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Ending up with a late-round pick in this year’s fantasy draft is like reaching the front of the line at McDonald’s and having the former computer analyst behind the counter tell you that they only have chicken sandwiches left.

Hey, there’s nothing wrong with Al Jeffersons and Carmelo Anthonys, but I came here for the Big Macs, not those Southwest whatever-you-call-its with the weird sauce.

Picking in that slot seems to be having a ripple effect. At that point all the elite guys are gone, so you have to take someone like Jefferson or Anthony or gamble a little on a guy like Derrick Rose. Also, if you didn’t get James Harden, Stephen Curry or Paul George, you’re going to have to either reach or punt a little on SG, because there isn’t one of proper value to take at that spot.

All of this means you’re probably looking at taking a SG in the fourth round or so. And if your draft is like all the others, that will probably leave you with a choice of either Monta Ellis or Eric Bledsoe.

Now you can break down the past numbers and project for the upcoming season, and use whatever cybermetrics that robots like Sam Hinke and Daryl Morey use.

Or you can look at the coaches and see how these guys will fit in their systems.

Ellis arrives in Big D with Big Expectations from his new coach, Rick Carlisle. In August, Carlisle called Ellis the “fastest player ever to wear a Mavericks uniform” (somewhere Brad Davis is crying). Earlier this month, he declared that Ellis would have to “carry a load” for the Mavericks.

This isn’t asking too much for a guy who was a flat-out beast for the Golden State Warriors during the putrid pre-Mark Jackson era. Sure, he was a brick-laying fool last year, but the 25-plus per game he was putting up by the Bay tells us what he can do.

But it’s not what Ellis has done that has me sold on him as a fantasy breakout this year. It’s what Carlisle has done with the SG slot.

Rip Hamilton really put it together and became a more complete player when he arrived in Detroit to play for Carlisle. Jason Terry flourished when he joined Carlisle in Dallas, popping off of pick-and-rolls with Dirk Nowitzki and winning a title in 2008.

The real question is whether Dirk still has the juice to play that game with Ellis. If he does, I think Ellis goes back to scoring 25 ppg or more. If he doesn’t, I still see him as a 20 ppg scorer but maybe with more assists. Either way, Ellis will pile up the steals.

That brings us to Bledsoe. He’s another PG/SG dude who’s being touted for a breakout. There is nothing in the past to indicate that this will happen. His per 36 numbers show him as a multi-cat contributor but there’s nothing eye-popping there. To be fair, he never got a ton of minutes with the Clips, and that will change in Phoenix.

I like Bledsoe because of new coach Jeff Hornaceck. While inexperienced, the man who could be Albie from “Big Love” for Halloween without putting on a costume has promised to install a retro-Phoenix Suns style offense, which means lots of running and lots of scoring and lots of the Suns Ape going crazy. As the starting SG, Bledsoe will get a decent amount of those points. Plus: Lots of shots means lots of rebounds, and lots of chaos means lots of steals and blocks to be had by all. Bledsoe will get a fair share of those as well.

Will the Suns stink? Yes. Does that matter to fantasy owners who will get more stats from Bledsoe? Absolutely not.

In the end, I’m giving the nod to Monta. He’s already shown he can be a scoring machine, and if he can mesh with the rigid Carlisle, he’s going to have a big year.

My projections:

Monta Ellis:

FG%  FT%   3PT   STL   RPG   APG   BPG   PPG
.440    .82       2.0    2.1      3.2     6.4     0.3    24.7

Eric Bledsoe:

FG%   FT%   3PT   STL   RPG   APG   BPG   PPG
.420     .84       1.0     1.3     5.1     5.3     1.0    18.3

  1. Mr. Ballistik says:
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    “They” say that we are in a golden-age of PGs. However, it seems to me that — in the late rounds — PG is the shallowest position. With bigs, we have Hickson, Kaman, DeAndre, Gortat, Amir, etc. With PG, after the group consisting of guys like Teague, Calderon, Lowry, Burke? Ummm… Brandon Knight?

    This has me contemplating grabbing PGs with my 2nd and 3rd picks (I have 2nd pick overall) and then targeting Hibbert, Jonas, Javale, Pek, etc. Thoughts?

  2. Pete Nice

    Pete Nice says:
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    It does seem like G is thin in general. What about MCW later on? Might rack up turnovers but he’ll get plenty of assists.

    I think just try and get one stud PG early and if you do grab Calderon, Burke or MCW later. If you can’t get a top-tier go with Jrue. I’ve already professed my love of Mr. Holiday here — the man has Another Gear and you will see it with The Pelicans. Squawk squawk!

    • Mr. Ballistik says:
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      @Pete Nice: I’ll keep an eye on MCW as a backup plan. Good call.

      Not sold on Holiday, not with that crowded backcourt. Leaning towards Conley for the steals. Conley, Iggy, Durant, and one other decent PG should be enough to compete for assists. Hoping for Teague, Calderon, or Lowry.

