Monday, October 19, 2009

NBA Fantasy - Auction Keeper League

All 3 BBS writers got into the same Fantasy NBA league, so our lucky readers will be getting random updates throughout the season.

To give you some background: It is an auction league with a $60 salary cap. Each owner could spend up to $65, but then had to pay a luxury tax penalty ($1 for each dollar spent over $60 – so if you spent $63, you had to pay $66). There are 9 owners, and each team had to leave the draft with 10 players. We start G, G, F, F, C and Utility, with 4 bench spots. We can keep 2 players next season with an escalating price (so cheap players add $1, expensive adds up to $4 depending on how much you paid for the player being kept).

As a side note, if you’ve never done a live-auction draft before, you should do it. This was my first time (and the first time for all of us in the league) and it was awesome. Way more fun and exciting than a standard fantasy draft.

With that said, here’s a breakdown of how each of us constructed our teams ...

2J - Team name: "Riding KD's MVP" (based on my NBA Predictions)

My goal heading into the draft was to land Kevin Durant and Joe Johnson, and I hoped to do it for less than $40, leaving me with $25 to fill out the rest of my team. A later-round guy I really wanted was Kevin Love, who I hoped would fill up the rebounding category for me.

I got KD early on for $23, and even before Joe Johnson came up for auction I spent $14 on Amare. I wasn’t 100% in love with him, but that seemed like a great price. Thought it was a good value at the time, and then realized he is eligible at the center position, so I love that pickup even more now. I then managed to grab Joe Johnson for only $10. So I was $47 deep and had a solid 3 players to build around.

I decided to wait a bit until the values starting dropping because I only had $18 left for my final 7 roster spots. I grabbed Emeka Okafor on the cheap ($3) because if CP3 can turn Tyson Chandler into a borderline all-star, he should be able to cause Okafor’s offensive stats to jump.

I also grabbed LaMarcus Aldridge ($2) and Kevin Love ($3), so I am pretty deep at PF and C. I then grabbed John Salmons ($2) (of course I needed Bull on my team), who can play both G/F, like KD and Joe Johnson.

My weakest position is PG, so I will be hurting for assists. I got Russell Westbrook ($3) as my primary PG, and went with Jonny Flynn ($2) as my backup. I am hoping other players like Joe Johnson can get me assists from my other positions.

I used my last “pick” on Danilo Gallinari ($2) – so we’ll see how that works out. D’Antoni loves him and supposedly he has been shooting lights out, so it could be a good value for $2 at the end of the draft.

(UPDATE: With K-Love breaking his finger the other night, I could not afford to have him and Danilo taking up roster spots. I was forced to drop Danilo, and since I am stacked at the F spot, I picked up an extra PG – Mario Chalmer’s – great for steals and 3s, and I’m hoping his dimes jump in his second season.)

I ended up spending $64 on my roster, so I had to pay $68 because of the luxury tax. I am very F/C heavy, and weak in the PG stats, but I love very player on my team and I’m really excited to see what happens.

Projected lineup after the draft:

G – Westbrook
G – Joe Johnson
F – Kevin Durant
F – Aldridge
C – Amare
U – Kevin Love

B – Okafor
B – Salmons
B – Jonny Flynn
B – Danilo Gallinari


Kmart - Team name: “Gators Wade-ing in the Velvet Sea” (What… you don’t like Phish? Then stop reading.)

Unlike Jim I had no “goal” heading into this draft. I really didn’t know what I was doing. Not only have I never done an auction draft before, but I’ve never even played Fantasy Basketball. There’s never been a reason really. I follow basketball much more than the average casual fan, and I feel that I know enough about basketball to seemingly decide who is “good” and who is “not good”.

Either way being invited to play in this league I decided to give it a go. (Not sure why I waited to pop my fantasy bball cherry in a $60 keeper league, but what the hell?) I felt nervous and unprepared for the draft, but once it started I quickly got into the flow.

My thought process was to find value across the board, pick players I enjoy watching, and don’t overspend or fall in love with any one pick. There were no real players that I “wanted”, only players I know I didn’t want (LeBaby James, the entire C’s roster, etc. etc.) Once DC took CP3 at $26 the market was set.

I knew I needed a top 7-8 player in the NBA in order to be somewhat relevant. The drop off from the Super-stars to stars is much greater than from stars to productive players. After very little resistance, I wound up getting Dewayne Wade at $21.

After that, I was kind of along for the ride. I didn’t want to spend too much money early and be out for the remainder of the draft. I was able to jump in again about 10-12 picks later and snag Chauncy Billups for $10. A few picks later, I grabbed Kevin Martin of the Kings for $8. Perhaps I over-paid a little here, but I couldn’t in my right mind stand for letting someone else get Kmart, at least not in the inaugural year of the draft.

After the first 40 picks, with three players and $21 left I was the money leader in the clubhouse. This meant that if I spent wisely I would likely be able to control the back end of the draft.

