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Diary of a (Fantasy Basketball) Madman

11/24/2006 6 comments
No updates to the blog lately because I’ve been up to my neck in fantasy basketball. As I mentioned in my most recent post, I’ve stepped things up this season. After winning 5 out of 6 leagues last year on CBS Sportsline and taking home a nice check for $3,000, I’ve taken it to the next level. Actually, I may have skipped a few levels.

This season, I’m managing 44 fantasy basketball teams.

The premise is taking a strategy that works and leveraging it to the absolute max. The incremental time spent managing the 7th team isn’t much more than the time spent on the first sixth. Adding the 8th team isn’t much more taxing then managing the 7th, and so on and so forth…combine that with the diversification benefits of having a bunch of teams and the ability to win your fair share, and you can’t find a reason not to keep signing up for more leagues. That’s how you end up with 44. I’ve essentially signed up for every available Platinum (entry fee $80, $600 to the winner) and Diamond (entry fee $225, $1,600) rotisserie league they had on their site. If I win them all, we’re talking about a check of $34,400 instead of $3,000 this year. That’s not much less than the median income in the U.S.

After about five weeks into this master plan, if there’s one thing I’ve learned it’s this: it’s a lot of work managing 44 fantasy basketball teams. For the two weeks leading up to the start of the season, it was one live draft after another. At one point on a Saturday night, I had 5 live drafts going on at the same time. Sportsline had a bunch of issues with their draft applets that made things even more timely and frustrating. My wife had to go to a party by herself and explain that her dork-for-a-husband couldn’t make it because of fantasy basketball drafts. One Friday night (I believe it was my birthday) was spent staring at three drafts that never started, the clock counted down to zero as normal then it just said ‘suspended’. (You couldn’t leave because you would’ve been hosed if it had started. The Sportsline help line folks were gone for the weekend. Finally, at about 12:30 am, I gave up waiting. The drafts ended up occurring via autopick overnight, leaving me with three lame duck teams. CBS subsequently offered up free additional teams. I received 7 freebies in total.) At one point, I didn’t even know what day of the week it was, and completely missed a big-money Diamond live draft because I thought it was the following day, leaving me another lame duck team with no chance of winning.

Thankfully, I’ve got some tools to help me manage this monstrosity. Again I have my trusty Excel spreadsheet called LP (for Lil Penny) that projects stats for each team for each week in each league. It was easily modified to accommodate 44 teams instead of 6 (although now it’s about 19MB). LP is also what I use to simulate and assess potential trades and waiver wire pick-ups. I update the projected standings for each league daily using boxscore information from basketballmonster.com, to see how players are performing during the course of the week relative to my original projections. And the slickest new tool that I’m using this season, is a web data mining tool called Anthracite that I combined with the Automator tools on my MacBook Pro (the fruit of my fantasy basketball labor last year) to automatically pull the rosters and line-ups for every team in each league and send it to me as a text file via e-mail every morning at 6:30 am. This provides me with any roster changes in any of my leagues. Last year, I had to enter the roster changes manually, which wasn’t so bad when there were 6 teams. Impossible to do with 44. Anthracite has been a lifesaver. In our house, we call it ‘baking muffins’, because the program dings like a toaster oven when it’s done with its web scraping process.

I’m happy to report that things are off to a pretty good start. I was bit pretty hard by the injury bug early – guys like Richard Jefferson, Andrei Kirilenko and Brad Miller were all guys that I was exposed to heavily. Some of my pet picks like Yao, Melo, Rashard Lewis Caron Butler, Mike Miller, Josh Childress and Luke Ridnour are all performing much better than where they were picked. Other guys that I drafted heavily like Gerald Wallace, Chris Kaman, Smush Parker (ugh), and Mo Pete have been extremely disappointing, and I shudder to think about the number of times I drafted guys like Sam Cassell, Raymond Felton, Jason Terry, Mike James and Jameer Nelson ahead of Deron Williams (hey, I wasn’t the only one). Plus I totally slept on Zach Randolph and Emeka Okafor (both of whom can feel free to go down with injury any day now). At least I was able to make up for it by getting the incredible Kevin Martin on a bunch of teams, either as a late round draft pick or waiver wire pick-up.

BEHOLD THE POWER OF THE 2-FOR-1

And with the help of LP, I have been able to pull-off a slew of sweet deals that have helped my teams tremendously. Following the teachings of my former partner-in-crime Marc Fredman, aka the master of the 2-for-1 deal, I’ve recently pulled off the following sweet gems:

Brand/Gomes for Marion
Hinrich/Ben Wallace for Nash (although it was originally for Nash and Brad Miller before the powers that be at CBS shot it down)
McGrady/Brevin Knight for Kobe
Odom/Amare for Garnett (which looks better and better every time Amare plays 21 minutes and goes 0-for-1 from the field)
Rashard Lewis/Caron Butler for Marion
Odom/Peja for Marion
Caron/David West for Marion (although it will likely get vetoed)

And I can’t fail to mention some of these other balanced steals:

Brand for Arenas
Rashard for Iverson
Redd for Brand
Odom/Ilgauskas for Rashard/Hinrich
Bibby for Melo
Felton for Kevin Martin and Gerald Wallace
Bosh/Mobley for
Monta Ellis/Chris Wilcox/Luke Walton for Iguodala/Jermaine O’Neal/David Lee (although it will probably get vetoed as well)

I’ve made about 35 deals so far, and looking back I’d only reconsider about 4-5 of those. So we’ll see how things play out. As of right now, I’m projecting to win about 28-30 of the 44 leagues.

MEET RON STRUGANO

I might have a few more sweet deals on the above list, if it wasn’t for the aforementioned ‘powers that be’ at CBS killing some of my deals. One particular deal, Josh Smith for Chris Bosh, particularly irked me because at the time of the deal, Smith was ranked 40th overall and Bosh was ranked 43rd, and in the slew of live drafts that I was in, Bosh and Smith were drafted only nine slots apart from each other. Given their extreme variation of strengths and weaknesses across categories, I felt it was more than reasonable enough for somebody to value Smith more than Bosh, meaning they should’ve had no problem approving the deal. So I solicited the CBS Help Center for some feedback on the logic behind rejecting this deal. It turned into some interesting dialogue with Ron Strugano, the head of CBS Fantasy Sports. Here it is. It’s scary to think that this guy could have a key role in deciding the fate of my leagues.



ORIGINAL REQUEST
JIM: Can I please get an explanation on why my Josh Smith for Chris Bosh trade was vetoed by the commish? Both players are similarly rated both preseason (CBS has Smith higher) and so far this season (Bosh is slightly ahead of Smith, but Smith was 3 slots ahead of Bosh when the trade was made). Both players have the potential to be top 20 players this year. And the distribution of expectations for Smith in particular varies greatly -- it's perfectly conceivable that a team would value one player over another given their differences in expectations and strengths and weaknesses in different categories. Not one sided at all. Please provide some insight so I know upfront what the criteria is for judging this deals...it will help me tremendously down the road (I have 44 teams and don't want to waste time on deals that ultimately will get shot down). Thanks!

INITIAL RESPONSE
COMMISH RON: Smith is off to a decent start but he has to prove that this is not a fluke. He is a number two on his team. Bosh is a consistent player who put up similar stats last year and is the number one option on his team.

Later on this season this trade could be approved, but for now smith needs to show that this is his normal output and not a fluke hot streak.

[Okay, So he hasn’t really cleared anything up, other than the fact that he’s not too high on Josh Smith. He shouldn’t assume that everyone shares his view that Smith’s early numbers (and they weren’t even that great) aren’t sustainable. Is his crystal ball clearer than everybody else’s?]

JIM RESPONSE #1 -
Ron,

Thanks for your response. In light of your note, I have a few additional comments.

Although I agree that Bosh is a better player (which is precisely why I accepted the deal), can you explain that if the deal is so one-sided that it needs to be shot down, then why:

- CBS had Josh Smith pre-ranked 20th and Bosh 46th?
- At the time of the trade, Smith was ranked 40th overall and Bosh was ranked 43rd overall? This was pointed out in the comment section of the deal.
- In 44 live drafts that I did, Smith and Bosh were on average only drafted 9 slots apart from each other? Smith was often picked before Bosh, and on 8 occasions they were picked less than 3 slots apart.

If you asked 1,000 people what their expectations were for Smith and Bosh, certainly Bosh would be higher on average. But Josh Smith probably has the widest range of expectations of anybody in the NBA. He could be top 50, he could be top 20, as witnessed by his 2nd half last year. You can't tell me at this point that Smith doesn't have at least a 35-40% chance of outperforming Bosh for the remainder of the season. My point is, when there is that much overlap, shouldn't you let the deal go through? The guy who made the offer either a) expects Smith to outperform Bosh for the rest of the year and/or b) values the contribution that Smith across the 8 categories more than Bosh does (which by the way, makes sense since the guy was set in REB, needed blocks and 3's). In a different league, I was just offered Chris Paul for Josh Smith (another deal that got shot down by CBS), precisely because he was first in ast, low in 3's and last in BLKS.

I guess I'm trying to better understand the criteria for assessing these deals? Do you try to understand the motivation behind the deal? Or are you just saying, 'Oh, I wouldn't do that deal, therefore I'm rejecting it'? I had to try 3 times to get an Igoudala for Okafor deal through, although they were literally drafted less than one slot apart from each other on average. Shouldn't you allow for some flexibility for the possibility that 'Maybe I wouldn't do that deal, but I can see why somebody would'? Isn't the whole reason of trading based on the fact that you value the player you're getting more than the player you're giving up?

This is particularly frustrating when the following deal was approved by cbs in a different league:

Felton, Raymond
Harrington, Al
O'Neal, Shaquille
Telfair, Sebastian

For

Howard, Dwight
Iguodala, Andre
Nash, Steve
Roy, Brandon

This deal helped one team by 20 pts in the standings, decreased the other guy by 18 pts in the standings and hurt him in ALL EIGHT CATEGORIES, yet it gets approved. Mind-boggling.

Like I said, I'm trying to manage 44 teams, so clearer criteria would help me tremendously. I always thought the veto process was to protect against collusion and one-sided deals (as in my distribution example, a case where there is little or no overlap or no foreseeable reason why one would value one player over another). That is clearly not the case here, so there must be another reason for the veto. Please clarify. Even if I spent $100 on one league instead of $3,000 on 40+ teams, I'd want to know this upfront. I want to know that I will have the ability to make fair deals and the opportunity to improve my team...otherwise these leagues are nowhere near as enjoyable as they should be.

