Show them this photo.

While things haven’t gone as planned thus far for your friendly, unbalanced neighborhood scribe, it has been quite a first nine days.  Allow me to highlight some surprising value picks as well as a few dudes who have made fantasy owners shriek in horror.  Either that or I’ll just post a link to my team.


John Wall, PG, WAS (23.7 ppg, 2.7 rpg, 10.3 apg, 4.0 spg, .462 fg, .778 ft, 2-3 3-pt fg, 4.7 to)
Welcome to the Association of Basketball Professionals Mr. Wall.  I congratulate those who gobbled him up in the third round or later as this could be the only year in the next 12 that he is not first-round material. Through three games he is averaging stupid numbers and despite an unsightly 4.7 turnovers per contest, is on the brink of fantasy superstardom. Tuesday’s 29-point, 13-assist, 9-steal extravaganza was a thing to behold, something i haven’t beheld in a long time. A sign of things to come for the lightning-quick rook. Continue reading

Damn Lies Fantasy Preview: Milwaukee Bucks

The Bucks were the league’s upstarts last season, a feisty and brash stew of effort, defense and confidence thrown together. It seemed precarious, yet at each turn Milwaukee adjusted, adapted and continued to be a thorn in the side of anyone who lined up against them. Teams truly feared The Deer. So what did the Bucks do in the offseason? They imported more ingredients, some of them suspect. Scott Skiles did a masterful job with this bunch a year ago, but he really has his work cut out for him now. In come proven players demanding shots, and out goes… nobody, really. The Bucks could conceivably have a legitimate 10-man rotation. For fantasy purposes, this doesn’t bode well.

There are two “sure things” on Milwaukee, yet both carry with them fantasy baggage, not to mention the dreaded quotation marks. Andrew Bogut is a legit fantasy center who averaged 15.9 PPG, 10.2 RPG and 2.5 BPG before gruesomely dismantling his elbow on a fall that will ensure I never leave my feet while playing basketball again. What a shame, because he was becoming a legitimate third-round pick if not better (despite a poor FT%). Bogut’s injury could keep him on the bench to start the season and might linger for a while. Meanwhile, we all know Brandon Jennings and his 37.1 field goal percentage will start at the point. It got ugly there for a while, as Jennings was barely startable for much of the season’s middle months. The Bucks will need him to do everything more efficiently. With maturity, he should bring that awful shooting percentage up above 40, but that’s still rotisserie kryptonite. He did average 5.7 assists, 1.8 threes and 1.3 steals, so he has some head-to-head value.


With Corey Maggette in town, will there be enough shots to keep Bango Buck happy?


How good was John Salmons after he joined the Bucks? He poured in 19.9 points per game in 30 contests, contributing 1.5 threes, 1.1 steals and shooting 86.7 percent from the line. He won’t do it again. Why not? Two guys: Michael Redd and Corey Maggette. Milwaukee might think they solved their scoring problem, but now there are too many cats who need their shots. It wouldn’t shock me if Redd takes a very reduced role, but he does make $17 million this year. Maggette walks in as Milwaukee’s best offensive player, but will he buy in to Skiles’ defense-first system? I’m avoiding all three of the above in drafts until we see how all of this plays out. Expect around 15-17 points from Salmons; I’m not sure he does enough else well to warrant a high selection in that scenario. Of course, Redd and Maggette own second homes in the training room, so there’s still a lot of upside with Salmons.

Bogut’s injury likely means free agent signee Drew Gooden has some late-round value. Gooden should start the season at center, and he can shift to power forward easily, which is probably Luc Richard Mbah a Moute‘s spot to kick things off. I consider the Bucks frontcourt situation to be very fluid. It all depends on Bogut’s health, something to watch very closely. By the way, I haven’t even mentioned two of the team’s key cogs from last season: Carlos Delfino and Ersan Ilyasova. They are still here, and they will pick up minutes all over the court (as will newcomer Chris Douglas-Roberts, who the Bucks traded for because, um, well… I am not sure; and Jon Brockman, who will play because he’s a tough S.O.B.). Seriously, if Skiles gets it done with this group, he’s sold me. Go Deer.

