Forgot Log-in or  Password? |  Help  Not a member, Register Now!
Play Fantasy Use your Fantasy skills to win Cash Prizes. Join or start a league today. Play Now
      
Fantasy Football Today
2014 Draft Prep Guide
Gameday Inactives
Downloadable Draft Kit
Mock Drafts
Get Your Draft Board
Player News
Stats
Players
Depth Charts
Roster Trends
Columns
Injury Report
Projections
Rankings
Red Zone Stats
Teams
Schedules
Scores
Standings
Fantasy Games
Playoff Challenge
Commissioner
Prize Leagues
Free
Office Pool Manager
Game Pick'em
Player Challenge
Fantasy Baseball Today
2014 Draft Prep Guide
Downloadable Draft Kit
Mock Drafts
Player News
Stats
Players
Depth Charts
Roster Trends
Columns
Injury Report
Rankings
Projections
Teams
Schedules
Probable Pitchers
Scores
Standings
Fantasy Games
Commissioner
Free
Prize Leagues
Player News
Stats
Players
Columns
Injuries
Projections
Rankings
Teams
Schedules
Message Boards
Fantasy Games
Commissioner
Free
Player News
Stats
Players
Columns
Injury Report
Projections
Rankings
Teams
Schedules
Mock Drafts
Scores
Standings
Fantasy Games
Commissioner
Free
Prize Leagues
Downloadable Draft Kit
Player News
Stats
Players
Columns
Injury Report
Projections
Rankings
Teams
Schedules
Mock Drafts
Scores
Standings
Fantasy Games
Commissioner
Free
Prize Leagues
No Fantasy Teams Found
 
 
 

2012-13 Draft Prep: Bench players worth a shot

by | Fantasy Writer
  •  

There are approximately 450 players in the NBA and keeping track of all of them can be quite challenging, especially on Draft Day. With most owners playing in 12- to 14-team Fantasy leagues, there comes a point in the later rounds where the names become unfamiliar and just make a selection based on the player's past history or playing time. However, that can be detrimental to building a Championship caliber Fantasy squad, especially when owners take a player solely based on the fact that he is a starter. To combat this issue, we have once again put together a list of players who are considered regulars in their team's starting lineup but aren't worth drafting in most formats. Conversely, we have also included a list of players, who don't start but are worthy of scooping up on Draft Day.

While everyone knows the obvious choices of players who fall into these two categories such as Thabo Sefolosha, Jason Terry, Jamal Crawford and Thaddeus Young just to name a few, we have tried to look for more low-profile options who fit the bill this year. As always, we recommend owners do their own homework but we hope this will prove to be a useful tool on Draft Day.

Starters to ignore

Tony Allen, G, Grizzlies: Allen was a tough choice for this list since he usually finds himself near the top of the leader board in the steals department. However, the 30-year-old struggles to consistently get his numbers in the other areas of the box score, despite being a regular in Memphis' starting lineup the last two seasons. He did post some of his more productive scoring (9.8 ppg)and rebounding(4.0 rpg) totals last year, albeit Allen did so averaging a career-best 26.6 minutes per game. His minutes are expected to fall back into 20-per game range this year and we would expect his slight increase in scoring to fall back down right along with his playing time. While Allen's all-around production makes him a very useful low-end option in category-based formats, there are far too many more productive options to choose from in standard formats on Draft Day. Still, Allen could make for a nice waiver-wire addition down the line.

Ronnie Brewer, G, Knicks: Brewer decided to sign with the Knicks over the offseason mostly because he was promised a chance to be the team's starting shooting guard. Despite undergoing surgery on his left knee, the 27-year-old is still expected to be the in the starting lineup on Opening Night but we aren't so sure Brewer's increased role will lead to a bump in Fantasy value. Keep in mind that Brewer did see nearly 25 minutes per game last season and still wound up averaging just 6.5 points, 3.5 rebounds and 2.1 assists per contest while shooting 42.7 percent from the field. However, he was brought to New York more for his defensive talents rather than his offensive ones, which could limit his playing time down the road. While he will get a chance to start for the Knicks, his minutes will likely remain very similar to what they were in Chicago, especially with J.R. Smith backing up his position. Iman Shumpert will also be in line to see minutes at shooting guard once he returns, which will restrict Brewer's minutes as well. With so many other options at guard, owners shouldn't pay much attention to Brewer on Draft Day.