Thanks for your time.

Jim


[Sounds reasonable to me. I feel strongly that the commissioner should only act when there obvious collusion and/or no conceivable chance that a reasonable person would want to do the deal. You can’t just ask yourself, ‘would I do that deal?’ That’s not a high-enough standard for rejecting. In the other deal I referenced, it was agreed to literally within 5 minutes of when the draft ended. A clear-cut case of collusion between two buddies. And even if it wasn’t that cut and dry, a deal that causes a 38-point swing in the standings and hurts one team in every category should never be allowed to go through. With that completely lopsided deal as context, I simply had to have an answer for my Bosh/Smith deal. If that deal is deemed fair, then certainly Bosh/Smith is as well, right? Somebody please tell me that I’m not crazy here. Unfortunately, good ol’ Ron opens up a whole new can of worms with his response…]


RON’S RESPONSE #2
This is where personal opinion comes in. I think smith is one of the most overrated players in the nba. He can’t shoot a lick but is a high flyer. bosh is a consistent player, who most likely will be the elton brand of this year.

In that trade, first shaq was not hurt at the time. Secondly he is a center and centers have extra value as they are a commodity. So howard and shaq are equal. Harrington and AI are equal. Nash and Felton are equal and roy and Telfair the same. Granted i like rondo in boston.

If that trade came to me now it would not be allowed. Shaq is hurt.

[Reread that second paragraph and let it soak in for a second. Shaq = Dwight Howard is bad enough, but Nash = Raymond Felton is the most asinine fantasy basketball statement I’ve ever read (and I’ve read a lot of them). I couldn’t let this go. Somehow those guys are consider equal, but Bosh and Smith are not?]

JIM’s RESPONSE #2

Ron,

That doesn't really answer the question of why you had smith ahead of bosh (20th vs 46th...according to the rules ranked by your ‘panel of experts’) in the preseason, why they were drafted so close together and in some cases smith was picked ahead of bosh in many drafts and why if smith is so overrated he and bosh had almost identical year-to-date rankings at the time of the trade (smith 40, bosh 43). plus you're letting your personal opinion of the players supercede what is a fair deal...just as you think smith is overrated, it's perfectly reasonable that someone would think that smith is capable of matching or outperforming bosh this year. he did as much during the 2nd half of last season...and you can't discount that if you're also going to say that Felton is EQUAL to Steve Nash. if Nash and Felton are equal, how can you say that Bosh and Josh Smith are not equal? i can't even fathom that.

Check this out...Felton was very good in the 2nd half of last year. Take his best 15-game stretch last year. His best 15 games stretch last year isn't as good as Steve Nash's worst 15 game stretch of last year! That's a fact. Yet you consider them equals!!! Josh Smith's best 15 game stretch is on par with Bosh's BEST 15 game stretch last year...and somehow that's unfair?

Nash's rank last year: 16; Felton: 107.
So far this year: Nash - 14, Felton - 80. He's closing the gap! Nash's avg draft position - 7.8. Felton - 46.3.

A first rounder for a fourth rounder is considered equal, but a 25th vs 34th pick difference is consider unfair? Why the disconnect? And don't even get me started on Howard vs. Shaq. Granted, i think they are both overrated in general...even with the premium on centers, Shaq is nowhere near Dwight Howard. Dwight is 42nd so far this year. Shaq is 230th. Last season they were 25 slots apart, and you wouldn't find a soul who would say that that gap would narrow this year. And if the center premium was that large, certainly you would see it level out in the average draft position...Howard was picked 17.4 (never later than 23rd) on avg and Shaq was picked 52nd on average (and as low as 94th, but still too early). So 35 slot's difference is considered equal yet Bosh for Smith isn't? Can you understand why I'm confused?

Through all of your responses, I've yet to get any clear guidance on the criteria for judging these deals and the objective of the veto process in general other than your personal opinion. Do you agree that you have to ask yourself if it's conceivable that a reasonable person, especially one who valued the categories that Smith's brings to the table and undervalues the categories that he is less strong in, would consider doing the deal? Please, please tell me it's not, 'Would I or wouldn't I do this deal?'. This is not a one-sided deal, irrespective of your personal opinion of Bosh and Smith. Just because you wouldn't do the deal doesn't mean it should've been vetoed. The facts back this up. They are a lot closer than other players that you consider equal.

[Well, you can tell that the Nash/Felton statement really left me flabbergasted.]

RON’S RESPONSE #3
I explained why i did not allow it. You can agree or disagree, thats up to you. Your league voted against this trade, and I agreed this time with the league. Like i said before, I dont care about our rankings, as i believe that smith is overrated.

bosh has outscored smith in all three periods this season. smith has a total of 72 points in our regular leagues. bosh has 108. we normally allow a 20% difference in trades if we are going to allow it.

You can bring all the data you want, but i go by the stats and if necessary my personal opinion. considering my opinion this year so far is backed by the stats, i would say that my decision is correct.

[He opened up another can of worms here. The points system that he is referencing here is for their head-to-head leagues. It’s completely different than roto, and should never be used to evaluate roto deals. I’m still in shock that they do this as a normal course of business. It really shows that they have no idea what they are talking about. And you know I’m going to point it out…]

JIM’S RESPONSE #3
Ron,

I don't know why you're using a points league to assess roto trades. They aren't the same. You’re basing your decision on facts, but facts that aren't relevant. The stats that i brought to the table were relevant to a roto league -- at the time of the trade smith was ranked 40th, Bosh 43rd on per game basis. In a pts league, you don't care where they are contributing. In a roto league, you pay close attention to the strengths and weaknesses in each category. Smith is better than Bosh in 4 categories, and Bosh is better than Smith in the other 4. So why wouldn't a team that is set in FGP, FTP, REB and PTS with needs in 3PM, BLK, AST and STL value Smith more than Bosh? It's perfectly conceivable. It's clear that your decision was based more on negative bias against Josh Smith more than anything else and haven't allowed for the fact that there may be perfectly reasonable people that would disagree with you and value Smith more than Bosh. Can you honestly sit here and tell me that it's inconceivable that someone in a roto league would value Josh Smith more than Bosh? By the way, what's the point difference between Nash and Felton, and Shaq and Dwight Howard? So you're telling me that you would let Nash for Felton go through if it came across your desk, but not Bosh for Smith? I just don't understand the difference in standards. In any case, thanks for your response. It has greatly clarified that your decision was based on nothing else other than personal opinion, stats that aren't relevant, and criteria that isn't consistently applied (still waiting for an explanation for how Nash and Felton are equal and Bosh and Smith somehow are not). You can understand my angst when it impacts my ability to try to win $1,600, especially when other far more lopsided deals are allowed to go through. I hope it doesn't cost me the league. You know as well as I do, that people vote against trades for all sorts of reasons, right and wrong. Some people just vote against every trade out of spite. It's a nuisance, but it doesn't really bother me when there's a fair and logical commissioner behind the scene. It's gotten to the point where it's like a crapshoot whether your deal will go through or not. In any case, thanks for the prompt feedback. i have enjoyed the dialogue. And I guess I need to pay closer attention to the pts-based rankings, although I'm still at a loss to determine why it's relevant. Thanks,
Jim

[At the time, I didn’t have the details of the points system used for head-to-head leagues. It’s PTS, REB, STL, BLK = 1 pt, AST = 2pts and TO’s = -1 pts.]

JIM’S RESPONSE #3 (follow-up)
ron,

After looking at the pts-based system, I can see why it significantly skews against Josh Smith relative to Chris Bosh. His strengths over Bosh are in 3PM, STL, BLK and a small number of AST. Well, those strengths don’t do you much good in a points-based system. Averaging 2.6 blocks per game would probably help you win BLK as a category but it means the same as scoring 2.6 pts or grabbing 2.6 rebounds in head-to-head. It only takes about 640 total blocks, 1,500 steals and 1,100 3's to win those categories comfortably in roto, but it takes about 15,000 pts and 5,300 rebounds to win in those roto categories. It takes 23 times as many points to win in pts as it does blocks to win in blks, but in a pts based system, 1 block = 1 steal = 1 pt = 1 reb, and 3's aren't even counted. So can you see how that works against someone like Josh Smith if you're using a pts-based system to judge a roto deal? Rankings that use a pts-based system move josh smith down 21 slots relative to his true roto rank using last year's per game averages. it's the same reason why Kirilenko ranked 15th on a per game in roto last year and would've been 30th overall in a pts based league, and why Marion had one of the best roto seasons ever last year but would've only ranked 13th in a pts-based league. So...these are the 'facts' that you're using to judge this roto deal? I guess your decision makes a lot more sense to me now.

RON’S RESPONSE #4
Even in roto josh smith is not in the same league as bosh. yes he has blocks and possibly an advantage in steals, but Bosh will get those also. bosh will get you points, rebounds, FG%, FT%, and probably have less turnovers.

Chris Bosh
GP MIN/G PPG REB/G AST/G FG %
9 37.2 22.2 12.9 1.4 51.1

Josh Smith
GP MIN/G PPG REB/G AST/G FG %
8 37.9 14.4 7.5 2.4 39.0

Smith is not a good basketball player as much as he is a phenomenal athlete. If i was in your league I would trade you Smith for Bosh 100 times regradless of the categories, as Bosh can fetch me almost any player in the nba excluding the top 5 players.

[I rip the guy to shreds and that’s the best he can come up with? Even if his last statement is true, which it’s not, would they be enough reason to kill a deal? Both players are roughly the same, one guy helps your team more than other, but you can’t get him because the guy you’re giving up has more perceived trade value?]

