View Full Version : Were Fantasy Rankings Really Out Of Line? {Pacers.com 9.18.06}

Frank Slade
09-18-2006, 04:02 PM
Are Fantasy Rankings Really Out Of Line?

Monday, Sept. 18, 2006

Conrad Brunner

Q. The rankings are as good as they could be. Of course people are going to have different opinions, but I believe they are done quite well.

(Jamaal) Tinsley has been injured for half the season for three years straight. Maurice Williams was fantastic in the absence of (T.J.) Ford and has a shot at the starting job this year, then he should rank ahead of Tinsley's unknown injury situation. Delonte West was the starter and averaged over 35 minutes last year and put up big time steals and blocks numbers along with the usual point guard numbers ... in fact, he was in and out of Yahoo's Big Board (top 50 fantasy performers) throughout last year. Rafer Alston is inconsistent, but when he is on, his steal numbers (a tough category in fantasy) go off the charts. And Brevin Knight had the second-best assists-per-game last year behind (Steve) Nash. How'd he not be better than Tinsley fantasy-wise?

Jeff Foster? Are you kidding? I was in a fantasy league last year in which we had 14 people with 13 fantasy players each ... 182 players and the Foster owner did not even use him. He was great in the previous playoffs vs Detroit (20 boards in one game). But other than boards, he does nothing. And everybody is talking about Foster coming off the bench this year with their proposed up-tempo play with (Al) Harrington, (Danny) Granger, and (Jermaine) O'Neal starting in the frontcourt, although I believe Foster should start in order to give (David) Harrison some minutes at backup center. Since Foster only provides boards, then even Darko (Milicic) certainly has more worth, fantasy-wise. Look at his ridiculous blocks numbers after arriving in Magicland! Same goes for the block monsters of (Joel) Przybilla, (Kendrick) Perkins, (Samuel) Dalembert, who are sure to start for their teams at least, and be able to provide more than just blocks.

Al Harrington is good at scoring primarily. He gets an average number of steals, but no blocks to speak of and really bad free-throw percentage and turnover numbers. Caron Butler converted 87 percent of his free throws last year and a good volume of them as the No. 3 option and got 0.5 steals per game more than Al. It's these hard-to-get categories that fantasy owners look for when they rank. So I hope you understand this point more before saying the Pacers don't get enough credit on fantasy rosters.

J.O.'s certainly one of the guys I'd like to have next year as he's determined and prepared to put his best season out there. He has excellent scoring, rebounding, block numbers with too many turnovers for a power forward/center. The guys above him are even better, though. (Chris) Bosh's potential is sky-high and has a very valuable category (free-throw percentage) that distinguishes him from J.O. You're talking about (Pau) Gasol, but I see that in their update for Gasol, they're saying he's already dropped out of the top 100. (From Henry in British Columbia, Canada)

A. Not much I can say in response to all of that data, because it certainly does reflect a sincere amount of homework on the topic of various players and their fantasy basketball rankings, except ...

I'm not here to get into an ongoing debate about fantasy values. In my report Friday on the Pacers' relatively low rankings in the NBA's own fantasy evaluations, I was attempting to have a little fun while defending the honor and integrity of our fine Indiana lads.

The bigger point I was hoping to make, and apparently did not, was what can be a vast discrepancy between a player's actual value and his fantasy value. Not to pick on West, but he makes an excellent example. By most measures, he was an exceptional fantasy value last season. And yet the Celtics traded for Sebastian Telfair and picked up Rajon Rondo and Allan Ray in the draft, strong indicators they felt the need for a real-world upgrade at the point.

Tinsley, on the other hand, was a fantasy disaster last year but because of his talent level remains the starter with a team that will be playing at a faster tempo more suited to his talents, so his prospects should be on the upswing.

You discount Foster as a one-trick pony, which he may well be statistically (although, to be fair, so are the other centers mentioned), but the whole essence of his value lies in the intangible areas of effort, hustle, desire and tenacity. While it is true he may not start full-time, he's very likely to play his usual share of minutes. Foster may well be anathema to fantasy owners but there are few NBA General Managers that wouldn't love to have him.

Harrington might not put up quite the same numbers with the Pacers that he did with the Hawks but he should be more efficient because he wonít have to force things as much, which should help in areas like field-goal percentage and turnovers. In terms of points, rebounds and assists heís extremely solid by any set of standards.

As for OíNeal, his fantasy ranking was pretty well in line with his real-world value at power forward, although Iíd have to put him ahead of Gasol even if the latter were completely healthy.

Based strictly on those numbers, the Pacers will field one of the worst starting lineups in the NBA in 2006-07. And thatís the real fantasy.

Pacers.com (http://www.nba.com/pacers/news/question_060918.html)

09-18-2006, 04:24 PM
Based strictly on those numbers, the Pacers will field one of the worst starting lineups in the NBA in 2006-07. And that’s the real fantasy.


09-18-2006, 06:05 PM
Um...Delonte West is being slowly squeezed out of the rotation? What? Are we waiting for fries? How are we not all over this?