Matt Bonner is a Funny Looking MVP

14 04 2009

Matt Bonner is a somewhat odd choice to win the Jon Barry MVP.  On top of actually looking funny, I can think of a reason to doubt Bonner’s award.  He’s an unconventional player, a big man who shoots the 3-ball, and unconventional players can present balance problems in fantasy sports, especially when using rotisserie scoring.  Read the rest of this entry »

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Yahoo! Mock Draft

22 09 2008

I found this fantasy basketball mock draft from back in July and it seems considerably better than the ESPN draft kit I linked to earlier.  Looks like the secret’s out on Marcus Camby and Caron Butler, two huge-value guys I had last year.  Camby was #3 in my rankings last year, but no one else had him ranked highly, so I waited till the end of the second round to pick him.  Probably won’t be repeating that strategy, at least not if Justin Phan’s in my league.  Steve Nash and Dwyane Wade are both considerably lower than in the ESPN rankings, although I still probably pass on both where they’re going.  This may have to do with ESPN not counting turnovers while Yahoo! does.  I’m more familiar with the Yahoo! format.

It’s a bit interesting that the commentators write a paragraph explaining each pick.  Journalistically, it makes, but from a strategy perspective, my justification for most my picks would be: “That’s what my model says to do.”  Or else just fill that space with jokes, like this: Marcus Camby averaged 3.6 blocks per game last year–1.8 with his left hand and 1.8 with his right hand.  That’s because he’s Cambidextrous.  Also, I’d make up nicknames.  I’d refer to Caron Butler as CButs.

I haven’t done any modeling yet on the upcoming NBA season, so all my kvetching about the experts is somewhat unfounded.  Indeed 9-10 may be too early to draft Camby and CButs.  But it’s good to at least see some dissonance between ESPN and Yahoo!, in contrast to the strong internal consistency in ESPN’s rankings.





ESPN.com fantasy basketball preview

11 09 2008

ESPN has their fantasy basketball draft kit live.  They have two pretty good articles, one on rookies and the other on coaching changes.  Berry’s draft-day manifesto manages to be both atrocious and exactly the same as last year’s, which is fine, whatever…  Go on, Incredible Mr. Roto, spread your weird ideas; I’ll just keep on crushing your readers.  I also like this article, which focuses on players that you probably shouldn’t have on your team, but also included some players that you do want to have on your team.  If that description is confusing, then you understand how I feel about the article.

Then there are the rankings.  Just like Funston’s big board, none of the experts give any methodology or justfication for their rankings, it’s just a big dump of “here’s who I think is good.”  And speaking of big dumps, I’d like to take one on all these rankings, because they’re really bad.  Which is what happens when you design rankings without any methodology or justification.  I’m not gonna criticize any of the rankings specifically (Dwyane Wade at #5, really?  Has he ever had a top 10 fantasy season?  Top 25?) because I haven’t done my homework yet (Jason Kidd #40, isn’t he like, dead?) but at some point I’ll build a model (Yao Ming at #29, yup that’s a good pick) and then use it to dominate drafts.