JIM’S RESPONSE #4

ron,

Man, i agree with you that Bosh is a better player than Josh Smith in roto, which is exactly why I agreed to the deal. But all I'm saying is it is perfect conceivable for a reasonable person to value Josh Smith more than Chris Bosh. Even this early in the season, I value certain categories up to +/- 20% relative to their raw weight based on how my team is made up and its strengths and weaknesses. It's this difference in weights that creates the whole basis for trades. There is more than enough overlap between Bosh and Smith given differences in expectations (and again, they differ wildly for Smith, as evidenced that your panel of experts pre-ranked Smith 20th and Bosh 46th...my only wish is got one of those guys to evaluate this deal originally) and their vastly different strengths and weaknesses for this deal to go through (especially in this case when it's 4 cats vs 4 cats). You have to concede that Bosh and Smith are more equal that Nash and Felton and Shaq and D Howard, correct? You can't sit there with a straight face and tell me otherwise. Check this out...using last year's and this year's numbers as a guide, I calculated that it's 4.9 times more likely for Josh Smith to outperform Chris Bosh in an 8-cat roto league over a 10-game span than it is for Felton to outperform Steve Nash. Again, somehow Felton and Nash is 'equal' and Bosh and Smith are not???

Through all of your responses, the only conclusion that I can draw is that it was your personal opinion that killed this deal. I don't know how personal opinion could supercede sound logic and some litmus test for reasonableness. I would hope that as commissioner you'd be a little more objective and use facts that are relevant in the future, and consider that your opinion might not be shared by others that are managing their teams day-to-day. I don't think that is too much to ask. And if you're going to continue to strongly use your personal opinion, then do me a favor and send me your personal rankings, especially the 'guys I can trade Bosh for' list. I've got Bosh on a bunch of teams, and would start sending out offers right away.

ps Bosh averages more TO's than Smith, not that it's relevant to an 8-cat roto league that ALL CBS public leagues use. But I didn't have to tell you that.

JIM’S RESPONSE #4 (FOLLOW-UP)

ron,

By the way, if you had traded Bosh for Josh Smith after week 6 last season, you would've been better off with Smith than you would've with Bosh. Smith ranked 33rd, Bosh 35th. Yet somehow it's completely outside the realm of possibility that Smith could outperform Bosh for the rest of this season or that somehow could value Smith over Bosh?

RON’S RESPONSE #5

Thats your opinion, and i explained mine.

[Stick a fork in him. He’s done. Do you think he regrets the day he ever came across the name Jim Colton?]

JIM’S RESPONSE #5
ron,

Unfortunately, your opinion is the only one that matters in this instance. By the way, when you say that Josh Smith is overrated, isn't that admitting that most people have Josh Smith rated higher than you do? Regardless of whether it's based on perception or reality, that's how you capitalize on trade opportunities. Every year, guys like Tim Duncan and Jermaine O'Neal get drafted in the 2nd round even though they have zero chance of producing at that level. So if I tried to trade Duncan or O'Neal for a 2nd rounder, would you reject that too because Duncan and JON are overrated? It's the same case here. Smith and Bosh were drafted within 10 slots of each other -- I should be able to deal one for another to an owner that believes Smith is worth more than you do. It doesn't matter if he's actually worth more or not. I have a guy in one league that values Golden State Warriors players -- so I just offered up a huge deal involving Monta Ellis and he accepted. He values Ellis more than an average person would...but even if it helps my team more than his, why should he be denied the player he wants? Is it wrong to spend $100 and just pick all of your favorite players, even if it means you have no chance of winning? This guy drafted J-Rich in the 1st round...are you going to start disallowing people to draft certain players until you deem them worthy? Maybe you can build in some functionality to the draft applet that doesn't allow you to draft Smith ahead of Bosh, since it's clear you believe there's no way someone would value one over the other. By the way, Bosh is currently ranked 39th and Smith is ranked 49th. Would you kill a deal of Andre Iguodala for Tony Parker? The difference between the players is the same. Of course, both are miles closer than Nash (14) and Felton (96).

Just for kicks, I offered up Felton for Nash in 5-6 leagues that I own Felton in. I got some pretty colorful responses. I'll spare you the details, but to paraphrase the universal response was 'there's no way anyone would ever consider Felton equal to Nash'. So I guess you're in a pretty elite little club.

[Still waiting for the response…I don’t think I’ll get one. I spared him the details of the Felton/Nash trade offer reactions, but I’ll share them here:

‘Did your Mom think that was a good offer?’

‘Are you f’in serious?’

‘There is nobody on this planet that would think Nash and
Felton are equal. Nash is the reigning 2 time MVP for a
reason. Nash is a lot better at PPG, assists, FG% &FT%, and
he shoots more threes than Felton.The only thing Felton is
marginally better at is rebounding and the difference is so
small that it does not matter.’

Well, there’s at least one person who thinks Felton is equal to Steve Nash and unfortunately he’s the same guy who is deciding whether my deals are fair or not.]

Final Projection Update

11/02/2006 0 comments

The 2006-07 NBA season is finally here! I finally had time to update the projections that I talked about in my previous post, the Power of the Preseason. As you'll recall, I'm creating three sets of projections and we will see how they hold up over the course of the season. The preseason data on basketballmonster was incomplete, but I was able to get full preseason stats from CBS Sportsline.

1. Baseline Projections as Oct 24, 2006. My original projections with no preseason adjustments.
2. Projections w/ player preseason adjustments.
3. Projections w/ player preseason adjustments and global adjustments.

The global adjustments are an interesting animal, in that they try to use the aggregate preseason data to predict changes in scoring, shooting, etc. for the upcoming season. Here's my predicted change compared to 2005 now that I have the complete set of preseason info.

GM  05REG 06PRED CHANGE
 MIN 4848 -
 FGM 7.12 7.23 1.52%
 FGA 15.70 15.77 0.46%
 3PM 1.14 1.19 4.12%
 3PA 3.18 3.39 6.62%
 FTM 3.90 4.02 3.10%
 FTA 5.23 5.36 2.55%
 REB 8.14 8.18 0.50%
 AST 4.10 4.18 1.93%
 STL 1.42 1.42 -0.19%
 BLK 0.93 0.91 -3.03%
 TO 2.74 2.85 4.21%
 PTS 19.28 19.66 1.95%
 2PM 5.99 6.05 1.02%
 2PA 12.52 12.42 -0.83%
 FG% 0.454 0.458 0.94%
 FT% 0.745 0.749 0.52%
 3P% 0.358 0.350 -2.21%
 2P% 0.478 0.487 1.88%

Here's an example of what all this means...check out the change in projections for Zach Randolph, who had a very good preseason.

 Randolph,ZachGP MinFGAFG%3M FTAFT%REBAS STBKTOPTS
 Original 71  34.52   16.59  0.445  0.22  4.75  0.738   8.34  1.91  0.80  0.22  1.90   18.50 
 Pre 6  35.17   14.67  0.500  0.17  9.83  0.881   7.17  2.33  1.33  0.00  3.33   23.50 
 Adjusted 71  34.52   16.46  0.450  0.22  5.00  0.750   8.26  1.95  0.82  0.20  1.95   18.78 
 Global 71  34.52   16.38  0.457  0.23  5.12  0.754   8.30  1.98  0.82  0.20  2.03   19.07 

At the end of the season, we'll see which one is closer for Zach and the rest of the NBA. In the meantime, I plan on using the third set of projections for managing my fantasy basketball teams. If you were following along last year, you know my buddy Marc Fredman & I went in on six teams on CBS Sportsline, won five of them and got a check for $3,000. This year, I'm stepping up my game. Let's just say they number of teams is in the double digits...and the first digit starts with 4. More info on that soon. I still have a few live drafts to knock out. Stay tuned!

Power of the Preseason

10/27/2006 1 comments
I have to admit, I haven't really been following the NBA preseason. I glance at the boxscores, but haven't used much, if any, of that information in my projections for the upcoming season. Maybe it's because I got caught up in the hype around James Jones last season and got burned:

 Jones,James GP Min  FGA FG% 3M FTA  FT% REB AS ST  BK PTS
 2005-06 Pre 7  31.29   12.43  0.460  3.14  1.57  0.909   4.00  1.86  0.71  0.71  16.00 
 2005-06 Reg 75   23.56  7.75  0.418  1.47  1.61   0.851  3.37  0.76  0.51  0.65   9.32 

Call it the James Jones corollary. We all have fantasy basketball baggage. It's like the girl who dumped you in 7th grade and broke your heart -- you're scarred for life. Even if that player's name hits the top of your draft queue, you can't help but think of how your fantasy hopes went down the drain because of them three years ago. Corey Maggette, Stromile Swift, Steve Francis. You get the picture. That's how I've been treating the preseason stats this year.

But maybe I'm missing the boat. Maybe there's a sleeper out there posting good preseason numbers and I'm not paying attention. The problem is, how do you know? Baron Davis looks pretty darn good this year, to the point where he's looking like he might get back to top 20 status. Heck, he's shooting 91% from the free-throw line! Then I checked out basketballmonster.com and it shows that Baron was the best preseason player last year too, shooting 85% from the stripe in 5 games. He ended up shooting 67.5% for the season and ranking about 40th overall.

So how do you know what preseason stats to rely on, and what to dismiss? I don't know. Gut check, I guess. But can we do an analysis to determine if preseason stats provide information in general? If you've learned anything from reading this blog, than you already know the answer to that question. Have spreadsheet, will travel.

With all of the hoopla about the new ball, one thing I realized is that the aggregate preseason data can be a decent predictor of what's going to happen globally in the regular season. You know that shooting is going to be down and turnovers are going to be up in the preseason, but can year over year changes in the preseason data tell us what's going to happen during the regular season? I think so. Basketballmonster has full preseason stats for 2003-04 and 2005-06. Here is how they compare to the regular season on a per 48 minutes basis:

 GM 03PRE 03REG  05PRE 05REG 03REG/PRE  05REG/PRE
 MIN48.0048.00 48.0048.00--
 FGM6.587.04 6.737.127.1%5.8%
 FGA15.2416.01 15.2315.705.0%3.1%
 3PM0.841.06 1.001.1425.9%13.9%
 3PA2.503.03 2.893.1821.2%10.0%
 FTM4.083.68 4.433.90-9.7%-11.9%
 FTA5.594.90 6.065.23-12.3%-13.7%
 REB8.238.47 8.088.142.9%0.7%
 AST3.914.23 4.024.108.2%1.9%
 STL1.851.58 1.781.42-14.3%-19.8%
 BLK0.981.02 0.940.934.6%-0.7%
 TO3.562.84 3.482.74-20.1%-21.3%
 PTS18.0718.82 18.8919.284.2%2.1%
 2PM5.745.99 5.735.994.3%4.4%
 2PA12.7412.98 12.3512.521.9%1.4%
 FG%0.4320.440 0.4420.4541.9%2.7%
 FT%0.7290.752 0.7310.7453.0%2.0%
 3P%0.3350.348 0.3460.3583.9%3.5%
 2P%0.4500.461 0.4640.4782.4%2.9%

You can see the change from preseason to regular season is very consistent for many categories. You can also see clearly how shooting improves and turnovers decrease (by 20%!) as the real season starts as expected.

