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“Jaws Of Doom:” Visualized Tiers and Ranks for Week 8: Dissenting Opinions

I look  forward to Mike’s weekly visualized tiers and rankings for two reason: 1) it’s an incredibly helpful reference tool, and 2) I get to be the nitpicking asshole who disagrees with him.  Accordingly, today’s post discusses some of the most underrated and overrated players going into week 8.

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UP

PG: Jameer Nelson (3rd tier, 3 games)

Jameer Nelson has been white-hot lately, clearly he’s determined to make me look bad for criticizing him. Over the last 14 days he ranks 21st overall in Yahoo! leagues, largely due to a tear that began when Oladipo joined Orlando’s starting five.  Arron Afflalo’s move to the 3 position has allowed Nelson to thrive next to the rookie phenom and capture the interest of potential trade deadline contenders.  Subsequently, Jameer’s been playing a ton of minutes (40 last night), and I’d expect this heavy usage to continue until he’s dealt.

Nelson’s averages from that past two weeks:

  • 42%fg, 79%ft, 3.2 3ptm, 15.7pts, 3.2rbd, 6.2ast, 1.8stl, 0.3blk, 2.0to

This output is on par with most 2nd tier point guards, including Jrue Holiday and Goran Dragic. Jameer is locked into big minutes and has been cooking with gas recently — view him as a 2nd tier PG this week, especially with mushy Utah and Sacto defenses on the horizon.

PF: Amir Johnson (4th tier, 3 games)

The Rudy Gay trade completely ignited Amir Johnson, the hottest player in the NBA over the past two weeks —  he’s shooting a ridiculous 71% from the floor. Impressively, Amir’s been this efficient despite taking 12.5 shots and scoring 20 points per game; maybe Toronto moved Gay in order to unleash Amir Johnson. If he continues to play around 30+ minutes a night, Johnson — a career 58% shooter — could be set for a full-blown breakout.

Johnson’s averages from the previous 2 weeks:

  • 71%fg, 87%ft, 0.2 3ptm, 20pts, 9rbd, 1ast, 0.7stl, 1.8blks, 1.7to

To put things in perspective: Wilt Chamberlin shot 73% from the floor in 1972, a mark that still stands as the most efficient NBA season ever. Obviously Amir will cool off eventually, but as long as he’s shooting like Wilt Chamberlin why not roll with him.

Conveniently, Amir also plays excellent defense — he’s blocked at least one shot in six consecutive games and ranks tenth in blocks over the last two weeks.

Although Johnson qualifies as a ‘sell high’ candidate, I’d probably hang on to him for his tremendous upside. After all, somebody’s got to pick up all those shots Rudy Gay put down when he left.

The best shooter in the NBA?
The anti-Dwight Howard

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Down

PG: Patrick Beverley (3rd tier, 3 games)

I actually think Beverley is a very good NBA player, but he just doesn’t bring enough to the table to qualify as a worthwhile fantasy asset. It’s common knowledge by now that he’s an excellent defender, but Beverly’s anemic offensive game pisses away nearly all of his upside. He can’t score and he doesn’t make plays; with Lin set to return soon, I don’t think Beverley is even worth owning.  Check out his averages from the previous 2 weeks:

  • 41%fg, 71%ft, 0.9 3ptm, 9.4pts, 4.7rbd, 2.1ast, 1.7stl, 0.4blk, 1.1to
I promise you can find a better option at PG.
Evidently Jamal is a team player
Evidently Jamal is a team player
SG: Jamal Crawford (2nd tier, 4 games)
Jamal Crawford has always been able to heat up like a microwave and pour it in; he’s lightning in a bottle — the perfect 6th man. In his younger days I loved owning Crawford because he was a born scorer and a sneaky source of assists.  But now that he’s slowed down a bit, Crawford’s really just a scorer whose upside is limited to free throw shooting, scoring, and three pointers. Below are Jamal’s numbers from the last 2 weeks:
  • 43%fg, 81%ft, 1.9 3ptm, 16pts, 2.3rbd, 2.5ast, 0.7stl, 0.2blk, 2.0to
Does Crawford still have fantasy value? Sure, probably. But is he really more valuable than 3rd tier guys such as Victor Oladipo, Joe Johnson, or Eric Gordon? Hell no, not even close.
.
 PF: Kenneth Faried (3rd tier, 3 games)

The Manimal has been one of the most disappointing players of 2013 so far; overrated hardly describes Faried’s status, as he frustratingly under-performs on a nightly basis.  Despite a wealth of opportunity and physical talent, Faried has only managed these nauseating averages in the past two weeks:

  • 2 weeks: 50%fg, 44%ft, 0 3ptm, 8.1pts, 7.0rbd, 0.3ast, 0.4stl, 1blk, 1to
  • season:53%fg, 57%ft, 0 3ptm, 10pts, 8.6rbd, 0.8 ast, 0.7stl, 0.8blk, 1.1to

Faried’s minutes have dipped below 21 per game recently, and, frankly, he doesn’t deserve more playing time. There’s simply no excuse for going 43%  from the line — seriously Ken, you’re a fucking professional. From a fantasy perspective, he’s a mediocre defender and a lousy scorer; it’s a shame to see so much upside go to waste.  I’d take 4th tier PF’s such as: Tristan Thompson,  Amir Johnson, and Taj Gibson over Faried.

Kenneth Faried seems determined to make the GOAT look good
Kenneth Faried is determined to make Nuggets fans miss the GOAT Javale McGee

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