Here we are, the second Red Rock Fantasy Basketball Mailbag. You guys sent in more questions and I’m more than happy to answer them. For future editions, contact me on Twitter @redrock_bball or email email@example.com and I’ll give you as much knowledge as I can fit onto the page (but with this being the internet, there is no page limit, so be prepared for an opus).
@rakmjn1 — who starts at PF in Brooklyn – any projections for Teletovic?
I’ve had a lot of questions regarding the Nets’ starting lineup recently, in fact, Steve, Heath, and I discussed it on episode 71 of the podcast as well. The reason there have been so many questions about the Nets is that so much seems to be in flux.
The only guaranteed starters are Deron Williams, Joe Johnson, and Brook Lopez at this stage, with a wing and a big still to be decided. New coach Lionel Hollins has a number of options with his starting five, but the final decision will hinge on whether or not Kevin Garnett comes back for one last go-around. If Garnett does return, he’ll be the starter at power forward in name, but will not top the 21 minutes he played last season. In fact his minutes will likely be closer to 18 per game.
If Garnett hangs them up for good, Hollins could use a number options at the four. Mirza Teletovic would the favourite in my mind to assume the starting role, but Andrei Kirilenko and Mason Plumlee could also get a look in. I think Plumlee is the better player, and so do Team USA officials by the look of things, but pairing him with Brook Lopez is troublesome as both guys need to play so close to the basket.
That’s where Teletovic comes into things. The big Bosnian is a big-time bomber from beyond the arc, attempting 4.8 shots from deep in just 19 minutes last season. He hit 1.9 of those shots to average 8.6 points a game. Over 65 percent of his field goal attempts were three-pointers last season, an insane number especially for a guy who is 6-foot-9.
Andrei Kirilenko, for as good as a stat-sheet stuffer he has been over his career, seems like his ability to stay healthy is detracting from his on-court ability at this stage. He is also in the mix for minutes at the three this season, but in my mind, will likely sit behind Johnson on the wing and play some four behind Garnett and Teletovic.
In terms of projecting Teletovic’s numbers, they will differ based on Garnett’s decision, but assuming KG comes back, I see his numbers coming out like so.
If that’s how the season plays out, Teletovic is a guy to draft in the last or second-to-last round, and mainly for his three-point prowess. If Garnett doesn’t come back. his minutes should increase, closer to 28, and then he becomes a top 90 player.
When I broke down the top 10 draft picks for there fantasy value, Parker was the guy I was the highest on and detailed my thoughts here. The fifth round seems high to me. I’d be looking at the seventh round at the earliest and out of all of the players listed above, the only one I’d consider Parker over is Monroe. Don’t get to sucked in on rookie hype for Parker, there’s always a transition period.
Here are the stats I initially projected for Parker.
Of those four guys you mentioned, I’d have them in this order — Young, Rubio, Oladipo, Monroe.
@igazic0 — do you expect Gallinari making an impact this season? Worthy of drafting, and if yes, which round?
Danilo Gallinari is another guy I’ve spoken about on podcasts recently, both on episode 70 and 71, and he could be a guy who gets slept on during drafts. Sure, he missed all of last season due to the ACL injury he suffered in the 2012-13 season, but he looks to be ready by training camp. Prior to the injury, Gallinari was an upper echelon fantasy talent, ranking in the top 52 of nine category leagues for four consecutive seasons after his rookie campaign.
The Nuggets are one of the more frustrating teams out there, in that they have a ton of talented guys, but no one who is a real standout. Apart from Ty Lawson, Gallinari is that other standout talent, and once he regains his fitness, will be a cornerstone of the team. He will have to share time with Wilson Chandler, Arron Afflalo, and Quincy Miller at the three, but is the clear starter as long as he’s healthy.
My projections for Gallinari are modest, based on the ACL-rust factor. He’ll probably start off playing less than the 29 minutes I’ve listed below, but end up over 30, balancing out to 29. If he gets things going at top pace very quickly, he has a ton of potential and could easily be a top 60 player.
I don’t recommend grabbing Gallinari in the top 50 as we know it takes a little bit of time to shake of the rust after ACL surgery, but he most definitely should be taken in the top 100. I’d probably look at him in the ninth or tenth rounds in 10 team leagues.
David Tong via email — the NBA schedule came out. How much emphasis should you take on scheduling on draft strategy?
Great question David. I tweeted out a few of my thoughts regarding the schedule release last week, but in summary, I pay zero attention to the schedule when drafting. The only thing worth noting, as David stated in his email, are the quality games played, which are games played on traditionally quiet nights such as Thursdays. The reason these are important is that on a Wednesday, every team plays basically, which means you’ll have players who are playing stuck on your bench. If a team has a lot of Thursday night games, they’ll definitely be in your lineup as there’ll be no competition for starting spots. This may be used as a tie-breaker in the later rounds of drafts, but that’s about it.
In his email, David gave the example of Golden State, who plays 17 times on nights with five or less games on versus Orlando, who has only six of said games. That’s a great tie-breaker for lower end guys, but for high end talents say Klay Thompson versus Nikola Vucevic, it’s not a factor. If you picked Vucevic over Thompson, even though he doesn’t play as often on the lighter nights, it doesn’t matter, as you’ll be starting him regardless, so you won’t lose his production on those heavy nights.
The reason I say it doesn’t matter, is that by the end of the season, you have probably turned over the last five roster spots on your team multiple times, so using the schedule to choose between guys at the end of drafts seems crazy to me, as most likely, these players will be cut for a waiver-wire gem of some sort.
The other thing people consider when looking at schedules, is which teams play the most during the head-to-head playoffs. There is a little something to that, but I’d rather jus draft my team without considering that, then, as th season progresses, making moves in order to maximise your games played during the playoffs. It’s all well and good to draft for the playoffs, but each team plays only 82 games, so if they play more games at the end of the schedule, it makes sense that they play less at the start. And if you don’t get the wins early, you won’t be there to enjoy the spoils of the sweet playoff schedule when March rolls around. Just draft the best team you can, and worry about the schedule later on.
@VP90244 — top 5 PF & C for fantasy.
Thanks Vivek, broad but interesting question. I haven’t finalised my rankings yet, but as of right now, here’s how they look
There’s obviously some cross-over between the two lists, but that’s how I have it sitting at the moment. Let me know if you disagree.
Another great set of questions.
If you have any comments, leave them below or get at me on Twitter.
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