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Golf Season 2006

4/29/2006 0 comments

Now that fantasy basketball season is over and spring is finally here in Chicago, it's time to focus on what I dedicate the other six months of the year on...GOLF!!! The season is getting started a little late this season due to the weather, so I've only logged in one round so far this year.

2005 RECAP

Last season, I was a full-fledged golf-aholic. If you've never played, I'd advise to try something else. Golf is the most maddening, humbling and ridiculously addictive game there is. Anybody who loves golf hates it just as much.

Somehow I managed to get in 80 rounds of golf in 2005 despite having a wife and two young kids. A practice pass at my home course, Prairie Landing in West Chicago, IL not only allowed me free range balls (which I rarely used), but allowed me to play for free anytime after 4:00 pm. Well, let's just say I spent many-a-night searching for my ball in near-to-total darkness (including one round where I finished at 9:25 pm. After 12 holes, you couldn't really see anything. I told myself I'd go in once I couldn't find my ball anymore, ended up hitting every fairway and green going in and shot -1 on the back.) Plus with the membership deal they give you six free guest passes, which I use on my buddies and split the cost, The other great thing is replay rates are an additional 50% off, which ended up being only $17 to ride, probably the single greatest value left in the sport. Tack on a few other weekend road trips and one 5-day, 11 round golf binge to Northern Michigan and you end up with 80 rounds.

2005 was a monumental year for me golf-wise in a number of areas. I got my handicap index down to the low 3's, which is the lowest it has ever been (currently, I sit a 3.6). More importantly, after over 1,000 rounds of golf and countless near misses, I had my first hole-in-one at the end of last year (September 24, 2005) on the 17th hole at Prairie Landing (207 yards, 4-iron). I can't even describe to you how good it is to have the monkey off my back. I just didn't want to be one of those old guys who had played golf for 50 years and was still waiting to get that hole-in-one. Man, I was 31 and already feeling the pressure. It didn't help that the 3 guys that I play golf with more than anybody all got their 'first's' in 2004.

THE ACE

The best thing about an ace is it is the perfect excuse to act like an complete idiot for 10 minutes (although most of my golf partners don't need an excuse). I often said that if there was water nearby, I would jump in (unless there were alligators). Well, the 17th at PL has no water, so having no idea what else do to, after sharing awkward high-fives with my best friend and fellow golf nut Jefe (think Tiger and Stevie after Eldrick chipped in at Augusta), I decided to sprint the length of the hole to get confirmation. Well, the one thing I learned that day is 207 yards (uphill, into the wind) is a long, long way. Seemed like a good idea at the time. But to my point, if somebody happened to drive by just as I was in the middle of my championship sprint, they would've said to themselves, 'What an idiot! He must've made a hole-in-one', and would've understood perfectly.

So now that the flood gates are open, who knows what's next? I feel like I could make 5-6 before I'm through. Maybe I'll make another one this year. With my buddies...the race for #2 is on!

THIS CRAZY GAME

That's the great thing about golf...you never know what you're gonna get (thanks, Forest). Who knows what 2006 will bring? Will this be the year that I finally put it all together?

I do know that I won't be able to keep up the crazy pace from last year (I'm already 8 rounds behind last year at this time). I didn't get the practice pass this year, although I do still have the guest passes. But I'm still hoping that I will be able to improve from last year. I'm dedicating myself to work on my game a little bit more (rediscovering what that open patch of grass with the scattered flags and the armored tractor is), hoping to get a more consistent swing and well-rounded game. That means work the ball...my current game has one shot, a low screaming draw that would probably kill somebody if they were ever on the business end. I hit the ball a long way but don't carry it very far...a typical drive for me is probably 220 yards of carry and literally 60-70 yards of roll. It's really quite a sight. Most of that is swing, some of it is equipment. I switched from a 9.5 degree Titleist 983E to a 10.5 degree Titleist 905T this year and I think it will do wonders for my game.

Also, I may be a 3-4 handicap, but I'm easily a 30 'capper out of the sand. My best strategy with the bunkers is avoid, avoid, avoid! My goal in 2006 is to get up and down out of the sand...at least once...during an actual round. Prairie Landing has a giant short-game practice center so I have no excuses.

So this morning I hit 3 whole large buckets of range balls, shattering my previous record by approximately 2 1/2 buckets. I have 4 blisters, including one giant blood blister, to show for it (I love the full cord grips, but man they chew up your hands). Maybe I'll actually have to go buy a golf glove...haven't worn one since I was 14. You can just start calling me Vijay. We'll see if this will have any impact on my game.

My biggest goal for 2006, other than the obvious one of pummeling Jefe and his brother Jimbo every time we tee it up, is to play well for 3 days...August 1st, 2nd and 3rd. That is when I'll be making my pilgrimage out to Bandon Dunes, which has 3 of the best public courses in the world (of the 256 courses that I've played in my lifetime, they are the 3 most glaring obmissions on my list -- see the top 100 here). I can't wait.

