Roto Basketball: Strong Middle Round Buys

Hot Stove New YorkSenior Writer ISeptember 24, 2009

LOS ANGELES - APRIL 12:  O.J. Mayo #32 of the Memphis Grizzlies drives against the Los Angeles Lakers on April 12, 2009 at Staples Center in Los Angeles, California.  The Lakers won 92-75.  NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Stephen Dunn/Getty Images)

CEmeka Okafor

If you’re looking for a real, dominant center to hold down those REB and BLK numbers, look no further than Emeka Okafor. Long stamped with the “underachiever tag”, a trade to New Orleans could be exactly what Okafor needs to break through. Chris Paul helped transform Tyson Chandler, an athletic big man with relatively few offensive skills, into a double-double machine. Emeka was a double-double machine without the star pg (no disrespect to Ray Felton, he’s my boy). In the last three seasons, Okafor has eclipsed the 750 reb and 135 blk thresholds, including seasons of 875 rebounds and over 170 blocks. He also puts up a more than respectable 56% from the field. Last year, Chris Bosh shot 48% from the field and blocked 77 shots, just to put things in perspective. Don’t overpay for points at the C position.

PFLuis Scola

With Yao slated be out most of if not the whole season, Luis Scola is an absolute no-brainer. Last year, Scola had the 11th most rebounds in the league. Safe to say he finishes top ten this year and probably even higher. Just remember, he doesn’t block any shots so his value is really at the PF position. A nice note, he did have 68 steals last year.  He averaged 12.7 ppg and 8.8 rpg in just over 30 minutes of play. Project that over 35-36 minutes, without Yao, and well...I don’t want to offend any experts.

SFCharlie Villanueva

Now that Detroit has rid itself of the Allen Iverson plague, let go of the skilled but aging big man Rasheed Wallace, and added the most dynamic 6th man in basketball in Ben Gordon, the road is paved for Charlie V to become a breakout star. After averaging 16.2 points and 6.7 reb  in just over 26 minutes last year, prepare to see his shiny head flying across your TV screen on a nightly basis. Detroit plans to turn him loose, which could produce frightening numbers. He hit almost 90 3’s last year, and that number will surely go over 100 in 09-10. He also shoots 84% from the line, and while he may not produce numbers like some of the big SF going in the first 2 rounds, he is a solid buy for 3’s, points, and rebounds from the sf slot.


If it wasn’t for the Derrick Rose show in Chicago, Mayo would have surely been the NBA Rookie of the Year. Last year, Mayo was 13th in the NBA in 3pt fgm. He could strongly benefit from an increase in his .438 fg percentage, but the addition of Allen Iverson could mean more 3pt opportunities for Mayo and better shot selection. For an example why Mayo has solid value, let’s compare him to another SG going about 10-15 picks earlier.

Mayo: .438%   .879%    145-3’s   1516-pts   308-reb  262-ast  91 stl

J-Rich: .477%  .769%    129-3’s   1212-pts    319-reb  146-ast  76stl


PGRaymond Felton

RayRay just signed a 1-year deal with Charlotte, and I’m sure he wants to play well to cash in on some of that purported 2010 money. Last year, Felton was 10th in total assists, ahead of names like Chauncey Billups, Tony Parker, Baron Davis, Derrick Rose, and Andre Miller. He had 126 steals, also 10th in the NBA, ahead of noted ball-hawks Kobe Bryant, Devin Harris, and Caron Butler. Felton is ranked 107th in Y! leagues, and proves to pay much higher dividends than his current ADP.