2012-13 Fantasy Basketball Post-Mortem

This season the Killers debunked the fantasy basketball maxim that under-performing early picks will sink a team.  Thanks to great seasons from the players selected in the middle of my draft, the Killers were able to lift the championship trophy once again!!

This league was a standard nine category roto league with eight teams and a maximum of 75 games per position (PG, SG, SF, PF, C and two utility positions).  The chart below shows that my 5th through 7th round picks wildly out-performed their respective draft positions (players in bold played more than 25 games for the Killers this season)(Monroe and Holiday both played 24 games each):

Round (Overall Draft Position) Player Final Ranking (Total)* Final Ranking (Average) Deviation (using Total)
1 (7) Josh Smith 102 91 -95
2 (10) Kyrie Irving 47 12 -37
3 (23) Al Horford 17 14 +6
4 (26) Greg Monroe 72 86 -46
5 (39) Stephen Curry 3 4 +36
6 (42) Nicolas Batum 20 26 +22
7 (55) Tim Duncan 9 5 +46
8 (58) Jrue Holiday 63 72 -5
9 (71) Jeff Teague 25 39 +46
10 (74) Andrei Kirilenko 78 45 -4

*It should be noted that a player will rate much lower based on total stats if that player missed significant time (for example, Irving’s total stat ranking is 35 spots lower than his average line because he played in only 59 games) and vise versa (Teague’s durability moved him up quite a bit); however, since this was a roto league, total stats really matter.

Three of my first four picks performed well below their respective draft positions.  Smith was absolutely horrendous in his contract year–putting up a career low in FT% (.517!! (his FT% for the Killers was even worse at exactly .500%)) to go along with 3.0 turnovers per game.  Other than Smith, all the players selected in the first round finished in the top 23.  Late in the season, I need Smith’s all-around game in order to keep from falling in rebounds, blocks and steals; however, I was also neck-and-neck with the Motorboaters in FT%.  So, after a few games on the bench, I inserted Smith into the starting line-up and he promptly went 1 for 7 from the line.  His ineptitude at the charity stripe forced me to do some late season roster juggling in order to move up in FT%–the gamble paid off as I gained a point thanks to the solid contributions of Calderon (11 for 12 (.917) for me), Wall (84 for 103 (.816)) and Gerald Henderson (65 for 81 (.802)).

While we are here, we should take a moment to reflect on the under-appreciated season of John Wall and the under-appreciated fantasy career of Jose Calderon.

Nobody beats the Wiz (at home) when Wall is on the court (the Wiz had a .654 winning percentage at home with Wall in the line-up).

seinfeld-wiz

The theme song for the Wizards this season should have been “Not Another Brick by John Wall” (get on this Weird Al).  Wall has increased his shooting percentages each year in the league, topping out with a .441 and .804 line this year (in his rookie year season of 2010-11, he shot an abysmal .409 from the field).  Definitely someone to remember for next year.

While Kevin Durant is getting some well deserved accolades for joining Bird, Mark Price, Reggie, Nash and Dirk in the 50-40-90 shooting club, Jose Calderon’s shooting prowess generally goes unrecognized.  Let’s take a look at Calderon’s top three shooting seasons:

Season

G

GS

FG

FGA

FG%

3P

3PA

3P%

FT

FTA

FT%

2007-08

82

56

367

707

.519

79

184

.429

109

120

.908

2008-09

68

68

320

644

.497

82

202

.406

151

154

.981

2012-13

73

58

312

635

.491

130

282

.461

72

80

.900

In the 2007-08 season, Calderon fell 16 FTs short of qualifying for the FT title (his FT average in 2008-09 is an NBA single season record), which caused him to be excluded from the exclusive 50-40-90 club.  In addition to being a sharpshooter from all spots on the floor, Calderon does not turn the ball over much for a point guard.  For the past six seasons, Calderon has finished first or second in TO/AS ratio (either Calderon or Paul have had the best ratio each of the past six seasons (which shows another facet of Paul’s amazing all-around game)).  Unfortunately for Calderon, he will probably be best remembered for being (i) labelled by stat freak John Hollinger as the worst defensive point guard in the NBA and (ii) the Kid’s favorite whipping boy.

Second round pick Kyrie Irving had trouble staying on the court; however, he flashed signs of brilliance when healthy, even when wearing the Hannibal Lecter mask.

“Get me some fava beans and chianti”

Irving’s per game averages justified his selection in the second round.  Luckily, the Killers were able to slot Teague (and to a lesser extent Holiday) into the PG position during the games Irving missed.

Thankfully, Horford was consistent and healthy for most of the season.  He posted single season personal bests on a per game basis in points, rebounds and steals.  That said, Horford struggled from the line this year, posting the worst FT% in his career by far (and his 1 for 10 night from the line versus the Wiz on November 21 was ridiculously inexcusable).