So, if I can figure out a way to automatically link-in my current handicap and other golf stats and have them posted along the right, you can keep tabs on my progress. Also, I'll provide updates as I add any significant new courses. And thanks to the new MacBook Pro that I got with my fantasy basketball winnings, I'll be able to blog live from Bandon.

WHAT'S IN THE PING HOOFER 3

Although I'm far from an equipment junkie (thanks in large part to the disadvantage of being a lefty), everything in my bag is new as of the 2004 season. Before I got my new irons, I had my old ones for 12 years (never re-gripped them once!).

Driver (new): Titleist 905T, 10.5 degrees, Speeder Stiff Shaft
3W: Titleist 904F (I think...it's the one before the current model), Steel shaft
Hybrid (new): Nickent Genex 3DX, 20 degrees, Steel shaft
Irons: Mizuno MP-30, Dynamic Gold Steel shaft, stiff
SW/LW: Cleveland CG-10 Black Pearl, 54/58 degrees
Putter: Taylor Made Monza Mezza

I don't foresee any equipment changes during the course of the year, although I was seriously jonesin' the for the new Titleist 905R but opted to baby-step it up to the T first. I'm usually one year behind the equipment anyways. However, I do need do get a new 4-iron...my old one is hanging in a shadow box in my basement, retired after the hole-in-one.

THE FIRST ROUND

There are few uglier sights in golf than Jim Colton playing his first round of the year. Think Greg Norman in the 1996 Masters times ten. I played my first round two weeks ago out at PL and it was ugly. I couldn't get the ball airborne. It was all topped shots and worm burners. I took a restaurant-quality snowman on the 5th hole (toughest par 4 on the course) and doubled most of the par 5's (normally my strong suit) en route to a 93. It was so bad that my father-in-law, who rarely beats me on a hole much less for an entire round, beat me by 5 strokes (albeit from one set up).

The good news is that this is normal for me. I'll tell anybody who's willing to listen that I'm happy to break 100 during the first round. Nobody ever believes me though. It just takes me a long time to get my timing down. Usually it only last nine holes, but this round at PL lasted from beginning to end. It was so bad that when I went to post my score at the club today, I typed in my 93 and a pop-up window came up and it said 'This score is well outside your normal range. Are you sure this is right?' Unfortunately, it is. At least it can only get better from here. Stay tuned.

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Fantasy Hoops, Keys to Victory (Part Two: Trades)

4/26/2006 0 comments

Here's Part Two of My Three-Part Series on the Keys to Victory in Fantasy Hoops. Part One focused on the draft (click here), showing that getting fantasy value relative to the round or pick in which the player is picked is a strong indicator of fantasy success (and probably the strongest). Part two focuses on trades. Generally, trades occur when one team feels he has a better chance at success with the players he receiving for the rest of the year relative to the players he is giving up. Otherwise, there is no motivation to do the deal (unless you just want to see the other guy win).

Similar to the draft analysis, we can use my Fantasy Contribution (FC) stat to analyze the impact of trades. For simple 1-to-1, 2-to-2, etc. trades, we can simply analyze the stats for the players involved for the remaining season after the trade was executed. For unbalanced trades, I also looked at who was dropped and added on the respective rosters to get to an apples-to-apples comparison. In unbalanced trades, you could have a trade the has a positive impact for both teams, whereas the balanced trades are a zero-sum game.

The trade analysis assumes that the players are held for the remainder of the season, which obviously isn't the case. The impact of any subsequent moves will be picked up in the third part of my analysis -- Roster and Line-up Management, which is fitting since it is clearly a future roster decision. Also, teams may make trades knowingly giving up more raw value (leaving value on the table), in order to get the deal done. You see this more as the season wears on as teams isolate and overweight/underweight certain categories depending on where they stand and where they are headed. I hope to pick this up by comparing overall pts or standings versus the cumulative FC at the end of Part Three.

For each of my leagues, I show the top 3 deals based on average incremental FC per remaining week. I also show any other deals that I was involved in. For reference, LeBron James had an average FC of 3.95/game. So if you see a trade with +3.95 FC per week, the impact of that deal is roughly equivalent to getting a bonus game from LeBron added to your roster every week for the rest of the year (3.00 = Vince Carter/Joe Johnson; 2.00 = Loul Deng; 1.00 = Ike Diogu).

SPENCERS 1
Wk Received FC Imp FC Avg Received FC Imp FC Avg
11 SlackerS #: +50.53 +3.37 DavisAggie: -50.53 -3.37
Arenas,Gilbert Billups,Chauncey
Wallace,Rasheed Jefferson,Richard
7 EZ Winner: +52.14 +2.74 Spencers 1: -52.14 -2.74
Bibby,Mike Marshall,Donyell
Pachulia,Zaza Ming,Yao
13 KOB Dunker: +33.91 +2.61 platinum D: -33.91 -2.61
Paul,Chris Bosh,Chris
12 Spencers 1: +34.62 +2.47 full court: -34.62 -2.47
Battier,Shane Nelson,Jameer
3 Spencers 1: +4.98 +0.22 SlackerS #: -4.98 -0.22
Jones,James Jefferson,Richard
Kirilenko,Andrei Prince,Tayshaun
14 pickup gam: +12.99 +1.08 Spencers 1: -12.99 -1.08
Jackson,Stephen West,Delonte

COMMENT: Not many lopsided deals in this league, although most of my deals would've looked a lot better without injuries to Yao and Kirilenko (sprained his ankle the night I dealt for him...and I was at the game when it happened).

