There’s a lot to like about Kevin Love’s game, and the Cavs in general. Still, he’s not on my radar as a first round pick this season. To explain, compare Love’s numbers with somebody like Demarcus Cousins’.
49.6fg%, 72.1ft%, 0 3ptm, 22.7pts, 11.7rbd, 2.9ast, 1.5stl, 1.3blk, 3.5to
Drafting Love over Cousins favors the following categories: ft%, 3ptm, ast
Drafting Cousins over Love favors the following categories: fg%, stl, blk
All early round bigmen are going to give you scoring and rebounding, that’s why they go early in the draft. Championship teams, though, need to contend in 7 categories, every week, no excuses. A healthy squad should generally be punting turnovers and ONE of the efficiency categories (fg% or ft%) per week. Go into each week expecting a 7-2 win, anything less is an abject disappointment. And always punt TOs, unless you have injuries.
Building a dominant team requires consideration of the secondary skills provided by your draft targets. Selecting conventional-style players here is the easiest way to give yourself balance, and an advantage in all 7 categories. If you want to take a chance on an unorthodox type, a stretch 4 perhaps, save it for a gamble pick later on (ex: Spencer Hawes in the 10th round last year). Fundamentally, the problem with owning Love is that he contributes to the wrong secondary categories. I need my bigs to play D and pile up blocks and fg% especially. Otherwise, I have to sacrifice production later in the draft by picking up block specializing bigmen who can’t play offense, or by punting blocks altogether.
Notice that Cousins offers elite level defense: +0.8blk and +0.8stl per game compared to Love, and is a guy who takes 1200 shots a season and makes 50% of them. Love offers 3’s, ft’s and assists (sort of). These are the categories that late-round swingmen can provide, and are easily found on the waiver wire. Just scoop up Nick Young or Joddie Meeks if you need a boost in threes, points, and ft%. Finding last-minute blocks and steals on the waiver wire is much, much more difficult.
2013-14: 49.1FG%, 71.1FT% ,1.1 3pmt, 13.8pts, 7.2RBD, 4.6AST, 0.7Stl, 0.1Blk, 2.7to
Lance Stephenson is one of my favorite players this season, he’s ridiculously talented and doesn’t give a damn what you think. Lance’s production was impressive last season, he is a complete player capable of contributing to fantasy rosters across the board. Most impressive though, were his NBA leading 5 triple-doubles; below is the list of last season’s leaders in triple-doubles, each player’s expected draft positions, and their positional tiers (from Rotoworld).
2013-14 Triple Doubles leaders
1. Lance Stephenson, 6th round, 3rd tier
2. Stephen Curry, 1st round, 1st tier
3. Joakim Noah, 3rd round, 1st tier
4. Kevin Durant, 1st round, 1st tier
5. Kevin Love, 1st round, 1st tier
6. Russell Westbrook, 1st round, 2nd tier
7. John Wall, 1st round, 2nd tier
8. Kyle Lowry, 2nd round, 2nd tier
9. Michael Carter-Williams, 5th round, 4th tier
10. Nicolas Batum, 4th round, 2nd tier
11. Ricky Rubio, 3rd round, 3rd tier
12. LeBron James, 1st round, 1st tier
13. James Harden, 1st round, 1st tier
14. Blake Griffin. 2nd round, 2nd tier
15.Paul George, 🙁
16. Kyrie Irving, 2nd round, 2nd tier
That’s pretty good company for Lance; guys who post multiple triple-doubles a year epitomize the 9-cat stud. Predictably, though, the majority of them are gone after the second round of a draft. Stephenson seems the exception here, which is understandable considering he only posted a 14 and 7 clip last season. While those numbers simply aren’t elite, a move to Charlotte may have Stephenson poised to transcend into stardom.
That loaded Pacers team was, like many ultra deep NBA teams, not overwhelmingly friendly to fantasy owners. But now, the Hornets present “Born Ready” with essentially the opposite situation — outside of Kemba and Big Al Jefferson, nobody in Charlotte can approach Stephenson’s talent or role. Lance should thrive in this larger role on a team that needs him badly. His scoring and threes could see big gains, hopefully he shoots close to 50% again, and still helps out with boards and assists too. Lance Stephenson could be in for a big season.
