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2013 Fantasy Basketball Draft Prep: 12-team, Head-to-Head mock

Fantasy Writer
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At this point in the NBA calendar, preseason games are already under way, which means your Fantasy draft is fast approaching. Our staff recently did our first mock draft for a Head-to-Head, standard scoring format, the results of which you can find below.

(And, if you're interested in setting up a mock draft of your own, click here and set one up for yourself.)

The main thing to take away from a H2H draft, as opposed to a Rotisserie league, is that certain players rate much more highly in one format versus the other. While you might not see Blake Griffin go until the third round in a Roto draft, it is perfectly acceptable to pick him up in the first in H2H leagues. Griffin produces points, rebounds and assists at a high volume, and those categories are more valued in a standard points league, where he is not hurt by his poor free-throw percentage or relative lack of blocks or steals.

The flipside of that is seen in a player like Kyle Korver, who is an solid Roto option due to his elite three-point shooting, but does little else and nearly falls out of our H2H mock. High-volume, low-efficiency scorers who contribute in either assists or rebounds are gold in H2H leagues, and should be valued as such -- feel free to pinch your nose and draft Brandon Jennings or Monta Ellis early, in other words.

We will be publishing our Roto mock draft in the next few days, but use this as a guide to see when you should expect certain players to go for your standard scoring league.

Participating in this draft were ...

Jeff Tobin, Associate Managing Editor
Michael Hurcomb, Fantasy Editor
Al Melchior, Data Analyst
Dave Richard, Senior Fantasy Writer
Jeff Lippman, Fantasy Writer
Joe Polito, Social Media Coordinator
Igor Mello, Fantasy Writer
Chris Towers, Fantasy Writer
Nando Di Fino, Senior Fantasy Writer
Larry Hartstein, Fantasy Writer
Scott White, Senior Fantasy Writer
Jamey Eisenberg, Senior Fantasy Writer