SPENCERS 2
Wk Received FC Imp FC Avg Received FC Imp FC Avg
10 Instant Mo: +136.95 +8.56 Easy$$: -136.95 -8.56
Jamison,Antawn Hill,Grant
8 Spencers 2: +86.14 +4.79 Easy$$: -86.14 -4.79
Lafrentz,Raef Lewis,Rashard
Marion,Shawn Dalembert,Samuel
14 Easy$$: +37.06 +3.09 CRARHOPE#2: -37.06 -3.09
Haslem,Udonis Dalembert,Samuel
Wade,Dwyane Lewis,Rashard

COMMENT: Lowest trade activity in this league, with only 6 trades all year. Looking at Jamison for Grant Hill explains a lot of why Instant Money was the front runner down the stretch. Easy Money got abused on the top 2 trades, probably explaining his 10th place finish, although he did manage to flip the Lewis/Dalembert combo that he received from me and turn it into Wade.

SPENCERS 3
Wk Received FC Imp FC Avg Received FC Imp FC Avg
16 G Strings: +74.32 +7.43 Buggy Ball: -74.32 -7.43
Jamison,Antawn Bosh,Chris
Peterson,Morris Haslem,Udonis
13 Buggy Ball: +92.56 +7.12 IH8DUKE: -92.56 -7.12
Jamison,Antawn Duncan,Tim
Nash,Steve Pierce,Paul
Kirilenko,Andrei Hamilton,Richard
15 G Strings: +53.81 +4.89 Basketball: -53.81 -4.89
Butler,Caron Curry,Eddy
4 Spencers 3: +57.77 +2.63 fargin ice: +34.19 +1.55
Nowitzki,Dirk Camby,Marcus
add: Parker,Smush Redd,Michael
  dr: Swift,Stromile
8 Spencers 3: +30.41 +1.69 KOB Dunker: -30.41 -1.69
Kidd,Jason Bibby,Mike
Marion,Shawn Nowitzki,Dirk
Murphy,Troy Szczerbiak,Wally

COMMENT: Given Antawn Jamison's feast-or-famine season, I guess it's not surprising to see him pop up multiple times on this list. G-Strings did really well to land Jamison/Peterson/Butler in exchange for Bosh/Haslem/Curry over two separate deals. My Nowitzi for Redd/Camby deal is an example of an unbalanced deal that helped both teams. That deal, combined with later flipping Dirk/Bibby for Marion/Kidd pretty much locked up this league by Week 8.

SPENCERS 4
Wk Received FC Imp FC Avg Received FC Imp FC Avg
8 TOPH: +173.60 +9.64 Spencers 4: -115.93 -6.44
Lewis,Rashard Gooden,Drew
add: Bell,Raja Maggette,Corey
  dr: Barbosa,Leandro
9 Spencers 4: +69.58 +4.09 P.Galore: -34.45 -2.03
Paul,Chris Mobley,Cuttino
add: Posey,James Przybilla,Joel
  drop: Van Horn,Keith
2 Cape Cods: +140.08 +5.84 platinum B: -140.08 -5.84
Ford,T.j. Anderson,Derek
Peterson,Morris Murphy,Troy
6 Spencers 4: +63.00 +3.15 P.Galore: -63.00 -3.15
Battier,Shane Mourning,Alonzo

COMMENT: I knew that Lewis for Gooden/Maggette deal was a bad one the second it was accepted. I had made the offers a few weeks earlier when Maggette was healthy and I needed forwards. Oh well. I guess it shows you the importance of being diligent with your trade offers. Thankfully, I followed it up with landing Chris Paul for a song. My Battier trade worked out great as well...it was right before Shaq was due back from injury and I was going to dump Zo anyways (he only started 4 more games after I dealt him). A classic sell-high move.

SPENCERS 5
Wk Received FC Imp FC Avg Received FC Imp FC Avg
6 eearl1: +215.26 +10.76 ceematics: -174.80 -8.74
Ford,T.j. Okafor,Emeka
Peterson,Morris add: Howard,Juwan
dr: Najera,Eduardo  
8 Run an Gun: +191.50 +10.64 eearl1: -191.50 -10.64
Bryant,Kobe Bosh,Chris
Jamison,Antawn Davis,Baron
7 ROCKA FELL: +110.16 +5.80 THE PUNISH: -110.16 -5.80
Ilgauskas,Zydrunas Brown,P.j.
Okur,Mehmet Camby,Marcus
4 Spencers 5: +16.22 +0.74 ceematics: -16.22 -0.74
Kidd,Jason Jefferson,Richard
Korver,Kyle Peterson,Morris
6 Run an Gun: +19.42 +0.97 Spencers 5: -19.42 -0.97
Bosh,Chris Ming,Yao
6 Spencers 5: +60.49 +3.02 platinum B: -60.49 -3.02
Smith,Josh Pachulia,Zaza
7 Spencers 5: +16.45 +0.87 platinum B: -16.45 -0.87
Ridnour,Luke Mobley,Cuttino
18 Spencers 5: +18.57 +2.32 Cape Beach: -18.57 -2.32
Garnett,Kevin Pierce,Paul

