Fantasy Ballin' with RaptorsHQ

Vicious D and Franchise give some quick accounts of recent fantasy leagues they've joined along with various other media-types.  Find out who he picked, why, and tell them how you would have drafted!

To tell you the truth, I really dislike Fantasy Basketball.  Well...not that I absolutely abhor it, it's just that I'm more of a fan of the real game I guess.

Now before everyone arrives outside of my condo with pitchforks, torches, and guns, there are a few things about fantasy ball that I do really like.  One of them is that you get to look at the game from a purely statistical standpoint and see players you may have forgotten about.  For example, I would never have thought Ronny Turiaf had the 3rd highest block totals last year.  

Another good thing about these kinds of drafts is just who is involved.  We've got uber TSN reporter Tim Chisholm, newly Faux-Hawked Eric Koreen, the Fan 590's Zack Cooper and a who's who of the Raptors blog-o-sphere.

  1. Dr. J. Naismith, Raptors Forum, @RaptorsForum
  2. Romes, Hip Hoop Junkies & Hoop Heads North, @romyaquino
  3. AltRaps, The AltRaps Blog, @altraps
  4. James Borbath, Dino Nation Blog, @dinonationblog
  5. Nat, Heels on Hardwood, @Nat77
  6. Eric Koreen, National Post & A Snack and an Ego Stroke, @ekoreen
  7. Raps Fan, Raptors Republic, @RapsFan
  8. Vicious D, Raptors HQ, @RapHQVicious
  9. Cuzzy, Cuzoogle, @cuzoogle
  10. Jeff Wong, PeteMarasmitch.com, @Marasmitch
  11. Tim Chisholm, 3 in the Key on TSN.ca, @timpchisholm
  12. Zack Cooper, FAN590, @ZCooperstown

The league is played in two divisions and is set up in head-to-head style.  (Follow the action at Raptors FANtasy League ID# 232122 through Yahoo Sports.)  The league will also have no trades, no waivers, and no changes, which means no micromanagement!  Everyone is active whether they're playing or not, so it's really quite a low-maintenance league. 

So what about my strategy?

Well, I thought I'd try my hand at building from the center/power forward position and work my way from there.  I was looking to acquire players who would be better rebounders, shot blockers, and high percentage scorers in the league, while leaving the scoring to the later rounds. As a result, here are some of my notable picks and why I chose them.

Chris Bosh - Toronto Raptors (Round 1)
Amare Stoudemire may have been the pick that would had yielded higher gains, but I chose Chris Bosh because he's in a contract year and I believe he has the potential to have another 20 and 10 year.  He'll be solid, and Chris Bosh has always been a solid late Round 1 pick up.  I just wanted for my first pick to be a low-risk/good return player; someone who will play more than 70 games in the season.  Toss in some added muscle, and hopefully we'll see a healthy and vibrant Bosh.  I picked up Tim Duncan soon after to compliment Bosh on my front line.  Both players may go on streak where they put up some heavy numbers, but I'm looking for a consistent set of numbers in categories that aren't focused solely on points scored.  Both Bosh and Duncan fit that bill.

Jose Calderon - Toronto Raptors (Round 3)
After grabbing two bigs, I was in the 3rd round with few options at point guard.  However, my strategy going into this draft was to choose players that would help me win in the less offensive-driven categories.  Jose Calderon satisfied my need for a high assist, low turnover point guard.  Michael Grange believes that Calderon will not rack up as many assists this season but I'd still like to see if that's really going to play out.  Turkoglu is bound to take away from some of his assist totals but at the same time, Calderon is a deadly enough shooter that he will gain some of his lost stats back on the offensive side.  Oh yeah, he has an extremely high free-throw percentage which will off-set people like Tim Duncan.  And yes, I ridiculed myself mercilessly for taking two Raptors in the first three rounds.  Jason Kidd and Rajon Rondo both were available at this point, but I don't believe Kidd will stay healthy if Dallas intends to be a quick and agile club, and Rajon Rondo is someone I've always disliked thanks to his relatively high turnover ratio and free-throw issues.

