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You gotta love risk. In the end, risk is the reason any of us enjoy fantasy sports. If risk didn’t permeate every facet of fantasy, what’s left? Is that rhetorical or are you asking for real? Meh. Let’s say I’m asking for real. Um, okay. Without risk fantasy sports would just be math equations to be completed before the season starts. Nice! Risk propels the yin and yang of competition. “He’s good, but he’s always hurt.” “He’s never produced well before, but he’s in a better situation now.” “He’s the best player on the team, but his coach is a lunatic.”  Thoughts like this go through fantasy owners heads from June to October. Like Katy Perry songs, they never stop rattling around in your head no matter how many times you bang it against a wall. When it comes to risk, it’s all a guess. That’s why it’s called risk. And risk, in the instances of the players listed below, is a combination of factors (injury history, role on team, surrounding teammates and previous production). This is a list of the riskiest players to draft relative to their ADP.

Troy Murphy – (ADP: 37-42) He’s not going anywhere near 37th in any drafts conducted in the last week. I’ve seen him fall as low as 110 in a 16-team league this week. Though that may be a bit extreme, Murphy’s groin/back injury isn’t a joke – no matter how compelled you are to laugh at someone’s groin. He’s had lingering back problems before and always seems to miss five or six games at some point in the season with a vague, non-threatening injury. With Derrick Favors’ immense potential nipping at Murphy’s heels, don’t waste your fourth-round pick on someone who might do your team harm.

Manu Ginobili - (ADP: 39-44) Every day that passes I’m less inclined to draft the 33-year-old Argentinian. Over his eight seasons in the league, he’s averaged just 69 appearances a season. Even if you discard 2008, he’s still only averaged 73 games a year. Now he has George Hill taking up minutes. Is anyone else kinda hoping Tony Parker just goes down for the season?

Marcus Camby – (ADP: 48-53) I’ve been in two drafts and seen Camby taken first and within 10 picks seen Oden removed from the board. Like dueling jinxes. What happens if October turns to January and Camby, Oden and Przybilla are all healthy? What are these guys worth then? Camby’s going in the fifth round of most drafts which is amazing for an oft-injured player in his mid-30s who might only see 20-25 mpg if things go Portland’s way. Do things ever go Portland’s way? Not according to Clyde Drexler they don’t. But still.

Andrew Bogut - (ADP: 55-60) Bogut averaged 12/9 and one block in his first four years in the league and everyone drafted him late. Last year he averaged 16/10/2.5 and we were drunk on Old Milwaukee this summer thinking about drafting him early. Well, he’s going to average about what he did his first four seasons because his elbow injury was so bad it turned into a hand injury. I don’t think last season was a fluke, but he’s going to sit out games and doesn’t have full range of motion. Like Yao Ming, he’s a great player that you absolutely cannot trust.

Devin Harris – (ADP: 59-64) Harris has been divine so far this preseason. No, divine isn’t his stage name at the Foxy Lady, it’s how Harris has played. His foot seems fine and he’s the general of an infinitely better team than the Nets of yesterseason. So where’s the risk? Well besides his not having played 70 games in any of his last three seasons, his name was passed around in ‘Melo trade rumors like amphetamines at Burning Man and he wasn’t happy about it. Harris wasn’t happy last year either and proved that when he isn’t happy, neither are his fantasy owners. Even if Harris has moved on from those hurt feelings, I’m not sure Mikhail Prokhorov has moved on from making deals that involve Harris. The PG position is too deep this year to risk a pick on Harris as early as 60th.

Channing Frye – (ADP: 72-77) He’s being drafted here because he hit 172 treys last season. I’m knocking him 30 spots lower because he only hit 20 treys in his first four seasons combined. Seeing as how Channing Tatum is more multi-tooled than Channing Frye (Tatum acts like a tool, dances like a tool and broods like a tool!) you’re only picking Frye because of his threes. Why not draft someone like Kyle Korver in the final rounds for the same purpose at a much lower price?