COMMENT: By far the most active trading of any of my leagues, with 24 deals total. Ceematics just loved to wheel-and-deal, with 10 deals total. Unfortunately, he was on the losing end of the most lopsided deal on this page, trading Emeka Okafor for TJ Ford AND Morris Peterson. Trading Ford for either one of those guys would've been bad enough. Ceematics got a whole games out of Okafor before he went down with the world's worst ankle sprain.

Hey look, there's Jamison again. Involved in another hugely lopsided deal. Kobe and Jamison for Bosh and Baron? Ouch!

I was involved in a number of smaller deals that incrementally helped my team out. The Yao deal would've been great if it hadn't been a week before he went down w/ that toe issue (that must've been one nasty looking toe). Getting Josh Smith for Zaza turned out to be a great deal (another one where I was going to dump Zaza anyways), but unfortunately J-Smoove (lame nickname, by the way) didn't last long enough on my roster to provide any benefit.

SPENCERS 6
Wk Received FC Imp FC Avg Received FC Imp FC Avg
10 Mad Bomber: +133.83 +8.36 kgticket: -133.83 -8.36
Brand,Elton O'neal,Jermaine
14 Spencers 6: +81.60 +6.80 Invincible: -81.60 -6.80
Blount,Mark Dalembert,Samuel
Gasol,Pau Jaric,Marko
11 argh: +50.42 +3.36 Spencers 6: -50.42 -3.36
Nocioni,Andres Jaric,Marko
9 argh: +17.78 +1.05 Spencers 6: -17.78 -1.05
Johnson,Joe Allen,Ray
Lewis,Rashard Camby,Marcus
11 Spencers 6: +23.19 +1.55 Smush Fan : -23.19 -1.55
James,Lebron Kirilenko,Andrei
Marbury,Stephon Korver,Kyle
Prince,Tayshaun Mcgrady,Tracy

COMMENT: You look at an Elton Brand for Jermaine O'Neal deal and you can't help but wonder what the guy was thinking. Even if JO'N was healthy all year (a major stretch), there's no way you'd do this deal. Brand matches or is superior to O'Neal is nearly almost every category. kgticket lost out on all 4 deals he made, giving away 200 FC in total. Might explain his 9th place finish.


My deals to land LeBron and Gasol helped bring a team that was doomed for mediocrity to the fantasy title. Gasol for Dalembert! Look how their stats compared from Weeks 14 on:

Player GM MIN FGA FGP 3PM FTA FTP REB AST STL BLK PTS
Gasol 37 38.9 15.4 51.6% 0.0 7.7 68.1% 8.7 5.0 0.6 1.8 21.1
Dalembert 35 23.2 4.5 49.7% 0.0 1.7 69.0% 6.5 0.2 0.5 1.6 5.7

Dalembert had a grand total of 8 assists over that time frame.

So, how did the Spencers do overall? Here's my combined performance per team

Team Trades Incr FC Pts
TOPH 3 +201.65 66
Run an Gun 4 +197.23 51
Cape Cods 1 +140.08 57
Spencers 5 5 +92.30 76
Spencers 3 2 +88.18 84
Spencers 2 1 +86.14 69
Spencers 6 4 +36.59 75
Spencers 4 3 +16.65 74.5
Spencers 1 4 -25.53 80
ceematics 10 -176.27 45
Easy$$ 3 -186.04 37
kgticket 4 -200.42 47

I added the top 3 and bottom 3 teams for context. Overall, the Spencers did pretty well. Only one team had negative incremental Fantasy Contribution, and the average of my six teams was +49 FC.

So how does smart trading relate to overall fantasy success? The numbers in my six leagues show an overall correlation of .15, .17 if you look only at teams that actually made a deal. Not nearly as strong as the draft (as expected), but still positive. In many cases, the impact of bad trades can be offset by subsequent roster moves. But a hugely positive move can vault you to a higher level, as strong deals early in the season can set-up more incremental deals down the road.

Next week: Roster and Line-Up Management

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Fantasy Hoops, Keys to Victory (Part One: The Draft)

4/21/2006 0 comments

Probably the most important determinant of fantasy success is the draft. After the draft, you can usually write-off about 3-4 teams right out of the gate. Since fantasy hoops is all about accumulating fantasy statistics, the goal is to acquire players that to do the best job of accumulating stats. Position and specific categories are an issue, but they're secondary. Accumulating assets should allow you to balance out positions/categories further down the road by having decent guys to deal.

