Fantasy Hoops, The Home Stretch


Four weeks left in the NBA season, the trade deadline is long gone and we're in the home stretch for real and fantasy teams alike. With most of my focus on college hoops lately, I haven't provided an updated on our beloved Frelton Spencers and their quest for fantasy basketball world domination.

First, let's take a look at an updated view of an analysis I did back in December which looked at where players were drafted and how the teams that are drafted them are currently doing in the standings. Winning at fantasy hoops is all about finding good value in the draft relative to where you pick them, everything else starts from there.

Highest Ranked Players
Rank Player Score Avg Pick
1 Ray Allen (G SEA) 65.7 20
2 Rashard Lewis (F SEA) 64.1 33
3 Cuttino Mobley (G LAC) 62.9 67
4 Joel Przybilla (C POR) 62.9 99
5 Gilbert Arenas (G WAS) 61.5 14
6 Marcus Camby (C DEN) 61.3 50
7 James Jones (F PHO) 61.2 118
8 Chris Bosh (F TOR) 60.6 36
9 Stromile Swift (C HOU) 60.5 97
10 Chauncey Billups (G DET) 60.3 40
11 Joe Johnson (G ATL) 59.4 43
12 LeBron James (F CLE) 59.4 2
13 Paul Pierce (F BOS) 58.9 16
14 Kurt Thomas (F PHO) 58.8 69
15 Zydrunas Ilgauskas (C CLE) 58.8 41
16 Troy Murphy (F GS) 58.8 78
17 Wally Szczerbiak (F MIN) 58.6 91
18 Manu Ginobili (G SA) 58.5 47
19 Dwight Howard (F ORL) 58.4 40
20 Andre Iguodala (G PHI) 58.2 54

Comment: Ray Allen takes the top spot, partly because I snagged him on 2 of the 10 leagues that I analyzed. shows Allen is ranked 11th overall, so getting late first-round value from a mid-to-late 2nd-round pick provides tremendous value to those teams that picked him. Many other likely suspects are on this list -- guys who exceeded everybody's original expectations such as Rashard Lewis, Marcus Camby, Chris Bosh, Chauncey Billups (picked 40th on average!), Joe Johnson and Paul Pierce.

Lowest Ranked Players
Rank Player Score Avg Pick
1 Jalen Rose (F TOR) 38.1 77
2 Zach Randolph (F POR) 39.6 50
3 Steve Francis (G ORL) 40.6 24
4 Amare Stoudemire (C PHO) 41.0 62
5 Carmelo Anthony (F DEN) 41.7 39
6 Tim Duncan (F SA) 42.7 8
7 Damon Jones (G CLE) 42.8 108
8 Shaquille O'Neal (C MIA) 42.9 19
9 Erick Dampier (C DAL) 43.4 111
10 Kenyon Martin (F DEN) 43.5 58
11 Richard Hamilton (G DET) 44.0 60
12 Ron Artest (F IND) 45.0 29
13 Chris Webber (F PHI) 45.9 46
14 Jermaine O'Neal (F IND) 46.0 17
15 Al Harrington (F ATL) 46.0 90
16 Eddy Curry (C NY) 46.4 90
17 Michael Sweetney (F CHI) 47.1 131
18 Stephon Marbury (G NY) 47.2 16
19 Jason Richardson (G GS) 47.4 41
20 Andrew Bogut (C MIL) 47.6 93

Comment: Can't say I didn't warn you. Most of these guys showed up on my preseason 'top 10 guys you'll never see on one of my fantasy teams'. Francis (avg pick: 24) and Marbury (avg pick: 16) have been the two biggest fantasy busts of the year. Many others on this list just aren't very good fantasy basketball players -- Shaq (19th pick? you idiots!!!), Duncan, Zach Randolph (who just 5 weeks ago, Daniel Dorbish, Senior Fantast Writer at CBS Sportsline, was still plugging over Marcus Camby). If you drafted any of these guys, you're a fantasy chump and destined to lose. Carmelo's a bit of a surprise on this list, since he has performed above the level that he was drafted at.

Frelton Spencers Update

The Spencers are peaking at the right time and have made significant strides in the last 2-3 weeks. Three weeks ago, it looked like we might only win two of the six money leagues were entered in. However, guys like Yao, Wade, Delonte West, Boris Diaw and Josh Childress have turned it up a notch, combined with Maggette, Boozer and now Jermaine O'Neal (who we picked up off the waiver wire on 2 teams) and Amare (finally!) have put us in very good shape for the stretch run. We could very well win five leagues (and $3,000 total).

Frelton Spencers 1: Currently 79 pts, 1st place (+4 pts in front); Projected 80 pts, 1st Place (+3 pts)
Frelton Spencers 2: Currently 67 pts, T-2nd place (-3 pts); Projected 68 pts, 2nd Place (-4 pts)
Frelton Spencers 3: Currently 83 pts, 1st place (+13 pts); Projected 84 pts, 1st Place (+13 pts)
Frelton Spencers 4: Currently 75 pts, 1st place (+4 pts); Projected 77 pts, 1st Place (+7 pts)
Frelton Spencers 5: Currently 75 pts, 2nd place (-3 pts); Projected 79 pts, T-1st Place
Frelton Spencers 6: Currently 69 pts, 2nd place (-2 pts); Projected 72 pts, T-1st Place

Spencers 1 is in great shape in a very tight race. We've moved up about 8 pts in the standings in the last 3-4 weeks. Spencers 2 is the only team that is truly dead in the water, thanks to the sporadic play and ultimate demise of first-round pick Tracy McGrady. Thanks T-Mac! Chances are when you exchange McGrady for Keith Bogans on your roster, you're not going to win it all. Spencers 3 has been in cruise control since about Week 6...the easiest $600 I've ever made. Spencers 4 has also been in cruise control but has struggled lately (thanks to Sam Dalembert). They still have a big enough cushion to win comfortably. Spencers 5 is also performing well, thanks to a deadline Kevin Garnett for Paul Pierce deal (we got KG). It's still going to come down the wire. Spencers 6 looked like it didn't have a chance, but now looks poised to take over the top spot. Just three weeks ago, we were in third place, 12 points out of first. Our Dalembert for Pau Gasol trade may go down as one of the biggest heists in fantasy history.

Let's look at Gasol vs. Dalembert since we made the deal on January 30th.

Gasol 28 39.1 8.2 15.9 0.518 5.6 8.3 0.670 8.7 4.8 0.6 1.9 22.0
Dalembert 21 23.2 2.2 4.6 0.474 1.2 1.6 0.735 6.2 0.1 0.5 2.0 5.6

For those keeping score at home, that's 184 more made field goals, +113 rebounds, +131 assists, +12 blocks and +500 points over a two-month timeframe.

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