Fantasy NBA: Underrated/Overrated Avenue Part Two

Scott BarbineCorrespondent IOctober 25, 2008

Underrated- Ron Artest

Artest is a fantastic rotisserie option because he can help out across the board.  His only issue has been staying on the court whether it be due to injury or suspension.  Now that he hes on a bona fide contender, he should have the drive and ambition to get himself and his team to the NBA Championship. 

Artest's average draft position (ADP) on ESPN is around pick 58.  Some guys picked ahead of him: Michael Beasley (56), Greg Oden (47), Manu Ginobili (46), and Rasheed Wallace (44).  I'll be talking about Wallace later on.  I'm against picking a rookie over a seasoned vet like like Artest because rookies aren't always reliable. 

Artest's average stats over the past three years are very good and well worth a pick higher than 56.  His stat line consists of 19 ppg, six boards, 3.5 assists, 2.2 steals, about a three per game, 43% from the field, and 71% from the stripe.  The field goal percentage is a little low but won't hurt your team significantly.

The question with the Rockets is not really if Yao or T-Mac will get injured but more when will they get injured.  They are bound to miss some time and when they do, it will be Artest's team if he can stay healthy himself.  When Yao and T-Mac are on the court, Artest will still benefit.  Defenses are going to have to concentrate on those two, leaving Artest with open shots.  Being around such solid talent could also give a boost to Artest's assist numbers where we can see him getting around four per game.

I think Artest is well worth a pick in the fourth or fifth round in your drafts, rather than sixth or seventh where is is going now.


Overrated-  Rasheed Wallace

Wallace's ADP this year has been around pick 44, which is way to high for the aging Detroit center.  Some post players that are being picked after Wallace: Antawn Jamison (45), Al Horford (51), Andris Biedrins (68).

Wallace's three year average has been 13.5 ppg, seven boards, two assists, 1.6 blocks, one steal, 124 threes a year, 42.8% from the field, and 76% from the line.  In a starting center for your fantasy team you want more of a prototypical center.  Wallace's averages of only seven rebounds and shooting less than 43% from the field really hurt when those are numbers you depend on your center helping you in.

There is a crop of young centers coming into their own in the league with far more upside than Wallace has.  You can wait a little while and pick a guy like Horford, Biedrins, Andrew Bogut, Andrew Bynum, Tyson Chandler, Emeka Okafor, and Samuel Dalembert.

The Detroit Pistons are also infultrating youth into the frountcourt as well.  Jason Maxiell, Amir Johnson, and even Kwame Brown will be cutting into Wallace's minutes, which in turn will hurt his fantasy production.

If it's your pick in the fifth round and you need a center, wait a few rounds and pick one of the youngsters.