When you have, say for example, the 23rd pick, you're expecting to get value in return consistent or above what a typical 23rd pick should deliver. Otherwise you wouldn't draft him (or would wait until the later round). Fantasy success depends on getting the answer right more often than not (ie, getting overall positive value in return for the picks that you make). Obviously there's a lot of luck involved due to injuries...ask anybody who drafted T-Mac in the first round (I did it twice). But with multiple teams, your luck should roughly even out, unless you're making a bet on the same guy across the board (*cough* James Jones *cough*).

With the 2005-06 season in the bag, I can compute what I call Fantasy Contribution (or FC) for each player, a cumulative measure of each players contribution in each of the 8 roto categories (hence the name). Then I can calculate what the expected FC is for each draft pick, 1 to 156. Then we'll see how well each team drafted and how that corresponded to their overall fantasy success.

First off, here are the top and bottom 30 players in terms of value relative to where they were picked on average. If you have more guys on the first list then the second list, give yourself a pat on the back.

Top 30 Fantasy Draft Values
Rk Name AvgPick ExpFC ActFC Diff Tm
1 James,Mike 118 113.9 229.7 115.8 67.4
2 Peterson,Morris 127 112.6 204.2 91.6 52.8
3 Kaman,Chris 152 95.9 183.4 87.5 65.6
4 West,David 145 94.4 178.4 84.0 50.3
5 Paul,Chris 60 162.1 245.6 83.5 49.0
6 Brand,Elton 16 224.0 306.4 82.3 54.5
7 Billups,Chauncey 40 183.1 262.8 79.7 63.2
8 Battier,Shane 134 102.4 181.8 79.4 55.8
9 West,Delonte 138 100.8 179.2 78.5 44.5
10 Marion,Shawn 5 266.8 341.8 75.0 59.1
11 Bell,Raja 122 111.8 186.2 74.3 65.2
12 Turkoglu,Hedo 137 103.6 177.6 74.0 58.0
13 Arenas,Gilbert 12 237.2 311.2 74.0 64.2
14 Okur,Mehmet 88 140.5 214.0 73.4 64.3
15 Bryant,Kobe 6 261.1 330.4 69.4 49.6
16 Wallace,Rasheed 60 162.7 230.4 67.7 60.7
17 Allen,Ray 20 214.7 281.4 66.7 67.8
18 Redd,Michael 44 179.2 243.6 64.3 57.7
19 Smith,Josh 88 139.9 202.7 62.8 54.4
20 Szczerbiak,Wally 113 121.7 183.5 61.8 64.2
21 Johnson,Joe 42 181.7 243.2 61.5 64.4
22 Nash,Steve 14 230.5 290.9 60.5 58.7
23 Wallace,Gerald 125 114.1 171.3 57.2 61.7
24 Odom,Lamar 44 179.3 233.4 54.1 42.3
25 Davis,Ricky 84 143.0 196.0 53.0 53.1
26 Miller,Mike 116 119.9 172.3 52.4 47.9
27 Butler,Caron 83 142.9 193.6 50.7 49.0
28 Villanueva,Charlie 122 111.5 159.8 48.3 56.8
29 Knight,Brevin 105 127.5 175.7 48.2 53.4
30 Felton,Raymond 123 110.9 158.7 47.8 48.0

'Diff' shows the difference between a player's actual contribution versus what would be expected from a guy drafted at his given slot. 'Tm' shows the average fantasy points for the teams that drafted him.

Bottom 30 Fantasy Draft Values
Rk Name AvgPick ExpFC ActFC Diff Tm
1 Stoudemire,Amare 66 161.5 3.6 -157.9 42.8
2 Okafor,Emeka 40 183.8 56.4 -127.4 51.8
3 McGrady,Tracy 7 260.5 135.9 -124.6 57.3
4 Maggette,Corey 49 174.2 65.6 -108.6 56.8
5 Hughes,Larry 38 187.1 78.6 -108.6 44.8
6 O'Neal,Shaquille 17 228.9 121.8 -107.0 32.2
7 Robinson,Glenn 134 103.7 0.0 -103.7 38.4
8 Hill,Grant 86 141.6 38.5 -103.1 43.5
9 Marbury,Stephon 15 229.4 127.4 -102.0 38.0
10 Hilario,Nene 140 100.4 -0.1 -100.5 55.4
11 Stoudamire,Damon 75 149.7 50.6 -99.1 54.8
12 Boozer,Carlos 61 162.0 78.0 -84.0 51.7
13 Jackson,Jim 132 99.8 18.8 -81.0 49.3
14 Mason,Desmond 86 140.8 60.1 -80.7 57.3
15 Tinsley,Jamaal 82 143.6 65.0 -78.6 52.8
16 O'Neal,Jermaine 17 221.6 145.0 -76.5 49.2
17 Lenard,Voshon 138 97.2 25.4 -71.8 55.0
18 Andersen,Chris 146 97.5 28.6 -68.9 62.1
19 Francis,Steve 22 211.5 143.4 -68.1 31.8
20 Artest,Ron 25 206.9 142.6 -64.3 47.8
21 Richardson,Quentin 102 129.0 65.0 -64.1 50.5
22 Smith,J.R. 117 119.0 58.0 -61.0 45.6
23 Martin,Kenyon 56 167.4 107.1 -60.3 37.1
24 Miles,Darius 118 119.1 59.0 -60.1 54.3
25 Davis,Baron 24 208.2 149.9 -58.3 53.4
26 Thomas,Kurt 73 152.1 95.7 -56.4 51.6
27 Swift,Stromile 98 132.0 77.1 -54.9 61.9
28 Rose,Jalen 71 152.3 101.1 -51.2 26.2
29 Randolph,Zach 46 176.1 133.3 -42.8 34.4
30 Van Horn,Keith 119 111.7 69.0 -42.6 24.8

