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The Eye Test: Part I

This is a list of players that people playing fantasy basketball in 2014-2015 should draft and stay away from. There are also some indications of when you can take players, so you have an idea of who you can wait to draft and who you should pounce on. The projection of what round I expect the players to be taken in is based on the 14 team league with each team having a PG,SG,G,SF,F,PF,C (1-2), 2-3 UTILITY SPOTS, AND 3-4 BENCH SPOTS.

The top tier - Lebron, KD, Anthony Davis, George, Al Jefferson, Harden, CP3, Blake Griffin, Melo, Noah, Aldridge, K Love ... All early 1st round picks, so I won't spend too much hot air on them, pick who you believe in and who you have the chance to pick based on your draft position in round 1, but for the later rounds... read below.

Side Note: My 1st round pick if not the 1st or 2nd pick of the draft, would be Anthony Davis if available.


**fg = field goals, ft = free throws, fg pct/fg pctage = free throw percentage, reb/rebs = rebounds, blk = blocks, stl = steals, pts = points, asts = assists**


Rajon Rondo

He will probably return 2nd round value, he's been working on his outside shooting (mid-range) and he has incorporated a 3pt shot. He's beginning to be comfortable stretching the defense by launching from deep, now add that to the fact that he's top 25 in steals, (closer to top 10), he's top 5 in assists/game, doesn't turn the ball over too much. He doesn't have too much help, he rebounds the ball, and has a respectable shooting percentage as long as he is attacking and not falling in love with living on the outside, which isn't usually the case. I'm not too worried about him turning into Josh Smith because he can get to the rim for a few layups a game and actually tries to. He's not a terrible free throw shooter, but I do expect his percentage to rise about 3-5% next year because of the work he is putting in on his jump shot. He gets to the line enough, but may have those numbers increase if he is knocking down threes because harder closeouts and later rotations = feasting at the free throw line and more assisted passes to bigs down low for dunks. Rondo will likely be able to be picked up late 3rd round or early 4th round. 

Kemba Walker

He and Al Jefferson are taking their team to the next level. He assists, scores, shoots a good fg percentage, gets to the line, makes free throws, gets steals, and protects the ball enough, but can turn it over from time to time. He hits about one 3pt shot/game, not bad. (2nd to 3rd rd pick and will likely return that value)

Chandler Parson

Scores, shoots a good fg percentage, likes to take it to the rim enough to keep that shooting pct high, he rebounds, passes the ball really well, takes and makes threes with Dwight attracting so much attention, gets the occasional block or steal and is projected to rise in drafts this year but he's worth consideration in the 5th round (mid to late). 

Kyrie Irving

An interesting pick, his numbers are pretty good, but the dysfunction in Cleveland may have his play suffer or he may ask to go elsewhere. He's got decent pieces in Deng, Hawes, and waiters, so the assists are there, but I'm not a believer that that will be enough to keep him there happily. He still has to bear the brunt of the offensive load for his team, and he'll likely be top 25 in steals. Best handle in the game, but there's no category for that in fantasy. The management of Cleveland is what makes me apprehensive about picking up Kyrie and he is on my don't draft list. 

Greg Monroe

Another underrated big, (likely because Andre Drummond looks so appealing at Center for this team and the team seems stacked with names). Monroe is versatile b/c he's listed as both a PF/C he's a consistent 15/10 per game (very ZBO like, he has an old man's game) his numbers didn't really suffer all that much with the acquisition of Josh Smith and the emergence of Drummond. If Jennings gets it together and is alright with leading the league in assists. Monroe passes the ball well, but doesn't get too many assists. He has a superior midrange jump shot and a good low post game, he is the most consistent of the three bigs on that team. 

David Lee

Worthy of a 3rd pick. Consistent 15-10/game during a down year he's a closer to 20/10 production/gmae and he passes the ball especially well for a big man. He can score with both hands, which keeps his fg percentage high. He shoots well from the ft strike over 75%, gets to the line a few times a game, which helps if you play in a league that has a FTM category. He's pretty underrated and durable, his first year that he was really banged up and that didn't happen til pretty late in the season. Thus, even with the back issues this year I find him pretty durable and I would draft him in the 3rd round.

Nicolas Batum

I drafted him 14th last year and I found him to be a steal because the 13th pick could have had him. Late First Rd Pick, between 12-15 is his projection. He does it all, stat filler. He rebounds exceptionally, he scores the ball, is a top 3pt shooter in the league on a team that took the most 3 pts in the league this, he passes the ball exceptionally well, can get a few triple doubles a year, his length and tenacity allow him to get blocks and steals. He's definitely 1st Round worthy, but not the prototypical name, so he may fall a bit in your draft, but don't be the manager that misses out on him. Also, he's pretty durable even though he plays for the French National Team in the summer some times.