So what does that mean for 2006-07. From the initial preseason data, it looks like turnovers could be an issue with the new ball, as many players have predicted. Any downturn in shooting and scoring will likely be more than offset by an increase in pace as more teams aim to be more like the Suns. Get ready for some high-scoring affairs.

I used the average regular season to preseason change from the two years above to come up with predicted numbers for the upcoming season (06PRED). Because we don't yet have a full preseason of data, I normalized the numbers to bring them closer to the 2005-06 regular season data (06ADJ). Here's what it shows:

 GM 05PRE 06PRE  O6PRED 06ADJ 05REG  06CHANGE
 MIN48.0048.00 48.0048.0048.00-
 FGM6.737.07 7.547.337.122.9%
 FGA15.2315.70 16.3416.0215.702.0%
 3PM1.001.05 1.261.201.145.4%
 3PA2.893.16 3.653.413.187.5%
 FTM4.434.79 4.274.083.904.8%
 FTA6.066.50 5.665.445.234.1%
 REB8.088.24 8.398.278.141.5%
 AST4.024.18 4.404.254.103.6%
 STL1.781.76 1.461.441.421.3%
 BLK0.940.90 0.920.930.93-0.8%
 TO3.483.93 3.112.932.746.9%
 PTS18.8919.97 20.6019.9419.283.4%
 2PM5.736.01 6.286.135.992.4%
 2PA12.3512.54 12.7512.6412.520.9%
 FG%0.4420.450 0.4600.4570.4540.7%
 FT%0.7310.737 0.7550.7500.7450.7%
 3P%0.3460.333 0.3450.3520.358-1.8%
 2P%0.4640.479 0.4920.4850.4781.5%


Turnovers, scoring and three-point attempts are up significantly. If you noticed anything from the playoffs last year, it was the inordinate amount of free throws (led by Dwyane Wade). That trend seems to continue, as officials are calling the game more closely (not shown above, but fouls/48 are up 5.5% this preseason over last).

That's all fine and good, but how does that information help my fantasy team? To be honest, I'm not sure. You could try to make global adjustments to account for these changes in each category, but that might not had much affect on your overall player rankings. It's worth testing out, which is what I plan to do. More on that later...let's see what we can do on individual player projections.

Getting back to Baron (sounds like an name of the Fray's next album). Do his preseason numbers provide any information for what's going to happen in the upcoming season? Hard to say. But on average, it does look like the preseason numbers do have some value. Let's recall my recent comparison of 2005-06 stat projections. For comparison purposes, I used the 2004-05 numbers as the baseline prediction and created an index where 100 = simply using 2004-05 numbers to predict actual 2005-06 results. Below 100 meant you did better than the baseline. Surprisingly, a couple sites did worse on average than this most basic bogey.

What if we created another prediction that was based on the 2004-05 numbers PLUS the next season's preseason data? Let's call it 2004+PRE. First, I adjusted the raw preseason data because we know that shooting's going to go up, turnover's down, etc. Second, I looked at per 48 minute production, so the minutes were kept constant to the previous season. And third, I only weighted the preseason numbers by the number of games played. The 2004-05 data was given a weight of 82 games across the board. So if a guy played in 8 preseason games, his new prediction would be 82/90ths his 2004-05 production and 8/90ths his preseason production. Here are the results.

_CAT__200405_ _2004+PRE__Monster__WEGO_
Min100.0100.0 91.6 90.9
FGM100.0 98.4 93.2 93.1
FGA100.0 99.0 93.8 93.2
FG%100.0 98.7 97.0 92.9
3M100.0 96.6 94.2 87.5
3A100.0 97.7 98.2 91.5
3P%100.0100.2 103.585.8
FTM100.0 97.8104.5 97.7
FTA100.0 97.4103.0 93.7
FT%100.0 98.4 96.8 95.3
REB100.0 99.2 99.1100.7
AS100.0 97.8 92.4 84.4
ST100.0 99.1 100.0 97.5
BK100.0 97.6108.0111.0
TO100.0 98.4107.0 90.6
PTS100.0 98.7 93.7 93.5
TOTAL100.098.498.5 93.7


I showed Basketball Monster's and my predictions from last year for context. Surprisingly to me, the preseason numbers to hold some informational value (and a 1% difference can be the thin line between winning and losing your fantasy league). Of course, they are hindered by the fact that it keeps the prior year minutes constant. The minutes is where BBM and I really shine, since it's easy to embed changes in roles/teams in the minute projections. So that leads me to my next question. What if we added the preseason data on top of my original projections...would they provide even greater accuracy? Let's create a 'WEGO+PRE' using the same methodology:

_CAT__200405_ _2004+PRE__Monster__WEGO_ _WEGO+PRE_
Min100.0100.0 91.6 90.9 90.9
FGM100.0 98.4 93.2 93.1 91.4
FGA100.0 99.0 93.8 93.2 92.9
FG%100.0 98.7 97.0 92.9 92.2
3M100.0 96.6 94.2 87.5 86.1
3A100.0 97.7 98.2 91.5 90.9
3P%100.0100.2 103.585.8 87.0
FTM100.0 97.8104.5 97.7 96.1
FTA100.0 97.4103.0 93.7 91.8
FT%100.0 98.4 96.8 95.3 94.0
REB100.0 99.2 99.1100.7 99.9
AS100.0 97.8 92.4 84.4 83.4
ST100.0 99.1 100.0 97.5 96.9
BK100.0 97.6108.0111.0 109.6
TO100.0 98.4107.0 90.6 88.2
PTS100.0 98.7 93.7 93.5 92.0
TOTAL100.098.498.5 93.792.7


Not bad...it's shaves another percentage point off. Blocks are still horrible, but this is something that might've been saved with a global adjustment. I'll do that eventually, but right now I need to go back and adjust my player projections before my live drafts tonight! But for testing purposes, I'll create three sets of projections:

1. Baseline Projections as Oct 24, 2006. Same ones that I posted a few days ago. No preseason adjustments.
2. Projections w/ player preseason adjustments.
3. Projections w/ player preseason adjustments and global adjustments.


At the end of the year, we'll see which one holds up the best. And that will help me determine how to use the preseason numbers in the future. It just might help you win your fantasy league. Stay tuned.

The Wegoblogger / Talented Mr Roto NBA Projection Challenge

10/24/2006 0 comments

It’s a hard job, but somebody’s gotta do it. Seems like there are hundreds of so-called fantasy basketball ‘experts’ out there, yet it’s hard to know who’s credible and who’s full of Manute Bol. Somebody’s gotta call these guys out on the carpet when they step out of line, especially when they’re somebody who’s getting paid (or worse, forcing you to pay) for their sage advice.

You can see what I mean if you look at my analysis of different stat projections for the 2005-06 season. Sites like Rotowire.com and CBS Sportsline performed worse than if did nothing but just used the 2004-05 season -- the most basic approach you could think of. Even a monkey could do that. If you followed Rotowire or CBS last year, you most assuredly lost because of it. And worse yet, Rotowire charges $9.99 for this misinformation (or $14.99 as part of yahoo’s draft kit). What a joke.

It was none other than yours truly who called out The Talented Mr. Roto last year on his season-ending review of his ‘signature’ Guys I Love/Guys I Hate list, to the point he even mentioned me by name in his follow-up column. I don’t really have a personal vendetta against Matthew Berry, but given the fact that a) he’s calls himself The Talented Mr. Roto, b) he charges for his expert opinions, and c) he prefaced his column with a holier-than-thou overview (see below), he set himself up as a target.

“When you are an “Expert” – that is to say, when you are paid for your writing and predictions – especially in fantasy sports, you are only as good as your prognostications. Every year, no matter what the sport, I see folks put out their sleeper lists, their busts lists, their projections and rankings.

Then the season ends and everyone forgets. But not me. I’m like whatever animal has really good memories. Elephant? Hippo? Mo Vaughn? It’s one of those. Anyways, the point is… I like to put my money where my mouth is. As far as I have seen, I am the only columnist who grades himself after the season on his ENTIRE list, not just selected ones to make themselves look good.

So with the season closing down, I am going to print my “LOVE / HATE” list from the pre-season. This week my “LOVE” list, next week the “HATE” list and see how I did. The idea of the list was that players I “LOVED” were players that I thought would exceed their expectations. Whether those expectations were two points or 20 points a game.

So here it is. Written on Saturday, October 8th, 2006 here’s the list, completely unedited, for better or worse. The projections I am basing this on are the ones listed in the NBA.com Fantasy Basketball Draft Magazine. And here we go. I am not going to re-write all the projections and all of the final stats – you can look them up yourself if you care. Or you can trust me. “

Great concept. I’m all for it. Every fantasy columnist should hold themselves up to this standard. But then Mr. Roto tops it off by grading himself like a MBA student at Northwestern (ie, show up and you get an A. If you haven’t figured it out, I went to the University of Chicago). The icing on the cake was Desmond Mason, who he recommended and called a Win. My analysis of the best (and worst) fantasy basketball seasons of all time showed the Mason’s 2005-06 season was the 2nd worst of any player relative to league averages since 1979 (second only to Rony Seikaly in 1988-89)! And he calls this a win. In his column, he calls Mason ‘underrated’. Does that mean that people were expecting him to perform even worse than Seikaly?

So needless to say, I was very eager to get my hands on Berry’s 2006-07 Guys I Love/Guys I Hate column. I even shelled out $9.99 for his draft kit. For the most part, I agree with his analysis. Not a ton of surprises. However, check out his preface:

“This is my version of a sleeper / bust list, but with a twist. Players I love are players that I think exceed general expectations, whatever those expectations are. Players who I hate are players that I think fall below expectations, whatever they are.”

