A friend of mine got married this summer. None of us groomsmen discussed what we’d wear, but it seemed pretty obvious. After a lifetime of burpin’ and fartin’ and wedgies, it was only appropriate that we’d all wear our tuxedo t-shirts and jeans. I arrived to the church where, lo and behold, I was the only one who looked like a jackass. I was so embarrassed I rushed home to change. I switched out of my jeans and into black sweatpants. Whew. But even though that crisis was averted, it taught me a powerful lesson. No matter how clearly everything seems to be, it’s always a good idea to check with those around you first.
Fantasy basketball is no different. As many hours as I’ve poured into creating the perfect fantasy basketball rankings, I have to admit that nothing’s perfect. Bynum’s out ’til December, Bogut is playing hurt all season, Yao’s minutes are limited and Greg Oden has to exchange his skeletal structure at the Bone Depot for a new set. Not only have I updated the 2010 roto fantasy top 100 list (go look!) according to the ever-shifting developments in the league these last few weeks, but I’ve scoured Yahoo’s rankings to compare the player’s that either I like and Yahoo! does not, or vicey-versey. I won’t nitpick every difference of opinion, just the big ones. But since they’re big, that’s not really nitpicking. I’m using the 2010 roto fantasy top 100 because that’s what Yahoo’s generic rankings are more geared toward.
Here are the big differences between Yahoo’s rankings and Razzball’s:
Jason Kidd – 17 at Yahoo, 44 here. Jason Kidd is the Ichiro of basketball. Fuuture Hall of Famer, solid pick, but nowhere near worth the spot they’re ranked in the preseason. He doesn’t block, he doesn’t score and he doesn’t shoot particularly well from the floor. That’s too many doesn’ts for a top 20 pick.
Chauncey Billups – 21 at Yahoo, 47 here. Denver’s a New Jersey point guard away from becoming a rebuilding team. You know what players don’t thrive on rebuilding teams? Veterans. Don’t take Billups at 21.
Monta Ellis – 29 at Yahoo, 51 here. Quick! Top three things that Monta Ellis had going for him in 2009 – go! Uh, he played a redonkulous amount of minutes? Yup. Thanks to Don Nelson. That’s one. Um, he averaged more points than he should because he played in an unstructured offense that never asked him to pass? Two-for-two. Nellie again. Can you get all three? Well, how ’bout that there was no proven big man to dump it off to last year? Bingo! Now for the bonus question, which of those three aspects will still be true this season? None. Ellis will be the third option on this team.
Nene Hilario – 31 at Yahoo, 60 here. Admittedly, I’m warming to Nene in the wake of K-Mart and Birdman’s injuries. Still, he doesn’t do anything exceptionally. In the first three rounds, I want someone who does at least one thing exceptionally. Like Dirk Diggler said, “everyone’s blessed with one special thing.”
Tyreke Evans – 35 at Yahoo, 24 here. Last season Evans scored more, assisted more, rebounded more, blocked more, stole more, shot better from the floor and is 13 years younger than Chauncey Billups. But by all means, grab Billups 13 spots ahead of Evans.
Rudy Gay – 41 at Yahoo, 61 here. Meh. I’m resigned to the idea of not having Reuttiger on any of my teams this year.
Marcus Camby – 46 at Yahoo, 98 here. When creating these rankings, had I known the dire condition Oden still is in, I would have ranked Camby higher. I’ve righted the wrong and I’m chewing on crow, which tastes a lot like raven. But I’m not eating too much crow, Yahoo! because …
Joakim Noah – 47 at Yahoo, 31 here. … There ain’t no way I’m taking Marcus Camby over Joakim Noah. No, ah don’t think so! With Portland, Camby averaged an extra mpg than Noah and only managed half a block and half a steal more. That’s it. And that’s not including upside, team role, Noah’s increased mpgs this season and so-on and so-on and et cetera.
Kevin Martin – 48 at Yahoo, 36 here. Yahoo’s scared of Kevin Martin’s wet noodle limbs breaking in half. I ain’t.
Jason Richardson – 49 at Yahoo, 27 here. I’m insulted on behalf of Jason Richardson.
Stephen Jackson – 50 at Yahoo, 28 here. At the very least, Yahoo! also ranks J-Rich and Jax one after the other. Yahoo! just ranked them stupider than I did.
Jeff Green – 63 at Yahoo, 106 here. Show me 20 shooting guards power forwards who are going to have a better season than Jeff Green and I’ll show you my 2010 Fantasy Basketball Top 20 PF list because Jeff Green ain’t on it.
Jason Terry – 66 at Yahoo, 103 here. Cripes, Yahoo! Even Jason Terry is going to have a better season than Jeff Green. Did I mention cripes?!?
Ben Gordon – 126 at Yahoo, 65 here. Yahoo’s rankings remind me of the one guy in your fantasy league that looks at his newly drafted team and declares himself the winner based on the NBA preseason performances of half his team. Hey Yahoo!, history goes back much, much farther than Ben’s uncharacteristically bad season. Damn you, Yahoo! for making me defend a Piston!
Ty Lawson – 202 at Yahoo!, 107 here. Even if Lawson doesn’t play any more than the 20 mpg he averaged last season and in those 20 mpg he doesn’t improve his efficiency one year later, 8/2/3 with above-average percentages 1 3pt+stl is better than friggin’ 202. And that’s more ifs than the Rififi family reunion.