Metta World Peace, F, Lakers: World Peace has been a fixture in the Lakers starting lineup over his first three seasons in Los Angeles, but hasn't been much of a Fantasy option over that stretch. Unfortunately for Fantasy owners, we would expect both of those trends to continue this season. Despite the addition of several quality players -- Steve Nash, Dwight Howard, Jodie Meeks, Antawn Jamison -- World Peace will once again open up the season as the team's starting small forward. However, he has averaged just 9.1 points, 3.7 rebounds and 2.5 assists per game during his tenure in Southern California and there isn't much reason to think those numbers will increase this year. With Kobe Bryant, Nash, Pau Gasol and Howard all on the court at the same time, World Peace will likely have a hard time just getting the ball in his hands let alone improving on his production. While his ability to fill up the stat sheet makes him relevant in deeper category-based leagues, owners in standard formats should target other options on Draft Day.

Jason Maxiell, F, Pistons: Maxiell is projected to be Detroit's starting power forward this season, leaving many to think that he could be ready to take the next step in Fantasy. However, Maxiell has averaged just 7.7 points and 5.7 rebounds over his 104 career starts while seeing around 25 minutes per contest over that stretch. That is likely about how much time he will spend on the court this season and he could also be pushed for minutes by Jonas Jerebko and rookie Andre Drummond. Maxiell also is very limited offensively and at 29 years old, it doesn't appear he has much upside left at this point. With so many other viable options available at forward, owners should leave Maxiell on the waiver wire to start the year.

Robin Lopez, C, Hornets: Lopez was shipped off to New Orleans as part of a three-player trade in the offseason and he will get another chance to start for the Hornets. However, the 7-footer hasn't fared that well as a starter in the past as he has averaged just 8.4 points and 4.4 rebounds over his 94 career starts. He will be part of the team's starting five on Opening Night, but likely won't be in line to see more than 20-25 minutes per contest as he will be pushed for playing time by Jason Smith. Anthony Davis is also expected to see some time at center, so we are expecting more of the same from the 24-year-old during his tenure in the Big Easy. While center remains the shallowest position in Fantasy basketball, Lopez should go undrafted in most formats.

Bench players to target

Eric Bledsoe, G, Clippers: Bledsoe is entering his third year in the league with the Clippers and is expected to have a much bigger role on the team this season. He is coming off a very disappointing 2011-12 campaign as he averaged just 3.3 points, 1.7 assists, and 1.6 rebounds per game while seeing around 11 minutes per contest. However, the Clippers were very deep at guard last year and Bledsoe had to compete with Chris Paul, Mo Williams, Chauncey Billups and Randy Foye for minutes. Now that Williams and Foye are gone, Bledsoe will be the first one off the bench and serve as Paul's primary backup. That should get his minutes up into the 20s on most nights, which should lead to a nice increase in production. The 22-year-old proved what he could do when given ample playing time last year as he scored 23 and 17 points in Los Angeles' playoff series against the Spurs. While owners may have grown accustomed to bypassing Bledsoe on Draft Day in years past, make sure to scoop him up in the later rounds of most formats.

