How to Win Your Fantasy NBA League

10 Players to Keep an Eye On:

March 14, 2010 Milwaukee, WI. Bradley Center..Indiana Pacers Roy Hibbert fades away for two points, Hibbert had 6 points and 4 rebounds against the Bucks today..Milwaukee Buck won over the Indiana Pacers 98-94. Mike McGinnis/CSM.

Roy Hibbert is primed to have a huge fantasy season.  For the past two seasons he’s shown promise with huge rebounding and block numbers but he can’t seem to stay out of foul trouble.  With little to no competition at the big man positions, Hibbert has a great opportunity this season.  Keep an eye on Hibbert, he’s a risky proposition but he could be worth the gamble.

Jeff Teague was considered a sleeper in his rookie season, as many people considered him a talented player who was drafted at a low position.  Although he has yet to perform at a high level to show he warrants such expectations, as Mike Bibby (32 at the start of the season) continues to age, Teague will have every chance to show his meddle.  Keep an eye on Teague’s performance as the season begins, and if Bibby gets injured Teague will get a shot at legitimate minutes.  Also check on the Hawks rookie Jordan Crawford, who could be a scoring machine who puts up numbers similar to Jamal Crawford. Definitely don’t draft these guys, but check in on them every now and then.

DJ Augustin will be in a position to put up big numbers at the start of the next season.  As of now he should be the starting PG for Charlotte, however Shaun Livingston is worth keeping an eye on as well.  Whoever wins the point guard battle may put up some impressive numbers. Augustin has shown potential to be a poor man’s Stephen Curry and could be worth picking up.

Mario Chalmers should be a good niche player who will contribute a plethora of 3s and several assists and steals. He’ll benefit from his new all-star players and I would pick him up in later rounds if you need 3 point help.  I have confidence in Leandro Barbosa to rebound from two bad seasons, and I think he’ll show improved scoring and three-point numbers this next year.  Keep an eye on Anthony Morrow, Mike Miller and Mikael Pietrus also, they could be potential 3 point studs.

Raymond Felton has been a decent, if not great point guard in his young career.  Although he’s no superstar, he is pretty solid and is young enough that he could get better.  His biggest knock is that he’s not a great shooter, but that may not matter in his first year under D’Antoni’s system.  Expect some big assist numbers for Felton and easily his best fantasy season of his young career.  Don’t expect his shooting numbers to improve, but don’t forget how Chris Duhon, a player who sucks, dished 20 assists in a game in the D’Antoni offense.

Anthony Randolph has been constantly hyped as having KG potential.  I know those comparisons are mostly just for hype, but I’m getting sick of hearing about what Anthony Randolph can do rather than what Anthony Randolph has done.  I’m willing to give him a chance though, seeing as how he seems to be healthy and he’s also in the D’Antoni offense.  If  he’s as good as they say, he should be able to put up 16-9 with 1.5+ blocks.  Keep an eye on Derrick Favors of the Nets, if he gets many minutes he may end up being a sleeper hit who puts up similar numbers.  Check out the video before to see why Randolph keeps getting hyped (it starts off slow, but the second half is pretty impressive).

httpvhd://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z85vHk5cc98

John Wall and Gilbert Arenas should both be fantasy all-stars this year.  I won’t say Wall will have an amazing rookie season, but I think he’ll pretty much be a poor man’s Derrick Rose.  Gilbert Arenas should be healthy, and he could be an amazing bargain since many people seem to have forgotten how much of a beast he was a few years ago.  Two other players to keep an eye on since they’ve had a down year or two but used to be second round picks:  Elton Brand and Jose Calderon.

Check out this sweet layup by John Wall
httpvhd://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IQLHCqSwpsE

Andrea Bargnani has been primed to take a step for several years now.  He scores at a decent clip (17.0 ppg), knocks down a few 3s and blocks (1.5 3pg and 1.4 bpg), now if he could just improve on his pathetic 6.2 rebounds per game last season  and improve slightly all across the board (very possible with the departure of Chris Bosh), and he could be a poor man’s Dirk Nowitzki.  Also look out for Joakim Noah who has improved in each of his seasons.  With a healthy body,  Noah will be a poor man’s Dwight Howard.

Amir Johnson and Jrue Holiday are two players whom I’m mentioning mostly because I keep hearing about their potential.  To be honest, I was never that impressed with either of them, but with Amir as a possible starter in Toronto and Jrue as the starting PG on Philly, they’ll have the chance to show what they can do.  Holiday showed some promise in the second half of last season, and from what I hear about Amir Johnson he’s like a Kenyon Martin/Tyrus Thomas type player.  I hope he manages to steer clear of the Stromile Swift/Keon Clark career paths and be a shot-blocking/rebounding machine. JJ Hickson is another player who will receive a boost in minutes and have a chance to put up similar numbers.

Feb. 28, 2010: New Orleans Hornets guard Darren Collison tied his season high with 35 points during an NBA game between the New Orleans Hornets and the Dallas Mavericks at the American Airlines Center in Dallas, TX Dallas defeated New Orleans 108-100.

Darren Collison put up jaw-dropping numbers as a starter when Chris Paul was injured last season.  If he can come anywhere close to matching those numbers, he’ll have surpassed the expectations I had of him (this coming from a UCLA Bruin who was a big fan of Collison but admitted he was totally overmatched against Derrick Rose in the 2008 Final Four).  Collison has the opportunity to become a model fantasy point guard who contributes across the boards with points, steals, assists, and threes.

5 Player to be Wary of:

Andrew Bogut is definitely a good player and definitely worthy of being picked up in fantasy drafts, but beware of his injuries.  He’s still hurting right now, although he should be healthy shortly after the season begins.

Tyrus Thomas has given us 4 years to show what he can do, and he has yet to put together anything longer than 2 or 3 games in a row. In theory he’s a Kenyon Martin type player who puts up good rebound, steal and block numbers, but his injury, foul, and inconsistency problems have caused me to give up hope on him.  Also keep an eye on the big men in Washington, Andray Blatche, Yi Jianlin and Javale Mcgee. Logic dictates that at least one of these three will have a solid fantasy season, but all three of them have proven to be inconsistent throughout their careers.  Be wary of each of these 3, but if you pick correctly you could have big rewards.

Carlos Boozer is a good player, but just like in real life I don’t think you can build a fantasy team around him.  Especially now that he’s injured (broken hand and will be out for two months), I’d stay away from him.  Once he’s healthy I’m sure he’ll be productive, but I don’t think we’ll see the 20-10 with decent percentages we saw in Utah.

Charlie Villanueva and Marvin Williams are two players we keep hearing hype about how talented they are.  Villanueva is known for his versatile game, but last year was completely forgettable and I still have a bad taste in my mouth.  Marvin Williams also had a forgettable year, and it seems like he’s done improving.

Next: The Western Conference

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