Assists, steals, and blocks are the rarest and most valuable categories in 9cat fantasy basketball, and I generally advocate focusing the early part of your draft on these categories. These are all competitive, low-volume categories that are relatively difficult to acquire post-draft, especially via waivers. On the other hand, cheaper post-draft categories such as rebounding and threes are often overrated on draft day. Personally, I consider them auxiliary categories that best serve as a tiebreaker between two waiver wire options. I don’t ever draft anyone for 3pt shooting alone — this is the NBA, lot’s of guys can hit threes.
In contrast, how many guys can be counted on for 6 assists? Maybe 20-25? This rarity renders drafting a multitude of elite PGs an ideal draft strategy.Corner the market: if you draft 5+ assist specialists, that leaves about 15-20 total for the other 11 teams to share. This is called a structural advantage. For those of you suffering from the latest wave of elite PG injuries, below are several players who will help pick up the slack. Specifically, they will add consistent 3s coupled with acceptable production in other categories. Hopefully they will tie you over until the likes of Russ, CP3, Kyrie, and Bledsoe return.
Pero really showed out in his first game as Atlanta’s starting center, hitting 4 threes on his way to 7 in two games. Here are his first two starts:
- 1/3 — 67%fg, -ft%, 4 3ptm, 16pts, 0ast, 7rbds, 1stl, 0blk, 1to, 27 min
- 1/4 — 38%ft, – ft%, 3 3ptm, 9pts, 1ast, 7rbd, 0stl, 1blk, 1to, 23 min
Pero, a 31-year-old Macedonian rookie, played professionally in Europe for 11 before making the leap to the big show. It’s not like NBA GM’s are looking for eastern European scrubs though, Pero is probably accustomed to being the best player on his team. If he can take the floor with a star’s confidence and leadership every night, no doubt he can pick up most of Horford’s slack. Meanwhile, Elton Brand had not surpassed 20 minutes since big Al’s injury until last night. As long as Antic is cleaning the glass and stroking threes, he might as well be universally owned.
*update: Pero got into foul trouble last night and only played 18 minutes, but I’m not reading into it all that much. Brand’s knees are ancient, after all.
Luke Ridnour joined Milwaukee’s starting five last week, which may be good news if you’re looking for a sneaky source of assists, 3’s, and steals. Luke played 34 and 37 minutes in his first two games as a starter, turning in impressive performances both times.
- 12/31 — 46%fg, -ft%, 1 3ptm, 11pts, 3ast, 4rbd, 1stl, 0blk, 0 to, 35 min
- 1/2 — 50%fg, 100%ft, 0 3ptm, 12pts, 8ast, 3rbd, 1stl, 0blk, 3 to, 37 min
Unnervingly, Ridnour followed up those nice games with a 21 minute – 2 point dud. Owning anyone on the Bucks requires playing the rotation roulette inherent to Larry Drew’s coaching. Nevertheless, Ridnour has averaged 4.7 assists per game vs. 1.7 turnovers per game over his career. And although Ricky Rubio’s emergence over the last two seasons did take a significant bite out of Luke’s assist numbers, I’m hopeful that he can return to the 5+ per game range again.
Foye rejoined Denver’s starting 5 last week after a brief stint on the bench. Although his numbers certainly aren’t groundbreaking, Foye has some appeal for owners in need of reliable scoring and 3’s. Last week he averaged:
- 51%fg, 86%ft, 1 3ptm, 13pts, 4.8ast, 4.3rbd, 0.3stl, 0.3blk, 1.8to, [33:30]min
Given that Andre Miller and coach Brian Shaw apparently had a falling out the other day, Foye has the potential to remain a top 100 player from here on out. Last season, in Utah, Randy sank 2.2 threes per game at a 41% rate. This is the kind of shooting that can help just about any team.
Miles appears to be the initial beneficiary of Andrew Bynum’s hilarious dismissal from the Cavs, and he’s probably worth owning until he cools off a bit. Here are his previous two games:
- 1/4 — 32%fg, 62%ft, 2 3ptm, 19pts, 8rbd, 0ast, 2stl, 0blk, 1to, [31:22]min
- 1/5 — 62%fg, 60%ft, 2 3ptm, 21pts, 6rbd, 3ast, 3stl, 0blk, 3to, [36:43]min
It looks like Miles is the guy to add from Cleveland at the moment, as Earl Clark and Alonzo Gee have been quiet all week. I think Foye has a bit more upside however, and I’d take Randy if given the choice here.
Kevin also contributes to: http://www.fantasyhoopsdaily.com/