You can’t get much fuzzier than that. Given the fact that he’ll likely write another end of the season ‘How’d I Do?’ column, he’s leaving himself a lot of wiggle room. Last year, he used the NBA.com fantasy magazine as his basis of comparison, which is probably what he’ll do this year. As it turns out, the NBA.com projections (which you can get for free if you can find them) are largely the same (if not identical) to the projections he sells on his site.

The problem with the projections is that they don’t jive with his recommendations. Josh Smith is a ‘Guy I Love’. Not a big surprise. Everyone is expecting him to blow-up this year. But in his projections, he actually has him performing worse than last season! How is that possible? And I guarantee you that once Josh Smith performs at a level everyone expects him to, he’ll the first to say ‘I told you so...look how well he performed against these NBA.com (i.e. his) projections.’ Ditto Chris Bosh. He was ranked 19th last season. His projections have him going down to 29th, yet he’s another ‘Guy I Love’.

So if you shelled out $9.99 you have to ask yourself, ‘Why the disconnect? Why am I paying for conflicting information?' Thankfully they have a money-back guarantee.

Since I’m all for TMR’s one-man mission for accountability, I propose a little challenge. Let’s compare the projections that he sells on his site to mine that you can get for free here. I’m not afraid to stick my neck out on the line. There are about 270 players that were projected on both sites. Limiting it to only players that were top 140 on either of the list (the fantasy-viable population), I highlighted the 40 players where we had the biggest difference (based on my rating methodology for standard 8-cat roto leagues -- TMR didn’t include TO’s in their projections). At the end of the season, we’ll see who’s closer.

WEGOBLOGGER HIGHER

CHRIS BOSH (2005-06 Rk: 19; TMR Proj Rk: 29; Wegoblogger Proj Rk: 16)

SeasonGP MinFGAFG%3M FTAFT%REBAS STBKPTSTOT Rk
2005-06 70.0 39.19 15.53 0.505 0.00 8.30 0.814 9.24 2.59 0.71 1.13 22.44 14.95 19
TMR 73.5 37.62 13.76 0.492 0.02 7.16 0.792 8.87 2.16 0.78 1.25 19.23 13.27 29
WEGO 75.0 39.37 15.57 0.500 0.07 8.36 0.815 9.29 2.58 0.73 1.16 22.46 15.17 16

As I mentioned earlier, Bosh was on TMR’s Guys I Love list despite projecting a big drop compared to last year. Everyone else, myself included, is expecting an uptick in production with Toronto’s uptempo offense and Bosh clearly being ‘the Man’ for the Raptors. Only this lingering plantar fasciitis can save TMR here.

RANDY FOYE (TMR: 209, Wego: 134)

SeasonGP MinFGAFG%3M FTAFT%REBAS STBKPTSTOT Rk
TMR 75.0 28.00 7.25 0.500 0.75 2.75 0.727 2.50 1.30 0.40 0.20 10.00 6.03 209
WEGO 78.0 28.15 10.05 0.446 1.10 3.49 0.778 3.33 2.08 0.84 0.26 12.78 8.27 134

Foye may be the odd-man out with Ricky Davis and Mike James around, but I do expect him to be productive when he is playing. Amazingly, TMR is projecting very low production despite roughly the same amount of minutes. 1.3 assists and 0.4 steals just doesn’t seem to pass the common sense test, does it?

KEVIN MARTIN (2005: 116; TMR: 177, Wego: 119)

SeasonGP MinFGAFG%3M FTAFT%REBAS STBKPTSTOT Rk
2005-06 72.0 26.42 7.58 0.480 0.92 3.08 0.847 3.63 1.35 0.76 0.13 10.81 8.22 116
TMR 63.4 29.00 7.75 0.443 0.70 3.34 0.766 3.76 1.41 0.89 0.16 10.13 7.00 177
WEGO 74.0 29.48 8.46 0.476 1.04 3.54 0.835 4.08 1.49 0.85 0.15 12.05 9.06 119

As far as I know, the starting SG slot for the Kings is all Martin’s. He averaged 13.71 pts in 33.5 minutes as a starter last season, with great percentages across the board. I know he has a funky shot, but I’m not sure why TMR is projecting such dramatic decreases in his percentages. If anything, my numbers are conservative. I think I’m going to go pick Martin off the waiver wire now.

JASON RICHARDSON (2005: 31; TMR: 69; Wego: 31)

SeasonGP MinFGAFG%3M FTAFT%REBAS STBKPTSTOT Rk
2005-06 75.0 38.36 19.17 0.446 2.44 5.47 0.673 5.84 3.09 1.29 0.49 23.21 13.16 31
TMR 73.0 33.00 16.22 0.445 1.77 4.40 0.679 5.19 2.83 1.13 0.42 19.18 11.04 69
WEGO 76.1 37.99 18.82 0.449 2.24 5.53 0.680 5.86 3.24 1.27 0.48 22.89 13.05 34

I’m not a huge fan of Richardson. I don’t think I’ve ever owned him on any team. However, he has improved every year. I know he’s got some knee issues, but I don’t think a drop to #69 is warranted.

LUKE RIDNOUR (2005: 62; TMR: 132; Wego: 75)

SeasonGP MinFGAFG%3M FTAFT%REBAS STBKPTSTOT Rk
2005-06 79.0 33.27 10.11 0.418 0.54 2.87 0.877 2.97 6.96 1.56 0.28 11.52 11.25 62
TMR 78.3 27.00 8.15 0.414 0.54 2.16 0.871 2.38 5.26 1.20 0.22 9.17 8.72 132
WEGO 79.0 31.94 9.64 0.419 0.55 2.70 0.874 2.86 6.55 1.44 0.26 10.98 10.60 75

Even if Earl Watson cuts into his playing time and production, I don’t think he drops to #132. Last year, Ridnour was actually better down the stretch with Watson on board.

JOSH SMITH (2005: 70; TMR: 72; Wego: 34)

SeasonGP MinFGAFG%3M FTAFT%REBAS STBKPTSTOT Rk
2005-06 80.0 31.99 9.68 0.425 0.43 3.65 0.719 6.64 2.39 0.80 2.60 11.28 10.92 70
TMR 80.0 31.15 9.58 0.437 0.32 3.69 0.707 6.87 2.24 0.85 2.48 11.29 10.88 72
WEGO 78.0 35.38 10.79 0.443 0.27 4.23 0.720 7.48 3.10 0.91 2.90 12.88 12.69 39

As I mentioned, another TMR ‘Guy I Love’. But why the projected decrease over last season? It baffles me. If anything, my #34 ranking may be conservative. It all depends whether he can put two good halves together.

JAMAL CRAWFORD (2005: 90; TMR: 164; Wego: 112)

SeasonGP MinFGAFG%3M FTAFT%REBAS STBKPTSTOT Rk
2005-06 79.0 32.37 11.09 0.417 1.28 4.52 0.826 3.13 3.80 1.09 0.19 14.25 9.85 90
TMR 76.9 24.00 9.11 0.406 1.20 2.81 0.830 2.22 2.90 0.84 0.16 10.93 7.45 164
WEGO 76.3 30.50 10.57 0.414 1.30 3.92 0.829 2.84 3.63 1.03 0.16 13.30 9.26 112

I know the backcourt is crowded in New York. As of now, it looks like Jalen Rose is the odd man out. I’m not a fan of Crawford at all, but I think Isiah increases the total size of the fantasy pie versus Larry Brown, even if Crawford gets a diminished slice.

CARON BUTLER (2005: 34; TMR: 60; Wego: 35)

SeasonGP MinFGAFG%3M FTAFT%REBAS STBKPTSTOT Rk
2005-06 75.0 36.03 14.48 0.455 0.55 4.43 0.870 6.20 2.48 1.69 0.24 17.57 12.92 34
TMR 74.5 34.99 13.23 0.443 0.47 4.05 0.855 5.90 2.24 1.53 0.25 15.67 11.30 60
WEGO 76.0 37.11 14.71 0.454 0.63 4.29 0.863 6.42 2.44 1.69 0.24 17.69 12.98 35

I’m a little surprised that TMR has him as a ‘Guy I Hate’. Seems like a perfect candidate for a sleeper pick. Deflated numbers from 2005-06 from coming off the bench for the first 21 games. His numbers as a starter (18.6 pts/6.6 reb/strong shooting percentages) would put him the top 30. I’m picking this guy up in the 5th round of every draft.

ANDREI KIRILENKO (2005: 15; TMR: 18; Wego: 11)

SeasonGP MinFGAFG%3M FTAFT%REBAS STBKPTSTOT Rk
2005-06 69.0 37.75 10.59 0.461 0.52 7.17 0.699 8.00 4.33 1.48 3.19 15.30 15.70 15
TMR 65.0 33.00 9.70 0.466 0.53 6.19 0.733 6.82 3.49 1.44 2.87 14.11 14.84 18
WEGO 70.0 37.58 10.77 0.469 0.57 7.06 0.721 7.79 4.16 1.55 3.24 15.76 16.52 11

This one could go either way. Kirilenko is such an injury risk. But I believe his 2005-06 numbers are deflated because he came back slowly. He came off the bench in six games, had one start with 10 minutes, another with 8 minutes. The rest of the season – 39.2 minutes, 16.86 pts, 4.6 ast and 3.3 blocks. A TMR ‘Guy I Love’ despite the slightly lower projections.

ANDRES NOCIONI (2005: 92; TMR: 142; Wego: 90)

SeasonGP MinFGAFG%3M FTAFT%REBAS STBKPTSTOT Rk
2005-06 82.0 27.23 10.13 0.461 1.15 2.94 0.842 6.10 1.43 0.49 0.63 12.96 9.69 92
TMR 82.0 26.60 9.58 0.440 0.83 3.05 0.811 5.90 1.56 0.51 0.58 11.74 8.35 142
WEGO 81.5 28.74 10.59 0.456 1.12 3.04 0.840 6.38 1.51 0.54 0.65 13.33 9.91 90

I’m not quite as high on Chapu as I was before the preseason…there’s some risk that he’ll be sitting behind Luol Deng. However, he did improve as the season progressed, and he was the Bulls best player in the playoffs last season. Even if he takes a dip, I don’t think it’s down to the #142 that TMR is projecting.

