September 15, 2017, 1:03 am
Welcome to Friday’s Daily Dish!
To the millions, and millions, maybe dozens, ok five avid fans and followers I have, that know me from the Thursday’s Daily Dish here at Hoop-Ball… my shift is officially moving to Friday. When the season gets underway, I will be recapping Thursday night’s games for all of you.
Until then, I will continue to give you weekly fantasy articles, mostly sharing my journey as I prepare for the upcoming season. As you may, or may not know, I’m currently moderating and participating a Slow Mock Draft in the Hoop Ball forums. Aside from being a feature writer here at Hoop Ball, I will be an active presence in the forums. The die-hard participants of the draft have opened my eyes as to how amazingly active the Hoop-Ball reader/listener community is. So, I want to throw a huge shout out to everyone there who generously gave of their time to the slow draft. Despite being an “expert”, I must admit that I learned a thing or two from these guys. Drafting against them helped me better visualize and chart out the meta game of an informed group.
You cannot really take away the element of subjectivity in this wonderful game of Fantasy Basketball that we all love. It’s part and parcel of what diversifies points of view, player assessments, and rankings.
For my first Friday Dish, I wanted to do something that’s on the lighter side of things and am starting a game, of sorts.
In this post and in a thread in forums, HERE, I list down my favorite pick in fantasy from each NBA team. These players are not necessarily the BEST players or have the best fantasy value from their team; but I know I’d be excited to own them in one of my teams this 2017-18 season. I play in leagues of various depths and sizes, from 10-team leagues to the 30-deep Experts League I participate in with Aaron Bruski every year. Does it mean, for example, that I would pick Draymond Green over Stephen Curry or Kevin Durant in the early parts of the first round of the draft? No. Of course not. Would I be totally happy to grab Green in the second round of drafts this year? Hell yeah!
Speaking of the forums, for THIS WEEKEND ONLY, we are offering a discount coupon ($3 off) for both the Draft Guide and the season pass. Check out Aaron’s announcement HERE.
This is a light, fun, and casual way for the community to get a feel for market preferences without the need to reveal too much about their ultra-super-secret draft strategies.
Atlanta Hawks – Taurean Waller-Prince
He was a late pickup last season and was responsible for winning me a championship. Beyond the sentimental relationship I have with TWP, I also think he has a shot of making a leap in fantasy this season.
Boston Celtics – Al Horford
Boston traded away the players I did like but I am not really settling on Al. He’s at a spot in most rankings that he’s fluctuating back to being underrated after going back and forth from being underrated to overrated, over the years. After some of the marquee bigs fly off the boards, Horford is a solid and reliable big man who doesn’t hurt you anywhere. As long as you temper expectations, he shouldn’t disappoint.
Brooklyn Nets – Allen Crabbe
Crabbe has a real shot at blowing up in Brooklyn. He can deliver a fantasy-friendly line and is an interesting pick for his upside.
Charlotte Hornets – Kemba Walker
For many seasons, I’ve been focused on Nicolas Batum and his wonderful passing from the wing. I think it’s time to appreciate the hard work and improvement Kemba’s done over the years.
Chicago Bulls – Zach LaVine
I love the dunks. I also kind of feel bad for him being traded away by the Timberwolves like that, for Jimmy Butler. I’m rooting for him to bounce back from his devastating injury.
Cleveland Cavaliers – Jae Crowder
I’ve been a huge Crowder fanboy since his 2015-16 break-out and the trade to Cleveland does little to diminish that fandom. He will fly under the radar in a lot of drafts but he’s still one my favorite go-to “3 and D” guys.
Dallas Mavericks – Nerlens Noel
The latest market view on Nerlens tells me I’m going to have a lot of competition in drafts. He accepted a qualifying offer and will be playing for a max deal in 2018. That motivation should be enough for us to see buckets of steals, boards, and blocks from this guy.
Denver Nuggets – Nikola Jokic
What’s not to love? As far as I can remember, I’ve been a huge fan of talented big men who have a mean passing game. From those no-look passes by Chris Webber and even Arvydas Sabonis‘ moves in transition. So yes, Jokic fits the bill.
Detroit Pistons – Avery Bradley
I did not own Avery Bradley last season but his growth did not go unnoticed. People are worried that there will be a dip in his insane, six rebounds per game last season now that he’s playing alongside Andre Drummond. I’m on the other side of the fence. Bradley, who was unceremoniously “dumped” by the Celtics for cap space, will be playing with a chip on his shoulder this season. He’s a great two-way player who will be taking his game to yet another level.
Golden State Warriors – Draymond Green
I love Steph. I love KD too. However, given where they are in the rankings, there’s almost no guarantee I can own ’em. Draymond, on the other hand, can easily be had for the reasonable price of my second-round pick in most leagues. I’ve had a mad crush on his all-around game for a long time now. The two aforementioned players get the applause and the limelight, but GSW’s heart and soul on “D” is definitely Green and I respect and love that.