Round by Round
Round 1
Pick Team Player
1 Tobin LeBron James, SF, MIA
2 Hurcomb Kevin Durant, SF, OKC
3 Melchior James Harden, SG, HOU
4 Richard Stephen Curry, PG, GS
5 Lippman Chris Paul, PG, LAC
6 Polito John Wall, PG, WAS
7 Mello Blake Griffin, PF, LAC
8 Towers Carmelo Anthony, SF, NY
9 Di Fino Deron Williams, PG, BKN
10 Hartstein Kyrie Irving, PG, CLE
11 White Dwight Howard, C, HOU
12 Eisenberg Derrick Rose, PG, CHI
Round 2
Pick Team Player
13 Eisenberg Damian Lillard, PG, POR
14 White Kevin Love, PF, MIN
15 Hartstein Brandon Jennings, PG, DET
16 Di Fino Al Jefferson, C, CHA
17 Towers Al Horford, C, ATL
18 Mello Russell Westbrook, PG, OKC
19 Polito Josh Smith, PF, DET
20 Lippman Ty Lawson, PG, DEN
21 Richard Marc Gasol, C, MEM
22 Melchior Kemba Walker, PG, CHA
23 Hurcomb DeMarcus Cousins, C, SAC
24 Tobin Jrue Holiday, PG, NO
Round 3
Pick Team Player
25 Tobin Monta Ellis, SG, DAL
26 Hurcomb LaMarcus Aldridge, PF, POR
27 Melchior Greg Monroe, C, DET
28 Richard Paul Millsap, PF, ATL
29 Lippman Tim Duncan, PF, SA
30 Polito Paul George, SG, IND
31 Mello Tony Parker, PG, SA
32 Towers Dwyane Wade, SG, MIA
33 Di Fino Evan Turner, SG, PHI
34 Hartstein Rudy Gay, SF, TOR
35 White Pau Gasol, PF, LAL
36 Eisenberg Roy Hibbert, C, IND
Round 4
Pick Team Player
37 Eisenberg Chris Bosh, PF, MIA
38 White David Lee, PF, GS
39 Hartstein Brook Lopez, C, BKN
40 Di Fino Jeremy Lin, PG, HOU
41 Towers Dirk Nowitzki, PF, DAL
42 Mello Nikola Vucevic, C, ORL
43 Polito Thaddeus Young, SF, PHI
44 Lippman Mike Conley, PG, MEM
45 Richard Serge Ibaka, PF, OKC
46 Melchior Chandler Parsons, SF, HOU
47 Hurcomb Jeff Teague, PG, ATL
48 Tobin Goran Dragic, PG, PHO
Round 5
Pick Team Player
49 Tobin Joakim Noah, C, CHI
50 Hurcomb Ricky Rubio, PG, MIN
51 Melchior Derrick Favors, PF, UTA
52 Richard Eric Bledsoe, PG, PHO
53 Lippman Carlos Boozer, PF, CHI
54 Polito Jeff Green, PF, BOS
55 Mello Nicolas Batum, SF, POR
56 Towers Klay Thompson, SG, GS
57 Di Fino David West, PF, IND
58 Hartstein DeMar DeRozan, SG, TOR
59 White Kyle Lowry, PG, TOR
60 Eisenberg Zach Randolph, PF, MEM
Round 6
Pick Team Player
61 Eisenberg Kenneth Faried, PF, DEN
62 White Andre Iguodala, SG, GS
63 Hartstein Ryan Anderson, PF, NO
64 Di Fino Anthony Davis, PF, NO
65 Towers Gordon Hayward, SF, UTA
66 Mello Ersan Ilyasova, PF, MIL
67 Polito Jose Calderon, PG, DAL
68 Lippman Andre Drummond, C, DET
69 Richard Larry Sanders, C, MIL
70 Melchior O.J. Mayo, SG, MIL
71 Hurcomb Nikola Pekovic, C, MIN
72 Tobin Luol Deng, SF, CHI
Round 7
Pick Team Player
73 Tobin Paul Pierce, SF, BKN
74 Hurcomb Kobe Bryant, SG, LAL
75 Melchior Greivis Vasquez, PG, SAC
76 Richard Kawhi Leonard, SF, SA
77 Lippman DeAndre Jordan, C, LAC
78 Polito Marcin Gortat, C, PHO
79 Mello Ramon Sessions, PG, CHA
80 Towers Jonas Valanciunas, C, TOR
81 Di Fino Dion Waiters, SG, CLE
82 Hartstein George Hill, PG, IND
83 White Steve Nash, PG, LAL
84 Eisenberg Rajon Rondo, PG, BOS
Round 8
Pick Team Player
85 Eisenberg Tyson Chandler, C, NY
86 White Tobias Harris, SF, ORL
