So we're playing fantasy basketball once again. The autodraft finally went through, and my two-hour long predraft picks seem to have yielded a pretty strong team:

  • Luke Ridnour at the 1
  • Paul Pierce and Maggette at the 2
  • Rashard Lewis, Wally Szczerbiak, Peja Stojakovic, Grant Hill at the 3 (yeah I'm a bit overloaded here)
  • Drew Gooden, Dwight Howard, Tyson Chandler at the 4
  • Dirk Nowitski and Kurt Thomas at the 5

After winning last year's fantasy league on what many people called a "fluke," I'm determined to make a strong showing this year.

I do like my team overall, but there are definitely a few spots where I could use a lot more work.

One of the big requirements for my players this year from a lesson learned hard last year is to pick high percentage shooters. I seriously got shafted last year when my players couldn't hit their shots from the field ... and I almost got into trouble when my players started missing their free throws last year as well.

Looking at my team, you can see that in general they are very good free throw shooters. With the exception of Rashard Lewis (75%), Dwight Howard (43% with about 4 attempts a game), and Kurt Thomas (roughly a 70% shooter), all my other players shoot at least a 80% percent. I have Luke Ridnour shooting at an amazing 95% right now (although I expect that number to level around the high 80s), Grant Hill shooting at 90% (expect to level around 85% ish), and Peja shooting at roughly 90% (which is normal for him). The great thing is that my four high-volume free throw shooters (Pierce, Maggette, Nowitzki, and Peja) shoot at high percentages... hopefully I can take the FT pct category this season.

In terms of FG%, things will be a tough sell. I really wanted a sharp-shooter along the lines of Redd or Ray Allen, but honestly I will be happy if I can break the top 3 in scoring percentages. I don't see too many players who can botch my high percentages (Paul Pierce is the only one I seriously worry about since he tends to take a lot of shots at a pretty low 40-percentile) ... so I'm pretty comfortable there.

Last year I made no effort to draft high-scoring players because I figured playing the points game would be difficult. I really feel I can make a run for at least 2nd or 3rd place (maybe even 1st!) with my team. Of my players, Paul Pierce, Rashard Lewis, Dirk, and Grant Hill are all fully capable of bursting for 30 point outbursts. I feel comfortable with Maggette scoring roughly 20 a game, and Drew Gooden and Kurt Thomas will make solid contributions on a daily basis.

Speaking of 3 pointers, do I have enough 3 point shooters on my team? Again, Rashard, Dirk, Peja and Paul Pierce are capable of draining two treys a night, which will add up in the long run of the season.

My biggest weaknesses will be in rebounds and blocks. Any rotisserie contender needs at least two (or three) double digit averaging rebounders per night. I tried to pick up two solid rebounders (Kurt Thomas and Drew Gooden, both who shoot at a high FG and FT %) while getting help from two youngsters (rolling the dice with Dwight Howard and Tyson Chandler). I'm not feeling very comfortable with my shot blocking, as most of my players are pretty soft on the defensive end.

I'm also missing in the steals category, as my team is not a guard-heavy team. However, I have to be happy that most of my team can average at least a mediocre steal average, so I can stay in the running for steals until mid-season when maybe I can move some of my extra players for an efficient point guard.

I know I will be dying in assists and turnovers this year because I have no solid point guard. Luke Ridnour, although a solid player, is not a team I want to base my offense around. Ideally I could unload one of my forwards for Starbury or Arenas, but I'm not sure how well that will pan out. I want to play the first week and see where my team stands and do all additional tweaking then.

But I feel good. I have a very solid base to work with; great trading talent and good overall statistics.

Posted by roy on November 20, 2004 at 01:09 AM in Sports | 1 Comments

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Comment posted on November 22nd, 2004 at 01:21 AM
man, if peja's on your team, then you have nothing to worry about for 3 point shooting.