I’ve never really been a fan of Mr. Turner. Last season, Philadelphia had a few jackpot fantasy players on an otherwise abysmal, last place roster. If there was ever a time for Turner to emerge, it would have been on that worthless Sixers’ team. Yet he finished the season riding the pine in a new city because, frankly, he’s a mediocre talent. In Turner’s best season, when he posted roughly 17 and 6 @ 43%fg, he played close to 35 minutes a game — there’s no way he gets close to that in 2014 behind the superior Jeff Green.
2013-14: 48fg%, 73.6ft%, 0.1 3ptm, 17.4pts, 9.7Rbds, 3.4ast, 0.5stl, 1.5blks, 2.4TO
Career: 51.5fg%, 75ft%, 0.1 3ptm, 18.3pts, 9.2rbd, 3.3ast,0.5stl, 1.6blks, 2.3to
Pau is a rock. Notice the similarities between his numbers from last season and his career averages. Pau just comes in to work every day and does his job, the man is a professional. He’s a bit too old for my liking, though, so I wouldn’t draft him. Old players get injured more often and they take longer to heal afterwards, even guys without a history of injuries fall apart as they age. But I would understand if you wanted to draft him. Totally.
2012-13 GS — 45fg%, 84%ft, 1 3ptm, 12.9pts, 3.1rbd, 5.5ast, 0.8stl, 0.1blk, 2to
2013-14 CLE — 41fg%, 84%ft, 0.8 3ptm, 9.5pts, 2.8rbd, 4.1ast, 0.7stl, 0.3blk, 1.7to
Starting next to D-Will and being surrounded by better, veteran players should help Jack maximize his potential as a combo guard with the Nets. I’m looking for his points, assists and fg% to show modest improvements in this new situation. Noteworthy: When Deron Williams misses time with injuries this season, Jack will be a more than capable replacement, and could post big numbers. If you draft D-Will, or if you’re simply convinced he’ll miss a significant number of games this season, Jack makes for a good sleeper target — as a PG with SG eligibility.
Career stats: 45.7fg%, 77.3ft%, 1.0 3ptm, 16.0pts, 6.3rbd, 2.5ast, 1.0st, 0.5blk, 1.8to
Deng will be the 2nd or 3rd option in Miami, a role he’s played most of his career. He’s got a high floor, and you know what you’re getting when you draft him: a decent shooter who is useful in many categories. He’s the prototypical mid-late round value swingman that allows you to load up on guards and forwards early in the draft, waiting on a guy like Deng to fill your swingmen positions can pay dividends throughout the season.
2013-14: 43.6fg%, 82.8ft%, 0.3 3ptm, 13.9pts, 2.3rbd, 2.1ast, 0.7stl, 0.1blk, 1.7to
Stuckey is penciled in as the Pacers’ starting SG for now, so it’s possible that he’s in for a big scoring season for the injury depleted Pacers. Still, he struggles to contribute in most categories other than scoring, rendering him useless in roto 9-cat formats. Even with big minutes, Stuckey is only an option in points-based leagues, where he could be a nice backup.
Major League Fantasy Football Radio: Join Ej Garr and Corey D Roberts Sunday September 14th from 11am-12pm EST for another episode of Major League Fantasy Sports Radio on the Sports Palooza Radio Network. This week Ryan Ingram will be joining us to discuss this weeks great QB and TE plays along with some games that we see providing a lot of fantasy points. Be sure and check out Ryan’s articles that come out every Friday that are about QB and TE plays for the week. You can listen to us online or anywhere you can get an internet connection. Also, we will be taking live callers so if you have any questions that you want answered you can get us at 646.915.8596. You can also call in and listen to the show from that number. If you decide you want to ask a question on air just press the number 1 on your phone and that will put you in the host’s queue. Also, if you are a dynasty league player be sure and check out Real Deal Dynasty Sports that is run by one of the MLFS writers Bryan Luhrs.