87 Hartstein Amir Johnson, PF, TOR
88 Di Fino Wilson Chandler, PF, DEN
89 Towers Brandon Knight, PG, MIL
90 Mello JaVale McGee, C, DEN
91 Polito Tristan Thompson, PF, CLE
92 Lippman Tyreke Evans, SG, NO
93 Richard J.R. Smith, SG, NY
94 Melchior Shawn Marion, SF, DAL
95 Hurcomb Trey Burke, PG, UTA
96 Tobin Spencer Hawes, C, PHI
Round 9
Pick Team Player
97 Tobin Jameer Nelson, PG, ORL
98 Hurcomb Danny Granger, SF, IND
99 Melchior Kelly Olynyk, C, BOS
100 Richard Victor Oladipo, SG, ORL
101 Lippman JJ Hickson, PF, DEN
102 Polito Bradley Beal, SG, WAS
103 Mello Raymond Felton, PG, NY
104 Towers Jimmy Butler, SF, CHI
105 Di Fino Michael Carter-Williams, PG, PHI
106 Hartstein Kevin Garnett, C, BKN
107 White Enes Kanter, C, UTA
108 Eisenberg Harrison Barnes, SF, GS
Round 10
Pick Team Player
109 Eisenberg Andrew Bynum, C, CLE
110 White Isaiah Thomas, PG, SAC
111 Hartstein Gerald Wallace, SF, BOS
112 Di Fino Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, SF, CHA
113 Towers Joe Johnson, SG, BKN
114 Mello Anderson Varejao, C, CLE
115 Polito Jarrett Jack, PG, CLE
116 Lippman Andrea Bargnani, PF, NY
117 Richard Maurice Harkless, SF, ORL
118 Melchior Luis Scola, PF, IND
119 Hurcomb Cody Zeller, C, CHA
120 Tobin Gerald Henderson, SG, CHA
Round 11
Pick Team Player
121 Tobin Nene, PF, WAS
122 Hurcomb Kevin Martin, SG, MIN
123 Melchior Jamal Crawford, SG, LAC
124 Richard Ben McLemore, SG, SAC
125 Lippman Eric Gordon, SG, NO
126 Polito Anthony Bennett, PF, CLE
127 Mello Tiago Splitter, PF, SA
128 Towers Manu Ginobili, SG, SA
129 Di Fino Amar'e Stoudemire, C, NY
130 Hartstein Arron Afflalo, SG, ORL
131 White Andrew Bogut, C, GS
132 Eisenberg Wesley Matthews, SG, POR
Round 12
Pick Team Player
133 Eisenberg Mo Williams, PG, POR
134 White Avery Bradley, SG, BOS
135 Hartstein Brandon Bass, PF, BOS
136 Di Fino Danny Green, SG, SA
137 Towers Robin Lopez, C, POR
138 Mello CJ McCollum, PG, POR
139 Polito Glen Davis, C, ORL
140 Lippman Derrick Williams, PF, MIN
141 Richard Jared Sullinger, PF, BOS
142 Melchior Jason Thompson, PF, SAC
143 Hurcomb Otto Porter, SF, WAS
144 Tobin Martell Webster, SF, WAS
Round 13
Pick Team Player
145 Tobin Jared Dudley, SG, LAC
146 Hurcomb Markieff Morris, PF, PHO
147 Melchior Mario Chalmers, PG, MIA
148 Richard J.J. Redick, SG, LAC
149 Lippman Thomas Robinson, PF, POR
150 Polito Lou Williams, SG, ATL
151 Mello Josh McRoberts, PF, CHA
152 Towers Al-Farouq Aminu, SF, NO
153 Di Fino Emeka Okafor, C, WAS
154 Hartstein Iman Shumpert, SF, NY
155 White Kevin Seraphin, PF, WAS
156 Eisenberg Andre Miller, PG, DEN
Round 14
Pick Team Player
157 Eisenberg Chris Kaman, C, LAL
158 White Kris Humphries, PF, BOS
159 Hartstein Taj Gibson, PF, CHI
160 Di Fino Devin Harris, PG, DAL
161 Towers Marcus Thornton, PG, SAC
162 Mello Ray Allen, SG, MIA
163 Polito DeJuan Blair, C, DAL
164 Lippman Omer Asik, C, HOU
165 Richard Andray Blatche, C, BKN
166 Melchior Kyle Korver, SG, ATL
167 Hurcomb Shabazz Muhammad, SF, MIN
168 Tobin Nate Robinson, PG, DEN
 