Dwight Howard

Tricky pick. Now that he is with Harden and Parsons, he should be more effective down low, we can see some of that in the playoffs this year. Both Parsons and Harden can get the ball to DH. His ft shooting motion looks a little better but he's still shooting around 55%, so just be ready to lose that category weekly and don't break your back trying to surround him with 90% ft shooters. Just accept that he'll help you in fg pct, blks, rebs, pts, and that he'll hurt you in ft pctage.

Andre Drummond

A beast! He is what Larry Sanders was in 2012/2013. He has changed the game. 2 yrs ago it was Larry Sanders that was the defensive add of the yr and this year, it was Andre Drummond. He blks shoots, shoots a high fg percentage, he was the best rebounder in the league this year, he gets lots of steals , especially for a big. His Achilles heel is his ft shooting, but for everything that he gives you, it a no brainer. 

Ty Lawson

A little banged up this year but still a top 5 assists machine. Shoots the ball well b/c he maintains a good balance btwn taking the ball to the basket and taking jumpers/3's. Top 5 in steals candidate every year. He usually gets undervalued and can be picked up late 5th round or throughout the 6th round. He's set to provide a great return as a 6th rd pick.

Jeff Green

A name a majority of managers seem not to pay too much attention to. He'll return 5th rd value but can be had in the 7th or 8th rd. He shoots a good fg pct for being a bad team's first offensive option, he shoots 3's, he's a decent rebounder, he's consistently aggressive, he's long which makes him a potential defensive difference maker.  

Jrue Holiday

Curious to see how he comes back from injury. It has been said by many a doctor that players who suffer a knee injury are more likely to suffer the same injury or the same type of injury to the other leg upon return because of overcompensation i.e. DRose. 

Steph Curry

Should be a late 1st rd pick. Best perimeter scorer in the game, 3's, assists, pts, ftm, ft pct, and steals. He was pretty healthy this year, which is my biggest concern in picking him up, but with that said I'd feel very comfortable taking him late in the first rd. 

Klay Thompson

The other splash brother! He's scores, hits fts, rebounds, blocks shots on occasion and is a good defender. He'll most likely be taken in the 3rd rd, the latest the 4th. If he is taken any later and is healthy, you should seriously consider the integrity of your league!

Mike Conley

Solid, consistent point guard, assists, points, 3's, and steals. Projected to go way earlier than usual, so if you like him, don't wait too long. 

Monte Ellis

Steals specialist but you wouldn't know it unless you look closely, he scores, his assists numbers have been great with the Mavs, god ft shooter, manageable turnover numbers. Great value in the 5th round. 

Michael Carter-Williams

This man hardly comes off the floor, even with a terrible record and trying to tank he seemed to be on the floor down by 20 with regularity. He fills the stats. There aren't many options on his team, so he'll have to shoulder the load next year too. If Thaddeus Young gets traded, expect his assist numbers and fg percentage to dip, but he may have an increase in scoring.

Marc Gasol

Top 3 passing big men in the league, he rebounds, he blocks shots, he's scores, he assists, and he's a good ft shooter. 3rd rd value most likely. 

Thaddeus Young

Excellent piece in building a championship fantasy team. He hits 3's, scores, great for steals, can block shots, he takes it to the rim to keep a respectable shooting percentage. If he stays in philly, he can put up great numbers as a second option to MCW. 

Josh McRoberts (McBob)

Passes the ball exceptionally well for a big man, hits 3's, rebounds, doesn't score much, will probably average about 11pts/game. He battles for minutes which sometimes tempers his numbers, but he's a 10-13 rd pick and is a great value at that. He'll be one of the late rd steals of next year's draft. 

Pekovic

Consistent, but seeming to becoming injury prone. He's a good rebounder and scores well in the paint, but his feet and legs seem to fail him. It's the curse of the big strong guys, built like a tank but a missing screw in the tracks turns you into a lawn ornament. If he develops back issues that are chronic, he is a candidate to miss a lot of games. Beware, but he is a good player that tends to get overlooked in drafts for a while.

Ilyasova

Candidate for a bounce back year, just had a dreadful year btwn his subpar game this year and the injuries suffered after getting paid this year. But he's a 5 tool player (I knowit's a baseball term, but hear me out), He can score, hit 3's, rebounds, blocks shots, and gets steals. He'll continue to get minutes b/c his salary is too high to have him just collecting checks on the bench of a small market team. 