Monroe was touted by many experts as a break-out candidate capable of delivering a 20/10/3-4 assists/1 block/1 steal line; unfortunately, he regressed from last year’s numbers and drastically increased his turnovers (DeMarcus Cousins was the only center who had more TOs than Monroe).

Thankfully, Curry, Batum and Duncan were able to carry the Killers this season.

Curry was coming off of a 2011 campaign where he only played 26 games, yet the Warriors’ brain trust rewarded him with a four year-$44 million deal.  In return, the Baby Faced Assassin shot lights out, setting an NBA record for threes in a season (he actually shot better from behind the arc) and finishing second behind Durant in free throw percentage.  In addition, his 22.9 ppg was good enough for seventh in the league and he ranked 14th in assists per game and 16th in steals per game.

I was pretty fortunate that Batum fell to me, as he was my plan B once my preferred SG Joe Johnson was selected.  Batum’s season is even more remarkable given he received the kiss of death this off-season in the form of effusive praise and an offer sheet from Wolves’ GM David Kahn (Kahn actually once said that Darko is “manna from heaven” and Kahn will be personally responsible for Love leaving the tundra when his player option lets him walk in 2015 (which, sadly, is when Rubio’s deal rookie deal expires (I’m sure that Kahn will then try to pry Jonny Flynn away from the Melbourne Tigers)).  Amazingly, Kahn was actually right this time.  Only Batum and Kevin Durant averaged at least a three, a steal and a block per game.  Hopefully, Batum’s excellent all-around season will cause people to forget his hack-a-sack performance in the 2012 Olympics.

Back to the Timberwolves for a moment, had the 2009 draft gone a bit differently and if the Blazers had not matched the Wolves offer for Batum, the Wolves could be sporting this line-up:

PG: Rubio
SG: Steph Curry or Ty Lawson
SF: Batum
PF: Love
C: Pec

Bench: AK-47, Barea and Williams

A man can only dream.

The Big Fundamental is one of my all-time favorite basketball players.  He did a great Benjamin Button impression as he rolled back the years with a great season.  He had the most blocks on a per game basis since his 2003-04 season, when he also swatted 2.7 shots per game.  What was most impressive about Duncan this year was his single season best performance at the stripe–he shot .817%, which is remarkable for a player that once shot under 60% for a full season and is a sub-70% career FT shooter.  I have to confess that I was targeting the Unibrow with my seventh round pick; however, he got picked right before my selection so I went with Duncan.  Sometimes being lucky is better than being good.

The remainder of the my draft all filled in at various times.  Teague helped the Killers make up for his real life teammates’ struggles at the line by shooting .883 while playing in 26 games for the Killers.  He also added more than a 3 per game and well over a steal per contest.  Holiday can fill up a stat sheet; unfortunately, he handed the ball over at a 3.8 per game clip for the Killers (for the season he turned the ball more than every other player not named The Beard).  AK-47 played only 12 games for the Killers and was his usually stat stuffing self.

Here are the final standings and stats:

Overall Points

 

 

FG

FT

3PT

Miscellaneous

 

Rank

Team

FG%

FT%

3PTM

PTS

REB

AST

ST

BLK

TO

Total

1. Cereal Killers 5 3 7 7 7 8 7 8 1 53
2. Mystery Train 4 8 8 6 3 6 5 5 3 48
3. Hackers 2 6 5 1 4 7 6 3 8 42
4. Motorboaters 8 2 1 2 8 2 1 7 7 38
5. BG Bulls 7 7 2 8 2 5 3 1 2 37
5. Peih & Karen 3 4 4 5 5 4 4 4 4 37
7. Raging Rhinos 1 5 6 4 1 3 8 2 6 36
8. Bricklayers 6 1 3 3 6 1 2 6 5 33

Overall Stats

 

 

 

FG

FT

3PT

Miscellaneous

Rank

Team

GP

FG%

FT%

3PTM

PTS

REB

AST

ST

BLK

TO

1. Cereal Killers 525 .471 .777 661 9358 3439 2544 656 545 1385
2. Mystery Train 526 .463 .819 690 9011 3045 2266 621 385 1184
3. Hackers 524 .444 .793 570 7729 3118 2299 645 319 1048
4. Motorboaters 480 .499 .775 356 7918 3564 1942 497 526 1133
5. BG Bulls 481 .483 .805 439 9568 2894 2237 598 268 1319
5. Peih & Karen 525 .458 .790* 470 8831 3232 2161 605 366 1175
7. Raging Rhinos 506 .442 .790* 610 8521 2870 2048 686 287 1141
8. Bricklayers 525 .479 .707 457 8510 3338 1803 593 434 1171

 

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