Team by Team
Nando Di Fino
Rd.Pk Player
1.9 Deron Williams, PG, BKN
2.4 Al Jefferson, C, CHA
3.9 Evan Turner, SG, PHI
4.4 Jeremy Lin, PG, HOU
5.9 David West, PF, IND
6.4 Anthony Davis, PF, NO
7.9 Dion Waiters, SG, CLE
8.4 Wilson Chandler, PF, DEN
9.9 Michael Carter-Williams, PG, PHI
10.4 Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, SF, CHA
11.9 Amar'e Stoudemire, C, NY
12.4 Danny Green, SG, SA
13.9 Emeka Okafor, C, WAS
14.4 Devin Harris, PG, DAL
Jamey Eisenberg
Rd.Pk Player
1.12 Derrick Rose, PG, CHI
2.1 Damian Lillard, PG, POR
3.12 Roy Hibbert, C, IND
4.1 Chris Bosh, PF, MIA
5.12 Zach Randolph, PF, MEM
6.1 Kenneth Faried, PF, DEN
7.12 Rajon Rondo, PG, BOS
8.1 Tyson Chandler, C, NY
9.12 Harrison Barnes, SF, GS
10.1 Andrew Bynum, C, CLE
11.12 Wesley Matthews, SG, POR
12.1 Mo Williams, PG, POR
13.12 Andre Miller, PG, DEN
14.1 Chris Kaman, C, LAL
Larry Hartstein
Rd.Pk Player
1.10 Kyrie Irving, PG, CLE
2.3 Brandon Jennings, PG, DET
3.10 Rudy Gay, SF, TOR
4.3 Brook Lopez, C, BKN
5.10 DeMar DeRozan, SG, TOR
6.3 Ryan Anderson, PF, NO
7.10 George Hill, PG, IND
8.3 Amir Johnson, PF, TOR
9.10 Kevin Garnett, C, BKN
10.3 Gerald Wallace, SF, BOS
11.10 Arron Afflalo, SG, ORL
12.3 Brandon Bass, PF, BOS
13.10 Iman Shumpert, SF, NY
14.3 Taj Gibson, PF, CHI
Michael Hurcomb
Rd.Pk Player
1.2 Kevin Durant, SF, OKC
2.11 DeMarcus Cousins, C, SAC
3.2 LaMarcus Aldridge, PF, POR
4.11 Jeff Teague, PG, ATL
5.2 Ricky Rubio, PG, MIN
6.11 Nikola Pekovic, C, MIN
7.2 Kobe Bryant, SG, LAL
8.11 Trey Burke, PG, UTA
9.2 Danny Granger, SF, IND
10.11 Cody Zeller, C, CHA
11.2 Kevin Martin, SG, MIN
12.11 Otto Porter, SF, WAS
13.2 Markieff Morris, PF, PHO
14.11 Shabazz Muhammad, SF, MIN
Jeff Lippman
Rd.Pk Player
1.5 Chris Paul, PG, LAC
2.8 Ty Lawson, PG, DEN
3.5 Tim Duncan, PF, SA
4.8 Mike Conley, PG, MEM
5.5 Carlos Boozer, PF, CHI
6.8 Andre Drummond, C, DET
7.5 DeAndre Jordan, C, LAC
8.8 Tyreke Evans, SG, NO
9.5 JJ Hickson, PF, DEN
10.8 Andrea Bargnani, PF, NY
11.5 Eric Gordon, SG, NO
12.8 Derrick Williams, PF, MIN
13.5 Thomas Robinson, PF, POR
14.8 Omer Asik, C, HOU
Al Melchior
Rd.Pk Player
1.3 James Harden, SG, HOU
2.10 Kemba Walker, PG, CHA
3.3 Greg Monroe, C, DET
4.10 Chandler Parsons, SF, HOU
5.3 Derrick Favors, PF, UTA
6.10 O.J. Mayo, SG, MIL
7.3 Greivis Vasquez, PG, SAC
8.10 Shawn Marion, SF, DAL
9.3 Kelly Olynyk, C, BOS
10.10 Luis Scola, PF, IND
11.3 Jamal Crawford, SG, LAC
12.10 Jason Thompson, PF, SAC