  3. Mike says:
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    Teague has looked terrible in preseason like he is on drugs. Lowry has been a injury risk. Burke is out for injury. B. Knight is to inconsistent and doesn’t see the floor very well. i would take Calderon who is a great passer and shoots a average at the line and at the 3 point line.

    • Pete Nice

      Pete Nice says:
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      @Mike: @Mr. Ballistik: Dag sorry for missing on that Burke news. My bad. MCW it is then eh?

  4. HWY68 says:
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    SG is ridiculously thin this year.

    Kobe says he could play right now if it were a playoff game. I’m tempted to draft him 20th overall in a 10 team h2h…

    • Pete Nice

      Pete Nice says:
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      @HWY68: Yeah but Kobe could also suit up like it was a playoff game and then his Achilles could blow out again. He’s old – he’s as old as ME!

    • Mr. Ballistik says:
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      @HWY68: SG is thin at the top, but plentyful in the middle rounds. Beal, Mayo, Turner, Hayward, Butler (Jimmy), Chandler (Wilson). Lots of upside to be had.

      • HWY68 says:
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        @Mr. Ballistik:

        True. I know it’s trendy to value Jazz players this year but I do think Hayward’s in for an excellent season.

        I always let others draft injury risks but for some reason Kobe Bryant feels like such a steal this year. Sure, you can draft for upside with volatile young players, or you can roll the dice on a hall of famer with a maniacal competitive streak. Yeah, his Achilles could rupture again but if he’s available after 30, it’s hard to ignore his multi-category production.

        • Mr. Ballistik says:
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          @HWY68: Agreed. Kobe is about as safe as a bet there is for an injured player returning to form. However, my league has shortened the regular season down to avoid “the Popovich effect” of players being benched during fantasy playoffs. Thus, currently injured players carry extra-risk.

          While rankings are constantly be adjusted, it seems to me that Cousins and Lowry are way-too low. Lowry was 4th round last year and lost his competition with Calderon being out. Cousins was early 2nd round last year, now going middle of the 4th. Too good to pass up.

          • HWY68 says:
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            @Mr. Ballistik: @Mr. Ballistik:

            Oh, absolutely. Cousins will benefit from Shaq’s mentoring & Lowry I’ve always loved his game. They’re on my draft radar.

            Are you buying the Victor Oladipo hype this year?

            • Mr. Ballistik says:
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              @HWY68:

              I don’t trust anyone whose last name has more vowels than consonants.

              • Pete Nice

                Pete Nice says:
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                @Mr. Ballistik: @HWY68: I like the rationale behind your irrational thinking!

  5. Danny says:
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    Pete Nice. great post!

    do you see anyone on my FA that i should target for my team?

    14h2h

    Kelly Olynyk, Otto Porter Jr, Nerlens Noel, Tayshaun Prince, Martell Webster, Matt Barnes, Jared Sullinger, Channing Frye, Ramon Sessions, Bismack Biyombo, Tyler Zeller, JOn Lucas III

    my team
    harden
    lillard
    pau gasol
    jeff teague
    nikola pekovic
    oj mayo
    boozer
    deandre jordan
    raymond felton
    gerald henderson
    andre bargnani
    shawn marion
    corey brewer

    thank you sir

    • Pete Nice

      Pete Nice says:
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      @Danny: Bismack! See previous B-n-B post. I always liked Webster for some reason, and even though it looks like Ariza will beat him out as starter he could be slick off the bench. Olynyk is playing well but I don’t like his hair. That shouldn’t matter to you if you’re a rational person, but it will keep me away. I like Lucas III too – the pedigree.

  6. Brandon says:
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    Hey Pete Nice,

    Just wanted to see your opinion on this team I recently mock drafted. I was reading around and saw an analyst say to wait on Centers until at least the 4th round. He said that many of the early centers are definitely good, but do not offer what they should at their pick value. He recommended more of a multi-cat player like Batum, or a PG with strong assist/steal numbers like Rubio.

    1. Stephen Curry (GS – PG,SG)
    2. Nicolas Batum (Por – SG,SF)
    3. Mike Conley (Mem – PG)
    4. Kemba Walker (Cha – PG)
    5. Derrick Favors (Uta – PF,C)
    6. Jonas Valanciunas (Tor – C)
    7. Tobias Harris (Orl – SF,PF)
    8. Jameer Nelson (Orl – PG)
    9. Evan Turner (Phi – SG,SF)
    10. Spencer Hawes (Phi – C)
    11. Isaiah Thomas (Sac – PG)
    12. Chris Kaman (LAL – PF,C)
    13. Jared Dudley (LAC – SG,SF)

    What are your recommendations?

    • Brandon says:
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      Also forgot to add 12 TEAM, head-to-head!