J.R. Smith, G, Knicks: Smith entered training camp with a chance to start at shooting guard, but coach Mike Woodson decided to go with the more defensive-minded Ronnie Brewer as his starting two-guard – at least for now. As expected, Smith and Fantasy owner's weren't very happy about the decision but just because he won't be starting, doesn't mean he won't be able to make an impact. Woodson has said repeatedly he wants Smith to be his sixth-man off the bench and even referenced Manu Ginobili and James Harden when he was pressed by reporters about how Smith exactly would be used. That means Smith could end up seeing more minutes off the bench than Brewer does as a starter. The 27-year-old thrived in a similar reserve role when he was in Denver and averaged 14.3 points, 3.6 rebounds and 2.5 assists over his last three seasons with the Nuggets. While Smith can drive some owner's crazy with his streaky play, he should be targeted in the later rounds of most formats.

Taj Gibson, F, Bulls: With Omer Asik now in Houston with the Rockets, Gibson should be line for a major increase in playing time this year. He averaged 7.7 points, 5.3 rebounds and 1.3 blocks in just 20.4 minutes as a reserve last season but will now be Chicago's first big man off the bench. Most are estimating Gibson to see around 30 minutes per game this season as he will serve as Carlos Boozer's and Joakim Noah's primary backups. That alone should lead to a substantial increase in production for the 27-year-old, possibly even getting his scoring into double digits for the first time in his career. While Gibson has not been a popular selection on Draft Day over the last few seasons, owners should plan on spending a late-round pick in most formats on the fourth-year forward this year.

Jeff Green, F, Celtics: After missing all of last season due to an aortic aneurysm that required surgery, Green is most likely happy just to be back on the court this year. The 26-year-old looks to be fully healthy entering the 2012-13 campaign and is expected to once again come off the bench for the Celtics. While he averaged just 9.8 points and 3.3 rebounds per game in a reserve role for Boston in 26 games two years ago, Green has looked sharp in the preseason. He has showed no ill-effects from his offseason health issues and also looked to have a little extra bounce in his step. The former No. 5 overall pick in the draft has yet to live up to his potential over his short tenure in the NBA, but is expected to see a healthy 25-30 minutes per game this season. Green's upside alone makes him worthy of taking with a late-round pick in most formats.

Andre Drummond, F, Pistons: Drummond is one of the more intriguing rookies to bust on the scene this season as the 19-year-old looks to have all the tools to be a prime-time producer. However, there was a slight sense of disappointment when coach Lawrence Frank announced that he would come off the bench this season. Still, Drummond is expected to see a healthy amount of playing time in his first year in the league and has impressed during the preseason. While most believe for former UConn standout should be considered more of a long-term keeper option, we feel Drummond can come in and contribute right away. With a ton of upside and the promise of seeing minutes right off the bat, owners should plan on spending a late-round pick on Drummond.

Get player news notifications, manage your team and check scores
- all updated in real time. Download the CBS Fantasy App.

  •  
 
CBSSports Facebook Google Plus
COMMENTS
Conversation powered by Livefyre
 
 
Player News
Improved jump shot all Jimmy Butler needs
by Chris Towers | CBSSports.com
(3:51 pm ET) Bulls guard Jimmy Butler had the breakout season many expected from him a year ago, but there were still plenty of flaws apparent in his game as he finished his third NBA season. With a better team around him, Butler just might have enough help to vault him to stardom.

Butler's jump shot abandoned him last season, especially after a toe injury forced him to miss 11 games in November and December. He was shooting 43.7 percent from the field and 38.5 percent from three-point range prior to the injury, but connected on just 39.3 percent of his shots overall and 27.1 percent from three-point range from that point on.

We can blame Butler's season-long shooting slump on the injury or his increased offensive role, but he should have neither excuse available for him this season. Butler should be healthy, and the Bulls added plenty of offensive firepower this offseason, in the form of Pau Gasol and Doug McDermott, not to mention a hopefully healthy Derrick Rose. Butler took 154 shots off the dribble last season, per Stats.NBA.com, and made just 30.7 percent of them. With a better team around him, Butler should get many more opportunities to shoot with his feet set.

