After it was all said and done, I drafted two fantasy basketball teams for this upcoming season. Why two you ask? That's a great question. The main reason was that I felt like I needed a "warm-up" in a sense for the auction, and I didn't really feel like doing a Mock Draft. I also have one ESPN League and one Yahoo League, so I can continue to evaluate the pros and cons of each one.
Anyhow, I will list my entire rosters, but I will spare you the details of going play-by play with it. A question may be how I think I did this year, and to be honest, I don't really know. It seems like whenever I'm really high on my teams after the draft, they tend to disappoint, and when I'm kind of low on my teams, they tend to do well. I always have A, B, and C goals with fantasy sports. My C goal is to finish in the top half, B is to finish 3rd, and A is to win the damn thing. I consider it an epic failure to not finish in the top half.
Moving on a little bit, I wanted to note some observations I saw from the draft:
Points come at a premium. If a guy scores over 19 a game, even if they do not contribute across many categories in a significant way, it seemed like they'd go for a lot more than I anticipated. Remember, points are just one category. If the guy isn't getting things like rebounds, assists, steals, and blocks, it doesn't help you as much. Sometimes you just need a guy that drops a lot of points, which is fine if they make a lot of threes. But if you build a team around points only, you will not do well.
Three pointers were also at a premium in both the leagues I was in. I don't know if guys are drafting specifically 3 point shooters, but guys like Gallaniri, J.R. Smith, and Jason Richardson seemed to go for a few bucks more than what I'd want to spend on these guys (although ideally I would have liked to own at least one of those guys as a "fill-in" guy). Last year there were only 16 guys who averaged more than 2 3pointers a game, and it's nice to own 1-2 (as long as one gets you those 5+ assists!), but it was hard to do!
People value big men who do not block shots. Lee,Love, Boozer, etc., go too high, while Okafor, Duncan, and Marc Gasol seemed to go at bargains. They aren't top flight big men anymore, but getting a handful of those guys help with balance. It's hard to find guards that block shots. You need to draft Power Forwards and Centers that not only score and rebound but block. I'll sacrifice a rebound/game for a block/game.
I remember the days when Josh Smith and Gerald Wallace were underrated. I had both these guys on my team, along with 4 Assist + Steal Guys (that all put up big time 3 pointers), Rashard Lewis (3 point fill-in guy), and I just tore it up. I dominated the league so bad, it wasn't even funny. Those days are gone, sadly.
People are very impatient with auction drafts. I kept throwing out $10 players that were going for $18-20, which made some go so broke, that I (along with a few others) could swoop in, and get $20 players for $15, and $10 players for $5. People are so anxious to get their teams, and don't have the auction thing down quite yet. I can't say I'm as much of an expert with auctions for basketball than I am with baseball, but having done it for a few years now, I'm a lot more used to it. I can't hate too much though, as the first time I did an auction draft I went broke fast, and saw all the bargains in the middle I was missing out on. Unsurprisingly I finished last... The key is that it's cool to make mistakes; it happens to everyone. For me, I want to learn and get better. Hopefully you do too, as you make mistakes!
After the jump, I'll list my two rosters side-by-side. I am playing in two 10 team leagues:
Yahoo! League ESPN League:
PG: Chris Paul Jason Kidd
SG: Gilbert Arenas Ray Allen
G: Steve Nash Deron Williams
SF: Joe Johnson Hedo Turkoglu
PF: Blake Griffin Al Horford
F: Tyrus Thomas Joakim Noah
C: Marc Gasol Emeka Okafor
Util: Mo Williams John Wall
Util: Andrew Bogut Mo Williams
Util: Devin Harris Darren Collison
B: DeMarcus Cousins Paul Millsap
B: JaVale McGee Marcus Camby
B: Corey Maggette Jameer Nelson
With the Yahoo League, Paul, Arenas, Griffin, and Harris are all injury risks for sure. I'm relying quite a bit on Griffin to pan out, and Thomas to take a step forward. Maggette was someone I thought would go for more, but I nominated him, hoping people would waste money on a "name", but instead I landed him.... Things like that happen. If everyone stays healthy, I may have an excess of assists. That said, I know Arenas and Gasol are banged up a little already, so we will see. I'm not opposed to the right trade, but will wait it out a bit to see what happens.
With the ESPN League, I've got some old guys: Kidd, Allen, Camby, but I think it's a balanced team. I'm working on trying to move some guys.My big issue with this team, ironically is points. I have quite a few guys that will likely average less than the 16 points per game I'm shooting for. I'm working on some trades that can boost my point totals. With all these teams, I never feel all that great about it. I think with this team, I have some young depth, and can also trade for what I may need more.
All of this is just the start. I used to draft teams and not want to trade, but now I'm a lot more open to it, if it makes sense. I don't get too crazy though. I typically send a couple of offers in the case where I feel like I have some excess, but otherwise, I tend to wait a bit to see how things play out. I'll get into that more as we go on. But in some, I'm not ecstatic about my team, but I know if I stay up on things, am smart, and not totally unlucky, I can have good seasons in each league.
That concludes the Week 0 talk. The NBA starts tomorrow (or today, depending on your time zone when I post this), and tomorrow is Week 1 officially (Week 1 IMO runs from Tuesday through Sunday, then following weeks go from Monday-Sunday).
What I envision doing going forward is posting a couple of times a week (one in the middle or so, and one towards the end), to point out what's going on in the NBA, and ideas on what you can do with your roster. I'm not going to get all hardcore and do daily start/sit posts or anything like that. My hope is to recap some things, draw some conclusions, make some predictions/suggestions based on those, and have a solid discussion in the comments.
It's the first week of the NBA, and unless your guys are injured, just go with the best team you can put out there. Don't think about matchups, play your studs. We'll see how it all looks after the teams play some games!