      • Pete Nice

        Pete Nice says:
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        @Brandon:

        That’s pretty solid. I would have liked a better number 1 big guy, like a Larry Sanders or or a Nikola, or DeMarcus. I like those Sixers you got – Hawes and Turner. I gotta get Turner in a league this year – maybe JB will trade him to me since he’s way down on ET.

        Yeah I’ll admit there are a lot of “eh’s” in there toward the top. If you get the last pick in the first round or thereabouts you’re kind of forced into taking Big Al. If I had any of these three come up in my early spots I would take them:

        Kevin Love
        Al Jefferson
        Larry Sanders

        All the rest I would probably pass. I used to love Aldridge but that situation is too up in the air and he’s been kinda fragile.

        As previously discussed Cousins or maybe even one of Detroit’s bigs would be just as good as a second pick big dude further out, from rounds 4-7. I like Hawes late, and even Gortat if he’s back there.

        • Brandon says:
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          @Pete Nice:

          I think I had a chance to take DeMarcus. I really love his production besides the lack of blocks and his attitude problems. I probably should’ve gotten him instead of Kemba and maybe could’ve drafted a guard in the 4th instead. Yahoo’s rankings really bug me for some reason though; I think they are misleading when compared to ESPN or other sites.

          And what do you think about Horford? I feel like he is a really solid big man as well and his situation looks pretty bright. I’m just not sure if he warrants a 2nd round pick over Batum or an elite point guard. Big Al is primed to have a big year in Charlotte in my opinion.

          I felt really good about Turner and Hawes too. With such a crappy team, the Sixers will need more out of those two guys. Bad situation for them, but good for us fantasy owners.

          • Brandon says:
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            Marc Gasol is another high-ranked big. I feel that he is solid, but a bit overrated. I mean, he gives a little bit of everything, but that’s it. Nothing spectacular really.

            Serge is another I’m not sure about. I dig the blocks, but he doesn’t offer much else either. What’s your opinion on these two?

            • Pete Nice

              Pete Nice says:
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              @Brandon: I would take Gasol in the third round. I’m not a big Serge guy, never have been. Don’t know why.

              • Pete Nice

                Pete Nice says:
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                @Brandon: I was down on Horford for a while after being someone who would take him every year. Now I’m back – he had a very solid year last year and Millsap should help. Not sure how I feel about the Hawks’ real life chances though.

                • Brandon says:
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                  @Pete Nice: Thanks for the help. I hope all this ends up boding well on draft day! Pretty excited.

    • Mike says:
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      Batum would be a great pick if he was healthy. Nelson was injured to much last year for me to pick him. Love Harris and Thomas. I like Favors and Valanciunas but you will be short rebounding and blocks.

      • Brandon says:
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        @Mike: Batum is an awesome multi-cat guy, just wary of his current concussion problems. And I would need to beef up the bigs, definitely. Besides, Derrick and Jonas are young, unproven players. Their situations may not translate exactly how they’re expected to. But hey, that’s part of the fun.

  7. Rick says:
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    Hi. I am a big fan of your rankings! I was looking at fantasypros consensus ranking sources but couldn’t find you guys. Maybe you can contact them to add your rankings to the list?

    • JB Gilpin

      JB Gilpin says:
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      @Rick: That’s frustrating because I had contacted them a few months ago. Will reach out again

  8. AZ Ramirez says:
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    Hey Pete, great post.
    I’ve been running into similar issues in my mocks of late, leading me to want to keep Klay Thompson as my primary 2 Guard.
    Quick question regarding my roster. 10 Team H2H Auction Keeper League
    I can keep 3 players from this bunch, I’ve made my mind up about the top 2 because they’re no brainers but I run into trouble choosing my third. I’m definitely keeping Damian Lillard ($4) and Ricky Rubio ($1) because I got in on the ground floor and this isn’t my first rodeo.
    The remaining batch of guys and the price I can keep them at are:

    Derrick Favors ($1) Drafted and Rostered him all last year with intention of keeping him
    Klay Thompson ($6)
    Brook Lopez ($12)
    Ersan Ilyasova ($12)

    I’m leaning towards Favors or Klay because I’d be saving huge on either in the open market but I can’t seem to cut ties with anyone quite yet. Any insight

    • stranger says:
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      @AZ Ramirez: Favors is the guy. As much as I like Klay’s microwave abilities off the bench (and he still should get 30+ minutes a game even if GS runs with Iggy and Barnes in the starting lineup), you’re saving money this year and possibly more in the future with Favors. More upside.

      • Pete Nice

        Pete Nice says:
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        @stranger: I want to buy in on Favors, but I feel like I’m taking a risk if I draft him. Not saying I wouldn’t take him if he was there, but it would feel like a risk.

        • stranger says:
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          @Pete Nice: yeah but at $1? Doesn’t seem like that much to buy in for, and that’s some pretty incredible value in Lillard and Rubio for $5 combined. Can’t imagine there are many teams with more money saved than that in his league. Favors could be 15/9 with 2+ blocks pretty easily this season. Now if he can get that ft% above 72% or so…

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