Butler has the skill set to be a tremendously efficient offensive player, given how often he bullies his way to the free-throw line. Last season, Butler filled up the box score extremely well, but his poor shooting limited his Fantasy value somewhat. If a new role helps his efficiency, he could be one of the very best guards in the league in category-based formats. 


Lance Stephenson set for bigger role in new setting
by Chris Towers | CBSSports.com
(3:02 pm ET) Though there were fits and starts, Lance Stephenson finally began to live up to his considerable promise last season. Now in a new home in Charlotte, will Stephenson take another step forward in 2014-15?

By the end of last season, the Pacers were a mess, and Stephenson caught plenty of the blame for that. Still, he might have been arguably the team's most consistent player throughout the season, averaging between 25.8 and 29.7 Fantasy points per game from before and after the All-Star break as well as the playoffs. For as much of a mess as that team was, Stephenson emerged as something of a rock, at least for Fantasy purposes.

The Hornets are actually built in a somewhat similar way to the Pacers, so there wont' be much of a stylistic shift for Stephenson to get used to. Per MySynergySports.com, 11.8 percent of the then-Bobcats' possessions ended in post-ups, actually down from the 13.2 percent mark the Pacers' posted. Stephenson struggled at times with his post-entry passing, though his off-target feeds might find their mark more often when being lobbed in to the soft hands of Al Jefferson, as opposed to Roy Hibbert.

The Hornets might lean even more heavily on Stephenson than the Pacers did, since Indiana liked to spread the ball around with their starting five. The Hornets, on the other hand, look to be extremely top-heavy, and Stephenson will get plenty of chances to be the second or third option. We have him projected for 29.1 Fantasy points per game, and consider Stephenson a borderline top-50 Fantasy option for this season.  


Move to Houston won't alter Trevor Ariza's trajectory
by Chris Towers | CBSSports.com
(2:09 pm ET) Trevor Ariza parlayed a career-year into a lucrative free-agency contract with the Rockets this offseason -- stop me if you've heard this story before.

Ariza was largely a disappointment in his first stint with the Rockets, though it did lead him to the best per-game numbers of his career. Still, Ariza was obviously miscast as a primary offensive option the last time he was in Houston, and that won't be a problem this time around.

Ariza joins a Rockets team with two established stars, and will likely spend much of his time trying to fill the departed Chandler Parsons' role. That should suit him nicely, as Ariza has just enough of an off-the-bounce game to serve as the team's third ballhandler when the shot clock gets deep. Ariza attempted 11.1 field-goal attempts per game last season, and should see a boost given Parsons' role; he attempted 13.3 shots per game.

Ariza's improved three-point shot seems legitimate, as he is shooting 38.6 percent from long range over 738 attempts since 2012. However, he will no longer have John Wall feeding him for juicy corner 3-pointers; Wall to Ariza was the league's most productive corner-three combination last season. His shooting numbers may take a hit with his move.

Even acknowledging the loss of Wall's help, we know the Houston offense is set up to get every player the most efficient shots possible, so Ariza shouldn't see much of a dip in his efficiency. His ability to fill up the box score makes him a perfect No. 2 option at forward in category-based leagues, especially now that he is a high-volume shooter. 


Despite new role, don't write off Isaiah Thomas entirely
by Chris Towers | CBSSports.com
(12:28 pm ET) Suns guard Isaiah Thomas might see one of the biggest dropoffs in his Fantasy value from last season to this, as he joins the crowded Suns' backcourt.

The Suns might have three All-Star caliber guards in the backcourt now, with Thomas likely to backup Goran Dragic and Eric Bledsoe this season. That should put a serious dent in Thomas' value; Thomas finished 13th in Fantasy scoring among guards a year ago, but is projected to finish just 43rd this season.

Still, Thomas is definitely someone you'll want to add to your team when drafting, and almost certainly before the rest of the No. 4-type guards he is grouped with. Thomas is likely to see his numbers fall off from the 20.3 points and 6.3 assists he averaged a year ago, at least at first. However, it wouldn't be a surprise to see him end up starting upwards of 25 games throughout the year, given Bledsoe's injury-proneness. Bledsoe has missed at least 25 games in two of the last three seasons for knee issues.