Not a whole bunch of surprises on this list. If you drafted Kenyon Martin, Stephon Marbury, Steve Francis or waited all year for Amare and his 26 pts and 16 rebounds (total, not per game), I feel your pain. And if you were like Isiah Thomas and thought it was a good idea to pick both Francis and Marbury, I'm guessing you had the same fate as this year's Knicks. The moral of the story is...let somebody else draft Shaq.

The average team score for the guys on the top 30 is 56.5. The average team score for the guys on the bottom 30 is 47.4.

So, let's dig a little deeper and see how each team in my 6 leagues did with the draft. The +/- FC shows the average increase/decrease in value relative for all 13 picks.

TEAM PICK PLUS PTS GOODS (Round) BADS (Round)
DavisAggie 6 +31.7 79.0 James,M (11); Arenas (2); Marion (1) Hilario (12); Magloire (8); Chandler (7)
platinum D 5 +18.5 55.5 Paul (6); Redd (4); Smith,Josh (7) Andersen (13); Davis,B (2); Stojakovic (3)
Spencers 1 1 +12.5 80.0 Allen (2); Cassell (9); Jefferson,R (4) Swift (8); Jefferson,A (10); Garnett (1)
KOB Dunker 10 +11.9 77.0 Bryant (1); Okur (9); Nash (2) Okafor (3); Mason (8); Telfair (10)
SlackerS # 8 +11.3 67.0 Kaman (13); Billups (4); Villanueva (11) Stoudamire,D (7); Lenard (12); Jones,J (9)
pickup gam 7 -0.9 60.0 Peterson (10); Miller,M (12); Hinrich (4) Sura (13); O'Neal,J (2); Brown,PJ (7)
EZ Winner 2 -2.2 51.5 Bell (10); Johnson (4); Miller,A (5) May (13); Artest (3); Przybilla (8)
30 Foot Ra 11 -8.7 46.0 Szczerbiak (10); Butler (8); Wade (1) Hughes (3); Marbury (2); Thomas,Ku (5)
Master T 4 -19.0 41.0 Brand (2); Davis,R (9); Odom (5) McGrady (1); Maggette (4); Tinsley (6)
nc river c 12 -19.3 30.0 Kidd (2); Anthony (3); Gordon (7) Boozer (5); Martin (4); Warrick (12)
Direct Dep 3 -27.9 10.0 Knight (8); Camby (5); Miller,B (3) Hill (7); Francis (2); Duncan (1)
full court 9 -52.3 27.0 Gasol (3); Thomas,Ke (12); Crawford (8) Stoudemire (4); Robinson,G (9); O'Neal,S (1)

Comment: Burned by Stromile...don't worry, you'll notice a common theme. Jefferson and Cassell were great picks for rounds 4 and 9, and Ray Allen as the last pick in round 2 turned out to be a gold mine.

TEAM PICK PLUS PTS GOODS (Round) BADS (Round)
CRARHOPE#2 10 +20.8 67.0 Szczerbiak (11); Knight (10); Blount (13) Przybilla (8); Howard,Jo (7); Griffin (12)
LV Knicks 4 +20.1 42.0 West,Del (13); Paul (5); Smith,Josh (9) Artest (2); Stojakovic (3); Gooden (6)
DavisAggie 9 +14.9 67.0 James,M (10); Brand (2); Johnson (4) Richardson,Q (9); Sweetney (12); Chandler (7)
playazinc1 2 +9.8 67.0 Wallace,R (5); Davis,R (6); Richardson,J (4) Smith,Joe (12); Brown,K (10); Ratliff (13)
Instant Mo 12 +5.6 68.0 Arenas (1); Gasol (3); Miller,M (10) Hill (8); Tinsley (7); Jackson,M (12)
Easy$$ 3 -1.3 37.0 Peterson (11); Marion (1); Jamison (5) Sprewell (13); Hughes (4); O'Neal,J (2)
JD66 11 -1.5 53.0 Nocioni (13); Turkoglu (11); Redd (4) Mason (7); Lenard (12); Thomas,Ku (5)
Spencers 2 7 -11.2 69.0 Okur (10); Allen (2); Lewis (3) McGrady (1); Maggette (4); Boozer (5)
Double Dri 1 -14.9 40.0 Bell (11); Deng (10); Carter (2) Hilario (13); May (12); Abdur-Rahim (4)
NOTHING BU 6 -17.5 49.0 Billups (4); Bryant (1); Butler (8) Okafor (5); Stoudamire,D (7); Andersen (13)
The Gar He 8 -22.3 34.0 Odom (4); Jones,E (8); Anthony (3) O'Neal,S (1); Marbury (2); Jackson,J (13)
CELTICS 5 -30.7 31.0 Wallace,G (11); Nelson (10); Parker,T (4) Stoudemire (6); Robinson,G (13); Francis (2)

Comment: My only negative team, thanks to injury-ridden McGrady, Boozer and Maggette. Okur in Round 10 made for a nice recovery.

