With every NBA season comes a fantasy season and with games almost every night, there is always a player or two impressing and disappointing fantasy team owners.
Every week, I’ll give you players to be aware of and players to be critical of. After Tuesday and Wednesday’s action, I have the first week’s busts and overachievers.
Projected by ESPN to be 39th pick
Joakim Noah showed his double-double average wasn’t a fluke when he scored 18 points off of 7-of-13 from the field and grabbed 19 rebounds against the Oklahoma City Thunder Wednesday. Noah seems to have rebounded from his season-long foot injury from last year.
With numbers such as these, there are a few center/forwards I’d move Noah ahead of on ESPN’s list. Noah is going to be better than David West and Tim Duncan. West put up 22 points and grabbed seven rebounds against the Bucks Wednesday, but didn’t have the two assists, two blocks and two steals Noah had on his box score.
Duncan is still the quarterback for the San Antonio Spurs but how long can he hold up? Wednesday, he had 23 points, 12 rebounds, four blocks, three steals and three assists. If Duncan could do this every night, he is a top 25 draft pick, but his legs are not going to hold up half-way through the season, while Noah is going all out on every play game 1 to 82.
Projected by ESPN to be the 3rd pick and 6th pick
As a member of the super team known as the Miami Heat, LeBron’s numbers are going to drop while Dwyane Wade’s are going to rise. D-Wade proved Tuesday against the Boston Celtics he is going to be the closer, even though he didn’t do it. Wednesday against Philadelphia, he dropped 30.
Wade and James are both going to get big numbers–and I’m not saying James drops out of the top 10–but Wade would be a better pick than James if you have a top five pick. He shoots with a better percentage, is a better free throw shooter and will not commit as many turnovers as James.
Projected by ESPN to be the 56th pick
Jason Richardson is being asked to step up offensively in Phoenix with the departure of Amare’ Stoudemire. He moved around to three different teams in three years and didn’t really have a chance to fit in with a team. This is only the second season with the Suns, but he is the No. 1 option for the Suns and has one of the best set-up men in the league, Steve Nash, by his side.
He is better than the 56th pick. Tuesday against the Portland Trailblazers, he showed he still can put up numbers with 9-of-13 shooting–including 3-of-4 from downtown–for 22 points and grabbed six rebounds.
Definitely have him in your starting lineup if you don’t already.
Two players who will never see their name on my roster
Ben Gordon and Hedu Turkoglu are overrated and will do nothing but hurt stats. Gordon might have 20 points a night, but he will also have a shooting percentage in the low 30s or high 20s and a handful of turnovers every game. There will be nights when he lights it up, but I’m afraid he’ll have more off nights then he will good.
Turkoglu had one good season with the Orlando Magic, then dropped not one ball but every ball he ever touched last season in Toronto, forcing them to get rid of him as soon as they could. Now, he is in Phoenix with a bunch of players who love to shoot the ball including the aforementioned Richardson, Nash, Josh Childress, Jared Dudley and sometimes Grant Hill.
In Tuesday’s game against the Trailblazers, he had six points, three rebounds and two steals. ESPN says he should have a turnaround year, but I think these are the numbers most games will see from Turkoglu.