Stromile Swift here; I will hopefully be bringing you some weekly 8-cat information to Razzball this season. The below article relates to 8-cat Roto leagues – I’ve always played 8-cat leagues and prefer no turnovers, as I feel it can sometimes punish the elite players. Below are some of my value picks that will hopefully help win 8-cat championships. Please feel free to comment on any of the article below and I’ll respond to all and sundry. I’m very excited to join the team and look to develop my skills as a writer and commenter on Razzball.
Serge Ibaka (Final 11 Games of 2014-15 Rank: 8)
After finishing 14th and 17th respectively in per game averages his previous two years, Ibaka took a step back last season and finished 22nd. A lot of that had to do with added offensive responsibility and showing a continued tendency to trek to the 3 point line for jumpers, dropping his FG% to 47%. With a full strength & hopefully healthy Thunder team, Serge Iblocka should be able to return to an early second round value that can be had at a late second round price. They’re definitely a lot of players that have more hype, but not many more are as safe and solid a selection as Serge. Don’t sleep on him.
Drafted Pick: 18-25
Expected Value: 12-20
Trevor Ariza (Last Season Rank: 44)
When drafting Ariza, you have to know what you’re getting and know what you’re not getting. A hell of a lot of 3’s and steals and a hell of a lot of bricks. The key to unleashing the value of the 44th ranked player last year is to hold through the valleys and hold through the peaks. As with all streaky long range bombers, he will have his lean stretches. But all-in-all, he’s an early round value with no serious competition for his position on the Rockets.
Drafted Pick: 50-60
Expected Value: 40-50
Carmelo Anthony (Last 3 Seasons Ranks: 8, 8, 24)
Carmelo’s previous two completed fantasy seasons represent two 8th place finishes. But oh how the mighty have fallen… Melo only made it through 40 games last year and his stock has taken a considerable hit. Injury concerns aside, there aren’t many players who can and have produced first round value regularly that is almost guaranteed to go in the second round this year. He should be elite in FT%, PTS and 3’s while providing a trickle of everything else. The Knicks have some resemblance of a team this year and have a realistic shot at a 8th seed in the East, which hopefully sees Melo ball in 15-16. Also to keep in mind, the Knicks don’t own their draft pick this season so tanking will not be an option for the Knickerbockers. Make no mistake there is as much risk here as as any other injury-prone player, however the reward is as great as any other as well.
Drafted Pick: 12-18
Expected Value: 8-12
Victor Oladipo (Final 2 Months Rank: 22)
After a slow start to the season due to a facial fracture, Oladipo averaged 20.3/4.3/4.5 with 1.8 steals, 1.5 3’s and 0.5 blocks a game at 42.5% FG and 82.4% FT @ 4.8 FTM a game over the final two months of the season. Still young at 23, minutes should not be an issue with Orlando searching for a playoff berth. Young, durable (80 games year 1, 72 games year 2) and with a friendly roto game, I imagine this will be the last year you’ll be able to get Oladipo with a late third/early fourth round pick.
Drafted Pick: 30-40
Expected Value: 15-25
Eric Bledsoe (Last Season Rank: 20)
Finishing 28th & 20th overall in per game metrics, Bledsoe looks ready to explode again in 2014-15. One of the golden group of players in Roto that is capable of a 1-1-1 stat line (3’s/stls/blk), the opportunity is there to really become the anchor of the Suns for years to come. Assists numbers should increase with the addition of pick and roll finisher Tyson Chandler and Brandon Knight serving as more a secondary ball handler with Bledsoe the main man.
Drafted Pick: 20-30
Expected Value: 12-20