PG – Brandon Jennings, Chris Douglas-Roberts
SG – John Salmons, Michael Redd
SF – Corey Maggette, Carlos Delfino
PF – Luc Richard Mbah a Moute, Ersan Ilyasova
C – Andrew Bogut (injured), Drew Gooden

Up Next: Sacramento Kings

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Daily Lies & Statistics: Something is definitely Bruin

Prior to the season, Jeff, Tom and I listed the guys we thought most likely to catapult themselves to the first round of our 2010-11 drafts. We tossed a few names around – Brook Lopez, Derrick Rose, Rajon Rondo – but we failed to include Russell Westbrook. The second-year point out of UCLA has played like Ethan Hunt the past few weeks, averaging 20.5 points, 7.5 rebounds, 9.5 assists and 2.3 steals over his last eight games, and if he’s not a first-rounder next season, I’ll eat Werner Herzog’s shoe.

Authorities are investigating a suspicious package, postmarked in New Jersey, that recently arrived at Russell Westbrook's residence on Valentine's Day.

There are many aspects of Westbrook’s game in which to fall madly in love, but last week I sent a Valentine’s card to the part of his brain that controls defense. He is a freakish athlete and at 21 years of age he already shuts opposing guards down and has got a long and brilliant career ahead. With some improvement to his decision-making and a more accurate jumper, we could soon be speaking of him in the same breath as Deron Williams, Chris Paul and former Bruins backcourt mate Darren Collison.

It was a strange weekend in the NBA, highlighted by the new-look Knicks regurgitating late in regulation and then in overtime to the Thunder and also by the Jazz coming from 25 down to defeat Portland in OT. In the Knick game Tracy McGrady summoned the ghost of rotisserie past and dropped 26 points on 10-17 from the field in 32 minutes of work, but New York couldn’t overcome the aforementioned Westbrook (31-9-10) and Kevin Durant (36-5-3). In the Jazz/Blazers tilt, Brandon Roy returned to action and totaled 23 points, but he couldn’t offset the 22-point, 23-rebound, 5-assist effort out of Carlos Boozer as Utah continues to get it done.

With all of the player movement late last week, my intestines have been irate. Let’s take a look at how those involved in trades have done with their new teams:

Every time Tracy McGrady fires up that jumper of his, it makes fantasy owners and puppies cry.

Tracy McGrady (old team: Houston / new team: New York)
T-Mac still fires up that line-drive jumper with the same amount of gusto, but he did so with quite a bit of success in his Knicks debut on Saturday, finishing with 26 points. Most surprising was his 32 minutes of court time. McGrady, who continues to corrupt the minds of hopeful fantasy owners, is definitely worth an add. But temper expectations as his minutes will be limited for the first week or two and his shooting percentage could be painful.

Eddie House (old team: Boston / new team: New York)
House could be a sneaky pickup as a member of the Knicks. He could receive the same amount of minutes as the departed Nate Robinson and be an outstanding source of the three-ball. In his Saturday debut, he amassed 24 points and four 3-pointers in 36 minutes of daylight.

Nate Robinson (old team: New York / new team: Boston)
Kryptonate ate a bad burrito last week and has yet to suit up for the Cs. His value, which was creeping up as a Knick, will be diminished as a Celtic.

Steve Blake (old team: Portland / new team: LA Clippers)
Blake offers nothing but assists, but as long as Baron Davis is out he will pile those up in bunches.

Travis Outlaw (old team: Portland / new team: LA Clippers)
Outlaw should be returning from a foot injury in the next few days. He is enough the athlete and enough the talent to earn significant minutes with his new squad. He can shoot the three and block a few shots, but the Clipper frontcourt situation is getting congested and we need to see what occurs in the next few games.

Drew Gooden (old team: Washington / new team: LA Clippers)
Gooden has bounced around his entire career like a Hoppity Hop, but when he receives ample court time he does produce on the glass. The situation bears monitoring for the Clips, but don’t be surprised if Gooden is stuck in a timeshare with Outlaw, DeAndre Jordan, Craig Smith and Chris Kaman.

