I’ve always been fascinated by pelicans. They have to be the most versatile, yet DGAF bird predators out there. Not only do they have a long beak, but a large pouch to go with it. That allows them to eat a variety of foods: fish, birds, and invertebrates. It also allows them to hunt food shotgun-style, as they can scoop up water and eat whatever happens to be in there. As for DGAFing, pelicans have no teeth, so there is no chewing. Instead, they let their prey settle in their pouch until they shimmy down their throats….alive! The same can be said for the basketball version of the Pelicans, as they can attack an opponent in a variety of ways and will push the pace and ball down the other team’s throat DGAF-style.

 

2017 record: 48-34

Key acquisitions:

Key losses:

 

Outlook

Vegas has the win total at 45.5. This is a squad that won 48 games last season and lost in the Western Conference Semis. With that said, there is change at the point guard position. Rajon Rondo is out and Elfrid Payton is in. Rondo is a high IQ player that does a terrific job setting up his teammates. How will Payton mesh with this squad? On the flip side, the Pelicans were able to snatch up Julius Randle, who is an absolute bull down low and in transition. This gives the team a formidable triumverate at the 4 and 5 positions. From a fantasy perspective, the environment doesn’t get any better, as the Pelicans played at the fastest pace in the league last season and should be up at the top once again. The only knock on drafting Pelicans players is that they only play 9 games during the fantasy playoffs, while some teams play 11 or 12 games.

 

Point Guard

Elfrid Payton and Frank Jackson. Payton cut his hair! That’s an automatic boost in the shooting percentages and assists. It will be interesting to see how Payton meshes with this team because Anthony Davis and Jrue Holiday are ahead of him on the usage totem pole. He does have a career assist number of over 6, will get his 211 on, and rebounds well for a guard. He doesn’t shoot from downtown and is a poor free throw shooter, though. I have him down in the 150s, but if you need dimes, he’s a viable selection due to the environment. Jackson was acquired in last year’s draft via a trade with the Charlotte Hornets. He missed all of last season due to undergoing two foot surgeries. A one-and-done player from Duke, Jackson is 6′ 3″ 205 pounds who can flat out score. His J is much better than Elf’s, especially from downtown, but the injury history (missed most of Summer League with an ankle sprain) and lack of experience should keep him in a backup role. With that said, that could be a very nice role.

Shooting Guard

Jrue Holiday, Ian Clark, and Trevon Bluiett. Holiday is a stat sheet stuffer. You are literally getting everything (even 0.7 blocks) from a guard that will handle the ball plenty and….broken record….plays in one of the fastest environments in the NBA. He’s my #23 overall player for fantasy. Clark is a 26-year-old who came over from Golden State before the start of last season. He’s meh to me, as he’s not a great shooter from downtown and doesn’t contribute much in the periphery categories. I like Jackson ahead of him for backup PG minutes, but Clark should get some run to give Holiday a breather from time to time. Bluiett did not get drafted in the 2018 NBA Draft but signed a two-way contract with the Pelicans over the summer. A three-year player at Xavier, Bluiett has nice size at 6′ 6″ and is an impressive scorer, especially from downtown. Probably won’t crack the rotation but someone to keep an eye on if injuries occur.

Small Forward

E’Twaun Moore, Darius Miller, and Solomon Hill. Moore is the Pelicans 3-and-D player. He shot 42% from behind the arc last season on 3.7 attempts with 1 steal a game. That high percentage could be tough to replicate, but he’s still a career 38% shooter from downtown. Played over 31 minutes a game as well, so there’s value in that, especially since….broken record….plays in one of the fastest environments in the NBA. Miller is the Pelicans 3-and-D player but without the D. 41% on 4.4 attempts in 23.7 minutes last season from downtown with nothing else. Hill is the Pelicans 3-and-D but without the 3. A career 33% shooter from downtown. 0.7 steals in 23.1 minutes ain’t bad though.

Power Forward

Nikola Mirotic and Julius Randle. This is such a great combo for the Pelicans and offers Alvin Gentry so much versatility. Mirotic can space the floor with his outside J (35% career from downtown), but he’s also an excellent rebounder and will contribute D stats as well. Randle is the bully and provides physicality down low. He’s also great in transition, though, as he can grab a rebound and go coast-to-coast. From a fantasy perspective, though, Randle is getting overdrafted this season. He doesn’t shoot the threeecola and doesn’t contribute in D stats.

Center

Anthony Davis, Jahlil Okafor, and Cheick Diallo. Davis is my #1 overall player. He moon walks and hammer times over the rest of the field. The only knock on him has been the injury concern, but he’s started 75 games in back-to-back seasons. It does seem that he gets nicked up during games, but at least he returns now. Before, he’d be out for the rest of the game. Okafor is a talented offensive big man. His defense? This could be a nice situation for him, as the Pelicans want to score and Okafor can definitely do that. If the Pelicans need some B & B (blocks and boards), they will summon the waiter and ask for the Cheick, as in Cheick Diallo.