CARMELO ANTHONY (2005: 25; TMR: 36; Wego: 24)

SeasonGP MinFGAFG%3M FTAFT%REBAS STBKPTSTOT Rk
2005-06 80.0 36.70 19.65 0.481 0.46 8.86 0.808 4.93 2.70 1.10 0.53 26.53 13.92 25
TMR 79.1 35.86 18.56 0.462 0.54 8.19 0.802 5.29 2.68 1.06 0.49 24.24 12.60 36
WEGO 80.0 36.92 20.34 0.479 0.48 9.05 0.810 4.79 2.72 1.06 0.53 27.29 13.95 24

Another TMR ‘Guy I Hate’. I just don’t get it. A lot of people don’t think much of Carmelo as a fantasy player, and certainly he’s not first round material. However, he had a great season in 2005-06 and it’s hard to see his numbers going anywhere but up. It’s hard to fathom his scoring average going from 26.5 to 24.2 like TMR is projecting. He’s much more likely to crack the 30-pt barrier this season, in my opinion. Be thrilled if you can land Melo in the third round.

ZAZA PACHULIA (2005: 103; TMR: 183; Wego: 138)

SeasonGP MinFGAFG%3M FTAFT%REBAS STBKPTSTOT Rk
2005-06 78.0 31.33 8.73 0.451 0.00 5.18 0.735 7.86 1.65 1.14 0.50 11.68 8.97 103
TMR 74.2 25.12 6.80 0.442 0.00 3.85 0.725 6.48 1.14 0.87 0.46 8.80 6.86 183
WEGO 76.0 28.02 7.84 0.454 0.00 4.62 0.737 7.15 1.45 1.01 0.49 10.52 8.19 138

I’m not a big proponent of going out and drafting Zaza unless you are really desperate. The Atlanta frontcourt is a lot more crowded with Shelden Williams and Lorenzen Wright, so expect his numbers to go down. We’ll see if it’s closer to me or TMR.

SAM CASSELL (2005: 58; TMR: 97; Wego: 64)

SeasonGP MinFGAFG%3M FTAFT%REBAS STBKPTSTOT Rk
2005-06 78.0 33.96 14.26 0.443 0.90 4.29 0.863 3.68 6.29 0.95 0.14 17.24 11.78 58
TMR 70.0 27.00 11.74 0.456 0.66 3.23 0.865 2.86 5.22 0.76 0.16 14.15 9.80 97
WEGO 77.0 32.09 13.58 0.445 0.79 3.96 0.867 3.38 5.93 0.87 0.15 16.31 11.03 64

A lot of people are predicting the demise of Sam I Am due to old age and Shaun Livingston. I expect his numbers to come down a little, but I doubt he drops to 27 minutes per game though.

PAU GASOL (2005: 27; TMR: 57; Wego: 37)

SeasonGP MinFGAFG%3M FTAFT%REBAS STBKPTSTOT Rk
2005-06 80.0 39.15 14.93 0.503 0.04 7.71 0.689 8.91 4.64 0.58 1.91 20.35 13.62 27
TMR 60.0 32.00 12.56 0.502 0.03 6.46 0.713 7.43 3.29 0.54 1.62 17.25 11.68 57
WEGO 40.0 36.47 14.18 0.503 0.03 7.27 0.694 8.41 3.99 0.57 1.83 19.33 12.88 37

TMR is obviously expecting Gasol to come back slowly. I agree, but I don’t think it’ll dip his average to 32 minutes per. He should be productive for the second half of the season. I still rather avoid him altogether.

CHRIS WILCoX (2005: 159; TMR: 115; Wego: 82)

SeasonGP MinFGAFG%3M FTAFT%REBAS STBKPTSTOT Rk
2005-06 77.0 19.78 5.84 0.571 0.00 1.99 0.732 5.32 0.68 0.43 0.44 8.13 6.83 159
TMR 69.5 31.10 10.30 0.511 0.00 3.52 0.692 7.88 1.11 0.71 0.67 12.96 9.21 115
WEGO 80.0 31.10 9.78 0.550 0.00 3.40 0.721 8.22 1.15 0.69 0.65 13.21 10.37 82

Finally somebody we agree on. Wilcox is a TMR ‘Guy I Love’ with good reason. He posted great numbers with Seattle last year. I guess it all depends on how close he can get to matching that ridiculous 57% FGP. A great late-round sleeper.

KOBE BRYANT (2005: 2; TMR: 4; Wego: 1)

SeasonGP MinFGAFG%3M FTAFT%REBAS STBKPTSTOT Rk
2005-06 80.0 40.88 27.16 0.450 2.25 10.24 0.850 5.31 4.50 1.84 0.38 35.40 20.16 2
TMR 72.0 40.00 23.81 0.445 1.99 9.81 0.842 5.47 4.94 1.68 0.49 31.44 18.69 4
WEGO 77.0 40.83 25.85 0.447 2.26 9.88 0.847 5.33 4.68 1.87 0.41 33.76 19.83 1

I’m getting a little nervous that Kobe hasn’t played in the preseason yet. Could mean a slow start. Of course, he didn’t start off too hot last season either (30.8 ppg the first 20 games, 36.9 ppg after that), and ended up having the 2nd best season overall. TMR is predicting a big drop in points. Even if you take away his amazing 62-pt and 81-pt games, he still averaged 34.4 ppg last season.

GILBERT ARENAS (2005: 5; TMR: 7; Wego: 6)

SeasonGP MinFGAFG%3M FTAFT%REBAS STBKPTSTOT Rk
2005-06 80.0 42.21 20.85 0.447 2.49 9.99 0.820 3.50 6.05 2.01 0.31 29.33 18.90 5
TMR 76.4 41.02 19.68 0.436 2.47 8.79 0.811 3.99 5.64 1.92 0.29 26.74 17.33 7
WEGO 80.0 41.82 20.47 0.445 2.51 9.62 0.818 3.84 5.86 1.94 0.31 28.57 18.45 6

Maybe TMR is betting the scoring drops because of the new ball or something. Could happen (when I get a chance to analyze the preseason data, I’ll post the findings here). If anything, the drop from the ball should be offset by what seems to be a growing number of teams attempting to adopt a more Suns-like offense. The Wizards are pretty much already there, and Arenas has the green light to jack up from anywhere. Seems like he’s the Rodney Dangerfield of the first round picks. Nobody believes that he is THAT good.

RAJA BELL (2005: 64; TMR: 116; Wego: 84)

SeasonGP MinFGAFG%3M FTAFT%REBAS STBKPTSTOT Rk
2005-06 79.0 37.28 11.77 0.457 2.49 1.85 0.788 3.20 2.62 0.96 0.28 14.71 11.16 64
TMR 75.5 33.10 11.35 0.448 1.73 2.29 0.775 3.23 2.08 0.87 0.22 13.66 9.15 116
WEGO 77.5 35.04 11.13 0.453 2.18 1.91 0.787 3.12 2.44 0.92 0.24 13.77 10.24 84

TMR is projecting a big dip in production with Amare back. First of all, I don’t think Amare is going to be anywhere near 100%. He’ll probably be one of those aggravating looks absolutely amazing one game then astonishingly human the next. Raja’s production seemed to increase as the season progressed last year, and he’s their best perimeter defender (not saying much on the Suns), so I think he will still hold value.

MORRIS PETERSON (2005: 54; TMR: 92; Wego: 66)

SeasonGP MinFGAFG%3M FTAFT%REBAS STBKPTSTOT Rk
2005-06 82.0 38.09 13.37 0.436 2.16 3.59 0.820 4.65 2.32 1.27 0.18 16.76 11.91 54
TMR 82.0 32.10 10.89 0.428 1.80 2.77 0.822 4.06 1.98 1.14 0.18 13.41 9.98 92
WEGO 82.0 35.31 12.31 0.433 1.96 3.30 0.815 4.36 2.18 1.21 0.18 15.31 10.97 66

Mo Pete would be No. 1 on my fantasy partner Marc Fredman’s Guys I Hate list if he had one. We slept on Peterson last year. The guy has played 82 games the last 4 seasons, and had his best year by far in 2005-06. The Raptors roster is chocked full of international players, so who knows what’s going to happen there, but I think he’s still a solid 7th round pick.

DERON WILLIAMS (2005: 137; TMR: 107; Wego: 81)

SeasonGP MinFGAFG%3M FTAFT%REBAS STBKPTSTOT Rk
2005-06 80.0 28.80 10.06 0.421 1.14 1.69 0.704 2.43 4.49 0.75 0.21 10.80 7.53 137
TMR 80.0 33.00 12.24 0.417 1.40 2.00 0.700 3.00 6.00 1.00 0.20 13.00 9.43 107
WEGO 80.0 35.50 12.39 0.443 1.50 1.83 0.738 2.87 5.94 0.89 0.30 13.83 10.39 81

I keep having to bump up my projections for Deron, but I still haven’t been able to pick him up in any recent drafts. I got him with the last pick in a Yahoo public league early on. He could be the guy who takes the biggest fantasy leap this year. However, he might be a little overrated unless he improves his free throw shooting. Very likely could average 14-15 points per game or more this year.

TALENTED MR ROTO HIGHER

JACKIE BUTLER (2005: 250; TMR: 73; Wego: 177)

SeasonGP MinFGAFG%3M FTAFT%REBAS STBKPTSTOT Rk
2005-06 55.0 13.40 3.91 0.544 0.00 1.40 0.753 3.33 0.45 0.31 0.56 5.31 4.73 250
TMR 67.0 25.00 7.92 0.602 0.00 2.98 0.795 5.89 0.80 0.80 1.00 11.90 10.86 73
WEGO 72.0 19.01 5.34 0.566 0.00 1.96 0.769 4.33 0.58 0.46 0.76 7.55 6.82 177

I honestly did not have Jackie Butler on my fantasy radar screen. I didn’t think anyone else did. TMR has him ranked 73rd with a 60% FGP.

RONNIE BREWER (TMR: 70; Wego: 136)

SeasonGP MinFGAFG%3M FTAFT%REBAS STBKPTSTOT Rk
TMR 75.0 32.00 7.67 0.470 1.07 2.40 0.770 3.00 2.40 2.00 0.40 10.12 11.00 70
WEGO 75.0 25.88 7.33 0.439 0.66 2.94 0.759 2.90 1.98 1.39 0.42 9.60 8.19 136

I’ll admit that Brewer is a guy to keep close tabs on. He’s the only true SG on the Jazz roster. Being a top 70 fantasy player would probably make him ROY. Seems like a stretch to me.