TEAM PICK PLUS PTS GOODS (Round) BADS (Round)
Giborim 2 +19.8 69.0 James,M (11); Okur (8); Allen (2) Andersen (13); Sweetney (12); Chandler (6)
Spencers 3 7 +18.8 84.0 Redd (5); Bell (11); Cassell (8) Hilario (13); Miles (12); Ming (2)
the hommie 9 +15.4 60.0 Brand (2); Billups (4); Turkoglu (12) McGrady (1); Brown,K (10); Jones,D (9)
Buggy Ball 11 +9.9 64.0 Peterson (13); Wallace,R (6); Felton (11) Hughes (4); Tinsley (7); Richardson,Q (9)
SlackerS-- 8 +7.9 56.0 Nash (2); Villanueva (10); LaFrentz (12) Thomas,Ku (6); Jackson,M (13); Jones,J (9)
Basketball 1 +7.8 49.0 Anthony (5); Butler (7); Nelson (13) Jefferson,A (8); Payton (4); McCants (12)
Beer Farts 5 +4.5 49.5 Paul (6); Johnson (4); Bryant (1) Maggette (5); Artest (2); May (13)
fargin ice 3 +0.4 42.5 Kaman (13); West,Dav (12); Parker,S (11) Stoudamire,D (6); Francis (2); Martin (5)
IH8DUKE 10 -3.7 51.0 Battier (12); Jamison (5); Jones,E (9) Marbury (2); Jackson,J (11); Boozer (6)
KOB Dunker 4 -12.6 50.0 Marion (1); Smith,Josh (7); Kidd (2) Okafor (4); Mason (8); Smith,JR (9)
G Strings 12 -22.6 29.0 Arenas (2); Thomas,Ke (12); Hinrich (4) O'Neal,J (1); Magloire (3); Curry (6)
jaggerz 6 -42.6 20.0 West,Del (13); Odom (4); Davis,R (7) Stoudemire (2); O'Neal,S (1); Hill (5)

Comment: Now we're talking. Redd in round 5 was a solid pick. Packaged him and Camby (7th round) for Dirk early in the season and never looked back. Results would've been even better had we picked anybosy but Nene in the last round.

TEAM PICK PLUS PTS GOODS (Round) BADS (Round)
Spencers 4 11 +19.1 74.5 Kaman (13); Bell (11); Johnson (4) Thomas,Ku (5); Griffin (10); Jones,J (8)
P.Galore 6 +19.0 54.0 Paul (5); Bryant (1); Battier (11) Hilario (13); Marshall (4); Miller,A (3)
platinum B 1 +9.3 60.0 Peterson (11); Wallace,G (12); Richardson,J (4) Andersen (13); Howard,Jo (7); Stojakovic (3)
NY BALLERS 4 +8.9 50.5 Marion (1); Redd (4); Davis,R (8) Smith,JR (9); Artest (3); Miles (11)
TOPH 10 +4.1 66.0 James,M (9); Billups (4); Nash (2) Maggette (5); Tinsley (8); Swift (7)
Big Mean S 2 +2.8 45.0 Miller,M (10); Anthony (5); Cassell (7) Martin (4); Francis (2); Brown,K (11)
Scrubs 12 +0.4 67.0 Arenas (1); Ridnour (8); Camby (5) Okafor (3); Jackson,J (12); Hill (10)
MMMM BANAN 8 -1.2 48.0 Allen (2); Szczerbiak (9); Jamison (5) Mason (7); Hudson (10); Davis (13)
Hansel 9 -16.5 19.0 Wallace,R (5); Deng (13); Odom (4) Marbury (1); Hughes (3); O'Neal,J (2)
Cape Cods 3 -18.6 57.0 Murphy (8); Ilgauskas (4); Brown,PJ (12) Stoudamire,D (6); Richardson,Q (9); Davis,B (2)
gramps tra 5 -23.1 40.0 Jones,E (8); Thomas,Ke (10); Hamilton (5) Boozer (4); O'Neal,S (2); Finley (6)
Arsenal 7 -28.6 43.0 Brand (2); Terry (5); Dunleavy (10) Stoudemire (7); McGrady (1); Robinson,G (13)
>
Comment: In hindsight, it's amazing that I picked Kaman and Raja behind Kurt Thomas, Eddie Griffin and James Jones. Unfortunately, I didn't end up holding either Kaman or Bell (or Thomas, Griffin or Jones for that matter).