  1. DANIEL says:
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    Yeee Son.
    I drafted Jrue after reading your post.
    Can I get some input on my team. THANK YOU
    12 h2h 9 cat

    giannis abc
    jrue holiday
    jimmy butler
    deandre jordan
    dragic
    al horford
    h barnes
    lonzo
    reggie jackon
    c.levert
    kent bazemore
    d favors
    Markieff Morris

    looks like i am punting 3s and ft%.
    Some notable FAs are: Crabbe, Patty Mills, Bogdan B, Bojan B, Rodney hood, avery Bradley,

    • Son

      Son says:
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      @DANIEL: Sup DANIEL! Input into the Draft Companion to see how you stand.

      I like Mills

  2. I just wanna Kawhi says:
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    Your thoughts on Shai GA?

    • Son

      Son says:
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      @I just wanna Kawhi: I like him a lot, especially since he’s was hand picked by the Logo. With that said, minutes will be tough to come by

      • I just wanna Kawhi says:
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        @Son:

        Yea, I mean it won’t be fun in the beginning.. But white is injured so we may have to settle for SGA. Yay or nay?

          • I just wanna Kawhi says:
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            @Son:

            Dinwiddie, Ntilikina, Beverley… That’s really all we’re left with. Hah

  3. swick says:
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    what do you think of this keeper trade?

    i give up durant to get mitchell/Doncic

    its a 14 teamer, we keep 4 (Durant,James,Jokic,Middleton)

    • Son

      Son says:
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      Very tough but I’d do it

  4. colback says:
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    Hii,

    I drafted this team in a roto league of 20 teams in espn fantasy.

    PG: Stephen Curry
    SG: Tomas Satoransky
    SF: Taurean Prince
    PF: Paul Millsap
    C: Rudy Gobert
    G: Eric Bledsoe
    F/C: Jabari Parker
    UTIL: Jae Crowder
    UTIL: Kelly Olynyk
    UTIL: Willy Hernangomez

    Bench: Jonathon Simmons
    Bench: Stanley Johnson
    Bench: Jeff Green

    Yes, i have a problem in SG position and I think my worst players are Jonathon Simmons and Jeff Green… what u think?
    There are in FA players like Shaquille Harrison, Isaiah Canaan, Grayson Allen, Ian Mahinmi or Nemanja Bjelica.

    Do uhave any advice on some adjustment I can make on my team? I like Mahinimi and Bjelica but I’m reticent.

    Thankzzzz

    • Son

      Son says:
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      I’d drop Green and pick up Mahinmi

      • colback says:
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        @Son:
        Thanks..
        And what u think about Shaquille Harrison, Isaiah Canaan, Grayson Allen and Bjelica can do this season? Maybe more valuable than jonathon simmons?

  5. colback says:
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    Thanks..
    And what u think about Shaquille Harrison, Isaiah Canaan, Grayson Allen and Bjelica can do this season? Maybe more valuable than jonathon simmons?

    • Son

      Son says:
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      @colback: I think Shaw and Canaan cannibalize each other. Plus, Booker may soak up some of the PG duties. I like Allen and think he does contribute. Just tough to see him getting significant minutes because the Jazz are kind of stacked. Bjelica could be the most viable, but I really have no idea what they are doing and they will Dict up minutes

  6. Cohen says:
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    Son, i have a draft tomorrow. Any chance i could get an updated 8 cat no turnover rankings. Thank you

  7. swick says:
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    thanks for helping me out with my last question

    are draft is tomorrow, with durant,james,jokic,middleton set as my keepers (9 cat 14 teams) have back to back picks in 1st round

    looking to grab a pg in the draft with pick 5 and then best available player, how would you rank these guys

    Horford, Conley, Covington, Collins, Barton,Kanter, ingles, Rubio, Adams, Wiggins, Hardaway J,Markkanen, Smith Jr, Dunn, Saric

    was thinking of grabbing dunn and kanter right after..thoughts?

    thanks!

    • Son

      Son says:
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      @swick: Is it 4 keeper max?

      Without keeper considerations, I have them ranked:

      Horford
      Covington
      Barton
      Collins
      Kanter
      Conley
      Ingles
      Hardaway
      Adams
      Rubio
      Dunn
      Saric
      Markkanen
      Wiggins
      Smith Jr

      I think I need to move DSJ higher. No one should ever be below Wiggins.

      With keepers in mind, have to bump up DSJ, Markkanen, and Collins.

      • swick says:
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        @Son:

        we only keep 4

        wiggins ha, i traded him last year at the beginning of the season in this league and got jokic out of the deal..he was a wiggins fanboy

        thanks!

        • Son

          Son says:
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          @swick: Wow. What an amazing trade for you. You are my idol

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