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Jim Colton, Fantasy Hoops Expert

12/09/2005

Today I'm officially taking on the title of NBA Fantasy Hoops Expert.

Might seem like a bold statement, but you'll see that becoming a fantasy expert is about as difficult as completing the monday Sudoku  or getting an 'A' in gym.  With a little work, you too may also reach this esteemed level of achievement.

Check out this recent column by Brian McKitish  from www.talentedmrroto.com .  He actually tries to defend Eddy Curry:

I don’t know why everyone is so down on Eddy Curry right now. I mean I understand the frustration but I’m not about to let one of my competitors grab him because of my impatience. Fantasy writers talk about patience a lot…but no one seems to listen. There are certain players that you should be patient with (anyone with considerable upside) and there are certain players that you should part with if they can’t prove their worth after a few games. I don’t understand why people push the panic button on Curry (who was playing well prior to his calf injury) while they exercise incredible patience with Andrei Kirilenko.

Wow!  This guy obviously has no clue what's he's talking about.  If you look at Curry's numbers carefully, you'll see that over the past 2 seasons he is the 139th-rated fantasy player and 19th-rated center.  Taking the first 8 games of this year as Brian suggests, and he's the 175th rated player and 27th best center.  And if you take the entire 05-06 season-to-date, Curry is the 253rd ranked player and 41st rated center (can you name 40 other NBA centers?).

This gets back to my last blog where I talked about the difference between perceived value and true fantasy value.  Some people see Curry on tv and see that he could potentially be one of the most dominant big men in the Eastern Conference.  Unfortunately, he's barely viable as a fantasy player.

So the instant I see a guy in my league draft, pick-up, or trade for Eddy Curry, I know he is a fantasy chump.  Then it's open season on peltering him w/ lopsided trade offers hoping he'll bite.  To publicly defend Curry in a fantasy column takes the chumpness to a whole 'nother level.  I wish this guy were in all six of my leagues -- I would gladly take his money while he could gladly hold on to Eddy.

To top it off, he compares Curry to Andrei Kirilenko, one of the top 10 fantasy players over the past 3+ years.  Brian is dumbfounded as to why owners are so impatient w/ Curry as opposed to AK47.  Well, Brian, here are 4 good reasons:

1. Curry sucks.  See above.
2. Curry is easily replaceable.  There are lots of scrub C's such as Kaman, LaFrentz, Dampier, Brezec that are probably available on the waiver wire.  Each can do a reasonable Eddy Curry impersonation and might even be a slight improvement.
3. Kirilenko is a fantasy stud.  Why wouldn't you hold on to him?  He was probably picked in the 1st or 2nd round.  Plus, he delivers in both STL's and BLK's -- two categories that are hard to reproduce on the waiver wire.  The second you get rid of Kirilenko, you're looking for somebody just like him, and that player doesn't exist (Bonzi Wells is the closest player statistically to Andrei).
4. Let's hope it doesn't happen, but there is at least some chance that Eddy Curry will drop dead on the basketball court.  And I'm sad to say, that might actually help your team.

If you need more evidence that it doesn't take much to be a fantasy expert, check out Sportsline Roto Mock Draft , with '14 of its best basketball minds'.  Caution: don't drink milk while checking out the draft results.

Since it seems like I end every blog with a list, here's my list of top 10 guys you'll never see on one of my fantasy teams.  Some of these guys do have value, but they're usually drafted well before I would consider picking them.  Others are guys that would kill you in the shooting categories, and I generally try to stay near the top in those two cats.

1. Shaquille O'Neal (avg. pick: 17th!!!)
2. Desmond Mason (85th)
3. Eddy Curry (93rd)
4. Ben Wallace (32nd)
5. Antoine Walker (58th)
6. Jamaal Magloire (73rd)
7. Kenyon Martin (55th)
8. Carmelo Anthony (39th)
9. Al Harrington (72nd)
10. Steve Francis (21st)
Honorable Mention: Zach Randolph, Baron Davis, Tim Duncan, Jermaine O'Neal

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