Houston Rockets – Chris Paul
I have a signed and framed Chris Paul New Orleans jersey hanging in my home office. He’s been one of my Top 3 favorite point guards for a while now. Sadly, the decay in his games played over the years have made me avoid him. This year, I am fairly confident that under Mike D’Antoni‘s care, CP3 will be able to play 75 games or more. That, dear friends, is money from a second-round pick right there.
Indiana Pacers – Victor Oladipo
He’s my favorite bounce-back guy. He can easily return to Top-50 value now that he’s a focal point in Indiana’s offense. People are still hung up over his “fall from grace” last season, as he languished in the shadow of Russell Westbrook in OKC. It’s a fresh start for Dipo and I am convinced he’s ready to reclaim his former fantasy glory.
I know I’m supposed to pick just one. I don’t care. They’re ranked far enough from each other that I can likely own both as mutual handcuffs in the expected timeshare situation in LAC. I love how Bev grew last season, even playing alongside James Harden. Teodosic is a magician of a passer, reminiscent of Magic Johnson‘s no-lookers back in the day. Yeah, Milos has issues with lateral movement, but with passing and court vision like that, I’m sure he’ll get his this season.
Los Angeles Lakers – Brook Lopez
For years, I’ve avoided Bro-Lo like the plague due to his durability concerns. If he can give me 75 games with numbers like he delivered in 2016-17 I’d be fine and dandy with it. I picked him in the fourth round of the ongoing slow mock draft.
Memphis Grizzlies – Marc Gasol
As I said, I’m just a sucker for talented big men who are great passers. Marc, not only is a good passer but brings to the table a complete stat set that would be a boon to any fantasy team I’d draft.
Miami Heat – James Johnson
Here is a wonderful storyline of how a role-player has finally gotten the love and recognition he deserves. Johnson is an amazing 1-1-1 forward I expect (hope) to grab in the middle rounds of most drafts.
Milwaukee Bucks – Giannis Antetokounmpo
This is a no-brainer. You all love him. I love him. I’d love to be party to his MVP-run this season in one league or another.
Minnesota Timberwolves – Karl-Anthony Towns
He’s the best center in 9-CAT and it’s difficult to not enjoy his amazing stat set, night in and night out. He’s young, durable, and still improving. Love him. Duh.
New Orleans Pelicans – Anthony Davis
I am hoping that the new rest-friendly NBA schedule will work wonders for his durability. He won me a title last season, thanks to his career-high 75 games. I’m hoping for a repeat or even an improvement in that stat.
New York Knicks – Kristaps Porzingis
You can diss on his FG% and his games played all you want. He’s a unicorn. Period. He’s putting in the work and, even though I’m not a Knicks fan, I’d be happy to see him revitalize the franchise back to its glory days.
Oklahoma City Thunder – Paul George
People are worried that Westbrook will steal his “thunder” (no pun intended). For years, I’ve always visualized PG-13 as the ultimate number two option to an extreme alpha star. Well, stars have aligned, and that time has arrived. He will be amazing as long as he stays healthy.
Orlando Magic – Aaron Gordon
I got on the AG hype train last season and despite the disappointment, I’m not ready to disembark just yet. He’s up for an overdue breakout and I want to be along for the ride when it happens.
Philadelphia 76ers – Robert Covington
Covington’s counting stats are good enough to overlook his highly erratic shooting from the field. I’ve been playing in a 7-CAT (no percentages) league for many years now and in that arena, Ro-Co is gold.
Phoenix Suns – Marquese Chriss
This kid is ready for big things and I’m excited about him. He’s had a full season to learn how to avoid those ticky-tack fouls. I can see why the Suns are stoked to see him blossom. I am too.
Portland Trail Blazers – Jusuf Nurkic
He’s more of an 8-CAT league target for me, because of his turnovers but I just love the storyline of how he found a home in Portland after that trade.
Sacramento Kings – Skal Labissiere
Note to self. “Memorize how to spell this name because you will be typing it a lot this season.” I’m a Skal fan. I like his game and I like what he brings to the table for the Kings. I’m pretty sure I’m going to be owning him in at least one of my deeper leagues.
San Antonio Spurs – Kawhi Leonard
I have to bashfully admit that I was late to the “Kawhi party” and owned him for the first time last season. He was a slow bloomer. Slow and steady. The thing is, I don’t think he’s done getting better. I know that seems unlikely, but just take a look at the curve of his improvement.
Toronto Raptors – Serge Ibaka
His move to Orlando blew up in flames. He found a better fit in Toronto. It’s hard to find the combination of blocks and good free-throw shooting in the middle rounds. Ibaka is kind of my “poor man’s Porzingis”, with the threes and blocks thing going on.
Utah Jazz – Rudy Gobert
I cannot contain my excitement that he will be inheriting the mantle left behind by the departed Gordon Hayward. It does help that I get to type “Gobert, or Go Home!” in as many of my team statuses this season.
Washington Wizards – Otto Porter
Having no drawbacks is always a quality to love about a player in fantasy basketball. Porter is my “Durant-lite” and I know he is going to build on his 2016-17 breakout year.
See you every Friday!
Remember, you can always reach me on Twitter: @FantasyHoopla, if you want to chat about fantasy hoops!