13.3 Mario Chalmers, PG, MIA
14.10 Kyle Korver, SG, ATL
Igor Mello
Rd.Pk Player
1.7 Blake Griffin, PF, LAC
2.6 Russell Westbrook, PG, OKC
3.7 Tony Parker, PG, SA
4.6 Nikola Vucevic, C, ORL
5.7 Nicolas Batum, SF, POR
6.6 Ersan Ilyasova, PF, MIL
7.7 Ramon Sessions, PG, CHA
8.6 JaVale McGee, C, DEN
9.7 Raymond Felton, PG, NY
10.6 Anderson Varejao, C, CLE
11.7 Tiago Splitter, PF, SA
12.6 CJ McCollum, PG, POR
13.7 Josh McRoberts, PF, CHA
14.6 Ray Allen, SG, MIA
Joe Polito
Rd.Pk Player
1.6 John Wall, PG, WAS
2.7 Josh Smith, PF, DET
3.6 Paul George, SG, IND
4.7 Thaddeus Young, SF, PHI
5.6 Jeff Green, PF, BOS
6.7 Jose Calderon, PG, DAL
7.6 Marcin Gortat, C, PHO
8.7 Tristan Thompson, PF, CLE
9.6 Bradley Beal, SG, WAS
10.7 Jarrett Jack, PG, CLE
11.6 Anthony Bennett, PF, CLE
12.7 Glen Davis, C, ORL
13.6 Lou Williams, SG, ATL
14.7 DeJuan Blair, C, DAL
Dave Richard
Rd.Pk Player
1.4 Stephen Curry, PG, GS
2.9 Marc Gasol, C, MEM
3.4 Paul Millsap, PF, ATL
4.9 Serge Ibaka, PF, OKC
5.4 Eric Bledsoe, PG, PHO
6.9 Larry Sanders, C, MIL
7.4 Kawhi Leonard, SF, SA
8.9 J.R. Smith, SG, NY
9.4 Victor Oladipo, SG, ORL
10.9 Maurice Harkless, SF, ORL
11.4 Ben McLemore, SG, SAC
12.9 Jared Sullinger, PF, BOS
13.4 J.J. Redick, SG, LAC
14.9 Andray Blatche, C, BKN
Jeff Tobin
Rd.Pk Player
1.1 LeBron James, SF, MIA
2.12 Jrue Holiday, PG, NO
3.1 Monta Ellis, SG, DAL
4.12 Goran Dragic, PG, PHO
5.1 Joakim Noah, C, CHI
6.12 Luol Deng, SF, CHI
7.1 Paul Pierce, SF, BKN
8.12 Spencer Hawes, C, PHI
9.1 Jameer Nelson, PG, ORL
10.12 Gerald Henderson, SG, CHA
11.1 Nene, PF, WAS
12.12 Martell Webster, SF, WAS
13.1 Jared Dudley, SG, LAC
14.12 Nate Robinson, PG, DEN
Chris Towers
Rd.Pk Player
1.8 Carmelo Anthony, SF, NY
2.5 Al Horford, C, ATL
3.8 Dwyane Wade, SG, MIA
4.5 Dirk Nowitzki, PF, DAL
5.8 Klay Thompson, SG, GS
6.5 Gordon Hayward, SF, UTA
7.8 Jonas Valanciunas, C, TOR
8.5 Brandon Knight, PG, MIL
9.8 Jimmy Butler, SF, CHI
10.5 Joe Johnson, SG, BKN
11.8 Manu Ginobili, SG, SA
12.5 Robin Lopez, C, POR
13.8 Al-Farouq Aminu, SF, NO
14.5 Marcus Thornton, PG, SAC
Scott White
Rd.Pk Player
1.11 Dwight Howard, C, HOU
2.2 Kevin Love, PF, MIN
3.11 Pau Gasol, PF, LAL
4.2 David Lee, PF, GS
5.11 Kyle Lowry, PG, TOR
6.2 Andre Iguodala, SG, GS
7.11 Steve Nash, PG, LAL
8.2 Tobias Harris, SF, ORL
9.11 Enes Kanter, C, UTA
10.2 Isaiah Thomas, PG, SAC
11.11 Andrew Bogut, C, GS
12.2 Avery Bradley, SG, BOS
13.11 Kevin Seraphin, PF, WAS
14.2 Kris Humphries, PF, BOS