Thomas probably profiles as more of a bench option for Fantasy purposes next season, but you'll be targeting him much earlier than nearly any other reserve. His upside as a handcuff option for either Bledsoe or Dragic is sky-high, and will make him well worth your attention on Draft Day. 


Eric Gordon cleared for contact
by Chris Towers | CBSSports.com
(11:34 am ET) Pelicans guard Eric Gordon has been cleared to take part in full-contact offseason drills ahead of training camp, The Times-Picayune reports.

Gordon underwent season-ending knee surgery last April, but is expected to be ready for the start of the regular season. 


Jrue Holiday cleared for contact ahead of camp
by Chris Towers | CBSSports.com
(11:26 am ET) Pelicans guard Jrue Holiday was able to participate in full-contact offseason drills last week, the first time he has done so since undergoing season-ending surgery last January.

"Getting out playing has been a joy," Holiday told The Times-Picayune. "I've been running and jumping and stuff, but getting my rhythm back on the court is definitely a big thing right now for me."

The Pelicans open training camp Sept. 30, and Holiday is not expected to have any limitations as the team prepares for the start of the season. Holiday averaged 14.3 points, 7.9 assists and 1.6 steals per game last season prior to the injury.


Kent Bazemore focused on conditioning in recovery
by Chris Towers | CBSSports.com
(11:18 am ET) Newly signed Hawks guard Kent Bazemore did not pick up a basketball until August, preferring to focus on conditioning in his recovery from foot surgery in April.

"I think the injury was definitely a blessing," he told the Daily Press, "because I was able to step away from the game of basketball. I took myself out of my element all summer. I did stuff I'm not used to doing."

Bazemore signed a two-year deal with the Hawks this offseason, and is expected to compete for playing time on the wing immediately, as he is fully recovered from the surgery. 


Xavier Henry still aiming for start of regular season
by Chris Towers | CBSSports.com
(11:13 am ET) Lakers forward Xavier Henry is recovered from offseason wrist surgery, but is still working his way back from a procedure on his right knee. Lakers coach Byron Scott told the Los Angeles Daily News he is not sure if Henry will be ready to play in games by the start of training camp.

"I haven't seen him do much on the court," Scott said. "It's going to be close on if he's ready for camp."

Henry has been able to take part in basketball activities, but has still not been cleared for contact. Still, he is expected to be ready for the start of the regular season, after appeared in 43 games a year ago. 


Larry Sanders 'absolutely' a part of team's future plans
by Chris Towers | CBSSports.com
(11:09 am ET) Bucks assistant general manager David Morway told HoopsHype.com in September center Larry Sanders is still a part of the team's future plans, despite a troubled 2013-14 season.

"Absolutely," Morway said. "Yeah, yeah. Larry is in our future plans. We are hopeful that this year Larry gets back to being the basketball player that he was two years ago."

Sanders had a long list of issues follow him last season, including a drug suspension served at the end of the season, as well as a thumb injury suffered during a bar fight. Sanders was limited to just 23 games, during which he averaged 7.7 points, 7.2 rebounds and 1.7 blocks per game before his season ended in February with a fractured eye socket.

Sanders is expected to open the season as the team's starting center. 


Brendan Haywood possibly ahead of schedule
by Chris Towers | CBSSports.com
(10:55 am ET) Cavaliers center Brendan Haywood might be able to play during the first half of the 2014-15 season according to The Plain Dealer, as he is in better shape than expected ahead of the start of training camp.

According to the report, the team was concerned their recently-acquired big man might not be able to play until January, if at all, due to foot surgery last season. Haywood missed all of last season as a result of the surgery, but might be able to provide some depth in the backcourt shortly.  


 
 
 
Top Videos
Rankings