TEAM PICK PLUS PTS GOODS (Round) BADS (Round)
THE PUNISH 2 +26.9 80.0 Okur (8); Allen (2); Szczerbiak (11) Lenard (12); Williams,J (7); Ginobili (4)
Cape Beach 9 +21.7 69.0 Kaman (13); Brand (2); Arenas (1) Mason (8); Abdur-Rahim (5); Jaric (7)
platinum B 7 +15.1 77.0 Marion (1); Billups (4); Wallace,R (6) Andersen (12); O'Neal,J (2); Brown,K (11)
Dead Money 4 +14.1 45.0 Battier (13); Paul (5); Villanueva (11) Hughes (3); Howard,Jo (6); Jones,J (8)
Spencers 5 11 +9.4 76.0 Peterson (11); Bell (10); Wade (1) Stoudemire (9); Swift (8); Marshall (6)
Massillon 3 +9.3 56.0 James,M (11); West,Del (13); Redd (4) McGrady (1); Hill (8); Magloire (7)
ROCKA FELL 10 -2.3 43.0 Turkoglu (11); Cassell (7); Kidd (2) Marbury (1); Curry (6); Smith,JR (12)
Run an Gun 1 -15.7 51.0 Miller,A (4); Howard,Ju (13); Walker (8) Robinson,G (12); Davis,B (3); Martin (6)
djscrew 6 -19.5 22.0 Anthony (4); Ford (8); Hamilton (5) Francis (2); Richardson,Q (9); Rose (6)
24s 12 -21.4 40.0 Nash (1); Childress (11); Richardson,J (4) Maggette (3); Stoudamire,D (5); Miles (10)
ceematics 8 -23.2 45.0 Haslem (12); Jones,E (7); Carter (2) Jackson,J (10); Boozer (5); Artest (3)
eearl1 5 -32.7 20.0 Bryant (1); Miller,M (11); Jamison (5) Okafor (3); Hilario (10); O'Neal,S (2)

Comment: Amare was too good to pass up in Round 9...however picking him and sticking with him all year probably cost me the title. My Mom always told me to be cautious of injured players...and anybody named Stromile. Dwyane Wade at pick 11 was great...do you think he'll slip that far next year?

TEAM PICK PLUS PTS GOODS (Round) BADS (Round)
The Enemie 12 +16.3 60.0 Billups (4); Szczerbiak (10); Nash (2) Stoudemire (7); Abdur-Rahim (5); Howard,Jo (8)
Fantasy Ac 5 +15.0 48.0 Paul (6); Smith,Josh (10); Bryant (1) Okafor (4); Artest (2); Chandler (8)
Mad Bomber 7 +13.8 73.0 Diaw (10); Battier (11); Arenas (1) Stoudamire,D (8); O'Neal,J (2); Gooden (7)
BigBoyz 6 +6.7 55.0 Turkoglu (12); Parker,S (9); Deng (11) Smith,Joe (10); Walker (4); Williams,J (7)
argh 8 +1.9 61.0 Marion (1); Allen (2); Howard,D (5) Miles (6); Sweetney (11); Ford (4)
Spencers 6 9 +0.3 75.0 Kaman (13); Johnson (4); Korver (9) McGrady (1); Maggette (5); Boozer (8)
Will's Squ 10 -2.8 52.0 Ridnour (10); Pierce (2); Miller,M (8) Sprewell (13); O'Neal,S (4); Richardson,Q (9)
kgticket 11 -2.9 47.0 Brand (1); Redd (3); Jamison (4) Mason (7); Ming (2); Calderon (11)
Hinrichs 4 -3.3 58.0 West,Dav (13); Wallace,R (6); Hinrich (5) Hughes (4); Tinsley (8); Davis,B (3)
Smush Fan 2 -11.7 35.0 Miller,A (5); James,L (1); Parker,T (4) Marbury (2); Smith,JR (11); Wells (7)
Invincible 3 -12.7 20.0 Peterson (10); Bibby (3); Gasol (2) Van Horn (9); Anderson (11); Hudson (12)
Knowspicke 1 -16.6 40.0 Butler (6); Okur (4); Howard,Ju (12) Robinson,G (11); Hill (9); Francis (3)

Comment: Hey, it's McGrady, Boozer and Maggette again. That's great. Same 'Bads' and Spencers 2, but somehow managed to squeak out a positive value. Kaman and Joe Johnson helped bridge the gap.

So what does all of this mean? Well, a team's draft success has a correlation of .76 with its end-of-season standings...a very strong correlation indeed.

One other thing...what's the value of having the first pick? This year, the curve was a little flatter than previous years given the tighter gap between the top 5-6 players, where previously it was Garnett and everybody else. Still, even with the snake draft, there's is benefit of having an early pick. Here's the average cumulative value by team depending on which pick they have in the first round.

Pick Avg Exp FC FC vs. Avg
1 2,082 +48.7
2 2,061 +28.4
3 2,049 +16.0
4 2,040 +7.2
5 2,033 +0.4
6 2,028 -5.0
7 2,024 -9.3
8 2,020 -12.8
9 2,017 -15.6
10 2,015 -17.9
11 2,013 -19.5
12 2,012 -20.6

Next week: Trades

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