Kevin Martin (old team: Sacramento / new team: Houston)
Martin doesn’t seem to be a great fit in Houston, but this is where he ended up and he is coming off the bench… at least for now. This will put a terrific crimp in his value as evidenced by his 29.5 minutes, 13.5 points and 4.0 assists through his first two contests.

Carl Landry (old team: Houston / new team: Sacramento)
This trade is like the Louisiana Purchase for the Kings. Guys as rugged as Landry just don’t come around that often anymore. He reminds me of Anthony Mason without the ballhandling skills. He has started his first two games for Sacramento (14.0 ppg, 7.5 reb) and expect to see his numbers continue to move north.

Antawn Jamison (old team: Washington / new team: Cleveland)
Jamison owners are the big losers here as he goes from a situation where he has the green light in the parking lot in Washington to a situation in which he has to wait for a bailout pass from LeBron to hoist anything up. We’re still looking at 16-18 ppg, but Jamison will be exposed for the pedestrian yet solid all-around player that he is.

John Salmons (old team: Chicago / new team: Milwaukee)
Salmons joins his third team in less than a year, and despite underwhelming results for the Bulls, he will get a chance to resurrect his season with the Bucks. He played 33 minutes against Detroit in his Milwaukee debut and totaled 19 points and three 3-pointers. He followed that with 19 points, five rebounds, seven assists and a pair of threes in 37 minutes against Charlotte. His field goal percentage could destroy you in that category, but he will have every opportunity to turn his season around.

Hakim Warrick (old team: Milwaukee / new team: Chicago)
This is it for the athletic Warrick. If he doesn’t make the most of his big opportunity in Chicago, he will likely spend the remainder of his career as a journeyman. Through two games he is averaging 12.5 points, 9.0 rebounds and 1.0 block in 28.0 minutes of work. Joakim Noah‘s impending return will eat into Warrick’s minutes, but he’s not a bad guy to take a chance on right now.

Marcus Camby (old team: LA Clippers / new team: Portland)
The Cambyman reluctantly arrived in Portland, where he will be expected to control the middle for the next two months. Through two games with the Blazers he has been an atrocity on the offensive end (2.0 ppg), but after a seven rebound outing against Boston, he corralled 18 in 36 minutes last night against the Jazz. Still a big shot-blocker (3.5 over his last two), health is the only thing standing in his way from being a top-5 center the rest of the way.

Tyrus Thomas (old team: Chicago / new team: Charlotte)
Thomas owners everywhere have sadistic grins on their faces as this fantasy beast in waiting is finally being unleashed. The Bobcats will be going small for much of the rest of the way and that will suit Thomas and his owners just fine. In his 25-minute debut vs. Cleveland he totaled nine points, 12 boards and a saliva-inducing six blocks in 25 minutes. He followed that effort with 12 points, 11 caroms and four rejects in 31 minutes at Milwaukee. Don’t be afraid to pounce on the groggy owners who missed the news of the trade.

Welcome to Week 18. There are five games on tonight’s slate, including Hawks at Jazz.

Daily Lies & Statistics: Bull Market

The NBA world is all aflutter this morning after the Chicago Bulls blew a 35-point lead to the Sacramento Kings and lost. At home. To the – I’ll say it again – Sacramento Kings. Bring Michael Jordan back from the golf course or something.

As a Celtics fan, I vividly remember how terrified I was last Spring when Derrick Rose and company were pushing my Cs to the brink in the first round in one of the best playoff series ever to feature Brian Scalabrine prominently. Rose was unstoppable, but so was John Salmons, who routinely buried killer jumpers and finished interesting drives with aplomb and sometimes two plombs. Kirk Hinrich was also a pest, one of those legitimately underrated Caucasians who looks easy to beat off the dribble but rarely let’s anyone breathe on the offensive end. I hated 6-11 annoyance Joakim Noah so much that it circled back around and I actually loved him during that series. Regardless of how it turned out, it was a classic and we all knew the Bulls were gonna be good for a while.