With three guards in my first three picks I shifted my focus to picking up the best center available and then picking up my starting forwards. I eyed Brook Lopez and nabbed him for $6. A few picks later I got Vinsanity for $5.

With $10 left under the salary cap for my last 5 picks and another $5 in potential luxury tax, I figured I could be able to outbid anyone for the remainder of players I truly wanted. I eyed two Florida Gators in Al Horford and Joakim Noah. This is ironic because I absolutely hated both those Florida national championship teams. I’ve always admired Horford’s game though, and he was the most physical PF left on the board – and safest bet to be a solid contributor this year so I picked him up for $X. Noah on the other hand has secretly become my second favorite player on the Bulls after I absolutely despised him up until and through draft night. I’m not sure exactly when it happened, but sometime around the Amare trade rumors last year I fell in love with him. I figure at worst this year he’ll be a productive backup C. At best he’s a double-double machine who shoots well from the free-throw stripe and hustles for a block per game. Not a bad pick for $2

After that I had one more player on my board I was hoping to land – Blake Griffin. This is a keeper league so I figured even if he sits on my bench all year; he would be a potential pick that I could likely hold onto for the next two seasons. Needing three more players I nominated Jeff Green and was able to get him for $1. This left me with $7 to spend on Griffin and $1 on my last roster spot – he cost me $6. I rounded out my roster with Trevor Ariza at a buck for a total of $64.

Since I’ve never played fantasy basketball, I have no real idea if my team is good, great, average, or terrible – but I like who I have and I think as long as D-Wade stays healthy I’ll be right in the thick of it at the end. What do you think? Feel free to tell me how great I am, or how much I suck in the comments. (Just remember to click the title of this post, and then login and post your comment in the top box. ALSO – Copy and paste your comment as sometimes it glitches)

Kmart’s projected lineup after the draft:

G – D. Wade
G – C. Billups
F – V. Carter
F – A. Horford
C – B. Lopez
U – K. Martin

B – J. Noah
B – B. Griffin
B – J. Green
B – T. Ariza

DC – Team name (for now, I tend to change them throughout the season): Jannero’s Boneros

First of all, Phish blows. Hard.

Second, this is my first auction league…I’ve played fantasy basketball before, so I have a decent idea of what I’m doing. My handicap was that I had not prepared at all for this draft and I was nursing a sizeable hangover from the previous night’s shenanigans. Owing to both my lack of preparedness and lack of prep, I did not bring anything with me to the bar to write down how much I spent on everyone, so my recap will be a little bit different.

I had a couple goals in the draft: 1) get CP3 or Durant 2) get value after that. As Kmart stated, I set the market at $26 for Chris Paul. At this point, I could have auto drafted the rest of the day and been happy with my team. I think that was a decent value, especially considering Danny Granger went for $24 a few picks later (LeBron went for $23 before Granger…yeah, that’s not a typo. Danny Granger was more sought after than LeBron).

My next two picks were Chris Bosh ($15) and Carlos Boozer ($6). Let me say, I wasn’t in love with either player…I really like Bosh and felt $15 was a good price. Boozer was another story. The bid was at $5 and I just felt no one should get Boozer for only $5 so I bid $6 expecting to get outbid for $7…didn’t happen, so I got him. Not bad, not great. So into our first break, I had spent $47 on 3 players. The most of anyone…but at that time I also feel I had the best top 3 of anyone in the draft. I knew at this point I would be spending the full $65 to fill out my roster and was resigned to that fact.

My next three picks were Monta Ellis, Hedo Turkoglu and Andrew Bynum. I don’t remember how much I had spent on each. All I remember was that the Hedo pick was like the Boozer pick, good value…but I’m concerned about his production in Orlando. We’ll see how the season goes. I love Bynum this year and hope he stays healthy enough to stay in my lineup all season. Ellis should be solid as my other starting guard. I’m still feeling good at this point.

My last four picks were Boris Diaw, Mo Williams, Thaddeus Young, and Courtney Lee. Love Mo Williams as a backup guard/utility option. Diaw was a player I actually didn’t want that much, but felt he’d be a good bench option. Young and Lee were the last two $1 pickups of the draft, because I was the only team with money left and spots available. I have already dropped Lee for Lou Williams on the waiver wire because I think he’ll be solid and he has G/F eligibility (so add another $1 for the free agent pickup). $71 spent so far.

Tell me what you think, but I have Chris Paul so I don’t really care what anyone says.

Overall I’m happy with my starting lineup…especially Bosh, Boozer and Paul. We’ll see where the rest of the pieces fall. Here’s my projected starting lineup:

G- Chris Paul
G- Monta Ellis
F- Hedo
F- Boozer
C- Bosh
Util- Bynum/Mo Williams

Bench- Bynum/Mo Williams
Bench- Boris Diaw
Bench- Thaddeus Young
Bench- Lou Williams


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