Jason Richardson - Phoenix Suns (Round 7)
Around round 7 I started to look for some potential scorers.  In the previous round, I had taken Shawn Marion, who I expect will not be taking many 3s this year.  However, Shawn would be a good supplement to the front line I was building with his rebounds, assists, and blocks. J-Rich on the other hand, is going to go play with Steve Nash.  On a team going back to a running style, Richardson will plan an important roll as a guy who will spread the floor thanks to his 3-point shooting and scoring.  He traditionally has had some decent rebounding and assist numbers which will help out over the course of the season as well.

Al Harrington - New York Knicks (Round 8)
While I was trying to figure out my 3-point shooting situation, I was looking at both Jason Richardson and Al Harrington for Round 7.  Imagine my surprise when he fell through to Round 8 and I was able to grab a big body who could also light it up from beyond the arc.  Jason Richardson made 129 three-pointers last year.  Al Harrington? 171!  That's from your PF/Center position!  As one of the more solid offensive weapons on the Knicks, here's hoping Harrington has another good year.

Mario Chalmers - Miami Heat (Round 9)
Fresh off of taking Ronny Turiaf in round 8 due to his previously mentioned blocked shots totals for last year, I was looking to bolster my steals category.  Mario Chalmers was 22nd overall in assists, and made over 100 3-pointers.  Playing next to Dwayne Wade, Chalmers managed to keep the Heat's offense running but what stood out for me was the fact that he was third overall in steals.  Finishing third behind Chris Pauland Wade, he managed to rack up 160 steals to tie him with Jason Kidd

Roger Mason Jr. - San Antonio Spurs (Round 12)
Finally, I wanted to find someone who was going to dish the ball and push my assist totals up as well as possibly help out my 3-point shooting.  Roger Mason was 10th overall in 3-points made last year, managed to rack up almost 200 assists last year, and shot 89% from the charity stripe.  As a late round pick, I was struggling to figure out if I was going to get Stephen Curry or not.  In the end, I took the safer bet, not trusting Don Nelson's style of coaching towards rookies.

The entire league will run throughout the year.  We're all interested to see how our picks will pan out and how the head-to-head match ups will work.  Check out the progress throughout the year by visiting our league and for a full breakdown of the rounds of selection, please check out this Google spreadsheet.

VICIOUS D

 

I too jumped into the fantasy deep end this year and for the second straight season, entered a squad into the "Charity Stripe" basketball league.

Charity Stripe has also been composed of various media types, from folks at TSN and the CBC, to bloggers like myself and various fantasy experts from places like Rotoevil.com.  The winner each year picks a charity of his choice (hence the league name) and we all donate $25 to that cause.

Last year wasn't a great one in my league as I had the most injury-riddled team of all time.  At one point I had SEVEN players out, including key pieces like Al Horford, Stephen Jackson, Carmelo Anthony and Marcus Camby.  It wasn't a pretty sight and I missed the playoffs as a result.

This year I'm back for revenge with a slightly tweaked draft strategy.  While last year I was focussing on winning the "tough-to-get" statistical categories, this year, I tried to lock down a few specific ones early on; scoring, rebounding, 3-point shooting, steals and hopefully, free-throw percentage.  I also had the first pick overall, so a certain Mr. Lebron James is anchoring my team, always a good way to start things off.

From there I looked at unique players such as Rashard Lewis and Antawn Jamison who hit a large number of 3's while still posting solid rebounding numbers from a forward position, and then moved along trying to bolster the categories I previously mentioned.

Sleeper picks?

How about Luis Scola, Louis Williams, Tyreke Evans and Ramon Sessions.

Risks?

Baron Davis, Marcus Camby, Mike Dunleavy Jr and the currently injured Kevin Love.

I'll be giving updates on this league as well throughout the season and it can be viewed here, but safe to say that it's going to be a very interesting squad that I've put together...

...and hopefully one that brings home the title.

FRANCHISE

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