I think the Bulls have stopped listening to Vinny Del Negro

But here we are, a scant eight months later, and these Bulls are 10-16 with the year’s most embarrassing loss now hung around their necks. Do they miss Ben Gordon and Tyrus Thomas that much? Salmons has been bricking up shots for nearly two straight months now, and without any other three-point threats, Rose can’t quite find the space he needs. Thomas brought them athleticism and shot blocking, two things that an aging Brad Miller wasn’t even known for when he was in his prime. And Vinny Del Negro is coaching this team with the look of a doe straddling the center line of the Autobahn.

It’s hard to believe last night’s debacle won’t lead to some changes, perhaps a lineup shuffle or trade but maybe even Del Negro being made to walk the plank. So what to do, in fantasy? Salmons has been a “buy-low” guy forever, but I still say its time to go get him. He did have six steals last night against his former employer. Rose is someone who could probably be had on the cheap, but seeing how his rep is bigger than his fantasy game, even when he’s scoring in the mid-to-high 20s. It might be time to sell. Damn Lies blogger Greg Fox just jettisoned Rose to one of our league-mates for D-League guard Josh Smith, a 6-2 combo from the Idaho… wait, for the other Josh Smith? From the Hawks? Naw. Let me double check that and get back to you.

Furthermore, I give you the go-ahead to pursue forgotten man-freak Ty Thomas, who is returning nigh from injuries sustained from me drafting him this year. He may get traded (pray it’s to the Knicks) or at the very least be showcased on a team heading nowhere in the HOV lane. Noah and Luol Deng are both playing at a high level, and remain the two Bulls I’d hang on to because you likely snagged them at such a great value.

Let’s see how they respond tonight at the Knicks. You might think it can’t get worse than blowing a 35-point lead at home to the Kings, but it can: what if Nate Robinson sees the court against you? The ultimate indignity.

More Monday Morsels:

Cleveland won handily at Phoenix in a game that should remind anyone who thinks that a front line of Amar’e Stoudemire and Channing Frye is going to cut it against physical teams should be committed. Delonte West (12 pts, 6 ast, 3 stl, 0 concealed weapons) has three straight double-figure scoring games and should probably be considered for a fantasy roster spot. It’s easy to forget how valuable he is when going well.

Every once in a while Andrew Bogut has a line like the one he put up against the Pacers last night – 31 points, 18 rebounds, three blocks. It’s hard to predict when these are coming, but his season numbers of 16.0 PPG, 10.0 RPG and 2.0 BPG have turned out just fine. Next time Bogut throws up a stinker, make an offer to his owner. (Aside: “Owner”, like Bogut’s a dog or something. Ha.)

Five more blocks for Dwight Howard, who has 23 in his last five games. The Magic held off the Jazz, 104-99. Paul Millsap is showing signs of life with 18 and 20 points, respectively, in his last two games. He’s averaging 12.7 points in December, but just 4.7 boards. It would be nice to see him get going a little bit.

Finally, the Spurs beat the Clippers 103-87 in an exhibition contest. No San Antonio starters played more than 27 minutes, as they are resting in preparation for the regular season.

There’s a healthy nine-game slate tonight. How will Lou Williams do in the starting lineup at Washington? Can the guy eat solid foods yet? Now he knows how I feel. Will the Warriors and Grizzlies produce the smorgasbord of a box score we’re all expecting? Why does the NBA schedule so many back-to-back games? Indiana has to go to Boston a night after hosting Milwaukee? Chicago (snicker snicker) hosts the Kings and then has to play the next night in New York? And why did Jesus go around with all of dem reindeers?

Daily Lies & Statistics: (T-)Mac the Knife

Tracy McGrady played last night for the first time since February 8, 2009. I remember the game like it happened just yesterday. T-Mac played 25 minutes and shot 11.1 percent from the floor. Or wait, was that Nov. 11, 2008, against the Lakers. No, he went 1-for-11 that night. Yeah, last season was pretty sweet for Mr. McGrady. He shot 38.3 percent from the floor, missed 47 games over the span of the year — injured six times. Some things you just refuse to forget.

"It's 'passed' away, not 'past' away"

So, McGrady made his debut playing eight minutes (all in the 1st quarter), spending most of the time hovering around the three-point line. He made just 1-of-3 field-goal attempts (a three-pointer) and looked about as sluggish and lazy as I remember. If you care to know, I have little faith in T-Mac. In fact, don’t own him in any of the dozen leagues I’m in. His name happens to be more valuable than his game, so at the very least you can pick him up and trade him. He’s one of the leaders in All-Star voting and has only played EIGHT MINUTES. Somebody out there loves McGrady. Just know that I’m not one of them.