Hedo Turkoglu – (ADP: 74-79)  By the mid-70s, a pick like Turkoglu has a much better chance of helping your team than hurting it, so his risk isn’t as massive as the guys above. But I think people draft him in the eighth round thinking about the Suns’ pace and that Steve Nash “makes everyone better.” Just draft Steve Nash then. In 10 seasons with four different teams, Hedo had an above-average PER only three times. Not a great PER; not a purty, sturdy PER; simply an above-average PER. In all three of those seasons the offense relied heavily on Turkoglu (24.8, 20.6, 24.8 USG%). In 10 seasons, this tells me Turkoglu just isn’t all that great. And despite everything that may go right in Phoenix, there’s much more that may, and likely will, go wrong for him in Phoenix.

Vince Carter – (ADP: 83-88) It used to be that if Carter was motivated, he’d be a top 10 fantasy option. What often relegated him to “just” the top 20 was his penchant for not always wanting to play. Well, Carter still has that penchant, plus a 33-year-old’s body and a coach that isn’t afraid to hand over some of his minutes to Mikael Pietrus of France or Rashard Lewis of the Seattle Supersonics. There’s upside everywhere in the eighth round, why waste it on someone who stopped revving the engine of his air-cycle two seasons ago?

Robin Lopez – (ADP: 104-109) Remember in Cuckoo’s Nest when McMurphy tried to get Chief Bromden to raise his hands and dunk the ball? He could physically do it, but there was little confidence that he would. Ultimately, the Chief did. But I’m not sure RoLo ever will.

  1. HOTSAUCE says:
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    Hey Adam,

    How will Boozer effect Noah’s stats? Do you think it will help him more? I also think Noah will have a monster season but I am a bit concerned about Boozer taking away scoring/rebounding opportunities from Noah. Also with Rose always going at the rim, wouldn’t the paint be too crowded for Rose, Boozer, and Noah? I’m thinking of drafting him around R3 in 12 team roto league. What do you think?

  2. Adam

    Adam says:
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    @HOTSAUCE: Somewhere between picks 25-36 feels just about right for Noah.

    He won’t really improve his scoring much (after Boozer returns anyway), but I see the Bulls just scoring more, rather than someone taking opportunities from Noah. Also, Taj Gibson and Tyrus Thomas averaged a combined 14 rebounds per game last year. T-Time is gone, and Gibson will give most of his boards to Boozer. That, plus Thibodeau sending Deng (7.3 rbd) to the wing more often and Boozer’s ability to pop that 18-footer, I think Noah will be alone down low a fair amount leaving a nice spacing system in the Bulls’ offense (and plenty of room for Rose to drive).

  3. It’s this sort of Anti-draft value propaganda that makes these players good value picks later on. I’ve never drafted Camby and more often than not regretted it. I guess I never think about how lucky I am to not have him on my bench when he sits 20 games a season though…

  4. Adam

    Adam says:
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    @Daniel: …Or when the player you took in the fifth round averaged 24 mpg before ending his season in February.

  5. Kristjan says:
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    There has been a positive feedback on Murphys injury and I have a possibility to get him for Morrow and Amir Johnson, In a H2H league. It is like 280 deep league so ill pick up crap but, it seems like worth considering!

  6. Ev says:
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    Most of them are fairly solid, even if I don’t agree with them, I can see why you’d think that way. Except…for Frye. You draft Frye for 2+ 3s, 1 steal and 1 block with the potential for more production post-Amare. And to knock him because he didn’t shoot 3s prior to joining the Suns is plain short-sighted. He begins this season still at the Suns so you shouldn’t expect the 3s to just dry up. It’s not like he is moving to an offense that outlaws the 3 ball. As a Blazer fan, I know Frye didn’t shoot threes because he was shooting 20 footers all the time. Now that he has extended his range and been given a well documented green light to shoot, to say he won’t shoot 3s is a complete fallacy.

  7. Adam

    Adam says:
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    @Kristjan: Go for it. Even if Murphy misses a month, that trade will be worth it.

    @Ev: You should still draft Frye, just not in rounds 6-8. I don’t believe the amount of threes he made (or shot) last season will be replicated again, mostly because Turkoglu and Childress will take away a ton of his opportunities. But also because Gentry wants Frye to play more inside. And it is this role shift that will likely relegate him to come off the bench to start the season.

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