JUAN DIXON (2005: 161; TMR: 139; Wego: 210)

SeasonGP MinFGAFG%3M FTAFT%REBAS STBKPTSTOT Rk
2005-06 76.0 25.14 10.80 0.435 0.86 2.54 0.803 2.33 1.96 0.76 0.08 12.29 6.79 161
TMR 72.0 29.00 12.40 0.423 1.09 2.84 0.825 2.86 2.52 1.06 0.09 13.93 8.39 139
WEGO 70.0 22.44 9.38 0.427 0.75 2.20 0.819 2.10 1.84 0.74 0.08 10.57 6.10 210

I always liked Dixon as a potential fantasy guy if he gets the minutes. TMR is projecting that he gets his chance. I’m predicting much lower minutes.

STROMILE SWIFT (2005: 214; TMR: 88; Wego: 139)

SeasonGP MinFGAFG%3M FTAFT%REBAS STBKPTSTOT Rk
2005-06 66.0 20.26 6.94 0.491 0.00 3.17 0.651 4.41 0.38 0.58 0.76 8.88 5.59 214
TMR 75.0 32.50 11.62 0.476 0.00 5.28 0.691 7.19 0.76 0.99 1.69 14.72 10.17 88
WEGO 70.0 27.17 9.56 0.484 0.00 4.35 0.682 5.85 0.66 0.83 1.21 12.21 8.18 139

Stro gets his chance to shine again. Seems like a perfect sleeper pick. I also remember thinking the same thing last year, and we all know how that ended up (214th overall). I wouldn’t overpay. 88th seems like a major stretch.

ERICK DAMPIER (2005: 176; TMR: 135; Wego: 185)

SeasonGP MinFGAFG%3M FTAFT%REBAS STBKPTSTOT Rk
2005-06 82.0 23.45 4.23 0.493 0.00 2.62 0.591 7.80 0.62 0.33 1.29 5.72 6.32 176
TMR 75.1 30.00 6.19 0.517 0.00 3.71 0.605 10.02 0.83 0.39 1.63 8.65 8.60 135
WEGO 75.0 24.04 4.50 0.508 0.00 2.85 0.600 7.97 0.64 0.32 1.32 6.29 6.67 185

Looks like Damp has earned the starter’s role and might get back to fantasy viability. He just hasn’t been that good since signing that fat contract with the Mavs.

TYRUS THOMAS (TMR: 100; Wego: 141)

SeasonGP MinFGAFG%3M FTAFT%REBAS STBKPTSTOT Rk
TMR 75.0 28.00 8.00 0.500 0.00 3.50 0.571 8.00 1.00 1.00 2.00 10.00 9.75 100
WEGO 75.0 23.25 7.01 0.473 0.03 2.88 0.644 5.67 0.89 0.82 1.68 8.53 7.98 141

Recently, TMR said that Tyrus could be this year’s Boris Diaw. Keep an eye on his minutes. Awfully crowded roster in Chicago though.

ANTONIO MCDYESS (2005: 182; TMR: 130; Wego: 166)

SeasonGP MinFGAFG%3M FTAFT%REBAS STBKPTSTOT Rk
2005-06 82.0 20.99 6.83 0.509 0.00 1.49 0.557 5.32 1.10 0.56 0.59 7.78 6.18 182
TMR 74.8 27.80 9.85 0.505 0.00 2.46 0.589 7.27 1.31 0.79 1.00 11.40 8.79 130
WEGO 82.0 23.95 7.94 0.507 0.00 1.87 0.575 6.16 1.23 0.64 0.72 9.12 7.18 166

Should get a nice boost in minutes due to Big Ben’s departure, but Nazr seems to be playing very well in the preseason. I don’t think McDyess gets to the 27.8 minutes that TMR’s projecting.

MARVIN WILLIAMS (2005: 213; TMR: 117; Wego: 154)

SeasonGP MinFGAFG%3M FTAFT%REBAS STBKPTSTOT Rk
2005-06 79.0 24.73 6.72 0.443 0.16 3.20 0.747 4.85 0.80 0.61 0.30 8.51 5.60 213
TMR 78.0 32.00 10.38 0.475 0.00 4.67 0.778 6.20 1.30 1.00 0.50 13.50 9.15 117
WEGO 79.0 31.25 8.93 0.458 0.15 4.60 0.755 6.11 1.02 0.77 0.40 11.80 7.57 154

Could battle Deron Williams for most likely to breakthrough in his second year. But beware. He seems to be going far too early in most drafts. TMR’s projections seem to be a best case scenario. If you take his best 15-game stretch over last season, TMR’s projection are 30% better than that. That’s a big jump. Could happen, but I’m being conservative. If anything, use Williams as trade bait (in one league I dealt Arenas/Marvin for Garnett).

RYAN GOMES (2005: 207; TMR: 95; Wego: 132)

SeasonGP MinFGAFG%3M FTAFT%REBAS STBKPTSTOT Rk
2005-06 60.0 22.92 5.92 0.487 0.05 2.48 0.752 4.98 0.97 0.58 0.08 7.68 5.71 207
TMR 75.0 33.20 9.33 0.500 0.08 3.13 0.800 7.70 1.50 1.00 0.20 11.92 9.82 95
WEGO 79.0 29.98 8.22 0.502 0.07 3.36 0.767 6.86 1.36 0.78 0.13 10.91 8.31 132

I like Gomes a lot. But you need to be cautious as long as Al Jefferson is in the mix. TMR is projecting 33.2 minutes per game.

AMARE STOUDEMIRE (2005: 249; TMR: 16; Wego: 27)

SeasonGP MinFGAFG%3M FTAFT%REBAS STBKPTSTOT Rk
2005-06 3.0 16.33 9.00 0.333 0.00 3.00 0.889 5.33 0.67 0.33 1.00 8.67 4.81 249
TMR 67.0 35.10 16.10 0.530 0.03 9.06 0.735 8.77 1.53 0.96 1.60 23.78 15.00 16
WEGO 66.0 33.87 14.66 0.521 0.03 8.17 0.733 8.31 1.40 0.90 1.58 21.28 13.64 27

See my comments for Raja Bell above. I just think he’s going to be rusty this year. Let someone else draft him.

PEJA STOJAKOVIC (2005: 52; TMR: 22; Wego: 38)

SeasonGP MinFGAFG%3M FTAFT%REBAS STBKPTSTOT Rk
2005-06 71.0 36.62 14.34 0.437 2.28 3.66 0.915 5.85 1.92 0.63 0.14 18.17 11.98 52
TMR 71.3 37.55 14.41 0.464 2.47 4.01 0.919 5.54 1.99 0.87 0.16 19.52 13.94 22
WEGO 72.7 36.67 14.53 0.448 2.33 3.83 0.914 5.49 1.89 0.76 0.16 18.85 12.70 38

I agree with TMR that Peja should bounce back in New Orleans (I refuse to call them the New Orleans / Oklahoma City Hornets). But back up to #22 after 2 seasons of steady declines is a stretch in my opinion. Peja seems to be slipping into the early 6th round in a lot of my drafts…he’s a great pick there.

CUTTINO MOBLEY (2005: 78; TMR: 71; Wego: 97)

SeasonGP MinFGAFG%3M FTAFT%REBAS STBKPTSTOT Rk
2005-06 79.0 37.51 12.75 0.426 1.05 3.46 0.839 4.32 3.01 1.18 0.46 14.81 10.38 78
TMR 75.9 37.61 13.23 0.429 1.51 3.26 0.831 4.13 3.00 1.19 0.45 15.57 11.00 71
WEGO 81.0 35.81 12.02 0.427 1.07 3.17 0.831 3.97 2.81 1.12 0.41 13.96 9.75 97

Hasn’t Mobley agreed to come off the bench? Nothing will kill your fantasy value more than that (see Corey Maggette last year). I don’t think you’ll see an improvement over last season.

SHAQUILLE O’NEAL (2005: 89; TMR: 65; Wego: 86)

SeasonGP MinFGAFG%3M FTAFT%REBAS STBKPTSTOT Rk
2005-06 59.0 30.54 13.56 0.600 0.00 7.98 0.469 9.17 1.92 0.39 1.76 20.02 9.91 89
TMR 66.0 34.00 14.65 0.598 0.00 9.35 0.485 10.32 2.37 0.45 2.11 22.06 11.24 65
WEGO 67.8 31.53 14.25 0.593 0.00 8.35 0.467 9.68 1.95 0.44 1.73 20.80 10.01 86

Did you see Big Fella in the playoffs last year? Looked like a shell of his former self. I don’t think you’ll see him jump 24 slots in the fantasy rankings.

STEPHEN JACKSON (2005: 79; TMR: 74; Wego: 101)

SeasonGP MinFGAFG%3M FTAFT%REBAS STBKPTSTOT Rk
2005-06 81.0 35.86 14.17 0.411 1.44 4.21 0.786 3.85 2.78 1.28 0.53 16.41 10.27 79
TMR 77.0 35.72 14.88 0.411 1.64 4.21 0.798 4.23 2.71 1.35 0.43 17.23 10.85 74
WEGO 81.0 33.40 13.61 0.405 1.41 3.99 0.793 3.70 2.64 1.23 0.46 15.58 9.64 101

Why was everyone so shocked and appalled after the recent nightclub incident? This just in: Stephen Jackson is crazy. If you had to pick the player most likely to get run over by a car at a strip club, it’s Jackson (unfortunately for me, if you had to pick the NBA player most likely to hunt down and kill a dude with a blog who said he was crazy, you get the same answer). In any case, Jackson’s numbers the past two seasons are a little inflated due to the decimated Pacers line-up. Plus fans are openly booing him during home games. That can’t be good for a guy’s stats. Avoid like the plague.