Larry Sanders

I'd stay away , I get the feeling that he will get into legal trouble/suspension for violating the drug policy again. It could be said that he got into trouble this year b/c he was just bored while recovering from various injuries, but he got paid and is playing for a bad team, adversity is right around the corner, so making good decisions has to be the default, not just a consideration. 

Ibaka

The 3rd piece to OKC's offense, but the second most popular offensive set the team runs is the pick and roll btwn KD & Ibaka, which has made Ibaka into an offensive force. The fact that OKC runs so many sets for Ibaka in conjunction with his defensive production make him an early 2nd Rd consideration. He keeps a high fg pct, he has a reliable mid-range jumper, he is a great shot blocker (top 3 in the league - he has been the league leader in blocks for the past 4 years in a row now), he can stretch the floor by hitting a 3pt shot on occasion close to 1per game, he rebounds the ball well but sometimes is an inconsistent rebounder when Perkins starts, but when Perkins is out, he rebounds at a high volume. 

Tobias Harris

Interesting player, he may get a boost in minutes next year and his production may increase accordingly, he has a big frame, he can rebound, decent scorer, but needs to develop his game to be more well-rounded. ORL believes in him and has been giving him the minutes and opportunity to showcase his talent. I would take a late round flier on him. 11th-14th rd pick

Eric Bledsoe

Relentless in getting to the hoop which translates into a good fg percentage, he's a good ft shooter, and he gets to the line a good amount. He doesn't get as many assists as you would like from your guard, but he can rebound and gets lots of steals. Despite playing with Dragic who dominates the ball, he still puts up good numbers and Coach Hornacek tenacious constant pressure offensive system suits Bledsoe perfectly.  6th or 7th Rd pick, although he could be taken earlier around the 4th or 5th round.

Dragic

Had a great year in fantasy this year. He scores points, gets assists, can rebound a bit, gets some steals, and hits free throws at a good rate. He bears much of PHX's offensive load, which translates to lots of fantasy stats. I would take him in the 4th rd late or in the 5th round.

Damian Lillard

Cold blooded, the poise he shows is his biggest asset, that translates into being on the floor during crunch time and leads me to believe that he will remain a constant producer in the league. His strengths: assists, 3's, points, ft shooting. He could work on his defense a little bit more to get more steals, but he is a great pick up. I am a believer. I think he's worth a 4th rd pick, but I could see him going in the 3rd. 

D Favors

A bit of a disappointment, expected him to put up Milsap type numbers but there is only 1 Paul Milsap and Favors just may not be the real deal. I would not pick Favors. 

Kwahi Leonard

50/50 on him, as the big three get older, the passing of the torch seems like it will fall to Kwahi, but just how much falls on him remains a question. Patty Mills seems to be emerging as a possible 1st option for the next generation of Spurs. Kwahi is a decent 3 pt shooter, but a better slasher, they don't seem to run too many sets for him so it's tough to gauge what he can do offensively. he works hard and has subdued demeanor which is an interesting combo. He needs to be more aggressive offensively if he is to take the helm. I'm not quite ready to add Kwahi on my team yet, I'll have to see how Parker and Duncan look this summer and leading into next season before being convinced of whether to pick him up.

Jeff Teague

Top 5 in assists/game, he gets lots of steals, he scores, he takes and makes 3's, he rebounds. He is good enough to be your best point guard on your roster. He can be had likely in the 3rd or 4th round, but that may seem a bit high, I'd be more comfortable taking him as a late 4th rd, early 5th rd pick.

Paul Millsap

My favorite player in the league. This man works hard. He's tenacious, undersized with a bulldog mentality that makes him a 20/10 guy every night. He gets steals, and the occasional block. He's a bit underrated so he could likely be had in the 4th-5th round, but will likely return closer to 3rd round value. 

Horford

Seems like one pectoral injury makes everyone forget about Horford. I haven't come across any information that leads me to believe that he will not make a full recovery. He shoots a high fg percentage, he rebounds, blocks shots, scores, and shoots ft well. He can experience a slide in drafts this year because he sat out all last season. If he was available in the 6th rd and I needed a big man I would scoop him up quick.

Jimmy Butler

Cookies. Jimmy steals the ball in high volumes. He has a good mid-range jumper, which should keep his fg percentage around 47-48%, he rebounds. His main value is as a steals specialist, he can pitch in in points and rebounds, but I would not expect more than lots of steals from him as his main contribution. He's a starter which means he gets minutes and he probably holds 7th-8th round value, solid return on such an investment.

