Razznation! I can’t even begin to express how pumped I am to join the Razzball staff and help you beat all who have yet to discover this fantasy sports behemoth. With that said, allow myself to introduce… myself. I’m Mel, an avid fantasy baller, Razzball truther, and Will Ferrell enthusiast. I root for players, not for teams, which makes me your perfect fantasy resource. Yes, I do have some player biases, but the information you’ll find here will have nothing to do with Grant Hill or Michael Redd, I promise. What you’ll find here on a weekly basis is some in-depth analysis on the players who can win you a week, or win you a season. You see, the NBA decided to start a few weeks early this year, which will only make things more confusing for us all. Less preseason games, less draft prep, less games per week. Fantasy Basketball is taking a beating and will be more complicated than ever before. But not for you, extraordinary gentlemen and five lady folk that I write to today. I will have you prepared with those deep sleepers who will make your league mates wonder what the hell you are doing. How great does that sound?
Who are these deep sleepers? I’m talking about the glue-guys, the fundamentalists, and defensive specialists. The seldom-used but uber-useful fantasy assets that pass by with a silent-but-deadly flatulence from the public eye. Players like Tony Allen and Thabo Sefolosha may not get you going, but there are plenty of fantasy players out there who are turned on by their assets. We’re talking about the type of players who have the potential to get to that next level and reach the prestigious 1-1-1 plateau, but do little else. Beyond the Glory will focus in-depth on one player every week who can, not only help you win, but will be available for you, either, at an extreme buy-low price or for free off the waiver wire.
Last year, Dion Waiters was probably available for free for most of the season. You may be thinking, Dion Waiters is that high school kid who ends up eating shit at the end of Step Brothers. He’s the ultimate, cancerous, team-killing loser. A deeper look will show you a player in a great situation who ended up getting a ton of touches and contributing in as shallow as ten-team leagues. The Heat offer a ton of cheap fantasy potential. This year, Waiter’s teammate, could be that guy. The “experts” will tell you that this Heat teammate is James Johnson, a multi-cat beast last year with multi-position eligibility. I have a few questions. Is there value in a 30-year-old journeyman who has only started in 145 of the 470 plus games he’s appeared in? Would you trust a player who has been injured for extended periods of time in four of his nine seasons in the league? The answer should be nope to both.
The teammate that I am referring to is Josh Richardson. Richardson just signed a four-year contract extension, at 24 years old, after only two years in the league. This is a guy the Heat want to develop. There were talks of him handling the ball before injury struck last year and his smooth three-point stroke will make you purr like an Arabian tigress. He’s going un-drafted in standard leagues and could be off waiver wires before the first week of the season. But Mel, give me the cold hard numbers! I need some facts!
The 6′ 6″ product out of Tennessee is long and athletic and has averaged a mere 8.4 PPG, 2.6 REB, and 2.0 AST for his career. In today’s 3-ball era, his 1.4 3PM is nothing to write home about, but let’s look a little deeper. Per 36, Richardson owns a career 11.6/3.6/3.1/1.3/0.8/1.7 line. Thats 1.3 STL, 0.8 BLK, and 1.7 3PM, ever so close to the sneakily-valuable 1-1-1 stat line to go with some pretty counting stats to boot. The Heat have three players that they trust handling the ball: Goran Dragic, Tyler Johnson, and Richardson. Johnson is extremely successful playing off the ball, and while Dion Waiters enjoys having the ball in his hands, he’s a two-guard by trade. Richardson has elite ball handling skills for a player his size. 6′ 6″ point guards don’t come around often. Think of the successful career Shaun Livingston has carved out for himself following the injury that shall not be mentioned. Now, think of Livingston with a 3 point shot, a potential starting job, and a long leash called a four-year contract and the Miami youth movement. When Pat Riley sat down over the weekend and discussed the point guard position, he dropped Richardson’s name in the conversation. All of this only assures that he has all the ingredients in place to make a big splash this season.
My Prediction: 14.0/4.0/4.5/1.3/0.8/1.8