Trevor Ariza missed last night’s game (suspension, punch), giving Chase Budinger a chance to play to log 40 minutes for the first time in his young career. He posted 14 points and a career-high 12 rebounds. Budinger should revert back to the 15-18 minute range once Ariza returns. You also have to love the fact that Aaron Brooks shot 10-of-20 from the floor. Just two nights after shooting 6-of-20. The one concern you have about Brooks is that he’s only made three of his last 18 three-point attempts. The other thing working against Brooks (and the rest of the Rockets) is the return of Tracy McGrady. I may be crazy, but I think that T-Mac may be the worst thing to happen to this team — especially given how well they’ve played early on. Anyone?

The other story of the night was the 42-point performance by Kobe Braynt. He started hot, scoring 20 points in the first ten minutes. The Bulls, on the other hand, were anything but hot. They were… not? They shot 38.5 percent from the floor — John Salmons (1-of-5), Derrick Rose (9-of-22), and Joakim Noah (4-of-16) were the main culprits. For the third time in four games, the Bulls failed to score 90 points. I wonder when the Vinny Del Negro ‘watch’ will come to an end anytime soon…Lawrence Frank anyone?

Other performances of note:

Tim Duncan: scored a season-high 34 points and pulled down 14 rebounds in a loss to the Suns. Nice to see a 30 and 10, as he’s playing a career-low 32 minutes per game on the season. You may not see another one in quite a while.

Roger Mason: Hit 5 treys last night on his way to scoring 19 points. Remember when we saw this Mason on a regular basis last season. Don’t expect him to return often this season.

Jerryd Bayless: Scored 14 points AND finished the closely contested game while Andre Miller sat glued to the bench. At this point, neither are reliable in standard leagues. Bayless has a nice future, but he’s not ready to contribute on a regular basis.

Rafer Alston: Skip scored 20 points, draining 4 treys in 18 minutes. Both Keyon Dooling and Chris Douglas-Roberts missed this one, opening up more minutes and more touches — also, Courtney Lee couldn’t buy a bucket (8 points on 3-of-14 shooting).

Jared Jeffries: Traaaaaiiiid Baaaaiiiiit! Jeffries had 6 steals, 11 points, 5 rebounds and 2 blocks. The Knicks are loving his performance, but fantasy owners need not get too excited.

Chris Duhon: …on the other hand, here is a guy worth adding. Duhon continues to raise his dreaded FG%. His play has been pretty stellar — 18 points, 6 assists, 3 treys and a steal. I would add Duhon if he’s available in your league and ride him out. Then I would look to trade him as his value rises. Remember, Duhon burned out last season after the All-Star break. With D’Antoni playing just 7 or 8 guys, I fear that Duhon can’t keep the pace all season long. I also fear that I am iron deficient.

Raymond Felton: Add this dude. Like Duhon, Felton has been playing great ball of late. He added 4 more steals last night. That’s 15 over his last four. He’s also scored 14 or more points in four of his last five and dished 5.3 assists. He’s feelin’ it.

Jarrett Jack: What a dick. Six points, one assist and 5 turnovers in 32 minutes. Wasn’t he supposed to treat us well while we waited for Jose Calderon to return? I’m still starting him. He can’t get rid of me that easily.

Carlos Arroyo: He started in place of Mario Chalmers and scored 12 points and dished 3 dimes in 20 minutes. The news here is that Chalmers has been sent to the bench. He still has more value than Arroyo, but things aren’t looking good for the second-year point.

Richard Hamilton: He’s back for sure. 21 points last night (without Gordon and Bynum in the lineup). You can safely get him back in your lineup. Hey that’s great news.

*12 games on Wednesday night.

Sit: Ryan Gomes, Calderon, Douglas-Roberts, and T-Mac.

Check the status of Ben Gordon and Will Bynum.

Watch: Elton Brand, Allen Iverson and Jrue Holiday in Philly. Who gets what minutes?

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