Fantasy basketball is now upon us, and that means plenty of research, cramming and cheat sheets to help you nail your draft. A good draft is all about value—picking the right sleepers and avoiding reaches. To help you in your quest to fantasy glory, here are four players that you should stay away from at their current average draft position (ADP).
The reasons are varied. For some, it's age that holds them back. For others, it's circumstance. Whatever the reason, they're going off the board too soon. In addition, there are some other players who are being drafted below these players that will give you better value (their ADPs are listed in parentheses).
*Note: These ADP values are from ESPN live draft results*
2012-13 Averages: 13.0 points, 5.3 rebounds, 5.4 assists, 0.7 blocks, 1.7 steals, 2.6 TO, 45.1 FG%, 31.7 3P%, 57.4 FT%
The offseason signing of Andre Iguodala was a tremendous move for the Golden State Warriors. Unfortunately, that perfect marriage will only result in success on the court and not in your fantasy lineup.
With three very talented scorers on the perimeter (Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson and Harrison Barnes), Iguodala’s role is very simple: be a perimeter stopper, move the ball and do all the little things that win games.
Iguodala will excel in that role, but his numbers won’t be great and his production will be maddeningly inconsistent.
He should put up good assist numbers, and he’s likely to grab rebounds whenever he plays as a small-ball power forward, but his lack of scoring and poor shooting percentages make him not worth your while until the later rounds.
Instead, you'd be better served to pick one of the following small forwards who have higher upside and are being drafted after Iguodala: Jeff Green (57.6), Thaddeus Young (58.1), Tyreke Evans (60.9) or Chandler Parsons (83.1).
2012-13 Averages: 18.6 points, 6.3 rebounds, 4.8 assists, 43.6 FG%, 38.0 3P%, 78.7 FT%
The two big factors holding Pierce back this season are age and depth. He’s 36 years old, and it wouldn’t be at all surprising to see him dip below 30 minutes per games so that he’s fresh for the playoffs.
Brooklyn’s front office has been clear that this team is built to win now, and playoff performance will be the only indicator of success. Like Gregg Popovich, new head coach Jason Kidd will probably rest both Kevin Garnett and Pierce to make sure they are ready for the postseason.
Furthermore, his new team is incredibly deep. He won’t have to carry the scoring load and Andrei Kirilenko is sure to receive a good amount of minutes off the bench for his defense and versatility. Those minutes will come at Pierce’s expense.
Consequently, his efficiency might increase, but he’ll see a decrease in most, if not all, statistical categories that aren’t shooting percentages.
Some of the other small forwards that you should consider drafting ahead of Pierce were mentioned above. Kawhi Leonard (50.1) is another one who is being drafted after Pierce and has a much higher upside.
2012-13 Averages: 16.0 points, 9.6 rebounds, 3.5 assists, 0.7 blocks, 48.6 FG%, 68.9 FT%
The Detroit Pistons frontcourt suddenly got a lot more crowded with the emergence of Andre Drummond and the addition of Josh Smith. The result will be a decrease in Monroe’s production.
Both Smith and Drummond will rebound the ball at an excellent rate and protect the rim with ferocity. Unfortunately, that means there will be fewer boards and blocks for Monroe. He won’t have the stats that you look for when you draft a power forward-center (blocks and rebounds), and he will let you down because of it.
He is an excellent passer, so his assist numbers should go up, but considering his low shooting percentages and the fact that he’s most likely the odd man out in Detroit, you shouldn’t reach for him this year.
Drafting a player like Pau Gasol (54.1) or Paul Millsap (55.7) instead will get you more consistent points and rebounds, or you can select Derrick Favors (62.0), who blocks shots and will have ample minutes to rack up impressive stats.
2012-13 Averages: 13.2 points, 7.7 rebounds, 3.0 blocks, 57.3 FG%, 35.1 3P%, 74.9 FT%
Ibaka is currently being drafted in the early portion of the second round, mostly because he is one of the best shot-blockers in the league. While blocks are a scarce category (and Ibaka will certainly provide in that department), he’s not worth such a high pick because he fails to give you production in other areas.
He will shoot a good percentage from the floor, but he doesn’t score the ball enough or get enough rebounds to justify being selected at his current draft slot.
If he were a better rebounder (i.e. double-digits), this would be a passable draft slot for him, but without great rebounding numbers it's a reach to pick Ibaka in the second round.
In addition, since none of them give you great shot-blocking, here are some centers that can give you better bang for your buck: Dwight Howard (18.6), Anthony Davis (25.3) and Larry Sanders (41.8)
Remember, these aren't players that you shouldn't draft—they're just going off the board too soon. A good draft is all about finding the best value with each pick, so don't reach for these players.