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Player News
Andray Blatche heading to China
by R.J. White | CBSSports.com
(9/20/2014) Free-agent center Andray Blatche has signed a one-year deal with the Xinjiang Guanghui Flying Tigers in China. Blatche's deal with pay him almost $2.5 million, and he'll be able to rejoin an NBA team in March, Yahoo! Sports reports.

Report: Kings add Ramon Sessions
by R.J. White | CBSSports.com
(9/20/2014) The Kings have agreed to a two-year, $4.2-million deal with free-agent guard Ramon Sessions , Yahoo! Sports reports.

The team is reportedly using its bi-annual exception provision to sign Sessions, who averaged 12.3 points, 4.1 points and 2.4 rebounds in 83 games between two teams last season.


Omer Asik ready to clean up in return to starting role
by Chris Towers | CBSSports.com
(9/17/2014) Last season was a rough one for Omer Asik, who had to deal with returning to a reserve role after really shining as a starter the previous year. He should be much happier with his role this season, as the Pelicans acquired him this offseason with the intention of installing him as the starting center.

The Pelicans should have a fearsome frontcourt with Asik starting next to Anthony Davis, and Davis' presence should free Asik up to do the kind of work he excels at. Asik isn't a great offensive player, but he can be a dominant offensive rebounder, and should have many chances to clean up the boards with teams keying in on Davis offensively. Among players who have logged at least 5,000 minutes in the NBA, Asik is 22nd all-time in offensive rebounding percentage.

Asik had trouble staying healthy last season, but that was the first time he had ever missed a regular-season game in his career, so we can probably write that off as a fluke. He averaged a double-double with 1.1 blocks per game in 30.0 minutes per game two years ago, and should be capable of similar production as he returns to a starting role.

Asik should be viewed as a starting Fantasy option this season, though he may not have the upside of some other younger centers at this point. 


Tobias Harris' Fantasy value a mystery at this point
by Chris Towers | CBSSports.com
(9/17/2014) Perception is a funny thing. Just ask Magic forward Tobias Harris, who enjoyed by far the most productive season of his career in 2013-14 but was somehow viewed as a Fantasy disappointment.

Part of that stemmed from Harris' issues with availability, as he missed 20 games and got off to a slow start to the season as a result. It really took until January for Harris to find his stride, but he averaged 15.2 points and 7.1 rebounds per game from Jan. 1 on, without missing a contest.

Harris was probably better than the general perception of him a year ago, but the power of expectations hurt him. And now he enters his fourth season as something of a career crossroads, and it is hard to say just how Fantasy owners should approach him this season.

The Magic added Channing Frye and Aaron Gordon to the roster this season, further confusing what was already one of the most crowded frontcourts in the league. Harris can play both forward spots, but he is probably best used as a small-ball power forward; the presence of Frye, one of the league's elite stretch-fours certainly complicates matters for Harris, then.

At just 22, Harris still has a world of potential ahead of him. However, he probably profiles best as a reserve Fantasy option heading into the season, given concerns about his role.   


Hype may be too high for Giannis Antetokounmpo
by Chris Towers | CBSSports.com
(9/17/2014) No matter what he accomplishes in his second NBA season, Bucks forward Giannis Antetokounmpo is likely to be a historical outlier, given his age. The question is, how much of a leap can the now-20-year-old take next season.

Only 15 players in NBA history have logged as many minutes in a single season as a teenager as Antetokounmpo's 1,897, so he is occupying fairly rarified air already. His age is a big part of why he is considered a big-time breakout prospect for Fantasy purposes, but he has a long way to go from a statistical standpoint.

Antetokounmpo was good for a 19-year-old rookie, but his season averages of 6.8 points, 4.4 rebounds and 1.9 assists per game left a lot to be desired. It is easy to dream about a Antetokounmpo taking a big step forward, but that next step is never guaranteed -- for every Anthony Davis there is a Michael Kidd-Gilchrist whose development follows a slower, less linear path. 

Antetokounmpo was very good -- for a 19-year-old. However, Fantasy owners don't get extra points, rebounds or assists if the degree of difficulty is higher, so you are betting on Giannis taking a huge step forward at the age of 20. Antetokounmpo has become something of an internet darling, and his play in Summer League and the FIBA World Cup dominated much of the offseason discussion, which only helped build the hype to potentially unsustainable levels. 

He is a lottery ticket, for sure, but he is one that might not be worth the cost at this point. 


Improved jump shot all Jimmy Butler needs
by Chris Towers | CBSSports.com
(9/17/2014) 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
(9/17/2014) 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
(9/17/2014) 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
(9/17/2014) 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
(9/17/2014) 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. 


 
 
 
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