COREY MAGGETTE (2005: 88; TMR: 53; Wego: 70)

SeasonGP MinFGAFG%3M FTAFT%REBAS STBKPTSTOT Rk
2005-06 32.0 29.38 11.72 0.445 0.75 8.00 0.828 5.28 2.06 0.59 0.13 17.81 9.91 88
TMR 65.0 34.50 13.71 0.442 0.86 9.16 0.838 5.95 2.68 0.79 0.15 20.65 11.89 53
WEGO 67.8 31.70 12.36 0.443 0.78 8.38 0.836 5.50 2.36 0.73 0.12 18.73 10.78 70

I’ve always been a big fantasy fan of Maggette but last season turned me against him. 34 agonizingly lackluster games sent him from top 35-40 material and a solid 4th round pick to ‘that guy just cost me any chance of winning this year’. Can he get back to his pre-2005 glory? We’ll see. I hear Dunleavy can’t stand him…never a good sign when your coach doesn’t like you. A TMR ‘Guy I Hate’ despite a projected increase in production.

DONYELL MARSHALL (2005: 128; TMR: 103; Wego: 127)

SeasonGP MinFGAFG%3M FTAFT%REBAS STBKPTSTOT Rk
2005-06 81.0 25.58 8.28 0.395 1.58 1.52 0.748 6.07 0.74 0.73 0.51 9.26 7.80 128
TMR 77.2 27.54 9.10 0.418 1.81 1.59 0.756 6.73 0.97 0.83 0.68 10.62 9.57 103
WEGO 76.5 26.14 8.42 0.413 1.66 1.47 0.755 6.19 0.81 0.73 0.60 9.73 8.56 127

Wow, did Donyell have a horrible fantasy season last year or what? This guy used to be a fantasy beast (top 10 in 2003-04). He’s having a solid preseason, so maybe he turns the corner. Still has Gooden ahead of him on the depth chart, and it seems like Donyell is one of those guys who needs starter’s minutes to be productive.

AL JEFFERSON (2005: 202; TMR: 128; Wego: 145)

SeasonGP MinFGAFG%3M FTAFT%REBAS STBKPTSTOT Rk
2005-06 59.0 18.00 6.42 0.499 0.00 2.27 0.642 5.07 0.51 0.51 0.78 7.86 5.88 202
TMR 75.0 25.00 9.38 0.510 0.00 3.36 0.637 7.60 0.69 0.67 1.24 11.70 8.83 128
WEGO 59.0 22.13 7.91 0.513 0.00 2.83 0.659 6.54 0.64 0.63 0.99 9.98 7.83 145

The difference is mostly in minutes. Jefferson reported to camp in great shape, but I read that he was awful during the summer leagues (after dominating the year before). I had him as a sleeper pick last year, and ended up losing out on Diaw because I didn’t cut bait quick enough.

SHAREEF ABDUR-RAHIM (2005: 101; TMR: 86; Wego: 109)

SeasonGP MinFGAFG%3M FTAFT%REBAS STBKPTSTOT Rk
2005-06 72.0 27.28 8.78 0.525 0.07 3.86 0.784 4.96 2.07 0.67 0.58 12.32 9.16 101
TMR 69.5 30.00 10.16 0.511 0.12 4.25 0.818 5.87 2.08 0.74 0.55 13.98 10.29 86
WEGO 70.0 27.54 9.19 0.515 0.09 3.90 0.804 5.31 1.99 0.68 0.54 12.68 9.36 109

I haven’t seen or heard anything that has Shareef ahead of Kenny Thomas on the King’s depth chart. TMR has him at 30 minutes per game. I don’t see that happening, unless Shareef and Thomas get into another fight and Thomas ends up on the shelf.

SHELDEN WILLIAMS (TMR: 118; Wego: 135)

SeasonGP MinFGAFG%3M FTAFT%REBAS STBKPTSTOT Rk
TMR 78.0 25.40 8.37 0.490 0.00 2.79 0.617 7.31 0.65 1.02 1.49 9.93 9.11 118
WEGO 78.0 26.41 6.63 0.490 0.00 3.33 0.692 6.87 0.61 0.74 1.39 8.80 8.23 135

I just don’t think he’s going to be that good in the NBA. Maybe it’s my anti-Duke bias. Like just about everyone else, I don’t know why the Hawks picked him at #5. Ever hear of trading down?

DAVID WEST (2005: 51; TMR: 37; Wego: 57)

SeasonGP MinFGAFG%3M FTAFT%REBAS STBKPTSTOT Rk
2005-06 74.0 34.08 13.96 0.511 0.04 3.19 0.843 7.39 1.24 0.80 0.86 17.00 11.99 51
TMR 77.0 35.00 14.26 0.504 0.05 3.42 0.817 8.45 1.46 0.90 0.97 17.20 12.59 37
WEGO 75.0 33.51 13.70 0.508 0.03 3.19 0.837 7.39 1.26 0.80 0.87 16.61 11.75 57

I really like West. I’m picking him up in the 6th round on a bunch of teams. Jumping up 14 slots when you have Peja and even Tyson Chandler on board might be a bit of a stretch, but this is at least one case in which I hope TMR is right.

So that’s it. We’ll look at the results at the end of the season and see who won. Good luck, TMR. Like you said, you’re only as good as your prognostications.

UPDATE: OCTOBER 26, 2006 -- I've added 10 more players to the mix. These are guys were are rankings don't differ that much, but they have the greatest divergence when you look at them category by category. A lot of them make sense because they're either rookies or their role for the upcoming season is of much debate, hence the varying viewpoint. Add these to the list and consider the challenge and even 50 players.

 Morrison,AdamGP MinFGAFG%3M FTAFT%REBAS STBKPTSTOT Rk
 TMR 75.0  33.00   12.46  0.462  1.50  5.50  0.727   3.00  2.00  0.20  0.20  17.00   7.56 160
 WEGOBLOGGER 78.0   31.14  12.61  0.435  1.29  4.80   0.800  3.84  1.28  0.59  0.28   16.37  8.41 130
 Bogut,AndrewGP MinFGAFG%3M FTAFT%REBAS STBKPTSTOT Rk
 2005-06 82.0  28.49   7.39  0.533  0.00  2.37  0.629   6.99  2.34  0.60  0.83  9.37   8.60 105
 TMR 68.0  23.50   10.53  0.485  0.00  4.50  0.618   9.00  3.30  0.70  1.30  13.00   10.03 91
 WEGOBLOGGER 69.0   31.81  8.25  0.528  0.00  3.05   0.641  7.94  2.66  0.63  1.12   10.67  9.79 94
 Roy,BrandonGP MinFGAFG%3M FTAFT%REBAS STBKPTSTOT Rk
 TMR 75.0  33.00   13.00  0.423  1.00  5.00  0.800   4.00  4.00  0.80  0.00  16.00   9.07 121
 WEGOBLOGGER 78.0   31.64  12.40  0.455  0.73  4.73   0.783  3.88  3.99  0.87  0.26   15.92  9.83 92
 Gay,RudyGP MinFGAFG%3M FTAFT%REBAS STBKPTSTOT Rk
 TMR 82.0  22.39   9.29  0.448  0.60  2.43  0.739   3.79  1.20  0.79  1.29  10.71   8.13 145
 WEGOBLOGGER 78.0   28.00  10.15  0.444  0.53  3.13   0.734  4.71  1.54  1.07  1.02   11.85  8.87 123
 Diogu,IkeGP MinFGAFG%3M FTAFT%REBAS STBKPTSTOT Rk
 2005-06 68.0  15.04   4.82  0.527  0.00  2.47  0.810   3.35  0.43  0.22  0.44  7.09   5.00 239
 TMR 73.0  25.00   6.91  0.500  0.00  3.02  0.857   6.50  0.60  0.40  0.40  9.50   7.49 162
 WEGOBLOGGER 76.0   23.78  7.25  0.532  0.00  3.83   0.819  5.57  0.61  0.38  0.66   10.85  8.02 140
 James,MikeGP MinFGAFG%3M FTAFT%REBAS STBKPTSTOT Rk
 2005-06 79.0  36.84   15.54  0.469  2.14  4.28  0.837   3.32  5.82  0.91  0.04  20.30   13.89 26
 TMR 75.0  36.50   13.12  0.459  1.93  4.27  0.772   3.08  6.64  0.91  0.03  17.27   12.31 45
 WEGOBLOGGER 78.0   34.73  13.66  0.450  1.86  3.52   0.810  3.23  5.39  0.95  0.05   17.00  11.80 56
 Walker,Antoine GPMinFGAFG% 3MFTAFT%REB ASSTBKPTS TOTRk
 2005-06 82.0  26.66   10.95  0.435  1.67  1.57  0.628   5.13  2.02  0.57  0.37  12.20   8.21 118
 TMR 80.8  30.84   13.01  0.431  1.58  2.36  0.582   6.48  2.69  0.73  0.51  14.15   9.11 119
 WEGOBLOGGER 67.0   27.88  11.60  0.438  1.55  1.83   0.610  5.58  2.18  0.65  0.43   12.81  8.54 128
 Wells,BonziGP MinFGAFG%3M FTAFT%REBAS STBKPTSTOT Rk
 2005-06 52.0  32.40   11.79  0.463  0.19  3.65  0.679   7.71  2.77  1.81  0.48  13.60   11.37 60
 TMR 70.0  28.76   11.21  0.451  0.33  3.27  0.708   5.81  2.18  1.58  0.43  12.76   9.76 99
 WEGOBLOGGER 52.0   29.13  11.17  0.433  0.25  3.15   0.676  6.72  2.31  1.69  0.43   12.05  9.54 103
 Davis,BaronGP MinFGAFG%3M FTAFT%REBAS STBKPTSTOT Rk
 2005-06 53.0  36.74   16.02  0.390  1.89  5.45  0.675   4.36  9.00  1.68  0.26  18.06   12.49 41
 TMR 54.0  36.47   16.77  0.390  2.20  5.33  0.697   4.22  8.45  1.78  0.29  18.98   13.22 30
 WEGOBLOGGER 63.3   36.96  16.27  0.402  1.97  5.57   0.694  4.37  8.64  1.75  0.26   18.92  13.39 32
 Wallace,Rasheed GPMinFGAFG% 3MFTAFT%REB ASSTBKPTS TOTRk
 2005-06 80.0  34.63   13.34  0.430  1.94  2.29  0.743   6.84  2.28  1.03  1.63  15.11   12.90 35
 TMR 78.0  34.56   13.51  0.434  1.58  2.46  0.730   7.16  2.16  0.95  1.61  15.09   12.31 44
 WEGOBLOGGER 77.2   34.64  13.77  0.450  1.37  2.90   0.739  7.37  2.12  0.98  1.50   15.90  12.65 40
 
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