Jose Calderon

Efficient, don't expect any gaudy numbers at any time during the season from him, but h is one of the best ft shooters, he makes lots of 3's (most of the fg's he takes are 3's) he has one of the best assist to turnover ratios in the game. He will score about 10-12pts/game and he can get about 1 steal per game ... maybe, more like .8 steals/game.

Patty Mills

Seems like he stands the most to gain if Parker retires and may start to gain more minutes if this is Tony Parker's fair well tour.  He can score in bunches, can hit the 3, and get to the free throw line and sink them. He doesn't give you too much defensively yet, bu he has been playing limited minutes, so those stats could balloon with more time. 

Kyle Lowry

HEART! The Raptors tried to ship him off when they wanted to clean house but his heart and gutty play wouldn't let him. He made Ujiri a believer, don't you think you might want to get on board too as a GM. He plays so hard that he is susceptible to injury kinda like AI was, but in the same vain, his heart will have him play through almost any injury. If he can walk, he'll likely play. He'll contribute in points, assists, fts, rebounds, and steals. Usually a 5th rd pickup, which gives excellent value.He's a point guard you can get later than the top tier point guards, but will comparably productive. He's a point guard you can pickup late if you decide to start building your team around Forwards and Centers. 

Bradley Beal

JS2 (Jesus Shuttlesworth II) one of the sweetest j's in the game. He can score, hit 3's, good ft shooter, doesn't do too much else, but based on how the wizards are constructed he's not asked to do much more, which limits his overall fantasy productivity to really just the offensive categories. So he's not likely to ever really be a stat filler, he'll likely just be limited to contributing pts and 3's.

Trevor Ariza

Veteran presence on the Wizards. Great 3 pt shooter, great for steals, scores consistently, passes the ball well and rebounds. He's found his niche with the Wizards and has stayed healthy. 

Valancianus

I may have misspelled his name, but I refer to the Toronto Raptors starting Center. He's a great value big. He rebounds, blocks shots, he scores in the paint - keeping his fg percentage high. Can be picked up in the 7th-8th round. good value pick.

Vucevic

20/10 pretty healthy, very consistent these past two years. He is not a good passer and he doesn't seem like he is going to elevate his game and become a very good passing big man. He's a decent free throw shooter and can block shots but does so sparingly. He is an above average rebounder and has good moves down low, but his game is limited, temper your expectation and this guy is your man. 

Greivus Vasquez

Great asset, but he needs to see the Raptors' offense develop a bit more in the 2nd unit or he needs to be moved to the starting lineup to have great value. For now, he has good value. If he keeps coming off the bench, his value will remain stunted barring injury to Lowry, who doesn't come off the floor too much. He's a very good pass first point guard and can hit the 3, and he's an overall decent scorer. Round 11 type pickup.

Late round pickups:

Corey Brewer

He may have to fight for minutes now that Budinger is healthy, but if he starts, he's a great piece. He took less 3's this year but leaked out every chance he got for fast break outlets from Kevin LoveHis value is really centered around his ability to steal the ball. If you are looking for late round pieces to fill a particular need, Corey Brewer should get serious consideration as a steals contributor. The quick leak outs and easy buckets translate to a good fg percentage. 

Matt Barnes

Brings toughness to the Clippers which gets him the nod to play significant minutes and has even gotten him ahead of JJ Reddick on the depth chart. He hits 3's consistently, he gets some blocks and some steals (averages about 1 each per game) and he rebounds well. He's a good pickup in the last 2 to 3 rounds when you're trying to find well rounded guys that just contribute in multiple different ways. He is also a good waiver wire pickup.

Caron Butler

In a small sample, he is fitting in very well in OKC, will get plenty of opportunity to hit 3's. Scoring will likely be his only source of value. If he ever slumps he'll be almost instantly drop-able.    

Kris Humprhies

If he remains with the Celtics, he and Rondo can form a formidable pick and roll b/c the ex-Mr. Kardashian has an exceptional mid-range jump shot around the elbow area. he is always undervalued even by his own teams. He plays hard on defense which may be enough to get him in Coach Stevens good graces, which could lead to more playing time. But he'll likely be on the waiver wire, so you may not want to waste a draft pick on him and just keep him on your watch list or monitor the Celtics box score to see how his minutes and production are coming along.

This is not a complete list, just the first 40 or so players that came to mind. I will have another post mentioning my take on other notable players like: Isiah Thomas, D Cousins, D Derozan, Rudy Gay, and others.

To be continued...

Coach Chuck

New York